Actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, The Shape of Water) discusses his new film about the complicated marriage of horror writer Shirley Jackson and literary critic Stanley Hyman, how Hyman influenced Shirley Jackson’s work, and how the filmmakers of Shirley imbued the movie with a distinctively Jackson-esque style. Michael also talks about his prolific career on stage and screen from training in mime with Marcel Marceau to working with directors like Guillermo del Toro and the Coen Brothers.
See Michael in Shirley available on Hulu, Video-on-Demand, and participating Drive-Ins starting June 5. Today's episode is sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company and Capella University. Visit www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick and use promo code KICK for 20% off your purchase of Black Rifle's premium, roast to order coffees. Explore Capella University's flexible doctoral degree programs at www.capella.edu/doctoral.
Actress Sian Clifford (Fleabag, Vanity Fair) talks about starring as Diana Ingram, the British woman accused of helping cheat Who Wants to Be a Millionaire out of a million bucks, in AMC's 3-part limited series Quiz. She recalls her memories of growing up watching Who Wants to Be A Millionaire with her own family and how the game show became a national obsession across the UK (and then all across the world). She talks about working with Michael Sheen and Matthew McFadden on Quiz, what it felt like to sit in the real Who Wants to Be a Millionaire hot seat, and what she hopes will happen when the Charles and Diana Ingram’s conviction is up for appeal this year. Plus Sian talks about her Emmy nominated role as Claire in the hit television series Fleabag and her longtime friendship with the shows creator and star Phoebe Waller Bridge.
This is a rebroadcast of a November 5, 2018 interview with Roger Daltrey, founder/lead singer of The Who. Roger discusses how the hardships experienced by Brits in WWII paved the way for the musical revolution of the 1960s, he recalls what it was like to be the poster-boys for the British “mod” movement (and why he never fully embraced the fad), and he remembers the “utter chaos” of performing at Woodstock. He talks about how he and Peter Townsend pushed each other’s creative boundaries during the making of the first rock opera Tommy, how he managed to resist the drug fueled excess the 60s, and how it led to quite a bit of tension with his bandmates - especially The Who’s famously reckless drummer Keith Moon. Roger also reveals how he processed Moon’s tragic death in 1978, how it led to the band’s breakup in the early 80s, and a how it took a Silicon Valley con man to finally reunite the band.
Order Roger Daltrey's new book Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow The Who on twitter at @TheWho. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz talk about TCM's new podcast The Plot Thickens: I'm Still Peter Bogdanovich. Ben reveals that he was initially nervous to meet Peter because of a longstanding controversy involving Ben’s grandfather, Orson Welles, and Citizen Kane. Peter shares stories about his friendships with Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, John Ford, and many others, and how their advice kept him from making some rookie mistakes when he eventually got to sit in the director's chair himself. He remembers making his first movie for Roger Corman with horror icon Boris Karloff, how he tricked the government of Singapore into letting him film the movie Saint Jack, and the scene that earned a 9-year-old Tatum O’Neal an Oscar for Paper Moon...but only after 2 days of shooting and 25 grueling takes! Peter discusses envy and success in Hollywood, his relationships with Cybill Shepherd and Dorothy Stratten, and how he managed to finish his favorite film They All Laughed in the wake of Stratten’s tragic murder. Then Ben Mankiewicz talks about the films of Edward G. Robinson, the passion that his fans have for Turner Classic Movies and the films of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and why he hopes (and indeed predicts) that moviegoers will eventually return to theaters when the Coronavirus finally subsides. Plus Peter does impressions of everyone from Cary Grant to Jimmy Stewart, recalls some of the famous movies that he turned down, and the time he got his ass kicked by the real Hell’s Angels on set!
Subscribe to The Plot Thickens: I’m Still Peter Bogdanovich on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Learn more at www.theplotthickens.tcm.com. Follow Ben Mankiewicz on twitter at @BenMank77 and see him host some of the greatest films of all time every week on Turner Classic Movies. While you're at it, go back and watch some of Peter Bogdanovich's terrific films starting with my personal favorites The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc, They All Laughed, and Saint Jack.
Today's episode was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee Company and Demand Justice. Black Rifle Coffee Company sells delicious premium roast-to-order coffee, employs 200 Veterans, and donates tens of thousands of bags of coffee to troops overseas and medical workers on the front lines of the pandemic. Go to www.blackriflecoffee.com/kick to order and use promo code KICK for 20% off. Demand Justice is fighting the politicization of the Supreme Court and protect every American's right to vote in the 2020 Election. Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to learn more and support voting rights.
