No host has claimed this podcast yet!
Present Company with Krista Smith is a weekly show bringing you dynamic conversations with the exceptional people behind your favorite shows, films, specials, and documentaries.
May 28, 2021
Across the years, Michael Douglas’ films have captured the spirit of the times and audiences’ imaginations, from “Wall Street” and “Fatal Attraction,” to “Falling Down” and “The Game.” He is an Academy Award-winning actor and producer, an Emmy winner, and the recipient of multiple Golden Globes. In this episode, he discusses the third and final season of “The Kominsky Method;" his onscreen chemistry with Kathleen Turner, his co-star across the decades; and why he had no trepidation in taking on a show that has been fearless, heartfelt, and hilarious in tackling the realities of aging.
May 21, 2021
Across two seasons of “The Crown,” Josh O’Connor has delivered a critically acclaimed and award-winning performance as Prince Charles. In this interview, the young Brit discusses his nuanced and complex portrayal of the future King, and he shares his initial reservations about taking on the role. He talks about the care he took to avoid mimicry; his rapport with co-star Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana; and how he thought about the distinct shift in the way the audience relates to Charles between the two seasons. O’Connor also reflects on the course of his career to date, including his drama school years, his breakout role in “God’s Own Country,” and his latest projects, which include “Romeo and Juliet.” And he shares why supporting the mental health charity Mind is so important to him.
May 10, 2021
Jessie Mei Li
British breakout Jessie Mei Li joins Present Company to discuss “Shadow and Bone,” the phenomenon based on Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling fantasy series, in which the 25 year-old stars as Alina Starkov, an orphan mapmaker with an extraordinary power. Jessie discusses how the show first came to her, how her personal experiences helped her relate to the character, and her onscreen chemistry with co-star Archie Renaux. She also talks about how her acting instincts have helped her navigate challenging moments in her life, and how her parents are handling the show’s success.
May 7, 2021
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
At 26 years-old, Kelvin Harrison Jr. has already delivered a series of critically lauded, commanding performances, in films like “Luce,” for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, “Waves, and “The Trial of the Chicago Seven.” In this episode, he discusses “Monster,” a film based on the acclaimed book by Walter Dean Myers, and directed by Anthony Mandler, the celebrated music video director who has worked with stars like Rihanna and Beyonce. Harrison Jr. plays Steve Harmon, a seventeen-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down when he is charged with felony murder. Harrison Jr. talks about how the film first came to him, how he connected to his character, and he shares his experiences working with the cast that includes Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, John David Washington, A$AP Rocky, and Nas. He also shares his advice for young actors trying to make their own way.
April 9, 2021
Melissa McCarthy & Octavia Spencer
In this episode, Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer sit down to discuss their new action comedy “Thunder Force,” in which the duo suit up as superheroes. Written and directed by Ben Falcone, who also happens to be McCarthy’s husband as well as her fellow producer on the project, the cast includes Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, Pom Klementieff, and the brilliant newcomer Taylor Mosby. At the center of the film, is a heartfelt story about two women and the kind of friendship that lasts a lifetime, a theme with special resonance for McCarthy and Spencer who have been friends for more than two decades. They talk about the history of that friendship, the joys of working together, how it felt to put on those suits for the first time, the best part of being a superhero (and the more disgusting challenges), and they share their advice for the next generation of Hollywood hopefuls.
April 2, 2021
Jennifer Garner joins the show to discuss “Yes Day,” the hit family comedy based on the book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, directed by Miguel Arteta, and co-starring Edgar Ramirez. Garner, who is also a producer on the movie, talks about the Yes Days she does with her own children, why she wanted to beckon loveliness into her life, and her terror at shooting the rollercoaster scene. She also reflects on the remarkable arc of her career, which has seen her find success across almost every genre, from “Alias” and “Daredevil” to “13 Going on 30” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” And she talks about her passion for causes and projects far beyond Hollywood, including Save the Children and her organic food company Once Upon a Farm.
March 19, 2021
Eve Hewson joins host Krista Smith to discuss “Behind Her Eyes,” the mind-bending limited series created by Steve Lightfoot and based on the novel by Sarah Pinborough, which has transfixed and shocked its legion of fans. Hewson discusses how she came to the role, what she found most challenging, and she shares her own experience with astral projection. The actress, whose star has steadily risen thanks to performances in such shows as “The Knick” and “The Luminaries,” also discusses her career path to date, why formal acting training was so important to her, and she shares what she’s learned from working with Hollywood greats like Steven Soderbergh and Steven Spielberg.
