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
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
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
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
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