Nathan Lane talks about why his fans always think he’s Jewish, how his older brother inspired him to get into acting, and some of roles he’s played on Broadway in shows like from Guys and Dolls to The Producers. He laments the that the Coronavirus could have a lasting impact on the theatre, but says that he is hoping to soon realize his lifelong dream of starring in Death of a Salesman on Broadway. He discusses starring in the return of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, how the new season transports the show from Victorian London to California on the cusp of World War II, and what it was like to finally star in something where he gets an actual stunt double. He reveals his love for the noir detective fiction of Raymond Chandler, how Penny Dreadful exposes the social tensions simmering under the surface of 1930s LA, and how his character was partly inspired by a real attorney turned Nazi hunter. Plus Nathan remembers the late playwright Terrence McNally, George C. Scott as Noel Coward, and the grueling experience of starring with 80s TV magician Doug Henning in the notorious Broadway musical flop Merlin.
See Nathan Lane in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premiering this Sunday, April 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. Visit www.showtime.com for more information. Today's episode is sponsored by Demand Justice. Visit www.demandjustice.org/kick to join the fight to protect voting rights.
Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry talk about their new film Bad Therapy, and how the filmmaker's own nightmare experience with a couples counselor inspired the movie. Alicia shares memories from Clueless, and stories from working with playwright David Mamet and the late Peter O’Toole. Rob talks about his original audition for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, some of the low-budget, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants field pieces that he did in the early days of the show, and why he always gets cast as creepy assholes and pedophiles!
See Rob and Alicia's new film Bad Therapy on Video on Demand, and follow them on Twitter at @AliciaSilv and @robcorddry.
Actor Vincent Cassel (Ocean's 12, Black Swan, Jason Bourne) talks about joining the cast of one of his favorite TV series Westworld, playing a reclusive billionaire with a dark view of humanity, and how his character attempts to make order out of chaos. Vincent discusses how Westworld Season 3 deals with the very real problem of big data (and who controls it) and says that it has inspired him to be a lot more careful about the information that he shares on his devices. He also reminisces about the career of his father, famous french actor Jean-Pierre Cassel, and how Gene Kelly discovered his dad on the movie An American in Paris. He recalls being heavily influenced by Hollywood films as a kid, learning to tap dance from Broadway legend Michael Bennett, and why he originally tried to join the circus before getting into acting. Vincent reveals how he persuaded director Steven Soderbergh to let him do his own stunts in Ocean's 12, how an acting teacher inspired his role as the controlling choreographer in Black Swan, and why this Frenchman always seems to get cast as a Russian.
Actor Tom Pelphrey talks about playing Laura Linney's brother in Season 3 of Ozark and what it’s like to work with Jason Bateman as a director. He also discusses his upcoming role as legendary Hollywood director Joseph Mankiewicz in David Fincher’s film Mank. He recalls his early days working on the soap operas Guiding Light and As the World Turns, keeping up with the grueling production schedule of daytime television, and how it requires an actor to memorize fast and think on their feet. He discusses the learning curve involved with switching from soaps to film and primetime television, his popular roles on the hit series Banshee and Iron Fist, and whether Marvel fans or soap-opera fans are the most obsessive.
Season 3 of Ozark is streaming now on Netflix. Look for Mank coming out on Netflix this fall and follow Tom on Twitter at @Tom Pelphrey. Today's episode was sponsored by the podcast Afternoon Cyber Tea with Anne Johnson.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld (The Addams Family, Men in Black, Get Shorty) talks recalls his first gig out of film school as a cameraman for adult films, working with Joel and Ethan Coen on their debut picture Blood Simple, and why you never want to receive a cake on a Coen Bros movie. Barry discusses his difficulties working with Penny Marshall on Big, how Rob Reiner taught him about something called “the silent schmuck,” and why he and Danny Devito had such a hard time convincing a studio to make Get Shorty. He talks about his fight with Larry David over who is the most neurotic person on the planet, his astounding ability to beat any celebrity at leg wrestling, and his secret to making children cry on camera. Plus what it is like to work with Will Smith and bunch of Confederate Civil War reenactors, Eleanor Roosevelt Jokes, and more.
