The Business


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The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter...

Episode Date
Replay: Damon Lindelof’s ‘Watchmen’

The nominations for the 2020 Emmy Awards have been released, and HBO’s “Watchmen” leads with 26 nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series. KCRW revisists host Kim Masters’ interview with showrunner Damon Lindelof.

Aug 01, 2020
Gina Prince-Bythewood’s ‘The Old Guard’

“The Old Guard is director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s first action movie, and it’s made the list of 10 most-watched original movies on the platform. Prince-Bythewood talks about how she broke into the action world, and how she trained her actors to make her fight scenes believable.

Jul 25, 2020
Rod Lurie and Jake Tapper’s ‘The Outpost’

CNN’s Jake Tapper and director Rod Lurie discuss the making of “The Outpost,” a new film based on Tapper's book about American soldiers who faced a deadly Taliban attack in Afghanistan. The film ran into obstacles every step of the way — including the unexpected death of Lurie's son Hunter.

Jul 18, 2020
Peter Medak’s ‘The Ghost of Peter Sellers’

In the new documentary “The Ghost of Peter Sellers,” director Peter Medak revisits the nightmarish production of his 1974 film, “Ghost in the Noonday Sun.” The  biggest challenge was the behavior of Medak’s star, Peter Sellers. “The Ghost of Peter Sellers” reveals how Sellers stymied and manipulated Medak and his crew, even faking a heart attack to get time off. 

Jul 11, 2020
David France’s ‘Welcome to Chechnya’

David France’s new HBO documentary, “Welcome to Chechnya” looks at the ongoing campaign to eradicate gay people in the Chechen Republic. France talks about the dangers he faced in making the film, traveling to Russia on a tourist visa, shooting on iPhones and GoPros, and using digital face-swapping technology to hide his subjects’ identities.

Jul 03, 2020
Laverne Cox and Sam Feder on their Netflix documentary ‘Disclosure’

The new Netflix documentary “Disclosure” examines Hollywood’s portrayal of trans people over the years. Director Sam Feder uses decades of archival footage and personal anecdotes from trans people who were deeply affected by these depictions to tell the story of the industry’s evolving relationship with trans representation. Feder and executive producer Laverne Cox, who is also featured in the film, share why these on-screen portrayals are so powerful, especially for trans people coming of age. 

Jun 26, 2020
Judd Apatow’s ‘The King of Staten Island’

Judd Apatow's latest film “The King of Staten Island,” stars comedian Pete Davidson in a story inspired by Davidson's real life. Apatow is a comedy icon but he’s admittedly not funny on Twitter. As his more than 2 million followers know, he rains scorn not only on Trump, but on Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, whose news network relentlessly bolsters the administration. Apatow wonders why others in the entertainment industry don’t do the same. 

Jun 19, 2020
Policing on television

As protests continue across the country, we look at the way policing is depicted on television. It's a topic dream hampton has spent years thinking about and worked on a recent report on the issue. It found that often, even good cops are shown trampling the rules, and that’s presented as heroism. And Dan Taberski made a podcast devoted to the reality show "Cops." What he found was disturbing. Now, "Cops" and its spiritual successor "Live PD" have been canceled. 

Jun 13, 2020
AMC’s ‘Quiz,’ plus Hollywood’s response to protests

James Graham wrote the play “Quiz” — about an alleged cheating scandal on the British version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” — before he adapted it for TV.  Graham talks about starting to doubt the conventional wisdom about Charles and Diana Ingram, a couple accused of cheating on the popular game show in 2001 and in effect stealing 1 million pounds in front of a studio audience. Plus, how is Hollywood responding to a week of protests and police brutality?

Jun 06, 2020
‘On the Record’ filmmakers talk behind-the-scenes drama of their Russell Simmons documentary

Veteran documentary filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering lived the dream of having Oprah Winfrey sign on as executive producer of their film “On the Record,” which focuses on several women who say they were raped by music mogul Russell Simmons. But the dream turned dark just days before “On the Record” was set to premiere at Sundance. Oprah withdrew her support and Apple dropped its deal to release the movie.

Jun 01, 2020
ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ chronicles Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls

ESPN’s Michael Jordan docuseries "The Last Dance" has wrapped. The series has drawn record-breaking ratings and given ESPN something to celebrate in a world without live sports. Radio host and sports fanatic Hayes Permar speaks with director Jason Hehir. 

May 25, 2020
Alice Wu’s ‘The Half of It’

The new Netflix film “The Half of It” is writer-director Alice Wu’s second movie. She wrote a $1000 check to the National Rifle Association, an organization she does not support, and told her friends if the script wasn’t done in five weeks, that check was going in the mail. Wu talks about her extreme method for overcoming writer’s block and picking Netflix as the home for her new movie. 

