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Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin takes listeners into the lives of artists, policy makers and performers. Alec sidesteps the predictable by going inside the dressing rooms, apartments, and offices of people we want to understand better: Ira Glass, Lena Dunham, David Letterman, Barbara Streisand, Tom Yorke, Chris Rock and others. Hear what happens when an inveterate guest becomes a host.

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Julie Holland Prescribes Human Connection

In this episode, recorded several months into the pandemic, NYC-based psychiatrist Julie Holland assures Alec it?s not just him, we?re all having a hard-time. Dr. Holland says our brains are wired for connection and isolation is causing many of us to go into ?fight or flight? mode where it?s harder to feel safe and loved. But there?s hope. Put down the phone, go outside, call a friend. Connect. And, for some, drugs might help, too. Holland has been deeply curious about the brain since high school and she?s a leading researcher in using psychedelics and cannabis to treat PTSD. In controlled settings, these drugs can restore a sense of being connected with others and the larger world. Holland is the author of several books including Good Chemistry, Moody Bitches, and a memoir, Weekends at Bellevue. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-02-23
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Patton Oswalt Runs at Love

In the glut of comedy that exists today - with hundreds of comedy clubs, sit-coms, late-night talk shows, and podcasts - Patton Oswalt has distinguished himself over his three-decade career by being a talented actor who also happens to be very funny. Patton talks to Alec about the sudden death in 2016 of his first wife, author Michelle McNamara, how it changed his relationship with their daughter. Patton says the strength of his first marriage allowed him to ?run at love? when it came a second time (he married actress Meredith Salenger in late 2017). Alec and Patton also compare notes on the deep imprint their favorite TV shows growing up have had, what Patton learned about FOMO while writing for MADtv, and why Patton started all over when he started performing at comedy clubs in San Francisco in the early 90s. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-02-16
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Katie Porter Enjoys Being a Fish Out of Water

In 2018, U.S. Representative Katie Porter (CA-45) was the first Democrat ever to be elected in her traditionally conservative Orange County district. Prompted to run by Trump?s 2016 win, Porter quickly made a name for herself with her tough questioning of CEOs and administration officials, often using a whiteboard to lay out the facts. Katie Porter?s no-nonsense approach comes in part from her upbringing in Iowa. During the farm crisis of the 1980s, she saw first-hand how her father, a third generation farmer turned community loan officer, helped to support their neighbors. She went on to study bankruptcy law under Elizabeth Warren at Harvard Law School and become a consumer protection attorney and a law professor. A single mom to three school-age children, Katie Porter tells Alec people often have often underestimated her - at their own peril. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-02-09
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Isabel Wilkerson on Caste and William Darity on Reparations

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson talks to Alec about her best-selling book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Wilkerson says America?s caste system began in 1619, when enslaved people first arrived in the Jamestown colony. Drawing comparisons between India?s millennia-long caste system and the Nazis? subjugation of Jews in WWII, Wilkerson says white Americans developed a caste system to justify centuries of violence and discrimination against African-Americans. Wilkerson says we must understand our full history and the caste system today to become a more equitable nation. Alec then follows up on the question of reparations with William Darity, a Duke University professor of economics and co-author of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. Darity says the U.S. government owes $10 - $12 trillion in reparations to the approximately 40 million descendants of enslaved people. Darity says reparations are essential to close the persistent wealth gap between white and Black households. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-02-02
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Mick Fleetwood Skates Back into the Charts

Mick Fleetwood is the drummer and a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, one of the most successful rock bands of all time. Fleetwood talks to Alec about how dyslexia led him to the drumming, how supportive parents encouraged his talent and his move to London as a teenager, how his friendship with the band?s founder, guitarist Peter Green, evolved to a life-long friendship, and how Fleetwood Mac balanced the weight of their interpersonal dynamics and the band?s wild, over-the-top success. The band?s 1977 album Rumors broke through Billboard 100 again last year thanks to a Tik Tok of a man on a skateboard lipsyncing to Dreams and introduced a whole new generation to Fleetwood Mac?s beautiful, enduring music.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-01-26
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Howard Dean Still Has Something to Say

