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Kerry Washington


From whyy in Philadelphia. I'm terry gross with fresh air. Today we talk with Kerry Washington. She stars in a new series. Many people are watching while isolating at home little fires everywhere which streaming on Hulu is adapted from Celeste in bestselling novel which is now back on the bestseller list the series coast stars Reese Witherspoon? Who PRODUCED IT WITH CARRIE? Washington Washington also starred in the hit. Abc Series Scandal Played Anita Hill in the HBO movie. Confirmation is a founding member of times up which words for gender equality and against sexual harassment and served on President Obama's committee on the arts and humanities later John Powers refused to streaming series and a novel you recommend for people eager for stories that will help them escape endless thoughts of the Corona Virus. One of the new shows. People are streaming in this. Stay at home. Kovic era is little fires everywhere. Starring my guest Carrie Washington she produced it with Reese Witherspoon who also stars. It's adapted from the bestselling novel by Celeste in Washington. Also starred in the hit. Abc's series scandal as a political fixer. Who has a crisis management firm and is having an affair with the president of the United States carry also played Anita Hill in the HBO movie confirmation and played a slave named hilty in Quentin? Tarantino's film Django unchained. Along with Reese Witherspoon. Washington is a founding member of times up the movement of women working for gender equality and opposing sexual harassment. She also served on President Obama's Council on the arts and humanities and worked on both of his campaigns let's start with a clip from little fires everywhere which streaming on Hulu Reese Witherspoon plays Elena a part time journalist who with her husband and their four children in a wealthy section of Shaker heights and Cleveland. One day she sees a stranger. Washington's character MIA asleep in a car with me as teenage daughter assuming this woman and her child or homeless. Elena calls the police soon. After MIA response to ask for an apartment for rent it turns out the woman. Renting it is Elena feeling guilty about calling the police on Mia. Elena rents the place to MIA and eventually officer job as her house manager. But when Elena 'cause one of me is references media's previous landlord he says he's never heard of Mea so Elena does a criminal background check on me and then MIA finds out in this scene. It's evening and reese. Witherspoon is at her home and MIA is still. They're working. You really didn't have to say this late. I need to talk to you. I saw your fax machine the criminal record check of okay. Well I feel terrible but you're coming to work in the House and I always trust my instinct. I did lie. I had to break my last lease because I couldn't find a month to month apartment so I put down a fake reference and when you called me on it I made my boss at Lucky Palace. Call you. I'm sorry I've never been arrested. I'm not a criminal but a lot of landlords when they see a single black mom they don't want to rent to me but you did because you're different and I should have seen that and just been honest so I understand if you're not comfortable having me work here anymore I do. I don't have a glass of wine. Carrie Washington welcome to fresh air. How are you? How is your family? Oh thank you for asking It's a real honor to be chatting with you from my bedroom But I'm I'm at my kitchen table but We're we're okay. We're all okay as of now and Teaching at home homeschooling. It's just a new world and I know how blessed I am to have a home and to be able to be at home safely with my family right now in this world. We're we're all navigating exposure. It's a new balancing act for sure for a lot of working parents. Let me ask you about your new series little fires everywhere on. Hulu in the novel that it's adapted from the race or ethnicity of your character isn't mentioned so in UN Reese Witherspoon decided to produce and star in this. How did race changed the story? And the subtext of the story. It wasn't my idea to make me a black. I didn't cast myself. In the role it was idea and learn new stat or her producing partner. They had the idea to to call me up and send me the book and asked me if I wanted to do it and I thought it was an amazing idea. Of course when I read it I was reading it through the Lens of Mea being black. Because I'm black. They think the novel is so much about identity. And how The roles and the the context of our identity contributes to how we live and relate to others in the world So we knew that adding this layer of race would add to that complexity In an exciting way and then when when I met soliciting the writer for the first time she actually admitted to me that she had always thought of MEA as a woman of color and that she had been drawn to the Ada of writing me as a black woman but she didn't feel like she had the authoritative voice to do that in the right way and so she was kind of vague about her race in the novel so it was exciting that we were even in step with Celeste in diving into the places where she wanted to to grow out the book and and we've already lived in her. The story is set in the nineties. And Reese Witherspoon character lives a privileged and price yourself on being colorblind which she isn't really But how is the idea of colorblind? Changed I catalyst. Colorblind sound to you today. I think we all many of us thought about being colorblind in the nineties maybe less so people of Color Because it was like admirable that you could see beyond someone's race into to see them as just a human being but what I hear it now. I