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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 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...

Duration: 00:46:55

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...

Duration: 00:47:59

Episode 77 - Miguel Arteta

Since the late '90s, director Miguel Arteta has worked in film and television to bring us multilayered comedic movies like Chuck & Buck and Youth in Revolt, as well as episodes of acclaimed shows like Six Feet Under, Freaks & Geeks, and Enlightened. This year saw the release of his latest feature, Beatriz at Dinner, a topical story of a tense dinner party between an earthy, socially conscious woman and a group of privileged corporate bigwigs. Over the course of the hour, Miguel speaks with...

Duration: 01:16:47

Episode 76 - Shea Serrano

His whole adult life, Shea Serrano's worked hard. Not just at one thing, but at everything he's done, from chronic pool-playing and highly-calculated games of Texas hold 'em in college, to teaching middle school for eight years at an underserved school in Houston. Here, he talks to Sam about all of this, as well as how the work he did to pay the bills ultimately led him to writing. Shea has written for Grantland and The Ringer, and has authored three multimedia books, including a New York...

Duration: 01:03:27

Episode 75 - Jen Yamato

Jen Yamato is an internet-era journalist working at one of the last print news institutions in America, The LA Times. That in itself is interesting, but it's only the latest step in a career that's also included time spent working at Rotten Tomatoes, Deadline, Movieline, and The Daily Beast. This week, after warning us that she's a Gemini, Jen talks with Sam about the best year of her life (age 17), changes she's witnessed to the journalism landscape, and the recent spate of sexual...

Duration: 01:09:31

Episode 74 - Jon Daly

This week, Sam sits down with friend, comedian, and writer Jon Daly. Along with appearing as a regular at the improv institution Upright Citizens Brigade, Jon's taken on comedic roles in dozens of shows and movies over the past fifteen years. Jon's had roles in feature films like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Janicza Bravo's Lemon, and can be seen in episodes of Kroll Show, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and basically anything on TV that's equal parts funny and bizarre. Here, he and Sam talk...

Duration: 01:16:10

Episode 73 - Willem Dafoe

For over thirty years, Willem Dafoe has been putting in hard work on stage and screen, and it’s paid off. Starting in 1980 with Heaven’s Gate, a movie that he was mostly cut from during editing, he went on to take memorable roles in a wide range of films that include Platoon, The English Patient, Shadow of a Vampire, and Spider-Man. Most recently, he’s starring in The Florida Project, a film by Sean Baker that premiered to acclaim at last month’s Toronto Film Festival. Willem sits down...

Duration: 00:45:01

Episode 72 - Erica Chidi Cohen

This week, CEO, author, and nationally recognized doula Erica Chidi Cohen joins Sam on the show. Erica is known for taking a whole-self, support-based approach to pregnancy and parenting, first through her solo doula practice and soon through her upcoming LA-based reproductive wellness center, LOOM. She's knowledgeable, upbeat, and always open to discuss the nuances of her profession. Here she talks to Sam about her unique upbringing in South Africa, her career spent helping families, and...

Duration: 00:54:36

Episode 71 - Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito started performing at age 8. Now nearing 60, the signature character actor is reflecting on a lifetime of work. From his collaborations with Spike Lee (“School Daze”, “Do the Right Thing”) to playing the terrifying Gustavo “Gus” Fring on “Breaking Bad”. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Music for the show is by Dylan Peck. Original illustrations by Krishna Shenoi:

Duration: 01:16:39

Episode 70 - Heather Havrilesky

Heather Havrilesky is the author of “How to Be a Person in the World”, a collection of essays from her hit Ask Polly column in New York Magazine. In her writing, Heather has an ability to hear and see people in a way that feels selfless and genuine. In this week's episode, Sam and Heather try to do same for one another. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Music for the show is by Dylan Peck. Original...

Duration: 01:21:17

Episode 69 - Norman Lear

TV titan Norman Lear joins Sam on the show this week. The 95-year-old is chiefly responsible for changing television. His shows—All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times—were unlike anything that came before them. Political, combative, funny. Lear’s greatest gift is his endless curiosity in the imperfection of humans. Especially Americans. When Sam and Norman sat down, they discussed his remarkable life, one story at a time....

