LAFF: “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” cast ponders the apocalypse


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We won’t know for sure that the Mayans were wrong about 2012 being the year of the apocalypse until the we reach the end of December, which means we still have six more months to speculate about how it will all go down. Will an asteroid blow us all to bits? Will there be a surprise nuclear holocaust? Will some big man in the clouds come down and pluck us away into nonexistence?

And how will we all act when we know that our lives will end shortly, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it? That’s the question that Lorene Scafaria’s latest film “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” asks its audience, and that’s the question we put to the stars of the film when we saw them at its Los Angeles Film Festival red carpet.

“Hopefully I wouldn’t just be sitting there crying the whole time. That would be terrible,” Melanie Lynskey told IFC. Taking a second to think about the idea of the apocalypse, she added, “It’s a crazy thing. You sort of like shrug your shoulders and you’re like, ‘Whatever,’ but then there’s a part of me that’s like, ‘What if that happens? What if that’s real?'”

“Seeking a Friend” is, in many ways, a light, comedic take on the end of the world. It shows how people can come together in a time of crisis, even if there really is no point. And they literally come together in the movie. All most of the stars of the flick could talk about at the red carpet was the orgy that Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Gillian Jacobs, TJ Miller and some extras get into at a T.G.I. Friday’s-style restaurant called Friendly’s.

When asked to describe filming the scene, Jacobs answered, “Very exuberant, I would say, with a lot of tactile elements. It was really fun. It was so silly.”

But apparently it took several tries to actually get right.

“It was the politest orgy you’ve ever seen for the first three takes and then Lorene came over and said, ‘You guys, we do not have this time. This is an independent film. We do not have the budget to ease into this. Let’s see an orgy.’ And then she went off and the next take I think was a little too much,” Miller said. “I may have done some things to Steve Carell’s calves and ankles that I’m not proud of.”

Jacobs had the unique opportunity to make out with both Carell and Knightley, as well as some other lucky extras. When asked which smooch was her favorite, she couldn’t decide.

“Guys, come on! Sophie’s choice! I can’t answer these questions! Don’t play hardball with me,” she said.

Though sex and drugs (the orgy occurs while everyone is high on ecstasy) might not be the ways in which Miller chooses to go out during the apocalypse, he did joke that he spent plenty of time preparing for his big scene in “Seeking a Friend” by taking a method approach to it.

“I took ecstasy for two and a half years in the Mojave desert, just straight, right up until the day that we filmed, and then I went directly insane,” he deadpanned. “They call me the young uglier Harvey Keitel.”

When asked why she thought that pop culture has continued to return to the end of the world scenario over time, Jacobs had several explanations. “I think it’s something that people are always obsessed with,” she said. “I mean, uncertain times, climate change, Mayan calendar, knowing that everything can’t go on forever. I think it’s always bubbling sort of under the surface of our consciousness.”

But fans might be surprised to find out that Scafaria’s inspiration for the film didn’t stem from the Mayan prophecy at all. Instead, it was a certain event that occurred 11 years ago that affected her life — and all of the United States — forever.

“9/11 happened, and I’d moved from New York to LA a week before it and had no friends there and was so desperate for human contact and thought a lot about how this global event could have a really personal impact on me, my behavior and my relationships with people,” she explained. “That stayed with me for a long time and yeah, we end up here.”

She continued, “That kind of event happened and it really did change people for the better for a little while. I felt like New York was a place that people were finally looking each other in the eyes for a little bit. Sometimes it takes something like that to bring out the best in people.”

For Scafaria, the decision to have “Seeking a Friend” be a light-hearted take on what’s typically an action-packed or dramatic genre was intentional.

“I think when you take forever off the table, it does something really interesting to what you think is important,” she said. “There’s something a little freeing about it.”

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” hit theaters June 22.

What would you do if you found out the world was ending in a few weeks? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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