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Fresh Air podcast

Fresh Air

·

  NPR  

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

 

#50

Best Of: Billy Porter / Cynthia Erivo

Billy Porter has an Emmy for his starring role on 'Pose,' and a Tony for his lead role in the Broadway musical 'Kinky Boots.' Fourteen years after his initial diagnosis, Porter announced publicly that he is HIV-positive. He says being open about his health status felt like a rebirth: "I set myself free, honey. No more secrets." His new memoir is 'Unprotected.'Cynthia Erivo was nominated for an Oscar for playing Harriet Tubman in the film 'Harriet.' She played Aretha Franklin in the series 'Genius: Aretha.' She won a Tony for her performance in 'The Color Purple.' Now she has a debut album, 'Ch. 1 Vs. 1.' "I sing often with a bit of a smile," she says. ... Read more

23 Oct 2021

48 MINS

48:40

23 Oct 2021


#49

Lenny Kravitz On His Early Years

Kravitz talks about growing up the son of a Jewish father and Black mother, finding his musical style, and how Lisa Bonet changed him as a songwriter. His memoir about his life up until his breakout album is 'Let Love Rule.'Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Dune.' ... Read more

22 Oct 2021

47 MINS

47:04

22 Oct 2021


#48

Oscar Isaac

The actor is now starring in 'Dune,' 'The Card Counter' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.' We talk about his latest projects, grief and fatherhood, and his evangelical Christian upbringing. "We grew up with a very, very real sense of the impending doom of the apocalypse," he says. ... Read more

21 Oct 2021

44 MINS

44:46

21 Oct 2021


#47

Remembering YA Author Gary Paulsen

The Newbery Award-winning author, who died Oct. 13, wrote over 200 books, many of which were tales of adventure aimed at young adults. In 1994, Paulsen talked about Alaska's Iditarod dog sled race.Also, John Powers reviews Todd Haynes' documentary about The Velvet Underground. ... Read more

20 Oct 2021

47 MINS

47:31

20 Oct 2021


#46

Billy Porter On His New Memoir 'Unprotected'

Porter has an Emmy for his starring role on 'Pose,' and a Tony for his lead role in the Broadway musical 'Kinky Boots.' Fourteen years after his initial diagnosis, Porter announced publicly that he is HIV-positive. He says being open about his health status felt like a rebirth: "I set myself free, honey. No more secrets." His new memoir is 'Unprotected.' ... Read more

19 Oct 2021

45 MINS

45:24

19 Oct 2021


#45

Actress And Singer Cynthia Erivo / Remembering Colin Powell

Erivo was nominated for an Oscar for playing Harriet Tubman in the film 'Harriet.' She played Aretha Franklin in the series 'Genius: Aretha.' She won a Tony for her performance in 'The Color Purple.' Now she has a debut album, 'Ch. 1 Vs. 1.' "I sing often with a bit of a smile," she says.Also, we remember Colin Powell, who died Oct. 18 at age 84. Powell was the U.S.'s first Black national security advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary of state. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1995. ... Read more

18 Oct 2021

45 MINS

45:28

18 Oct 2021


#44

Best Of: Questlove / Tuba Player Richard Antoine White

In his new book, 'Music is History,' Roots co-founder Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson moves year-by-year through his life, writing about memories and turning points, and the songs he was listening to at the time.Richard Antoine White spent his early childhood in poverty in Baltimore, at times sleeping in abandoned houses. He's now principal tubist in the Santa Fe Symphony and the New Mexico Philharmonic. He recounts his triumph over adversity in a new memoir called 'I'm Possible.' ... Read more

16 Oct 2021

49 MINS

49:48

16 Oct 2021


#43

'Maid' Author Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land's memoir, 'Maid,' is about her struggle to make ends meet as a single mom while cleaning houses and relying on government assistance. Land, who left an abusive relationship and was homeless, talks about how she got out of poverty, went back to school and pursued writing. Her book was adapted into a Netflix series, streaming now. ... Read more

15 Oct 2021

45 MINS

45:49

15 Oct 2021


#42

Pandora Papers, Explained

Dictators, oligarchs, drug traffickers, crooks, and others with ill-gotten fortunes can hide their money from public scrutiny, creditors, and from the law — while at the same time avoid paying taxes. How? By stashing the wealth in opaque, complicated financial instruments in other countries. It's called offshoring. We talk with 'Washington Post' reporter Greg Miller about what the some 12 million documents of the Pandora Papers tell us about these hidden assets. ... Read more

14 Oct 2021

44 MINS

44:55

14 Oct 2021


#41

Tubist Richard Antoine White's Unlikely Path To The Stage

Richard Antoine White spent his early childhood in poverty in Baltimore, at times sleeping in abandoned houses. He's now principal tubist in the Santa Fe Symphony and the New Mexico Philharmonic. He recounts his triumph over adversity in a new memoir called 'I'm Possible.' ... Read more

13 Oct 2021

45 MINS

45:26

13 Oct 2021


#40

Questlove On The Soundtrack Of His Life

In his new book, 'Music is History,' Roots co-founder Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson moves year-by-year through his life, writing about memories and turning points, and the songs he was listening to at the time. ... Read more

