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LAFF: Melanie Lynskey talks playing Aunt Helen in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”


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When it was released, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” felt as though it was the “Catcher in the Rye” for the Millenial generation. The 1999 novel, written by Stephen Chbosky, told the story of its titular wallflower as he navigated through his first year of high school and experimented with friendships, drugs and his sexuality.

“Perks” might seem like a pulpy novel on the surface, but it actually deals with some pretty serious topics, the least of which is child molestation. Fortunately for us, the actress who was tasked with portraying the topic in the film is one who is more than up to the task.

Be warned, there are “Perks of Being a Wallflower” spoilers in the rest of this article.

Melanie Lynskey, the same woman who charmed us in “Away We Go,” “The Informant!” and “Up in the Air,” was cast as Helen, the aunt who molested main character Charlie when he was a child. When we caught up with her at the Los Angeles Film Festival red carpet for “Seeking a Friend at the End of the World” — another movie with an unhappy plot line for the actress — she admitted that it was difficult to portray a character who’s on the negative side of a very sensitive issue.

“I think it’s an important story. It’s an important thing to talk about, and I love the way it’s told. It’s really moving, and it’s really special, but it’s hard to be that person to be like, ‘You know what? I’ll do it.’ It’s like, ugh,” she said with a laugh.

The trailer for “Perks” premiered during the 2012 MTV Movie Awards, but Lynskey’s character’s plotline has been mostly kept under wraps. Even though the movie has started to be screened for audiences, she said she’s still mostly sworn to secrecy about the project.

“I don’t know how much I can say about it, but I saw the movie recently and I just was like, god, if I was a teenager and this movie came out, it would make me lose my mind. I would be so excited,” she said. “I loved it.”

Most fans are excited about this movie because it’s Emma Watson‘s first starring role following the conclusion of the “Harry Potter” series.. She’ll be playing Sam, a high school senior who Charlie falls for. The movie also stars Logan Lerman as Charlie and “We Need To Talk About Kevin” star Ezra Miller as Sam’s half brother and Charlie’s best friend. Lynskey said she didn’t get to work much with “Perks’s” teenage stars, but she did hang out with them on set.

“I met [Watson]. I worked with Logan for a minute. I mostly worked with a little child,” she said. Remembering the context of the scenes she had to shoot with him, she added, “Oh, god, the worst. The worst.”

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is due out in theaters on September 21.

Are you looking forward to seeing Lynsky’s portrayal of Aunt Helen in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.