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Skip Intro with Krista Smith is a weekly show bringing you dynamic conversations with the exceptional people behind your favorite shows, films, specials, and documentaries on Netflix.

Episode Date
Farewell to Season 4

Krista reflects on her favorite moments from the past 12 episodes and prepares to hit the road for the fall film festival season. 

Jul 27, 2022
Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling joins the show to talk about his new role in the Russo brother's epic action film, The Gray Man. Gosling plays Sierra Six, a tough-as-nails CIA asset who uncovers agency secrets, triggering a global manhunt to take him down.

A long-time action fan, Gosling explains how his childhood love of the genre inspired him to take on the highly ambitious project, describes the collaborative on-set environment the Russo's created, and shares how he prepared for the role. 

Gosling also details how working for his Uncle's Elvis impersonation act as a kid sparked his love of performing, reflects on his MC Hammer pants days, and contemplates his career path through independent film. He also opens up about the major influence his daughters have had on which roles he takes on and explains the importance of approaching each decision with team mentality.

Jul 23, 2022
And The Nominees Are...

The 2022 Emmy nominations are finally here! In celebration of today's announcement, Krista walks us through the talent and series we've featured on Skip Intro that are now in the running. 

Jul 13, 2022
Julia Garner

Julia Garner joins the show to talk about the conclusion of Ozark and her work on the Shondaland series, Inventing Anna. 

Garner details her visit with Anna Delvey at the Albion Correctional Facility, picks her favorite look from the series, and explains the challenges of filming Inventing Anna and the final season of Ozark simultaneously. 

Later on, Garner breaks down a few key scenes from the final season of Ozark, recounts the moment she learned the fate of her character Ruth Langmore, and takes a trip down memory lane to reminisce about her all-time favorite Ruth one-liners.

Jun 22, 2022
Natasha Lyonne

Four-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Natasha Lyonne joins the show to talk about the past, the present, and the highly-acclaimed second season of Russian Doll.


Natasha recounts the long road that led her and Amy Poehler to create the wonderfully off-kilter world of Nadia Vulvokov, shares what made her fall in love with directing, and describes the new challenges season 2 presents its protagonists from both a writing and acting perspective.


Natasha also reveals who she would choose to go on a time-travel adventure with, gives us a peek into her past life as a gymnast, and explains how her personal journey of breaking apart and coming together allowed her to form her own perspective and ambitions.

Jun 15, 2022
Ozark Finale with Bill Keith

Netflix Queue's resident Ozark expert Bill Keith joins Krista once again to discuss the series finale! The pair share their thoughts on  Laura Linney's directorial debut, break down a few shocking scenes, and deliberate over what an Ozark spinoff might look like. 


Jun 08, 2022
Margaret Qualley

Margaret Qualley joins the show to talk about her role in Maid, the Netflix limited series inspired by Stephanie Land's New York Times best-selling memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. Margaret plays Alex, a young mother struggling to overcome poverty and homelessness after escaping from an abusive relationship.


In this interview, Qualley shares what made her the most nervous going into the series, details what it was like to act alongside her mother Andie MacDowell for the first time, and explains how she won over her 4 year-old co-star Rylea Nevaeh Whittet (who plays her daughter Maddy in the show). 

Qualley also walks us through her career as a dancer, opens up about how she's dealt with the overwhelming urge to strive for perfection, and expresses her desire to be cast in a comedy. 

Jun 01, 2022
The Duffer Brothers

In anticipation of Stranger Things returning to Netflix, Matt and Ross Duffer join the show to provide insight into the series and give listeners a first look at season 4! 

The duo share their unique introduction to filmmaking (a fascination that began in kindergarten after seeing Tim Burton's Batman), get to the bottom of what makes their partnership so effective, and walk us through how the Stranger Things  universe has developed over the course of four seasons. 

They also discuss how casting Winona Ryder transformed the initial vision for her character Joyce Byers, explain why writing Maya Hawke's character Robin is incredibly fun, and anticipate shooting the Stranger Things  finale.

May 25, 2022
Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery joins the podcast to talk about her role as Kate Woodcroft in the six-part series Anatomy of a Scandal.


Dockery explains how she prepared to play a barrister, details getting to work with co-star Sienna Miller, and breaks down a few of her favorite scenes from the series.  


She also reflects on the surreal experience of gaining international fame as Downton Abbey's  Lady Maryshares details on her and Michael Fox's recently released album "The Watching Silence " and tells listeners what has been bringing her joy these days. 

May 18, 2022
Grace and Frankie

In celebration of the groundbreaking series Grace and Frankie coming to a close, we're bringing together two conversations with the incredible women behind its success -- stars Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin and creator Marta Kauffman. Fonda, Tomlin, and Kauffman reflect on their final day of shooting, Dolly Parton's guest appearance, what they've learned from each other over the past seven years, and the current state of the industry.


Fonda and Tomlin also discuss the longevity of their 1980's classic "9 to 5," recount Fonda's relentless pursuit of Tomlin and Parton during casting, and share details on their upcoming films: "Moving On" and "80 for Brady." 

May 11, 2022
Jason Bateman & Chris Mundy

Lead actor, director, and producer Jason Bateman and showrunner Chris Mundy join the podcast to discuss the grand finale of Ozark! There will be spoilers, so be sure to catch up on the final season before proceeding any further.


Bateman and Mundy detail the difficult writers' room conversations that lead to the fate of our favorite characters, provide their reasoning behind the finale's most surprising twists and turns, and break down a few standout scenes. The duo also reflects on their partnership over the years and expresses their desire to collaborate again in the future.


May 03, 2022
Inventing Anna with Derek Blasberg

Journalist, author, and influencer's influencer Derek Blasberg joins the show to chat with Krista about life, fashion, and the Shondaland series, Inventing Anna. 


Blasberg (who made his way into the NYC fashion and celebrity worlds around the time that the real-life Anna Delvey was busy conning the city’s elite), shares his close encounters with the savvy swindler, talks about the show's iconic locations, and discusses its presentation of elite culture.



Apr 27, 2022
Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller joins the show to talk about her performance as Sophie Whitehouse in the six-part series, Anatomy Of A Scandal. Miller discusses why she was drawn to the project, touches on working with co-star Michelle Dockery, and describes the effects of working with a script that triggered memories from her own past experiences.


Miller also reflects on what it was like to head off to boarding school at 8 years-old, speaks candidly about being hounded by the paparazzi as a young actress, and shares her hopes and ambitions for the future.



Apr 20, 2022
Introducing: Skip Intro

Krista gives some updates on the podcast and unveils the show's new title!

Apr 13, 2022
Welcome to Season 4

Krista introduces the new theme for season 4 of the show!

Feb 23, 2022
Season 3 in Review: Fear

Over the course of season 3, Krista discussed the subject of fear with each of her guests. In this episode, she reflects on that theme and shares the most impactful responses it elicited. 

Feb 16, 2022
Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence joins the show to talk about her performance in Don't Look Up, Adam McKay's new disaster comedy which has picked up four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.  


In this interview, Lawrence shares why she was so quick to jump on board the film, how Adam McKay tricked her into improving on set, and what it was like to work with Leonardo DiCaprio and Timothée Chalamet.


Lawrence also describes how preparing to bring her first child into the world has shaped her relationship with fear, discusses her hiatus from Hollywood, and gives a shout-out to her favorite TikTok account. 

Feb 09, 2022
The Last Movie Ever Made: Apocalypse Vow

Present Company is hosting the 6th and final episode of Don't Look Up writer/director Adam McKay's podcast, The Last Movie Ever Made! The series details what happened when a cast and crew came together to make a disaster comedy, while living through a series of very uncomedic disasters.


In this episode, Jennifer Lawrence worries about how to film her mid-pandemic make out scene with Timothée Chalamet, Leonardo DiCaprio helps choose the soundtrack to the end of the world, and Adam McKay discusses last suppers and last-chance questions.

Feb 04, 2022
Jesse Plemons

Jesse Plemons joins the show to talk about his performance as George Burbank in Jane Campion's much anticipated new film, The Power Of The Dog. Set in 1920's Montana, the film follows rancher Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his brother George. When George brings home his new wife Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Phil responds to the pair with mocking cruelty, until the unexpected happens.


In this interview, Plemons talks about what drew him to his character George, explains how he and Cumberbatch ended up waltzing together during rehearsal, and shares what it was like to work with his partner, Kirsten Dunst, on this film.


Plemons also reflects on his childhood growing up in a small town in Texas, explains how having children has changed his relationship with fear, and emphasizes the importance of being a life-long learner. 

Jan 26, 2022
Ozark Season 4: What You Need To Know

In anticipation of Ozark's return to Netflix, Krista checks in with Netflix Queue's resident Ozark expert, Bill Keith, who catches us up on everything we need to know before tuning into season 4 (part 1) this Friday.


