Paul Dano says he’s “not a great guy” in “Twelve Years a Slave”


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By Jennifer Vineyard

Don’t get too used to the romantic Paul Dano (who can be seen along with his real life girlfriend, Zoe Kazan, in the new film, “Ruby Sparks”). A violent Paul Dano is on the way, courtesy of the next film he’s shooting this summer, “Twelve Years a Slave.”

“The main character, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, is a slave who gets passed around to different owners, and I’m one of the ones he comes into contact with on his journey,” Dano told IFC. “And I’m not a great guy.”

The film, which will be directed by Steve McQueen (“Shame”), is based on the account of Solomon Northup, who was a free man kidnapped and forced into slavery. The film also stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, and Michael Kenneth Williams. “It’s such a good story, and it’s going to be an interesting film,” Dano said. “And Steve is really passionate. His heart is in the right place. It’s an ambitious film, and he’s going at it strong.”

Dano will play John Tibeats, who bought Northup in 1842 from a previous master (to be played by Cumberbatch). Tibeats, who owned a plantation near New Orleans, was a stern taskmaster, and put Solomon to work at carpentry. On one occasion, upset about the size of a nail that was being used, he attempted to whip Solomon, but the slave managed to push his master over, grab the whip from him, and whip him instead. For that offense, he was nearly lynched, and before he was saved by the overseer, was left bound with a noose and rope, unable to move for a whole day. On another occasion, upset with the level Solomon was planing down a sweep, Tibeats attacked Solomon with an axe, and the slave again bested his master, but barely escaped with his life.

“If you were a white man working on a farm in that time period with slaves, you were probably the boss of them, and it probably was not good for them,” Dano said by way of understatement.

To prepare for the part, the actor is immersing himself in historical research, reading recollections of other slaves and owners, “just to fill out any gaps or your imagination, so you can feel comfortable in that world,” he said, “and to figure out the other facets who that person is.” Dano also plans to work on his accent, and discuss the part further with McQueen.

“That’s my jumping off point,” Dano said. “I’m excited to go do that, and I’m going to do the best job that I can with all of that.”

What are your thoughts on “Twelve Years a Slave” so far? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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SAG Life

Rappers Act Up

Watch the Yo! IFC Acts Movie Marathon Memorial Day Weekend.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Everett Collection (and the '90s)

Memorial Day weekend: how to celebrate? Nothing quite says “screw spring—let’s do summer” like blockbuster movies starring rappers who ditched lucrative music careers in order to become actors. It happened a lot, remember? Especially in and around the ’90s. Will Smith, Eminem, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Marky Mark Wahlberg, Ludacris…icons with the hubris to try the silver screen instead and have it totally work out.

But what if more rappers had made the leap? That’s a rhetorical question—movies (and life) would’ve been better, obviously. To prove it, here are some movies that would’ve been more memorable with rappers.

The Godfather

Starring Biggie, not Brando.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Only Coolio could improve upon Gene Wilder’s performance.

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot, with a dose of Missy Elliott.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Low hanging fruit, Hollywood.

And of course…


See NONE of those movies and a whole bunch of real ones this Memorial Day weekend on IFC’s rapper-filled movie marathon.

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Brock Hard

Brockmire’s Guide To Grabbing Life By The D***

Catch up on the full season of Brockmire now.

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GIFs by Giphy

“Lucy, put supper on the stove, my dear, because this ballgame is over!”

Brockmire has officially closed out its rookie season. Miss the finale episode? A handful of episodes? The whole blessed season?? You can see it all from the beginning, starting right here.

And you should get started, because every minute you spend otherwise will be a minute spent not living your best life. That’s right, there are very important life lessons that Brockmire hid in plain sight—lessons that, when applied thoughtfully, can improve every aspect of your awesome existence. Let’s dive into some sage nuggets from what we call the Book of Jim.

Life Should Be Spiked, Not Watered Down.

That’s not just a fancy metaphor. As Brockmire points out, water tastes “awful. 70% of the water is made up of that shit?” Life is short, water sucks, live like you mean it.

There Are Only Three Types of People

“Poor people, rich people and famous people. Rich people are just poor people with money, so the only worthwhile thing is being famous.” So next time your rich friends act all high and mighty, politely remind them that they’re worthless in the eyes of even the most minor celebrities.

There’s Always A Reason To Get Out Of Bed

And 99% of the time that reason is the urge to pee. It’s nature’s way of saying “seize the day.”

There’s More To Life Than Playing Games

“Baseball can’t compete with p0rnography. Nothing can.” Nothing you do or ever will do can be more important to people than p0rn. Get off your high horse.

A Little Empathy Goes A Long Way

Especially if you’ve taken someone else’s Plan B by mistake.

Our Weaknesses Can Be Our Greatest Strengths

Tyrion Lannister said something similar. Hard to tell who said it with more colorful profanity. Wise sentiments all around.

Big Things Come To Those Who Wait

When you’re looking for a sign, the universe will drop you a big one. You’re the sh*t, universe.

And Of Course…

Need more life lessons from the Book of Jim? Catch up on Brockmire on the IFC App.

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Oh Mama

Mommie May I?

Mommie Dearest Is On Repeat All Mothers Day Long On IFC

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GIFs via Giphy

The cult-classic movie Mommie Dearest is a game-changer. If you’ve seen it even just once (but come on, who sees it just once?), then you already know what we’re talking about.

But if you haven’t seen it, then let us break it down for you. Really quick, we promise, we’ll even list things out to spare you the reading of a paragraph:

1. It’s the 1981 biopic based on the memoir of Christina Crawford, Hollywood icon Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter.
2. Faye Dunaway plays Joan. And boy does she play her. Loud and over-reactive.
3. It was intended as a drama, but…
4. Waaaaaay over-the-top performances and bargain-basement dialogue rendered it an accidental comedy.
5. It’s a cult classic, and you’re the last person to see it.

Not sold? Don’t believe it’s going to change your life? Ok, maybe over-the-top acting isn’t your thing, or perhaps you don’t like the lingering electricity of a good primal scream, or Joan Crawford is your personal icon and you can’t bear to see her cast in such a creepy light.

But none of that matters.

What’s important is that seeing this movie gives you permission to react to minor repeat annoyances with unrestrained histrionics.

That there is a key moment. Is she crazy? Yeah. But she’s also right. Shoulder nipples are horrible, wire hangers are the worst, and yelling about it feels strangely justified. She did it, we can do it. Precedent set. You’re welcome.

So what else can we yell about? Channel your inner Joan and consider the following list offenses when choosing your next meltdown.

Improperly Hung Toilet Paper

Misplaced Apostrophes

Coldplay at Karaoke

Dad Jokes

Gluten Free Pizza

James Franco

The list of potential pedestrian grievances is actually quite daunting, but when IFC airs Mommie Dearest non-stop for a full day, you’ll have 24 bonus hours to mull it over. 24 bonus hours to nail that lunatic shriek. 24 bonus hours to remember that, really, your mom is comparatively the best.

So please, celebrate Mother’s Day with Mommie Dearest on IFC and at IFC.com. And for the love of god—NO WIRE HANGERS EVER.

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