The Business


Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: TV & Film

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 415
Reviews: 1

 Mar 21, 2022


The Business is a weekly podcast featuring lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors. The show is hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Past guests include Norman Lear, Ava DuVernay, Matt Damon and Ice Cube.

Episode Date
Encore: 'Yellowjackets' creators on collaborating to make their hit Showtime series

This week, The Business revisits a conversation with Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, co-creators and co-executive producers of the series “Yellowjackets,” just out with its second season on Showtime. 

Mar 31, 2023
‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ co-creator talks career, making the limited series

“Daisy Jones & The Six” co-writer and co-creator Scott Neustadter talks about his early career, writing book adaptations, and the making of the sprawling rock ‘n’ roll limited series for Amazon. First, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni look into Disney’s announcement of a LGBTQ+ summit in Florida in September. Is Disney’s CEO Bob Iger clapping back at Governor Ron DeSantis?

Mar 24, 2023
NYT producers examine rise and fall of Hollywood P.I. Anthony Pellicano in new doc

New York Times Presents’ reporters and producers Rachel Abrams and Liz Day discuss “Sin Eater: The Crimes of Anthony Pellicano” two-part documentary on FX and Hulu. They explain the infamous Hollywood private investigator’s rise and fall, his 15-year sentence for illegal wiretapping and other crimes, campaigns of intimidation, and how almost all of his powerful clients walked away unscathed.

Mar 17, 2023
‘Cocaine Bear’ director on tackling the R-rated horror-comedy

Director-producer Elizabeth Banks understood the challenges of making the mixed-genre horror-comedy “Cocaine Bear.”

 “I knew that if we could just create inside the movie the sense of chaos that the bear represented, that the title represented, that the ride was for theater goers, the comedy really came second to me,” she states. “I didn't want to make a comedy, if you will. It ended up being really funny, though.”

Banks talks about hearing the call of destiny with “Cocaine Bear,” releasing the raunchy R-rated horror-comedy in theaters, working with Ray Liotta, and how she has dealt with failures in her career.

But first, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch defends company against Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit. Kim Masters and Matt Belloni discuss if his justification is surprising.

Mar 10, 2023
‘This film has put my life on a rocket ship,’ ‘Navalny’ director says

Director Daniel Roher is over the moon with the Oscar nom for his bio-doc “Navalny.” “How bittersweet this experience has been for me personally, as [a] filmmaker,” he affirms. “This film has put my life on a rocket ship, [and] has empowered creative career opportunities I never could have dreamed of.” Investigative journalist Christo Grozev, however, took one of the biggest risks imaginable: working on a film about Alexei Navalny, Russian opposition leader, has landed him on Putin’s wanted list. “When Navalny and I were saying our goodbyes, when he was about to leave for Berlin, he literally turned to me and said, ‘Well, until now I was number one on Putin's list, and from now on, you're number one on Putin's kill list.’ And it seems that he was not joking,” Grozev says. Roher and Grozev discuss how they came to pursue a film about Navalny, the risks they faced, and the eventual arrest and sentencing of the politician in Russia. 

Mar 03, 2023
For director Shaunak Sen, documentary filmmaking is like ‘a fever dream’

For director Shaunak Sen documentary filmmaking is like a “fever dream,” in that when he starts he “sort of jumps off a cliff.” The same goes for his latest documentary “All That Breathes,” as he didn’t know where the film “would land.” “Everything that has happened with the film was utterly and entirely outside of my orbit of predictive reasoning as well.” In this interview, Sen discusses the creation of “All That Breathes,” the rescue work of black kites in New Delhi, the challenges of filming it, and the recognition it has received. But first, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni look at the possible exit of Kevin Costner from “Yellowstone.” Where does the franchise go without him? 

Feb 24, 2023
Brendan Gleeson on Oscar nom: ‘A little affirmation is not a bad thing’

Irish actor Brendan Gleeson has received his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for playing Colm Doherty in the black tragicomedy “The Banshees of Inisherin.” “It's a thrill… I'm not in the springtime of my career,” he notes. In this in-depth conversation, the 35-year TV and film veteran discusses his early acting career, two of his four sons becoming actors, fame from the “Harry Potter” movies, and his award-nominated role in The Banshees of Inisherin.” First, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni look into Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s rekindled friendship. Is it genuine or a marketing stunt? Plus, a new book about the Redstone family empire.

Feb 17, 2023
Michelle Yeoh on Oscar nom: ‘Shocking, overwhelming and very emotional’
Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian woman to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance in the sci-fi action-fantasy “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” an unexpected feat for the veteran. In this extended conversation, she talks about the film and its success, and delves back into her life-long career spanning from her aspirations to becoming a ballerina as a child, to the evolution of acceptance for Asian-represented movies. First, Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced he is open to selling Hulu, just a day after the company’s Q1 earnings call. 
Feb 10, 2023
Jerry Bruckheimer is ‘thrilled’ to get his first Best-Picture Oscar nom

Jerry Bruckheimer has credits on some of the most successful TV shows and movies of the last five decades. One thing he’s learned is that this business is unpredictable, so much that even he couldn’t have guessed that “Top Gun: Maverick” would be a breakout hit.

Feb 03, 2023
‘Women Talking’ director on making ‘a positive, consensual experience’ for kids on set

Writer-director Sarah Polley had a successful career as a child actor. By eight, she had appeared in several TV series and films and was cast to play Sally Salt in the notorious “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,” Terry Gilliam’s adventure fantasy film. While Polley’s family was thrilled about it, she recalls an out-of-control production, with “unsafe and scary situations” on set. 

Jan 27, 2023
‘Glass Onion’ producer on Netflix-theater experiment, partnerships

Before “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” saw a limited theatrical release last November, Producer Ram Bergman wasn’t sure if audiences would be back in theaters. Bergman is grateful that Netflix decided to premiere it on 600-odd screens for a week, and hopes the experiment moves the needle.  

Jan 20, 2023
James Cameron: creating the ‘Avatar’ franchise ‘is like having kids’

With “Avatar: The Way of Water” charting a course for a $1.9 billion international gross, co-writer, producer and director James Cameron can now continue working on the following three sequels of the franchise, a project he compares to having kids. “Once you've done that, you're kind of stuck,” he jokes. 

Jan 13, 2023
‘Avatar’ director on his successful ‘arranged marriage’ with Disney

Filmmaker James Cameron started pre-production of “Avatar: The Way of Water” in 2014. Though sequels two and three to the 2009 “Avatar” had been greenlit by then 20th Century Fox head Jim Gianopulos, Cameron knew change was coming. In early 2019, The Walt Disney Company acquired the studio and with it, Cameron’s latest project. “We sort of were led to believe that the ‘Avatar’ overall [intellectual property] was one of the jewels in the crown of what Disney was acquiring, so we expected them to be leaning forward and wanting to see what we were all about,” says Cameron. “They were excited by the potential of the new films, especially as it was planned out to be a series of films, a saga over time played out in four movies.” In the first installment of a two-part conversation with Cameron, the filmmaker shares what changes affected the production of the movie, and why what he calls an “arranged marriage” with Disney turned out better than expected. He also discusses the importance of theaters and repeat views for the film’s success, and how he views streaming services. But first, Kim Masters discusses with Matt Belloni how the “Avatar” and “Top Gun” sequels brought droves to the theaters. Will audiences go back in 2023, or will studios continue to focus on streaming?

Jan 06, 2023
Replay: Bradley Cooper on future of movie business: ‘There is trepidation’

The Business revisits its most popular episode of 2022: part two of a conversation with multi-hyphenate Bradley Cooper. To get a shot at directing his remake of “A Star is Born,” Cooper passed on an upfront payday in exchange for a piece of the profit. And that gamble paid off. But as Cooper is painfully aware, the movie business has changed. “Those days are completely gone,” Cooper says. “So, there is trepidation I have with that, no question. And I have thought: I really have to actively start thinking about other ways of making revenue that have maybe nothing to do with movie making.” In part two of this interview with Cooper, he shares his worries about the streaming future. He also remembers picking up filmmaking tips on the set of “Alias.” And he shares how he created the memorable voice of Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon.

Dec 30, 2022
Megabanter 2022: Wall St. ditches streaming, Disney undergoes a shakeup

It’s time for The Business’ annual year-in-review Megabanter. Kim Masters, Matt Belloni, founding partner of Puck News, and Lucas Shaw, entertainment reporter at Bloomberg, discuss the biggest Hollywood stories of 2022. 