Duration: 00:56:31

Episode 68 - Fred Melamed

For over thirty years, Fred Melamed has been a true Character Actor. He’s starred in seven Woody Allen movies, played Sy Abelman in the Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man”, and has made appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, House of Lies. He’s most recently in Janicza Bravo’s dazzling debut feature, Lemon. If you perhaps don’t recognize Fred by name, you’ve certainly heard his iconic, booming voice. On this week’s show, Sam and Fred walk through the actor’s life. Stay tuned. It’s a good...

Duration: 01:09:20

Episode 67 - Amber Navran

Amber Navran is the lead vocalist of "Moonchild", a neo-soul group out of Los Angeles. With their third record out in stores, Amber came on the show to discuss her musical influences, performing with Stevie Wonder, and what it looks like to be a working musician in 2017 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Music for the show is by Dylan Peck. Original illustrations by Krishna Shenoi: Learn more about...

Duration: 01:02:39

Episode 66 - Rostam Batmanglij

Rostam Batmanglij was first introduced to us through his band Vampire Weekend. The music was infectious and seemed to be the soundtrack of every New England college campus for the many following years. Rostam was the producer for the band--the person blending the different influences together and packaging it into something unheard. Now, he is about to release his first solo record and it is even more fresh than what we have heard in the past. In this interview he and Sam talk about this...

Duration: 01:01:05

Episode 65 - Doreen St. Félix

Doreen St. Félix is only 25 but she has made a name for herself in the New York media scene. After graduating from Brown she started her career at "Lenny Letter", Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's digital, feminist publication. While doing this, she was also freelancing for places like Pitchfork, New York Magazine, and The Fader. Now, she is a contracted writer with the New Yorker (at only 25!). She and Sam talk about her successes, today's media scene, and how she really loves the show...

Duration: 00:53:29

Episode 64 - Robert Downey Sr.

Robert Downey Sr. (also known as "The Prince") is known for giving a candid response. Throughout all of the films he has directed he has never been afraid to poke fun at the establishment--little is off limits. This is not to say that he isn't a thoughtful person, though. In this interview the Prince tells Sam about his days in the army (12:40), his early days of filmmaking (28:37), and some of his regrets (49:30). Also, a side note: it was a very hot day when Sam and Robert Downey Sr. sat...

Duration: 00:59:07

Episode 63 - Jelani Cobb

Jelani Cobb has a clarity about his life and what he intends to do with it--combine journalism and history. Known for his writing on America and its relationship to race, Jelani's work is crucial to understanding America in its past and present self. Throughout this conversation Jelani's clarity on who he is and what he wanted to do is apparent. In this conversation he and Sam talk about his dreams, family life (4:00), working with David Carr (45:30), and the modern political climate...

Duration: 01:32:35

Episode 62 - Jenny Slate

Jenny Slate exudes honesty and feeling, her deep self knowledge is captivating. And this honesty comes through in the work that she does. Whether it's a film about a unexpected pregnancy or feeling stable in a stagnant relationship, the characters she plays have an emotional depth that is rare to see on screen. In this interview she and Sam talk about the types of projects she wants to be a part of (4:30), an intensely bad date (29:55), and the beautiful and clear vision she has for...

Duration: 01:06:45

Episode 61 - A.O. Scott

A.O. Scott--also known by his nickname, Tony--is one of the two chief film critics for New York Times. However, he is also a journalist, author, and former television show host. In this interview he and Sam begin with the controversial NYT "The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far" list that he and Manohla Dargis authored together. Then they dive into the TV vs. Movies debate, the state of film criticism, a peculiar "Wonder Woman" review, and a lot more....

Duration: 01:12:20

Episode 58 - Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe has been making waves in Hollywood since she arrived in 2006 from Chicago — you just didn’t know it. Although a writer at heart, Waithe has also learned how to do just about everything else in this industry. She produced Dear White People (the movie), has a role in Steve Spielberg’s next film, and, oh, yeah, created an upcoming Showtime drama called The Chi, due later this year. Most recently, you've probably seen her breaking barriers (and hearts) as Denise in Aziz Ansari's...

Duration: 01:14:27

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