Teyonah Parris made her breakthrough playing the first black employee of Sterling Cooper on the hit TV show "Mad Men." And her latest starring role is in Spike Lee's acclaimed film "Chi-Raq." The actor chats about studying women like Michelle Obama to embody Lysistrata, her desire to see more complex representations of African-Americans in cinema, and about not talking about her hair.
Guest of Honor
As an actor Peter Berg has starred in the TV series "Chicago Hope" and in dozens of films. But he's also become a major filmmaker. He directed the film "Friday Night Lights," which he developed into the beloved TV series. And he helmed last year's acclaimed thriller "Lone Survivor," about a Navy Seal team in Afghanistan. He talks to Rico about seeking out the truth for his docuseries "Live to Tell" and not apologizing for the time you lost binge-watching "Friday Night Lights."
Gael Garcia Bernal was a TV star in his native Mexico from a very young age. And then broke into the international art house circuit with roles in the acclaimed films "Amores Perros" and "Y Tu Mamá También." He went on to star in movies like "Babel," "Rosewater," and "The Motorcycle Diaries." His latest project is a series for Amazon called "Mozart in the Jungle." The actor talks about his genius "Mozart in the Jungle" character, the rise of Mexican cinema... and then gets a bit of a reality check from Brendan.
Alicia Vikander was just nominated for two Golden Globe awards. One for playing a cyborg in the sci-fi thriller "Ex Machina," and the second for a film that opens nationwide this week: "The Danish Girl." She explains what she learned about the transgender community from working on the film and reveals why she won't play Pictionary with you anytime soon.
Back in the '70s Sir Ian McKellen became one of the leading Shakespearean actors of his generation. Geeks the world over know him for his role as the anti-hero Magneto in the "X-Men" movies, and of course, the wizard Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, for which he earned one of his two Oscar nominations. His latest role is as Sherlock Holmes in "Mr. Holmes." Before he took on a few etiquette questions, the veteran actor talked about his storied career, playing the "real" Sherlock Holmes, and why Dame Judi Dench is a "naughty, naughty girl!"
Allison Janney has earned accolades for her performances in just about every medium, including a couple of Tony nominations. But she's probably best known as a TV star -- especially as Press Secretary CJ Cregg on "The West Wing" -- a role that won her four Emmys. She's won two more for her latest role on the sitcom "Mom." The actor opens up about finding the levity in tragedy of her addict character on the show... and reveals her inner Notorious B.I.G.
The actress, who is known for standout character roles in films like "Scott Pilgrim Versus the World" and the Mark Wahlberg drama "The Gambler," is receiving Oscar buzz for her star turn in the critically acclaimed new film "Room." She talks to Rico about seeking out roles worth fighting for, the resilience of the human spirit and what it's like to be on a plane when the in-flight movie happens to star you.
Back in 1994, Carrie Brownstein co-founded Sleater-Kinney -- a blazing all-woman rock trio that made a huge impact on critics and the indie rock scene. Their debut record, "Dig Me Out," landed on Rolling Stone's list of The Greatest Albums of All Time. Then, in 2006, Carrie left the group, and along with comedian Fred Armisen, co-created the hit sketch-comedy show "Portlandia." In her new memoir, she reflects on trying (and failing) to survive on rock and roll alone.
Olivia Wilde is perhaps best known as the secretive doctor Thirteen on the hit TV series "House," and has also appeared in dozens of films including "Tron: Legacy," "Rush," and the Oscar-nominee "Her." Wilde's latest film is called "Meadowland" - a portrait of a family grappling with loss. She talks to Brendan about what makes this project unique, the importance of having more women behind the camera, and a time when a certain Rolling Stone stole her favorite seat.
Bill Charlap is one of the top jazz pianists and bandleaders in America. And Tony Bennett... well, in his almost 70 years as a musician, he's released over 70 albums, won 18 Grammys, and a couple of Emmys, and is one of the greatest singers ever of American jazz and pop standards. He and Charlap just released "Silver Lining," an album of songs by the composer Jerome Kern and the two talk to Rico about Kern's work, finding satisfaction as an artist, and Bennett's unwavering love of San Francisco.