By the time you read this, I'll be fangirling at the She Podcasts Live conference in Atlanta (I'll report back). So today, in honor of all the smart, sassy, accomplished, funny, strong lady podcasters out there, I bring you a collection of terrific podcast interviews with female-identifying guests. Thanks to Inside Podcasting readers Susu Block, Amira Valliani, Jaclyn Schiff, June Rosen, Kerstin Cable, Maurice Cherry, and Martha — yes, just Martha, no last name — for contributing to this issue.
While I have your attention, do you know that I interviewed three outstanding female podcasters on the Inside Podcasting podcast? Listen and subscribe! We'll be back with season two in a bit.
Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. I'll see you on Tuesday.
Death Sex & Money, "Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce," 34 min
Anna Sale interviews actor Jane Fonda. Talking points:
- The death of Jane's mother;
- Her relationship with her father, actor Peter Fonda;
- Why, as a teen, she wondered if she was "maybe" supposed to be a boy;
- Why she'll never marry again.
“I come from a long line of depressive people on both sides of my family…a little Prozac back in the Fonda clan could have changed all of our lives.” — Jane Fonda
Outside Podcast, "Kellee Edwards' Story is a Trip," 25 min
Stephanie Joyce interviews TV travel personality Kellee Edwards. Talking points:
- What it's been like to be a black woman in the "overwhelmingly white and male world of travel television";
- Edwards' path from bank teller to host of her own show on the Travel Channel, "Mysterious Islands";
- The tragic event that motivated her to live her life "without reservation."
"I remember the first time I went to a meeting at the Santa Monica airport. And I walked into that room and when I say they stopped talking....and said are you, are you lost? And I said, no I'm here for the such-and-such pilot meeting. And they're like, oh yeah, you're in the right room. And I'm like, yeah, I KNOW!" — Kellee Edwards
On Being, "The Erotic is an Antidote to Death," 52 min
Krista Tippett interviews therapist and podcaster Esther Perel. Talking points:
- Growing up in Belgium as the child of Polish Holocaust survivors;
- Erotic intelligence: what is it?
- Why society's merging of the "life story" and the "love story" puts undue pressure on couples today;
- What it means to be human.
"I think that one of the strange concepts of the romantic ideal is unconditional love. Doesn’t exist — never existed, for that matter. Love is conditional, completely...It’s like, you do things that are lousy, there is absolutely no reason that I should just continue to love you despite it." — Esther Perel
The Margaret Cho, "Robin Tran," 42 min
Margaret Cho interviews Asian-American transgender comic Robin Tran. Talking points:
- How transitioning to being a woman impacted Tran's comedy;
- The experience of being an Asian comedian;
- The case of Jennifer Tran, a Vietnamese-Canadian woman who was convicted of hiring a hitman to kill her parents.
"Being an Asian American comedian... I almost have an advantage because the standards that people set are so low. They're like, oh there's no way this person is going to be funny cause they're Asian. So if you speak — if you do any joke that even resembles a joke — and they're like — [laughs] — it's like, this laugh of surprise....it's very insulting." — Robin Tran
Fresh Air, "Lizzo," 50 min
Terry Gross interviews hip-hop/rap/pop star Lizzo. Talking points:
- Lizzo's nude album cover, body image, generational feminism;
- How she became friends and collaborators with Prince;
- Why Lizzo chose rap and pop music over becoming a professional flutist.
"I was being told every day that my face was great but my body needs work, I was being shamed in little ways that people didn't even realize... I started to shame myself. About ten years ago I made the decision that I wanted to be happy with who I am... that was the beginning of my journey with learning how to love my body... I had to work for many many years to get to this point." — Lizzo
Revison Path, "Hannah Beachler," 1 hr, 49 min
Maurice Cherry interviews Oscar-winning production designer Hannah Beachler. Talking points:
- How a Skype meeting with filmmaker Ryan Coogler "changed everything";
- How long it took to build that incredible waterfall in Black Panther;
- What life is like after you win an Academy Award;
- How she almost (unknowingly) passed up a chance to meet Beyoncé and produce Lemonade;
Black Panther 2 and a potential upcoming project with Lucasfilm.
"I think the actual challenge, for me, was fear. It was fear. It was fear that I was going to misrepresent. It was fear of my own bias, my own unknown bias that had been drilled down into me — that I didn't even know was there — that kept coming up, and struggling with that, struggling with doing right by the culture." — Hannah Beachler
Recode Decode, "Writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner on Gwyneth Paltrow, Fleishman is in Trouble, and divorce in the age of Tinder," 1 hr, 5 min
Kara Swisher interviews writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Talking points:
- How Brodesser-Akner pioneered an entirely new kind of celebrity profile;
- The Gwyneth Paltrow profile that "everybody read last year";
- Magazine culture and the gift of a good editor;
- Her new bestselling novel Fleishman is in Trouble.
“[Gwyneth Paltrow] is perfect. She’s the only person I’ve ever met who is perfect…She doesn’t claim to be because she’s too perfect to claim to be. She really is. She lives as this cipher and this mirror to show you all the ways that it could have gone for you, had you been way luckier than you are.” — Taffy Brodesser-Akner
A Podcast of One's Own with Julia Gillard, "Tanya Plibersek on Women in Politics," 35 min
Julia Gillard interviews the former deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party Tanya Plibersek. Talking points:
- How she fought for women's equality, even as a child;
- Sexism in the Australian parliament;
- How she maintains her work/life balance.
"I noticed in primary school... just really nonsense rules, the girls weren't allowed to play soccer in the boys' playground because the girls might get hurt. I thought that was ridiculous and... I questioned all those things as a kid. It would have been so annoying to teach me!" — Tanya Plibersek
Meaningful Conversations with Maria Shriver, "Hoda Kotb on How to Build Meaningful Relationships," 49 min
Maria Shriver interviews TV personality Hoda Kotb. Talking points:
- Why Hoda has always rooted for other women;
- Why she decided to adopt a child at age 52;
- Why Hoda is the happiest she's ever been "right now."
"I've never been the 'it' girl, never will be, happy to be in my lane. In 7th grade when I was a kid, I was the weird one — I was the funny name and the weird hair and the stop sign glasses and the oddball. So I always felt like I was on the outside peeking in." — Hoda Kotb
Next Question with Katie Couric, "Ina Garten: At Home with the Barefoot Contessa," 1 hr, 2 min
Katie Couric interviews cookbook author and TV chef Ina Garten. Talking points:
- The path Garten took from writing nuclear policy for the White House to owning her own store and becoming a culinary personality;
- Why she quit the packaged foods business;
- Why she initially resisted the idea of writing cookbooks;
- Whether she views herself as a feminist.
"When I left working at the White House, I knew...the only way that I was going to determine my own future was to do it myself. And so I think my decision to own my own business was part of that." — Ina Garten
Note: This pod kicks off with Katie, Ina and a few colleagues slow-cooking truffled scrambled eggs in Ina's kitchen (hello, dream come true!). If you aren't interested in cookery talk, fast-forward about 17 minutes.
This newsletter was written and curated by podcast junkie and recovered publicist, Skye Pillsbury. Over the years, Skye has crafted digital media strategies for brands like Yahoo! and Microsoft and worked regularly with media outlets such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone and NPR. Skye was famous for 49 minutes when she and her son were featured in an episode of Gimlet Media’s Heavyweight podcast. Follow her on Twitter @SkyePillsbury.
Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).