Later on, Krista  takes a look back at her previous Ozark conversations with Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, and Tom Pelphrey.

Jan 19, 2022
Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch joins the show to talk about his performance as Phil Burbank in Jane Campion's much anticipated film, The Power Of The Dog. Set in 1920's Montana, the film follows rancher Phil and his brother George (Jesse Plemons). When George brings home his new wife Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Phil responds to the pair with mocking cruelty, until the unexpected happens. 

In this interview, Cumberbatch reflects on the personal significance and excitement of meeting Campion for the first time, explains his deep fascination with his character Phil, and describes the intense physical preparation he went through to bring him to life.

Cumberbatch also gives insight into Campion's directorial style, speaks frankly about the challenges of the two-month Covid lockdown that halted the film's production, and tells listeners why he's been feeling fearless lately.   

Jan 12, 2022
More Like This: Maggie Gyllenhaal & Olivia Wilde

Welcome to the the 3rd and final episode of the Present Company mini-series,More Like This. Today, we're at the London Hotel in Los Angeles, where we'll hear from Maggie Gyllenhaal on her feature directorial debut, The Lost Daughter. This conversation will be led by actress and filmmaker Olivia Wilde, who made her own directorial debut back in 2019 with the beloved coming-of-age comedy, Booksmart.


Jan 03, 2022
More Like This: Lin-Manuel Miranda & Rob Marshall

Welcome to the 2nd episode of the Present Company mini-series, More Like This. Today, we’re at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City, about to hear from Lin-Manuel Miranda on his directorial debut, Tick, Tick...Boom. This conversation will be led by film and theater director, producer, and choreographer Rob Marshall, who has captured our hearts over the years with films such as Annie, Chicago, and Memories of a Geisha.


Jan 03, 2022
More Like This: Jane Campion & Kimberly Peirce

Welcome to the 1st episode of the Present Company mini-series, More Like This. Today, we're at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, about to hear from writer & director Jane Campion on how her breathtaking film, The Power of The Dog, came to life. This conversation will be led by filmmaker Kimberly Peirce, who made waves in 1999 with her groundbreaking debut feature film, Boys Don't Cry.


Jan 03, 2022
The Lost Daughter

Over the past few months, Krista sat down separately with Maggie Gyllenhaal and a few of the actors behind her feature directorial debut, The Lost Daughter. Today, she takes a deep dive into those conversations, to bring together the perspectives and experiences of the people who brought this film to life.


Dec 31, 2021
Introducing: More Like This

Krista gives a sneak peak of More Like This - a mini series that will be coming to Present Company January 3rd. These episodes will bring you exclusive conversations with the directors of three of Netflix’s biggest films of 2021 -- The Power of The Dog, Tick, Tick...Boom, and The Lost Daughter.

Dec 29, 2021
2021 Year In Review

In this episode, Krista takes a look back at some of her favorite Present Company moments of 2021.

Dec 22, 2021
Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the show to talk about her feature directorial debut, The Lost Daughter. Adapted from pseudonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante's book by the same name, The Lost Daughter follows Leda (Olivia Colman), a college professor vacationing in Greece who becomes obsessed with a young mother and daughter that she encounters at the beach. Over the course of Leda's trip, her proximity to the duo prompts memories from her own early days of motherhood, forcing Leda to confront her past.


In this interview, Gyllenhaal explains why she was originally drawn to the story, what it was like to contact Ferrante, and how she brought Olivia Colman onto the project.


Gyllenhaal also shares what it was like to direct her husband Peter Sarsgaard, explains the importance of creating a loving, supportive on-set environment, and reflects on why opening herself up to the idea of directing took so many years. 

Dec 17, 2021
Adam McKay

Adam McKay joins the show to talk about his new disaster comedy, Don't Look Up. The film boasts a massive star-studded cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Rob Morgan, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, and Ariana Grande.


In this interview, McKay shares the unlikely initial source of inspiration for the project, details how he assembled his knockout cast, and discusses the essential role that improv played on set.


McKay also describes how he got his start in comedy, reflects on the current state of the world, and gives an update on his daughter Pearl, who gained international fame at 2 years old after she starred in his and Will Ferrell's classic Funny or Die sketch, "The Landlord."

Dec 15, 2021
The Power Of The Dog

Over the past few months, Krista sat down separately with the cast of Jane Campion’s new film, The Power of the Dog. Today, she takes a deep dive into those conversations to bring together the perspectives and experiences of the actors behind this incredible project.

Dec 10, 2021
Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman joins the show to talk about her performance in Maggie Gyllenhaal's feature directorial debut, The Lost Daughter. Adapted from Elena Ferrante's novel by the same name,The Lost Daughter follows Leda (Olivia Colman), a college professor vacationing in Greece who becomes obsessed with a young mother and daughter who she encounters at the beach. Over the course of Leda's trip, her proximity to the duo prompts memories from her own early days of motherhood, forcing Leda to confront her past. 


In this interview, Colman explains why she was immediately drawn to the script, what it was like to be directed by Gyllenhaal, and how she collaborated with co-stars Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, and Jessie Buckley. 


Colman also reflects on her humble journey from British theatre and TV comedy to international stardom, offers advice to young actors on how to stay grounded and grateful, and opens up about the anxiety caused by her dwindling anonymity.  

Dec 08, 2021
Kodi Smit-McPhee

Kodi Smit-McPhee joins the show to talk about his performance as Peter Gordon in Jane Campion's much anticipated film, The Power Of The Dog. Set in 1920's Montana, the film follows rancher Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his brother George (Jesse Plemons). When George brings home his new wife Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and her son Peter, Phil responds to the pair with mocking cruelty, until the unexpected happens. 


In this interview, Smit-McPhee describes his journey from the Australian movie scene to Hollywood, recounts his audition forThe Power Of The Dog, and details some of the unconventional acting techniques he and Campion utilized to bring Peter to life.


Smit-McPhee also explains what it was like to work closely with his co-stars, touches on his love of philosophy, and opens up about some of the challenges he's had to navigate alongside his developing career.

Dec 03, 2021
Halle Berry

Halle Berry joins the show to talk about her directorial debut, Bruised. The film follows Jackie Justice (Halle Berry), a disgraced MMA fighter who returns to the cage to seek redemption after the son she had given up as a baby suddenly re-enters her life.


In this interview, Berry describes her immediate fascination with the script, her journey to the director's chair, and how she re-worked the story (which originally followed a  20-something Irish Catholic white woman) to center on a middle-aged Black mother.


Berry also describes the intense physical training she went through to prepare for the role, touches on the challenges of straddling her many responsibilities on set, and reflects on how she has learned to manage fear in both her personal life and over the course of her career.


Nov 24, 2021
Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson joins the show to talk about his new action comedy, Red Notice. The film follows John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson), an FBI agent determined to bring down the two most wanted art thieves in the world (Ryan Reynolds & Gal Gadot).


In this interview, Johnson talks about how the project got off the ground, what it was like filming with his long-time friend Ryan Reynolds, and the story behind his production company Seven Bucks Productions. 


Johnson also speaks openly about the fear and vulnerability he faced when transitioning from the world of WWE to Hollywood, describes how he finds peace in his daily routine, and offers a word of advice on how to cut through the chaos and focus on your goals. 

Nov 11, 2021
Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield sits down to discuss his latest film tick, tick…BOOM!, in which he plays Jonathan Larson, the American playwright and composer who gave the world the musical phenomenon Rent. The film marks the feature directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, and it’s also the first time audiences will see Garfield singing and dancing as he steps into the world of musical theater.


The Academy Award nominee and Tony winner shares his intense preparation for the role, the urgency that lies at the heart of the story, and the importance of activist artists. He also reflects on the unique pressures faced by young actors today, the lessons he’s learned from directors like Mike Nichols and Martin Scorsese, and the gift in embracing challenges that at first feel impossible.

Nov 05, 2021
Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall joins the show to talk about her feature directorial debut, Passing. The film follows two Black women (Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga) who can “pass” as white but have chosen to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1920's New York City. As their lives become increasingly intertwined, both must contend with new threats to their carefully constructed realities.


In this interview, Hall takes us back 13 years to when she first came across Nella Larson's 1929 novel, discusses how uncovering of her own family history forced her to grapple with the subject matter, and explains how she worked with Thompson and Negga to bring the two beautifully complex lead characters to life.


Hall also speaks candidly about the challenges of getting the film off the ground, touches on the importance of shooting the film in black and white, and shares details about her experiences as a first time filmmaker.

Oct 29, 2021
Regina King

Regina King joins the show to talk about her performance as Trudy Smith in the epic Western, The Harder They Fall. The film follows Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), a young outlaw dead set on seeking revenge against his lifelong enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) and his infamous companions Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield). When Nat discovers Rufus has been released from prison, he rounds up an unlikely team to take down Rufus and his gang once and for all. 


