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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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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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