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DID YOU READ

15 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About The Invention of Lying

THE INVENTION OF LYING, from left: Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, 2009. Ph: Sam Urdank/

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Ricky Gervais cannot tell a lie, or can he? Here are some facts about his 2009 comedy The Invention of Lying.

1. THE IDEA FOR THE MOVIE BEGAN AS A SHORT SKIT.

Screenwriter Matt Robinson’s original idea for a feature film grew from a skit he wrote about two people on a date who don’t have the ability to lie. He later expanded on the idea for more skits with the same premise and then adapted them it into a full film script.


2. ROBINSON SENT THE SCRIPT TO GERVAIS ON A WHIM.

Robinson and producer Lynda Obst sent Gervais the script out of the blue in the hopes that it would spark his interest. Gervais loved it and eventually flew Robinson to London to retool the script and make the movie.


3. SPIKE JONZE AND MICHEL GONDRY WERE ON A SHORTLIST OF DIRECTORS.

Gervais and Robinson drew up a list of dream directors for the film, including Jonze (Adaptation., Being John Malkovich) and Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Ultimately, they decided to direct it themselves.


4. IT’S GERVAIS’S FEATURE FILM DIRECTORIAL DEBUT.

Gervais had previously directed episodes of the UK version of The Office and his show Extras before jumping to feature films with The Invention of Lying.


5. THE SCRIPT WAS ON 2007’s BLACK LIST.

Matt Robinson’s screenplay, which was titled This Side of Truth at the time, was included in the year’s official list of the “most liked” un-produced scripts in Hollywood [PDF].


6. ROBINSON EVENTUALLY BECAME A PODCASTER.

The Invention of Lying is Robinson’s only feature film directorial effort to date. He is now the co-host of a podcast called Get Up On This, wherein he and a co-host predict pop culture trends before they happen.


7. THE MOVIE INCLUDES A SLY NOD TO WOODY ALLEN.

The movie’s credits feature white text in the Windsor font on a black background—a style used in nearly all of Allen’s films.


8. IT’S FILLED WITH A-LIST CAMEOS.

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the bartender, Edward Norton plays the highway patrolman, Jason Bateman plays the doctor, and Christopher Guest plays one of the movie lecturers. Also, Stephen Merchant, the co-creator of The Office, plays the rich man at the door, and co-director Matt Robinson cameos as the TV interviewer and the nerdy guy in glasses in the crowd outside Mark’s (Gervais) apartment.


9. THE ORIGINAL OPENING WAS CUT.

In the wordless sequence, narrated by Patrick Stewart, Mark’s caveman ancestor learns how to lie and then imagines what could have been if it had never happened.


10. AFTER CASTING LOUIS C.K. IN THIS FILM, GERVAIS WOULD APPEAR ON C.K.’S SHOW.

Gervais played the doctor in two episodes of Louie’s first season.


11. THEY SHOT THE MOVIE IN NEW ENGLAND.

The unnamed town in the movie is primarily Lowell, Massachusetts.


12. JENNIFER GARNER AND RICKY GERVAIS HAD WORKED TOGETHER BEFORE.

Garner was cast because Gervais previously appeared on Alias.


13. PIZZA HUT DIDN’T WANT TO BE IN THE MOVIE.

The pizza chain initially tried to bar the filmmakers from including its logo on Mark’s new Ten Commandments, but the filmmakers were able to include it due to satire laws.


14. THE CHAPEL IN THE FINAL SCENE IS A LANDMARK IN SUDBURY, MASSACHUSETTS.

The Martha Mary Chapel was built by car magnate Henry Ford.


15. A PROMO CONTEST FOR THE FILM ASKED PEOPLE TO SUBMIT “HONEST” MOVIE POSTERS.

Gervais selected a submission from the contest mocking the Twilight saga as the winner.

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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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