FROM Armando Iannucci
Insights from writers facing distinct challenges This week, leftovers! We bring you three interesting conversations with previous guests--all writers--that we didn’t have time to air before. First up is TV comedy writer Janis Hirsch. Her sitcom credits include ‘Murphy Brown,’ ‘Frasier,’ and ‘Will & Grace.’ She joined us on the show last fall, in the early days of the #MeToo movement, and told us a powerful story: she lost a dream job on the Showtime series, ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,’ after being severely harassed in the writer’s room. We also asked Hirsch about the lack of work for actors with disabilities. She had polio as an infant and walks with the help of crutches. According to the disability rights group Respectability, people with disabilities make up 20 percent of the population, but have almost no presence on screen. Of the roles that do exist for disabled characters--on television, 95 percent of the time, they’re played by an able-bodied actor. Next up, Armando Iannucci, the political satirist and creator of the HBO comedy ‘Veep.’ He recently spoke to us about his new film, ‘The Death of Stalin.’ I also asked him about his next movie: an adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel ‘David Copperfield.’ Iannucci is going to take some liberties with the source material--Dev Patel will play the title role--but I wanted to know what he would do about some of the novel’s least interesting characters. He tells us how when it comes to Dickens’ women, quite a bit of rewriting will be necessary. Finally, a short conversation with married couple Daniel Palladino and Amy Sherman-Palladino. The two came on the show to talk about Amazon’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ but earlier in their careers, they both worked on the hit sitcom ‘Roseanne,’ though at different times. I asked them what they thought of the news that in the new version of that show, the title character is a Trump supporter. Roseanne returns to ABC on March 27.
Director Armando Iannucci on ‘The Death of Stalin’ The new movie ‘ The Death of Stalin ’ is a political satire that walks a fine line between comedy and tragedy as it follows the chaos in the Kremlin following the sudden passing of the Soviet leader in 1953. Stalin left no clear succession plan; so once he was gone, a struggle for control ensued. As portrayed in the film, those competing for power include a hard-drinking Nikita Khrushchev, played by Steve Buscemi; murderous secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria, played by British stage actor Simon Russell Beale, and the easily manipulated Georgy Malenkov, played by Jeffrey Tambor. ‘The Death of Stalin’ was written and directed by our guest today, Armando Iannucci. He’s well-practiced in the art of political satire, having created the British TV show ‘The Thick of It’ and the HBO comedy ‘Veep.’ Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 election are a red-hot topic now, but Iannucci said he filmed the movie months before the current occupant of the White House was elected. Iannucci talks about making a film that’s even more politically relevant than he originally intended, and the challenges of making a comedy about such a grisly period of history. He also tells us about being allowed to go to Moscow for research, only to later have his film banned in Russia.
'The Death of Stalin:' Comedy plus cautionary tale? When leaders have absolute power, they act absurdly. That’s the take in the new movie “The Death of Stalin.” It’s about the power grab in Russia after Joseph Stalin died and stars Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, and Jeffrey Tambor. “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci directed it. Steve Buscemi as Krushchev, Adrian McLoughlin as Stalin, Jeffrey Tambor as Malenkov, Dermot Crowley as Kaganovich, and Simon Russell Beale as Beria in "The Death of Stalin." Photo by Nicola Dove, courtesy of IFC Films. Filmmaker Armando Iannucci. Courtesy of IFC Films.
Trump says goodbye Paris Accord: What does it mean for U.S. and the planet? President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Trump was to renegotiate a new deal, but will that happen?
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.