In this interview, King shares how her initial skepticism of the project turned into intrigue, gives insight into her on-set dynamic with Elba and Stanfield, and describes the energetic environment director Jeymes Samuel was able to create on set despite the challenges of shooting mid-pandemic.


King also reflects on motherhood, how love overpowers fear in her life, and speaks to the power of patience. 


Oct 22, 2021
Jeymes Samuel

Jeymes Samuel joins the show to talk about his feature directorial debut, The Harder They Fall. The film follows Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), a young outlaw dead set on seeking revenge against his lifelong enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba). When Nat discovers Rufus has been released from prison, he rounds up an unlikely team to take down Rufus and his infamous gang once and for all. 


In this interview, Samuel talks about his lifelong fascination with the Western genre, the importance of deconstructing and revitalizing it through a modern lens, and how he used his own original music to carefully shape the characters and story we see on screen.


Samuel also shares his singing talents, touches on working with producer Jay-Z, and talks candidly about his fear of the dark.

Oct 15, 2021
Dakota Johnson

Welcome back to another episode of Present Company On The Road! In this interview, Krista sits down with Dakota Johnson at the Telluride Film Festival to talk about her performance in Maggie Gyllenhaal's feature directorial debut, The Lost Daughter.


Adapted from Elena Ferrante's novel by the same name, The Lost Daughter follows Leda (Olivia Colman), a college professor vacationing in Greece who becomes obsessed with a young mother named Nina (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter. Over the course of Leda's trip, her proximity to the duo prompts memories from her own early days of motherhood, forcing Leda to confront her past. 


In this interview, Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Our Friend) discusses why she was drawn to the role, her experience working with first-time director Maggie Gyllenhaal,  and the isolating effects of shooting during COVID-19. 


Johnson also shares the motivation behind her production company TeaTime Pictures and hints at her own future directorial ambitions. 

Oct 08, 2021
Kirsten Dunst

Welcome to the first episode of Present Company On The Road -- a brand new segment bringing you to some of the biggest film events in the country. In this episode, Krista sits down with Kirsten Dunst at the Telluride Film Festival. 


It's been nearly three decades since Kirsten Dunst first made a name for herself in Hollywood. She started modeling and appearing in commercials at just three years old -- a full eight years before her breakout role alongside Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire. Since then, she's brought us unforgettable performances in projects such as The Virgin Suicides, Melancholia, and Fargo. 


Now, Dunst has delivered yet another phenomenal performance as Rose in Jane Campion's new feature adaptation, The Power of the Dog. In this interview, she discusses what it was like to once again share the screen with her partner Jesse Plemons, how she prepares for a role, and how her long history of working with female directors impacted her as an artist. Dunst also touches on the fears she grapples with as a parent and imparts some wisdom onto the next generation of actors.

Oct 01, 2021
Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal joins the show to talk about his latest film, The Guilty, in which he plays Joe Baylor, a 911 operator struggling to save one of his distressed callers. Gyllenhaal, who is also a producer on the film, discusses why he wanted to transpose the original Danish film into an American context, the importance of centering the film around systemic issues, and the challenges of shooting during COVID-19.


Gyllenhaal also discusses the delicious culinary creations he's been whipping up during quarantine and touches on how he navigates his own fears in an artistic space. 


Sep 24, 2021
Welcome to Season 3!

In this special mini episode of Present Company, Krista reflects on her recent trip to the Telluride Film Festival and gives listeners a sneak peak into this season's fantastic guest lineup.

Sep 17, 2021
Omar Sy

Omar Sy joins Present Company to discuss his hit series “Lupin.” The worldwide success of the show is the the second time in Sy’s career that he has starred in an entertainment phenomenon, the first being the French film “The Intouchables.” That film remains Frances’ biggest global hit, and Sy won the French equivalent of an Oscar, the César Award, for his performance.


In this interview, Sy discusses why Lupin is such a captivating figure for his character to emulate, how the series illuminates issues of race and class, and what it feels like to fly the French flag with the success of the series. He also discusses his childhood in France, what it was like growing up as the middle child of eight, and why he decided to move to Los Angeles. Plus, he shares the surprising role the Kardashians played in helping him learn English.

Aug 27, 2021
Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor joins the show to discuss his tour de force performance in “Halston,” the limited series in which he plays the take-no-prisoners designer who took New York by storm. He shares what first drew him to the role, how he prepared to capture the man and his craft, why he wanted to meet Liza Minnelli before playing Halston, and the scenes he found most challenging to play.

McGregor also reflects on the arc of his career to date, the dynamic and distinct career choices he’s made along the way, and the fears he still faces when he tackles a new role.

Aug 20, 2021
Joey King

Joey King joins the show to discuss the third and final instalment of her global franchise hit “The Kissing Booth.” She reflects back on how the journey began, what it was like when the first film became a phenomenon, and how the trilogy has changed her life.

King also talks about her trajectory from being a child actor to being nominated for an Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe for her extraordinary performance opposite Patricia Arquette in “The Act,” and her work as a producer. She also shares the pressures of social media, how she handles fear and self-doubt, and her advice for young creatives who might be struggling.

Aug 11, 2021
Michael Douglas

Across the years, Michael Douglas’ films have captured the spirit of the times and audiences’ imaginations, from “Wall Street” and “Fatal Attraction,” to “Falling Down” and “The Game.” He is an Academy Award-winning actor and producer, an Emmy winner, and the recipient of multiple Golden Globes. In this episode, he discusses the third and final season of “The Kominsky Method;" his onscreen chemistry with Kathleen Turner, his co-star across the decades; and why he had no trepidation in taking on a show that has been fearless, heartfelt, and hilarious in tackling the realities of aging.

May 28, 2021
Josh O'Connor

Across two seasons of “The Crown,” Josh O’Connor has delivered a critically acclaimed and award-winning performance as Prince Charles. In this interview, the young Brit discusses his nuanced and complex portrayal of the future King, and he shares his initial reservations about taking on the role. He talks about the care he took to avoid mimicry; his rapport with co-star Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana; and how he thought about the distinct shift in the way the audience relates to Charles between the two seasons.

O’Connor also reflects on the course of his career to date, including his drama school years, his breakout role in “God’s Own Country,” and his latest projects, which include “Romeo and Juliet.” And he shares why supporting the mental health charity Mind is so important to him.


May 21, 2021
Jessie Mei Li

British breakout Jessie Mei Li joins Present Company to discuss “Shadow and Bone,” the phenomenon based on Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling fantasy series, in which the 25 year-old stars as Alina Starkov, an orphan mapmaker with an extraordinary power.


Jessie discusses how the show first came to her, how her personal experiences helped her relate to the character, and her onscreen chemistry with co-star Archie Renaux. She also talks about how her acting instincts have helped her navigate challenging moments in her life, and how her parents are handling the show’s success.

May 10, 2021
Kelvin Harrison Jr.

At 26 years-old, Kelvin Harrison Jr. has already delivered a series of critically lauded, commanding performances, in films like “Luce,” for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, “Waves, and “The Trial of the Chicago Seven.”

In this episode, he discusses “Monster,” a film based on the acclaimed book by Walter Dean Myers, and directed by Anthony Mandler, the celebrated music video director who has worked with stars like Rihanna and Beyonce. Harrison Jr. plays Steve Harmon, a seventeen-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down when he is charged with felony murder.

Harrison Jr. talks about how the film first came to him, how he connected to his character, and he shares his experiences working with the cast that includes Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, John David Washington, A$AP Rocky, and Nas. He also shares his advice for young actors trying to make their own way.

May 07, 2021
Melissa McCarthy & Octavia Spencer

In this episode, Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer sit down to discuss their new action comedy “Thunder Force,” in which the duo suit up as superheroes. Written and directed by Ben Falcone, who also happens to be McCarthy’s husband as well as her fellow producer on the project, the cast includes Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, Pom Klementieff, and the brilliant newcomer Taylor Mosby.

At the center of the film, is a heartfelt story about two women and the kind of friendship that lasts a lifetime, a theme with special resonance for McCarthy and Spencer who have been friends for more than two decades. They talk about the history of that friendship, the joys of working together, how it felt to put on those suits for the first time, the best part of being a superhero (and the more disgusting challenges), and they share their advice for the next generation of Hollywood hopefuls.

Apr 09, 2021
Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner joins the show to discuss “Yes Day,” the hit family comedy based on the book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, directed by Miguel Arteta, and co-starring Edgar Ramirez. Garner, who is also a producer on the movie, talks about the Yes Days she does with her own children, why she wanted to beckon loveliness into her life, and her terror at shooting the rollercoaster scene.