Order Barry's new book Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.
Hank Azaria talks about his 31 seasons on The Simpsons, a few of the 150 plus characters he’s played on the show, and some of the classic movie stars who inspired some of his popular voices for The Simpsons. Hank reveals how he came up with his distinctive sports announcer voice for IFC's Brockmire, he does his best to sell me on the great American pastime, but admits that often times Major League Baseball can’t get out of its own way. We discuss Brockmire Season 4’s dystopian vision of the future 10 years down the line and why it might not be too far from reality. Plus the tortured genius of Peter Sellers, Hank’s love for the original man of 1000 voices Mel Blanc, and he reveals which of his many characters from The Simpsons is his favorite.
The 4th and final season of Brockmire premieres March 18 at 10PM ET on IFC. Today's episode was sponsored by the podcast Afternoon Cyber Tea. Join Ann Johnson, Corporate Vice President for Cybersecurity Solutions at Microsoft
on Afternoon Cyber Tea, and learn from cybersecurity experts about defending your organization and systems from attack. Subscribe to Afternoon Cyber Tea on on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and PodcastOne.
Rob Riggle returns to shares his lifelong love of history and why he wanted to blend comedy and education for his new series Rob Riggle: Global Investigator. He discusses a few of his recent adventures from searching for the Holy Grail to diving for pirate treasure. Rob what it’s like to play a “heightened version of himself” on the show, and what happens when some fans don’t know the difference between the real Rob and his character. Plus Rob braves snakes, caves, sharks, quicksand, UFO’s, and more!
Rob Riggle: Global Investigator premieres Sunday March 8 at 10PM ET on Discovery. Visit www.discovery.com for more information and follow Rob on twitter at @RobRiggle. Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions.
Actor Bryan Cranston recalls a difficult childhood and the two year road trip that changed his life. He shares some of his adventures before acting including traveling as a carny, catching shoplifters as security guard, and the time he ended up a suspect in a murder investigation. He talks about getting a crash course in comedy from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, landing the role of a lifetime on Breaking Bad, and how he built one of the most iconic characters in the history of television. Bryan Cranston also gives some advice for aspiring actors, reveals how his life has changed since "Walter White," and why he loves making small talk with old people.
Actor Scoot McNairy talks about starring in season 2 of Narcos: Mexico as a DEA agent who heads an "off-the-books" operation to avenge the death of a fellow agent and take down a ruthless drug lord. He recalls growing up in Texas, coping with dyslexia as a kid, and his early ambition to be a wildlife cinematographer. He discusses how he prepares for a role and how most of his characters are drawn from a personal friend or acquaintance. He discusses spending time with real DEA agents for Narcos: Mexico, goes into the history of the Mexican narcotics cartels, and speaks frankly about the endless war on drugs.
Director/writer Greta Gerwig discusses her Oscar nominated film adaptation of the beloved classic Little Women, how she imbued her movie with even more of author Louisa May Alcott's own personality, and why it was important for her to give a nod to the author's original intended ending. She talks about the status of female directors and writers in Hollywood, recalls a conversation she once had with a studio executive about how women talk, and how Meryll Streep inspired some of the film's most insightful dialogue about a woman’s role in 19th Century society. Greta also reveals that she was secretly pregnant while filming Little Women and what it is like to be in competition with her husband Noah Baumbach for Best Picture this year. Plus we talk about why actresses in the 30’s and 40’s got better roles than they do today, our mutual love of the films of George Cukor and Greta Garbo, and the wicked wit of Dorthy Parker.
Actor/director Tim Robbins discusses why his classic political mockumentary BOB ROBERTS is more relevant now than ever. He says Harvey Weinstein reminds him of the shady operators he knew growing up in New York’s Greenwich Village, he recalls studying real studio execs for his role in Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER, and he remembers Altman's mentoring Tim's leap from actor to director. He discusses how he funded his first play while he was still a struggling actor, how his play THE NEW COLOSSUS is putting personal faces to the immigration issue, and why he’s using The Actors Gang to bring theatre into California prisons. Plus Tim opens up about turning 60, weighs in on the current struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, and recounts the time he heckled Henry Kissinger outside of a famous celebrity restaurant.
Visit www.theactorsgang.com for tickets or to learn more. See Tim in Alan Ball’s excellent series HERE AND NOW with a subscription to HBO, HBO GO, or HBO NOW. Keep up with Tim at www.timrobbins.net or on twitter at @TimRobbins1.
