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Karen Allen on “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” aliens, nuking the fridge and more

Karen Allen in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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“Nuking the fridge” is part of the lexicon now — thanks to an infamous scene in “Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” when our intrepid adventurer miraculously survives a nuclear blast by climbing in a lead-lined refrigerator, which is then the only item blown out of the blast radius. (Never mind the radiation burns he should have suffered, once he crawled out). But despite the phrase replacing “jumping the shark” to indicate a serial story which has dropped in quality and/or credulity, and the resulting widespread debate whether the fridge scene or the alien subject matter of the fourth film meant the “Indiana Jones” series had, too, jumped the shark, at least one cast member had remained happily ignorant of the cinematic controversy, at least until recently.

Karen Allen, who played Marion Ravenwood in the first and fourth “Indiana Jones” films, sat down with IFC earlier this week to promote the series’ release on Blu-ray, and confessed that she only recently became aware of the disappointment level expressed by both fans and filmmakers. “I didn’t even know what that was, ‘nuking the fridge,'” Allen laughed when the topic came up. “My son had to tell me.” Nicholas, who just turned 22, wore a hat recently which had the phrase “Nuke the fridge” on it, and his mother inquired, “What does that mean?” “He said, ‘What? Are you kidding? You don’t know?'” she laughed, recalling the exchange.

Even though Steven Spielberg himself has expressed his doubts about the aliens, Allen said she was not disappointed but “intrigued” by the addition of inter-dimensional beings to the “Indiana Jones” mythology, particularly because the B-movie element was an homage to the films of her youth. “I grew up with all those science-fiction-y, out-there kind of films,” she said. “I thought it was great that it was moving into that world, the 1950s, and doing a kind of homage of that time.” She particularly liked how Shia LaBeouf’s character Mutt had a “very Marlon Brando moment,” when his entrance recalled Brando in 1953’s “The Wild One” — riding a motorcycle while wearing an off-kilter cap and a motorcycle jacket. “I love the little moments that remind me of a certain element of film history,” Allen said. “That’s particularly meaningful for me.”

As for the MacGuffin of the film, the crystal skulls, Allen said, “I’m not sure I completely understood it,” but she thought it was “amazing” and “mysterious.” ” “It was like a, ‘Whoa! What’s really going on here?'” she said. “When the spaceship lifts up in the jungle, I don’t know what’s going on, but I enjoyed it. I liked it.” But because the “whole history behind those skulls” is a mystery to most people anyway, Allen said, she’s not too concerned if she understands it or not. “Then again, I didn’t know much about the Ark of the Covenant and that whole mystery before ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,'” she laughed. “But now I could talk about it forever!”

“Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures” is available on Blu-ray now.

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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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