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The Business


The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Past guests include Norman Lear, Ava DuVernay, Matt Damon and Ice Cube.

The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Past guests include Norman Lear, Ava DuVernay, Matt Damon and Ice Cube.


Santa Monica, CA




The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Past guests include Norman Lear, Ava DuVernay, Matt Damon and Ice Cube.






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Bradley Cooper on future of movie business: ‘There is trepidation’

To get a shot at directing his remake of “A Star is Born,” Bradley Cooper passed on an upfront payday in exchange for a piece of the profit. And that gamble paid off. But as Cooper is painfully aware, the movie business has changed. “Those days are completely gone,” Cooper says. “So, there is trepidation I have with that, no question. And I have thought: I really have to actively start thinking about other ways of making revenue that have maybe nothing to do with movie making.” In part two...


Bradley Cooper on ‘Licorice Pizza’ and ‘Nightmare Alley’

Multi-hyphenate Bradley Cooper is out with two new films. There’s “Licorice Pizza,” in which he plays real-life wild man producer Jon Peters, and “Nightmare Alley,” where he stars as carnival worker-turned-con man Stanton Carlisle. Cooper commits to all his roles but says it was a challenge to bare all in Guillermo del Toro's dark drama, “Nightmare Alley.” “It demanded that we be naked — emotionally and soulfully and even physically for me, which actually was a big deal,” Cooper says. “I...


Asghar Farhadi on his Oscar-shortlisted film 'A Hero'

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has won two Oscars and could be up for a third. His new movie “A Hero” is on this year’s shortlist for Best International Film. Working in his home country, Farhadi makes compelling cinema despite strict government censorship.


Director Maggie Gyllenhaal on ‘The Lost Daughter’

Actress and now director Maggie Gyllenhaal wanted to set her new drama “The Lost Daughter” in Maine, but New Jersey offered a better tax credit. So the plan was to shoot in New Jersey until Gyllenhaal decided it just didn’t feel right. Gyllenhaal tells KCRW about finding her power as a director and how she ended up making “The Lost Daughter” in Greece.


Megabanter 2021: Streaming wars get real, legacy studios at risk

It's time for the 2021 Megabanter! The streaming wars ramped up. Scarlett Johansson sued Disney. And Netflix was the envy of all with “Squid Game.”


Oscar winner Mahershala Ali on ‘Swan Song’

Mahershala Ali has worked for 20 years, earning Oscars for “Moonlight” and “Green Book.” But the new drama “Swan Song” is his first leading film role. He’s also a producer on the project, which came naturally since he feels he’s been doing some of that work — without the credit — for years. Ali tells us why “Swan Song” was the right film for him to take on a role behind the camera too.


‘Flee’: Using animation to protect an Afghan’s identity

Documentarian Jonas Poher Rasmussen long wanted to tell the story of his friend, who fled Afghanistan as a child and ended up alone in a Danish town. But that friend didn’t want his identity revealed, and there was no footage of his journey. The answer was animation. Rasmussen’s movie “Flee” is now Denmark’s Oscar submission for Best International Film.


With Discovery on the way in, what does the future hold for HBO?

KCRW resumes its conversation with James Andrew Miller, author of “Tinderbox,” the new book about HBO. He talks about more recent HBO history, including the 2020 launch of Warner Media’s streaming service. When asked whether he thought naming the streamer HBO Max was a good or bad idea, Miller responded, “I think it’s one of the great branding disasters of all time.”


‘Tinderbox’: HBO has drama on and off the screen

For his exhaustive new book on HBO, James Andrew Miller talked to 600 people about the network that brought us “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “Veep.” Behind the scenes, executives were playing their own “Game of Thrones.” In the first of a two-part conversation, Miller tells KCRW about his new HBO oral history, “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers.”


Netflix’s ‘Procession’ is a therapeutic experiment, using drama to ease past trauma

The new Netflix documentary “Procession” follows Dan Laurine and five other victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, as they use drama to ease the burden of their traumatic childhoods. They write and re-enact scenes from their past — scenes that are not at all graphic but still carry a powerful emotional charge. Laurine and “Procession” director Robert Greene tell KCRW how they hope their film can help facilitate change for other survivors.