She also reflects on the remarkable arc of her career, which has seen her find success across almost every genre, from “Alias” and “Daredevil” to “13 Going on 30” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” And she talks about her passion for causes and projects far beyond Hollywood, including Save the Children and her organic food company Once Upon a Farm.

Apr 02, 2021
Eve Hewson

Eve Hewson joins host Krista Smith to discuss “Behind Her Eyes,” the mind-bending limited series created by Steve Lightfoot and based on the novel by Sarah Pinborough, which has transfixed and shocked its legion of fans. Hewson discusses how she came to the role, what she found most challenging, and she shares her own experience with astral projection.

The actress, whose star has steadily risen thanks to performances in such shows as “The Knick” and “The Luminaries,” also discusses her career path to date, why formal acting training was so important to her, and she shares what she’s learned from working with Hollywood greats like Steven Soderbergh and Steven Spielberg.

Mar 19, 2021
Viola Davis

Over the course of her 33 year career, Viola Davis’ body of work has been celebrated from stage to screen, making her an Oscar winner, a Tony winner, and an Emmy winner, to name just a few of her accolades. She also runs JuVee Productions alongside husband Julius Tennon, and she’s a philanthropist and a leader in the Hollywood community.

In this interview, Davis discusses her latest acclaimed performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” based on the play by August Wilson and directed by George C. Wolfe. She talks about the fears she faced in embracing the role, how she prepared to play Ma, and her experience working with Chadwick Boseman. She also reflects on the arc of her career, the significance of playing Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away with Murder,” how her definition of success has evolved over time, and she shares her advice for the next generation pursuing a life in the arts.

Mar 04, 2021
Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Priyanka Chopra Jonas joins the show from London to discuss her latest feature film “The White Tiger," written and directed by Ramin Bahrani and based on the New York Times bestseller and 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning novel. In addition to starring in the film, Chopra Jonas serves as an Executive Producer.

Having established herself as a hugely successful and acclaimed star in the Indian film industry, Chopra Jonas turned her sights to Hollywood and became the first Indian-born actor ever to lead an American network TV series, starring in the ABC dramatic series "Quantico."

In this interview, she talks about that extraordinary career arc, and she explains why she was so passionate about being involved with “The White Tiger,” and how the film aligned with her mission as a producer. She also talks about the confidence instilled in her by her upbringing, her long-time commitment to philanthropic endeavors, and the support and partnership of husband Nick Jonas.

Jan 22, 2021
Emma Corrin

Emma Corrin’s acting career had only just begun when she landed the role of Princess Diana in The Crown, and prepared to play one of the most iconic and scrutinized women of the modern age. The young British breakout more than met the challenge, capturing Diana’s innate vulnerability and quiet strength, mastering her posture and mannerisms, and even the lilt of her voice.

In this interview, Corrin discusses her nail-biting audition process, her intensive research and preparation, and her favorite and most challenging scenes. She’ll also share her advice for actors starting out, including how important it is to move beyond the fear of rejection and to keep your faith and determination.


Jan 15, 2021
Gary Oldman

Academy Award winner Gary Oldman joins the show to discuss his extraordinary performance in David Fincher’s new film “Mank,” which was written by the auteur’s late father Jack Fincher. Oldman plays Herman J. Mankiewicz, otherwise known as Mank, the celebrated screenwriter who worked on everything from “The Wizard of Oz” to Marx Brothers comedies and co-wrote “Citizen Kane” with Orson Welles.

In this interview, Oldman shares his initial reaction to the project, why he was daunted by Fincher’s directive not to transform physically for the role, and how his own experience with alcoholism informed his performance. He also discusses his deep admiration for Fincher’s approach to the work. And he shares his advice for young actors coming up in the profession today.

Jan 13, 2021
Vanessa Kirby

Vanessa Kirby joins the show to discuss her haunting portrayal of a young mother who experiences an unfathomable loss in “Pieces of a Woman,” directed by Kornél Mundruczó and written by Kata Wéber. The role marks Kirby’s first lead in a feature film, and her performance was awarded the Best Actress Volpi Cup at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Kirby began her career in the theater, later made her television debut in “The Hours,” delivered scene-stealing work in the action franchises “Mission Impossible” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” and her critically acclaimed performance as Princess Margaret in “The Crown” made her a BAFTA winner and Emmy nominee.


In this interview, she shares the intensive research she undertook to prepare for “Pieces of a Woman,” what she was focused on getting right in her performance, and her experience shooting the film’s astonishing 23 minute opening sequence that was shot in one take. She also reflects on the beginning of her career, the kind of characters she’s been drawn to, and she shares her advice for young actors.

Jan 06, 2021
George Clooney

George Clooney joins the show to discuss his latest film “The Midnight Sky,” based on the novel “Good Morning, Midnight” by Lily Brooks-Dalton, and produced by Clooney’s longtime collaborator Grant Heslov. The film tells the story of the aftermath of a global catastrophe and a lone scientist in the arctic racing to contact a crew of astronauts and warn them not to return to earth. Clooney directs and produces as well as stars alongside Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler, and newcomer Caoilinn Springall.

The Academy Award winner also reflects on the arc of his career, including the moment that "ER" made him a household name, the films that made him want to direct, and how becoming a family man has impacted his choices. He also shares his advice for young creatives coming

Dec 22, 2020
Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin, one of Hollywood's most celebrated storytellers, and the writer and director of this year's "The Trial of the Chicago 7,” joins the show to reflect on the journey of his career. He discusses his singular talent for dialogue, what draws him to a story, his affinity for a courtroom scene, and why he still feels vulnerable despite all of his success. He also talks about the influence of legendary screenwriter William Goldman, as well as the debates around his family’s dinner table, and his passion for teaching. And he explains why he thinks of “A Few Good Men” the same way he thinks about his high school yearbook picture. 

Dec 18, 2020
Lily Collins

Lily Collins joins the show to discuss her performance in David Fincher's new film, “Mank,” in which she plays Rita Alexander, secretary to the legendary screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (played by Gary Oldman) as he writes the script for “Citizen Kane.” She talks about the intense audition process, her experience on set, and her love for old Hollywood movies. 

Collins also talks about the phenomenon that is her new show “Emily in Paris,” and how she flew back and forth from Paris to shoot “Mank” in tandem. She reflects back on the beginnings of her career path, from being a student majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California, to being cast in “The Blind Side," to writing a bestselling book and opening up about her personal struggles. She also shares how 2020 has been a pivotal year for her (she recently got engaged), and the advice she would go back and give her young self.

Dec 11, 2020
Amanda Seyfried

Throughout her career, Amanda Seyfried’s range has been center stage, from her roles in "Mean Girls” to “Lovelace” and “Les Miserables.” And in her latest film “Mank,” directed by David Fincher, she scales new heights, delivering a revelatory performance as actress Marion Davies, the long-term lover of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst.

In this interview, Seyfried discusses her research for the role, what she wanted to make sure she captured about Marion, and why she particularly relished a pivotal scene where Marion’s emotions play out entirely on her face. She also shares why working with Fincher is such a singular experience and how it’s made her think differently about her own approach to the work.

Dec 04, 2020
Amy Adams

Six-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams joins the show to discuss her latest film “Hillbilly Elegy,” based on the bestselling memoir by J.D. Vance, and directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard. It’s the story of three generations of an Appalachian family struggling with volatile relationships, poverty, and drug addiction; and Adams delivers a powerhouse performance as J.D.’s mother Beverly.

In this interview, Adams talks about why she was drawn to this story, her preparation for the role, what it was like collaborating with the cast (including Glenn Close who plays the family’s formidable matriarch), and the responsibility she felt playing a real person. She also reflects on the arc of her career, receiving her first Oscar nomination, and maintaining a private life beyond the spotlight.

Nov 25, 2020
Michelle Buteau

Actress, comedian, author, and podcaster Michelle Buteau joins the show to discuss her uproarious new Netflix special: “Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia.” The mom of twins has been on a non-stop run of projects lately, hosting and narrating the reality show phenomenon “The Circle,” appearing in films like “Always Be My Maybe” and on shows like “First Wives Club” and “Tales of the City.” "Survival of the Thickest," her debut book of essays, will be published this December. 

In this interview, Buteau takes us back to the very beginning of her comedy career and talks about the headwinds she’s faced along the way. She reveals when she feels most vulnerable on stage, how her parents felt about her pursuing her passion, and some of the unsolicited advice she’s received from her audiences. Buteau also shares her advice for young comedians starting out, and what she’s learned by observing the extraordinary group of women she’s worked with in her career to date.

Sep 30, 2020
Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown sat down with Present Company to discuss her latest Netflix project, “Enola Holmes,” in which she plays the intrepid teenage sister of Sherlock Holmes. Brown not only stars in the film but also produces, making her one of the youngest Hollywood actors to have a producing credit on a feature film.

