Star of 12 Years a Slave and the new movie Z for Zachiarah, Chiwetel Ejiofor talks to Jesse about dealing with creative ambition and getting into a Jiu Jitsu ring with David Mamet. Later, casting director Allison Jones talks about finding talented new actors and pushing to get them on screen. Plus Jesse considers what jump blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon can add to the discussion around race in America. Show notes
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Louis Theroux is an author and television host. His new book, "The Call of the Weird: Travels in American Subcultures." He's been reporting on fringe groups and subcultures since he started in television, on the Michael Moore series TV Nation.
In the 1990s, he hosted the series "Weird Weekends," which ran in the United States on the Bravo network. More recently, he's hosted the UK-only series "When Louis Met...", a series of long-form documentaries which investigates some of the odder corners of celebrity culture. His work is often distinguished by a very strong sense of empathy towards his subjects, which has sometimes been interpreted as manipulation for the purpose of mockery, particularly given the generally light tone of his work.
In his new book, Louis rekindles some of the relationships he'd formed in his first television series, and investigates how his subjects have changed and how the nation has changed around them.
Louis himself is half American -- his father is the travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux.