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32 minutes | Jan 10, 2023
Writer-director Todd Field made two acclaimed films in the early 2000s and then disappeared from the big screen for 16 years. “Tár,” about the scandalous downfall of a classical music conductor, marks his return. The movie burst forth in dramatic fashion: Its screenplay took him only three months to write. In this episode of “The Envelope,” Field breaks down how a Górecki composition inspired the internal rhythm of lead character Lydia Tár and discusses what it was like collaborating with star Cate Blanchett, who “always wants to do things that are dangerous.” He also explains why he’s delighted by reactions to his film — even those that are ferociously dismissive. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
38 minutes | Dec 13, 2022
Darren Aronofsky is known for directing dark, provocative, divisive films such as “Requiem for a Dream” and “Black Swan,” but in “The Whale,” he sees hope, “human connection and a belief in the human spirit.” In this episode of “The Envelope,” Aronofsky reflects on how “The Whale” interacts with obesity and fatphobia, discusses exploring humanity through science, and describes why the “Brenaissance” — star Brendan Fraser’s triumphant return to acting — caught him by surprise. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
32 minutes | Dec 6, 2022
At 29 years old, “Nope” star Keke Palmer has already racked up two decades in show business. She’s an actor, singer, TV host and meme queen – and she has big plans for more. If her public persona is like Mickey Mouse, she says, then “I’m Walt Disney.” In this episode of “The Envelope,” Palmer shares what it was like to work with Jordan Peele on his blockbuster sci-fi thriller, how she felt about being her family’s breadwinner during her childhood and how she navigates the exploitation baked into Hollywood. Also, Whoopi Goldberg, if you’re listening: She wants to talk to you about “Sister Act 3.” To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
36 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
Few icons are as globally memorialized as Elvis Presley, but for “Elvis" filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, the biopic felt like "a blank sheet to explore” American history, commercialization and the true origin of rock 'n' roll: Black music. In this episode of “The Envelope,” Luhrmann shares his unique take on Presley’s tragic story, how Austin Butler was able to “meld his soul with Elvis' soul” and how a pair of socks connected a young Baz to the King. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
47 minutes | Aug 16, 2022
Fresh off the “Better Call Saul” series finale, Rhea Seehorn joins us to delve into the show’s last twists and turns and to give insight into her Emmy-nominated portrayal of ethically flexible attorney Kim Wexler. If Kim and Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill character were to get a do-over, how far back in time would they have to travel to put themselves on track for a happily-ever-after? Probably all the way back to the beginning of the series, when they worked together in the mailroom, Seehorn muses. “They would go out with each other, fall in love and then get really, really great therapists.” In this episode of “The Envelope,” she also discusses her efforts to balance gratitude with confidence in her skills, how her father’s alcoholism shaped her as an actor and the scariest day on the “Better Call Saul” set: when Odenkirk suffered a heart attack right in front of her. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
49 minutes | Aug 9, 2022
Around 2015, actor-writer-director Colman Domingo was planning to quit it all and find a new career. But instead of giving up, he revamped his approach — and found new happiness. In this episode of “The Envelope,” the Emmy nominee discusses modeling his “Euphoria” character, Ali, after someone dear to his heart as he reflects on the nature of redemption and forgiveness. “Everyone has faults,” he says. “Everyone is suffering and struggling. But everyone, when they have accountability, there … should be inroads for them to come back into good grace.” He also dishes on why he calls himself a nerd, the adorable way he first met Zendaya, and why being “a shapeshifter” means his real-life looks take people by surprise. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
53 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
Since her 1994 debut in “Heavenly Creatures,” Melanie Lynskey has been acting steadily while “flying comfortably right under the radar.” Now, for her electric role on “Yellowjackets,” Lynskey has earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actress in a drama series — and a whole new level of fame. In this episode of “The Envelope” podcast, she dishes on how this year has helped her feel more empowered and less underestimated, arriving at a place of self-love after struggling with an eating disorder, and why roles of women who take up a lot of space appeal to her. Oh, and there’s also a delightful story about a Nick Cave concert, a charming Drew Barrymore impression and a brief visit from a very special guest. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
38 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
Bill Hader and his dark comedy “Barry” have again raked in a slew of Emmy nominations. In this episode of “The Envelope” podcast, Hader dishes on what it’s like to simultaneously star in, write for, direct and executive produce a high-profile TV series of his own creation. (While doing some high-emotion acting, he recalls, “I kind of induced a panic attack — which I do not recommend if you're also directing.”) He also delves into how he transitioned from performing on “Saturday Night Live” to what he calls “real acting,” how it feels to shut down a freeway and why he laughs at the darkest moments. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
30 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
Gillian Anderson, who plays Eleanor Roosevelt on the Showtime series “The First Lady,” Joanna on “The Great” and Dr. Jean Milburn on “Sex Education,” really vibes with female characters who forge their own paths – and there’s good reason for that: Even when she was a small child, “telling Gillian what she could and couldn’t do” was impossible, she recalls her mother saying. In this episode of “The Envelope,” Anderson dishes on the importance of Roosevelt’s loving relationship with journalist Lorena Hickok, why “Sex Education” initially didn’t click with her, and the long legacy of “The X-Files.” To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
54 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
Simone Ashley has always been a fan of the romance genre, but before being cast as Kate Sharma in “Bridgerton,” playing the lead in a period drama seemed improbable to her. “I never imagined that a woman who looked like me could be a part of one,” she says. In this episode of "The Envelope" podcast, Ashley discusses embracing the political aspects of her career, how acting on “Sex Education” prepared her for "Bridgerton" and how her upbringing taught her to dream big. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
37 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
Jennifer Coolidge opens up about shifting from drama to comedy (and back again), overcoming cocaine addiction in her 20s and channeling the death of her mother to play the grieving Tanya McQuoid in ‘White Lotus.’ To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com. A previous version of this episode was published Dec. 7, 2021.