May 15, 2020
Hollywood prop maker turns to fabricating face shields

Rob West usually spends his days building sets and making props. But once the pandemic hit, he started using his skills to devise and manufacture reusable face shields for medical personnel. West, the founder of LA Face Shields, shares his thoughts on the future of Hollywood production, and talks about running his face shield operation out of a well-stocked American Legion bar. 

May 08, 2020
Dahvi Waller’s ‘Mrs. America’

The new series “Mrs. America” is about the 1970s battle over the Equal Rights Amendment. It’s available via FX on Hulu. Dahvi Waller created this series after she wrote for “Mad Men” and “Halt and Catch Fire.” She talks about tackling the complicated character of Phyllis Schlafly, the woman who led the movement that ultimately blocked ratification of the ERA. She also shares the complications of finishing post-production while under stay-at-home orders.

May 01, 2020
Revisiting Bong Joon Ho and ‘Parasite.’ Plus should theaters reopen?

“Parasite” made history as the first foreign language movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The movie is now streaming on Hulu, so we’re revisiting our conversation with Director Bong Joon Ho, who also won Oscars for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film. Plus, an all new banter: Some Southern states want to reopen businesses, but movie theater owners say not so fast.

Apr 24, 2020
Jeffrey Katzenberg on Quibi and his Hollywood tenure

Jeffrey Katzenberg ran Walt Disney Studios when it made hits like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King.” He also co-founded DreamWorks. Now he’s launched Quibi, which lets you stream short shows on your phone. He remembers  his early days in the industry, and tells us why he believes Quibi will work.

Apr 20, 2020
Samantha Bee and Jason Jones on making ‘Full Frontal’ from the woods

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered studio productions of every major late- night talk show. Samantha Bee and Jason Jones — her husband, producer and fellow former “Daily Show” correspondent — tell us about taking  Bee's show, “Full Frontal,” into the woods outside their house in upstate New York. Jones is the crew, and Bee still opens every episode with her trademark speedy monologue. They now have no audience — except for woodland creatures. 

Apr 10, 2020
Eliza Hittman’s ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Filmmaker Eliza Hittman knew she’d have trouble getting financing for her art house abortion drama, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.”  She didn’t think it helped that she kept finding herself pitching to rooms full of men. Even companies that were supposed to focus on "issue movies" weren't interested in an abortion storyline. But Hittman eventually found her money, and her award-winning film is now available to stream on demand.

Apr 03, 2020
Jobless Hollywood workers cope with coronavirus

With Hollywood mostly shut down, we check in with people dealing with this difficult time across the industry. We hear from an actor, cinematographer, writers’ room production assistant, costumer, and filmmaking team. They tell us how their lives have suddenly changed, how they’re coping while out of work, and how they think this pandemic could change Hollywood forever. 

Mar 30, 2020
Netflix’s ‘Crip Camp’

In 1971, when sound designer Jim LeBrecht was 15, he had a summer of love  at a camp for disabled kids. It was a place that fostered a spirit of history-changing activism. He and his friend, filmmaker Nicole Newnham, agreed that this was a movie. They didn’t anticipate that Barack and Michelle Obama would think so too. Newnham and LeBrecht tell us about their Netflix documentary “Crip Camp,” and partnering with the Obamas’ production company. 

Mar 20, 2020
Anti-NDA initiative ‘Lift Our Voices’

In July 2016, more than a year before the #MeToo movement began, Gretchen Carlson made a bold decision to sue Fox News chief Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Now she and Julie Rogisnky, a former Fox News contributor who also sued Ailes, have made it their mission to end nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) that can muzzle those who sue over misconduct. Their initiative is called Lift Our Voices. 

Mar 16, 2020
Autumn de Wilde’s ‘Emma’

Autumn de Wilde has more than 20 years of experience photographing rock bands and directing commercials, but she’d never made a feature film. Then out of the blue, a British production company asked her to pitch ideas for a new version of the Jane Austen classic, “Emma.” De Wilde tells us how she made her light and bright version of “Emma,” the famous comedy of manners.  

Mar 06, 2020
Bob Iger’s resignation, ‘Sonic’ saved

“Sonic the Hedgehog” is director Jeff Fowler’s first feature film, and it looked like it was going to be his first bomb when the trailer dropped last spring. Fans of the video game emphatically rejected the too-realistic look of the lead character. “Sonic” director Jeff Fowler tells us how he brought the speedy blue hedgehog from the brink of disaster to big box office success.

Feb 28, 2020
Harvey Weinstein in jail following guilty verdict

Twelve jurors found Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein guilty on two counts: criminal sexual assault in the first degree and rape in the third degree.

Feb 24, 2020
Theatrical release delays: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate,’ ‘Sonic,’ ‘The Hunt’

We look at high-profile movies that had their theatrical releases delayed for months. Tim Miller talks about dealing with the online blowback related to “Terminator: Dark Fate,” which he directed, and “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which he executive produced. And we revisit a chat with Damon Lindelof, co-writer of the movie “The Hunt.” Universal pushed the theatrical release of “The Hunt” from September 2019 to March 2020.  

