acting

Bullseye: Felicity Huffman & Anthony Michael Hall

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Felicity Huffman
Guests: 
Anthony Michael Hall

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Photo: Jesse Thorn

Felicity Huffman talks American Crime, Motherhood, and William H. Macy

While actor Felicity huffman is probably best known for her tenure as Lynette Scavo in Desperate Housewives, she has played many beloved characters throughout her career as an actor. From Dana Whitaker in Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night to Bree in Transamerica, Huffman now is starring in American Crime, ABC’s Emmy nominated series.
Jesse sits down with Huffman to discuss her preparation for her varied roles in American Crime, her relationship with William H. Macey, and how motherhood has affected her acting career.
Huffman is nominated for an Emmy for her work on American Crime.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Anthony Michael Hall talks Teen Stardom, John Hughes, and Playing the Geek

Anthony Michael Hall is most known for the films that he made with John Hughes in the 80’s such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Since then, he has worked on many projects, ranging from science fiction series The Dead Zone to indies like his newest film Natural Selection.
Here, Hall and Jesse talk about his time working as a teen actor and the celebrity he acquired at a young age, his relationship with John Hughes, and his later in life career.
He can be seen in his new movie Natural Selection. More information can be found here http://www.naturalselectionthefilm.com/

The Outshot: Comedy Sketch

In this week's Outshot, Jesse talks about the function on "the game" in a comedy sketch, and how it works in one of his favorite sketches.

Bullseye: Sarah Paulson & Shuggie Otis

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Sarah Paulson
Guests: 
Shuggie Otis

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sarah Paulson on playing Marcia Clark, being a working actor, and kissing Josh Hartnett

Actress Sarah Paulson is best known for playing numerous characters on American Horror Story and Marcia Clark on The People v. O.J., but her acting career started long before either of those roles. She began working as an actor right out of high school and eventually landed roles in movies and TV shows like Law and Order, Serenity, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Sarah sits down with Jesse to talk about working on The People v. O.J., her first big acting job, and dealing with the ups and downs that come with being a working actor.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Shuggie Otis on creating Inspiration Information

Although it was not popular at the time of its release, Shuggie Otis’ album Inspiration Information influenced countless musicians and has been sampled by artists like Digable Planets and J Dilla. Shuggie tells us what went behind the making of his rock/soul classic.

The Outshot: Craic

Jesse explains why Paul and Gary O’Donovan’s craic interview is one of the best things to come out of Rio Olympics

Judge John Hodgman Episode 270: The Night to Remain Silent

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Ian files suit against his girlfriend, N’Jameh, over her habit of memorizing her lines at bedtime. N'Jameh has found in her acting experience, memorizing her lines as she falls asleep is the best way for her to remember. Ian, however, finds it too hard to sleep when she does this and wishes for the bedroom to be a work-free zone. Who's right? Who's wrong?

EVIDENCE

SUBMITTED BY IAN

Click here to check out the blueprint of Ian and N'Jameh's apartment in New York City!

SUBMITTED BY N'JAMEH

Click here to check out N'Jameh's website!

Thank you to Stephen Lipenta for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

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You can still buy tickets for the Judge John Hodgman: Live Justice tour! Check out the right side of this page or JohnHodgman.com/Tour for links and more information!

SUBSCRIBE TO THIS PODCAST in ITUNES or the RSS FEED

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Nick Hornby & Luis Guzmán

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Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Nick Hornby on 'Funny Girl', Creativity and Ambition

Nick Hornby became famous as a literary writer for men. His first three books were about guys, fans specifically, Fever Pitch was a memoir about Hornby’s love of soccer; High Fidelity was about a record store owner, struggling with love. About A Boy was about a sort of boyish man tending to a mannish boy.

Hornby has since written several other books and screenplays, including Oscar nominees An Education and Brooklyn.

His recent novel, Funny Girl, is about a working class young woman in the 1960s who leaves her small town in search of a career on television, and her success on a BBC sitcom.

