In the Envelope: An Awards Podcast

In the Envelope: An Awards Podcast

www.backstage.com
For over 50 years, Backstage has been the most tr…


Tony Shalhoub
Dec 5 • 51 min
A mastercraftsman of the stage and screen, Tony Shalhoub is the winner of two SAG Awards, a Golden Globe, four Tony Award nominations with one win for “The Band’s Visit,” and four Primetime Emmy Awards—one this year for his hilarious Abe Weissman in…
Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Dec 3 • 51 min
Da’Vine Joy Randolph is having a breakthrough moment playing an actor having a breakthrough moment. The Pennsylvania native and Yale School of Drama graduate portrays the real-life Lady Reed in Netflix’s film “Dolemite Is My Name,” directed by Craig…
Tim Blake Nelson
Nov 26 • 55 min
What is a character actor? Tim Blake Nelson, the supporting star of everything from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” to “The Incredible Hulk” to the title role in “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” has specific advice on how to work consistently in Hollywood.…
Lucy Liu
Nov 21 • 64 min
Lucy Liu has become an award-winning artist and A-lister by nature of her attitude: she loves both the craft and career sides of acting. Born in Queens and schooled at the University of Michigan, Lucy took every theater job available to her—despite a…
Taron Egerton
Nov 19 • 55 min
Taron Egerton was fresh out of drama school when he went through a rigorous audition process for the lead role in action comedy “Kingsman: The Secret Service”—a task the young actor relished, since he loves auditioning. Raised in Wales and bit by the…
The 2019–20 Awards Season Preview
Nov 14 • 27 min
We’re back for another deep dive into Hollywood’s awards races! Jack Smart and Kasey Howe of Backstage’s awards team highlight this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Emmy results, and performances to keep an eye on during this 2019–20 film and…
Jonathan Van Ness
Aug 27 • 51 min
Growing up in rural Illinois with dreams of launching an empire as a hairdresser, Jonathan Van Ness has achieved that goal and then some. He left the midwest for Los Angeles and broke into the online comedy world with the now Emmy-nominated Funny or Die…
Laverne Cox
Aug 22 • 79 min
Award-winning triple threat, producer, and activist Laverne Cox has earned three guest actress Emmy nods for Jenji Kohan’s Netflix prison drama “Orange Is the New Black.” As the first openly transgender performer to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy, the…
Anna Chlumsky
Aug 20 • 62 min
Anna Chlumsky has received six consecutive supporting comedy actress Emmy nominations as Amy Brookheimer on HBO’s award-dominating political satire “Veep,” from Armando Iannucci, David Mandel, and producer-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Breaking into the…
The 2019 Emmy Awards
Aug 13 • 32 min
Join us for another deep-dive episode of “In the Envelope,” this time with an eye on the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards! Jack Smart is joined by Backstage senior editor and fellow TV fanatic Elyse Roth for a dissection of all things 2019 Emmys: Which TV…
Seth Meyers
Jun 20 • 52 min
A fixture of late-night TV, specifically at the headquarters of NBC, Seth Meyers is the host of the acclaimed “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” With roots in Illinois, Michigan, and New Hampshire, Seth studied comedy in Chicago and Amsterdam before…
Debra Messing
Jun 18 • 62 min
A reigning member of TV royalty, Debra Messing is a leading comedy actress Primetime Emmy Award winner for NBC’s “Will and Grace.” Her performance as Grace Adler, from 1998 to 2006 and now in its revival since 2017, has also earned her Golden Globe, SAG,…
Heléne Yorke
Jun 13 • 60 min
Heléne Yorke (pronounced “huh-LAY-nuh york”) is well known to Broadway audiences for “Bullets Over Broadway” and “American Psycho,” and is now cracking up TV audiences in her breakout TV role: as the aimless Brooke Dubek in Comedy Central’s “The Other…
William Jackson Harper
Jun 11 • 51 min
Actor William Jackson Harper went from his native Dallas to Santa Fe to the stages of New York City, following his passion for playing fascinating, sometimes oddball, characters. Just before catching his big break in TV, he was reevaluating his career,…
The 2019 Tony Awards
Jun 6 • 26 min
Join us for an “In the Envelope” first: our in-depth look at awards contenders! Jack Smart is joined by Backstage senior staff writer Casey Mink for a discussion on everything you need to know about the 2019 Tony Awards and what’s on Broadway today: Which…