Feb 24, 2020
‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ director on contradictions of filmmaking in France

American independent filmmakers might envy Céline Sciamma, director of the French film, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” Sciamma had no problem getting funding for her lesbian romance set in the 18th century, and for that she credits France’s support for directors. But she says the system is far from perfect. She tells us about the three-year-long process of planning her newest movie and the heightened political environment surrounding French filmmaking at the moment. 

Feb 17, 2020
Post-Oscars bonus banter!

Kim and Matt met up the morning after the Oscars to talk "Parasite" making history, Netflix nearly striking out, and hold on, what was Eminem doing there?

Feb 10, 2020
‘Cheer’ director on the glory and agony of college cheerleading

The Netflix series “Cheer” focuses on the stressful lives of junior college cheerleaders fighting for their next national championship. Director Greg Whiteley says he could’ve done a better job of portraying one set of cheer parents, who came off as controlling. 

Feb 08, 2020
Oscar nominees turn footage smuggled out of Syria into ‘For Sama’

Filmmaker Waad al-Kateab spent years documenting the horror and humanity of life in Aleppo, Syria. When she fled with her family, she smuggled 12 hard drives of footage past a Syrian checkpoint. That footage became the Oscar-nominated documentary “For Sama.” Al-Kateab and her collaborator Edward Watts tell us how they crafted an intimate 90-minute film dedicated to al-Kateab’s daughter. 

Feb 01, 2020
Bong Joon Ho on making ‘Parasite,’ then making history

“Parasite” has already made history as the first Korean film nominated for Oscar--or six Oscars to be exact, including Best Picture. Director Bong Joon Ho tells us about clashing with Harvey Weinstein over cuts to his 2013 film “Snowpiercer,” and explains how that led him to make “Okja” for Netflix, even though he prefers to watch films in theaters. And he shares his thinking behind the planned “Parasite” TV series. 

Jan 25, 2020
Kim Masters on ‘The Catch and Kill Podcast’ with Ronan Farrow

It’s a podcast crossover event! Recently, Kim Masters sat on the other side of the mic as Ronan Farrow interviewed her for an episode of his “Catch and Kill Podcast.” They talked about why it was so hard to reveal the allegations against Harvey Weinstein for so many years. This week, we play sections from Episode Five of Farrow’s "Catch and Kill Podcast" and Kim adds a few additional memories of her own.

Jan 18, 2020
Three filmmakers reflect on early career struggles

This week, some very tasty leftovers from three filmmakers reflecting on the early, not-so-easy days of their careers. "Star Wars" second unit director Victoria Mahoney, "Little Women" filmmaker Greta Gerwig and Nanfu Wang, director of "One Child Nation" share some of the ups and downs from when they were first starting out. 

Jan 10, 2020
Revisiting director Lulu Wang on ‘The Farewell’

When filmmaker Lulu Wang set out to write and direct a personal movie based on a real-life family saga, she had a clear vision for an American film, largely set in China, mostly in Mandarin. But buyers weren’t biting. Wang tells us about her circuitous route to finally making “The Farewell,” which turned into an indie success story and now, an awards contender.

Jan 03, 2020
How Victoria Mahoney made ‘Star Wars’ history

Victoria Mahoney literally went through homelessness to direct a small indie feature in 2011 and then became a TV director. She wanted to make more movies, sure, but she certainly wasn’t expecting a call from "Star Wars" director J.J. Abrams. As the second unit director on "The Rise of Skywalker," Mahoney's made history: the first woman and first person of color to direct in the "Star Wars" movie universe. 

Dec 21, 2019
Megabanter year-in-review: 2019 edition

The streaming wars got real, writers fired their agents and time was up--or was it? Matt Belloni, editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, and Lucas Shaw, entertainment reporter for Bloomberg, join Kim Masters to discuss top industry news stories of 2019. 

Dec 21, 2019
Nanfu Wang on going back to China – and avoiding surveillance – to make ‘One Child Nation’

“One Child Nation,” a documentary about the devastating effects of China’s one-child policy, has been nominated for many awards. But director Nanfu Wang says any film buff who has to rely on Chinese media to follow these competitions wouldn’t even know her film exists--it's totally banned in China. Wang tells us about making “One Child Nation,” which started as a personal story and grew into something broader. 

Dec 14, 2019
Greta Gerwig on making ‘Little Women’ -- her way

When a studio executive “suggested” that Greta Gerwig change the ending she had devised for her version of "Little Women," Gerwig channeled Jo March, the fiery heroine of the Louisa May Alcott classic. Gerwig who was Oscar-nominated for best director in 2018 with "Lady Bird." She tells us about making "Little Women"-- her way. 