In this interview, Brown talks about why she was so passionate about playing Enola, what she found most rewarding about producing, and why she loves working on projects that have a broader message. She also discusses her work with UNICEF and shares her advice for young people who are pursuing their own path.

Sep 23, 2020
Sarah Paulson

Emmy-winning actress Sarah Paulson joins the show to discuss her riveting new drama series “Ratched,” created by Ryan Murphy, her long-time champion, and Ian Brennan. As the show’s lead, Paulson steps into the shoes of one of the most notorious female villains of the modern age: Nurse Ratched of the novel and then the film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

In this interview, Paulson talks about the trepidation she had in taking on such an iconic role, and she discusses the evolution of her relationship with Ryan Murphy. She reflects on the journey of the career, from her early struggles when she first moved to Los Angeles, to taking on the life-changing role of Marcia Clark in “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” and stepping up as an Executive Producer on “Ratched.” She also shares her advice for young actors, and talks about her legendary fashion game.

Sep 18, 2020
The Breakout: Tom Pelphrey

Tom Pelphrey joins the show to talk about his much-discussed performance as Ben, brother to Laura Linney’s Wendy Byrde, on season three of “Ozark.” Pelphrey devoted himself to the task of playing a man living with bipolar disorder, working to ensure the condition was portrayed with both accuracy and thoughtfulness. 

Born and raised in New Jersey, the Rutgers graduate got his break on the soap opera “Guiding Light,” for which he won two Daytime Emmys, and since then he has worked across film, theater and television. But 2020 is proving a remarkable year, not only on account of the acclaim he’s received for “Ozark,” but also because this fall he’ll be seen in director David Fincher’s “Mank,” which stars Gary Oldman. 

In this interview, Pelphey talks about the “invisible magic” of the Ozark set and what it was like being the new kid joining the show. He also shares what he learned working in soap operas, his experience working with David Fincher, and his profound advice for young actors.

Jul 31, 2020
Charlize Theron

As an Academy-Award winning actress, producer of critically acclaimed film and television, long-time activist, and single mom, Charlize Theron has helped reinvent what the model of success can look like for women in Hollywood. And with her relentless work ethic, eye for challenging material, and willingness to commit to radical physical transformations, she’s created a remarkable gallery of performances, from “Monster” to “Tully,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” to “Bombshell.”

In this interview, Theron discusses her new Netflix film “The Old Guard,” directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, and she reflects on some of the choices that have defined her career. She talks about why she relishes the work of being a producer, how fear has been a powerful driving force, why she feels an element of surprise in her films is key, and the importance of never giving up too easily.


Jul 10, 2020
Lenox Hill's Amanda Little-Richardson

The documentary series “Lenox Hill,” directed by Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash, has captivated viewers with its intimate portrait of four doctors dealing with a host of complex personal and professional issues inside a New York City hospital.

One of those doctors, Amanda Little-Richardson, a Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the time of filming, joins the show to reflect on the impact the series has had on viewers. She discusses the importance of diversity in medicine, the challenges she's faced as a woman of color pursuing a medical career, and how the support of her parents and her husband Kevin has been invaluable. She also updates listeners on her new life in California and her 16 month-old daughter, Ava Rose.


Jul 03, 2020
Shira Haas

Shira Haas joins the show to discuss her astonishing performance in “Unorthodox,” the Netflix original limited series about a young woman from the Hasidic community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who breaks out of her arranged marriage and travels to Berlin to find herself. Directed by Maria Schrader, created by Anna Winger and Alexa Karolinski, and inspired by Deborah Feldman's bestseller of the same name, “Unorthodox” has captured the imagination of viewers around the world.


At 25 years old, Haas is a well-established actress back home in Israel, where she landed her first lead film role at just 16. In the course of her young career, she has already received four nominations for the Israeli Academy Awards, winning Best Supporting Actress for the film “Noble Savage.” Her work in international film began with her performance in Natalie Portman’s directorial debut “A Tale of Love and Darkness” and “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” directed by Niki Caro.


In this interview, Haas talks about how she got her start, how she approaches her work, and her preparation for “Unorthodox,” which included learning Yiddish. She also talks about how she’s navigated the ups and downs of the acting life, how she decompresses between roles, and why she particularly loves the challenge of conveying emotion in scenes with less dialogue.

Jun 19, 2020
Laura Linney

Over the course of three decades, Laura Linney’s body of work has spanned the worlds of theater, film, and television, resulting in a long list of accolades, including Tony, Oscar, and Emmy nominations, as well four Emmy wins. Her vast range of choices means fans might cite any number of projects when they approach her — some are Broadway aficionados who loved her performance in “The Little Foxes” or “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” others cite “You Can Count on Me” or “The Savages,” or they might reference series like “John Adams” or “The Big C.” And then there are the legions of “Ozark” fans.  

In this episode, Linney discusses the latest season of “Ozark,” and the evolution of her character Wendy from soccer mom to “Wolf Bitch.” She also reflects on the arc of her career, the choices that have served her well, and the spirit that she brings to her work. And she discusses growing up in New York, working with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as the enduring charm of “Love Actually.”

This interview was recorded on Thursday, May 7

Jun 12, 2020
Lisa Kudrow

In the decade that “Friends” was on the air, from 1994-2004, Lisa Kudrow experienced the heights of fame and success that come with starring in a smash-hit show with legions of fans worldwide. But Kudrow’s boundless curiosity and creative instincts have led her far beyond the world of the show, to writing and producing, and starring in independent films. In the course of her career, she has created a gallery of complex, original, captivating women, from Phoebe Buffay in “Friends” to Valerie Cherish in “The Comeback,” Fiona Wallice in “Web Therapy,” and Lucia DeLury in “The Opposite of Sex.”

Kudrow joins the show to discuss “Space Force,” the new Netflix comedy series co-created by Steve Carell (who also stars) and Greg Daniels, about a four-star general being tapped to form a sixth branch of the US Armed Forces. Kudrow also discusses what it was like to be an actress in the nineties, why she’s never precious about her writing, handling setbacks, and her relationship to success. 

Jun 05, 2020
Kumail Nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani joins the show fresh off the success of his new hit movie “The Lovebirds,” the romantic comedy in which he stars opposite Issa Rae.

It’s been a remarkable decade for the actor, comedian, screenwriter and podcaster. He’s appeared on some of the most beloved cult comedy shows in recent memory, from “Portlandia” to “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Community” and “Key & Peele,” and he starred in the hit show “Silicon Valley.” He became an Oscar nominee, alongside his wife Emily V. Gordon, for “The Big Sick,” the critically acclaimed film based on their personal story. And he received an Emmy nomination for his performance on Jordan Peele’s reboot of “The Twilight Zone.”

In this conversation, Nanjiani reflects on the pivotal moments in his career, what it was like starting his stand-up career right before September 11th, his advice on handling failure, and the importance of having trust with your directors. He also talks about working with Issa Rae, getting obsessive over his workout regimen, and how his relationship with social media has changed.

May 29, 2020
David Letterman

David Letterman joins the show and reflects back on his early career and explains why he thinks the high time for the art of comedy is now. He discusses family and fatherhood, the cost of success, and how he dealt with his depression. He also talks about “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” his Netflix series for which he has interviewed everyone from Jay Z to Howard Stern. And he shares a surprising obsession, who he’d love to do a Freaky Friday life swap with, and his thoughts on whether comedians can ever really be friends. 

May 22, 2020
Patton Oswalt

As an actor, writer, and Emmy-winning comedian, Patton Oswalt has created a vast body of work, from his stand-up specials and best-selling books, to his work in television and film, including acclaimed performances in movies as varied as “Young Adult” and “Ratatouille.” 

In this episode, Oswalt talks about his new stand-up special “Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything.”  He also reflects on his childhood, the early days of his career, and the moment that first felt like success. He discusses how dealing with professional set-backs gets easier as you get older, the importance of sustaining the impulse to create new things, and why he’s drawn to producing and directing. Plus, the cinephile shares the films he’s re-watching while he’s sheltering in place. 

May 15, 2020
Jon Hamm

It took Jon Hamm ten years of hard work in Hollywood before he got “Mad Men” and made not only his character Don Draper but also himself a household name. Since then, he’s shifted effortlessly between drama, with films like “Beirut” and “The Report,” and comedy, guest-starring in shows like “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and hosting SNL three times.

In this interview, he shares how he discovered his love of acting as a child, how he felt when he first arrived in Los Angeles, and the advice he has for others trying to make it. He talks about working with Tina Fey, how he’s always been rewarded by his enthusiasm, and he reveals the one item he kept from the “Mad Men” set.

Hamm also discusses the new interactive special, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs The Reverend,” in which he reprises his role as Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne. Plus, the life long sports fan talks about how he’s keeping himself occupied white sheltering in place at home.

