DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Departed

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Here are a few behind-the-scenes tidbits to pair with your next viewing of Martin Scorsese’s modern gangster classic.

1. IT’S A REMAKE

While screenwriter William Monahan and director Martin Scorsese claim they did not watch the 2002 Hong Kong action movie Infernal Affairs before making The Departed, the two films share more than a few similarities. Infernal Affairs director Andy Lau unsurprisingly prefers his own film, saying of The Departed, “Of course I think the version I made is better, but the Hollywood version is pretty good too.”


2. IT’S BASED ON A REAL-LIFE GANGSTER

Jack Nicholson’s character is based on infamous Boston mob boss and FBI informant Whitey Bulger. Before he was captured in 2011, he was the second only to Osama bin Laden on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and had a reward for $1 million for his capture.


3. SCORSESE AGREED TO DIRECT BECAUSE THE FILM FELT SIMILAR TO ONE OF HIS FAVORITES

Scorsese has said that Monahan’s script reminded him of one of his favorite movies, the 1949 James Cagney film noir White Heat, which is also partly about an undercover police officer embedded with a charismatic gangster.


4. BRAD PITT IS ONE OF THE FILM’S PRODUCERS

The actor was originally going to play one of the two lead roles that eventually went to Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. However, he decided to produce the movie instead because he thought he was too old to play either part.


5. IT ALMOST STARRED ROBERT DE NIRO

De Niro, who has made eight films so far with Scorsese, was originally asked to play either mob boss Frank Costello or police Captain Queenan. He declined both in favor of directing his own movie, The Good Shepherd.


6. MARK WAHLBERG WASN’T THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY DIGNAM

Ray Liotta (who was also in Scorsese’s Goodfellas) and Denis Leary were initially considered for the role, which eventually went to Wahlberg. Wahlberg was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.


7. THE FILM’S STAR POWER COST A LOT OF MONEY

Roughly 50 percent of its $90 million budget went to the actors’ salaries.


8. THE FILM TAKES A WHILE TO GET GOING

The title card doesn’t appear until 18 minutes after the movie starts.


9. IT TAKES PLACE IN BOSTON, BUT WAS SHOT MAINLY IN NEW YORK

Certain exterior shots were filmed on location in Boston, but most of the interior scenes were shot on sets in New York City.


10. SULLIVAN’S CONDO ISN’T A CONDO AT ALL

Scenes there were filmed at the Suffolk University Law School library.


11. “GIMME SHELTER” IS SCORSESE’S UNOFFICIAL GANGSTER THEME SONG

Before The Departed, Scorsese had previously used the Rolling Stones song in Goodfellas and Casino. It seems Billy Costigan loves the Stones, too; the CD that he mails to Sullivan is housed in the case for the Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street.


12. A REAL-LIFE FORMER DETECTIVE WAS AN ADVISOR ON THE MOVIE

Former Boston Police Department detective Tom Duffy was a technical consultant on the film. During his time on active duty he was specially assigned to Boston’s Whitey Bulger/Irish Mob investigation. He also has a cameo: He plays the Governor of Massachusetts.


13. IN THE DEPARTED, X MARKS THE SPOT

Whenever anybody is killed onscreen or talks about murder, Scorsese had a hidden “X” positioned somewhere in the frame as an homage to the 1932 version of Scarface (one of Scorsese’s favorite movies) which does the same thing.


14. THERE’S ALSO A MUSICAL HOMAGE TO SCARFACE

In that movie, whenever Tony (played by Paul Muni) killed someone he would whistle the sextet from the Gaetano Donizetti opera Lucia di Lammermoor. This is the same opera that Jack Nicholson’s character attends in The Departed.


15. SCORSESE WON HIS FIRST (AND SO FAR ONLY) OSCAR FOR THE MOVIE

Scorsese was nominated for the Best Director Oscar five times before he won for The Departed. He’s been nominated twice again since then for directing Hugo and The Wolf of Wall Street.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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