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean offers a long-view take on what?s needed in this pivotal moment as Joe Biden takes office. Dean talks about vaccines, prioritizing the important while attending to the urgent, and what unity might look like for our deeply divided country. Dean has studied democracies around the world, yet much of his adult life has been rooted in Vermont where he practiced family medicine before becoming the state's longest-serving Governor from 1991 - 2003. Dean ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 Presidential race, pioneering grassroots fundraising. Then, as chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 and 2009, his 50 state strategy played a key role in Barack Obama?s 2008 win. At 72, Dean teaches foreign policy at Yale?s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and is as opinionated and clear thinking as ever. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-01-19
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Kristen Bell Chooses Her Lane

Actor Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Frozen, Veronica Mars) has a happy marriage that requires a lot of work, and she?s good with that. She considered a life in the theater as a student at NYU, even making it to Broadway before graduation. However, on a whim, she moved to Los Angeles and has been starring in movies and TV ever since. Like her most memorable characters, Bell is plucky, relatable, and very funny. That?s her lane and she?s good with that, too. She tells Alec, at 40, she?s more comfortable than ever in her skin, more aware of her voice and what she needs to be happy, lessons she strives to model every day for her daughters, and her legions of devoted fans. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-01-12
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Here?s The Thing Trailer

Join award-winning actor Alec Baldwin in conversation with some of the most dynamic artists, policymakers, and performers working today. This season, Alec will talk with Kristen Bell about marriage and why generosity always wins, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean on the difference between the important and the urgent, and music legend Mick Fleetwood about why Fleetwood Mac has survived for more than half a century - just to name a few. If you like listening as much as Alec likes talking with interesting people, subscribe now and never miss an episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2021-01-05
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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part 2

Here?s The Thing is moving from WNYC to iHeartRadio. Over the past several years, Alec has talked with some of the greatest artists, musicians, actors, writers, thinkers, public policy makers, and sports figures of our time. The final two programs on WNYC highlight a compilation of some of Alec?s favorite interviews from the past several years. This penultimate WNYC episode features clips from interviews with David Letterman, Audra McDonald, Carly Simon, Robert Osborne, and Jon Robin Baitz. Join Alec as he celebrates his accomplished guests and the Here?s The Thing catalog. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-11-10
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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, Part 1

Today, Alec announces that Here?s The Thing is moving from WNYC to iHeartRadio. For nearly a decade, Alec has spoken with some of the greatest artists, musicians, actors, writers, thinkers, public policy makers, and sports figures of our time. The final two programs on WNYC highlight a compilation of some of Alec?s favorite interviews. This penultimate WNYC episode features clips from interviews with Barbra Streisand, Joe Dallesandro, Elaine Stritch, David Crosby, and William Friedkin. Join Alec as he celebrates his accomplished guests and the Here?s The Thing catalog. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-11-03
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A Piece of New York: Real Estate in NYC

Today, Alec plunges into the politics of real estate with two guests. The first is David Schleicher of Yale Law School, whose expertise is Land Use. He gets to the heart of gentrification and continuously surprises Alec with one idea after another through their riveting conversation. Later in the show, Alec talks with Elizabeth Kim, Gothamist Senior Editor and real estate correspondent for Gothamist, the New York-focused news website. She and Alec discuss ?retail blight,? the hollowing-out of the ground-level boutiques that define New York neighborhoods. These conversations were recorded before the Coronavirus hit New York City. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-10-20
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Peter Asher's Long and Winding Road

As a singer, guitarist, producer, and manager, Peter Asher has been at the center of some of the most important music - and moments - of the rock era. In 1964, he was just 19 when his London-based duo Peter and Gordon released its first single, ?A World Without Love.? It reached number 1 on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic -- and was written by his sister?s then-boyfriend, Paul McCartney. Later, after Peter and Gordon fizzled, Asher joined forces with the Beatles to launch Apple Records, where he discovered and signed folk icon James Taylor. Asher moved on from his role at Apple to become a full-time producer, working with legends like Diana Ross, Cher, and Neil Diamond, and producing multi-platinum albums with Diamond and Linda Rondstadt. More recently, Asher put all these stories into his book The Beatles A to Zed, An Alphabetical Musical Tour. He also hosts a weekly show about the band called From Me to You on Sirius XM. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-10-06
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The Eternal Phantom: Davis Gaines

