Jimmy O. Yang called in to talk about his new book “How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents.” We discussed how he learned English from watching BET (which led to his high school rap group), How to American, How to Asian, and why you should always eat Chicago pizza within a 5-minute radius to a bathroom.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Margaret Qualley is best known for playing Jill Garvey on the HBO series The Leftovers. Margaret called in to talk about her role as a young nun in “Novitiate.” We discussed how she understood the character, placing herself in that period in history, and working with legends like Melissa Leo and Julianne Nicholson.Follow @bigwakeupcall
“The Book of Leon: Philosophy of a Fool” is a new book written by Leon Black as told to J.B. Smoove. We discussed how Leon took over his book deal, how he gets inside the mind of the character, and why everyone needs their own personal Leon.
Ramin Djawadi composes the original score for “Game of Thrones,” and therefore is one of the first people on the planet to see each completed season! We discussed his work in creating the themes, moods and atmosphere for the show through his music, as well as “The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience,” touring arenas beginning in February.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Neil Brown Jr. starred in “Straight Outta Compton” and was featured on “The Walking Dead.” He’s currently appearing in two critically-acclaimed series: “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” on BBC America, and “Insecure” on HBO. We discussed his role as a holistic detective and how it’s really a show about relationships and how we’re all interconnected, and how he’s greeted differently in public depending on from what role he’s been recognized.Follow @bigwakeupcall
David Mandel was a writer on “Seinfeld” (penning two of my all-time favorites, “The Bizarro Jerry” and “The Pool Boy”) and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and is now the showrunner for HBO’s Emmy award-winning series “Veep.” We discussed what a showrunner actually does (versus, say, an executive producer), writing for an ensemble comedy, and the excruciating minutia of television production. Also: Whither DVDs?Follow @bigwakeupcall
Gary Cole can currently be seen on HBO’s “Veep” (for which he has received an Emmy nomination), and is currently featured in a new movie “The Bronze,” which opens nationwide on Friday, March 18th. In addition to discussing the film, Gary also talked about the (originally unforeseen) longevity of “Office Space” and how often people quote lines back to him (even those not spoken by his character).Follow @bigwakeupcall
Emily Mortimer is an award-winning and critically acclaimed actress who is currently starring in “Ten Thousand Saints,” which opens in select theatres and on demand on Friday. She is also lovely and polite, and I had a wonderful time talking with her about the movie, growing up in the ’80s, and how it’s impossible not to be nice to her.Follow @bigwakeupcall