Jez Butterworth
Jun 4 • 68 min
Award-winning writer-director Jez Butterworth has come across the pond from his native London to stun Broadway audiences with plays like “Jerusalem” and “The River,” and now this season’s Tony-nominated family epic about The Troubles in 1981 Ireland, “The…
Lilli Cooper
May 30 • 48 min
Raised in New York City and its theaters, Lilli Cooper became a Broadway star at age 16 in the original cast of “Spring Awakening.” She’s worked on and off Broadway, played Elphaba in “Wicked” and Sandy Cheeks in last season’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and…
Celia Keenan-Bolger
May 28 • 63 min
The incandescent Celia Keenan-Bolger is one of New York’s most respected actors and community activists. Originally from Detroit, she’s been nominated for four Tony Awards: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “The…
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Apr 15 • 56 min
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is best known as Jaime Lannister the Kingslayer on the fantasy hit “Game of Thrones” from David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, and author George R. R. Martin. His performance on the award-winning HBO series, now launching its buzzy final…
Timothy Simons
Apr 1 • 73 min
Timothy Simons is nothing like his character on “Veep”—well, except for the generous use of profanity. Growing up a class clown in rural Maine, Tim worked in theater and commercials before cracking up TV audiences as Jonah Ryan, one of the lovably…
André Holland
Feb 21 • 54 min
André Holland has turned in quietly powerful and honest performances in “42,” “Selma,” his leading role on the Stephen King-inspired Hulu series “Castle Rock,” and more. From his early days of studying theater and using Backstage, to his breakout in…
Regina Hall
Feb 14 • 62 min
Regina Hall has proven she’s one of today’s shrewdest and funniest on-screen performers, from her early days pounding the pavement using Backstage, to her work in films like “Love & Basketball,” the “Scary Movie” franchise, and the biggest comedy of last…
Elsie Fisher
Jan 11 • 51 min
At only age 15, Elsie Fisher has pearls of wisdom aplenty in this interview, recorded amid a whirlwind of a breakthrough year. As socially awkward middle schooler Kayla Day in writer-director Bo Burnham’s feature debut “Eighth Grade” from A24, she’s been…
Natalie Portman
Jan 10 • 49 min
Award-winning actor, producer, director, and activist Natalie Portman is one of Hollywood’s brightest talents. She burst onto the scene as a pre-teen in “Léon: The Professional” and “Mars Attacks!” and has been fighting for the projects and causes she…
Amandla Stenberg
Jan 8 • 54 min
Amandla Stenberg plays Starr Carter in 20th Century Fox’s “The Hate U Give,” the big-screen adaptation of Angie Thomas’ young adult novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Amandla got her start in the biz early, playing Rue in “The Hunger…
Nick Kroll
Dec 6, 2018 • 68 min
Nick Kroll appears in some of Hollywood’s funniest recent projects—films like “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” “Adult Beginners,” “The House,” TV shows including “Cavemen,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “The League”—and for creating “The Kroll Show,” starring…
John Krasinski
Dec 4, 2018 • 72 min
John Krasinski is best known for his Jim Halpert on the award-winning “The Office,” but as this in-depth interview suggests, he’s as much a writer-director-producer as a comedic star. Inspired by his arts education at Brown University and the National…
MJ Rodriguez
Nov 29, 2018 • 55 min
Triple threat MJ Rodriguez, born and raised in New Jersey where she got her big break in an Off-Broadway production of “Rent,” got an even bigger break last year when she was cast as Blanca, mother of the House of Evangelista, in FX’s drama “Pose” from…
Zoe Kazan
Nov 27, 2018 • 70 min
You may know Zoe Kazan from the feature film she wrote and starred in, “Ruby Sparks,” or for her performances on and Off-Broadway, in last year’s “The Big Sick,” and on the miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” which earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination. This…
Lucas Hedges
Nov 20, 2018 • 41 min
In 2018 Lucas Hedges stars in three buzzy films—“Boy Erased,” Joel Edgerton’s retelling of Garrard Conley’s gay conversion therapy memoir; “Mid90s,” Jonah Hill’s skateboarding indie; and “Ben Is Back,” an addiction drama written and directed by his father…
