DID YOU READ

Channing Tatum and the “Magic Mike” cast tease the truth behind the fiction

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Fans might flock to see “Magic Mike” because it’s a movie about male strippers, but they’ll be surprised to find that it’s actually about much more than that. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though, since director Stephen Soderbergh has made a name for himself making rich character dramas like “Erin Brockovich” and “Traffic” as well as fun flicks like the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies. “Magic Mike” is a healthy mix of the two, and it turns out that it was just as much of a pleasure to make the film as it was to watch it.

“Stephen is really great at walking the line between commercial, in the sense that people will want to see it, and really artistic art house. That’s what this is. This is a movie that is really strange and about a strange concept, and yet it’s relatable, and it’s big. Its bigger concept is not just this little world. It’s really about humans,” Cody Horn said when IFC caught up with her at the Los Angeles Film Festival red carpet for the movie. “There’s a lot of heart in this movie and there’s a lot of issues that we all face every day.”

Part of the reason that the movie has so much heart is because it’s based on leading man Channing Tatum‘s real life experiences as a stripper in Florida. But don’t expect everything you see on the big screen to be something that happened in Tatum’s real life. In fact, he said that most of the movie is fiction.

“The only thing that’s factual is me being 18 and being in Florida, I dropped out of college and playing football, and literally started going into this abyss of a world and just sort of lived it up for about eight months,” he said on the red carpet. “I don’t think anybody would really want to see the autobiographical [version]. Like it would, ugh, that’s just gross.”

It’s clear from watching the men perform that Tatum is the only one who has real experience with stripping and dancing. Adam Rodriguez quite enthusiastically throws himself into the routine while Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer clearly love getting to perform the dirty dances. Then there’s Matthew McConaughey, whose on stripping scene puts everyone else to shame. But there’s a good reason that viewers won’t see much of former WWE wrestler Kevin Nash.

“At this point I’m so beat up from 25 years of wrestling, my body’s so beat up that it was a grind just to be on my feet for 12 hours, let alone moving and even jumping off the stage. I was like, ‘Really?'” he told IFC with a laugh. “But it was such a great camaraderie, the energy was so good between the cast members, the guys are great. I’ve made some long-term friends on set, so it was very special.”

Betsy Brandt, best known as Marie from AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” only has one scene in the movie as a banker who denies Tatum’s character a loan. Brandt said she regretted not being able to film any scenes that involved the men stripping, and joked that she suggested that Soderbergh add one in on her behalf.

“I asked if I could be in another scene when they’re stripping, just counting my bank money,” Brandt said. “I told Channing if, you know, he needed to take his clothes off for rehearsal, everybody has a process, and I respect actors and their craft and everyone has their own way of working…. no I’m kidding.”

One of the more interesting elements of “Magic Mike” is the fact that instead of objectifying its leading women, it puts its leading men on display. Both Horn and Brandt said they were surprised and happy to find such good female roles available in Hollywood.

“I think that actresses in Hollywood kill for roles like this. There’s not a lot in our age group for that and it was just an honor to get it. I love the role. I absolutely love the role, and I love the movie,” Horn said. Brandt added, “I think it’s great. I think they should have to take their clothes off for a while instead of us.”

That being said, Tatum’s answer when asked what parts of the movie female fans will love the most was unsurprising. “McConaughey’s scene,” he said. “All McConaughey’s scenes.”

What elements of Magic Mike have you most intrigued? 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.
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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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