Improviser, actor, and all-around funny fellow Thomas Middleditch earned an Emmy nomination for playing Richard Hendricks, the hero of the HBO comedy series "Silicon Valley." The show launches its fourth season on April 23. Listen as actor chats with Rico about the commercialization of nerd culture, the startup investment tips he's picked up from working on the tech comedy series, and more.
Guest of Honor
Hank Azaria has had a huge career with character roles in films like “The Birdcage,” and many more. But he's probably best known as the voice behind a slew of character on “The Simpsons.” His latest TV project is "Brockmire,” a comedy about a disgraced, old-school baseball announcer attempting a comeback after a public meltdown goes viral. Using about three different voices, the actor talks about what influenced his hard-drinking sports announcer character in "Brockmire," reveals the awkward interactions he's had as a famous voice actor, and more.
World-renowned journalist Katie Couric is best known from her years as a news anchor for every major TV network and as a former correspondent for "60 Minutes." These days she is Yahoo's global news anchor and she hosts her own interview podcast. The award-winning journalist talks with guest co-host Lauren Ober about stepping away from the camera and into the podcast realm, how her Sarah Palin interview possibly scared off a few potential interview subjects, and more.
Back in 1994, director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge made the hit indie thriller "Shallow Grave." Then followed it up with a high-energy adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel "Trainspotting." His latest film is a "Trainspotting" sequel and the award-winning director talks with Rico about revisiting the characters after two decades, the unanticipated cultural impact of the first film, and more.
For six seasons, actor Gillian Jacobs played the wannabe activist Britta Perry in the cult hit comedy show "Community." She also did a star turn on Season four of HBO's "Girls," playing Mimi-Rose -- a foil to Lena Dunham's character, Hannah. She now stars in the Netflix comedy series "Love." Brendan chats with her about faking drunk, her deep appreciation of public radio, and more.
Damien Chazelle's latest movie, "La La Land," has been nominated for 14 Academy Awards, tying it with "All About Eve" and "Titanic" for the most nominations of all time. His previous movie was the Oscar-winning jazz-infused film "Whiplash." Chazelle explains what attracts him to art forms "on the precipice of extinction" and why the industry underestimates musicals.
Playwright/actor/rapper extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda is our guest of honor this week. His latest Broadway musical, "Hamilton," broke box office records and earned him a bunch of Tonys, a Grammy and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He also co-wrote songs for the Disney animated film "Moana," one of which is up for an Oscar. In a chat with Rico, the multi-hyphenate talks about his creative process for "Moana," shares how he honed his freestyle rap game, and explains why Bowie was the "uber-villain" of his childhood.
Brit Marling first attracted some attention when two movies she co-wrote and starred in premiered at Sundance in the same year. In her latest project, the Netflix drama "The OA," Brit plays Prairie, a blind woman who goes missing for years, then reappears with her sight restored, harboring secrets. She talks with Brendan about the cosmic questions in her art, emotional anthropology, and coral reefs.
In 2014, Ava DuVernay she earned raves for her civil rights drama "Selma," which was up for an Oscar for Best Picture. Her latest project is a documentary that's on the shortlist for Oscar consideration. It's called "13th," and it's a scathing primer on how America came to incarcerate more people than any other country on Earth, many of whom happen to be of color. The director examines why the criminal justice system captures her imagination, before revealing the surprising film she's seen many, many times.
Mike Mills got his start in the music biz, but he's probably best known for his feature film "Beginners." The director explains how his mother's life inspired Annette Bening's character in his latest film, shares lessons star Greta Gerwig learned from his sister and tells us how he's still trying to impress his wife.