think you know part of who I am as a human being is that I'm a woman I'm from New York. I'm an Aquarius And I'm black. I'm also African American like those are all distinct qualities that contribute to what I have to offer in a room. Your characters very observant but reveals very little about herself and I assume that's out of self protection when she doesn't trust somebody she's very careful on how she talks with them. She was very careful to not reveal much And language becomes inexpressive and more of a barrier than a way of really communicating. You've said that in some ways you drew on your mother for that because when people ask your mother where she was from your mother could say New York City or the Bronx or the South Bronx depending on who the person was and how your mother wanted to be perceived. Can you talk about that a little bit? Sure I think There's so much of my mom in Mia There is so much of my mother and me and at some point in the pre production process. Actually recent I we. We were looking at some costume boards. That Lyn Paolo had put together for the teenagers and we were saying. Oh I had those shoes and I had that shirt and it dawned on US rather late in the process. I have to admit it dawned on us that we were playing our mothers because we were both teenagers in the nineties. And when I had that realization it was like a a door opened for how I could bring this character to life and I realized that I really was being invited to step into my mother shoes and a lot of ways and one of the things I witnessed growing up was. My mom was very aware as a black woman as an academic As the daughter of immigrants she was aware of the assumptions. That people would make about her and she would play with those assumptions. She would Not In an aggressive way but she you liked to watch people try to figure her out And she liked to not fit into a box. My mom is not somebody who has ever really fit into anybody else's box even in terms of like her the performance of racial identity Or her hobbies or interests or how she parented me. I'm a lot like me She she. She wrote her own rules when she was raising me. I remember like a lot of her peers would were shocked that she never hit me. I was never spanked. I think I was grounded. Once there was there were just the different. The different approaches to life. My mom didn't always feel the need to always make a situation comfortable for somebody else. If her answer was that she was from the South Bronx and not made the other moms who were living on Park Avenue because I went to a private school in New York. If if that answer made them uncomfortable she let it. Make them uncomfortable. I think because as a teacher show knew that that was a learning opportunity for them if she walked into the school and a fur coat and spoke the queen's English and came across as the academic that she was and then the response to where am I from is the South Bronx. That other mother was going to learn something about her own assumptions and prejudices and biases and my mom. Let her have that learning opportunity. How did she talk to you? Well my mom is an educator so I think again like you know there were lots of teaching moments that she let me have Or there were like tricks you know I think I was. I was much older than I should have been before I learned that trunks didn't make a loud noise when they closed because there were always lots of kids around cousins and friends piling an in and out of cars and so my mom would say everybody. Close your ears. It's GonNa make a loud noise when I close the trunk and later on I learned like Oh that's just so that nobody's hand got slammed in the trunk greatly. She told us over our ears so that all would be accounted for. So you know there were ways that that she was Teaching and taking care of us. That weren't always completely transparent But but my mother is an extremely warm person She's she's a A reserved person. She doesn't she's not very emotionally expressive. I think in some ways like She's to joke that she worked very hard in life to learn to not have feelings And then I came along and I'm just like I was like a walking feeling. Just like an aide with legs walking around as a child but again my mother's warmth even though she may not have been herself emotionally expressive and able to like. Meet me where I was. She quickly realized that she had find an outlet for me. And so I was thrown into children's feeder companies where I could be emotionally expressive and and Have those big feelings in a place where it could be embraced when she had you go to like a drama club or drama school so that you could express yourself emotionally. Did you love it right away? no I had a lot of stage freight. I love being part of a community of artists. Like that's what I always loved about theater companies and And I loved getting lost in the storytelling. I didn't really love like performing in front of people like I. I was nervous about The part when it felt like it was me on stage. I was nervous when it felt like it was a team of people on stage or if I was another character on stage than there was like real comfort. You said that at some point you realized you are playing your mother in little fires everywhere because it said in the nineties when you were a teenager the same age as the children in in the story and in the story your teenage daughter who resents you for moving all the time from one place to another Now she has to enroll in a new school again. And because it's a kind of upper class school or She's and she's the Newcomer Andrews African American. There's a lot of assumptions being made about her. You went to a private high school in New York that You know it was pretty elite