Who comes to mind when you think of a character actor? Sure, there are a lot of good ones, but there's no one quite like the great Wallace Shawn. On screen, he's had over 180 credits! You've seen him in films like Clueless, The Princess Bride and My Dinner with Andre. He's also had regular roles on Gossip Girl and Crossing Jordan. Wallace is also an Obie award-winning playwright and the author of several books. When he joined us back in 2017, he had just written Night Thoughts, an extended collection of essays touching on topics like politics, morality, and privilege. Plus, he'll talk frankly about how the movie business has changed since he started acting some 40 years ago. You can hear him as the voice behind Rex in Toy Story 4 later this month.
We're revisiting our conversation with John Waters! You might know him as the director and writer of classics like Pink Flamingos, Hairspray and Cry-Baby,but even though he hasn't made a movie lately, he keeps pretty busy. He's done a ton of live performances, released a few compilation albums, and he just released his memoir and seventh book, Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder. When he joined us in studio, John talked about Make Trouble, a book based off of his commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. Jesse talks with him about Little Richard, trigger warnings, and how the film industry tried (and failed) to make the King of Trash compromise his work. Plus, he'll tell us about the fabulous Commes de Garcon shirt he wore to the recording. His memoir, Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder, which is out now.
Kulap Vilaysack is an actor, comedian, showrunner, and director. She just directed her first feature length film, Origin Story, about her family's journey to the U.S. and finding her biological father in Laos. It's a film about dealing with family secrets, empathizing with difficult parents, and connecting with brand new ones. We talked to Kulap about facing her family's darkest secrets and finding healing through the pain.
We're back with John Bradley who played Samwell Tarly on a tiny little show called Game of Thrones for eight seasons. The HBO program recently had its series finale which was the network's most-watched program of all time! John talks about performing on one of the biggest TV shows in history and how his perceived weaknesses made him the perfect actor for his character's arc.
If you go to an art museum: contemporary, encyclopedic, local... odds are most of the art displayed was made by white men. Even if you leave out the renaissance painters and the Dutch Masters. It's still not that common to see a solo show by a woman or a person of color these days. This was even more true in the mid-80s. Some of New York's most prominent galleries showed less than 10% of women artists. Others were showing no women at all. In 1984, an art collective known at The Guerilla Girls drew attention to issues of discrimination and representation in galleries and museums all over the world. The group demonstrated in front of museums with placards and picket lines. And they wore gorilla masks while doing it. Jesse talks to a founding member of The Guerilla Girls, who goes by Kathe Kollwitz. She'll reflect on the origins of the group, anonymity in the art world, and what the group means now more than 30 years later.
Veep isa show full of despised, incompetent and unlikable characters. And is there anyone less likable, more incompetent than Jonah Ryan? Played by Timothy Simons, the tall, petty and mercurial Jonah went from a lowly white house staffer to New Hampshire's least popular members of Congress to long-shot presidential contender. Simons explains why thick skin doesn't always protect you from all of Veep's famously devastating insults. Plus, how being a dad has impacted his acting career and knowledge of elementary school handball.