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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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Southern Fried SNL

Watch Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in SNL’s Southern Rock Supergroup

Fred and Carrie kept it mellow on the SNL season finale.

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Photo Credit: Saturday Night Live / NBC Universal

It was a veritable “band from comedy heaven” this weekend as a myriad of comedians assembled for a feel-good musical sketch in the Saturday Night Live season finale. Guest host Fred Armisen was joined by Portlandia cohort Carrie Brownstein as well as Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Larry David, and members of the SNL cast to form faux-southern-rock supergroup The Harkin Brothers — a band whose members managed to outnumber its audience.

If The Harkin Brothers’ smooth vocal stylings remind you of The Blue Jean Committee from Documentary Now!, that’s probably not a coincidence. The BJC first appeared in a different, more regionally-specific form in a SNL sketch with Sudeikis on drums.

Watch an all-star SNL cast perform a mellow tribute to Arkansas called “Summertime in Fayetteville” in the video below.

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Farewell Mr. Fred

5 Funniest Sketches From Fred Armisen’s SNL Season Finale

Is "Farewell, Mr. Bunting" the best SNL sketch of the season?

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Photo Credit: Saturday Night Live / NBC Universal

The 41st season of Saturday Night Live drew to a close this past weekend, and star of Portlandia and Documentary Now! Fred Armisen hosted the occasion. A former SNL player himself, this homecoming allowed Fred to show off the comedy chops and character skills he’s honed since leaving Studio 8H.

Here are the 5 funniest sketches from the season finale of Saturday Night Live hosted by Fred Armisen.

1. Farewell, Mr. Bunting

What appears to be a straightforward take on the maudlin climax of the 1989 Robin Williams classic Dead Poets Society takes quite an unexpected turn. But if you’re really watching, you’ll realize it’s completely organic and integral to the plot.


2. Fred’s Monologue and One-Man Show

Actor, writer, producer, musician, impressionist — Fred can do it all. So tackling the many characters in the story of his life is a cakewalk for such a talent. Here, Fred takes us on the emotional journey through the day he got the job at SNL and luckily he leaves no detail, however minor or insignificant, out of the performance.


3. New Girlfriend

We were wondering what characters Fred would bring back, but we didn’t predict Regine. Fellow SNL alum Jason Sudeikis appears in this sketch as Regine’s new boyfriend, who introduces his pals to his snarky, raunchy lady. Watch Aidy Bryant try not to crack up at Fred/Regine’s joygasms.


4. Expedition

Three of the biggest stars in American colonialism are Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea. But what most history books choose to omit is the simmering sexual tension between the three explorers. Fortunately, a group of community players illustrate the historical figures’ lustful dynamic to a high school class in graphic detail.


5. Escape Pod

As an interstellar ship begins breaking apart, Fred plays the lucky member of the space crew who wins access to the last escape pod. But a heartfelt goodbye is mitigated by the pod’s virtual assistant ensuring all the luxuries and pampering are to the occupant’s liking.

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League of their own

The Crying Game

10 Things You Didn’t Know About A League of Their Own

Batter up for A League of Their Own this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

While there may be no crying in baseball, lots of blood, sweat, and tears went into the making of A League of Their Own. From sweltering July heat to concussions to the Material Girl causing trouble, making the hit film wasn’t exactly a homerun. Before you catch A League of Their Own on IFC, check out some dirt on the making of this sports movie classic. Hear that call! The time has come for one and all to play ball!

1. The cast really had to play baseball.

League of Their Own Quotes
Columbia Pictures

Director Penny Marshall was adamant that all of the actresses cast in the film could really play baseball. Prior to the start of filming, the cast (even Madonna!) trained eight hours a day, six days a week for over seven months to hone their skills and bond as a team. They initially practiced sliding using a Slip ‘N Slide, but that method was abandoned when both Tracy Reiner and Megan Cavanagh suffered concussions.


2. Geena Davis auditioned in Penny Marshall’s backyard.

Geena Davis
Columbia Pictures

The Fly and Beetlejuice star was the last person cast in the film after several other prominent actresses like Debra Winger, Laura Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Demi Moore passed. Davis had never played baseball but won Marshall over through a game of catch in her backyard. A natural athlete, Davis was outplaying most of the other actresses on the film. (Though she did use a double for the sliding portion of her infamous catch in the splits.)


