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Dane DeHaan on “Lawless,” “Kill Your Darlings” and those “Spider-Man 2” Harry Osborn rumors

Dane DeHaan in Chronicle

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Dane DeHaan developed a taste for moonshine working on “Lawless” (out this week on DVD) — “straight, plum, strawberry, pineapple, blueberry, apple, and peach” were among the flavors he tried, all for work you understand! (“I would not have been doing a good job if I didn’t sample the local product,” he laughed when talking to IFC.) But that wasn’t the only thing Dehaan acquired from the set of his first big film.

“I’m a firm believer that you can learn something from everybody, and there were eight of the heaviest hitters on that film, so I soaked it all up, from every single person,” DeHaan said. “I look at people and I think, ‘What does he or she do better than me? How do they do that? How can I adapt that?'”

Guy Pearce, for instance, taught DeHaan “the importance of not only internal life, but external life” by showing up on the set with shaved-off eyebrows and a shaved quarter-inch part in his hair. “I mean, he was the dude,” DeHaan said. “He showed me how you can take the effort to form the person on the outside, which was a revelation to me, because I tended to work first on the internal, and the external would come later.” (For his own role, DeHaan took this lesson to heart in developing special angled shoes and his walk, since his character Cricket had rickets.)

Shia LaBeouf, on the other hand, taught DeHaan the value of developing relationships off set, after the two of them took a four-day road trip together so they could play best friends. That lesson is one DeHaan has already applied to two of his subsequent films, “Kill Your Darlings” and “The Place Beyond the Pines.”

In the Beat poets-murder story “Kill Your Darlings,” DeHaan plays Lucien Carr, who helped introduce Jack Kerouac (played by “Boardwalk Empire”‘s Jack Huston), Allen Ginsberg (played by Daniel Radcliffe), and William S. Burroughs (played by Ben Foster). And because he learned how valuable it was to have an off-set friendship to simulate an on-screen one, “I spent a lot of time with Dan,” DeHaan said. However, he didn’t spend quite as much time with co-star Michael C. Hall, who plays David Kammerer, a man Carr killed after spurning his romantic advances.

“Not only were Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr involved, but I think David Kammerer and Lucien Carr were also involved,” DeHaan said. “So I have a responsibility to develop that relationship, at least internally, so my character can really fall in love with them.”

Unlike the other main characters, DeHaan had less written material to study about Carr. “He tried really hard not to leave many accounts of himself out there,” the actor said. “The first edition of ‘Howl’ was dedicated to Lucie Carr, and he had his named removed from subsequent editions.” But DeHaan was able to find some handy material in “And The Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks,” which is an account of the murder co-authored by Kerouac and Burroughs not published until after Carr’s death. “Plus there are diaries and letters of Kerouac talking about Carr, Ginsberg talking about Carr, and you can get a sense of who he was,” DeHaan said.

In the Ryan Gosling-Bradley Cooper crime drama “The Place Beyond the Pines,” DeHaan decided his primary relationship he needed to develop was one with an inanimate object — his bike. “Shia taught me about the importance of creating relationships,” DeHaan said, “but I knew after reading the script that the important thing in that movie for me would be the bike. The bike came up all the time. I think my character [Jason] is genetically predisposed to love bikes.”

Taking a page from Cricket’s mechanical abilities (he’s a “genius” who is constantly rebuilding cars to make them go faster and outrun cops in “Lawless”), DeHaan decided his way in to Jason would be to build his character’s BMX bike, “so it would look like part of me.” This was not a hobby of his before this role, so he found some help at the L.A. bike shop Bicycle Kitchen. “They have a bunch of old beat up bikes, and it’s essentially a volunteer community service,” he said. “So I not only got to learn how to build a bike and take care of a bike, but I spent a lot of time around kids who are a lot like Jason, which was really informative for me.”

Now that DeHaan has several big films under his belt since “Lawless” (including a star turn in “Chronicle” — which might garner a sequel yet — and a cameo in “Lincoln”), the 26-year-old actor is hoping for a shot at an even bigger one: “Spider-Man 2.” He’s up for the role of Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn, but he doesn’t want to jinx it by talking about screen tests or auditions. “I love what Marc Webb did with the first one, with the emphasis of the human aspects of it without calling attention to it. And I think Andrew Garfield is an amazing person and a talented artist. So if that opportunity were to come along, and obviously it has not yet, I would love to be in that.”

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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.
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

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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