Paul Williams is a master storyteller: Oscar and multiple-Grammy winner, actor, hit-maker, composer of everything from “The Love Boat” theme to the immortal “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie. He’s as busy as ever, costarring in this season of Goliath with Billy Bob Thornton and serving as president of ASCAP, the performers’ rights organization. He’s also a raconteur, and you’ll hear about everything from Orson Welles to Phantom of the Paradise. Leonard and Jessie are still recovering from the experience of spending time with this exceptional man.
Mia Wasikowska became an instant star in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland eight years ago and hasn’t stopped working since—in a variety of challenging and rewarding parts. Among her credits: The Kids are All Right, Jane Eyre, Only Lovers Left Alive, the underrated Tracks, and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. Her latest, now playing in theaters, is Damsel, costarring Robert Pattinson. Leonard and Jessie had a great time talking to this talented actress and budding director. She loves her work and doesn’t take herself too seriously. By the way, she still calls Australia home.
Jessie and a friend needed cheering up one evening and watching the lighthearted girlfriend comedy Ibiza on Netflix was just the ticket. Gillian Jacobs, of Community, Girls and Love joins us for a buoyant conversation with the film’s writer (Lauryn Kahn) and director (Alex Richanbach ), both veterans of sketch comedy and Funny or Die. Their enthusiasm and team spirit are engaging and inspiring, as you’ll hear for yourself.
In honor of Fathers’ Day, Leonard and Jessie invited another father-daughter duo: seven-time Oscar winner Rick Baker, master of makeup whose credits range from The Exorcist and Star Wars to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and his daughter Veronica, who grew up in a kind of wonderland and is now pursuing her own creative ideas at D.C. Rick’s stories of getting started and finding the right mentors are inspiring and fun to hear…along with Veronica’s memories of growing up Baker (especially on Halloween).
Chaz Ebert is a force to be reckoned with. A strong, loving partner to her late husband Roger, she maintains his website rogerebert.com as well as his annual film festival, now known as Ebertfest, in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. That’s where Leonard and Jessie persuaded her to play hooky for an hour of candid and uplifting conversation.