Dec 23, 2022
‘Triangle of Sadness’ director Ruben Östlund getting to Cannes

Ruben Östlund’s latest film “Triangle of Sadness,” a satirical dark comedy that takes  place in a luxury yacht, has gained considerable recognition since it came out, including a Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the spring. Now, Östlund delves into his directing, shooting during the pandemic, funding, and the aftermath of the film’s success, while Filipina actress Dolly De Leon discusses her career and how being in the film has changed her life. But first, the “Avatar” sequel premieres worldwide, including a coveted theatrical release in China. Can it gross more than $2 billion to succeed? Plus, Warner Bros. Discovery pulls the plug on “Minx” season 2. Matt Belloni and Kim Masters analyze.

Dec 16, 2022
Luca Guadagnino: ‘I am a workaholic’ who toils ‘in every direction’

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino stays busy with his projects, which lately have stacked up on top of each other throughout their production cycles. After recovering from a broken foot, he’s flown to Brazil, Argentina, the United States, and around Europe in a months-long global press tour to promote two most recent films that he produced and directed.  

Dec 09, 2022
Pakistani actor Kumail Nanjiani was unprepared for US cultural shock

When actor, writer, and producer Kumail Nanjiani was 18, he moved from Karachi, Pakistan - a city of more than 9 million people - to the United States to attend Grinnell College, a small, private liberal arts college in Iowa in 1997. The town of Grinnell’s population was about 9,000 then. Though he had visited New York as a teenager, and “sort of knew America the way it is in movies,” he was not prepared for the cultural shock. 

Dec 02, 2022
Actor Kumail Nanjiani on accepting a non-comedic role

After writing and starring in the film “The Big Sick” in 2017, actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani says writer-director and producer Robert Siegel (“Pam and Tommy,” “Big Fan,” “The Wrestler”) approached him with an idea to make a drama film about the American stripper troupe Chippandales. At the time, Nanjiani turned it down.

Nov 25, 2022
Director James Gray, Peter Kujawski discuss ‘Armageddon Time’

For Peter Kujawski, chairman of Focus Features, it was “very simple and easy” to greenlight James Gray’s drama “Armageddon Time.” Gray had written the script before the pandemic shut down of March 2020. By that Summer, Kujawski got a call from Roeg Sutherland, a talent agent from CAA, saying he had something that he should look at. Sutherland knew Kujawski was a “gigantic fan” of Gray’s work and he was in a position to say yes to the project. “I was predisposed because of my fanship,” Kujawski reveals. “The movie literally could have been about young James Gray just building a model rocket, and I would have wanted to do it.” Gray, who also produced and directed the film, says he didn’t know of Kujawski’s admiration. “This is fabulous to hear!” Now Gray and Kujawski discuss “Armageddon Time,” the challenges of making the film during the pandemic, their careers, and Gray’s bad experience working with former film producer Harvey Weinstein. But first, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni talk about another producer, Eric Weinberg, the criminal charges against him, and the “club” culture of complicity that allowed him to keep getting jobs in Hollywood.

Nov 18, 2022
Larry Wilmore on defying stereotypes, building sprawling career

Actor, comedian, writer, and producer Larry Wilmore has been in show biz for four decades. He has written for dozens of iconic TV shows, including “In Living Color,” “The Office,” and “Black-ish.” But early in his career, he says a Black comedian who didn’t fit a stereotype didn’t have a job. 

Nov 11, 2022
Replay: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy shares her path from making docs to directing ‘Ms. Marvel’