March 4, 2021
Over the course of her 33 year career, Viola Davis’ body of work has been celebrated from stage to screen, making her an Oscar winner, a Tony winner, and an Emmy winner, to name just a few of her accolades. She also runs JuVee Productions alongside husband Julius Tennon, and she’s a philanthropist and a leader in the Hollywood community. In this interview, Davis discusses her latest acclaimed performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” based on the play by August Wilson and directed by George C. Wolfe. She talks about the fears she faced in embracing the role, how she prepared to play Ma, and her experience working with Chadwick Boseman. She also reflects on the arc of her career, the significance of playing Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away with Murder,” how her definition of success has evolved over time, and she shares her advice for the next generation pursuing a life in the arts.
January 22, 2021
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra Jonas joins the show from London to discuss her latest feature film “The White Tiger," written and directed by Ramin Bahrani and based on the New York Times bestseller and 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning novel. In addition to starring in the film, Chopra Jonas serves as an Executive Producer. Having established herself as a hugely successful and acclaimed star in the Indian film industry, Chopra Jonas turned her sights to Hollywood and became the first Indian-born actor ever to lead an American network TV series, starring in the ABC dramatic series "Quantico." In this interview, she talks about that extraordinary career arc, and she explains why she was so passionate about being involved with “The White Tiger,” and how the film aligned with her mission as a producer. She also talks about the confidence instilled in her by her upbringing, her long-time commitment to philanthropic endeavors, and the support and partnership of husband Nick Jonas.
January 15, 2021
Emma Corrin’s acting career had only just begun when she landed the role of Princess Diana in The Crown, and prepared to play one of the most iconic and scrutinized women of the modern age. The young British breakout more than met the challenge, capturing Diana’s innate vulnerability and quiet strength, mastering her posture and mannerisms, and even the lilt of her voice. In this interview, Corrin discusses her nail-biting audition process, her intensive research and preparation, and her favorite and most challenging scenes. She’ll also share her advice for actors starting out, including how important it is to move beyond the fear of rejection and to keep your faith and determination.
January 13, 2021
Academy Award winner Gary Oldman joins the show to discuss his extraordinary performance in David Fincher’s new film “Mank,” which was written by the auteur’s late father Jack Fincher. Oldman plays Herman J. Mankiewicz, otherwise known as Mank, the celebrated screenwriter who worked on everything from “The Wizard of Oz” to Marx Brothers comedies and co-wrote “Citizen Kane” with Orson Welles. In this interview, Oldman shares his initial reaction to the project, why he was daunted by Fincher’s directive not to transform physically for the role, and how his own experience with alcoholism informed his performance. He also discusses his deep admiration for Fincher’s approach to the work. And he shares his advice for young actors coming up in the profession today.
January 6, 2021
Vanessa Kirby joins the show to discuss her haunting portrayal of a young mother who experiences an unfathomable loss in “Pieces of a Woman,” directed by Kornél Mundruczó and written by Kata Wéber. The role marks Kirby’s first lead in a feature film, and her performance was awarded the Best Actress Volpi Cup at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Kirby began her career in the theater, later made her television debut in “The Hours,” delivered scene-stealing work in the action franchises “Mission Impossible” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” and her critically acclaimed performance as Princess Margaret in “The Crown” made her a BAFTA winner and Emmy nominee. In this interview, she shares the intensive research she undertook to prepare for “Pieces of a Woman,” what she was focused on getting right in her performance, and her experience shooting the film’s astonishing 23 minute opening sequence that was shot in one take. She also reflects on the beginning of her career, the kind of characters she’s been drawn to, and she shares her advice for young actors.
December 22, 2020
George Clooney joins the show to discuss his latest film “The Midnight Sky,” based on the novel “Good Morning, Midnight” by Lily Brooks-Dalton, and produced by Clooney’s longtime collaborator Grant Heslov. The film tells the story of the aftermath of a global catastrophe and a lone scientist in the arctic racing to contact a crew of astronauts and warn them not to return to earth. Clooney directs and produces as well as stars alongside Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler, and newcomer Caoilinn Springall. The Academy Award winner also reflects on the arc of his career, including the moment that ER made him a household name, the films that made him want to direct, and how becoming a family man has impacted his choices. He also shares his advice for young creatives coming
December 18, 2020
Aaron Sorkin, one of Hollywood's most celebrated storytellers, and the writer and director of this year's "The Trial of the Chicago 7,” joins the show to reflect on the journey of his career. He discusses his singular talent for dialogue, what draws him to a story, his affinity for a courtroom scene, and why he still feels vulnerable despite all of his success. He also talks about the influence of legendary screenwriter William Goldman, as well as the debates around his family’s dinner table, and his passion for teaching. And he explains why he thinks of “A Few Good Men” the same way he thinks about his high school yearbook picture.