12 Oct 2021

45 MINS

45:24

12 Oct 2021


#39

Inside The Thailand Cave Rescue

In June 2018, the world held its breath for 18 days as a group of elite cave divers risked everything to rescue 12 boys and their coach from an underwater cave in Thailand. The Oscar-winning filmmakers ('Free Solo') Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi secured hours of never-before-seen footage from the underwater rescue. The filmmakers and diver Rick Stanton spoke about how an expert team of cave divers, Thai Navy SEALs and an international group of special service members and volunteers pulled off the harrowing mission and got all 12 boys and their coach to safety. The documentary is 'The Rescue.' ... Read more

11 Oct 2021

45 MINS

45:45

11 Oct 2021


#38

Best Of: The World Of Film Noir / Stanley Tucci

Eddie Muller hosts the TCM series 'Noir Alley.' A new expanded edition of his book, 'Dark City,' chronicles film noir from the '40s and '50s. We talk about the sexiness of the genre and why film noir flourished in the post-WWII era.David Bianculli reviews the Sopranos prequel film, 'The Many Saints of Newark.'Stanley Tucci's entire world, since childhood, has revolved around food. The actor was devastated when treatment for cancer put him on a feeding tube for six months. Now cancer free, his sense of smell and taste is stronger than before. Tucci's new memoir about his life and food is 'Taste.' ... Read more

09 Oct 2021

48 MINS

48:48

09 Oct 2021


#37

Nick Lowe In Concert

Lowe's 2001 album 'The Convincer,' considered by many fans and critics to be his best, has now been remastered and reissued. We listen back to his performances and interviews in our studio from 2001 and 2011. Lowe's best known songs include "Cruel To Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" which Elvis Costello made famous.Critic Justin Chang reviews 'No Time to Die,' the fifth and final film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond. ... Read more

08 Oct 2021

46 MINS

46:00

08 Oct 2021


#36

Life In Afghanistan Now

Award-winning Afghan British journalist Najibullah Quraishi is on the ground in Kabul where he has been interviewing Taliban leaders and fighters, women who have lost their rights, and citizens trying to escape. He believes that the country is on the brink of civil war. Quraishi is the correspondent for the forthcoming Frontline PBS documentary, 'Taliban Takeover.' ... Read more

07 Oct 2021

44 MINS

44:37

07 Oct 2021


#35

Fiona Hill, Former White House Russia Expert & Key Witness

Hill was a key witness at President Trump's first impeachment hearing. Now she's warning about the threat to American democracy that comes from within. We talk about her testimony, advising Trump on calls with Putin, and why she believes America is headed towards autocracy. Her memoir is 'There is Nothing For You Here.' ... Read more

06 Oct 2021

44 MINS

44:45

06 Oct 2021


#34

Stanley Tucci

Tucci's entire world, since childhood, has revolved around food. The actor was devastated when treatment for cancer put him on a feeding tube for six months. Now cancer free, his sense of small and taste is stronger than before. Tucci's new memoir about his life and food is 'Taste.' David Bianculli reviews the 'Sopranos' prequel, 'The Many Saints of Newark.' ... Read more

05 Oct 2021

45 MINS

45:55

05 Oct 2021


#33

The Lost World Of Film Noir

Eddie Muller hosts the TCM series 'Noir Alley.' A new expanded edition of his book, 'Dark City,' chronicles film noir from the '40s and '50s. We talk about the femme fatale, the sexiness of the genre, and why film noir flourished in the post-WWII era. Kevin Whitehead reviews a live recording by jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan. ... Read more

04 Oct 2021

47 MINS

47:31

04 Oct 2021


#32

Best Of: Anita Hill / Ben Platt

It's been 30 years since the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, where Anita HIll testified he'd sexually harassed her. We'll talk about the hearings, and how they changed her life.Her memoir is 'Believing.' Also we talk with Ben Platt, star of the hit broadway musical 'Dear Evan Hansen' and of the new film adaptation. Platt plays a high school senior overcome by his insecurities and social anxiety. We'll talk about going back to the role and separating his own anxieties from those plaguing his character.Ken Tucker will review a new Beach Boys collection. ... Read more

02 Oct 2021

48 MINS

48:43

02 Oct 2021


#31

Remembering Melvin Van Peebles, Godfather of Black Film

Melvin Van Peebles, considered the Godfather of Black cinema, died last week. He's best known for his 1971 film, 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.' We listen back to archival interviews with Peebles and his son Mario. And we remember Bishop John Shelby Spong, who died earlier this month. In 1977, he became one of the first American bishops to ordain a woman into the clergy. In 1989, he was the first to ordain an openly gay man. David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix series 'Maid.' ... Read more

01 Oct 2021

46 MINS

46:49

01 Oct 2021


#30

What's Happening At The U.S.-Mexico Border?