school. Did you experience that kind of thing? Do you relate to what your character's daughter is going through in the series? Yeah there was so much that I related to and Lexi You know we were filming the scene and this is both in filming and editing. We were having this conversation when Lexie I walks into the Richardson household and she is taking in this kind of picture. Perfect Shaker home with the mom who's baking cookies and the chandelier in the entry way. There was the belief among some members of our producing team that this was like a cheerful happy moment where the music should be upbeat where she was being. Exposed to. Like a magical wonderland of perfection that she'd never witnessed before and I was really grateful to be part of the producing team at so many moments of the show. But that's one that will stick with me for a long time because what I got to share with my fellow producers was I remember distinctly the moment that I was standing in an elevator in an apartment building and where I come from You know in the building that I grew up in the Bronx when the elevator door opens. There's like twenty apartments and like most apartment buildings you walk off the elevator and you find your apartment and I remember what it felt like to stand on an elevator and the first time those elevator doors opened and that was the apartment that the entire floor of the building belonged to one family and I remember it because it was such a complicated feeling for me I did feel odd and mystified and And impressed but also felt the trade and confused and angry. Because I didn't know anyone who lived this way I had never seen anybody who lived this way and nobody that I knew who looked like me live this way and so it was as if there was a different society mostly white people wealthy white people who were allowed to live a different quality of life that. I didn't even know existed. I didn't even know to aim for it because they didn't even know it was possible And so that ignited in me a real complexity of emotions and I remember hiding those emotions from the friends I was with because if I had expressed any of that I would have identified myself as other in that moment And so those feelings I wanted to capture for Lexi in that moment So you grew up in the Bronx and you went to this private school in Manhattan compare what the neighborhoods were like or what the cultural. The school was like compared to your neighborhood. The neighborhood I grew up in the Bronx was Working Middle Class neighborhood but we were definitely like we were perceived as a more well off family because we had two cars. We had a dishwasher in our apartment. my parents bought a cabin in upstate. New York when I was in elementary school before that we used to rent homes out in Long Island and the summer so we were like a really in my neighborhood and my context. We were rich And then I went to spence and I I was that's I went to spence and Which is a fancy school on the free side? So we're GOI- paltrow went as well and suddenly. I was in math class with girls who had helipads at on their hamptons estates Or we're elevator doors open into their apartments or Where they were flying first class to go on family vacations or flying private and so it was a real culture change for me and I think in some ways it was when I started to realize that we express identity through lots of different cultural symbols right that like how we walk and how we dress and how we talk these are all identifiers of who we are and so I think it was. You know that early exposure to code shifting think was the beginning of my interest in acting in some way and not that I was acting my way through junior high school and high school. But I did start to realize that you could shift. Perception of who you are by taking on different characteristics in the world. So can you think of an example of code switching when you're living in the Bronx and going to high school on the Upper East side in Manhattan and a private school? Yeah I mean I think even today if I'm on and this was really pronounced high school but even today if if I'm on the phone with my cousins from the Bronx and I get off the phone you can immediately tell that I was talking to them because the you know I take on more of that sound and rhythm of of just you know that girl from the Bronx who's no. That's what I mean. That's what I told her. I told her to go to the store and she didn't go and she should've gone right like so. There's there's a different way that if I'm hanging with family than this media talk that I'm talking with you which I think I think I. I'm trying in this interview to bring my most purest not code switching into anything. 'cause that's what. I try to do in these sort of situations but I know also that if this was an interview with BBC T- as opposed to NPR. That there would be a different tone to how I was talking and that was really pronounced in high school. Yeah yeah I I'm not. I'm not surprised to hear that the tone will be different. I mean I hear I hear code switching all the time and I think we we all do it to one degree or another yeah And one of my favorite Tigris moments ever that. We talk about a lot with friends. 