Dec 07, 2019
With #PayUpHollywood, assistants speak out

This week, we talk with a Hollywood assistant who, like many, has not only been underpaid, but has had staplers and markers thrown at her. She came to the studio with former assistant Liz Alper, who created the #PayUpHollywood hashtag. Alper and script coordinator Joelle explain why assistants feel now is the time to demand change, for the sake of the assistants themselves and the future of the industry. 

Nov 28, 2019
‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ director on the bumpy road to a box office bomb

Most filmmakers hide for a while after a bomb, but not ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ director Tim Miller. Miller tries to figure why audiences were not saying “I’ll be back”...for another Terminator movie. And he walks us through his career post-‘Deadpool,’ from departing ‘Deadpool 2’ to seizing what seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime--directing a Terminator movie with James Cameron producing. 

Nov 22, 2019
Revisiting Peter Jackson on 'They Shall Not Grow Old,' back in theaters soon

Peter Jackson generated whole worlds for his ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ trilogies. Last year he made a documentary that magically brought to life old footage shot on the front lines of World War I. It was no easy feat. This week we’re revisiting our conversation with Peter Jackson about ‘They Shall Not Grow Old,’ which returns to theaters for 3 nights in December. Plus, an all new banter!

Nov 16, 2019
Damon Lindelof goes deep on the unreleased movie ‘The Hunt’

In part two of our interview with Damon Lindelof, he and Kim Masters have a heart to heart about ‘The Hunt.’ In August, following back-to-back mass shootings, Masters co-wrote a story in The Hollywood Reporter about the movie--a satire in which elites hunt so-called deplorables for sport. Days later, Universal canceled the film’s release. Lindelof, who co-wrote ‘The Hunt,’ tells us what happened from his perspective. 

Nov 09, 2019
Showrunner Damon Lindelof on HBO’s ‘Watchmen’

The writer of the 1980s ‘Watchmen’ comic books, Alan Moore, has been very clear: no ‘Watchmen’ movie or TV show will ever get his blessing--and that includes the new series on HBO. Keenly aware of that, ‘Watchmen’ showrunner Damon Lindelof believes Moore may have put a curse on him. Seriously. Lindelof tells us about risking curses to make his updated take on ‘Watchmen’ for HBO. 

Nov 02, 2019
Prolific TV producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage on ‘Looking for Alaska’

Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage made ‘The O.C.’ and ‘Gossip Girl’--some of the most defining young adult shows of the early 2000’s. They continue to create series about young-person angst, including a ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot for HBO Max. They tell us about their new young adult series on Hulu, ‘Looking for Alaska,’ which they first had dreams of making into a movie 14 years ago.

Oct 26, 2019
Syrian director Feras Fayyad on his new documentary 'The Cave'

Almost a decade ago, Feras Fayyad was imprisoned and tortured by the Assad regime in Syria for filming anti-government protests. But after his release, he kept making documentaries. Fayyad became the first Syrian director to be nominated for Oscar with 'Last Men in Aleppo.' His new film, ‘The Cave,’ profiles a courageous young doctor as she runs an underground hospital in a besieged area outside Damascus. 

Oct 19, 2019
A tour through a transforming media world with analyst Rich Greenfield

With even more new streaming services launching in the months ahead, we talk with opinionated analyst Rich Greenfield about the transforming media landscape and the challenges facing giants Disney, Comcast and AT&T. 

Oct 12, 2019
How Kevin Smith tried to rescue his hero Stan Lee

This week, how filmmaker Kevin Smith set out to rescue his hero, the legendary Stan Lee. Last year, Smith began to fear that the elderly Marvel creator was being abused. Smith acted, though felt strongly there could be no good outcome. He tells us about doing his best for Lee in what would be Lee’s final year. Plus, reporter Gary Baum on his investigation into the battle for control of Lee's life. 

Oct 05, 2019
Kevin Smith on Weinstein and indie filmmaking 25 years after ‘Clerks’

Twenty-five years after ‘Clerks,’ Kevin Smith is shook. Despite his insistence that he's behind the times, he's always found ways to get his movies made. Smith tells us about doing it his way--which includes embarking on a 60-date roadshow for his new movie, ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.’ He also reflects on his long relationship with Harvey Weinstein and the heart attack that almost did Smith in last year. 

Sep 28, 2019
Showrunner Susannah Grant on making the Netflix series ‘Unbelievable’

The Netflix series 'Unbelievable' is based on a true story about how one team of cops pursued a serial rapist while another disbelieved and bullied a victim. Showrunner Susannah Grant tells us about turning a Pulitzer Prize winning news story into a scripted series. She also shares her thoughts on how to depict rape on screen and talks about speaking with the victim whose story is at the heart of the series.