3. Tom Hanks entertained the extras with puppet shows.

Tom Hanks
Columbia Pictures

Over 1,700 extras were used throughout the shoot, enduring long hours and occasionally extreme 100+ degree summer heat while on location in Indiana. To keep them entertained in between shots and scenery changes, members of the cast performed. Tom Hanks did puppet shows behind the dugout while Rosie O’Donnell would perform stand-up. Madonna reportedly refused to perform (what a shocker!), leaving the rest of the cast to perform imitations of her. Geena Davis suggested they perform “Bohemian Rhapsody” and songs from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, assigning Tom Hanks the role of Caiaphas.


4. Madonna wasn’t exactly a team player.

Madonna Bosoms
Columbia Pictures

To say the Material Girl was a bit of a handful during the shoot is an understatement. In addition to refusing to perform for the extras and ignoring requests for autographs, she often complained about coming into the film a star but being relegated to the background. According to costar and friend Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna brought a boombox to set the first day and warned everybody that if they broke it, they’d have to buy her another one. She also wrote a somewhat scathing letter about her experiences to a friend, calling Geena Davis a “Barbie Doll” and lamenting the lack of “beautiful men” in Chicago.


5. All of the injuries in the film were real.

Bruise League of their Own
Columbia Pictures

The real women of the All American Girls Pro Baseball League were tough, but their onscreen counterparts were equally as tenacious on the field. Penny Marshall had the actresses play a lot of real games with multiple cameras set up in order to get enough footage for montages, and they didn’t go easy on one another, jamming their shoulders, spraining fingers, and nearly breaking noses. The giant strawberry bruise Alice gets while sliding into base was a real injury actress Renee Coleman sustained during filming, and it lasted for well over a year.  Ouch.


6. Lori Petty and Rosie O’Donnell were the real most valuable players.

Rosie O'Donnell
Columbia Pictures

Though Geena Davis showed natural ability and was supposed to be the “best player in the league,” on-set coach William E. Hughes was most impressed by Lori Petty and Rosie O’Donnell. Petty could actually outrun Davis, so she was forced to slow her pace during the scene where the two race so as not to appear faster than Davis. She wound up throwing more pitches during filming than most Major League Baseball pitchers do in a full season. O’Donnell had actually played Little League baseball with her brothers growing up, so she excelled during training camp, learning how to throw two balls at once from one of the real AAGPBL players on set. O’Donnell and Petty often had hitting competitions and could hit the fences at Major League parks with little difficulty.


7. Even Tom Hanks didn’t know how long he would pee in the locker room scene.

One of the most memorable moments in A League of Their Own occurs when Jimmy Dugan introduces himself by bursting into the locker room in a drunken stupor and relieving himself in front of the rest of the Peaches while Mae times him. To keep both Hanks and the actresses on their toes, Penny Marshall stood in a stall off camera and made the noises with a hose and a bucket for maximum comedic effect. The actual length of Dugan’s epic #1 is an impressive 53 seconds!


8. Jimmy and Dottie had a romantic subplot that was cut from the film.

A League of Their Own Spit

The initial cut of the film clocked in around four hours before being cut down to its more slender two hours and eight minutes. Among the footage left on the cutting room floor were scenes depicting a growing romantic relationship between Dugan and star player Dottie. The conversation on the bus left in the final cut of the film hints at tension, but in a deleted scene the pair shared a passionate kiss late one night on the field which is what originally led to the scene with Dottie telling Lowenstein she was going home.


9. Jon Lovitz was almost upstaged by a cow.

In the scene where Lovitz’s character, baseball scout Ernie Capadino (a role specifically written for the SNL star), visits Dottie and Kit at their family dairy farm, the girls are seen milking cows. Unbeknownst to Lovitz, one of the cows off-screen was giving birth and mooing loudly, causing him to ad lib the line “WILL YOU SHUT UP?!” It was only after they finished filming that Lovitz found out a calf had been born, which the farm named Penny after director Penny Marshall.


10. Some of the cast reprised their roles on the A League of Their Own TV Show.

CBS aired a TV version of A League of Their Own for a brief period in 1993. Cast members Megan Cavanagh, Tracy Reiner and Jon Lovitz reprised their roles, with former “Bond Girl” Cary Lowell in the Dottie role and Sam McMurray channeling Hanks as Jimmy. As you can imagine, it only lasted five episodes.

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