At the ripe old age of 12, Saoirse Ronan earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in the movie "Atonement." She also played the titular teenaged assassin in "Hanna," appeared in Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and starred in last year's "Brooklyn," for which she was up for another Oscar. Right now she's on Broadway, playing Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible." She chats with Brendan about making the adjustment from movie sets to treading the boards, her accent, and her boogie-down roots.
Guest of Honor
Jessica Williams co-hosts the new podcast "2 Dope Queens." But it's in her role as senior correspondent for "The Daily Show" that she's become America's favorite fake-news reporter. Jessica aims her arsenal of quick wit and righteous indignation at everything from politics and race to Beyonce. She tells us about forging her own career path, her brief brush with child stardom, and why the Kardashians might be providing the best drama on TV.
Ellie Kemper got her start on traditional TV, playing the optimistic receptionist in the sitcom "The Office." She also made a splash as Kristen Wiig's miserable newlywed pal in the blockbuster comedy "Bridesmaids." But these days she stars in the streaming Netflix series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." The actor shares insight on taking cues from Tina Fey, what she doesn't get about method acting and why she believes comedy isn't just for Ivy League grads.
Back in the early aughts, Nicholas Hoult played the "boy" in the beloved romantic comedy "About a Boy." Hoult and his career have grown since then. In his new film "Kill Your Friends," Hoult plays Steven -- a venal player in the hypercompetitive British record industry of the late '90s. The actor explains the difficulties of snorting fake cocaine and offers some sweaty trivia.
Daniel Clowes may be the most respected graphic novelist in America. His blend of humor, horror, realism and surrealism has won him over a dozen Eisner and Harvey Awards, and he earned an Oscar nomination for adapting his comic "Ghost World" for the big screen. He talks to Rico about his newest work... and the impossibility of surprise in a world of spoilers.
Jeff Nichols is probably best known for his hit coming-of-age thriller "Mud," which helped re-launch Matthew McConaughey's career... although Nichols' go-to actor is Michael Shannon. The actor has appeared in all four of his film, including his new one: the tender sci-fi drama "Midnight Special." The director talks to Rico about the films and filmmakers that influenced him and explains how he tries to accurately portray his Southern roots on the silver screen.
It's not a stretch to say Viola Davis one of the most celebrated actors working today. She won two Tonys, earned two Oscar nominations, and earlier this year, she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her starring role on the show "How to Get Away with Murder." The actor shares how an interview with Oprah set the wheels in motion for her award-winning role, why she pushed for a scene to take her wig off on-camera, and why she became involved with the Vaseline Healing Project.
We're giving the very first NOTscar to actor Mya Taylor, who debuted this year in a film that isn't the kind of thing we typically see on screens. The actor explains how she drew from her own life experiences for the film and what's missing from mainstream conversations on transgender issues.
Adam McKay is a former head writer for "Saturday Night Live" and is best known for huge comedies starring Will Ferrell which he directed and co-wrote -- including "Anchorman" and "Talledega Nights." But his latest, "The Big Short," is a drama... and it has earned him an Oscar nomination. He explains how he made the economic crisis accessible and entertaining and why you should take some of his Will Ferrell stories with a grain of salt.
John Slattery earned four Emmy nominations for portraying Roger Sterling -- the wry, silver-haired ad exec on the show "Mad Men." He's also appeared in dozens of films, including last year's superhero hit "Ant Man." You can see him now in the multiple-Oscar-nominated movie "Spotlight," alongside a cast that includes Michael Keaton and Liev Schreiber. The actor chats with Rico about taking on the role of former Boston Globe editor Ben Bradlee Jr. in the film, growing up Catholic, and the one piece of attire he just couldn't pull off.