Sep 21, 2019
Writer-director Lorene Scafaria on the fight to make ‘Hustlers’

Hot off Toronto, where ‘Hustlers’ won raves, Lorene Scafaria tells us about her fight to direct the movie, which is based on her script about a real-life group of strippers who robbed their Wall Street clientele. She finally won that battle, then the picture got dropped by Annapurna and then saved by STX. Scafaria also talks Jennifer Lopez's intense training to do that insane pole dance. 

Sep 14, 2019
The Battle for the WGA

Five months after firing their agents, members of the Writers Guild are still at war with the major agencies over packaging fees. In the heat of the ongoing union election, we explore a couple of perspectives on the two groups competing for Guild leadership. 

Sep 07, 2019
Revisiting Ryan O’Connell on his Netflix comedy series ‘Special’

For years, Ryan O’Connell was in the closet: not because he’s gay, which he is, but because he was ashamed of having cerebral palsy.  His cover? He’d been hit by a car--which was true. But eventually, that lie took a toll. With his Netflix series ‘Special,’ O’Connell is out in a big way. He tells us about the 4-year struggle to find a home for his autobiographical comedy, which is now nominated for 4 Emmys. 

Aug 31, 2019
In Ben Berman’s ‘The Amazing Johnathan Documentary,’ nothing is as it seems

When Ben Berman set out to make ‘The Amazing Johnathan Documentary,’ he figured it would be a poignant film about an ailing comedian and magician. But very quickly, Berman found himself wondering: was he making a movie about Jonathan, or was Johnathan roping him into a project of his own. Berman shares the crazy story of making ‘The Amazing Johnathan Documentary,’ which is now available on Hulu. 

Aug 24, 2019
Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich on ‘After the Wedding’

Julianne Moore joins us with her husband, writer-director Bart Freundlich, to talk about their careers and their new drama, ‘After the Wedding,’ the fourth film they’ve made together. Moore offers some advice to actors just starting out, tells us how she picks her projects, and she and Freundlich discuss the struggle that comes with trying to get an indie melodrama like ‘After the Wedding’ financed.

Aug 17, 2019
Gurinder Chadha and Sarfraz Manzoor on ‘Blinded by the Light’

When Gurinder Chadha set out to make a movie based on journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir about the effect of Bruce Springsteen music on his life, she had one small problem. The movie couldn’t work without Springsteen’s songs. So when she and Manzoor snagged a moment with The Boss on a red carpet, they took their shot. Incredibly, it worked. Chadha and Manzoor tell the tale of their film ‘Blinded by the Light.'

Aug 10, 2019
Lulu Wang on ‘The Farewell,’ the indie hit of the summer

When filmmaker Lulu Wang set out to write and direct a personal movie based on a real-life family saga, she had a clear vision for an American film, largely set in China, mostly in Mandarin. But buyers weren’t biting. Wang tells us about her circuitous route to finally making ‘The Farewell,’ which has turned into the indie success story of the summer.

Aug 03, 2019
Lynn Shelton and Marc Maron on ‘Sword of Trust’

In Lynn Shelton’s new comic caper film 'Sword of Trust,' Marc Maron plays a pawnbroker who gets caught up in a scheme to sell a Civil War artifact of dubious provenance. Shelton and Maron tell us about making the movie in 12 days in Alabama, and about shooting an extended, improvised, soul-baring monologue in the back of a sweltering box truck...for nine hours. 

Jul 27, 2019
Actress Sarah Scott on SAG-AFTRA in the Me Too era.

Sarah Scott was a working actress in Hollywood with the usual ups and downs of a life in the entertainment industry. But, last year while shooting a pilot, Scott says she was harassed and assaulted by a fellow actor. She took the case to her union and the result was not completely satisfying. 

Jul 20, 2019
Career memories from Reginald Hudlin; Caleb Deschanel on shooting ‘Lion King’

Filmmaker Reginald Hudlin recently directed the new documentary ‘The Black Godfather’ for Netflix, but he’s held a lot of other jobs, including writing ‘Black Panther’ comics and running the same time. He tells us about those years, plus, working with Quentin Tarantino. We’ve also got some goodies from cinematographer Caleb Deschanel on Disney’s new ‘Lion King.’

Jul 13, 2019
Revisiting Elizabeth Banks on blazing a trail in the big leagues

Actress, director, producer Elizabeth Banks is a member of a very small club: women who make commercial big-studio movies. After directing ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ reboot set for release this fall, plus producing the heartfelt Hulu comedy ‘Shrill,’ Banks has even bigger ambitions. She talks about getting bored with acting and moving into producing, directing, and making it in the mainstream.

Jul 05, 2019
Pioneering sailor Tracy Edwards and director Alex Holmes on 'Maiden'

In 1989, a young sailor named Tracy Edwards made history when she skippered the first all-female crew in a round-the-world race aboard a secondhand yacht named Maiden. Twenty-five years later, Edwards learned Maiden had been abandoned, and at the same time, someone wanted to make a film about her. Sailor Tracy Edwards and director Alex Holmes tell us about saving Maiden the boat, and making ‘Maiden’ the movie.

