Fresh Air

Weekdays, Noon-1pm; repeat at midnight

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Visit the Fresh Air website for more information.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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12:50am

Sat January 21, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Michael Fassbender, Mushrooms

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 11:17 am

Uncomfortably Numb: For Brandon (Michael Fassbender), the endless pursuit of sex doesn't involve any particular pleasure — only a driving obsession.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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12:14pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Music Interviews

Remembering Bandleader And Producer Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis (center), shown playing with his band The Johnny Otis Revue.
Charlie Gillett Collection Redferns Via Getty Images

Bandleader and producer Johnny Otis, who launched and then nurtured the careers of many of R&B's greatest singers, died Tuesday at his home near Los Angeles. He was 90.

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12:11pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Movie Interviews

Brad Pitt: On Life, Movies And 'Moneyball'

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:16 pm

Brad Pitt, left, plays Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, in the movie Moneyball. His assistant Peter Brand is played by Jonah Hill.
Melinda Sue Gordon Sony Pictures

This interview was originally broadcast on September 22, 2011.

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11:54am

Fri January 20, 2012
Remembrances

Etta James: The 1994 Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 10:54 am

Etta James onstage at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Rick Diamond Getty Images

Etta James, the legendary vocalist who is perhaps best known for her version of the song "At Last," has died. She was 73.

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11:57pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Coriolanus': A People's Hero Turns On His Own

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:16 pm

Bare-Knuckle Politics: The battle-hardened Roman general Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) runs for office at the urging of his mother (Vanessa Redgrave) — but it turns out he's no booster of majority rule.
Larry D. Horricks The Weinstein Co.

Ralph Fiennes showed up for a frenzied cameo near the end of Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, and her hand-held, adrenaline-charged approach clearly inspired his film of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, which he both acts and directs the bloody hell out of.

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11:52am

Thu January 19, 2012
Movie Reviews

In 'Miss Bala,' Bullets And Beauty Pageants Collide

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:57 pm

Stephanie Sigman plays Laura, a beauty queen drawn into the world of Mexican drug cartels, in the film Miss Bala.
20th Century Fox

11:45am

Wed January 18, 2012
Author Interviews

The Man Who Studies The Fungus Among Us

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:39 pm

The Shroom With A View: Mushrooms are fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies found all over the world. They can grow in practically any environment with moisture.
iStockphoto.com

11:09am

Wed January 18, 2012
Movie Interviews

Michael Fassbender: Portraying An Addict's 'Shame'

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:39 pm

In Shame, Brandon (Michael Fassbender) pursues sex not for pleasure but to fulfill a driving compulsion.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

In the past year, actor Michael Fassbender has played a mutant villain in X-Men: First Class, psychoanalyst Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method, Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre and a sex addict in Shame.

It was his role in Shame that recently earned Fassbender a string of accolades, including Best Actor nominations at the Golden Globes and a variety of critics associations.

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11:48am

Tue January 17, 2012
Movie Reviews

'A Separation' Of Hearts, Minds And Ideas In Iran

Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) are at odds first about whether to leave Iran for life abroad — and then about more pressing issues.
Sony Picture Classics.

Over the past 30-odd years, we've grown used to thinking of Iran and the United States as enemies — from the Ayatollah Khomeini dubbing America "The Great Satan" to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which has led President Obama to spearhead international sanctions and some of his Republican rivals to talk of bombing Iran.

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10:38am

Tue January 17, 2012
Author Interviews

Writing About The Midwestern Muslim Experience

Ayad Akhtar is a first generation Pakistani-American screenwriter and playwright from Milwaukee. American Dervish is his first novel.
Nina Subin Little, Brown

Playwright Ayad Akhtar's debut novel, American Dervish, tells the story of Hayat Shah, a Pakistani-American boy in Milwaukee coming to terms with his religion and identity.

Ahktar says that he drew from the sensibilities of Jewish writers and filmmakers like Saul Bellow, Philip Roth and Woody Allen when thinking about how to give form to his experiences growing up as a young Muslim in the Midwest.

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8:06am

Mon January 16, 2012
Television

Get 'Lost' In J.J. Abrams' Latest Show 'Alcatraz'

Originally published on Mon January 16, 2012 8:29 am

In the two-hour premiere episode of Alcatraz, Rebecca (Sarah Jones) looks for clues to a missing prisoner from the 1960s who suddenly reappears in modern day.
FX

Let's begin with Justified – because, frankly, that's the one that's got me the most excited.