Few actors are as deeply associated with a character as Davis Gaines is with the Phantom of the Opera. When the Kennedy Center honored Hal Prince, Phantom?s original director, they turned to Gaines to perform the musical?s signature song, ?Music of the Night.? Gaines? spine-tingling vibrato shook the risers more than two thousand times in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and eventually Broadway, where Phantom remains the longest-running show in history. Alec speaks with Gaines about how his childhood led to his prolific acting career, with 14 Broadway and off-Broadway credits to his name. Alec finds Gaines is remarkably unassuming for a Broadway leading man, but he?s got friends in high places -- including the entire Bush family, starting with the late President George H.W. Bush. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-09-22
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Jordan Klepper Has Gone from Comedy to Farce

Jordan Klepper is a very funny person, and Comedy Central took notice, making him one of their go-to stars: he's hosted his own late-night talk show and two excellent documentary series for the network. But with about 90 million views on YouTube and Facebook, Klepper's work as the Daily Show's Trump-rally correspondent is what turned him into a political celebrity. He's been on the beat from the beginning: Jon Stewart hired him in 2014 and he started attending the rallies right as Trump was taking off in the Republican primaries. Man-on-the-street interviews are inevitably cherry-picked, but by turning on his mic and asking questions, Klepper creates an important document of this particular segment of Donald Trump?s base. He tells Alec why he thinks interviewing rally-goers isn't "punching down" -- and he traces his own path from college Math major in Kalamazoo, through improv star in Chicago, to one of the smartest and most reliable members of that very modern profession: advocacy journalists working through the medium of comedy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-09-08
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Take a Listen to "Tribeca Talks"

The Tribeca Film Festival has launched a new podcast, Tribeca Talks, and we want you to know about it. Here's a conversation Alec had with director Guillermo Del Toro at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, covering Del Toro?s incredible career, the meaning behind his films, and prepping for shoots. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-09-03
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The Art of the Art Deal

Alec looks at the art world from two angles -- from someone in it, and from someone who has observed the world from a distance. First, writer Michael Shnayerson -- his latest book, Boom, gives an exhaustive history of how today?s art market came to be. Shnayerson writes for magazines -- including Time and Vanity Fair -- and has written seven books. He has collaborated with Harry Belafonte, written a portrait of Andrew Cuomo, and unpacked General Motors and the electric car. Art dealer Richard Feigen, Alec?s second guest, spent his entire career in the art market. His New York gallery has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of the greatest works of art, from the Renaissance to Basquiat. He was the dealer to the newly minted millionaires of 1980?s New York who bought their art -- and their cultural cache -- from Richard Feigen. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-08-25
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Marc Kudisch Plays Questionable Men

Marc Kudisch is a Broadway staple. With three Tony nominations, he has played such roles as The Proprietor in Assassins, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, and the sexist blowhard boss in Dolly Parton?s 9 to 5. On screen, Kudisch has carved out a niche for himself working for some of the greatest directors in TV, including David Fincher in Mindhunter and Barry Sonnenfeld in The Tick. His current TV role is Dr. Gus, the intense, love-to-hate-him corporate coach in Billions. Alec talked with Kudisch right before Broadway shut down due to the coronavirus, just a couple of weeks into his starring role in Girl from the North Country. They discuss everything from the start of his acting career to Sondheim to Dungeons and Dragons. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-08-18
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Legacies of Vietnam

Today, Alec speaks with two colleagues he?s known for a long time, Brian Delate and Dick Hughes -- both actors whose lives were touched by the Vietnam War. Delate, Alec?s first guest, served in Vietnam after high school. He has performed on stage, in movies and on TV, and he?s also a playwright. His play, Memorial Day, tells the story of a Vietnam veteran on the verge of suicide over a Memorial Day holiday. Dick Hughes, Alec?s second guest, thought he was going to enter the priesthood as a young man, but decided to study theater. In his early 20?s, Hughes traveled to Vietnam as a conscientious objector, and ultimately opened a shelter for street children called the Shoeshine Boys Project. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-08-11
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Alec Dives into "The Dating Market"

Writers Kaitlyn Tiffany and Ashley Fetters may be the country?s most astute observers of modern romance. Fetters even wrote the definitive history of Tinder. Alec discovered their jointly written article, The ?Dating Market? Is Getting Worse, published in February, 2020, and knew he had to talk to them.  The writers talked to historians and sociologists to analyze the use of concepts like ?market value? and ?supply and demand? in thinking about romance. They conclude that our sense that we can measure and control the "numbers game" makes us less happy and perhaps less likely to find true love. They bring their own personal dating experiences and their deep research to a funny and fascinating Zoom conversation with Alec. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-08-04
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Ramona Diaz Decodes the Motherland

