Today's CBS Sunday Morning Podcast is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. For more information and important disclosures, visit Ameriprise.com slash advice. Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC.
Member FINRA and SIPC. I'm Mo Rocca, and I'm back with season three of my podcast, Mobituaries. I'm looking forward to introducing you to more of my favorite people and things. All of them dead from a top dog in 1990s television. What happened? What's the story, wishbone? To a former top banana.
In the world up to 1960, when the Gros Michel was the only banana that we got, they were clearly better. Listen to Mobituaries, wherever you get your podcasts. Good morning.
I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. Remember when big, beautiful sedans ruled the road? Those days are long gone. And that's not all that's changed. Ford and Chevy have done what was once unthinkable. They've stopped making any number of cars exclusively here in the United States.
And perhaps the biggest change of all. Three of our best selling new vehicles are trucks. But not your grandfather's pickup. Lee Coward looks at why so many of us just keep on truckin'. They come with names like Desert Boss, Tremor, and Rebel.
Some can seemingly defy gravity. The humble pickup is humble no more. Do you think it's still a blue collar vehicle though? No.
It's more, it's much more diverse. A pickup picked me up. Coming up on Sunday Morning. From Miracle on 34th Street to It's a Wonderful Life. Tis the season that's inspired some of our most beloved movies. And when it comes to holiday fare, Luke Burbank tells us one name stands out in the crowd. When the holidays roll around, there's a cable channel that knows how to turn fake snow into real television gold. I feel like I'm a part of something that is spreading joy. You're making a sweet story, especially with Christmas. I've heard that you're one of the hunks of Hallmark. This I think I can handle. We're getting cozy with Hallmark Holiday Movies.
Ahead on Sunday Morning. She got her big break in The Wolf of Wall Street. Just a decade later, Margot Robbie is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
Tracy Smith has our Sunday profile. I think you want to become a star. Honey, you don't become a star. You either are one or you ain't.
I am. For her new film, Babylon, Margot Robbie went deep into her character. So deep that she says she had a hard time getting out. Is it fair to say you get obsessed? Yeah. Do I sound obsessed?
I found it really hard to leave it behind at the end of the job. Margot Robbie and a wild ride through Hollywood history. Later on Sunday Morning. David Pogue will introduce us to TV and film score composer Nicholas Brattelle. Counter Night turns up the heat and samples the red and green chilies of New Mexico. In Italy, Seth Doan takes us to the birthplace of the accordion. Serena Altschul has a sweet sampling of a beloved Hanukkah treat. Plus a story from Steve Hartman. Thoughts on this most wonderful time of the year from Faith Salie and Jim Gaffigan. And more on Sunday Morning, December 18th, 2022.
We'll be back after this. Talk about a special gift for the holidays. One big ticket item that seems to be on a lot of lists this year is the pickup truck. Why are they so popular?
With Lee Cowan, let's go for a drive. More and more and more cars. We Americans have long had a crush on our cars. Some trucks are good for only one thing, rough work. But when it comes to a really committed vehicular relationship, well, it's the pickup truck that sets our hearts aflame. Turns out things like towing capacity and payload can really get the motor running. Bring all the gifts for under the tree.
And while you're at it, bring the tree. Trucks represented about 20 percent of U.S. sales this year. That's a tad more than cars. In fact, pickups account for the top three of the five best-selling vehicles. Take Ford's F-Series. It's been America's best-selling truck for over four decades. Just how important are they to Ford's bottom line?
We asked CEO Jim Farley. F-Series is the second most valuable consumer product by revenue behind the iPhone. It is enormous. This is the modern horse.
It's your reliable partner you can do work on, you can have fun with, you can kind of go anywhere. It just fits an American lifestyle. Pickups are the most popular in the states you'd probably expect. Texas, Wyoming, North Dakota, and the like. Where construction, ranching, and hauling are a way of life. But there are plenty of coastal pickups now, too.
Look at this, though. We'll steer clear of pickup politics here, Suffice it to say that you can't get sales numbers that big by selling pickups in red states alone. It's millennials, according to J.D. Power, who buy the most new trucks these days.
And yes, some have no desire to haul anything more than a bag of groceries. Oh, actually, that was supposed to be for me. I love it.
I don't give them for anything. I could drive anything. I just get it from point A to point B. The number of women interested in pickups has been growing almost every year, too. Do you need a truck or do you just like the way they look?