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7:39am

Mon January 16, 2012
Author Interviews

Legal Scholar: Jim Crow Still Exists In America

Under Jim Crow laws, black Americans were relegated to a subordinate status for decades. Things like literacy tests for voters and laws designed to prevent blacks from serving on juries were commonplace in nearly a dozen Southern states.

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9:41am

Sat January 14, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Gary Oldman, Rin Tin Tin

Oldman played Sirius Black to Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter in the blockbuster franchise.
Murray Close Warner Bros. Pictures

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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10:56am

Fri January 13, 2012
Television

Timothy Olyphant: Laying Down 'Justified' Laws

Timothy Olyphant plays Raylan Givens, a present-day U.S. marshal with Wild West inclinations on the FX series Justified.
Mark Seliger FX

This interview was originally broadcast on March 28, 2011. Justified begins its third season next week.

Timothy Olyphant plays Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on the FX series Justified.

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10:56am

Fri January 13, 2012
Television

Walton Goggins: Playing Bad Boy Boyd On 'Justified'

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 12:11 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on May 26, 2010. Justified returns for a third season on Fx on January 17, 2012 at 10pm EST.

One of actor Walton Goggins' earliest moments on stage came at a Georgia hog-calling competition when he was just 10 years old.

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3:02pm

Thu January 12, 2012
Movie Reviews

An 'Iron Lady' Fully Inhabited By Meryl Streep

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 12:12 pm

Meryl Streep (center) stars as Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd's biopic about the former prime minister of the United Kingdom.
The Weinstein Co.

I admit I was biased against the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady. Not, you understand, against Thatcher and her Tory politics. Against Meryl Streep and her accents. Which are great, no doubt. But I went in resolved not to fall for her pyrotechnics yet again. I wanted realism.

Well, it didn't take long to realize that I was watching not only one of the greatest impersonations I'd ever seen — but one that was also emotionally real.

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12:02pm

Thu January 12, 2012
Country

Janie Fricke: The 'Country Side Of Bluegrass'

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 2:14 pm

Janie Fricke.
Courtesy of the artist

Janie Fricke has had a long, winding career. She started out as a singer of TV commercial jingles, warbling for Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Red Lobster, among other clients. She then moved on to singing back-up vocals for stars such as Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton.

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11:46am

Thu January 12, 2012
Movie Interviews

Gary Oldman: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sirius

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 3:10 pm

Gary Oldman has played characters from Beethoven to Pontius Pilate to Tom Stoppard's take on Hamlet's schoolmate, Rosencrantz, in the 1990 film Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.
Matt Sayles AP

Gary Oldman watched Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy when it aired as a BBC miniseries in 1979, but he purposely avoided a second viewing before signing up to play George Smiley in a new film adaptation of John le Carre's classic 1974 novel.

"I really thought that I would be contaminated by it," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "And I didn't want to do an impersonation."

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10:52am

Thu January 12, 2012
Television

Bill Moyers Is Back On TV — And Better Than Ever

Bill Moyers began his career in journalism as a junior reporter at the Marshall News Messenger in Marshall, Texas.
Peter Krogh ©Peter Krogh

It's one of my favorite TV moments of this year. On Tuesday, the night of the New Hampshire primary, Stephen Colbert had Bill Moyers as his special guest on The Colbert Report. Moyers was there to publicize his return from retirement and the launch of his new TV series, Moyers & Company. Colbert booked him to help him do just that — but as his on-screen persona Stephen Colbert, the pontificating political conservative, he was there to throw good-natured verbal punches.

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10:26am

Thu January 12, 2012
Digital Life

A War To Watch: YouTube Takes On Television

Screenshot from YouTube

12:00pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Music Reviews

François Houle And Benoît Delbecq's Dream State

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 12:02 pm

Pianist Benoît Delbecq.
Roderick Packe

It's been more than a decade since clarinetist François Houle and pianist Benoît Delbecq's previous recording, but Because She Hoped proves that they can a strike a mood together quickly. That quiet, misterioso air is one specialty, conjuring a dream state: a slow-motion sleepwalk.

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11:39am

Wed January 11, 2012
Book Reviews

'Hope': A Comic Novel About the Holocaust?