'cause it's just so great is he? No there's this thing in the black community where you just say at the end of a sentence you know what I'm saying and we say it a lot like so so that's where I went. You know what I'm saying and you had an interview with Lizardo where she said that at the end of sentence and you said I do know what you're saying and it was my most favorite terry gross moment of all time. Did I do? I sound very clueless when I said no. It was fantastic. It was it was like no you really. It was very real. It was very real. I thought we should say that to each other. Were often we're constantly? Do you know what I'm saying? And nobody gets affirmed that we are hearing each other. This is fresh air and joining us from her home from her bedroom. By phone is Carrie. Washington she's starring in the new series little fires everywhere which streaming on Hulu. We'll talk more after we take a short break. I'm Terry Gross and this is fresh air. This message comes from. Npr sponsor capital one with capital one. A new savings account earns five times the national average. That's five times more savings to ward that overdue home edition or maybe even an addition on that edition capital. One is helping you earn more towards your savings goals. This is banking reimagined. What's in your Wallet Capital One? Na member FDIC. That's back to my interview with Kerry Washington who's now starring in the new series little fires everywhere which streaming on Hulu it also stars Reese Witherspoon who produced the series with Carrie Washington Washington also starred in the hit. Abc's series scandal as a political fixer. Who has her own crisis management firm and is having an affair with the president of the United States? Let's talk about scandal and how that series changed her life. Let's start with a scene from it and in scandal. You play political fixer. Who has your own crisis management company and your character's name is Lydia Pope and you've been hired by the president to handle an eight a young woman who claims she's sleeping with the president and what we don't know at this point is that your character has a romantic history of her own with the President and she confronts the President about this aid and he tells her it's alive so in this scene you're dealing with the aid. She sitting on a park bench name is Amanda and she sitting on a park bench with her dog. You SPEAK FIRST CUTE. Dog Golden Retriever. Yeah his name's Thomas Jefferson which is lane. I know but he's very presidential. Itj mandate would be a mistake to think there will be no consequences to you telling lies about the president name. Who Are you? My name is Lavi Pope and I WANNA be clear. I'm not here in any official capacity. I'm only here to warn you that because you know what could happen. It could become hard for you to find employment. Your face would be everywhere. People would associate you with a sex scandal. All kinds of information about you would easily become available to the press. For example you've had twenty two sexual partners that we know of. Also there's that ugly bout of gonorrhea and your family your mother's mental illnesses psychotic break two years at Bedford Hospital. I bet that's private. She runs a daycare. Now Right he told me you love me. You gave me the stocks he. It's those kind of lies that could hurt you if you send them to other people people not as Nice as me. I'll give you some free advice. Hand in your resignation and pack up your dog and your things you get in your car and go and a small city Minneapolis. Maybe or Denver get a little job. Meet boring boy. Make some friends because in this town your career is over. You're done look good person in this was a good percent. Monica Lewinsky and she was telling the truth but she's still got destroyed. So that was Carrie Washington in a scene from scandal. The character that you played and scandal was loosely based on a real crisis manager named Judy Smith and one of her clients was Monica Lewinsky. Did you meet Judy Smith before playing this role? The first thing I want to tell you is that that was my audition monologue. Now you're kidding so I get emotional when I hear it actually because it it really like to hear that for me is really exemplifies the journey of the show because I was doing that monologue before the part was even mine So it's it's really special to hear it but yeah I did the character I we were always careful to say that Livia. Pope was inspired by Judy Smith. But Not Bay. Sundry Smith because Judy never had sex with George W Bush. That's that's super important. She was never having an affair with the president. But she did work in the Bush White House And she was a fixer and she did work with Monica Lewinsky And Judy and I spent a lot of time together when I was developing the character and then really throughout the series especially in seasons one and two we talk to each other almost every week and we would talk about plotlines and character and and how to make the show as authentic as possible. And I love Judy. We still talk now. You just said what we just heard was your Audition which I had no idea but How did you get the part when the script for scandal was circulating? This has been talked about a lot in the press but there hadn't been a black woman as the lead of a network drama in almost forty years And I was. I don't around thirty five thirty four thirty five at the time so in my lifetime I had never seen a network drama with a black woman as the lead so this was a highly coveted role And shonda really. She says she saw almost every black actress. In Hollywood between the ages of you know nineteen and sixty she really wanted to give everybody a shot and And then shot the Shonda rhimes who produced the series. Yeah it was our show runner. The Brilliant Shonda rhimes so when I read the script I thought this is mine like it felt like it was written for me. It brought together so many of my worlds and so much of my life experience working in Washington working on the campaigns. I really felt like I was born to play her. But there were like twenty other actresses who felt the same way So there were a series of auditions several auditions for a meeting with Shonda and then several auditions. And eventually