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Nov 15, 2018 • 70 min
Actor and activist Maggie Gyllenhaal has turned in striking and thought-provoking work in her every film role, from “Donnie Darko” and “Secretary” to “Sherrybaby” and “The Dark Knight.” She earned a Primetime Emmy nomination and won a Golden Globe for the…
Darren Criss
Aug 23, 2018 • 46 min
First a viral hit in a college “Harry Potter” parody musical, then a breakout triple threat on “Glee” and Broadway, and now Emmy-nominated for playing an assassin, Darren Criss is one of today’s most charismatic and versatile storytellers. Playing the…
Ron Cephas Jones
Aug 21, 2018 • 63 min
Ron Cephas Jones is proof that success in the entertainment biz, with patience, perseverance, and passion, can be achieved at age 60. After years of studying acting and jazz, scraping by with odd jobs in New York and Los Angeles, and balancing both…
Betty Gilpin
Aug 16, 2018 • 66 min
Raised by actors and inspired by theater of the absurd at Fordham University in New York, Betty Gilpin is a performer full of surprises on both stage and screen. Her self-professed “gravitas Barbie clown” instincts are on full display in Debbie Eagan aka…
Tracee Ellis Ross
Aug 13, 2018 • 71 min
Tracee Ellis Ross is a vocal advocate for equality and representation in Hollywood, a three-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee for leading actress in a comedy series, and a role model who positively radiates inspiration. All combined, she makes an ideal…
Sean Hayes
Jun 20, 2018 • 61 min
Chances are you know the final guest of this season of the podcast as the hilarious Jack McFarland on NBC’s hit sitcom “Will & Grace.” The beloved character not only earned Sean Hayes an Emmy and four SAG Awards, it put an out gay man on network TV,…
Niecy Nash
Jun 18, 2018 • 51 min
Niecy Nash loves Backstage, and the feeling is mutual. With her background in theater and her years of pounding the pavement to carve a place for herself in Hollywood, the multi-hyphenate talent has all the audition advice an aspiring actor could ever…
Cristin Milioti
Jun 15, 2018 • 70 min
You can’t pigeonhole Cristin Milioti as a performer—she’s made sure of it. Proving she can do everything from earning a Tony nomination for Broadway’s “Once” to taking on the title role in “How I Met Your Mother,” the actor-writer-musician has plenty of…
Edgar Ramirez
Jun 13, 2018 • 65 min
Star of “Carlos,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Hands of Stone,” and more, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Edgar Ramirez has worked as an activist and political journalist, both in his native Venezuela and abroad. This season on the small screen he starred in “The…
Hayley Atwell
Jun 11, 2018 • 61 min
Thanks to her analytical approach to acting, Hayley Atwell inhabits characters brilliantly on both stage and screen. Training as a performer in her native London before breaking into Hollywood as Peggy Carter in Marvel’s “Captain America: The First…
Evan Rachel Wood
Jun 8, 2018 • 54 min
Evan Rachel Wood began working in theater before becoming a child star on screen, with a Golden Globe-nominated breakout in “Thirteen.” Starring in films ranging from “Across the Universe” to “The Wrestler,” and TV series including “Mildred Pierce,” Evan…
Noah Schnapp
Jun 6, 2018 • 50 min
At only age 13, Noah Schnapp has already voiced Charlie Brown in “The Peanuts Movie,” worked with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg on “Bridge of Spies,” and, of course, starred in one of today’s biggest pop culture phenomenons: Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”…
Brandon Victor Dixon
Jun 4, 2018 • 58 min
Although well-known in the Broadway community for years of stage work—recently as Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” and for his Tony-nominated performances in “The Color Purple” and “Shuffle Along”—Brandon Victor Dixon became a breakout star in front of a much…
Pamela Adlon
Jun 1, 2018 • 53 min
Pamela Adlon is an actor, producer, director, and screenwriter, and on her autobiographically inspired FX series “Better Things,” she does all that things and more, last year picking up the Emmy nomination for leading actress in a comedy. Known also for…
Henry Winkler
May 30, 2018 • 59 min
One of the most beloved presences on and off the small screen for almost 50 years, Henry Winkler is a director, producer, and bestselling author as much as he is a performer. After achieving ubiquity thanks to “Happy Days,” where he for years he played…
