Television

355: Penn Badgley

This actor, perhaps best known as Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girl and Joe Goldberg in the Netflix series You, is modest about his craft. “The only thing that’s ours as actors is how we feel as we say lines we didn’t write, as we wear clothes we didn’t purchase or even choose.”  The importance of emotional honesty, the burden of … Continue reading »

Movies / Television

337: Tommy Oliver

He double-majored in economics and digital media, and, unlike those in show business who enjoy the show but decry the business, “I love the business as much as I love the creative, as much as I love the technical.” The result? Black Love, the TV series he and his wife, Codie Elaine Oliver, created, is in its … Continue reading »

Radio / Television

330: Mo Rocca

A regular on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!, he has a historic-homes preference: “I like the houses of the presidents that you can’t remember were actually president, the guys between Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.” And they’re a great fit for his other project, Mobituaries, what with their being, you know, dead.  Continue reading »

Movies / Television / Theater

326: Alec Baldwin

Admired for both comedy (30 Rock) and drama (Streetcar), he is an astute observer of other actors and once wrote a fan letter to Tom Courtenay for his work in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Courtenay replied, “How odd that you would take the time to write this to me about this film I did so long ago.” No … Continue reading »

Television

322: Jeff Greenfield

For decades, he has provided astute political commentary with an admirable knack for seeing contemporary events in historic perspective. During our conversation, he prudently contextualized some of his observations, “when this nightmare is over,” referring either to the coronavirus or to the current administration (circa 2020), but which one? Listen. Continue reading »

Nonfiction / Television

321: Merrill Markoe

The greatest gift to any humorist is a parent who is impossible to please. This writer, a co-creator of Late Night With David Letterman, describes a note in her mother’s copy of David Copperfield. “It said, ‘Not one of his best works. I was disappointed.’ If she was giving Dickens a hard time, what did I think that I was going to get?” … Continue reading »

Television

Episode 278: Mary Darling

This Canadian producer, celebrated for Little Mosque on the Prairie, wanted to do a show about death, too often “depicted as this morbid sad thing. We wanted to do a comedy about death.” The Hollywood (Toronto?) suits rejected her. A merry chat about mortality at the New York Baha’i Center.  Music from Gloria Thomas Gassaway and the … Continue reading »

Television / Theater

Episode 269: Eric Bogosian

On a Berlin sidewalk in 1921, Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha, an architect of the Armenian genocide. Vengence or justice? Actor and writer Eric Bogosian talks about history, identity, and the cultural implications of curly hair. A conversation at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, with music from Zoë Aqua and Mattias Kaufmann. Continue reading »