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From “My Girl” to “The Good Guy”

From “My Girl” to “The Good Guy” (photo)

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Though you might remember Anna Chlumsky as the perky child star of “My Girl” and “Gold Diggers,” you can stop pretending that the 29-year-old actress is still a kid. After some years off from acting, during which she pursued a different career altogether, Chlumsky resurfaced on both the small screen (with appearances on “30 Rock” and last year’s “Cupid”) and the big one (the Oscar-nominated “In the Loop”). Next up for her is writer-director Julio DePietro’s romantic dramedy “The Good Guy,” starring Alexis Bledel as an urban conservationist in Manhattan who is torn between two Wall Street traders (Scott Porter and Bryan Greenberg), one of whom works for the other. In a brief but memorable supporting role, Chlumsky plays one of Bledel’s upwardly mobile friends who has just been burned in the New York dating game. In support of the film, Chlumsky called me to discuss dating, bars, what brought her back into acting, and how a TV theme song used to get her through the day.

When there are so many smart, artistic professionals in New York City, why do women still complain about how hard it is to date here?

I’ve been lucky to not have had to do the whole dating fiasco in New York because I’ve been with my husband for quite some time. But a lot of my girlfriends talk about how difficult this city is for them to find good men. In New York, people are driven and ambitious and they know themselves really well as far as what their goals are, so I think they turn love into a goal: “I want this, this, this and this,” as if they would order from a menu. Then they get angry that that order comes burnt. [laughs] New Yorkers are used to getting what they want, and what the best of relationships teach us is that sometimes it’s not necessarily about compromise, but freeing yourself up for the things you haven’t thought of. It’s not a control-driven game, romance and love.

02172010_GoodGuy1.jpgSome of your scenes take place in bars, and in another interview, you jokingly referenced your past as a “boozehound.” I’m curious what your favorite New York haunts are in real life.

My favorite place, Circus, is now closed. It just got shut up and we don’t know what happened to it. For a cheap dive, I enjoy hanging around in Hell’s Kitchen, especially if it’s after a show. I also love our new neighborhood place, The Brooklyn Public House — it’s fantastic. Sometimes, when you want to partake in this whole cocktail culture that they’ve got going now, [my husband] Shaun and I like Freemans. I’m also appreciating the resurgence of bourbon bars and rye. I’m talking like a boozehound still, but maybe I’m refining myself a little more. [laughs]

The movie’s soundtrack is packed with indie rock. Does that mesh with your own musical tastes?

I’m such a square. I’m not as hip as anybody who’s over the [Williamsburg] Bridge. I might be totally behind the times — like, they may have been cool two years ago, I don’t know — but I really like The Coral, out of Liverpool. There is an amazing Brooklyn band that we love, The Budos Band. We played them on our iTunes at our wedding. I always have a lot of Brazilian music on my iPod, like Daniela Mercury, and also Columbian stuff, like Carlos Vives. Oh, and Lily Allen, I love her!

Anybody who writes about you always feels the need to use the phrase “former child actor.” As an adult who still acts, do you feel there’s a stigma to that term?

I certainly do, but you just have to embrace what you can’t control. How am I going to control how people refer to me? I used to be an editor, I considered journalism — and even more marginalized, entertainment journalism. It has its own rules and style. The first thing that I think journalists do, and you can tell me this or not, is to remind people exactly what they would know this person from. So it’s just another variable: “Oh, we can stick that one in there so people can put her in context.” I learned not to take it personally that people still want me to be ten years old. [laughs]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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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

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