I really had the privilege of being able to take this on and you know it's interesting because you are the first African American actress to be the lead in a TV series about forty years since get Christie love. You were not like a role model like your character. Did a lot of bad things so with a balance between her I think in many ways she was aspirational rate. She was an entrepreneur. Everybody wanted her closet. In fact we did a clothing line. Based on the character with the limited there was a lot about her fashion and her world and her intellect and her sexiness that was very aspirational but there was a lot about her character that was questionable that she was having an affair with the president that she would take on clients who were not always deemed as the good guys so I think that complexity was part of what drew people in. Let's take a short break here and then we'll talk some more. If you're just joining US my guest is Carrie Washington. And she is now starring in the Hulu series little fires everywhere. We'll be right back but first we're going to take a short break. This is fresh air right now. Every household in the country is being asked to fill out. The census is the form that helps us determine how voting districts or redraw where to build public schools and hospitals how to spend federal money. So why are some people are afraid to live out? We're getting into all that this week on. Npr's codes which podcast this is fresh air. And if you're just joining us. My guest is Carrie. Washington she starts with Reese Witherspoon in the new series little fires everywhere which streaming on Hulu Washington and Witherspoon also produced this series? You Witherspoon are both founding members of times up which is the organization in responding to the METOO movement working on gender equality working against sexual harassment and You Played Anita Hill in the HBO. Movie confirmation. You're probably a teenager during the Clarence Thomas hearings. So I don't know how closely you followed what was happening but playing her and having to do the research about what happened. What we're one or two of the things that you found just like most disturbing about how she was treated and how hearings are handled. Why remember really distinctly when the hearings happened because it was one of the first times that I really saw. My parents disagree on a social political issue. They usually my parents were really in agreement Around issues having to do with money or politics or black identity. But because of intersection analogy This was a moment where I watched my mom. And Dad processes experience very differently as a black woman and a black man And it was disturbing to me And and I and I'll never forget it. It really made me question who was in the right and I think any the hell is such a hero and I wanted to be able to explore for both characters for both Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill what was at stake for them and what. It costs them And in particular. Because Clarence Thomas I think is often perceived as the winner in that situation because he got to have his seat on the Supreme Court but Anita Hill transformed society. She changed the shape of Congress and gave us language for sexual harassment. Really transformed our cultural practices in this country and so I wanted to be able to to shine a light on that as well. What did you learn about your appearance? Hearing them disagree about Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. And I'm assuming your father defended Clarence Thomas and that your mother was on a hillside. Yeah I think my dad and I really I when I look back I understand. My Dad was devastated. That this black man who was going to you know sit on the highest court in the land was being raked through the mud and he felt that Anita Hill should have had more loyalty to the black community that this was bad for black people black people as a whole. I must say that my dad is now not of that opinion That my dad has has grown in his feminist ideology. Through the years. I would be remiss to not say that My Dad is is is pretty amazing person But he was the product of his time and felt the way a lot of black men did at the time and my mom believed Anita Hill. And so I think it was one of the first moments that I realized the unique challenges of being a black woman my impression watching Anita Hill during the hearings is that she was trying so hard not to show any emotion to just GonNa give the facts answer the questions and remain as firm but as emotionally neutral as possible. Did you feel that way too? Did you try to play her? That way yeah I mean I I could probably recite the hearings to you now. I watched them so much and I tried to approach playing her with the influence of Anna deavere Smith like I really tried to watch the video and listen to the audio and and capture the cadence and the rhythm of Anita Hill and I tried to figure out what I could learn about her personality from the placement of the way that she was speaking to those senators and even in her everyday life. But it's so very different from how I speak and that that difference is reflective of who she is so it was really fun to kind of work in that way and and wrap my head around her using her voice and her posture and her walk in sort of an outside in approach to the character. She had very good posture. She actually. She did have very good posture but she also has a little. I won't call it a slump because she's far to graceland elegant to call it a slump but she protects her heart when she sits and so. There's a slight curvature to her shoulders and the way that she protects her heart And and doesn't let people have access to her her inner most heartfelt