'Atlantic' immigration reporter Caitlin Dickerson talks about Haitian immigrants at the border, and explains how both Trump and Biden immigration policies are based on a racist system created by the Founding Fathers. "The story of the United States being a nation of immigrants is much more complex than we often discuss and acknowledge as a country," Dickerson says. She explains how the legacy of racist immigration law is very much alive today. Also, Ken Tucker reviews remixed Pere Ubu albums. ... Read more

30 Sep 2021

46 MINS

46:46

30 Sep 2021


#29

'Me Too' Founder Tarana Burke

Burke says society often ignores Black girls' sexual trauma — and that the R. Kelly trial, coming after 25 years of allegations, highlights the "stark difference" in response to victims of color. "We are socialized to respond to the vulnerability of white women," she says. "[There's a] stark difference in what it takes to get attention around Black women and girls." Burke's new memoir, 'Unbound,' is about her activism and her own experience with sexual violence and healing. She spoke with guest interviewer Tonya Mosley. ... Read more

29 Sep 2021

45 MINS

45:41

29 Sep 2021


#28

Anita Hill

In 1991, Anita Hill testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. Thomas was confirmed regardless. Since then, another Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh, has joined the bench, despite Christine Blasey Ford's testimony that he sexually assaulted her. We talk with Hill about how her life and work has changed over the last 30 years, how she wants the confirmation process to change, and President Biden's apology for how she was treated in the '91 hearings. Her new memoir is 'Believing.' "There is victory in being able to come forward and state what has happened to you," she says. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Anthony Doerr's new novel, 'Cloud Cuckoo Land.' ... Read more

28 Sep 2021

44 MINS

44:52

28 Sep 2021


#27

Ben Platt

Platt stars in 'Dear Evan Hansen,' the film adaptation of the Broadway musical. He originated the role. We talk about anxiety, falling in love with another 'Evan Hansen' actor, and his upcoming project with Richard Linklater, filming a musical over the course of 20 years. ... Read more

27 Sep 2021

44 MINS

44:16

27 Sep 2021


#26

Best Of: B.J. Novak / Colson Whitehead

B.J. Novak played Ryan on 'The Office' and served as a writer and an executive producer of the series. His new FX/Hulu anthology show, 'The Premise,' deals with important cultural issues, like social justice, sex tapes, guns, and how we're shaped by social media. We talk about Novak's early stand-up and his friendship with Mindy Kaling.Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the reboots of 'The Wonder Years' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.' Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead's new book, 'Harlem Shuffle,' is about a furniture store owner in Harlem whose sideline is fencing stolen goods. We talk about heists, how New York City has changed, and writing in the pandemic. ... Read more

25 Sep 2021

48 MINS

48:54

25 Sep 2021


#25

Ray Charles On Country Music

Last month, Ray Charles was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. That may sound odd to you since he's such a pivotal figure in soul music and rhythm & blues. But his 1962 album, 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,' became one of his best known records, and included two of his biggest hits, "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "You Don't Know Me." Charles spoke with Terry Gross in 1998. Also, John Powers reviews two thriller films: 'Wife of a Spy' and 'Azor.' ... Read more

24 Sep 2021

46 MINS

46:50

24 Sep 2021


#24

The Facebook Files: What Leaked Documents Tell Us

'Wall Street Journal' reporter Jeff Horwitz says Facebook executives often choose to boost engagement at the expense of tackling problems like misinformation and mental health issues in teens that are rampant on their platforms. ... Read more

23 Sep 2021

44 MINS

44:47

23 Sep 2021


#23

B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak played Ryan on 'The Office' and served as a writer and an executive producer of the series. His new FX/Hulu anthology show, 'The Premise,' deals with important cultural issues, like social justice, sex tapes, guns, and how we're shaped by social media. We talk about Novak's early stand-up, doing the MTV prank show 'Punk'd,' and his friendship with Mindy Kaling. ... Read more

22 Sep 2021

45 MINS

45:51

22 Sep 2021


#22

Who Is Tech Billionaire & 'Contrarian' Peter Thiel?

Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal, invested early in Facebook, secretly funded the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that put the website Gawker out of business, and put more than a million dollars into Trump's campaign just after the appearance of the 'Access Hollywood' tapes. Thiel is also known for his interest in some unusual ideas, like independent city-states that float on the ocean, free from oppressive governments. We talk with 'Bloomsberg Businessweek' tech reporter Max Chafkin about his book on Thiel, 'The Contrarian.'Also, critic David Bianculli reviews two remakes of classic TV shows, 'The Wonder Years' and 'Scenes from a Marriage.' ... Read more

21 Sep 2021

46 MINS

46:00

21 Sep 2021


#21

Evan Osnos On The 'Making Of America's Fury'

How did Americans become so divided? And how did we come so close to overturning the results of a presidential election? These are some of the questions at the heart of the new book 'Wildland,' by 'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos. Osnos bookended his coverage of Trump by reporting on Trump's white nationalist support during his 2016 campaign and the attack on the capital by Trump supporters after the 2020 election. Osnos is also the author of a book about Joe Biden, and has profiled Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. He'll offer some insights into Manchin and his complicated relationship with Biden, now that Manchin holds the key vote on infrastructure and voting rights legislation.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Fortnight in September,' by R.C. Sherriff. ... Read more

20 Sep 2021

46 MINS

46:29

20 Sep 2021