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Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

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Talk Easy is a podcast of long-form conversations with the people shaping our culture today: filmmakers, musicians, comedians, activists, authors, actors. Hosted by writer Sam Fragoso.

Talk Easy is a podcast of long-form conversations with the people shaping our culture today: filmmakers, musicians, comedians, activists, authors, actors. Hosted by writer Sam Fragoso.
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Talk Easy is a podcast of long-form conversations with the people shaping our culture today: filmmakers, musicians, comedians, activists, authors, actors. Hosted by writer Sam Fragoso.




Episode 109 - Amma Asante

Amma Asante stopped by this week to discuss her latest film Where Hands Touch, her immersive life as a young actress, writing and selling her first script, how she dealt with "looking different" than everyone else in Hollywood, and what she hopes to be doing (and making) in the years to come.


Lessons Learned (or how I turned 24 today)

Today is my birthday friends. To celebrate I've put together a collection of excerpts from some of my favorite episodes of the show. Each of these tidbits contain some piece of advice or wisdom that I try to keep near. In order of appearance: Alan Alda (5:13), Lena Waithe (9:43), Dad (15:50), Norman Lear (18:07), Chloe Zhao (24:30), Sherman Alexie (28:08), Mom (35:11), Philip Baker Hall (41:10), John Cho (45:40), and Lois Smith (53:46). We'll go back to our regularly scheduled programming...


Episode 107 - Colman Domingo

This week Sam talks to multi-hyphenate talent Colman Domingo about his family values growing up, his entry point into acting, his experience coming out to his family, his early acting days in San Francisco, pivoting from theater to film, collaborating with Spike Lee, and how he envisions his career unfolding.


Episode 106 - Ione Skye

Ione Skye needs no introduction. She's Ione Skye. You've seen her in plenty of film and television. Like many, I first saw her as Valedictorian Diane Court in Cameron Crowe's iconic Say Anything. We talk about her winding career, unorthodox family, falling in and out of love, and how she's managed to stay positive in a city and system that often feels bleak.


Episode 105 - Jerrika Hinton

This week, Jerrika Hinton stopped by to talk about growing up in Texas, actors supporting themselves through "parallel careers", when she felt she had made it as an actor, her experience on Grey's Anatomy, and the next steps in both her career and her life.


Episode 104 - Sheila Vand

Sheila Vand joined us this week to talk about her California childhood(1:57), how she got her start as a performer(6:46), her continued growth as a person in the world (15:59), her relationship with "acting" in Hollywood (25:27), her experience working with Robin Williams on Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (47:10), and the current state of contemporary film (51:50). For more episodes visit


Episode 103 - Lauren Miller Rogen

For the past 15 years Lauren Miller Rogen has had one dream: to write and direct a movie. With Like Father out this Friday (August 5th) on Netflix, she's done it. We run through her journey from Lakeland, Florida to Los Angeles, and her many creative pitstops along the way. The show is produced by Dylan Peck. Illustrations by Krishna Shenoi. Our show-notes can be found at


Episode 102 - Alan Alda

Alan Alda ladies and gentleman. We talk M*A*S*H, joke thievery, his childhood in Burlesque, his ongoing battle with face blindness (that's not a joke), and how a brush with death gave him a new lease on life. His latest project is a podcast of his own, Clear+Vivid, and you can find out more at For more info about Alan visit our show notes: www.talkeasypod/alan-alda


Episode 101 - Rob Reiner

Legendary writer/director/actor Rob Reiner joins us on the show this week. You remember his American staples: This is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men. Then there's his performance as "Meathead" from Norman Lear's landmark show, All in the Family. And then there's...we could do this forever. Reiner has been an integral part of the American consciousness for over half-a-century, which makes him an especially challenging subject to spend...


Episode 100 - Dad

For our special 100th episode, Sam’s Dad reluctantly comes on the show.