December 11, 2020
Lily Collins joins the show to discuss her performance in David Fincher's new film, “Mank,” in which she plays Rita Alexander, secretary to the legendary screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (played by Gary Oldman) as he writes the script for “Citizen Kane.” She talks about the intense audition process, her experience on set, and her love for old Hollywood movies. Collins also talks about the phenomenon that is her new show “Emily in Paris,” and how she flew back and forth from Paris to shoot “Mank” in tandem. She reflects back on the beginnings of her career path, from being a student majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California, to being cast in “The Blind Side," to writing a bestselling book and opening up about her personal struggles. She also shares how 2020 has been a pivotal year for her (she recently got engaged), and the advice she would go back and give her young self.
December 4, 2020
Throughout her career, Amanda Seyfried’s range has been center stage, from her roles in "Mean Girls” to “Lovelace” and “Les Miserables.” And in her latest film “Mank,” directed by David Fincher, she scales new heights, delivering a revelatory performance as actress Marion Davies, the long-term lover of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. In this interview, Seyfried discusses her research for the role, what she wanted to make sure she captured about Marion, and why she particularly relished a pivotal scene where Marion’s emotions play out entirely on her face. She also shares why working with Fincher is such a singular experience and how it’s made her think differently about her own approach to the work.
November 25, 2020
Six-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams joins the show to discuss her latest film “Hillbilly Elegy,” based on the bestselling memoir by J.D. Vance, and directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard. It’s the story of three generations of an Appalachian family struggling with volatile relationships, poverty, and drug addiction; and Adams delivers a powerhouse performance as J.D.’s mother Beverly. In this interview, Adams talks about why she was drawn to this story, her preparation for the role, what it was like collaborating with the cast (including Glenn Close who plays the family’s formidable matriarch), and the responsibility she felt playing a real person. She also reflects on the arc of her career, receiving her first Oscar nomination, and maintaining a private life beyond the spotlight.
September 30, 2020
Actress, comedian, author, and podcaster Michelle Buteau joins the show to discuss her uproarious new Netflix special: “Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia.” The mom of twins has been on a non-stop run of projects lately, hosting and narrating the reality show phenomenon “The Circle,” appearing in films like “Always Be My Maybe” and on shows like “First Wives Club” and “Tales of the City.” "Survival of the Thickest," her debut book of essays, will be published this December. In this interview, Buteau takes us back to the very beginning of her comedy career and talks about the headwinds she’s faced along the way. She reveals when she feels most vulnerable on stage, how her parents felt about her pursuing her passion, and some of the unsolicited advice she’s received from her audiences. Buteau also shares her advice for young comedians starting out, and what she’s learned by observing the extraordinary group of women she’s worked with in her career to date.
September 23, 2020
Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown sat down with Present Company to discuss her latest Netflix project, “Enola Holmes,” in which she plays the intrepid teenage sister of Sherlock Holmes. Brown not only stars in the film but also produces, making her one of the youngest Hollywood actors to have a producing credit on a feature film. In this interview, Brown talks about why she was so passionate about playing Enola, what she found most rewarding about producing, and why she loves working on projects that have a broader message. She also discusses her work with UNICEF and shares her advice for young people who are pursuing their own path.
September 18, 2020
Emmy-winning actress Sarah Paulson joins the show to discuss her riveting new drama series “Ratched,” created by Ryan Murphy, her long-time champion, and Ian Brennan. As the show’s lead, Paulson steps into the shoes of one of the most notorious female villains of the modern age: Nurse Ratched of the novel and then the film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” In this interview, Paulson talks about the trepidation she had in taking on such an iconic role, and she discusses the evolution of her relationship with Ryan Murphy. She reflects on the journey of the career, from her early struggles when she first moved to Los Angeles, to taking on the life-changing role of Marcia Clark in “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” and stepping up as an Executive Producer on “Ratched.” She also shares her advice for young actors, and talks about her legendary fashion game.