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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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.


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.
Die Hard restroom

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


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.


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.


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.


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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