Fresh Air

Airs Weekdays at 11 am and 11 pm

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues. Host Terry Gross is known for her fearless and insightful interviews with prominent figures in American arts, politics and popular culture.

Distributed by: NPR, Produced at: WHYY

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

British MC and actor Riz Ahmed is used to rapping and reciting lines, but he had to learn a new form of communication for his latest film.

In Sound of Metal, Riz Ahmed plays a drummer who goes deaf. To prepare for the role, Ahmed immersed himself in deaf culture and worked with a deaf advocate to learn American Sign Language. He says the experience changed the way he thought about communication.

This year that was like no other ended up making me respond to its music in a way I never had before. The pandemic, along with unprecedented political and social upheaval, made the notion of pleasure both more intense and more open to question.

There was a general feeling among almost everyone I know that we didn't just want to be transported by new music — we needed to be transported: The escapism of art was one of the few things we had control over.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

John le Carre, the author whose spy novels were praised for transcending genre fiction and simply being great literature, died Saturday of pneumonia. He was 89. Many of his books have been adapted into films or TV series, including "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold," "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," "The Little Drummer Girl," "The Constant Gardener" and "The Night Manager."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Farewell Amor begins with a scene at JFK Airport, where a man greets the wife and teenage daughter he hasn't seen in years.

With only a few weeks until President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, President Trump still won't admit defeat. White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, who has reported on Trump over the past 20 years, sheds light on his refusal to concede.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Photographer Bob Gruen spent decades capturing the lives and performances of rock stars of the '60s, '70s and '80s, including John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner — and many more.

Gruen put in many hours backstage, in studios and on the road, sometimes doing drugs and drinking until dawn with his subjects.

"I carried a little flask of cognac in my camera case. It was part of my equipment. That's the way it was in the '70s," he says. "I don't know how I survived, because I crave peace and quiet — but I actually thrive in chaos."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

For Kate Winslet, one of the best things about being an actor is taking on roles that scare her — and that's exactly what happened in her latest film, Ammonite.

Ammonite is a love story that centers on a real-life historical figure: Mary Anning was a self-taught paleontologist who lived on England's southern coast in the 19th century. She discovered fossils that were important contributions to the understanding of evolution — but she received little credit because she was a poor woman without connections.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

There's an underlying quality of solitude about this pandemic experience. Sealed into our little Zoom boxes, masked when we're in contact with others, many of us feel separated from the world by split-second time delays and a thin layer of lint.

Books break through. They enter directly into our heads, occasionally our hearts. Here are 10 of the books that broke through for me during this tough year.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

After spending much of his career playing the male lead in romantic comedies, actor Hugh Grant is shifting into darker roles.

"It's alarming how many pretty unpleasant narcissists I've played or been offered in the last six or seven years," Grant says. "It's certainly been a blessed relief after having to be Mr. Nice Guy for so many years — which is a thankless task for any actor."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVID BIANCULLI, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. "The Carol Burnett Show," one of TV's classic variety shows, ran on CBS from 1967 to 1978. In terms of musical variety, it's a significant chapter in TV history. Carol admired the work of Sid Caesar on TV's first great sketch series, "Your Show Of Shows," at the start of the '50s.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. I hope you're enjoying your Thanksgiving. We're going to spend our FRESH AIR Thanksgiving in the very good company of Conan O'Brien. Last week, he announced he'll be ending his late-night show in June after 28 years of hosting daily late-night shows. The last 10 years, his show was on TBS.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Editor's note: This interview mentions suicidal ideations.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

As coronavirus cases continue to surge both in the U.S. and around the world, there's promising news on the vaccine front.

Hookworm is an intestinal parasite often associated with poor sewage treatment and the developing world. It was long thought to have been eradicated from the United States — until a 2017 study revealed otherwise.

According to the study, more than one in three people in Alabama's Lowndes County tested positive for hookworm infection.

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