This week, The Business revisits a conversation with filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who is now being tapped to direct an upcoming “Star Wars” movie, along with Damon Lindelof, who will develop and co-write it. Obaid-Chinoy will be the first woman and person of color at the helm of this movie franchise. Recently, the two-time Academy Award winner directed two episodes of Disney’s limited series “Ms. Marvel.” She shares with Kim Masters her path from making intimate documentary shorts in her home country of Pakistan, to animated features, to “Ms. Marvel” – her first live-action, narrative fiction series. “I know what ‘Black Panther’ did for communities across the world. And this is exactly what ‘Ms. Marvel’ is going to do for South Asian communities,” says Obaid-Chinoy. The mini series portrays a teenage, Pakistani-American superhero, and within its first week on Disney+, it received a 97% score – the best reviewed Marvel series and film production on Rotten Tomatoes, a record previously held by “Black Panther.” The filmmaker also talks about how the real life heroes she has depicted over the years in documentary form are tied to “Ms. Marvel.” “Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel is a superhero who … is very much in line with the other characters that I had been filming throughout my career,” she explains, adding she desires to continue telling important stories in the future. First, Masters and Matt Belloni have a fresh banter about Lucasfilm and how its leadership’s lack of creative vision is running the franchise into the ground. Plus, Peacock has growing problems. 

Nov 04, 2022
Documentary filmmaker absorbs the American South’s history in ‘Descendant’

Documentary filmmaker Margaret Brown was born and raised in Mobile, Ala., and has had an absorbing interest in the American South, including her 2004 documentary “Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt.” But only while filming “The Order of Myths,” in 2008, she learned of the last known slave ship brought to the United States in the late 1850s, and the nearby community former slaves formed. “I didn't remember learning about that in school. That was the first time I had heard of the Clotilda [ship] or Africatown,” she states. That was the moment when she came across the topic of her newest project, the film “Descendant.” Now, Brown shares how she created partnerships to make the film, and got Questlove, Netflix and the Obamas to become involved in it. But first, Kim Masters banters with Matt Belloni about Warner Bros. Discovery’s unpredictable decision to hire filmmaker James Gunn and producer Peter Safran to run the DC Universe. 

Oct 28, 2022
Ronan Farrow and Kim Masters on whether Hollywood has changed since #MeToo broke five years ago

It’s been five years since The New York Times and Ronan Farrow, contributing writer for The New Yorker, broke Havey Weinstein’s story of criminal conduct. “There was a lot of frustration in the national conversation about gender and sexual violence, and then, Harvey's place in Hollywood changed, and maybe in some subtle ways Hollywood started to change,” he says. 

Oct 21, 2022
‘Interview with the Vampire’: ‘AMC has grand plans for the Anne Rice world’

After AMC acquired the rights to Anne Rice’s major literary works in 2020, the network tasked producer Mark Johnson (“Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”) to oversee its ambitious new project of making shows out of the author’s 18 supernatural novels. First is “Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire” on AMC+, telling the love story of two vampires, Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) and Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) in early 20th century New Orleans. For the more sensual scenes, an intimacy coordinator was hired. “They make all of us feel just what they're supposed to do, get more comfortable,” Johnson says, “then it's up to wonderful actors who make it all seem ad lib, spontaneous.” For Anderson, who played Grey Worm on the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” having an intimacy director to guide his character’s more sizzling sequences has been an important asset. “[Johnson and I] were talking about demystifying the idea of storytelling as being just purely magic and in the moment and all about feeling, but I think when it comes to intimate scenes, you can't do that,” he says, “there’s things that can really get into your head if you don't prepare properly.” IWTV’s Executive Producer, Johnson, and actor, Anderson, discuss the making of the new AMC series with Kim Masters. But first, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav laid off about a quarter of the company’s television division staff this week. What does this mean for the company’s future? Matt Belloni discusses with Lucas Shaw. 

Oct 14, 2022
A show about showbiz: Steven Levitan's comedy ‘Reboot' follows a dysfunctional cast

Steven Levitan was still working on his ABC’s hit-show “Modern Family'' when the network decided to revive the sitcom “Roseanne” after a 20-year hiatus. But after finishing its 10th season, the show was canceled under a cloud of internal rift between cast members and turmoil with ABC executives. That incident made Levitan reflect on the industry. “It made me think about what an interesting situation it is for people to come back together again after many years, and [how] in this business, sometimes when a project ends everybody has high hopes about what's up for them next, and maybe there are some deep feelings about each other,” he says. From that reflection, Levitan used the behind-the-scenes drama as inspiration to create “Reboot.” Now, he talks about some of the challenges of launching the show, having Hulu as its home, and the joys of having his show live on a streamer versus network television. First, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni look into Apple’s decision to release the film “Emancipation” starring Will Smith, as well as the “Rust” civil lawsuit settlement.

Oct 07, 2022