Nick Hornby sat down with Jesse to talk about why he set his novel in the mid-60s (and why its protagonist is a woman), personal ambition and creativity, and what it's like to be a Hollywood dinner guest.

Funny Girl is available now in paperback.

The interview originally aired in March 2015.


Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Luis Guzmán on 'The Part'

Luis Guzmán is a veteran character actor. But back in the early 1990s, he was still working as a social worker on the Lower East Side, and acting was more of a side gig. Then he got a role that put him on the map -- the thuggish sidekick Pachanga in the 1993 movie Carlito's Way.

As Guzmán tells it, everything crystallized with that role.

You can currently see Luis Guzmán in the role of Jesse Sallander on the CBS hospital drama, Code Black. On the show, he plays the role of the trauma unit’s senior nurse, affectionately referred to as “Momma”.

The interview originally aired in March 2015.

The Outshot: Devil in a Blue Dress

Jesse explains why Easy Rawlins, of Devil in A Blue Dress, is a different breed of private detective.

Ross and Carrie Audit Scientology (Part 6): The Celebrity Center

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We can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning than to enjoy a nice brunch at the Scientology Celebrity Center. We can think of few worse ways than to attend a breaking-into-the-industry seminar that starts 40 minutes late and goes for two hours. Find out how Tom Hanks made it big, and learn how to maximize your confront!

Donate to support this investigation at http://maximumfun.org/donate

Be sure to check out our photos, by liking us on facebook!

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Pop Rocket 49: Spike Lee's Chi-Raq

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Wynter, Margaret, Guy & Oliver
Show: 
Pop Rocket
Guests: 
Guy Branum
Guests: 
Wynter Mitchell
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

The team sits down to share their thoughts on Spike Lee’s new movie Chi-Raq which uses the premise of women withholding sex from their men to stop a gang war. They also touch on their favorite Spike Lee films.

With Guy Branum MaximumFun.org(http://www.guybranum.com), Wynter Mitchell (http://wyntermitchell.com), Margaret Wappler (http://www.margaretwappler.com) and Oliver Wang (http://www.margaretwappler.com)

Favorite Jams

Wynter Mitchell Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem

Oliver Wang Oh Girl by The Chi-Lites

Margaret Wappler Mr. Telephone Man by Erykah Badu

Each week we'll add everyone's jams to this handy Spotify playlist.

You can let us know the media you consume when faced with difficult times in our Facebook or via @PopRocket on Twitter.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Jesse Eisenberg & Brian Regan

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jesse Eisenberg
Guests: 
Brian Regan
Guests: 
Sara Watkins

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with this RSS feed in your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo credit: Marzena Wasikowska

Jesse Eisenberg Opens Up about Writing, Acting and Insecurities

Actor, playwright and now author, Jesse Eisenberg wasn’t a fan of school. It wasn’t that he was bullied or picked on, but he describes himself as just "overlooked". It wasn’t until he began to perform in Off-Broadway theater productions that he began to understand his place in the world as an actor. It also provided a way to get out of school, which was an added bonus.

Eisenberg has been able to take his passion for acting into a number of film roles, including a neurotic college student in the horror-comedy Zombieland, a stoner who is unknowingly a government agent in American Ultra and his Oscar-nominated performance as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network.

He's written and starred in three Off-Broadway plays. And for the past few years, he's also been writing short fiction, which has appeared in the New Yorker and McSweeney's. He's collected that work, along with new stories, for a new book called Bream Gives Me Hiccups.

Eisenberg joins us to talk about wending his way through the social dynamics of his teenage years (both in high school and in the theater), the therapeutic power of acting, and why his fiction is often fraught with insecurities and anxiety.

Jesse Eisenberg’s book Bream Gives Me Hiccups is available now.


Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Blackbird Productions/Getty Images

Sara Watkins Finds the Ferocity in "The Song That Changed My Life"

For our recurring segment "The Song That Changed My Life", fiddle player and vocalist Sara Watkins of the Watkins Family Hour talks about discovering the tough and ferocious sound of Fleetwood Mac's "What Makes You Think You're the One".

The Watkins Family Hour's debut record is available now.


Photo: Scott Wintrow/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Brian Regan on Stand Up Comedy and the Process of Finding Out What's Funny

Brian Regan is a comedian’s comedian, admired for his dedication to the craft of stand up. And he's unusual in that he's successful and well-known by audiences for his stand up comedy, and hasn't been bolstered by roles in TV or film. Regan's jokes are well-honed, and he finds the funny in the mundane, whether it's microwave instructions on Pop Tarts or a simple request for a glass of water in a restaurant.

In the leadup to his live-to-air stand up comedy special, Regan joins us to talk about the importance of not having a fall-back plan, the autonomy he enjoys as a stand-up comedian and why his happiest moment as a comic happened in a little comedy club in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Brian Regan: Live From Radio City Music Hall airs live on Comedy Central on September 26.


Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

The Outshot: The Funky Disco Fusion of Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela shoots for the stars, and succeeds, with his funky disco fusion.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Chiwetel Ejiofor & Allison Jones

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Guests: 
Allison Jones

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with use the RSS feed in your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.


Photo: Tim Whitby/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

"You’re Always Striving For Something": Chiwetel Ejiofor on 'Z for Zachariah', His Heritage and Getting 'Mamet-ed'

Chiwetel Ejiofor possesses a charisma on the screen that makes his characters both large and small to demand your attention. Whether he’s playing Othello, a drag queen in Kinky Boots or a free man forced into slavery in 12 Years a Slave, Ejiofor not only inhabits his characters but expresses their humanity in a sincere and honest fashion.

In his new movie, Z for Zachariah, Ejiofor plays one of only a handful of survivors of the apocalypse. He finds his way to an untouched valley, and struggles to find his place in this new world.

Ejiofor joins us to talk the cultural constructs of our everyday lives (and how they apply in a post-apocalyptic world), his Nigerian heritage, why being Oscar-nominated doesn't feel like the end-all, be-all of acting and what happened when he got into the jiu jitsu ring(!) with legendary playwright and director David Mamet.

Z for Zachariah is in theaters and available on VOD now.

The Difference Between Who "Is" Funny and "Can Be" Funny: Allison Jones on Casting Comedy

If you're a comedy fan, chances are you love at least one of the following shows or films. Parks and Recreation? The Office? Freaks and Geeks? Arrested Development? Curb Your Enthusiasm? Almost any Judd Apatow movie? Bridesmaids?

There's a person behind the scenes who helped put some of your favorite comedy actors on camera, and her name is Allison Jones. She's the go-to casting director for Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, and helped shape the face of comedy TV and film as we know it. She even discovered the awkward high school kid who would become McLovin.

She specializes in finding the kind of actor who "is funny" rather than ones who "can be funny" -- she'll explain the difference and why it matters.
Jones joins us to talk about her most memorable auditions (going way back to Family Ties), the challenges in casting funny women, and her own formative comedy experiences.

The Outshot: Jimmy Witherspoon

Jesse explains what jump blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon can add to the discussion around race in America.

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Lynda Barry & Tom Arnold

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Lynda Barry
Guests: 
Tom Arnold
Guests: 
Brian Coleman

It's MaxFunDrive time! The production of Bullseye is funded by your donations. Become a monthly sustaining member now, and get cool thank you-gifts, plus unlock challenge funds from other donors and help us meet our goal of 4000 new and upgrading members by March 27th. Just visit www.maximumfun.org/donate!


Photo: Guillaume Paumier, CC-BY

Lynda Barry Inspires Us to Get Creative with Monsters

Lynda Barry is a self-identified "freak", a cartoonist, a writer, and for the last couple of years, she's also been a college professor teaching interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin.