May 12, 2020
Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones joins the show to discuss her new comedy series #blackAF from Kenya Barris, the creator of "Black-ish” and "grown-ish." In this series, based upon his life, Kenya and Rashida play a husband and wife with 6 children, navigating relationships, race, and culture, as well as newfound success. 

As an actress, writer, producer, and director, Jones' career has run the gamut, from roles in television smash hits like “Parks & Recreation” and “The Office,” to feature films like “Social Network," "I Love You, Man,” and "Celeste and Jesse Forever,” to the world of animation. She’s also found success in documentaries, exploring the world of pornography in “Hot Girls Wanted,” and co-writing and co-directing “Quincy,” about her father, the music legend Quincy Jones.

Apr 17, 2020
Nick Kroll

From his critically acclaimed sketch series “Kroll Show” to his many roles in film and television, his Broadway show "Oh, Hello," and his stand-up, Nick Kroll has long-established himself as one of the keenest comedic observers of our times.

In this episode, the comedian, writer, actor, and producer, discusses “Big Mouth,” the Emmy-nominated hit adult-animated series which he co-created, writes and produces, in addition to performing over thirty voices. And he talks about the upcoming new spinoff series “Human Resources.”  

Kroll takes us back to the early days of his career. He explains why the prospect of having regrets was always scarier than being rejected. He talks about the ways in which the comedy world has changed and how technology has democratized the playing field. He discusses how you can feel like you’re failing even amid great success, and how part of being successful is being hard on yourself. He also shares his goals for 2020, which includes embracing the wisdom of Brené Brown and striving to be more vulnerable.

"Big Mouth" and "Oh, Hello on Broadway" are streaming now on Netflix.

Mar 20, 2020

The story of the fashion house Rodarte began with two cinephile sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, living in a sleepy California suburb, waitressing and selling their record collection to finance their dream of becoming fashion designers. What followed is an extraordinary, shot-out-of-a-cannon success story. The sisters would go on to be anointed by the Editor in Chief of Vogue, win a CFDA award, see their work exhibited in museums, create costumes for the opera and for Natalie Portman for the film  “Black Swan,” and develop a loyal following in Hollywood which led to stunning red carpet moments at the Oscars, Cannes, and the Met Gala. 

Kate and Laura reflect back on the story of their rapid rise, the importance of independence, and the difficulties female designers contend with in a male-dominated industry. They also discuss how film has been an essential source of inspiration and why their work with actresses is so rewarding, even as they pull back the curtain on what it’s like to create an Oscar dress and the heartache that is sometimes part of the process. And they reveal how Coach Monica, of the Netflix show “Cheer,” and her problem-solving savvy inspired their own trouble-shooting when it came to their most recent show. 

Mar 06, 2020
Cheer’s Coach Monica

In today’s episode, Coach Monica Aldama joins the show to discuss "Cheer," the Netflix documentary series that everyone’s talking about, from Ellen Degeneres to A-listers at the Oscars and SNL. With her fierce competitive spirit, laser-like focus, and no-nonsense style, Coach Monica has captured the imagination of the show’s legions of fans who have followed along as the Navarro College cheer squad navigates the highs and lows of working to win a coveted national title.

Aldama talks about the impact of the show back home in Corsicana, Texas; why she thinks listening and empathy are the keys to effective leadership; and what her alumni most appreciate when they reflect back on the experience of the program. She also talks about her mentor, her alter-ego Annette, her guilty pleasures, and what it’s like to have fans of the show obsessing over everything from her coasters to her boots and her Apple watch. 

Feb 14, 2020
Scarlett Johansson

In this episode, two-time Academy Award nominee Scarlett Johansson joins the show to talk about her new film “Marriage Story,” from Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach. It’s an incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together, in which Johansson stars opposite Adam Driver, and alongside Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta.


Following breakout performances in Robert Redford’s “The Horse Whisperer” and the acclaimed independent film “Ghost World,” Johansson delivered a career-making performance in Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation.” Since then, the superstar actress has achieved extraordinary success, shifting effortlessly between working with auteurs in independent film and starring in Hollywood blockbusters that amass billions in box office. 


With her fearless appetite for challenging roles and seemingly inexhaustible work ethic, Johansson delivered not one but two Oscar-nominated performances in 2019 in “Jojo Rabbit” and “Marriage Story.” In this conversation, Johansson talks about acting without embarrassment, loving her work more than ever, and serving as both a producer and star of “Black Widow.”

Feb 03, 2020
Whitney Cummings

By the time she was 29, Whitney Cummings had not one but two network television shows on air: “Whitney,” and “2 Broke Girls,” which she co-created with Michael Patrick King. In this episode, the writer, director, producer, actress, stand-up comedian, published author, and podcaster (check out her show “Good for You”), discusses how she handled that early success and how she dealt with the headwinds that came with it. 

Cummings also talks about the evolution of her Netflix stand-up special, “Can I Touch It?,” how comedians are having to step up to make their work memorable, how Jordan Peele’s “Us” changed comedy, the impact of PC culture, and why social media is less influential than we think. She also discusses her love of animals, her need for nature, why it’s no longer possible to be an enigma, her complex relationship with money, and the changes she’s seen in post #metoo Hollywood.

Jan 30, 2020
Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson joins the show to discuss the second season of the heartfelt and hilariously awkward “Sex Education,” in which Anderson plays Jean Milburn, sex therapist and mom to the show’s young lead Otis, played by Asa Butterfield.

Anderson of course occupies an iconic place in the pop culture galaxy, thanks to her portrayal of Agent Dana Scully in “The X-Files,” a role that would pave the way for a new kind of female character on television.

Now, Anderson is based in London, and her career choices have taken her from the stage, to film, and television.

In this episode, Anderson talks about challenging gender disparity, how motherhood helped her keep her “X-Files” success in perspective, her thoughts on the impact of social media, and how she prepared to step into the shoes of Margaret Thatcher for the fourth season of “The Crown.”

Jan 17, 2020
RuPaul and Michael Patrick King

RuPaul and Michael Patrick King join the show to discuss their new show “AJ & The Queen,” a heartfelt, gritty comedy in which Ru stars as Robert Lee, better known as the drag queen Ruby Red, who — when faced with a broken heart and a stolen dream — meets a streetwise 10-year-old and assumes the role of de facto parent.

RuPaul’s career achievements are, of course, both legion and legend, and include “The RuPaul Show,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and RuPaul’s DragCon. Michael Patrick King's vast body of work includes the juggernaut that was “Sex and the City,” as well as “The Comeback,” “2 Broke Girls,” “Will & Grace,” “Cybill,” and “Murphy Brown.”

Between them, they have made an indelible mark on modern popular culture, influencing everything from how we talk to how we dress, how we think about our identities, our careers, and our relationships.

In this episode, the duo discuss the power in their creative partnership, their early struggles, their secret obsessions, and how social media has influenced how we watch and engage with shows.

Jan 10, 2020
Adam Driver

Adam Driver joins the show to discuss his new film “Marriage Story,” from Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach, in which Driver plays Charlie, a husband and father navigating his marriage breaking up while trying to keep his family together. Starring opposite Scarlett Johansson, and alongside Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta, Driver delivers a stunning performance in a film that’s both incisive and compassionate.

In the past decade, Driver has become that rare movie star that can shift between leading man and character actor roles, as well as command a Broadway stage. He came to our attention with HBO’s “Girls,” and since then has worked in quick succession with directors including Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg, and, in the middle of all that, he stepped into the global phenomenon that is “Star Wars.” 

In this conversation, Driver talks about shooting “Marriage Story,” the benefit of working with friends, how problem-solving on set is his favorite part of the filmmaking process, and why he views acting as a service industry. He also talks about Arts in the Armed Forces, his foundation which brings the theater to a military audience. And, yes, he discusses Kylo Ren and working on “Star Wars.”

Jan 07, 2020
Alan Alda

America fell in love with Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce in the legendary show M*A*S*H, for which he received a staggering 25 Emmy nominations, winning 5 times. He’s also a three-time Tony award nominee, a best supporting Oscar nominee for Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator,” and he has six Golden Globes to his name.

But beyond his work in entertainment, Alda has devoted himself to innumerable avenues, including the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, writing his memoirs, and creating his own podcast “Clear + Vivid."

In this episode, he talks about his new film “Marriage Story,” from Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach; his boundless curiosity; his experience living and working with Parkinson’s disease; and the advice he has to give this generation.

Dec 16, 2019
Jenny Slate

Jenny Slate joins the show to discuss her Netflix special “Stage Fright” -- which combines her stand-up with personal clips of her childhood and interviews with her family in an intimate look at her life -- and her New York Times bestseller, “Little Weirds." It’s been a significant year for the writer, actress, and comedian, who recently became engaged and is now enjoying a bi-coastal existence, splitting her time between Los Angeles and her bucolic home on the South Coast of Massachusetts. 