Ash Carter and Sam Kashner discuss their new book about the EGOT-winning director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Birdcage). They talk about his early years as one of the founders of the improv group that would become Second City, the story of how Nichols joined up with Elaine May to make comedy history, and how the creative differences that broke up Nichols and May opened the door for Mike Nichols to direct for Broadway and Hollywood. They reveal how the first time director got the nerve to stand up to movie mogul Jack Warner during the filming of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, why Nichols originally wanted to cast Robert Redford in The Graduate, and how Orson Wells tried to usurp him as director on Catch-22. They share stories of Nichols’ courtship and marriage of news anchor Diane Sawyer, his lavish life, his many friendships, and a lesson in how to go out in style.
Order their book Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow Sam and Ask on Twitter at @SamKashner and @Psmithjourno. Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches. Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.
Abby McEnany discusses her start in Chicago’s improv scene and how her one woman show turned into her new Showtime series Work in Progress. She reveals how Julia Sweeney’s Saturday Night Live character “Pat” made her life a living hell for a while and how she convinced Julia to join the cast of her new show. Abby talks about her perennial problem of getting misgendered in the women’s restroom, why the 51 year old sometimes feels like a "square" in the younger gay and transgender community, and why she avoids all social media.
Bestselling sports writer Joe Posnanski recalls delving into the rabbit hole of magician Harry Houdini’s legendary life and separating fact from the fiction invented by Houdini and his followers. Joe discusses the handcuffs that Houdini almost couldn’t get out of, some of the more bizarre things people challenged him to escape, and how Houdini upped the ante with increasingly more dangerous escapes to keep audiences interested. He explains why many people falsely believe that the magician died performing his most famous trick, and we talk about the secret code that Houdini’s widow Bess used to try to make contact with him from beyond the grave. Joe also gives us entre into the world of Houdini superfans from the couple who committed a crime to honor their hero to the mysterious man who calls himself "Houdini’s ghost." Plus he reveals what it’s like inside David Copperfield’s private magic warehouse in Las Vegas, how Houdini learned from some of the turn of the century’s most bizarre sideshow acts, and his daughter’s favorite Houdini revenge story.
Order Joe Posnanski's wonderful new book The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Keep up with him at JoePosnanski.com or on Twitter at @JPosnanski. Today’s episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions and Avalara Sales Tax Solutions.
Golden Globe-winner Edward Norton talks about his film Motherless Brooklyn's 20 year journey to the big screen and what it was like to write, direct, and star in this neo-noir masterpiece. He shares some of the things he’s learned from working with directors like Milos Forman and Woody Allen. Edward talks about the real life New York powerbroker who inspired his film’s antagonist, his own grandfather’s crusade for low income housing, and the things that get lost in the service of progress. Plus we delve into our mutual love of jazz, classic noir detective films, and Manhattan landmarks of a bygone era.
Don't miss Edward Norton's new film Motherless Brooklyn now showing in theaters. Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast, Invitae, and Purotrader. Check out www.Purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.
Jeannie Gaffigan reveals how she went from a perfectly normal life
to being rushed into surgery for a pear-sized brain tumor over the coarse of an Easter Weekend, why things got worse just when she thought she was in the clear, and how she learned that laughter truly IS the best medicine. She reveals how she and her husband comedian Jim Gaffigan write jokes together, talks about Jim’s surprising swagger when he first began romancing her, and how she finally knew that he was "the one." She discusses why she and Jim decided to end The Jim Gaffigan Show after two seasons, what it was like to balance a tv family with their real family, and how they manage to keep track of five children.
Order Jeannie's book When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow Jeannie on twitter at @JeannieGaffigan. Today’s episode was sponsored by Capella University's online doctoral program.
Meryl Streep is arguably the greatest actress of this or any generation. She has starred in more than 60 films, won 3 Oscars, and received a record setting 21 nominations. Entertainment reporter Erin Carlson discusses Streep's illustrious acting career, her advocacy for women off the screen, and her deeply guarded personal life. Erin delves Jane Fonda’s mentorship of Streep on the film Julia, Meryl’s rivalries with Jessica Lang, and the behind-the-scenes drama between her and Dustin Hoffman on Kramer vs Kramer. She suggests that the late actor John Cazale was the love of Meryl Streep’s life, she shares how he how helped her hone her craft, and reveals how Meryl coped with his tragic untimely death. We talk about acting over 40, how Meryl became a champion for better roles and equal pay for actresses, and how she navigated doing business with disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein. Plus Erin weighs in on Meryl Streep’s best performances and most underrated films.