Filipino-American filmmaker Ramona Diaz says each of her films is a ?yearning for the motherland.? She?s in a unique position, as she says, able to ?decode? the Philippines for the rest of the world. Her most recent film, A Thousand Cuts, tells the story of Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa and the struggle for a free press and the crackdown on news media in the Philippines under President Duterte. In 2018, Ressa was an honoree when Time Magazine?s Person of the Year issue focused on ?The Guardians and the War on Truth.? Alec sat down with director Diaz to talk about her newest film as well as her other documentaries. Diaz draws deep portraits and her subjects vary -- from well-known figures like Imelda Marcos, to women who?ve just given birth at Fabella Hospital in Manila -- the busiest maternity ward in the world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-07-28
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Everybody Loves Stanley Tucci

Alec and Stanley Tucci have only been on set together a couple of times, but they established a rapport deep enough to carry over into a Zoom interview more than a decade later. The two share stories from their families, discuss what they love about working with certain fellow actors, and the difference between working in Hollywood and the UK. Tucci also talks about how he gets into character for his most recent role, an 80-year-old woman in Apple TV's wonderful new animated series, Central Park. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-07-14
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Ingrid Newkirk Was a Deputy Sheriff Before She Founded PETA

Ingrid Newkirk is the co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA. It may be America?s best-known animal rights organization thanks to legal sophistication, scientific seriousness, and off-the-wall publicity stunts like throwing fake blood on models wearing fur, or infiltrating a KFC chicken-supplier to publicize alleged cruelty. They're also famous because a lot of big-name vegetarians have lent them a hand, including Alec, who narrated a documentary for PETA about animal abuse in traveling circuses, among other collaborations. Newkirk tells the story of her transformation from the happily carnivorous daughter of an engineer in New Delhi, to deputy sheriff in Maryland, to the nation's foremost warrior against "speciesism." Alec and Newkirk also go through all the big contemporary questions in animal rights, from hunting to animal-testing to roadside zoos, and she shares insights from her latest book about animal psychology and cognition, Animalkind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-06-30
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Micky Dolenz on How The Monkees Went from TV Band to Real-Life Band

Micky Dolenz was a successful child-actor, but he became a full-fledged star at 20 in 1966 as the exuberant singer and drummer of The Monkees -- or rather, as the actor playing that character. At first, the band was a creation of NBC and only existed on the show The Monkees. For the first season, much of the backing music was played by a studio band. Eventually, that changed, and The Monkees' transition from a TV band to a real band is a fascinating story of hard work, perseverance, and marketing genius. Dolenz brings all the energy and humor he showed on The Monkees to this episode of Here's the Thing, telling Alec about the dynamics among the bandmates, his years as a successful TV producer in the UK, and what it's like touring -- and recording -- as a member of The Monkees 50 years after the end of the show. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-06-16
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On a Zoom Call with Woody Allen

Woody Allen's new book, Apropos of Nothing, starts with a portrait of his father, a tough-guy World War One Navy veteran and onetime gunman in a firing squad. It's the first of a series of surprising, fascinating stories from a life that went from working-class Jewish Brooklyn in the 1940s to movie sets in Rome and Paris.  The book also addresses the accusation of an incident of sexual abuse leveled by Dylan Farrow.  Allen and Alec cover it all -- plus how he's doing in the age of coronavirus -- in this candid and wide-ranging interview. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-06-02
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New York City's Post-COVID Future

In the midst of a crisis it can be healthy to think of what comes after. In this episode of Here's the Thing, two of the most influential New Yorkers when it comes to long-term economic planning join Alec to discuss whether the current economic crisis will end quickly when businesses can reopen, or whether instead it's the start of a longer decline. Kathryn Wylde is a veteran of the urban renewal battles of the 1980s and currently the head of the city's elite business consortium, the Partnership for New York City. She worries that what makes New York special will now be associated with the spread of disease: its dense population and communal spaces like theaters, museums, bars, and vibrant workplaces. Tom Wright's organization, the influential Regional Plan Association, is reshaping its long-term vision for the city based on the potential for reduced growth -- but Wright says that New York is well positioned to get back on track thanks to its experience overcoming past crises like 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-05-19
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In Memoriam: Wynn Handman