What does that mean? Well, she encourages students to abandon their fears of creating and embrace their work and process.

Her most recent book, Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor collects her lesson plans and writing and drawing exercises.

Lynda talks with us about using monsters as a tool, why we're sometimes afraid to draw, and how elementary school aged kids can teach us a thing or two.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

Canonball: Brian Coleman Talks about Mantronix: The Album

Every so often we interview music journalists and experts, and ask them which records they think should be part of the pop music canon. It's Canonball.

This week, we're talking with the acclaimed rap journalist Brian Coleman, author of the series Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip Hop Junkies. He chose to talk to us about Mantronix.

In the mid-1980s, producer Kurtis Mantronik and MC Tee joined forces and created the hip hop group Mantronix.

Kurtis Mantronik rocked the TR-808 drum machine, and MC Tee moved the party along with his lyrics.

Together, they recorded Mantronix: The Album, and influenced the producers who followed them.

Brian Coleman's newest edition of "liner notes" is Check the Technique Volume 2.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.


Photo: Jesse Thorn

Tom Arnold Talks About Shaking Off the Bullies and Making His Own Way

Tom Arnold is a real show business survivor. In the mid 1990s he got famous -- both the kind you want to be, and the kind you don't want to be. His first big job in Hollywood was as a writer on Roseanne. He ended up married to her. He became a regular on the show and their relationship was tabloid fodder for five years. By the time they broke up in 1994, you couldn't make it through a late night monologue without a Tom Arnold joke.

But that was just the beginning of Tom Arnold's ride. A star making performance in a huge hit movie, True Lies, made him a star. Then a disastrous series of broad comedies made his career a punchline again.

But Arnold never stopped working, as a character actor, as a sports talk show host, as a stand up comic, and now in his 50s he's a dad for the first time and he's now been a star in Hollywood for thirty years. His new show is Yahoo's Sin City Saints. Arnold also continues to perform stand up across the country.

Tom talks with us about growing up in Iowa and fighting bullies, the difficulties of working in Las Vegas, his enduring respect for Roseanne, and the way he's found satisfaction with his work.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

The Outshot: MacGruber

Jesse heartily disagrees with A.O. Scott's review of the film version of MacGruber. In short: MacGruber exists, and the world is better for it.

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Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Nick Hornby & Luis Guzmán

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Nick Hornby
Guests: 
Luis Guzmán

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

And if you're looking for a particular segment to listen to or share, check us out on Soundcloud.


Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Nick Hornby on 'Funny Girl', Creativity and Ambition

Nick Hornby became famous as a literary writer for men. His first three books were about guys, fans specifically, Fever Pitch was a memoir about Hornby’s love of soccer; High Fidelity was about a record store owner, struggling with love. About A Boy was about a sort of boyish man tending to a mannish boy.

Hornby has since written several other books and screenplays, including Oscar nominee An Education.

His new novel, Funny Girl, is about a working class young woman in the 1960s who leaves her small town in search of a career on television, and her success on a BBC sitcom.

He sat down with Jesse to talk about why he set his novel in the mid-60s (and why its protagonist is a woman), personal ambition and creativity, and what it's like to be a Hollywood dinner guest.

Funny Girl is available now.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.


Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Luis Guzmán of Ana Maria in Novela Land on 'The Part'

Luis Guzmán is a veteran character actor. But back in the early 1990s, he was still working as a social worker on the Lower East Side, and acting was more of a side gig. Then he got a role that put him on the map -- the thuggish sidekick Pachanga in the 1993 movie Carlito's Way.

As Guzmán tells it, everything crystallized with that role.

You can see Luis Guzmán playing evil lawyer Licenciado Schmidt in the new movie Ana Maria in Novela Land, in theaters now.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this interview with someone.

The Outshot: Devil in a Blue Dress

Jesse explains why Easy Rawlins, of Devil in A Blue Dress, is a different breed of private detective.

If you liked this, let someone know! Click here to share this segment with someone.

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