The Best Film and TV Podcast Conversations of 2022
Mar 3, 2023
Podcasts, they make the world go round, right? Listen, some of us are podcast junkies here. We may not report on everything, but we damn well listen to pretty much everything we can. Podcasts are great because they often give context and intent; they illuminate interviews in a way that print can’t sometimes (video podcasts are sometimes even better cause you can see the expression on someone’s face and really read what they are saying). Sometimes you’ll read quotes framed in a certain way, and someone can come off like a jackass. But when you’re actually listening to someone speak, you can understand the full intent of what they’re saying, empathize, and even realize some reporters use quotes in bad faith and out of context (though that’s arguably another conversation to be had another time).
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Anyhow, the age of podcasts has been a great boon beyond the business side of it for the industry. Often, someone might think a particular subject is a dbag or whatever, but then listening to them in a podcast interview—you can really come around to them and understand their point of view. This experience indeed came to me with Dax Shepard’s podcast on Spotify, Armchair Expert. I initially thought I didn’t like hit, but I have come to understand him a bit more. Hell, even Maron—it took me time to adjust to who he was (though he’s grown in empathy which is a beautiful thing to watch).
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I digress! Podcasts! It’s great to understand someone’s point of view even if you don’t agree with them fully (no, this is absolutely not a “both sides” thing, f-that, but empathy is in short supply). So, in the spirit of mainlining what we believe is every major TV & Film interview of 2022—relatively speaking, anyhow, we must have missed something— here are our favorite film and television podcast conversations/interviews of 2022.
Follow along with all our Best Of 2022 coverage here.
12. Ramy Youssef Talks “Ramy” Season 3Deadline’s 20 Question podcast is not our favorite format, to be honest, but they book some good guests and get enough time to dive deeper into 20 kind of prescriptive questions. Youseff is another charming, captivating dude who doesn’t differ too much from his innocent, naïve “Ramy” character. But he talked about his feminist heroes, how he’s trying to get filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos on the show, and sadly, explained why “Ramy” Season four will be the last one.
11. Michael Mann Talks His Heat 2 Book & Entire CareerMichael Mann doesn’t do that many interviews, and he certainly does a lot of podcasts, but the exacting and particular director did show up on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and The Rewatchables that year, and that was a treat. Yes, like Happy Sad Confused, there could probably be a dozen plus candidate for this list from HSC—and the Patton Oswalt and Jerrod Carmichael eps were strong contenders along with Tony Gilroy (again! He breaks down the making of “Michael Clayton”) and Rewatchables (any time they have a celeb guest, it’s a good time). This might be just on the list cause it’s Mann and maybe the only two podcast interviews he gave this year, and the dude is super captivating, but “Heat” is iconic, “Heat 2” is fascinating,g and man, we could listen to him all day.
10. Jordan Peele Talks “Nope”Dax Shepard has really evolved! While he’s still maybe a little bit too bro-y and macho and perhaps too conservative for our taste (he’s not conservative per se, but maybe is a traditionalist or centrist), but his podcast, Armchair Expert, also perhaps thanks to his much more empathetic podcast Monica Padman who keeps him in check. Jordan Peele is obviously the new master of socio-political horror thrillers, and “Nope,” a bit of an abstract and thoughtful take on exploitation, spectacle, and opportunism—the need to exploit images— is fantastic. Thus Peele is always interesting to talk to. Jordan and Dax talk about the similarities between Punk’d and Mad TV, what growing up with single mothers was like, and how vital interpersonal skills are in the filmmaking process. Peele talks the ego affects the creative process and more. Good stuff.
9. Henry Cavill Talks Return of Superman RoleThis one maybe falls into saddest in retrospect. Look, Happy Sad Confused gets excellent access to talent and has great podcast conversations, and maybe there are a dozen or more good ones worthy of this list. Still, the Cavill one, in retrospect, is a bit devastating and perhaps notable in that regard. Cavill announces he is back as Superman on Instagram following his cameo appearance in “Black Adam.” It’s unclear if this was pre-planned or not—as in, Cavill’s camp knew what was coming and looking to promote it, even if it was a secret at the booking time— but Cavill then made a 92Y public appearance to talk about it all with Happy Sad publicly Confused moderating. So Cavill talks about his return as Superman, how proud he is to be back in the role and how he wants to do right by the fans, a little James Bond (a role he just missed to Daniel Craig), and “Enola Holmes 2,” the film he was ostensibly promoting. And just a month later? He’s pulled from the gig by DC Studios co-chief James Gunn who has decided to take Superman in a different direction. Horrible.
8. Zazie Beetz Talks “Atlanta” & Her CarerYes, Armchair Expert twice! But mainly for the ever-charming Zazie Beetz, one of our generation’s most compelling new actors. Beetz is just uber charming, and there’s a reason why she’s being cast in everything. She explains going from Germany to Washington Heights, New York, opens up about her fear of losing people, her physical response to anxiety, and how she feels the need to take care of her character in “Atlanta.” She’s a keeper (plus, she’s Dax Shepard’s celebrity crush which is half cringe, half entertaining)
7. Jenny Slate and Nick Kroll Talk Shop and “Marcel The Shell”The A24 podcast is great about pairing interesting filmmakers and actors together to talk shop. To mark the occasion of the beautiful “Marcel The Shell” live-action/stop-animated film in which Jenny Slate stars in the lead voice role, she and Nick Kroll got together to talk about this sublime little movie and more. Topics covered include being cavity-prone, Joe Rogan’s effect on the podcast industry, the distinction between porn and pornos, nostalgia for Netflix’s DVD subscription model, experiencing a viral hit in 2010, licensing a song from the most litigious band in history (The Eagles) for “Marcel the Shell,” and much more. Sweet little convo.
6. James Gray and Matt Reeves Talk “Armageddon Time”One thing you should know before Matt Reeves was the director of “The Batman” movies, the “Planet Of The Apes,” and perhaps one of the most sought-after directors in the world after folks like Christopher Nolan, he was a film school student with James Gray. So the two know each other intimately; Reeves knows many of the intimate details of Gray’s family—including stories of his mother dying while he was in college— which comes in handy for a discussion of Gray’s personal family film, “Armageddon Time.” They also co-wrote “The Yards” together, so their collaboration and friendship is long and rich and reflected in this conversation.
Bonus: James Gray on THR’s Awards Chatter podcast, which is like an hour long and a terrific recap of the director’s career, including all the various and many great fights he had with Harvey Weinstein over the years.
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