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DID YOU READ

15 Little-Known Facts About I Spy

I SPY, Owen Wilson, Eddie Murphy, 2002, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

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Here are some behind-the-scenes tidbits about the 2002 buddy-spy comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson.

1. IT’S ADAPTED FROM A ‘60S TV SERIES OF THE SAME NAME.

The original TV show starred Robert Culp and Bill Cobsy.


2. MURPHY GOT INTO BOXING SHAPE WITHOUT A TRAINER.

The actor bulked up all on his own using a training regiment he knew from when his father and brothers trained as boxers growing up.


3. AND MURPHY DID ALL OF THE BOXING HIMSELF.

No stunt doubles were used for the scenes of Kelly Robinson in the ring.


4. A WORLD CLASS BOXING TRAINER CHOREOGRAPHED THE FIGHT SCENES.

Fight coordinator Darrell Foster, champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard’s trainer, was brought in to design the fight sequences. Foster is also well-known for working extensively with Will Smith, getting him into boxing shape for 2001’s Ali and training him for I Am Legend, Hancock, After Earth, and more.


5. THE VILLAIN WAS WRITTEN WITH MALCOLM MCDOWELL IN MIND.

The script described Gundars as “a Malcolm McDowell-type,” so the filmmakers got lucky when he agreed to take on the role.


6. INSPIRATION FOR THE SWITCHBLADE CAME FROM AN UNLIKELY PLACE.

Its warped, reflective invisibility cloak was based on funhouse mirrors.


7. THE ORIGINAL SWITCHBLADE DESIGN WAS MADE FROM TOYS.

First Assistant Director Richard Graves created the Switchblade prototype by piecing together parts from his son’s plastic jet model kits.


8. THE MOVIE WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE IN PRAGUE.

Instead, the movie shot on location in Budapest, Hungary, because the film’s producer, Andrew Vajna, lived there. She was eager to use her hometown as the setting because she had never seen it depicted in a Hollywood movie before.

9. CARLOS, THE POMPOUS SUPERSPY, WAS BASED ON A PARTICULAR HOLLYWOOD ACTOR.

The leather-clad and ponytailed spy was allegedly based on Steven Seagal.


10. GUNDARS’S LAIR WAS LOCATED IN A CENTURIES-OLD CASTLE.

Scenes of Malcolm McDowell’s character’s opulent residence were filmed in the 700-year old Buda Castle.


11. THE FILM ALSO SHOT AT A FAMOUS BUDAPEST HOTEL.

The 90-year old Hotel Gellert is known for its baths and spas, though they were recreated on a soundstage for the hotel scenes in the movie so as not to ruin them.


12. THE PRODUCTION EMPLOYED HUNDREDS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS AS EXTRAS.

Six hundred local Budapest actors were used for the party scene alone.


13. MURPHY CAME UP WITH THE IDEA TO SING “SEXUAL HEALING.”

When asked to choose a song for the scene where his character helps Alex try to seal the deal with his crush and fellow spy Rachel, Murphy chose the Marvin Gaye classic.


14. SOME GREENSCREEN TRICKERY HELPED THE FILM’S FINALE.

Because Budapest city officials wouldn’t allow the production to shoot the film’s finale on top of a bridge over the Danube River, the bridge tower was recreated on a soundstage. The surrounding city skyline was patched together using 360-degree photo plates taken on the actual bridge and added to the soundstage location in post-production.


15. THE ENDING WAS ADDED LATER.

They shot the ending in Monte Carlo after test audiences complained that they wanted to know what happened to Rachel after she double-crossed Alex and Kelly.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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