Over a 70-year career, Wynn Handman added sharpness and craft to the natural talents of actors including Christopher Walken, Allison Janney, Raul Julia, Richard Gere, James Caan, Anna Deveare Smith, Joanne Woodward, and Mia Farrow. The World War II veteran studied acting on the GI bill and fell in with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1946, when the "playhouse" was still two floors of an office building west of Times Square. In this remarkable conversation, Handman tells Alec about his experiences with Meisner, Lee Strasberg, and his many students -- as well as growing up in the 1920s in a Manhattan neighborhood where the streets still had not been paved. Handman died of complications from COVID-19 on April 11, 2020. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-05-14
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Brian De Palma on Scarface, Mission: Impossible, and the Movie He Made in College

Brian De Palma's astonishingly diverse hits as a director include Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Raising Cain, Carlito?s Way, and Mission: Impossible. He wrote many of those screenplays, too. With his distinctive visual style and proven box office success, he's among the undeniable greats of both auteur and commercial filmmaking. In this live interview, he tells Alec about getting his start in directing as an undergrad at Columbia, and has stories from Blow Out, Scarface and Mission: Impossible. In 2019, the Hamptons International Film Festival gave De Palma its Lifetime Achievement Award; this conversation was part of the ceremony. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-05-05
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Daryl Hall Invites Alec In

Hall & Oates is the biggest-selling vocal duo in history. "Maneater," "Rich Girl," "You Make My Dreams Come True," and countless other hits will be beloved for generations. So Daryl Hall has long been at the top of Alec's Most Wanted list for Here's the Thing. When the conversation finally took place this past December, it was on Hall's home-turf: Daryl's House, his restaurant and music-venue in Pawling, NY. In a conversation interspersed with some classic recordings, Hall talks about his teen years in suburban Pennsylvania singing doo-wop on the streets with his friends -- a far cry from the rock-star life he was leading 15 years later. For that transition to happen, he first had to meet John Oates. That happened in 1967 when a gunfight broke out at a club they had both been performing at. Their fate was sealed: the two kept up a rigorous concert schedule until this year, when coronavirus put a temporary end to public gatherings. You can still hear their later work on this new vinyl release of their masterful album of soul standards, Our Kind of Soul.  Or tune in to AXS for Hall's hit show Live from Daryl's House. On each episode, he brings another big-name musician up to the club in Pawling and they jam together. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-04-21
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In Memoriam: Patricia Bosworth

Alec and Patti Bosworth became friends serving together on the board of the Actors Studio. When Bosworth died of complications from COVID-19, it wasn't just a loss to the literary and theatrical worlds; it was also personal for Alec and the rest of Bosworth's wide circle of friends and family. Not just a legendary Hollywood biographer, Bosworth also released an impossible-to-put-down memoir in two parts about her glamorous, tragic personal life and her time with the biggest names in Hollywood and the literary world. Characters range from Marlon Brando to Mario Puzo to Robert Frost. When Bosworth published the second installment of that memoir, The Men in My Life, in 2017, it was natural for her to stop by Here's the Thing to tell some of the stories in person, including her transition from Hollywood leading lady to respected journalist. We're honored to re-release that conversation today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-04-16
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Anjelica Huston on Modeling, Movie-Making, and a Life in the Spotlight

Anjelica Huston has lived many lives, all with grace and charisma. As the daughter of John Huston (director of The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, and more) she was movie royalty from birth. But she grew up in rural Ireland and went to high school in Swinging-Sixties London. That meant she developed a set of values far removed from Hollywood high society. Her first career was as a high-end fashion model, a favorite subject of Richard Avedon and later a muse of Halston. But she had always wanted to be a movie actress, and she spent time in the trenches, working on her craft in classes and smaller roles before her Oscar-winning turn in Prizzi's Honor. Right as she was leaving the photo studio for the movie studio, she met Jack Nicholson: "he made me laugh," she tells Alec. The couple defined Hollywood cool for almost two decades. Huston tells Alec the story of all of her transitions -- romantic, professional, and geographic. Her two wonderful memoirs are A Story Lately Told and Watch Me. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-04-07
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Butch Walker's Awesomely Diverse Rock Résumé

