I’ve been very lucky with The Feed. I get to interview some of the most fascinating people in popular culture, technology and media.
This year William Shatner opened up about losing his wife, Jeffrey Tambor spoke about his alcoholism, the girls from Orange is the New Black just mocked me, bearded Eurovision icon Conchita Wurst spoke powerfully about coming out, and electronic artist Porter Robinson taught me how to make music with Japanese robots. M Night Shyamalan wanted to end the perception of him as the 'surprise twist guy'. Rachel Taylor opened up about violence against women.
We challenged the director of The West Wing to a walk-and talk-interview, and Hugh Jackman was uncommonly political about the proposed shut-down of remote indigenous communities. Chris Pratt just straight-up flirted. Yes, that’s how I am choosing to interpret it.
These are a few of my favourite experiences this year. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed meeting them.
From Japanese internment camps as a child to becoming the iconic Mr Sulu on Star Trek to coming out as a gay man in his 60s: George Takei is a master of reinvention and he is more than happy to call William Shatner on his bullshit. In fact, it's worth it for that alone. This is my favourite interview of the year.
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK CAST
Yael Stone & Uzo Aduba are crazy fun. We talk representation of women on screen and it turns out that they both thought they were going to get fired off OITNB, like, every single day.
Jeffrey Tambor has been involved in 3 of the most groundbreaking American comedies of recent history. The Larry Sanders Show pre-empted the rise of HBO & cable television, Arrested Development pushed American network narrative comedy further than it's ever gone before and Transparent has lead a wave of transgender representation on our screens in 2015. Tambor himself is one of the most generous, sensitive and articulate people I've come across.
The original Captain Kirk has certainly lived long and prospered but Shatner's personal & professional life has been far from smooth sailing. At one point he was living out of a truck despite being a household name from Star Trek. He opens up about losing his wife Nerine to alcoholism.
Somehow in the space of a year Chris Pratt has gone from being an adorable side character in Parks and Recreation to anchoring the 2nd biggest movie/nostalgia-fest of the year (Jurassic World) and the best Marvel movie (Guardians of the Galaxy) But what is so striking about this interview is that you hear an actor talking about actually making a conscious choice to *become* a movie star. Many times in the past I’ve asked actors to explain their career choices but this is the first time I felt like an actor was honest about it. Also you can enjoy the fact that Pratt dances like a sexpest, falls over repeatedly and simply cannot whistle.
JOHANN HARI: WHY THE WAR ON DRUGS IS FAILING
Most people don't make a comeback with drug addiction. But Johann Hari is an exception to the rule. He was an award winning young journalist - and then 2011 it all came crashing down. He was outed as plagiarising his interview quotes from old articles. He quit. Handed back the prizes. And went away to travel the world, meeting drug dealers, mob hitmen and doctors, all to explore how our war on drugs is failing. Badly.
The YouTube star turned musician and actor talks beautifully about coming out of the closet in the age of social media and the power of the internet with a new generation. Sweet, articulate and very talented
To many people ‘Racism’ is a sort of abstract concept. To the legendary preacher, activist and thinker Cornel West it is a lived experience that has coloured the way he sees the world. That’s not to suggest that he’s bitter. He’s not. But a life-long experience of bigotry has given him a view of politics, 9/11, Barack Obama that is fundamentally different from most people.
GEORGE MILLER: MAD MAX FURY ROAD
This is the man that invented the Australian Blockbuster. The original Mad Max trilogy was a modern action movie franchise that WE exported TO America. Not the other way round. The process of making the original nearly wrecked George Miller, and indeed his best friend Byron Kennedy passed along the way.
EUROVISION WINNER CONCHITA WURST
The Bearded Lady is the Eurovision Winner to rule them all. There’s a fascinating origin story behind the character of Conchita Wurst and the family that gave birth to her.
Handcuffs, Hilary, Mental Health, and why you want John Hamm on hand when you give birth.
WALKING & TALKING WITH THE WEST WING DIRECTOR
Thomas Schlamme discusses Mike Myers, a blowjob and the surprise visit to The White House which changed the course of the career from one of the most prolific directors of our time.
Kristen Wiig made her have sex with a dolphin. In an audition. IN AN AUDITION. Melissa McCarthy is forthright, funny and fierce.
JIM MORRIS: PRESIDENT OF PIXAR
It's so rare to hear a business person speak with this amount of honesty about failure & frustrations. Disney Pixar are the most successful studio in the world. So what happens when you have to scrap everything halfway through and start again?
Amy Schumer's hit film Trainwreck got a lot of attention this year as did Schumer herself but it was her co-star that was the real pleasure to talk to.
GRAHAM BURK: AUSTRALIA'S BIGGEST ANTI-PIRACY CAMPAIGNER
Village Roadshow's Graham Burke wants to sue you if you pirate movies. And he's very happy to say so.
ADAM HARRIS: AUSTRALIA'S ULTIMATE STAR WARS FAN
What would you do if you found out who had an inoperable brain tumor? For Star Wars fanatic Adam Harris, it was to fulfil a lifelong dream of travelling to a convention in the USA.
So, that's my list. Who would you like to see interviewed in 2016? Lemme know in the comments down below.