Boogie Nights Julianne Moore Mark Wahlberg

Funky Facts

10 Things You Might Not Know About Boogie Nights

Flashback with Boogie Nights this month on IFC.

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Boogie Nights might be considered a classic now, but when the script first hit Hollywood, no one knew what to make of it. Paul Thomas Anderson had one film under his belt (the gambling drama Hard Eight), which, while critically acclaimed, wasn’t exactly a hit. When this magnum opus full of porn, sex and drugs made the rounds, it left more than a few execs and actors scratching their heads. So how did Boogie Nights go from a risky script to one of the great films of its time? Here are ten facts that might help explain how it all went down. Can you dig it?


10. Being Good At Acting Bad Isn’t Easy.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Before shooting on the film began, director Paul Thomas Anderson gathered the entire cast, and warned them that acting badly during the porno scenes would be hard for such a talented group. He made it a challenge, pitting them against each other to see who could act the worst, and eventually declared Julianne Moore the winner of the unofficial contest. But really, doesn’t Julianne Moore win every acting contest?


9. Leo Decided He’d Rather Go Down With The Ship, Than Go Down On, Well, Y’Know…

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

Leonardo DiCaprio was Paul Thomas Anderson’s first choice to play Dirk Diggler, but turned the part down to star in a little movie called Titanic. Fortunately, he was coming off of The Basketball Diaries with Mark Wahlberg, and suggested his friend for the part. While things seemed to work out for the both of them, Leo did admit in 2010 that “my biggest regret is Boogie Nights. I’m a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, but the first time I met him for that role I hadn’t really seen much of his previous work. Now I love that movie.”


8. Even P.T. Anderson’s Spelling Errors Are Genius.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

T.T. Rodriguez, played by Luis Guzman, gets a happy ending of sorts in the movie, opening up a nightclub with his brothers. Unfortunately, they appear to have misspelled their own name on the club’s sign, which reads “Rodriquz.” This error, it turns out, was because Anderson misspelled the word in the screenplay, and everyone just went along with it. The director found the mess up funny, and decided to just roll with it.


7. Sam Jackson Didn’t Want No Mother F’in Part In No Mother F’in Movie About Porn.

LucasFilm

LucasFilm

Samuel L. Jackson, who had just worked with Anderson in Hard Eight, was offered the part of Buck Swope, but didn’t get it, according to the director. In fact, his exact quote upon reading the script was,”what the hell is this?” He promptly passed, and the role went to Don Cheadle who delivered a career-making performance.


6. Burt Reynolds and P.T. Anderson Hated Each Other More Than Smokey And The Bandit.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Burt Reynolds and P.T. Anderson didn’t see eye to eye very often. In fact, Burt used an Irish accent on the first day of shooting for no clear reason, and once threw a punch at the director. Reynolds actually told GQ, “Personality-wise, we didn’t fit…I think mostly because he was young and full of himself. Every shot we did, it was like the first time. I remember the first shot we did in Boogie Nights, where I drive the car to Grauman’s Theater. After he said, ‘Isn’t that amazing?’ And I named five pictures that had the same kind of shot. It wasn’t original. But if you have to steal, steal from the best.” After he saw a cut of the film, Reynolds tried to fire his agent for talking him into doing it. He would go on to receive an Oscar nomination for his work in the film, and then never star in anything worthwhile again.


5. P.T. Anderson Loves A Good Star Wars Reference.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

The character of Buck Swope, played by Don Cheadle in the film, had a dream, and that was to sell stereo equipment. But what most fans didn’t notice was that he also dreamed of Star Wars, at least when it came to audio equipment. At one point in the film, he requests “the TK-421 special modification.” TK-421 is the name of the Stormtrooper ambushed by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in the 1977 classic.


4. Even “The Touch” Composer Was Shocked When Dirk and Reed Performed His Song.

Count Vince DiCola, the composer of “The Touch,” among those who were shocked to see his anthem, first recorded for 1986’s Transformers: The Movie, turn up in an R-rated movie about the world of porn. In a DVD extra for the kid’s cartoon, he talks about the surprise, saying the first thing he did was call Stan Bush, who sang the original version, to have a laugh.


3. Julianne Moore Doesn’t Need Direction.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Anderson says he only gave Julianne Moore one piece of direction throughout the entire shoot. During an intense scene Moore shares with Heather Graham, acting as a surrogate mother while snorting copious amounts of cocaine, she repeats the line, “too many things,” over and over again. He wanted her to say it one more time. That’s it. Otherwise, he was so impressed with her performance, he left her alone.


2. Alfred Molina Is Unflappable, Even When You Set Off Fireworks.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Alfred Molina wore an earpiece blasting “Sister Christian” during his climatic scene in the film. As a result, unlike the other actors in the scene, he never flinches as fireworks are being set off just behind him.


1. Boogie Nights Originated Because P.T. Anderson Watched A Lot Of Porn.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Boogie Nights began as a short film called “The Dirk Diggler Story” that Paul Thomas Anderson made when he was just 17 as a spoof of the porn films he was admittedly watching a lot of at the time. He later adapted it into a mockumentary style feature script, in the vein of Spinal Tap, before completely reworking it into the classic film we can’t stop watching today.

Want more Boogie Nights? See what it would look like as a kung-fu flick below. 

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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