Butch Walker is one of rock and roll's biggest talents, and on May 8th, he'll be releasing his new album -- a rock opera called American Love Story. You can preview one of the songs on today's episode of Here's the Thing, taped live last month (just before coronavirus made such gatherings impossible) at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. In the 1990s, Walker got major-label contracts and radio-play as the guitarist for the "hair band" SouthGang, and later as front-man of the edgy, grunge-tinged Marvelous 3.  But Walker's career has evolved. Not only is he making beautiful solo work, but he's also become one of LA's most sought-after partners in music-making, having produced or written songs for artists ranging from P!nk to Green Day to Panic! at the Disco.  It's been a long road from his life as an 8-year-old Kiss fan in rural Georgia, and Walker has accumulated great stories along the way, including what it was like to be the first American rock band to tour (and get kicked out of) China. Thanks to Zach McNees for mixing the music in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-03-31
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Eliza Shapiro on School Closures, the Big Picture -- and Probably Getting Coronavirus

New York Times reporter Eliza Shapiro ranks high on the list of the most powerful people in education because "no one on the education beat is a sharper ? or more effective ? thorn in the side of city officials." Over the course of a lively conversation with Alec taped before the pandemic, she broke down all the major issues in education policy, from unions to charters to racial equality, and tackled Mayor Bill De Blasio's rollback of Mike Bloomberg's education reforms. But since they spoke, Shapiro has arguably become New York City parents' most important source of information about what's going on with the city's schools as they ground to a halt with the coronavirus pandemic. So we called her up yesterday and asked her what she knew and how school closures everywhere affect much more than just students' education. Plus she recounts her own likely bout with the virus! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-03-20
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Revealing Barry Sonnenfeld

Barry Sonnenfeld was among Hollywood's most in-demand cinematographers (Big, When Harry Met Sally, Misery) when he decided to make the switch to directing in 1991. The producers were nervous, but the proof was in the pudding: Sonnenfeld's directorial debut was The Addams Family, one of the year's most successful comedies. From there, Sonnenfeld went on to direct Get Shorty, the Men in Black series, and some brilliant TV like The Tick and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Now he's written a memoir, Barry Sonnenfeld Call Your Mother, in which he tells with humor and compassion the surprisingly harrowing story of his childhood -- and, of course, dishes on his colleagues in Hollywood. With Alec he goes beyond what's in the book about what went down on the sets of Big, Misery, Wild Wild West and Men in Black. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-03-10
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The Luminous Kelli O'Hara

For more than a decade, Kelli O'Hara has been at the very top of the Broadway heap. She gets called "luminous" so often that it must get really very, very tiring. It's been a remarkable journey for a kid who grew up on a farm in western Oklahoma and cut her teeth doing repertory theater in Wichita. She tells Alec her story, with a fascinating, surprising twist: she deeply loves Broadway but wants to branch out, and says she's struggled to do so. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-02-25
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Russ Tamblyn, from DeMille to David Lynch

Russ Tamblyn was born in Los Angeles in the middle of the Depression to a chorus girl and a Broadway "song and dance man." His father had moved his growing family west to press his luck in the talkies. Russ was a showbiz kid and found his talent young: Cecil B DeMille cast him as the young King Saul in Samson and Delilah when he was just 13 years old. Stardom came at 19 in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, where he stole scenes with his goofy enthusiasm and astonishingly acrobatic dancing. But the role that will go down in history is Riff in West Side Story. Tamblyn took a part that could have been just a young tough, and imbued it with such nuance, such balance between aggression and vulnerability, that every Riff since has been held up to him. In this funny, revealing conversation, Tamblyn tells Alec what it was like being part of the old Hollywood contract system (he was an MGM property) -- plus which major Golden Age director was "overrated," and why he didn't stay a movie star. And of course, Tamblyn recounts his return to featured roles at the request of David Lynch, who cast him as Dr. Lawrence Jacoby in Twin Peaks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-02-11
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The Oscars Series, Day 5: For Sama, This Year's Most Powerful Documentary

This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- and, today, with a pair of 2020 nominees. They are Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, the co-directors of For Sama, which is up for Best Documentary Feature. It's a movie pieced together from more than 500 hours of footage shot by Al-Kateab, a young mother in rebel-controlled Aleppo, Syria, as government troops closed in. For Sama is about what it's like for an ordinary, middle-class family to conceive and raise a child in a city under siege.  As the San Francisco Chronicle puts it, "For Sama is a film made with the instincts of a journalist, the passion of a revolutionary, and the beating heart of a mother." Watts, Waad, and Waad's husband, Dr. Hamza Al-Kateab, joined Alec at a live taping of Here's the Thing at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-02-07
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The Oscars Series, Day 4: Spike Lee