Kieran Culkin on why his edgy ‘Succession’ persona sometimes follows him off-screen

Kieran Culkin has found a defining role playing Roman Roy, the snarkiest of the siblings on HBO’s “Succession.” Culkin tells KCRW about acting from an early age, facing his fears while fulfilling a dream as host of “Saturday Night Live,” and how he sometimes finds it hard to turn off that very snarky Roman Roy persona.


Netflix’s ‘Found’: International adoption, uncovering complicated family histories in China

The Netflix documentary “Found” follows three Chinese cousins, adopted as babies by very different American families. Thanks to DNA, the teen girls found each other. Then they travelled to China seeking clues about their past, and got the help of a young Chinese genealogist with her own complicated family history. Director Amanda Lipitz and producer Anita Gou tell us how their emotional film “Found” benefitted from a big helping of kismet from start to finish.


What went wrong on the set of ‘Rust?’

Bryan Carpenter has worked as an armorer — the person responsible for overseeing weapons — on series such as “Queen of the South” and “Cloak & Dagger.” He has a lot of thoughts about what appears to have gone wrong on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie “Rust.” The biggest issue of all? The apparent presence of live ammunition. “That never should occur,” Carpenter says. “That would be the worst case scenario — to introduce a live round onto a movie set that’s using firearms.”Carpenter details...


How Edgar Wright makes original movies in an industry obsessed with franchises

KCRW revisits its conversation with filmmaker Edgar Wright. His music documentary “The Sparks Brothers” celebrates two musicians whose work he loves. Ron and Russell Mael are brothers who make up the band Sparks, and they’re a pair of complete originals. Wright is an original, too. His hit movie “Baby Driver” and upcoming thriller “Last Night in Soho” are based on ideas he made up. And he can’t help but wonder why movie studios aren’t willing to take a few more chances on fresh ideas. Plus,...


The return of HBO’s ‘Succession’

The third season of HBO’s award-winning black comedy “Succession” was supposed to premiere a year ago, but the pandemic halted production for many months. Series creator Jesse Armstrong says despite the delay, the cast was soon back in the zone when they finally reunited. Armstrong tells KCRW how the road to “Succession” began with a script about an imagined Murdoch family dinner, and explains why he re-writes his scripts — full of lacerating insults — throughout the production process.


Writer Danny Strong on his quest to make Hulu’s ‘Dopesick’

Before he co-created the hit show “Empire,” writer Danny Strong won accolades for two HBO movies based on real events. So when he wanted to make a series about the opioid epidemic based on Beth Macy’s book “Dopesick,” he thought he’d be met with open arms. Instead, he found no one was much interested in his pitch. He tells KCRW about his quest to make a limited series version of “Dopesick,” which eventually found a home on Hulu.


As the Academy Museum opens, Los Angeles finally has a grand space devoted to movies

After budget blowups, a leadership change and many delays, the long-awaited Academy Museum is finally open. KCRW takes a whirlwind tour with museum president Bill Kramer to hear how exhibits cover all aspects of the movie business. And there are lots of fun sightings, including ruby red slippers, the typewriter used to write “Psycho,” Leo’s “Revenant” body cast, and even the famous Rosebud.


IATSE behind-the-camera workers make movies and TV shows happen. They may soon authorize a strike

For the first time in decades, the crew members who make movies and TV shows are threatening to strike. Members of IATSE — the union that covers cinematographers, editors, costumers and many more behind-the-camera jobs — say they’ve had enough of low wages and long hours without sufficient breaks. Script coordinator and IATSE member Shawn Waugh tells KCRW why he will vote to authorize a historic strike.


‘Plan B’ and ‘Language Lessons’: Natalie Morales on making her directorial debut with 2 films

Natalie Morales built up a bunch of acting credits on shows including “Parks and Recreation” and “The Grinder.” But what she really wanted to do was direct. When her agents didn’t get on board, she dropped them and got new ones. Now she’s made not one but two features. Morales tells KCRW about her double directorial debut with the films “Plan B” and “Language Lessons.”


Sterlin Harjo on creating FX’s ‘Reservation Dogs’ with an Indigenous cast and crew

Before he co-created the FX comedy series “Reservation Dogs,” Sterlin Harjo directed three micro-budget films in his home state of Oklahoma. He had knocked on Hollywood's door, but somehow he never could find financing. No one wanted Native films, and Harjo almost left the industry entirely. Then he teamed up with his friend Taika Waititi to make a coming-of-age show about four Native teenagers. FX liked “Reservation Dogs” so much, they’ve already ordered a second season.