feelings and identity I love the way you've turned her her her body her posture into a metaphor. We'll it is. I mean you really you know you know you can study Alexander Technique. You know for how people move in. The world says a lot about who they are. I used to go to rehearsals for scandal in sweatpants and a sweatshirt but I could not do the scene unless I had the shoes high heel shoes on four inch heels because Libya pope had a walk and she had a posture and she had a stance and I couldn't rehearse a scene in flip flops or sneakers even when I was nine months pregnant playing. I'M GONNA Pope. I was in four inch heels sometimes wedges but I still had to have that he'll because that that extra height and not extra lean forward and that extra tightness in the belly and the core that a he'll requires that's part of the steeliness of WHO Livia Pope is so I always say I don't know who character is until I know what shoes they're wearing until I figure out the walk until I figure out how they stand. You know one of the things you try to do is to be of service in the causes that your act have been a now with the with the virus one of the things that you did in conjunction with the World Health Organization and global citizen as you did Acuna with California's Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris and you ask for questions from I guess that was through Instagram. That you asked for questions and you posed the questions to her and she answered and in the this like eight minute. Qna that you had with her. You said one of the questions that you were really surprised that you were asked that you had to ask. It was the question is the virus affecting black people and black people. Get the virus What did it say to you that people were wondering about that way? I think the landscape has changed dramatically. Since then we've had a lot a few days ago. Yeah Yeah We. We've had a lot more. Black people be impacted and affected by the virus. But I think at the time it speaks to kind of how separate our communities remain in this country and I thought thought you might say that. Yeah there's a huge gap between worlds and a lot of ways that we don't we don't always if we watch the news and we don't see somebody who looks exactly like us. We don't necessarily think that it has to do with us. I want to preface question by mid knowledge ing something. I know you'd want to acknowledge that. You're you're very lucky right now in the sense that like you don't have to worry about employment or having enough money to pay rent or get food or you know you're covered on all those things but that doesn't mean that you're not worried it doesn't mean you're not worried about your children and your and your husband and that it's just not you know really radically changing your life. So how are you keeping your spirits up if you are And I think I'm keeping my spirits up with a lot of prayer and I am doing some meditation. Which is something I always want to be doing and buy some meditation. I mean three minutes a day but I am setting my timer and doing three minutes of meditation before running downstairs and And really trying to be honest with the people that I that are safe to be honest with about What I'm feeling and what my struggles are and how I can do better for myself and my family and for society and When I hear about loss you know people friends and loved ones of friends that are sick and dying To try to just continue to express love and support and stay connected to each other. It's it's a really scary time. I've been trying to figure out how to not ignore my fear but also practice acts of faith In order to engender more faith than just kind of hold onto that space for myself and my family and my loved ones and and people like to share my day with like you. Oh Carrie Washington. You have really brightened my day. I thank you so much for this interview and I wish you and your family and everyone you care about a good health during this crisis likewise likewise thank you thank you for innovating And evolving your own set up so that we don't have to lose this amazing show. Well we're all home needing it. Oh that's so nice of you to say thank you for this. Carrie Washington stars in the new series little fires everywhere which is streaming on. Hulu coming up our critic at large John Powers Reviews to series and a novel. He recommends. If you're looking for stories to distract you from endless thoughts of covert nineteen. This is fresh air. Pay Many year. The why in the World Science podcast for kids and families. If you're looking for fun ways to educate and entertain your kids we've got you covered five days a week on Mondays. GonNa Scientific Adventure with wow in the world in Tuesdays through Fridays. Play ALONG WITH OUR NEW GAME. Show too what's in? Awhile. It's well in the world from tigger cast in NPR's subscribe endless and now support for NPR. Comes from whyy presenting the podcast? Eleanor amplified and adventure. Series kids love here reporter. Eleanor Atwood crafty villains and solve mysteries as she travels. Look to get the big story available where you get podcasts. Or at whyy dot org like many of us critic at large. John Powers has been stuck at home. We asked what new TV shows. Books have kept him distracted. The Russian poet Joseph Brodsky once said that prison is a lack of space counterbalanced by a surplus of time. Of course are recurrent. Lockdown isn't nearly so bad as being locked up but with so much surplus time on our hands. Many are eager for stories that will help us escape. Endless thoughts of corona virus. Here's three that did that for me. The desire for escape underlies the appeal of an Orthodox the four-part Netflix series that has viewers