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 12:54 pm

frequent contributor to This American Life." href="/post/hope-comic-novel-about-holocaust" class="noexit lightbox">
Shalom Auslander is also the author of the short story collection Beware of God and a memoir, Foreskin's Lament. He is a frequent contributor to This American Life.
Franco Vogt Courtesy Riverhead Books

Years ago, when my daughter was a toddler, my husband and I were friendly with another couple who had a child the same age. The friendship came to an end when the wife of the couple let slip that her husband had dressed their daughter as JonBenet Ramsey for Halloween. "He has an offbeat sense of humor," the wife explained to me. That's one way to look at it. Or else, as I thought, maybe hubby's "humor" wasn't funny at all — just perversely detached from the horrific death of an actual 6-year-old.

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11:35am

Tue January 10, 2012
Television

A New 'Morning' On CBS, But Will It Work?

CBS This Morning is co-hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill.
John P. Filo CBS

There are three new hosts of CBS This Morning, which was unveiled yesterday. One is Erica Hill, a holdover from The Early Show, the previous program in the early-morning time slot. Another is Gayle King, still best known as Oprah Winfrey's best friend, who's here to handle most of the entertainment interviews. And the third, the pivot point, is Charlie Rose, brought over from PBS to give this new show an injection of instant respectability and seriousness.

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12:08pm

Mon January 9, 2012
Music Reviews

Dore: The Little Studio That Could (Produce Hits)

Phil Spector.
Ace Records

Someday, some genius is going to do a Mad Men-type show about the little record labels of the late 1950s. Yes, I'll happily serve as a consultant.

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11:42am

Mon January 9, 2012
Author Interviews

Rin Tin Tin: A Silent Film Star On Four Legs

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 12:13 pm

Susan Orlean is a staff writer for the New Yorker and has contributed articles to Vogue, Rolling Stone and Esquire. She is the author of several books, including The Orchid Thief.
Gasper Tringale

Members of the baby boomer generation might remember the old TV series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, about a German shepherd and a boy named Rusty who lived with a cavalry troop in the American West.

In 1954, Rin Tin Tin was even "interviewed" by a writer for The New Yorker who noted that he turned up his nose at roast beef and drank milk from a champagne glass.

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11:19am

Sat January 7, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Pamela Adlon, 'Portlandia'

In one episode of Portlandia, Brownstein and Armisen started a grass-roots campaign to prevent the Olympics from ever coming to Portland.
IFC

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Pamela Adlon: From 'Hill' Kid To 'Californication' The veteran voice-over actress, who played 12-year-old Bobby Hill on Fox's animated comedy King of the Hill, now co-stars in the raunchy Showtime drama.

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11:52am

Fri January 6, 2012
Television

This Weekend, Some New Shows (And Old Favorites)

Don Cheadle plays business consultant Marty Kaan in the new Showtime comedy House of Lies.
Jordin Althaus Showtime

The New Year brings with it new TV programming, and this Sunday is an especially busy one for television. Two new series premiere, while one miniseries and several other series return.

But because it's a new year, let's start with the new shows.

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11:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Extremely Loud' And Incredibly Manipulative

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:24 pm

A year after his father's death in the World Trade Center, 11-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) sets out on a citywide scavenger hunt to find a missing lock that he hopes will reveal a message from his dad.
Francois Duhamel Warner Bros. Pictures

Some critics are indignant over Stephen Daldry's film of Jonathan Safran Foer's book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. They say the appropriation of Sept. 11 for such a sentimental work is exploitation.

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10:33am

Fri January 6, 2012
Remembrances

Barbara Lea: Remembering A Versatile Cabaret Singer

Barbara Lea was a singer known for her straightforward interpretations, precise diction, and respect for the intentions of each song's composer and lyrist. She died December 26th at the age of 82, from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Lea got her start singing in clubs in the 1950s. Her first album, A Woman in Love, released in 1955, was named one of the finest recordings of the year. Though she dropped out of singing for a while, she made a comeback in New York's cabaret world in the 1970s.

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12:14pm

Thu January 5, 2012
Television

Brownstein And Armisen's Comedic Take On Portland

Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen film their sketch-comedy show Portlandia in the summer, when Armisen is on hiatus from Saturday Night Live. During the rest of the year, they communicate through constant text messages, says Armisen.
Chris Hornbecker IFC

Soon after Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen became friends, they started making sketch-comedy videos.

"We would email a link ... to our friends, but they were mostly for us," says Brownstein. "It was very understated and silly, and we were just sort of reveling in the absurd."

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