Gina Rodriguez
May 28, 2018 • 52 min
Gina Rodriguez is an actor, producer, and director, best known for her astonishing work as the titular role in The CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” Jennie Snyder Urman’s telenovela-inspired romantic roller coaster, one of today’s only series featuring a Latina…
DeWanda Wise
May 25, 2018 • 65 min
DeWanda Wise plays the singular Nola Darling in the Netflix hit “She’s Gotta Have It,” adapted for episodic TV by the one and only Spike Lee, whose 1986 film about this sexually woke Brooklynite artist put him on the map as a filmmaker. But Wise, whose…
Mandy Moore & Milo Ventimiglia
May 23, 2018 • 95 min
Kicking off our season of Emmy Award contenders are the leads of network TV’s biggest drama: Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia! When they first auditioned for Dan Fogelman’s “This Is Us,” neither could have predicted that the series would have millions…
Denise Gough
May 21, 2018 • 59 min
Denise Gough is one of the most exciting up-and-comers working on London and New York stages today. After a sensational breakout performance in Duncan MacMillan’s “People, Places & Things,” the Irish actress booked the role of Harper in the National…
Alex Newell
May 18, 2018 • 45 min
Star of the Tony-nominated Broadway revival of “Once on This Island” and emerging LGBTQ pop icon Alex Newell joins Backstage to discuss music and acting, longevity and survival, and gratitude and humility. Newell got his start with a video audition for…
Lindsay Mendez
May 16, 2018 • 54 min
Tony Awards season is upon us! Theater’s highest honors will be handed out June 10, so Backstage has invited onto the podcast some of this Broadway season’s most exciting performers. Up first is Lindsay Mendez, Tony-nominated for her irresistible Carrie…
Willem Dafoe
Feb 24, 2018 • 39 min
Few actors’ résumés offer as much variety as Willem Dafoe, an on-screen presence who seems unclassifiable—it’s simply not enough to dub him “chameleonic” or “versatile.” Just look at his three Academy Award nominations, a triptych of deeply felt acting:…
Betty Gabriel
Feb 23, 2018 • 55 min
Betty Gabriel is the brilliant star of Universal Pictures’ “Get Out,” the comedy-horror-satire hit from the now Academy Award-nominee Jordan Peele. As the mysterious maid Georgina, she blew audiences away with one particularly disturbing scene involving…
Gary Oldman
Jan 19, 2018 • 56 min
Although you are likely aware of Gary Oldman, you may not appreciate his astonishing range. His habit of disappearing completely into onscreen roles is evident in everything from the “Harry Potter” and “Dark Knight” film franchises, to his Oscar-nominated…
Kumail Nanjiani
Jan 10, 2018 • 60 min
Before last summer, Kumail Nanjiani was best known as the hilarious Dinesh on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” But then his autobiographical comedy feature, Amazon’s “The Big Sick,” became a commercial and critical smash. Co-written alongside his wife Emily Gordon…
Patrick Stewart
Jan 5, 2018 • 42 min
In addition to being one of the industry’s most powerful and prolific actors, Patrick Stewart has a voice of pure gold. Listen to the Olivier-, Emmy-, Golden Globe-, and SAG Award-nominated knight, best known for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and the…
Tatiana Maslany
Dec 8, 2017 • 54 min
All of Tatiana Maslany’s creativity comes from leaning into the unlikeliest or most challenging of circumstances and simply responding, “Yes.” The 2016 Emmy winner for BBC America’s sci-fi thriller “Orphan Black,” in which she portrays around a dozen…
James Franco
Dec 5, 2017 • 59 min
Whether you know James Franco from his comedic collaborations with Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow, his Oscar-nominated work in “127 Hours,” or even his poems and paintings, chances are your impression is only a piece of the overall puzzle of his artistry. The…
Keala Settle
Dec 1, 2017 • 53 min
For some, the acting profession is a calling that can’t be avoided. Keala Settle, beloved Broadway star of “Waitress,” “Les Misérables,” and her Tony Award-nominated “Hands on a Hardbody,” is one such performer; ever since a fortuitous road trip to a…
Allison Janney
Nov 28, 2017 • 61 min
There’s a reason Allison Janney has more acting statuettes than she knows what to do with. The seven-time Emmy winner—for “The West Wing,” “Masters of Sex,” and CBS’ current hit comedy “Mom”—possesses a natural intelligence, curiosity, and wicked sense of…
Leslie Odom Jr.
