Mahershala Ali & Rafael Casal: Envy Is A Hell Of A Drug
Today, Mahershala Ali is an Oscar-winning actor who lands leading roles in TV shows like True Detective and Hollywood blockbusters like Green Book . But he got his start as a poet-turned-rapper in the Bay Area, where he grew up.
Rafael Casal is another Bay Area poet and musician who recently made his big screen debut in the movie Blindspotting, which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his creative partner, Daveed Diggs. "We put a movie out and everyone back home thinks I'm on," Rafael says. "And I'm like, that was an indie movie. I lost money."
Mahershala interviews Rafael about his childhood as a "knucklehead," his life-changing discovery of slam poetry when he was a teenager, and how he and Daveed handle uncomfortable discussions about money and creative credit.
This episode is part of Death, Sex & Money's 2019 Maternity Leave Lineup. Mahershala Ali first joined us on Death, Sex & Money in 2016, along with his wife, Amatus. about faith, love and success, taped live in Brooklyn.
Alia Shawkat & Esther Perel: Life In Our 30s, And 60s
Actor Alia Shawkat just turned 30, and she's got some questions about what's coming around the corner in this decade. So this week, she talks with Belgian-born psychotherapist Esther Perel about what that period of time was like in her life —when she had just moved to the U.S., gotten married, and was figuring out the "pleasure and the pride" of making it on her own financially. Plus, they talk about adult friendships, and why it's important to stay in touch with people from all the different decades of your life.
Alia Shawkat first appeared on Death, Sex & Money in 2017 for our live show in Los Angeles, called . The episode also features Niecy Nash, and includes questions from listeners about how to navigate the first decade of officially being an adult.
Tressie McMillan Cottom & Trevor Noah: Optimistic and Depressed
When Trevor Noah started hosting The Daily Show in 2016, he says he told his head writer early on that he might sometimes be late to work. "I'm suffering from depression and sometimes I do not see the purpose of getting out of my bed or living life," he says he told him. "And he was like, 'Wait, what?'"
Trevor and guest host Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom talk about why radical honesty around mental health can be liberating. Plus, they talk about Trevor's feelings of being an outsider growing up in apartheid South Africa, about why he believes another black man will be elected president of the United States before a woman, and about how he got so good at doing hair.
Sociologist Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom first joined us on Death, Sex & Money in 2017 to discuss student loan debt during our live call-in. Hear that, and our two-part series featuring your stories about student loan debt, .
Al Letson & Nikole Hannah-Jones: Sensitive, Not Scared
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones spends time in some pretty elite spaces—she's a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine , the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, and a force to be reckoned with on Twitter. But, as she tells Al Letson (host of Reveal ), she's careful not to forget her roots in Waterloo, Iowa, and the people there who raised her. "The benefit of being a working class black girl who has spent a lot of time around more affluent white people is you do quickly learn they're actually not really smarter than you," she says. "They just have had advantages of things and opportunities that you haven't had." This week, the two of them talk about Nikole's childhood growing up in a biracial family, reporting on inequality from a place of anger, and what happened when she tried therapy last year.
You can find episodes of Reveal , the podcast from The Center for Investigative Reporting, .
Jason Isbell & Will Welch: Somebody Needs Me
Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell and GQ editor-in-chief Will Welch met in 2004, at what Jason says was "the lowest point of my life." Since then, the two long-distance friends have seen each other through divorce, new marriages, career climbs, a cancer diagnosis and rehab. Jason quit drinking in 2012, and Will followed suit two years later —starting by calling Jason at a breaking point. "You getting sober was a big deal for me," Jason says during their conversation. "It was the first time in my sobriety that I felt like, oh shit, somebody needs me and I can help."
Jason Isbell and his wife, Amanda Shires, were interviewed by host Anna Sale on the show in May 2014. Listen to that episode, "Confessions of a Nashville Power Couple" .