DID YOU READ

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” star Quvenzhane Wallis talks burps, screams and crawfish

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Quvenzhane Wallis is a tiny force to be reckoned with. In “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” the nine-year-old manages to transform life-changing events into a mythological story that, to her, could affect the entire world. As director Benh Zeitlin told IFC, much of her character, Hushpuppy, is actually derivative of Wallis as a person. But when it’s up to Wallis to explain the comparisons between herself and her character, she said that what you see is what you get.

“She’s brave and fearless,” the first-time actress told IFC at a recent press day for the movie. “She was active all the time. Since it’s a movie, yes [there are similarities]. Not really but there are. She doesn’t wear pants and her father is dying, and she gets to complete whatever she wants to do. She can do anything she wants. She doesn’t have to ask for anything, so it’s something that she does and she gets to do it by herself.”

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” premiered first at Sundance, then at the Cannes Film Festival and most recently at the Los Angeles Film Festival (where it won the Audience Award). Wallis, Zeitlin and Dwight Henry, who plays Hushpuppy’s father Wink in the movie, have traveled all over the country promoting this film. We spoke to Wallis towards the end of the press day, and it was clear that she was exhausted. As someone who is not trained for press, she let her disinterest with answering the same questions all day be known.

“Burp, scream and crawfish,” she ticked off on her fingers in answer to what her favorite parts of the movie were. When we asked whether that was a question she’s heard a lot, she further ticked, “Yes I have been asked.”

That being said, the experience was positive enough that Wallis said she wants to continue with acting. She’s already seen more of the world than many people have in their lifetime, though Sea World was one of her favorite parts of that along with going to Cannes and Sundance. And the filming experience in itself seems like it was a great time, with much of the movie being an on-set party.

“It was fun because we all got to have different people to play with,” Wallis said of the filming experience. “It was different because, whenever you go home, it’s just different and all you do is just seeing your friends and riding your bike. And then you go to the Bath Tub and all you hear is parades and drinking.”

As she previously mentioned, her favorite parts of the movie were her frequent burps, ear-piercing screams and the regular meals of crawfish. Wallis said she had told Zeitlin before they started the movie that she was especially talented in the burping and screaming departments, and that’s why those qualities were added to her character.

When asked what her favorite scene to film was, she answered, “When I burped. Just kidding [laughs]. When I had the crawfish, that was my favorite out of all of those things.”

She added that she liked filming the parade scene with the sparklers that many can see in the trailer for the film.

“It was fun because you never expect to do all those scenes and crazy scenes like that,” she said. “Whenever we were on the parade and we were shaking and screaming and water falling and people, we had to redo it and redo it, we had to go back and forth with the truck of the parade, so it was very funny.”

When IFC talked to Zeitlin about the film, he gushed about Wallis’s abilities. “The very first time I saw her, she was like fierce and defiant and wise beyond her years. She was five years old when she came in and she had this focus that we hadn’t seen from kids twice her age. She’s some sort of supernatural creature that came to us,” he said.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” hits select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles today.

Were you surprised by Wallis’s powerful performance? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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