In 2010, a research professor by the name of Brené Brown walked onto the TEDxHouston stage and delivered her talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” Little did she know that this would change her life forever. That TED talk has now been viewed more than 50 million times, making Brown a global phenomenon. She is the author of five bestselling books, including “Daring Greatly,” “Rising Strong,” and “Dare to Lead,” and now Brown has a Netflix special, “The Call to Courage.” In this conversation, Brown takes us back to the very beginning of the story, from her early dreams of moving to New York, to her close call hitchhiking in Spain, to her struggle to get into the University of Texas. She also talks about faith and family, navigating success, and how she’s missing the “celebrity gene.”
Mary J. Blige joins the show for an in-depth discussion about her life, her career, and the faith that has sustained her throughout. As a singer, songwriter, and actress, Blige has scaled the heights of success. She’s won nine Grammy Awards and been nominated more than thirty times. She is also a three-time Golden Globe nominee, and a two-time Academy Award nominee for her work on “Mudbound.” In fact, Blige made history as the first person ever to be nominated in both an acting and music category in the same year. In this conversation, Blige shares how she learned to navigate fame and success, and she reflects on the moments in her career that she treasures the most. She also discusses her work on the dysfunctional superhero drama “The Umbrella Academy” and talks about her preparation for her current tour with Nas.
Emmy-winning showrunner Marta Kauffman discusses the arc of her epic career, from her early struggles in New York to the evergreen popularity of “Friends,” and now her success with “Grace and Frankie,” headed into its sixth season. Kauffman talks about what it’s like to work with the “Grace and Frankie” cast, led by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and she shares the moment she learned Pete Davidson would be rapping about the show on SNL. She also speaks candidly about dealing with misogyny in Hollywood, her own experience with “imposter syndrome,” and the importance of learning to say “no.”
Betty Gilpin sits down to discuss her journey as an actor and her work on GLOW, the show from Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch about a crew of misfits who reinvent themselves as the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling in 1980’s Los Angeles. Gilpin is a two-time Emmy nominee for her performance as Debbie “Liberty Belle” Eagan. Raised by actors, Gilpin is refreshingly candid about the superficial expectations women grapple with, and her own conflict with the inner “male gaze representative.”
With his breakout role in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” his performance in “American Horror Story,” and his turn as Duncan Shepherd in the final season of “House of Cards,” Australian actor Cody Fern has quickly established himself as a riveting new talent to watch. In this episode, Fern, 30, talks about everything from his upbringing in an Australian farming community to his daring, gender-fluid red carpet style. And he shares how he confronted the ugly side of fame when he was recently hacked.
Krista is joined by Hasan Minhaj who, in a few short years, has leap-frogged from being a senior correspondent on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” to being the featured speaker at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to starring in his own Netflix standup special, “The Homecoming King,” and co-creating and hosting his new show “Patriot Act.” He’s a husband, a father, a die-hard Sacramento Kings fan, a two-time Peabody Award winner, and a 2019 Time 100 honoree.
Timothy Hutton was just 20 years-old when he won the Academy Award for his performance as the angst-ridden teenager in Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People,” making him the youngest actor ever to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. In this episode, Hutton discusses his work on “The Haunting of Hill House,” the show from creator Mike Flanagan, which reimagines Shirley Jackson’s terrifying gothic horror novel. Hutton plays the patriarch Hugh Crain. He also reflects on some of the pivotal moments of his career, including passing on “Risky Business.”
Krista sits down with Kathryn Newton, the 22 year-old breakout who stars in “The Society,” the Netflix show from creator Christopher Keyser about a group of teens who are mysteriously transported to a facsimile of their town without any trace of their parents. Newton is on a remarkable hot streak, appearing in a long list of star-studded, award-winning projects, including “Big Little Lies,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri,” “Ben is Back,” and “Lady Bird.” In this conversation, Newton shares her first impressions of the A-list actors she’s worked with, and talks about everything from her golf game to her fashion instincts and her social media savvy.
Nicole Avant joins the show to discuss “The Black Godfather,” the documentary she produced about her father, the legendary music industry executive Clarence Avant. Avant talks about what it was like to grow up in a world where guests at her family home included Presidents of the United States and the likes of Muhammad Ali and Quincy Jones. She also reflects on her father’s words to live by, the importance of paying it forward, and she shares how her close friend Pharrell came to write an original song for the documentary. Previously, Avant held the office of United States Ambassador to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. She was also the Vice President of Interior Music Publishing; and the California Finance Co-chair for President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. She is married to Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix.
Linda Cardellini sits down to discuss “Dead to Me,” the show that’s captivated audiences and critics alike. Created by Liz Feldman and co-starring Christina Applegate, it’s an honest study of female friendship and a complex portrayal of grief. Cardellini is having a remarkable year, with back-to-back projects including the Oscar-winning “Green Book,” “Avengers: Endgame” and her hit horror film “The Curse of La Llorona.” Cardellini talks about what it means to work on female-led projects, how she’s stepped up to do things that scare her, and she reflects on the special camaraderie of working on “Freaks and Geeks.”
In this episode, Krista talks to 21 year-old actor Jharrel Jerome who, despite his youth, has already appeared in a Best Picture Oscar winner: “Moonlight.” Now, he stars in “When They See Us,” the limited series executive produced, directed, and co-written by Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay. It’s a devastating account of the events surrounding the the African American and Latino teenagers labeled the “Central Park Five,” who were falsely accused of raping and assaulting a woman in 1989. Jerome talks about growing up in the Bronx, how he coped while filming this traumatic true-life story, and he discusses the pressures facing young actors in the age of social media.
As an actor, director and producer, Jason Bateman’s all-or-nothing commitment has propelled him to success on both the big and small screen, in comedy and drama, and on both sides of the camera. He was awarded a Golden Globe for his performance as Michael Bluth in “Arrested Development,” and he won a Screen Actors Guild award for his work playing Marty Byrde in “Ozark.” Bateman is also a four-time Emmy nominee. In this episode, he shares what fans can expect from the third season of “Ozark,” his profound sense of responsibility, and his obsessive love of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Welcome to the first episode of Present Company with Krista Smith. In this episode, Krista sits down with Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger and chats about her Netflix show “What/If.” They also discuss what it was like for Zellweger to play Judy Garland for her upcoming film “Judy,” as well as the most memorable moments of her career, including working with Tom Cruise on “Jerry Maguire” and stepping into the shoes of Bridget Jones.