Episode 99 - John Cho

John Cho's career has undergone several transformations in the past two decades, each of them more interesting and impressive than the last. John appeared in several roles in smaller films before breaking through in the 2004 stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Since then, he's made waves in blockbuster movies like the Star Trek reboot and Harold and Kumar sequels, underrated TV shows including Selfie and The Exorcist, and buzzed-about indies like Columbus, Gemini, and the...


Episode 98 - Chas Allen (Real-life subject of "American Animals")

Six years out of prison, Chas Allen joins the show to talk about the time him and his three college friends attempted to steal 12 million dollars worth of rare artwork from their campus library.(Yes, this really happened.)Since then, the incident - later dubbed the "Transylvania book heist" - has been transformed into a film called "American Animals", now out in theaters across the country. While it captures much of what unfolded in Lexington, Kentucky, 2004, there's more to the story. To...


Episode 97 - Dawn Porter

Lawyer-turned-documentarian Dawn Porter has a lot on her mind. From the cultural and professional impact of the #MeToo movement, to her late father's habit of handing her cameras starting at the age of three, to her most recent documentary subject--the Kennedy family--she lays it all out for Sam in this episode. A nonfiction storyteller whose work, Sam points out, "describes something that's bigger than movies," Dawn has made serious, in-depth films covering topics that include abortion...


Episode 96 - Touré

Two interviewers walk into a podcast recording session, and this unmissable episode is the result. Easily the most meta outing in Talk Easy history, this conversation between Sam and writer and cultural critic Touré is better heard than read about, but we'll try to explain anyway. Touré has authored five books and his work has appeared in publications including Rolling Stone, Time, and The New Yorker. He has also appeared as an onscreen journalist for BET, Fuse, and MSNBC. When the two...


Episode 95 - Nina Collins

Sam's car was broken into and his laptop was stolen... so here we are, two days late. This week on the show is Nina Lorez Collins, who is most recently the author "What Would Virginia Woolf Do?". She also talks about a memoir she's writing on her late mother, filmmaker/poet Kathleen Collins. Over the course of the hour, she and Sam get into the details of both, while Nina also sheds light on often-undiscussed topics including aging as a women, relating to one's own body and the bodies of...


Episode 94 - Gillian Jacobs

Episode 94 - Gillian Jacobs by Sam Fragoso


Episode 93 - Laia Costa

This week, Sam sits down with Spanish actress Laia Costa, star of several indie films including the tech-based love story Newness and Victoria, which earned her a BAFTA nomination. Laia has four movies coming out this year, and can currently be seen in theaters in the Miguel Arteta-directed romance Duck Butter, which she shot opposite Alia Shawkat over the course of just 24 hours. Listen as Laia and Sam discuss her childhood spent getting in fights while playing basketball, the busy and...


Episode 92 - Julie Dash

This week iconic filmmaker Julie Dash joins Sam from Ebertfest! The pioneering director entered the public consciousness in 1991, when her debut film - "Daughters of the Dust" - became the first feature by an African-American woman to receive a nation-wide theatrical release. Over the course of a winding conversation, Julie and Sam get into her upbringing in New York City, the difficulties of receiving financing in Hollywood, and why, these days, she simply creates for herself....


Episode 91 - Kogonada

Profound and formally audacious, Kogonada’s feature debut Columbus captured the eyes and hearts of countless indie film fans upon its premiere last year. The former video essayist’s story of life, death, and architecture in Indiana immediately drew comparisons to Ozu and Linklater, solidifying him as a talented director to watch. This week at Ebertfest, Sam sits down with Kogonada, and--when the two aren’t thoroughly deconstructing the concept of interviews as self-expression--they cover the...


Episode 90 - Chloé Zhao

After making the rounds on the festival circuit for nearly a year, director Chloé Zhao's sophomore feature, The Rider, is finally in theaters. Shot on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the film follows a cowboy who, after a serious injury, is forced to reconcile with a future that might not involve horseback riding. According to Chloé, a Chinese filmmaker who attended NYU before debuting with Songs My Brother Taught Me, the film is a meditation during a time when audiences have...