Episodes
Frustrated by the lack of leading roles for women in Hollywood, Reese Witherspoon decided to start her own production company. Her new project, 'The Morning Show,' takes on sexual harassment in the news industry. Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Kirk' from hip-hop artist DaBaby. Filmmaker and producer Judd Apatow talks about his late mentor, stand-up legend Garry Shandling, and the personal trauma that informed his comedy. Apatow explores Shandling's life and legacy in the HBO documentary...
Published 11/16/19
Season 3 of the the historical drama about Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family begins Sunday. We listen back to our interview with series creator Peter Morgan. He says he tries to get as close as possible to the truth about life inside the Royal family, based on extensive research and using his own imagination. "We pretty much know for every day of their lives where they were and what they were allegedly doing," Morgan says. "What we don't know is what they were feeling, what they were...
Published 11/15/19
Frustrated by the lack of good leading roles for women, Witherspoon decided to start her own production company. Her new project, 'The Morning Show,' takes on sexual harassment in the broadcast news industry. She spoke with Terry Gross about the #MeToo movement, studying with a vocal coach to play June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line,' and why 'Wild' was a turning point for her.
Published 11/14/19
Dafoe has played villains, soldiers, van Gogh and Jesus. He's earned four Oscar nominations and appeared in more than 100 films — including, most recently, 'Motherless Brooklyn' and 'The Lighthouse.' He talks about being a 'good bad guy.' Also, Ken Tucker reviews DaBaby's new album 'Kirk,' and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Great Pretender,' by Susannah Cahalan, author of the best-selling memoir 'Brain on Fire.'
Published 11/13/19
'New Yorker' staff writer Andrew Marantz spent years with far-right online extremists, embedding with them and watching them spread false news by exploiting social media. His new book is 'Antisocial.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new streaming service Disney+.
Published 11/12/19
Filmmaker and producer Judd Apatow (Superbad, Girls, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) talks about his late mentor, stand-up legend Garry Shandling, and the personal trauma that formed him. "Garry was a wounded person. He was a neurotic man," Apatow says. "He was a guy constantly attempting to evolve and heal. I felt like there's so many lessons that people can get from learning about how he lived his life." Apatow explores Shandling's life and legacy in the HBO documentary 'The Zen Diaries of Garry...
Published 11/11/19
When Allison Moorer was 14, her father shot and killed her mother and then took his own life. Moorer, a country singer-songwriter, has a new memoir and accompanying album (both entitled 'Blood') about the incident and her road to healing. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of early recordings by Nat King Cole. "It was perilous to be a black gay boy in America," Saeed Jones says of the fear and isolation he experienced growing up in Texas in the 1990s. Jones, a former culture...
Published 11/09/19
Historian Andrew Delbanco says the 1850 law paved the way for the Civil War by endangering the lives of both escaped slaves and free black men and women in the North. His book, 'The War Before The War,' is now out in paperback. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Marriage Story,' Noah Baumbach's new drama starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple going through a divorce.
Published 11/08/19
The leaders of the impeachment inquiry in the House have issued subpoenas to several members of the Trump administration—and the White House lawyer has told them not to comply. In our system of checks and balances, what power does Congress have to force them to comply? 'New York Times Magazine' staff writer Emily Bazelon says, "The question is, what it really means to be held in contempt of Congress these days." In the past, "Congress would hold you in contempt; they'd send the Sergeant at...
Published 11/07/19
"It was perilous to be a black gay boy in America," Jones says of the fear and isolation he experienced growing up in Texas in the 1990s. Jones, a former culture editor and LGBTQ editor at BuzzFeed, talks about his search for identity and being "mad as hell and gay as hell." His new memoir is 'How We Fight for Our Lives.' Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two contemporary operas.
Published 11/06/19
From lawn mowers to rock concerts, our deafening world is hurting our ears. Writer David Owen talks about why it's hard to follow conversation in a loud restaurant, the cause of tinnitus, and breakthroughs in hearing aid technology. His book is 'Volume Control.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of early recordings by Nat King Cole.
Published 11/05/19
When Moorer was 14, her father shot and killed her mother and then took his own life. Moorer, a country singer-songwriter, has a new memoir and accompanying album (both entitled 'Blood') about the incident and her road to healing. Moorer brought her guitar to the interview.
Published 11/04/19
Prince died in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished memoir. Dan Piepenbring, his co-writer, recalls what it was like collaborating with the pop music icon. The book is 'The Beautiful Ones.' In college, Sam Esmail shied away from parties and instead took refuge in the the computer lab, where he experimented with hacking. He later drew on those experiences to create his USA Network show, 'Mr. Robot,' starring Rami Malek.