Slate first came up in the alternative comedy world, before landing on SNL, and in the decade that followed, she co-created the beloved “Marcel the Shell” series, appeared in numerous films, including “Obvious Child” and “Gifted,” as well as TV shows like “Parks and Recreation” and Nick Kroll’s “The Kroll Show.” With her frank and fearless style, instantly recognizable voice, and infectious humor, Slate has forged her own unique path in Hollywood as a true original.

In this conversation, we talk about her fiancé and family, her writing process, why she’s grateful that her time on SNL was short-lived, how her relationship to the business has evolved, as well as everything from psychics to PMS.

Dec 10, 2019
Noah Baumbach

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach joins the show to discuss his new film, the critically acclaimed “Marriage Story.” Starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, and co-starring Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta, Baumbach’s film about a marriage breaking up and a family staying together is filled with honesty, humor, and compassion.

Baumbach, now 50, began his writing and directing career in his twenties with the comedy “Kicking and Screaming,” and his films since then have included “The Squid & The Whale,” “Margot at the Wedding,” “Greenberg” and “Frances Ha.” With unflinching honesty, his films explore our best and worst instincts, our fears, flaws, and triumphs.

In this conversation, Baumbach discusses the journey of the film, how personal stories have shaped his body of work; the group of creative peers he trusts and relies upon; and the fact that he doesn’t appreciate lunch.

Dec 05, 2019
Paul Rudd

With his flawless comedic timing and instinct for capturing the frustrations of the everyman, Paul Rudd has carved a singular path in Hollywood, making audiences love him, root for him, and cringe for him in hits like “Clueless,” “Anchorman,” “Knocked Up,” and “I Love You, Man.” In addition to his comedy stardom, Rudd is now a bona fide action hero, having stepped into the Marvel universe in his forties as Ant-Man.

In this episode, Rudd discusses the arc of his career, and he talks about his new show “Living with Yourself,” created by Timothy Greenberg and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Rudd does double-duty on the show, playing both the character of Miles, a burned-out and dejected figure, and the new and improved clone of Miles, who appears following a strange procedure at a strip mall spa.

Rudd also discusses his love of sports, his secret Irish bar, his go-to karaoke songs, and he shares how his son attempted his own “Hot Ones” challenge after Rudd’s triumphant appearance on the hit YouTube show.

Nov 27, 2019
Sir Anthony Hopkins

In this special episode, Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins joins the show (he prefers to be addressed as Tony), to discuss his new film “The Two Popes,” from Academy Award-nominated director Fernando Meirelles. Inspired by true events, the film is a fascinating tale of an unprecedented transfer of power in the Catholic Church. It follows the imagined conversations between two very different men about the role of the Church in a changing world — one a traditionalist (Hopkins as Pope Benedict), and the other a progressive (Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, later Pope Francis). With unexpected humor, sweeping vision, and extraordinary performances, the film is a revealing look at two of the most well-known men in the world.

Hopkins, of course, is a legend, but at 81 years-old he wears the mantle of success lightly, eschewing the trappings of fame and retaining a great humility about all that he has achieved. In this interview, Hopkins goes back to the beginning of the story, from his life as a young man in Wales, to his work on the stage, and “The Silence of the Lambs” phenomenon. He also talks about the moment he won that Oscar, his feelings about faith, his rigorous approach to his work, and his experience with actors like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. And he discusses his impressive Instagram game, his art, his music, and his sense that his life’s success is “all a dream.”

Nov 21, 2019
Laura Dern

During the course of her career, Laura Dern, the daughter of actors Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, has carved her own unique path, moving effortlessly between the worlds of independent film and blockbuster franchises like “Jurassic Park” and, most recently, “Star Wars.” She is a two-time Oscar nominee, a four-time Golden Globe winner, and the recipient of an Emmy award for her critically acclaimed work in “Big Little Lies.” Dern is also an activist and philanthropist, and a beacon in the Hollywood community.

In this episode, Dern talks about her new film “Marriage Story,” from Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach. It’s an incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together, and it stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, as well as Alan Alda and Ray Liotta. She also talks about growing up on film sets watching the masters Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese at work, the arc of her career through the eighties and nineties, and how she’s seen the experience of women working in the industry evolve. 

Nov 14, 2019
The Breakout: Kiernan Shipka

“Mad Men” fans watched Kiernan Shipka grow up on the small screen in her role as Sally Draper, the daughter of Betty and Don. Her nuanced and captivating performance earned her critical acclaim and an older sophisticated fan base for such a young talent. Since then, Shipka, who was born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, has taken on a host of different projects, including Ryan Murphy’s “Feud” and the psychological horror film “The Blackcoat’s Daughter.” At the beginning of 2018, she stepped into the magical, mischievous world of half-human, half-witch Sabrina Spellman in Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” based on the Archie comic book series.


In this conversation, Shipka, who is about to turn 20, talks about her new film, “Let it Snow,” a teen drama about the friendships, love lives, and futures of a group of high school seniors, co-starring Shameik Moore and Isabel Moner. She also talks lessons learned growing up in the “Mad Men” world, what it’s like now to have a fan base closer to her own age, as well as her style philosophy, her go-to karaoke songs, and her love of a good power nap.

Nov 08, 2019
Demi Moore

For this special episode, Krista traveled to San Francisco to interview Demi Moore in front of a sold-out crowd at an event hosted by City Arts & Lectures. 

As an actress, Demi Moore carved out one of the most extraordinary paths in modern Hollywood, shattering expectations of what a woman could earn, the kind of movie she could open, and how she could present herself in the world — her Vanity Fair cover, nude and pregnant, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, is now the stuff of legend.

With films like “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Ghost,” and “A Few Good Men,”  Moore shot to superstardom, achieving a level of success and celebrity that was further fueled by her high-profile marriage to Bruce Willis, with whom she shares three daughters. Now, the actress, producer, director and activist, has written the New York Times bestselling memoir “Inside Out,” a deeply affecting and highly personal account of her life and career. In this conversation, Moore opens up about the struggles and challenges she’s faced, and what fueled her all-or-nothing drive to succeed at the highest levels in Hollywood.

Oct 25, 2019
The Breakout: Zoey Deutch

In this episode, Krista sits down with Zoey Deutch, one of Hollywood’s most sought after and poised young talents. For Deutch the reality of working life in Hollywood is far from a new concept. The young star, who began her career on the Disney Channel as a teenager, hails from a Hollywood family and took her first steps on a movie set. Her mother, Lea Thompson, is the actress known for the “Back to the Future" trilogy and the sitcom “Caroline in the City,” and her father Howard Deutch directed such John Hughes classics as “Pretty in Pink” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

In this conversation, Deutch discusses her latest projects: “The Politician,” the much-discussed new Ryan Murphy show, starring Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange; and “Zombieland: Double Tap,” which stars Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and Jesse Eisenberg. She also talks about the benefits of growing up in a Hollywood family, her passion for the audition process, her struggles with anxiety, and why it’s so important to cultivate a life and interests beyond Hollywood.

Oct 18, 2019
The Breakout: Kaitlyn Dever

At just 22 years-old, Kaitlyn Dever has already been acting for more than a decade, amassing a long list of credits in both film and television, including acclaimed independents like “Short Term 12,” and “The Spectacular Now.” But this year is proving to be a particularly special one for the young actress. She starred in Olivia Wilde’s critical darling coming-of-age directorial debut, “Book Smart,” and now she will appear in “Unbelievable,” a limited series based on true events, in which Dever plays a young woman accused of lying about a rape. Dever describes the role as the the biggest challenge of her career to date.

Sep 13, 2019
Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen has created some of the most unforgettable characters of the modern age, from Ali G to Bruno to Borat. His fearless comedic style and willingness to confront power and prejudice has transfixed audiences and resulted in accolades across the board. He’s an Oscar nominee, a Golden Globe nominee and winner, and a six-time Emmy award nominee.

With his new limited series, “The Spy,” Cohen takes on the role of a real-world character for the first time. Set in the 1960s, it’s the true story of Eli Cohen, an Israeli clerk-turned-Mossad secret agent. Although the dramatic material may seem like new terrain for the actor, his ability to disappear into new identities, and the rigor with which he has always prepared to play characters, are both in evidence in his remarkable performance in the show.

In this interview, Cohen discusses his history of dealing with the press in a non-traditional manner, the role technology played in his early success, and he talks about navigating tense real-world moments when he's in character, and the one thing he knows never to do when he finds himself in those situations. Cohen also discusses what it was like to shoot “The Spy,” and the insights he gained while living in an Arab country and working with a cast and crew that brought together people from all different political perspectives.

