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“John Carter” star Lynn Collins on becoming the Princess of Mars, getting sexual and more


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By Jennifer Vineyard

Lynn Collins, who plays the female lead in “John Carter,” thinks she might have gotten an overdose of testosterone working on the film. “I feel like maybe my mustache has gotten thicker,” she laughed while on the phone with IFC. “Maybe I have a few chin hairs to pluck.”

Since the cast also includes Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, and Dominic West, Collins said she was lucky she was a tomboy in order to match her male co-stars when it came to action-packed scenes. Since she grew up abroad — living in Singapore — from the age of four, Collins was able to travel to Japan every summer to study Shito-ryu karate in Okinawa. “I picked karate over pageants,” she said.

Collins’ fighting background helped make her character Dejah Thoris “powerful,” she said. “We didn’t want to do her like in the books,” she said, referring to the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels in which a 19th Century earthling travels to Mars and has a series of adventures on the red planet. These books, otherwise known as the Barsoom series, could yield a franchise series of films — as the first of the ten stories, “A Princess of Mars,” first published 100 years ago as a serial, forms the basis of John Carter. Dejah Thoris is the princess in question — and the inspiration for characters such as Princess Leia in Star Wars.

“We didn’t want her to be a damsel in distress, so we had a tricky thing figuring out how strong to make her,” Collins said. “I think the natural progression is over time to make her more maternal, more vulnerable, more sexual. I mean, at some points, she’s almost nude! So the guys will get what they want there. But she’s very different when we first start out. We needed to give her somewhere to go if we do more of the stories.”

Collins said that the filmmakers even had to dial back some of her character’s feistiness so it wouldn’t seem too over the top — “We had to take some punches out,” she said. “We had these punches in the middle of dialogue, where I would punch [Taylor], and now I don’t punch him quite so much.”

Dejah Thoris isn’t just a woman warrior, but also a scientist and a philosopher. “Sometimes before a scene, I would try to open myself up to the universe,” Collins said. “I would ask whatever higher force there is to let me be a channel for this role.” The actress said she also tried to get rid of all her own bad habits, such as smoking — “I wanted my shit cleared out” — so she could feel pure like Dejah. “This character is different for me,” she said. “It’s a huge responsibility, because she’s an archetype. She’s a powerful feminine force. The force of feminine good.”

Do you plan on checking out “John Carter”? Let us know in the comments below.

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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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