36 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
Jessica Biel’s latest series, “Candy,” is based on the true story of Candace Montgomery — a do-it-all mom who snaps after years of repressing her anger and kills her lover’s wife with an ax. “I understand her rage,” says Biel, relating to the stresses of projecting a perfect image in public. In this episode, she discusses why she’s drawn to playing antiheroes, how scrutiny of celebrities has changed since she was starring in “7th Heaven,” and the heated debates that she and husband Justin Timberlake — who makes a cameo in “Candy” — had about the murder mystery. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
36 minutes | May 31, 2022
“Stranger Things” has brought Hopper back for Season 4, and nobody’s gladder than David Harbour, who wants to peel back the layers of the character and reveal “the hero that you've always wanted him to be” (as long as he survives this season, that is). In this episode of “The Envelope,” Harbour shares his thoughts on portraying a cop in the midst of national police brutality conversations, the upsides of finding fame later in his career, and how acting has helped him manage his mental health. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
29 minutes | May 24, 2022
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin
We're back for Emmys season and kicking things off with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, who recently wrapped up their much-beloved Netflix series, “Grace and Frankie.” In this episode, the duo laugh and cry with us while reflecting on their decades-long friendship, their mutual admiration for their “9 to 5” co-star Dolly Parton, who reunited with them for the final episode, and the lies people tell about aging and death. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
35 minutes | Mar 25, 2022
Oscars 2022 Roundtable
Ahead of this weekend's Oscars ceremony, L.A. Times critics Justin Chang, Mary McNamara and Glenn Whipp join "The Envelope" co-host Mark Olsen to discuss the the ins and outs of this year's awards season, what to expect on the big night, and the future of the Academy Awards.
47 minutes | Mar 9, 2022
Mandy Moore reflects on the shocking Pearson family conversation in the latest "This is Us" episode, "Taboo," and teases what's coming up as the series finale nears. (Hint: Big Three trilogy episodes, Kate and Toby's relationship, Rebecca's final goodbye, and a pastrami sandwich.) Plus, what you can expect from her directorial debut, her parting words for Rebecca Pearson, and a blast from her past pop star life. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
30 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
In her first audition for the role of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” Ariana DeBose stressed the importance of having her identity represented. “If you aren’t interested in reflecting that in the context of your script,” she told the acclaimed director, “I don’t think that you should hire me.” The result is a far cry from the “ethnically ambiguous” characters DeBose has portrayed in the past, and she is now the first Afro Latina and the first queer woman of color to be nominated for an acting Oscar. In this interview, DeBose details the most joyful (and harrowing) moments of shooting “West Side Story,” her experience of being typecast in Hollywood, and why — despite initial hesitance — she ultimately decided to follow in Rita Moreno’s footsteps by starring in the remake. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
28 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
Though she's had a long career, Aunjanue Ellis has only recently broken through to widespread acclaim. Now, she is nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in "King Richard" as Oracene Price, the mother of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. In this “The Envelope” podcast interview, she opens up about fighting for her character to receive her due as a coach of the Williams sisters, the practical perks of being nominated for an Oscar, and her approach to playing nonfictional characters. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
30 minutes | Feb 15, 2022
Kieran Culkin, who plays Roman Roy on "Succession," helps us dissect the moments from the Season 3 finale that we still can't stop thinking about: the Roy sibling alliance, Gerri's betrayal, and the surprising ending. Plus, we discuss his upbringing as a child actor, why conjuring up his family's past doesn't actually help him in scenes and THAT Jeremy Strong New Yorker article. Fair warning: This conversation contains profanity. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com.
28 minutes | Feb 8, 2022
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson on how sifting through 40 hours of archival footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival — where legends like Nina Simone and Stevie Wonder performed in the same summer as Woodstock — led to his debut documentary, ‘"Summer of Soul.” Plus, how the parallel protests of 2020 and 1969, as well as a focus on Black joy, helped to shape the film, and why he still considers "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon his creative epicenter. To read a full transcript of this interview, please visit the episode page at latimes.com
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