Nov 22, 2017 • 50 min
This week we get to be in the room where it happens. Leslie Odom Jr. helped launch the Broadway production of “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s record-breaking musical sensation, winning last year’s Tony Award for Leading Actor in the process. A triple…
Richard Jenkins
Nov 15, 2017 • 66 min
Ready for more interviews from the frontlines of Hollywood’s acting races? We kick off Season 2—and an exciting film awards season—with an in-depth chat with Academy Award nominee and Primetime Emmy winner Richard Jenkins. Steadily working his way into…
Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Anthony Anderson
Aug 27, 2017 • 68 min
On this season finale episode, we are joined by TV comedy royalty. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has just about every conceivable award for her astounding work, including seven acting Emmys for “Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” and of course the…
Brian Tyree Henry
Aug 25, 2017 • 55 min
Up-and-coming actor Brian Tyree Henry is perhaps best known for playing an up-and-coming rapper on Donald Glover’s award-winning FX comedy “Atlanta.” His first Emmy nomination is for his guest role as a Memphis crooner on Dan Fogelman’s NBC hit family…
Regina King
Aug 22, 2017 • 58 min
Backstage’s favorite Emmy-winning acting guru, Regina King is one of the greatest on-camera performers working today. She traces her trajectory from child star to actor-director with serious chops, and reveals the intricacies of the techniques that led to…
Judith Light & Kathryn Hahn
Aug 18, 2017 • 112 min
In this extra-special, extra-long episode, we are joined by two Emmy-nominated stars from Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking Amazon dramedy “Transparent.” Judith Light, a Tony- and Daytime Emmy-winning legend who keeps breaking our hearts as Shelly Pfefferman,…
Carrie Coon
Aug 15, 2017 • 64 min
This interview with Carrie Coon covers both how to act in the present moment and the practicalities of budgeting and cooking. The star of HBO’s “The Leftovers,” now receiving her first (of many!) Emmy nominations for Season 3 of FX’s “Fargo,” shares the…
Jeffrey Wright
Aug 11, 2017 • 51 min
Jeffrey Wright—Emmy and Tony winner for “Angels in America,” currently Emmy-nominated for HBO’s sci-fi western “Westworld,” and guru of stage and screen techniques—stops by the studio to share his wisdom on auditioning, stage fright, the importance of…
Bob Odenkirk
Aug 8, 2017 • 53 min
Bob Odenkirk, the renowned writer, producer, comedian, and 12-time Emmy nominee, stars in AMC’s drama “Better Call Saul,” Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan’s sequel to “Breaking Bad.” He joined us to shed light on his many successes, various influences, and…
Jackie Hoffman
Aug 4, 2017 • 42 min
Jackie Hoffman is a theater and comedy legend (and hilarious interview)! Now TV fans are appreciating her talents too: On FX’s fabulous limited series “Feud: Bette and Joan,” the Emmy nominee plays Mamacita, housekeeper to Jessica Lange’s Joan Crawford.…
Ann Dowd
Aug 1, 2017 • 55 min
Backstage has returned with another run of episodes featuring contenders in the 2017 Emmy race! Ann Dowd, a first-time—and two-time—Emmy nominee for her roles on eerie, disturbing, but wildly imaginative TV dramas, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and HBO’s…
BONUS: How to Become an Emmy-Winning Actor
Jul 11, 2017 • 51 min
This extra special bonus episode of Backstage’s “In the Envelope” gathers never-before-heard career advice from Bryan Cranston, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria, casting director Amanda Lenker Doyle, and more. It’s the podcast version of a how-to guide on…
Freida Pinto, Amy Brenneman, & Jay Duplass
Jun 22, 2017 • 66 min
As Emmy nomination voting closes, Backstage interviews three of this year’s talented awards contenders: Freida Pinto of Showtime’s politically charged mini-series “Guerilla,” Amy Brenneman of HBO’s masterfully mysterious drama “The Leftovers,” and Jay…
Carly Chaikin & Thandie Newton
Jun 22, 2017 • 54 min
This week’s (extra fabulous) episode features actors from two of the grittiest and most riveting series on the small screen. Thandie Newton is an award-winning actor and activist, always on the lookout for on-camera roles that enable her to merge those…
Bryan Cranston & Alan Yang
Jun 19, 2017 • 57 min
On a special behind-the-scenes episode of “In the Envelope,” we are joined by none other than Walter White! With 14 Emmy nominations and 6 wins, Bryan Cranston knows a thing or two about navigating the craft and business of acting. In fact, the new drama…
Elisabeth Moss & Hank Azaria
Jun 12, 2017 • 50 min
What does it take to win an Emmy? This week we ask a six-time nominee and six-time winner! Elisabeth Moss is as talented as she is prolific, from AMC’s “Mad Men” to Sundance Channel mini-series “Top of the Lake,” and now the producer-star of Hulu’s…
Andrew Rannells & Aubrey Plaza
Jun 5, 2017 • 53 min
The first time Andrew Rannells worked in television was a scene-stealing guest appearance on Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy “Girls.” Now upgraded to series regular and campaigning for an Emmy, Rannells tells Backstage how he approaches acting on stage and…
Claire Danes & David Harbour
May 30, 2017 • 56 min
Claire Danes is a three-time Emmy-winning actor and star of Showtime’s long-running “Homeland.” David Harbour stars in last year’s Netflix hit “Stranger Things.” We chatted with both about their best acting advice, how they build their characters, and all…