Published 11/02/19
Robert Evans ran Paramount Studios from the late '60s to early '70s and brought 'Chinatown,' 'Rosemary's Baby,' and 'The Godfather' to the big screen. He talked about making some of those iconic films with Terry Gross in 1994. Evans died Saturday at 89. TV critic David Bianculli reviews Apple's new streaming service. Viv Albertine was the guitarist and lyricist for The Slits, one of the first all-women British punk bands. She spoke with Terry Gross last year about her early years in the...
Published 11/01/19
'New York Times' reporter Andrew Kramer says impeachment puts Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a tough spot: "He may be dealing with a President Biden next year, or he may be dealing with President Trump." Also, Ken Tucker reviews country musician Jon Pardi's new album 'Heartache Medication,' and film critic Justin Chang reviews Martin Scorsese's new film 'The Irishman,' starring Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro.
Published 10/31/19
In college, Sam Esmail shied away from parties and instead took refuge in the the computer lab, where he experimented with hacking. He later drew on those experiences to create his USA Network show, 'Mr. Robot,' starring Rami Malek. We'll also talk about growing up Egyptian American, his first job in film (editing amateur porn), and his love of movies.
Published 10/30/19
For novelist Kevin Wilson, Tourette's syndrome means living with intrusive thoughts that flash disturbing images without warning. His novel, 'Nothing to See Here,' was inspired by visions of people bursting into flames. Wilson talks about his experience of Tourette's and how writing gives him a reprieve from his tics. Also, critic John Powers reviews the second season of 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' on Amazon.
Published 10/29/19
Prince died in 2016, leaving behind an unfinished memoir. Dan Piepenbring, his co-writer, recalls the moment he knew he could make 'The Beautiful Ones' happen — even in Prince's absence.
Published 10/28/19
Onstage, Janis Joplin oozed confidence, sexuality and exuberance, but biographer Holly George-Warren describes the singer as a bookworm who worked hard to create her "blues feelin' mama" persona. Her new biography of the '60s counterculture icon is 'Janis.' Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'The Lighthouse,' starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. Kathryn Hahn stars in the new HBO series 'Mrs. Fletcher' as a divorced mom grappling with her son going away...
Published 10/26/19
Mrs. Fletcher tells the story of Eve, a single mother whose only child, Brendan, has left for college. Perrotta says the book was inspired by the upheaval he experienced when his own kids moved out. The novel has been adapted into an HBO series starring Kathryn Hahn It begins this weekend. Perrotta spoke with Terry Gross last year. Also, we listen back to our 2007 interview with musician Booker T. Jones. He's the frontman of the soul band Booker T. & the MG's and has a new memoir about...
Published 10/25/19
Hahn stars in the new HBO series 'Mrs. Fletcher' as a divorced mom grappling with her son going away to college. Hahn is known for her roles in 'Transparent,' 'Parks and Recreation,' 'I Love Dick,' and 'Private Life.' She says her best roles have been in her 40s. "The most complicated and messy roles I've been able to get have been offered through women," she says. "I'm just so buoyed and galvanized that the juiciest part of [my career] has been post-kids." Also, jazz critic Kevin...
Published 10/24/19
Journalist James Verini offers a first-hand account of the 2017 battle to drive ISIS from Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. The fighting left thousands dead, and the oldest part of the city in ruin: "The west side looked as though some vengeful deity had wiped his hand across the city. It was miles and miles of rubble." His new book is 'They Will Have to Die Now.' Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews the psychological thriller 'The Lighthouse,' starring Willem Dafoe and Robert...
Published 10/23/19
'Washington Post' Beirut Bureau Chief Liz Sly has covered the Syrian civil war since it began in 2011. She discusses Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces and her experience reporting in war zones. "The idea that nothing will happen to you is something that goes away the more experience you have, because you see the narrow escapes and you see all the things that do happen to people you knew." Sly is receiving an award for courage in journalism from the International Women's Media...
Published 10/22/19
Onstage, Joplin oozed confidence, sexuality and exuberance, but biographer Holly George-Warren describes the singer as a bookworm who worked hard to create her "blues feelin' mama" persona. Her new biography of the '60s counterculture icon is 'Janis.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews HBO's miniseries 'Catherine the Great,' starring Helen Mirren.
Published 10/21/19
Elton John says his father's early misgivings about his chosen career became a source of motivation: "He gave me the determination to make something of myself." He talks about his volatile childhood, addiction, and fame. His new memoir is 'Me.' Also, Justin Chang reviews the satirical Nazi film 'Jojo Rabbit.' Attica Locke says her new novel, 'Heaven, My Home,' "was about place before it was about a character." The story centers on a black Texas ranger who patrols Highway 59 searching for...
Published 10/19/19