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The 10 Most Badass Actor/Director Teams In Movies

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A truly great movie requires a connection between the actors and the man behind the camera. And when you make a powerful connection, you don’t want to let it go. Join us as we spotlight 10 actor/director duos who have worked together on numerous occasions and indisputably bring out the best in each other.

10. Kurt Russell and John Carpenter

From sci-fi (Escape from New York) to horror (The Thing) to high-flying kung-fu fantasy (Big Trouble in Little China), Carpenter and Russell bring a sense of fun to any genre. Perhaps it’s time that they reunite once again for a third Snake Plissken outing. If Mad Max can come back, so can Snake.


9. Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa

The most influential director in Japan’s movie industry had an incredible partner in Toshiro Mifune, a leading man who brought incredible passion to each role. Kurosawa was notoriously meticulous and controlling behind the camera, and Mifune counterbalanced that with his own energy. Together, the duo created masterpieces like Rashomon and Seven Samurai.


8. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi

The scrappy early films of Sam Raimi were greatly aided by the presence of Bruce Campbell, a weirdly charming actor who brought good looks and ironic distance to the role of Ash in the Evil Dead trilogy. The pair have worked together on numerous occasions, and rumor has it that they’re set to pair again for the much-rumored Evil Dead TV series.


7. Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is famous for his ability to write strong female characters for the screen, and he found an incredible muse in Penelope Cruz. The pair have collaborated in a quartet of films, which brought the best out of Cruz as an actress and allowed her to stretch her dramatic wings beyond “very pretty lady.”


6. Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron

It’s no stretch to say that Cameron is responsible for some of Arnie’s best films. Terminator, T2, True Lies…we only wish this duo would work together more often.


5. John Wayne and John Ford

The greatest director of Westerns the silver screen has ever seen and the actor who epitomized American masculinity for over half a century – is it any surprise that they left an indelible mark on cinematic history? John Ford directed John Wayne in many of his most famous movies, from 1938’s Stagecoach to Donovan’s Reef. Their best film is probably 1956’s The Searchers.


4. Chow Yun-fat and John Woo

Chinese director John Woo single-handedly re-invented action cinema in the 1990s, but he had a lot of help from stoic actor Chow Yun-fat. The duo first teamed in 1986’s A Better Tomorrow, which was a commercial and critical success, and further refined the formula in that film’s sequel and with 1989’s undisputed classic The Killer. Woo’s balletic cinematography coupled with Chow’s incredible presence resulted in some truly incredible films.


3. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton

There is literally no pairing in modern film that’s tighter than Burton and Depp. Since the duo first worked together in Edward Scissorhands, Depp’s lent his quirky leading man abilities to seven other films, from Ed Wood to Dark Shadows. That’s a pretty serious run of flicks, and even though their pairing has produced decidedly mixed results of late, it’s still a partnership to be reckoned with.


2. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese

Who knew when Leo was a ’90s teen hearthrob that he would turn into one of his generation’s most acclaimed actors? Leo’s transformation from puppy dog-eyed love interest into seasoned actor is due in no small part to his ongoing working relationship with Martin Scorsese, a pairing that has given us everything from Gangs of New York to their most recent success, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Click here to see all showings of The Departed on IFC.


1. Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese

As prolific as Scorsese and DiCaprio have been in recent years, they still have yet to top one of the most heralded cinematic partnerships in history. Starting all the way back in 1973 with Mean Streets, Scorsese and De Niro’s partnership has extended through almost five decades. Scorsese brings out the best in almost all his actors, but when he works with De Niro, fireworks are guaranteed. The duo are said to be working on a new film, titled The Irishman.

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Stan Diego Comic-Con

Stan Against Evil returns November 1st.

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Photo Credit: Erin Resnick, GIFs via Giphy

Another Comic-Con International is in the can, and multiple nerdgasms were had by all – not least of which were about the Stan Against Evil roundtable discussion. Dana, Janet and John dropped a whole lotta information on what’s to come in Season 2 and what it’s like to get covered in buckets of demon goo. Here are the highlights.

Premiere Date!

Season 2 hits the air November 1 and picks up right where things left off. Consider this your chance to seamlessly continue your Halloween binge.

Character Deets!

Most people know that Evie was written especially for Janet, but did you know that Stan is based on Dana Gould’s dad? It’s true. But that’s where the homage ends, because McGinley was taken off the leash to really build a unique character.

Happy Accidents!

Improv is apparently everything, because according to Gould the funniest material happens on the fly. We bet the writers are totally cool with it.

Exposed Roots!

If Stan fans are also into Twin Peaks and Doctor Who, that’s no accident. Both of those cult classic genre benders were front of mind when Stan was being developed.

Trailer Treasure!

Yep. A new trailer dropped. Feast your eyes.

Catch up on Stan Against Evil’s first season on the IFC app before it returns November 1st on IFC.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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