Order Erin's book Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Stitcher's new podcast Lost at the Smithsonian. Subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or favorite podcast app.
Comedian Anthony Jeselnik revels in making audiences a little uncomfortable and now he's making his fellow comedians uncomfortable as host of the hilarious new interview show Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik. He shares how the Saturday Night Live bit "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" inspired his uniquely off-beat style of comedy, the time he auditioned to be the anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update, and some pretty smart advice he once got from Lorne Michaels on how to write a late night monologue. Anthony recalls the Comedy Central Roast that changed his life and what makes for the perfect roast speech. We delve into how Good Talk deconstructs the late night talk show, why this famously confident comedian never does self-deprecating humor, the power of silence in standup, and the one thing that Anthony says is the most important element of good comedy. Plus talks about how to out-deadpan Tig Notaro, what it was like to roast a future President, and the comedic genius of HBO’s Deadwood.
Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik premieres this Friday, September 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central. Keep up with Anthony Jeselnik at www.anthonyjeselnik.com or on twitter at @Anthony Jeselnik. This episode is sponsored by MyBookie, and White Castle.
The Amazing Johnathan Documentary begins as a profile on a uniquely deranged magician, who built a career out of shock and deception in the 1980s, but it quickly becomes the bizarre story about the unravelling of his documentarian Ben Berman. Johnathan Szeles and Ben Berman join me at the world famous Magic Castle to talk about the crazy experience of making this film. Johnathan discusses the heart condition that lead to his retirement in 2014, what his doctors say 5 years after giving him a year to live, and why Johnathan believes the secret to his survival is either stem cells, meth, or both! Ben talks about having to relinquish some control as a director and follow the Amazing Johnathan wherever this wild ride took him including having to contend with a second crew filming a totally different documentary about Amazing Johnathan. Plus the psychology of magic, the gamesmanship of elaborate pranks, why David Copperfield and Chris Angel hate each others’ guts, and Johnathan knows a lot about faking your own death!
The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is available on Hulu and in select theaters beginning Friday, August 16. Keep up with the Amazing Jonathan at theamazingjohnathan.com or on Twitter at @TheAmazingJ, and follow Ben Berman on Twitter at @LipsBerman. This episode is sponsored by Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Actor Wyatt Russell is the star of the most original show on television AMC's Lodge 49. We discuss the allure of ancient fraternal orders, the importance of embracing everyday "magic," and getting curious about the places and the people we all too often drive past. He talks about how the show speaks to the isolation of modern social media culture and our longing for fellowship. Wyatt reminisces about previous career as a professional hockey player and the injury that sidelined him from hockey, but opened the door to a career in film and television. He recalls getting his first big break just when he was ready to give up on acting, following in the steps of his famous parents Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, and what they taught him about keeping celebrity in perspective.
Season 2 of Lodge 49 premieres on Monday, August 12 at 10/9C on AMC. Visit www.amc.com for more information.. This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business.
Walton Goggins and Jim Gaffigan talk about getting over their fear of snakes to portray Pentecostal snake handlers in their new film Them That Follow. They discuss the beliefs behind the religion, why members of these Pentecostal sect live in fear of the law, and why they took particular care not to reinforce negative stereotypes about the people of rural Appalachia. We talk about what attracts Walton to religious roles from The Apostle to Them That Follow, and how he manages to move so effortlessly between drama and comedy. Then Jim Gaffigan discusses his own transition from comedy to drama, how his acting and standup inform each other, and what it’s been like hit the film festival circuit. He goes into how his experience as a devout Catholic informed his portrayal in the film, his upcoming standup special for Amazon, and how his wife Jeannie’s recovery from a brain tumor has inspired him to get more personal in his act.
Them That Follow opens in theaters this Friday, August 2. Also look for Walton Goggins in HBO’s new limited series The Righteous Gemstones August 18 and Jim’s new comedy special Quality Time on Amazon Prime Video beginning August 16. This episode is sponsored by Anchor. Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free. Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews. We're also sponsored by BetterHelp Online Counseling and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.