pushing through it in a single night loosely. Based on a memoir by Feldman starts the electric Israeli actress Shira Haas as nineteen year old Esther Esti Shapiro who flees her husband and their tight. Hasidic community in Williamsburg Brooklyn jetting off to Berlin. Where a group of music students take her under their wing. Meanwhile she's pursued by. Her Mama's boy has been Yankee played by Hav and his cousin moisture that's Jeff Will Bush. Who something the thug. What exactly is he planning to do with that gun here? Early on Oetzi is driving with her new friends. Were quite different from the folks back home more from New York. You don't sound like you're from New York never been anywhere else. Why are you from Yemen? But I grew up near Munich and I'm from Israel off-limits from Nigeria clements German. But your parents came from Poland and Roberts the actual from Berlin so we can answer all your burning questions about the war. My grandparents lost their whole families into camps. So did half of Israel buttery too busy defending our present to be sentimental but a pest an orthodox is an uncommonly seductive show because for both good and ill it feels like pure Hollywood on the bad side. It ignores her fudge every hard question about Essy's motivations or religious practice and swooning portrait of attractive multicultural. Berlin director Maria schrader. German could have been commissioned by that city's tourist board yet like a good Hollywood movie? Unorthodox moves along so briskly both such terrific acting and offers enough surprises that you sink easily into its upbeat tale of a WHO escapes into a glorious New Future. The future has come and failed in Baghdad. Central a gripping new new our series on Hulu set shortly after the two thousand three invasion of Iraq. It's centers on Loosen Al-Khafaji play by the wonderful american-born airbag Leeds's waiter a former Baghdad. Police inspector who world has collapsed his rebellious daughter sauce and has gone missing. His sweet daughter. Desperately needs dialysis and he has no job. Then a Briton named Frank Temple. That's amusing pretty CARVILLE OFFERS CA. Find your daughter medical care if he'll work cop for occupation forces cafod you soon finds himself threatened on three fronts by the slippery temple by an arrogant. American Military Honcho. We'll played by Corey stoll and by his fellow Iraqis who despise him for collaborating based on a novel by Elliott Colla bed. Did CENTRAL TAKES A well-worn scenario. An honorable cop caught diddley circumstances and uses it to show US something new of routing the usual Arab stereotypes it explores how the occupation was experienced by supposed beneficiaries as Cafod. You traveled around. Baghdad the series depicts things. We haven't seen the way daily. Life became nearly impossible in occupied Iraq. The reason some Iraqis collaborated others did not and how the coalition bungled things so badly that Iraqi start of Americans as fools and incompetence not as liberators for his part. Kabbage has a clear plan as he tells his hospitalized. Daughter this terrorist. Now I am an official P- rape. Yes no matter. I would've voted for them for as long as it takes to make you and for as long as it takes me to find Sosa. Leaving is also the dream of Gina. Verti- the spoils fifteen year old heroine of Abigail a fifty year old Hungarian novel by the Late Magda Szabo best known for her staggeringly. Great novel. The door the scene is world war. Two Hungary and Gina is a general's daughter who's abruptly shunted from her family's elegant Budapest. Home should the Bishop Metulla Academy hyper strict religious girls school in the provinces entitled an arrogant. She's been compared to Jane. Austen's Emma woodhouse Gina instantly runs afoul of her fellow. Students suffers the disapproval of the gorgeous but strict sister Susanna and plots or escape back to her adored father she feels like a prisoner it sounds a bit dreary I know it enriches superb translation. Abigail is a delightful page Turner. There's an air of enchantment about the school. The book takes its title from a statute that supposedly grants the students wishes and Gina begins to have adventures. Some quite funny others the bring tears to your eyes. Abigail is beloved in Hungary where even became a musical. And it's easy to see why rather like Huckleberry Finn it tells the story of a frivolous young person gaining moral awareness by an encounter with painful truths. During her months of confinement in the school gene learns the fallibility of her own judgement the worthiness of other people he was aren't always those. You expect them to be and the existence of a historical world outside the bubble. She's been living in with luck. My own months of confinement. Make me a bit wiser to John Powers Reviewed Unorthodox which streaming on Netflix bag that central streaming on Hulu and the novel Abigail tomorrow on fresh air getting bored with your own cooking yet. We'll talk about cooking at home at a time of social isolation with Sam Sefton of the New York Times. He's been the papers restaurant critic it's food editor. And he's now writing about how to make interesting dishes with whatever you find in your kitchen. He has a new cookbook called. See You on Sunday. I hope you'll join us Ooh Fresh Air's executive producer is Danny Miller our interviews and reviews produced and edited by. Amy Salad Phyllis Myers Sam brigger Lauren Crandall Heidi Simone to recent madden moves eighty challenger and Seth Kelly our associate producer of digital media. Is Molly Seavy Nesper? Our Technical Director and engineer is Audrey Bentham. Roberta shorrock directs the show. I'm Terry Gross.

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