Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso-logo

Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

Arts & Culture Podcasts >

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.
More Information


United States


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 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

Episode 93 - Laia Costa by Sam Fragoso


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...


Episode 89 - The Lost Episode

So look: I lost an interview. This doesn't normally happen. In fact, in my nine years of recording never has. The talk in question with the wonderful Heather Christian, a musician and composer based out of New York. But it's vanished. So instead of having no show, we're doing this show: an entire program dedicated to losing things with Heather, my father, and my best friend. It's unusual, but then again what isn't on this show?


Episode 88 - Michael Imperioli

According to Michael Imperioli, acting is all about showing up prepared and positive. Lucky for us, that's something he's been doing on-screen for close to thirty years. Raised in New York by supportive, hardworking parents who also doubled as local actors, Michael broke out on the film scene in 1990 with a role in Martin Scorsese's classic, GoodFellas. He appeared in many memorable films of the '90s, but would ultimately become most known for his career-making role as Christopher Moltisanti...


Episode 87 - Jay Duplass

Jay Duplass is a busy guy. Often alongside his younger brother Mark, Jay has left his distinct signature on dozens of projects over the past two decades, proving through his prolific yet singular work that the indie film spirit is still alive and well in America. Whether he’s acting, directing, writing, or producing, Jay is always creating art that’s imbued with a sense of unvarnished honesty. Movie fans since childhood, the Duplass brothers created a handful of short films before breaking...


Episode 86 - Josh Radnor

Unless you've lived without a TV for the past decade or so, you probably recognize Josh Radnor. The actor--who is also a skilled writer, director, and musician--has been immortalized in the eyes of the public as Ted Mosby, the goofy and hyper-romantic protagonist of the hit series How I Met Your Mother, which ran on CBS from 2005 to 2014. In real life, though, Josh will be the first to tell you that in many ways, he and his fictional counterpart are worlds apart. When Josh sits down with...


Episode 85 - Alia Shawkat

Talk Easy returns! Actress Alia Shawkat is on the show this week. We talk growing up on the television, the success of Search Party, and how the #MeToo movement is getting increasingly complex.


A Talk Easy Holiday Special

With the year coming to a close, Sam (literally) calls on past guests of the show to deliver some hope. Including: Janicza Bravo talking Kahlil Joseph’s Shadow Play at the New Museum; Jon Daly wishing to be friends with the Obamas; Lena Waithe getting engaged; Anna Sale adoring Search Party; Martin Starr being proud of his “Big Sick” friends; Noel Wells falling in love with Lady Bird; AO Scott delivering a Paul Thomas Anderson symposium; Jelani Cobb unable to get Jordan Peele out of his...


Episode 83 - Sean Baker

Sean Baker is a writer/director known primarily for the Prince of Broadway, Tangerine, and, most recently, The Florida Project. In this week’s episode, Sam and Sean dive into his upbringing in New Jersey, the difficulty of making movies on a low-budget, and why he stands by the heavily debated ending of his latest project.


Episode 82 - Lois Smith

The inimitable Lois Smith has lived a full and exciting life, beginning in Kansas in 1930 and leading her to where she is today, acting in films like Marjorie Prime and Lady Bird at the age of 87. Lois studied theater at the University of Washington, got married at the age of 18, moved to New York with her husband, and has acted on stage and screen ever since. In this episode, she and Sam spend a surprisingly peaceful hour discussing all of these milestones, along with Lois' first job in...


Episode 81 - Paul F. Tompkins

This week, Sam sits down with comedian, actor, and TV writer Paul F. Tompkins. Paul is a longtime standup comic who has appeared in everything from Mr. Show with Bob and David to two Paul Thomas Anderson films--more on both of those in the episode. Besides his prolific standup career, Paul's current projects include roles on Bob's Burgers and Bojack Horseman and a podcast hosting gig of his own. Here, he and Sam talk about his early dream of being a household name, the ways he's changed...


Episode 79 - Joachim Trier

Joachim Trier is a Norweigan filmmaker who has so far directed four feature films, including the English language family drama Louder than Bombs and his newest project, Thelma, an intense thriller that was selected to represent Norway in this year's competition for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. As Sam points out, each of these films is incredibly different than one another, a deliberate creative choice on Joachim's part. Through the course of this conversation, Joachim's...


Episode 78 - Noël Wells

Early this year, Sam and actress Noël Wells recorded an episode of Talk Easy at Sundance. Days after the presidential inauguration and in the midst of festival chaos, it was a strange time for both of them, but the resulting conversation was thought-provoking and lovely. Now Noël's back at a different moment of her life--debuting Mr. Roosevelt, her first feature as director, writer, and lead actress--for another round of thoughtful conversation. Here, she and Sam talk about parallels...