Fresh Air

Weekdays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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10:50pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Michael Fassbender, Mushrooms

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 9:17 am

Uncomfortably Numb: For Brandon (Michael Fassbender), the endless pursuit of sex doesn't involve any particular pleasure β€” 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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10:14am

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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10:11am

Fri January 20, 2012
Movie Interviews

Brad Pitt: On Life, Movies And 'Moneyball'

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 10:16 am

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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9:54am

Fri January 20, 2012
Remembrances

Etta James: The 1994 Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 8:54 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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8:57am

Fri January 20, 2012
Author Interviews

The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 11:42 am

An illustration shows heretics being tortured and nailed to wooden posts during the first Inquisition.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims' cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment.

"[There are] expense accounts [for things] like how much did the rope cost to tie the hands of the person you burnt at the stake," says writer Cullen Murphy. "The people who were doing interrogations were meticulous."

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9:57pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Movie Reviews

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

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 10:16 am

Bare-Knuckle Politics: The battle-hardened Roman general Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) runs for office at the urging of his mother (Vanessa Redgrave) β€” 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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9:52am

Thu January 19, 2012
Movie Reviews

In 'Miss Bala,' Bullets And Beauty Pageants Collide

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 11:57 am

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

If you read the headlines, you know that the Mexican government is engaged in a long, deadly battle against the country's astonishingly powerful drug dealers, known as narcotraficantes or simply narcos. Hardly a day goes by without news of another shootout or massacre. Nearly 50,000 people have died in the 5-year-old drug war, the majority of them innocent citizens.

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9:45am

Wed January 18, 2012
Author Interviews

The Man Who Studies The Fungus Among Us

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 3:39 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

For the past 30 years, botanist Nicholas Money has studied the microorganisms that most people associate with bad smells, itchy toes, damp basements and rotten food. A renowned fungal researcher at Miami University in Ohio, Money has devoted his career to studying indoor molds, fungal movements and the mysterious world of mycology.

Why mold and mushrooms?

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9:09am

Wed January 18, 2012
Movie Interviews

Michael Fassbender: Portraying An Addict's 'Shame'

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 3:39 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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9:48am

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 β€” 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 β€” 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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8:38am

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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6:06am

Mon January 16, 2012
Television

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

Originally published on Mon January 16, 2012 6:29 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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5:39am

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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7:41am

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:

Read more

8:56am

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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8:56am

Fri January 13, 2012
Television

Walton Goggins: Playing Bad Boy Boyd On 'Justified'

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:11 am

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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1:02pm

Thu January 12, 2012
Movie Reviews

An 'Iron Lady' Fully Inhabited By Meryl Streep

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:12 am

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 β€” but one that was also emotionally real.

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10:02am

Thu January 12, 2012
Country

Janie Fricke: The 'Country Side Of Bluegrass'

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 12:14 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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9:46am

Thu January 12, 2012
Movie Interviews

Gary Oldman: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sirius

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 1:10 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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8:52am

Thu January 12, 2012
Television

Bill Moyers Is Back On TV β€” 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 Β©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 β€” 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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