Ewan McGregor has played a heroin addict in Trainspotting, a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in three Star Wars films, and a poet in Moulin Rouge. In his latest film, Roman Polanski's Ghost Writer, McGregor plays an unnamed writer uncovering a political scandal. He recounts his favorite acting roles — and how he prepared for them.
Yesterday Colin Firth received a Best Actor nomination for his starring role in A Single Man, the Tom Ford adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel. Today Firth talks to Terry Gross about playing professor George Falconer, a gay professor navigating Southern California in 1962.
When Sacha Baron Cohen grants an interview, it's usually in character -- as Borat, the clueless faux-Kazakh journalist; or as Bruno, the outrageously shallow, ostentatiously gay Austrian fashionista at the center of Cohen's most recent film. Today, though, Cohen joins Fresh Air as himself, for a conversation with Terry Gross and Bruno director Larry Charles.
Film critic John Powers reviews three new foreign films: the French film "Nenette et Bonni," the Palestinian film "Chronicle of a Disappearance," and the film from China, "Happy Together" by director Wong Kar Wai.
Director Wong Kar-Wai . The writer and director of 1994's "Chungking Express," 1995's "Fallen Angels" and this year's "Happy Together," Wong has worked in the Hong Kong film industry for 15 years, and is continuing to gain a strong American following. Wong was named "Best Director" at this year's Cannes film festival for "Happy Together." He is currently working on his next film, "Summer in Beijing."
Playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Paul Rudnick. Paul discusses his new movie, "In & Out," starring Kevin Kline -- the story of a high school English teacher "outed" on national t.v. by a former student, much to the surprise of everyone. Rudnick is the author of such plays as "I Hate Hamlet," "The Naked Eye," and "Jeffrey." He also wrote the screenplay for "Addams Family Values." (Interview by Barbara Bogaev)
Film director Joseph Cates. His film "Who Killed Teddy Bear" was made in the mid 1960s. It starred Sal Mineo, Juliet Prowse and Elaine Stritch. The film has recently been re-released. It's been described as a "smorgasbord of Hollywood taboos: voyeurism, pornography, masturbation, incest, child abuse, transvestism, lesbianism." "Who Killed Teddy Bear?" is playing at the Film Forum in New York City, March 8-14.
Filmmakers Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Freidman. They've produced a film version of Russo's book, "The Celluloid Closet." The documentary includes film clips and interview with actors, directors, writers and critics.
Chinese film director Chen Kaige. His latest film is "Farewell My Concubine," a love story about two male actors and a prostitute which takes place over the course of half a century, taking them through the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Kiage first won international recognition with his debut film, "Yellow Earth." In his latest film, Kaige includes a scene in which the characters betray each other during the Cultural Revolution. Terry will talk with him about his own experiences during the Cultural Revolution when he betrayed his own father, Chen Huaikai.
Fresh Air producer Amy Salit interviews filmmaker Stephen Frears about his new film "The Grifters," based on the novel by writer Jim Thompson. Frears earlier films include "My Beautiful Laundrette," "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid," "Prick Up Your Ears," and "Dangerous Liaisons."
Guest film critic Owen Gleiberman reviews "Longtime Companion." It's about how AIDS affected the gay community in New York in the 1980's. The film, written by playwright Craig Lucas, was originally produced for the PBS series American Playhouse.
The British director's first movie in the United States was the Academy Award-winning Midnight Cowboy. His forthcoming feature, Madame Sousatzka, stars Shirley McLaine. Schlesinger joins Fresh Air to talk about some of his early work, including Sunday Bloody Sunday and Marathon Man.
Film director William Friedkin. He won an Academy Award for the thriller "The French Connection." His other films include "The Exorcist," "The Boys in the Band" and "The Night They Raided Minsky's." His latest work is an action-adventure film for television. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)