Guest of Honor

Abbi Jacobson Finds Inspiration From Great Art and Self-Confident Artists

Abbi Jacobson and her co-writer and co-star Ilana Glaser created the Comedy Central hit "Broad City." She’s also an artist and merges that training with her comic sensibilities on her podcast, "A Piece of Work" -- produced in conjunction with New York's Museum of Modern Art. She talks to Brendan about doing an audio show about a visual medium, how her life has changed since “Broad City” (and how it hasn’t), and more.

Willem Dafoe: Not Just ‘The Bad Guy’

Willem Dafoe has lit up the big screen for three decades, from his Oscar-nominated performance in "Platoon," to playing Jesus in "The Last Temptation of Christ," to great character roles in "Wild At Heart" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel." His latest is "The Florida Project," directed by Sean Baker. Willem talks with Brendan about working alongside screen newbies in the film, the moment when an actor becomes creative artist and not just an interpreter, and maybe reveals a little too much answering one of our standard questions.

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Director Envisions a Nightmarish Future with Sparks of Beauty

French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is perhaps best-known for directing thrillers and science fictions films like "Sicario" and "Arrival," which received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Director. His latest film is "Blade Runner 2049," a sequel to "Blade Runner," a science fiction classic that was originally released 35 years ago. Rico talked to Denis about how he signed onto the project, the film's bleak view of the future, and more.

Sterling K. Brown Talks Fathers and Sons, Sinners and Saints

Actor Sterling K. Brown won his first Emmy for portraying Christopher Darden in "The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story." And he won his second, a little over a week ago, for his performance as Randall Pearson in the acclaimed NBC drama "This Is Us." His latest role in the biographical drama "Marshall." Sterling talks to Brendan about his "This Is Us" character being "black on purpose," not-so-blind justice, and more.

Jesmyn Ward Examines A Few Hard Truths About Race

Author Jesmyn Ward was raised in coastal Mississippi and she was the first in her family to go to college, which is where she started writing. Her second novel "Salvage the Bones,” informed by her experience enduring Hurricane Katrina, won the National Book Award. She talks to Brendan about what inspired her new novel, "Sing, Unburied, Sing," and more.

Lake Bell Shares How Her Marriage Influenced ‘I Do…Until I Don’t’

Lake Bell has one of the most interesting resumes in Hollywood. Most viewers know her as an actress -- she was lawyer Sally Heep on the series "Boston Legal" and she stars on the Netflix series "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later." Lake also writes, directs and stars in her own indie films. The latest being the comedy "I Do... Until I Don't." Rico talks with Lake about how she went from cynic to romantic while working on the film, how she incorporated experiences from her own relationship into the script, and more.

Flying Lotus Champions the Artistry in His Nightmarish ‘Kuso’

Flying Lotus is an artist who has been blowing people's minds in multiple mediums since his music debut in 2006. Now, he's moving to the big screen with his debut film called, "Kuso." He chats with Rico about his cinematic influences, what the critics missing out on by focusing on the cruder elements of the film… and championship tag.

Alison Brie Gets Slammed to the Mat on ‘GLOW’

Actor Alison Brie played Pete Campbell's long-suffering wife Trudy on the hit drama "Mad Men," and straight-laced Annie Edison on the cult sitcom "Community." But this month, she takes on a very different starring role in the Netflix series "GLOW." Find out why the actor cried after nabbing the lead role, why having women in charge changed the tone of the set, and more.

Damon Lindelof Finds Freedom in Limitations and Ponders the Paradoxes of Fandom

Damon Lindelof co-created the ABC series "Lost," which is widely considered one of the greatest TV shows ever. He also wrote installments of the "Alien" and "Star Trek" movie franchises. But most recently, he co-created HBO's "The Leftovers" Listen as Rico reminds him of their shared TV past and Damon reflects on what it's like to try to write a show with passionate fans.

Paul Feig on Portraying Female Friendships and Fine-Tuning Gross-Out Comedy

Paul Feig is beloved for creating and producing the cult-favorite tv show "Freaks and Geeks," but these days, Paul's probably best known for "Bridesmaids," "The Heat," and "Spy." Listen as he shares some insight with Brendan on testing the limits of raunchiness and why Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer impression works so well.