This week Alec sits down with Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Josh Fox to talk about his new film Gasland Part II, which premieres this week on HBO. Both Gasland Part II, and its predecessor, Gasland, explore the impact of hydraulic fracking on everyday Americans.
This week, Alec sits down with Rosie O’Donnell who says she “never wanted to be a talk show host … I wanted to be on Broadway…I wanted to be a Bette Midler backup singer, one of the Harlettes.”
This week Alec sits down with David Simon, the creator of HBO’s The Wire, which some call the best television show of all time. Simon talks about his early years as a newspaperman at The Baltimore Sun and how he doesn’t “belong” in the world of Hollywood. “I can’t help it,” says Simon, “I’m from a different planet, which is journalism.”
This week Alec sits down with actor Stacy Keach. Some fans know Keach for his portrayal of Hamlet and Falstaff; others recall him as Sergeant Stedanko in Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke.
This week Alec sits down with Elaine Stritch, the veteran actress of stage and screen, who among many famous roles, played his mother Colleen Donaghy on 30 Rock.
This week Alec sits down with Martin Horn, former New York City Commissioner of Correction and Probation. Martin Horn has held every job imaginable in corrections: from debating the fairness of a state’s sentencing guidelines to fixing leaky water pipes in aging facilities.
Debbie Reynolds sits down with Alec to look back on her over six decades in show business. She talks about her big break in Singing in the Rain. “I slept in my dressing room,” recalls Reynolds. “I didn’t take any days off because I’d practice on Saturday and Sunday.”
This week Alec sits down with Thom Yorke, the front man of Radiohead, who has a new album, Amok, with the music project Atoms for Peace. Even after over 25 years in the business, Yorke admits performing is “either wicked fun or really awful.” He talks with Alec about what he does before going on stage and how he and his bandmates have been able to stick together since they were teenagers.
This week Alec talks with Andrew Luck, the number one draft pick in the National Football League last year. Luck talks about the challenges of going from studying architecture at Stanford to playing in the Pros. Luck’s father was a player in the NFL, so he had some sense of what to expect, but even Luck acknowledges that his new teammates “are the apex of physical freaks.” Life with the Indianapolis Colts was a whole new level of play for Andrew Luck.
This week Alec sits down with Brian Williams, host of NBC Nightly News. The show has more viewers than any other news program in the country-- an average of 10 million people tune in every day to watch Brian Williams and his team report on the stories of the day. Brian tells Alec about his early years in Pittsburg, Kansas and what it was like to take over the anchor chair from Tom Brokaw.
This week, Alec sits down with Patti LuPone – who has 26 Broadway credits and two Tonys, one for "Evita" and one for "Gypsy." LuPone is known for her opinions; she’s passionate. “I love what I do,” LuPone tells Alec, “I love the audience, and I love the fact that I get to do it. ... I love our craft very, very, much, and it’s a noble craft.”
This week Alec talks with the Executive Editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson. Abramson grew up in a family that was steeped in The New York Times: two copies were delivered to her house. Her mother wanted her own for the crossword.
This week, Alec talks with Lena Dunham, whose hit show on HBO, "Girls," just started its second season. Three years ago, Dunham made a low-budget art house film called "Tiny Furniture." Last week "Girls" took home two Golden Globes. Dunham tells Alec she never imagined she’d encounter the success she has. She says she thought she’d be a “weird Gender and Women’s Studies teacher who occasionally showed movies at film festivals,” and instead she's trying to figure out what to wear to shoot the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
This week Alec talks with Judd Apatow, whose films include ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ ‘Knocked Up,’ and ‘Funny People;’ all of which feature emotionally immature men forced to grow up after confronting, respectively -- sex, responsibility and death. Of all Apatow’s movies, his most recent, “This is 40”, which opened the weekend before Christmas, may be his most personal and stars his wife, Leslie Mann, and their two daughters.
This week Alec sits down with Jamie and Alex Bernstein, to hear about growing up with the maestro, Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein had three children: Jamie, Alexander and Nina. And while they knew him in the tux and tails, they also knew him as the dad who loved games – he was a killer at anagrams – and always up for tennis or squash or skiing or touch football.
This week Alec talks with Lewis Lapham, who's been refining his prose for over 50 years. Lapham says he still has to write “three or four or five, sometimes eight drafts of something,” but takes pleasure in “getting it right.” Today, he’s at the helm of Lapham’s Quarterly. He was at Harper’s for many years – and he started out at The San Francisco Examiner before stints at The Saturday Evening Post and Life.
This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks with writer Paula Pell – whose been making people laugh at Saturday Night Live for the last 17 years. Pell landed her dream job as a writer at SNL after working at a Florida theme park. Her agent told her that Lorne Michaels wanted to meet her – “it is not an audition, but he wants to fly you up and talk to you.” Pell wasn’t sure what she was headed up for, but she got a job writing for the show.
This week Alec talks with Andrew McCarthy – about making movies, directing and what it’s like to reinvent oneself as a travel writer. Most people know McCarthy for his roles in "St. Elmo’s Fire" and "Pretty in Pink" – as a member of the “Brat Pack" -- but those movies were only one stop on Andrew McCarthy’s journey.
This week on Here’s the Thing, Alec talks with two men who have spent much of their lives living and working in Africa. Photographer Peter Beard first set foot on the continent in 1955. Richard Ruggiero, of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, began his Peace Corps stint in 1981 in the northern Central African Republic.
This week on Here’s The Thing, Alec talks with David Brooks on stage at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in Manhattan as part of the Public Forum series. David Brooks has been a New York Times op-ed columnist since 2003. He is known as a Conservative voice -- he was a senior editor at The Weekly Standard -- but former Obama advisor David Axelrod described him as a “true public thinker.”