Sep 06, 2019
The Breakout: Julia Garner

Julia Garner joins the show to discuss her Emmy-nominated performance as the tough yet vulnerable Ruth Langmore on “Ozark.” She talks about life on set, what she’s learned from working with the incredible cast, and the journey of her character.

Known for her laser-like focus on her work, 25-year-old Garner has already built an impressive body of work, both in critically acclaimed independent films, like “Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene” and “Electrick Children,” and on hit shows like “The Americans.” Raised in New York by her mother, a comedian turned therapist, and her father, a painter and art teacher, Garner reflects on an upbringing that gave her both an insight into human psychology and a love of film and art. She also talks about her appreciation for fashion and rolls out an impressive Glinda the Good Witch impression.

Aug 22, 2019
Eddie Murphy

Comedy legend Eddie Murphy joins the show to reflect upon his trailblazing career and to discuss his new film “Dolemite Is My Name,” directed by Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow,” “Empire”), and written by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (“Ed Wood,” “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”).

“Dolemite Is My Name” tells the true story of comedian Rudy Ray Moore and his tireless effort to make a film about his stage persona, “Dolemite,” a pimp with a cane and an arsenal of obscene fables. The film has a star-studded cast, including Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Keegan-Michael Key, Snoop Dogg, and a breakout performance from Da’Vine Joy Randolph. “Dolemite is My Name” will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and be in theaters and on Netflix this fall.

In this interview, Murphy shares his plans to return to to host SNL for the first time in over three decades. And he discusses hitting the road again for a stand-up tour when he will also perform music that he has otherwise kept from the public. He also reveals that he would still consider hosting the Oscars and shares why he chose to dedicate “Dolemite Is My Name” to his late, beloved brother Charlie Murphy.

Aug 15, 2019
Brené Brown

In 2010, a research professor by the name of Brené Brown walked onto the TEDxHouston stage and delivered her talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” Little did she know that this would change her life forever. That TED talk has now been viewed more than 50 million times, making Brown a global phenomenon. She is the author of five bestselling books, including “Daring Greatly,” “Rising Strong,” and “Dare to Lead,” and now Brown has a Netflix special, “The Call to Courage.”

In this conversation, Brown takes us back to the very beginning of the story, from her early dreams of moving to New York, to her close call hitchhiking in Spain, to her struggle to get into the University of Texas. She also talks about faith and family, navigating success, and how she’s missing the “celebrity gene.”

Jul 31, 2019
Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige joins the show for an in-depth discussion about her life, her career, and the faith that has sustained her throughout. As a singer, songwriter, and actress, Blige has scaled the heights of success. She’s won nine Grammy Awards and been nominated more than thirty times. She is also a three-time Golden Globe nominee, and a two-time Academy Award nominee for her work on “Mudbound.” In fact, Blige made history as the first person ever to be nominated in both an acting and music category in the same year. In this conversation, Blige shares how she learned to navigate fame and success, and she reflects on the moments in her career that she treasures the most. She also discusses her work on the dysfunctional superhero drama “The Umbrella Academy” and talks about her preparation for her current tour with Nas.

Jul 26, 2019
Marta Kauffman

Emmy-winning showrunner Marta Kauffman discusses the arc of her epic career, from her early struggles in New York to the evergreen popularity of “Friends,” and now her success with “Grace and Frankie,” headed into its sixth season. Kauffman talks about what it’s like to work with the “Grace and Frankie” cast, led by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and she shares the moment she learned Pete Davidson would be rapping about the show on SNL. She also speaks candidly about dealing with misogyny in Hollywood, her own experience with “imposter syndrome,” and the importance of learning to say “no.”

Jul 24, 2019
Betty Gilpin

Betty Gilpin sits down to discuss her journey as an actor and her work on GLOW, the show from Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch about a crew of misfits who reinvent themselves as the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling in 1980’s Los Angeles. Gilpin is a two-time Emmy nominee for her performance as Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan. Raised by actors, Gilpin is refreshingly candid about the superficial expectations women grapple with, and her own conflict with the inner “male gaze representative.”

Jul 19, 2019
The Breakout: Cody Fern

With his breakout role in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” his performance in “American Horror Story,” and his turn as Duncan Shepherd in the final season of “House of Cards,” Australian actor Cody Fern has quickly established himself as a riveting new talent to watch. In this episode, Fern, 30, talks about everything from his upbringing in an Australian farming community to his daring, gender-fluid red carpet style. And he shares how he confronted the ugly side of fame when he was recently hacked.

Jul 17, 2019
Hasan Minhaj

Krista is joined by Hasan Minhaj who, in a few short years, has leap-frogged from being a senior correspondent on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” to being the featured speaker at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to starring in his own Netflix standup special, “The Homecoming King,” and co-creating and hosting his new show “Patriot Act.” He’s a husband, a father, a die-hard Sacramento Kings fan, a two-time Peabody Award winner, and a 2019 Time 100 honoree.

Jul 12, 2019
Timothy Hutton

Timothy Hutton was just 20 years-old when he won the Academy Award for his performance as the angst-ridden teenager in Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People,” making him the youngest actor ever to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. In this episode, Hutton discusses his work on “The Haunting of Hill House,” the show from creator Mike Flanagan, which reimagines Shirley Jackson’s terrifying gothic horror novel. Hutton plays the patriarch Hugh Crain. He also reflects on some of the pivotal moments of his career, including passing on “Risky Business.”

Jul 11, 2019
The Breakout: Kathryn Newton

Krista sits down with Kathryn Newton, the 22 year-old breakout who stars in “The Society,” the Netflix show from creator Christopher Keyser about a group of teens who are mysteriously transported to a facsimile of their town without any trace of their parents. Newton is on a remarkable hot streak, appearing in a long list of star-studded, award-winning projects, including “Big Little Lies,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri,” “Ben is Back,” and “Lady Bird.” In this conversation, Newton shares her first impressions of the A-list actors she’s worked with, and talks about everything from her golf game to her fashion instincts and her social media savvy.

Jul 05, 2019
Nicole Avant

Nicole Avant joins the show to discuss “The Black Godfather,” the documentary she produced about her father, the legendary music industry executive Clarence Avant. Avant talks about what it was like to grow up in a world where guests at her family home included Presidents of the United States and the likes of Muhammad Ali and Quincy Jones. She also reflects on her father’s words to live by, the importance of paying it forward, and she shares how her close friend Pharrell came to write an original song for the documentary. Previously, Avant held the office of United States Ambassador to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. She was also the Vice President of Interior Music Publishing; and the California Finance Co-chair for President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. She is married to Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix.

Jun 28, 2019
Linda Cardellini

Linda Cardellini sits down to discuss “Dead to Me,” the show that’s captivated audiences and critics alike. Created by Liz Feldman and co-starring Christina Applegate, it’s an honest study of female friendship and a complex portrayal of grief. Cardellini is having a remarkable year, with back-to-back projects including the Oscar-winning “Green Book,” “Avengers: Endgame” and her hit horror film “The Curse of La Llorona.” Cardellini talks about what it means to work on female-led projects, how she’s stepped up to do things that scare her, and she reflects on the special camaraderie of working on “Freaks and Geeks.”

Jun 21, 2019
The Breakout: Jharrel Jerome

In this episode, Krista talks to 21 year-old actor Jharrel Jerome who, despite his youth, has already appeared in a Best Picture Oscar winner: “Moonlight.” Now, he stars in “When They See Us,” the limited series executive produced, directed, and co-written by Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay. It’s a devastating account of the events surrounding the the African American and Latino teenagers labeled the “Central Park Five,” who were falsely accused of raping and assaulting a woman in 1989. Jerome talks about growing up in the Bronx, how he coped while filming this traumatic true-life story, and he discusses the pressures facing young actors in the age of social media.

Jun 20, 2019
Jason Bateman

As an actor, director and producer, Jason Bateman’s all-or-nothing commitment has propelled him to success on both the big and small screen, in comedy and drama, and on both sides of the camera. He was awarded a Golden Globe for his performance as Michael Bluth in “Arrested Development,” and he won a Screen Actors Guild award for his work playing Marty Byrde in “Ozark.” Bateman is also a four-time Emmy nominee. In this episode, he shares what fans can expect from the third season of “Ozark,” his profound sense of responsibility, and his obsessive love of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jun 20, 2019
Renée Zellweger

Welcome to the first episode of Present Company with Krista Smith. In this episode, Krista sits down with Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger and chats about her Netflix show “What/If.” They also discuss what it was like for Zellweger to play Judy Garland for her upcoming film “Judy,” as well as the most memorable moments of her career, including working with Tom Cruise on “Jerry Maguire” and stepping into the shoes of Bridget Jones.

Jun 14, 2019