Jun 28, 2019
Krista Vernoff and Elisabeth Finch on addressing consent on 'Grey's Anatomy'

Over the course of its record-breaking 15 seasons, ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy' has never shied away from tough subjects. When a recent script included a scene of a patient undergoing a rape kit exam, the network wanted some changes. 'Grey's Anatomy' showrunner Krista Vernoff and writer Elisabeth Finch tell us how, with an assist from Shonda Rhimes, they got their powerful episode about consent to air as written.

Jun 21, 2019
Director Simon Kinberg on the dark fate of ‘Dark Phoenix’

Writer-producer Simon Kinberg has worked on the X-Men movie franchise since 2006. ‘Dark Phoenix’ was his directorial debut. The film got panned by critics and opened to only $33 million in the U.S. We talked to Kinberg a few days after that brutal weekend. He shares his perspective on what went wrong and tells us about the reshoots, release date changes, and working at Fox in the midst of Disney's takeover.

Jun 14, 2019
Liz Feldman on ‘Dead to Me,’ a funny show about grief

A week after TV writer Liz Feldman lost a family member unexpectedly and found out her fertility treatment had failed again, she took a meeting with some producers, having been told she didn’t need to come with ideas. So she was immersed in loss and blindsided when she was asked for ideas after all. A seasoned improvisor, Feldman delivered. That quick pitch turned into the Netflix series ‘Dead to Me,’ a funny show about grief.

Jun 07, 2019
Reginald Hudlin on his Clarence Avant documentary ‘The Black Godfather’

You may have never heard of Clarence Avant, but this enigmatic manager, producer and record executive has touched the lives of a wide array of people you have heard of: Bill Withers, Hank Aaron, Barack Obama. Director Reginald Hudlin tells us about his new Netflix documentary ‘The Black Godfather,’ which profiles the now 88-year-old Clarence Avant, the ultimate unseen mover in music, movies, politics and more.

May 31, 2019
Jemele Hill on leaving ESPN and beginning a new chapter in her career

This week, Jemele Hill tells us about her years at ESPN, where she had a good career until she drew the wrath of the White House by tweeting that Trump is a white supremacist. She thought she was stating the obvious, but eventually, Trump tweeted about her. Jemele Hill tells us about her tumultuous final year at ESPN, becoming a "walking think piece," and what happened next: producing, podcasting and more.  

May 27, 2019
Revisiting Bing Liu on his film, ‘Minding the Gap,’ now a Peabody winner

Growing up in Rockford, Illinois, Bing Liu was obsessed with making skateboarding videos with his friends. Over the course of more than a decade, one of those mini-movies morphed into a feature-length documentary, ‘Minding the Gap.’ This week, as the film is being honored with a Peabody award, we’re revisiting Matt Holzman’s conversation with Liu.

May 17, 2019
Showrunners on TV staffing season without agents
May 10, 2019
Dan Taberski on his new podcast ‘Running from COPS’

As a follow-up to his podcasts about exercise guru Richard Simmons and then Y2K, Dan Taberski set out to investigate the darker aspects of the long-running show ‘Cops.’ Taberski tells us about making ‘Running from COPS,’ the product of an 18-month deep-dive into in the show. Turns out, if you live in a town where it films, ‘Cops’ might come for you whether you’re a bad boy or not.

May 03, 2019
Sally Wainwright on her new HBO-BBC series ‘Gentleman Jack’

Growing up, Sally Wainwright visited Shibden Hall, a historic house and park in West Yorkshire. But she wasn’t taught much about Anne Lister, who had lived there in the 19th century. Years later, Wainwright learned that Lister was truly ahead of her time: a businesswoman and a gay-marriage pioneer. Wainwright tells us about ‘Gentleman Jack,’ her new HBO-BBC series based on the extraordinary life of Lister.

Apr 26, 2019
Ryan O’Connell's new Netflix comedy series is ‘Special’

For years, Ryan O’Connell was in the closet: not because he’s gay, which he is, but because he was ashamed of having cerebral palsy.  His cover? He’d been hit by a car--which was true. But eventually, that lie took a toll. O'Connell wrote a book about it, and now, with his Netflix show ‘Special,’ O’Connell is out in a big way. He tells us about the 4-year struggle to find a home for his autobiographical comedy.

Apr 20, 2019
Participant Media's Elise Pearlstein on the documentary boom

Elise Pearlstein has dedicated her life to non-fiction film, first as award-winning producer, and since 2013, as SVP of Documentary at Participant Media. Her career in docs wasn’t always a foregone conclusion--she used to keep lists of other jobs she could do--but now says there's no place she'd rather be. She talks to Matt Holzman about an industry in transition and some of Participant's newest projects.

