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Fresh Air Weekend

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every week she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns. 

TERRY GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. It's Emmy week on FRESH AIR, featuring interviews with some of this year's nominees. We'll start today's show with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator and star of the BBC-Amazon comedy series "Fleabag." The series has 11 nominations, two of which are for Waller-Bridge as best lead actress in a comedy series and best writing in a comedy series. She also created and wrote the first season of the hit series "Killing Eve," which leads to her second nomination this year for her role as an executive producer of "Killing Eve."

TERRY GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. It's Emmy week on FRESH AIR, featuring interviews with some of this year's nominees. Let's get back to my interview with former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and writer Bill Hader. He's nominated for five Emmys for his work on "Barry," which he co-created and stars in, and for being an executive producer of "Documentary Now!"

TERRY GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. It's Emmy week on FRESH AIR, featuring our interviews with some of this year's nominees. We'll start with Bill Hader, who became famous as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live." He's nominated for four Emmys related to HBO's dark comedy series "Barry," which he co-created and stars in, and won for IFC's "Documentary Now!" Last year, after Season 1 of "Barry," Hader won the Emmy for best lead actor in a comedy series.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Actor Peter Fonda died last Friday in Los Angeles. He was 79. Fonda was part of an intergenerational Hollywood family - the son of Henry Fonda, the sister of Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In the 1960s, there was a terrific comedy in which a teenage Maoist scrawls a bit of graffiti that would become famous: "CHINA IS NEAR." Half a century on, China is here. It's here on our screens, where Hong Kong protests domination by the Communist mainland.

Nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties across America are currently participating in a massive multidistrict civil lawsuit against the opioid industry for damages related to the abuse of prescription pain medication. The defendants in the suit include drug manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, wholesale distributors McKesson and Cardinal Health, and pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.

Essayist Margaret Renkl writes about what she calls "backyard nature," which, to those of us who live in crowded cities, might call to mind creatures to trap or squash, like rats, squirrels, mice and water bugs. Renkl, however, grew up in Alabama and now lives in Tennessee, so her catalog of all creatures great and small is, at once, more expansive and accepting, and includes chickadees, red-tailed hawks, rat snakes, rattle snakes and crawdads.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In the terrifically smart and genuinely inspiring comedy Brittany Runs a Marathon, Jillian Bell stars as Brittany, a 27-year-old New Yorker who decides to turn her life around. When we first meet Brittany, she has a dead-end job at a small theater and spends most of her nights out drinking and partying with friends. She gets in shape, takes up long-distance running and decides to give the New York City Marathon a try.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. You might not recognize the name of our guest Stephen Root, but chances are awfully good you've seen his work. He's a character actor who's appeared in nearly 800 TV episodes and a hundred movies and sometimes brief appearances, like one as a bank manager on "Seinfeld" or his short but memorable scenes as the sad sack office worker Milton in the film "Office Space." He's had several recurring roles in TV series over the years, including "The West Wing," "NewsRadio" and "Justified."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Americans are talking a lot about race these days and whether immigrants from certain regions should be welcomed into the country. Our guest, Charles King, writes about a time a little more than 100 years ago when he says educated people in the U.S. believed it was established science that there is a natural hierarchy of cultures, with Western civilization at the top, and that people's abilities and potential were defined by their race and gender.

You recall back in 2004 when George W. Bush referred to "rumors on the Internets." That instantly became a classic Bushism, but to my mind he got it right — not just because what we call the Internet originated as a collection of networks 40 years ago, but because what people call "Internet culture" is an ocean of yammer strewn with innumerable islands and continents, each with its own rules, customs and conversations.

Talk about chutzpah. Two female mystery writers have just helped themselves to the titles of two novels written by canonical male authors, without even a please or a thank you.

Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth has explored unmapped, underwater caves deep in the earth, as well as the submerged crevices of an iceberg. She has seen hidden creatures and life forms that have never been exposed to the light of day.

"Since I was the smallest child, I always wanted to be an explorer — to have an opportunity to go someplace where nobody has ever been before," she says. "As an artist with my camera, it's an incredible opportunity to document these places and bring back images to share with others."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Colson Whitehead On The True Story Of Abuse And Injustice Behind 'Nickel Boys: Whitehead's new novel is based on a notorious Florida reform school where boys were beaten and sexually abused. "If there's one place like this, there are many," he says.

The writer-director Richard Linklater has said that he cast Cate Blanchett in his new comedy, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, because, in his words, "only a genius can portray a genius believably."

The saxophonist and clarinetist, a student of Sidney Bechet and a specialist in early styles of the music, died Aug. 4 at the age of 91. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988, excerpted here. (Hear the full interview through the Fresh Air archive.)

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