This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview, coming tomorrow, with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama.  Today, on Day 4 of our Oscars series, it's our live event with Spike Lee at the TriBeCa Film Festival.  The two movie-veterans came prepared for a serious discussion about Place in the Sun and On the Waterfront, but get distracted very quickly.  As BET put it in their roundup of the conversation, "The iconic director held nothing back."  Spike Lee's first Oscar, shockingly, came last year for his BlacKkKlansman screenplay. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-02-06
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The Oscars Series Day 3: Julianne Moore

This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama, coming Friday.  For Day 3 of our series, we bring you our Julianne Moore episode, in which she and Alec bond over their shared past in soap operas.  Moore won her Oscar in 2015 for playing an Alzheimer's patient in Still Alice. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-02-05
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The Oscars Series, Day 2: Cameron Crowe

This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama.  For our second installment, we bring you the Here's the Thing episode that may have generated our most enthusiastic listener feedback.  That's Alec's conversation with director, screenwriter, and Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe -- punctuated with great songs from Crowe's films.  Crowe won his Oscar in 2001 for his screenplay for Almost Famous.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-02-04
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The Oscars Series, Day 1: Barbra Streisand

This week, in honor of the upcoming Academy awards, Here's the Thing brings you a collection of conversations with Oscar-winners -- including one new interview coming Friday with the creative team of 2020 Best Documentary-nominee For Sama.  We begin, however, with a reprise of one of the HTT team's all-time favorite episodes, in which Alec enjoys a little miso soup at the home of Barbra Streisand in Malibu.  Streisand has won two Oscars:  first in 1969 for her turn as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, and then again in 1977 for her Best Original Song ?Evergreen? from A Star Is Born. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-02-03
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Kantor and Twohey: The Reporters Who Broke the Harvey Weinstein Story

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story. For five months -- perpetually in danger of losing the scoop -- they cultivated and cajoled sources ranging from the Weinsteins? accountant to Ashley Judd. The article that emerged on October 5th, 2017, was a level-headed and impeccably sourced exposé, whose effects continue to be felt around the world. Their conversation with Alec covers their reporting process, and moves on to a joint wrestling with Alec?s own early knowledge of one of the Weinstein allegations, and his ongoing friendship with accused harasser James Toback. The guests ask Alec questions about the movie industry?s ethics about sex and ?the casting couch.? Over a respectful and surprising half-hour, host and guests together talk through the many dilemmas posed by the #MeToo movement that Kantor and Twohey did so much to unleash. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-01-21
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Wynton Marsalis, Keeper of the Jazz Flame

Wynton Marsalis was on the cover of Time as the avatar of the "New Jazz Age." His central role in reviving the genre is thanks partly to his gorgeous, virtuosic trumpet-playing, and partly to his founding of Jazz at Lincoln Center. JALC established jazz at the heart of American high culture. That "officialness" turned off some jazz musicians: wasn't their music supposed to be looser, smaller? But Marsalis tells Alec that the desire to relegate jazz to small underground clubs is "ghettoizing." In front of a live audience at JALC's Rose Hall, Marsalis also goes deep with Alec about his father's influence -- and his racially fraught interactions with professors and conductors at Juilliard when he showed up from Louisiana in 1979. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2020-01-07
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Julie Andrews, Revisited

We often think of Julie Andrews as the prim nanny from Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, but her personal path may have the greatest resemblance to one of her Broadway roles: Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Andrews grew up in a family strapped for cash during the Second World War, and her initial training as an actor was in the less-than-prestigious field of vaudeville. But right before opening night of her breakout role in The Boy Friend, it was producer Cy Feuer?s advice that we have to thank, in large part, for the level of excellence Andrews has brought to musical film and theater for generations. ?Forget camp,? he told her. ?Get real.? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-12-24
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Noah Baumbach Gets Personal in Marriage Story

Director Noah Baumbach is known for messy and realistic family dramas. The Squid and The Whale chronicles divorce within a family; Margot at the Wedding explores the relationship between two sisters; The Meyerowitz Stories tells the story of 3 adult siblings ? different mothers, same father ? negotiating resentment and love. And there have been plenty of comparisons between Baumbach?s own life and his movies ? especially so with his most recent film, Marriage Story. Baumbach and actress Jennifer Jason Leigh divorced soon after they had a child. But Baumbach is quick to say his films are not autobiographical. They are personal, he says, and as he tells Alec, the process of turning real life into films is part of how Baumbach makes sense of things around him. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-12-10
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Is Cristina Tzintzun Texas Democrats' Best Bet for the Senate?