Apr 12, 2019
Stephen Falk on 'You're the Worst,' the FXX rom-com with a twist

Stephen Falk thought he had gotten his big break in 2012, when NBC picked up his series ‘Next Caller.’ But after he’d shot just 4 episodes, NBC pulled the plug. He vowed for his next project, he'd write what he wanted. That would be the dark rom-com, ‘You’re the Worst’--it just wrapped its final season on FXX. Falk talks about the road to making ‘You’re the Worst,’ which critics concur is actually the best.

Apr 05, 2019
Elizabeth Banks on directing, producing and blazing a trail in the big leagues

Actress, director, producer Elizabeth Banks is a member of a very small club: women who make commercial big-studio movies. After directing ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ reboot set for release this fall, plus producing the heartfelt Hulu comedy ‘Shrill,’ Banks has even bigger ambitions. She talks about getting bored with acting and moving into producing, directing, and making it in the mainstream.

Mar 29, 2019
On set with Sebastian Lelio; Steven Yeun on life after ‘The Walking Dead’

Earlier this year, actor Steven Yeun joined us to talk about his role in the Oscar-shortlisted Korean film, ‘Burning.’ We talked about other topics too, and this week, for the first time, we’re airing that part of the conversation. Yeun tells us about getting his start in the industry and what he’s looking for in future roles. Plus, a visit to the set of Sebastian Lelio’s new film ‘Gloria Bell.’

Mar 22, 2019
Revisiting comedian Kathy Griffin, following her film premiere at SXSW

When comedian Kathy Griffin posed for a photo holding what appeared to be the bloody head of Donald Trump, she became a pariah overnight. So she did the only thing she could do: turned her story into an act, and took it around the world. This week, we revisit our conversation with Griffin, whose movie version of her stand-up special just premiered at SXSW.

Mar 15, 2019
Battle brewing between the Writers Guild and talent agencies; 'Apollo 11'

A potentially epic confrontation is on the horizon, pitting the Writers Guild against the talent agencies. And, after Todd Douglas Miller made a short film about Apollo 17, he figured he was done with outer space. Then he got an email from an employee at the National Archives who had found some old reels labeled: Apollo 11. Miller talks about the never-before-seen footage that led to his new movie, ‘Apollo 11.’

Mar 08, 2019
Director Dan Reed on his unflinching documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’

Dan Reed’s documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ features interviews with two men who say Michael Jackson sexually abused them for years when they were children. Initially conceived as just one hour of television, Reed soon realized it’d have to be longer. He talks about making this unflinching four-hour film and how, despite a lawsuit from the Jackson estate, HBO is standing behind ‘Leaving Neverland.’

Mar 02, 2019
Bonus post-Oscars banter

Without a host, the night moved right along but then, it came to best picture. How did it come to be that Julia Roberts was announcing 'Green Book' as the winner when the film had endured scandal after scandal? Scott Feinberg explains what makes the ballot for best picture different from all the other categories. And the other takeaway? The Academy is not the same as "film Twitter"--far from it, in this case!

Feb 26, 2019
Gloria Calderón Kellett chronicles pilot season, one tweet at a time

With ‘One Day at a Time’ having just dropped its third season on Netflix, showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett hoped to launch another series this year. Knowing that pilot season is not for the faint of heart, Calderón Kellett decided to share different aspects of the experience via tweets. She gives us a dramatic reading of some of her recent threads. Plus, a bonus Oscars banter!

Feb 22, 2019
Oscar-nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel looks back on a legendary career

And he gives us a glimpse of the future too! Deschanel is just back from shooting Disney’s new ‘Lion King’ in London. He’s now Oscar-nominated for his work on ‘Never Look Away.’ That makes his sixth nomination--his previous five were for ‘The Right Stuff,’ ‘The Natural,’ ‘Fly Away Home,’ ‘The Patriot’ and ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ He talks about his long career, plus his penchant for working with animals.

Feb 16, 2019
Filmmaker dream hampton on making Lifetime's ‘Surviving R. Kelly’

When ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ showrunner dream hampton was conducting interviews with women who had been in the thrall of the infamous singer-songwriter, she had to choose her words. She tells us about having difficult conversations with survivors while lawyers listened to every question and about other challenges of making the docuseries, plus the recognition and blowback she’s experienced since.

Feb 09, 2019
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck on ‘Never Look Away’

For his new film ‘Never Look Away,’ director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck spent weeks cozying up to German artist Gerhard Richter, whose remarkable life story inspired the movie. Richter seemed OK with the script, but then trashed the film based just on the trailer. Von Donnersmarck is taking it in stride--Richter may not like ‘Never Look Away,’ but the Academy nominated it for best foreign language film.

Feb 04, 2019
Director Lee Chang-dong & actor Steven Yeun on ‘Burning’

When actor Steven Yeun, best known for AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead, was asked on a Korean talk show which filmmaker from that country he’d most like to work with, he knew his answer right away: the author-turned-director Lee Chang-dong. He didn’t expect it’d ever happen, but before he knew it, he was meeting the filmmaker in Korea. Lee Chang-dong and Steven Yeun tell us about their experiences making ‘Burning.’