The last Democrat elected to the Senate seat Cristina Tzintzun has her sights on was Lyndon Johnson.  Republican takeovers are just a fact of life in the South.  And yet in some places, there's light at the end of the tunnel for beleaguered Dems.  It's in the Lone Star State that they hope to reverse the trend.  Texas is urbanizing, and it's getting more educated and more diverse.  Tzintzun -- a political organizer who's the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and an Anglo-Texan -- tells Alec that by activating those Democratic base constituencies, she can win where others have failed.  It's a trail begun by Beto O?Rourke, who almost won the state?s other Senate seat back for the Democrats in 2018, but it's a perilous strategy, too, in a state as conservative as Texas.  Much of Beto's team has come over to help Tzintzun, and full disclosure: Alec, too, is a supporter, and hosted a fundraiser for her in October. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-11-26
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And Another Thing, with Errol Morris

Alec wanted to know a few more things about Errol Morris's work -- so he set up a call! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-11-22
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Errol Morris on Steve Bannon, Self-Loathing, and Life as a Private Eye

Errol Morris?s documentaries are visually unmistakable, whether they?re about pet cemeteries or the morally bankrupt "great men" of American history. Thanks to his optical invention, the "Interrotron," Morris's subjects? are looking straight at those of us in the movie theater and, sometimes, lying. He?s one of cinema?s most distinctive storytellers. In conversation with Alec, Morris recounts his meandering path to the top, involving deep debt, a master's degree in Philosophy, and a stint as a private investigator. "Film-making saved me," he says. Morris also responds to the heated controversy surrounding his new documentary, American Dharma, about Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, rejecting the argument that it was wrong to provide Bannon a platform for his ideas. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-11-12
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Edward Norton on Directing ? and His Directors

Edward Norton gets into every aspect of filmmaking, even when he comes to the set as an actor. He's helped rewrite scripts, and sometimes gets intimately involved in editing, as was the case with American History X. That has led to tension with directors, but Norton tells Alec that the Hollywood press has grossly mischaracterized many of those relationships. Norton himself directed Alec recently in his new film, Motherless Brooklyn. Norton stars alongside Alec's Robert Moses character, who tries to bend New York City to his will. Their shared experience on set sparks a conversation about directing, and all the great directors Norton has worked with, including Spike Lee, David Fincher, Tony Kaye, and Milo? Forman. A "cheat sheet" of all the movies and directors Edward and Alec discussed, in order, is available at https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/heresthething/edwardandalec. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-10-29
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Judith Light Once Told Her Agent, "No Soaps, No Sitcoms"

Judith Light has an unequaled emotional and tonal range as an actor. She also has a shape-shifting physicality that made her entirely convincing both as the shuffling yenta Shelly Pfefferman in Transparent and as the lithe, aristocratic Hedda Gabler. But she only got to exercise those talents by saying "yes" to a lot of less intricate roles -- most famously the housewife-prostitute Karen Wolek on One Life to Live and Type-A divorcée Angela Bower on Who's the Boss. Her manager (a former Psychology professor) helped her arrive at that place of openness. After a few bad auditions, he sat her down and said, "You have an expectation that people should just be giving you stuff, and it's untenable. People feel it. You walk into a room and nobody wants to be around you." "And so," Light tells Alec, "when I walked into the audition for Who's the Boss, I was in a very different place." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-10-15
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Peter Bergman, King of the Soaps

Peter Bergman is the dean of soap opera actors. His portrayal of Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children from 1979 to 1989 overlapped precisely with the era when soap operas were America's great guilty pleasure. Liz Taylor made cameos alongside Bergman, mainstream publications covered Dr. Warner's many marriages, and the soaps sometimes rivaled prime time in total viewers. Madison Avenue noticed, and Bergman entered the pitchman pantheon with his cough syrup ad in 1986, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." Since 1989, the soaps have been less central to popular culture, but Bergman has played a much richer character than the debonair doctor: his last 30 years have been spent playing Jack Abbott on The Young and the Restless. Jack is the mercurial head of Jabot Cosmetics, trying to triumph in love and industry over his rival Victor Newman. Alec and Bergman bond over their shared past as high school athletes who found themselves attracted to the stage, and over the joys and difficulties of daytime television. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
2019-10-01
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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