Jan 28, 2019
Nadine Labaki on her Oscar-shortlisted film ‘Capernaum’

Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki cast street children as the stars of ‘Capernaum,’ her gritty tale of 12-year-old Zain, who runs away from home and ultimately sues his parents for condemning him to a life of poverty and desperation. Labaki tells us what drew her to the story and describes the scramble to get her cast members the paperwork they needed to go to Cannes, where ‘Capernaum’ won the Jury Prize.

Jan 21, 2019
Spike Lee and John David Washington on ‘BlacKkKlansman’

Could this be the year the Academy finally nominates Spike Lee for Best Director or Best Picture? ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is looking like a contender. The film is based on the true  story of black police officer Ron Stallworth, who went undercover with the KKK in the 1970s. Lee and his ‘BlacKkKlansman’ star John David Washington join us to talk about the film and get a little philosophical along the way.

Jan 11, 2019
Revisiting some favorite moments from the past year

With 2018 in the history books, we’re revisiting some of our favorite moments from last year’s interviews. Stories of big breaks, trails blazed and getting back in the actual saddle on a literal horse. We have ‘Blockers’ director Kay Cannon, rodeo star turned actor Brady Jandreau, ‘Dear White People’ creator Justin Simien, ‘Vida’ showrunner Tanya Saracho and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ director Jon M. Chu.

Jan 07, 2019
Paweł Pawlikowski on 'Cold War,' a personal, Polish love story

Four years ago, director Paweł Pawlikowski won the best foreign language Oscar for his film 'Ida.' His new movie is 'Cold War,' a black-and-white period film based on the tumultuous marriage of his Polish parents that has him in the awards race again. He tells us about making 'Cold War,' getting encouragement from his friend Alfonso Cuaron, and gives the backstory of that memorable Oscar speech from 2015.

Dec 22, 2018
Mega banter year-in-review: 2018 edition

The Mouse swallows the Fox, Netflix keeps turning into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but are its rivals figuring out how to cross the streams? Old tweets cause new trouble, and a king of Hollywood falls from his throne. Banter buddies Matt Belloni and Lesley Goldberg join Kim Masters for a 2018 mega banter.

Dec 21, 2018
Peter Jackson gives WWI footage new life in 'They Shall Not Grow Old'

Peter Jackson generated whole worlds for his ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ trilogies. His latest project? A documentary that magically brings to life old footage shot on the front lines of World War One. The restoration of 100-year-old film was no easy feat. He tells us about his newest film, ‘They Shall Not Grow Old.’

Dec 14, 2018
Kristoffer Polaha on Hallmark movies; Netflix's Lisa Nishimura

In 2015, actor Kristoffer Polaha booked what he thought would be a one-off gig in a Hallmark TV movie. Now, he’s got 5 Hallmark films under his belt. He tells us how he and the Hallmark Channel fell in love. Then, KCRW's Matt Holzman sits down with Netflix's Lisa Nishimura. The head of original documentaries and comedy programming for the streamer tells us how she decides what will become a Netflix original.

Dec 10, 2018
‘Beat Bugs’ & ‘Motown Magic’ creator on his passionate pursuit of music rights

For his Netflix kids show ‘Beat Bugs’, Josh Wakely worked a miracle: he got the rights to use Beatles music in the series. Never afraid of going big, Wakely now has a new animated show on Netflix called ‘Motown Magic,’ which features another set of iconic songs and Smokey Robinson as the music supervisor. Wakely tells us about his years-long pursuit of the rights to some of the world’s most famous music.

Nov 30, 2018
Thanksgiving leftovers from memorable guests

Sometimes our guests have so much good stuff to say that we can’t fit it all into one show. So let out your belt a notch. This week we’re bringing you delicious leftovers from Ethan Hawke, George Tillman Jr., Kathy Griffin, and Aneesh Chaganty and John Cho. Plus, some early Oscar forecasting.

Nov 23, 2018
Doc director Matthew Heineman on his first narrative film, 'A Private War'

In his career as a documentary filmmaker, Matthew Heineman has criss-crossed the country, followed Syrian activists in exile and embedded with vigilantes fighting Mexican drug cartels. His newest film, ‘A Private War’ is an adventure of a different kind--a narrative feature about war correspondent Marie Colvin. He tells us about using techniques he learned doing documentaries to make his first narrative film.

Nov 16, 2018
The Document: ‘Free Solo’

This week, while Kim Masters is out of town, we’re sharing an episode of the KCRW podcast, The Document. Our colleague Matt Holzman talks to married filmmaking couple Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi about why and how they made their dizzying new film, ‘Free Solo.’

Nov 09, 2018