I like the blue one. The mid-sized truck market is heated up, too, like Chevy's Colorado, Ford's Ranger, GMC's Canyon. They may look smaller, but they can be just as capable. Introducing the all-electric Chevy Silverado. And, of course, all-electric pickups are no longer a fantasy anymore. While they're far from a farmer's friend just yet, it is another sign that pickups aren't going anywhere.
But when it comes down to the question of why, just why do we love something with four wheels and a bed so much? Well, it turns out that's a lot like asking people, why do you like hot dogs at baseball games? Pickups are Americana.
And, just like hot dogs, you better not get between a hungry fan and their mustard. I've seen more bar fights over what truck you drive and not seen anything else. I mean, it's competitive, right? There's no country song about a Camry. That's Tim Esterdahl, publisher of Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk, who says buyers seem especially keen on the idea of keeping up with the Joneses pickup. They're bragging rights, right? So, you know, when Ram came out with their new truck, the heavy duty that has a thousand foot-pounds of torque, the sign was 15 feet high with numbers. One thousand pound feet of torque, you know? And, I mean, you want to buy that truck and say, yeah, I got a thousand foot-pounds of torque, you know? I'm never going to use it.
I have no idea how to use it, but I got it. That's the Ram 1500 TRX. You likely won't be boulder crawling on the way to drop your kids off at school.
Nor will you be flying over traffic like this. But you've got to dig deep to own one. They start around 80 grand. Holla!
Holla! GMC's all-electric super truck, the Hummer EV, costs over 100 grand. It might not need all of its off-road capability, but to people like Rika Williams, that's not the point. It's about what you need. It's about what you like. What you enjoy. What you deserve. Okay? And you know what, honey?
I deserve this. The biggest capacity many trucks boast of these days is the amount of luxury in tow. There was a press conference once for Ram. They were launching a new truck. And I went to the CEO and he said, I didn't know you were talking about a full-size truck or a Chanel handbag. Quilted leather, heated steering wheels, panoramic sunroofs are all riches of the modern truck that have some old-school Texas ranchers like Pat Mackey scratching their farmer's tan. I mean, I've never seen anybody stand up in the sunroof and rope a cow on the top.
I don't think you need a sunroof and all that stuff in there. While big may be better on a ranch, maybe not in traffic. Some of the biggest trucks these days have grills so blunt and so high, critics worry they create a blind zone, dwarfing bicyclists, pedestrians, and especially children. They look like they're getting bigger and bigger and bigger every year, are they?
Well, over time they have gotten bigger. The cabs grew, two rows of seats. Better for families and transporting people. That's Ford executive Ted Canis, who points out that many of today's trucks, including Ford, have technologies like pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. All pretty high-tech stuff for a truck.
Dodge gives you toughness, traction, and a ton of know-how in four-wheel drive. The trucks we used to know were as homely as a hound dog. Dents were character.
The dust offered a two-tone look. And the dash, well, that was just a place for smokes, as our long-time Sunday morning humorist Roger Welch once observed. Most of the stuff in real pickup trucks should be unusable or unidentifiable. Real pickup trucks have things growing in the bed or in the cab. Our three-quarter-ton Chevy Cheyenne is actually pulling 187 tons on this level road. That legacy is still present. Trucks remain the symbol of dust bowl determination. But these days you can dress them up or dress them down, drive up walls, or drive down Wall Street. This is great. Not bad for something Henry Ford once envisioned as simply a way to haul some hay.
Way to go. That's Sasha Papernik sharing the Christmas spirit on her accordion. Though some may consider it a bit of a throwback, Seth Doan tells us the accordion is still making beautiful music. They did not need the world's largest working accordion to prove the outsized role this instrument plays here. Trinkets fill souvenir shops, and an entire museum traces the accordion's story in this town Castelfidardo, in Italy's Marche region, which became a manufacturing hub for the world. Castelfidardo is where accordionist Simone Zancini hosts his jazz festival, and where he buys all his accordions.
There's no other place that you would think of going to? No, because the quality is not comparable. Zancini's first memories include accordions, but his is not a simple one-note love affair with this instrument.
Because while he will play a classic... It's not my favorite, let's say. I did.
I did enough when I was younger. I have nothing to discover there. He'd rather innovate. The modern accordion is less than 200 years old, and Zancini wants to push musical boundaries. Then it becomes interesting to me. You add your touch.
Yes, exactly. Italians helped introduce the accordion to America in the 1800s, and later to vaudeville. Hollywood injected some glamour... With some fine accordion bagging by Joanne Castle and Myron Florin. And the Lawrence Welk show brought accordion music into American homes every week. Though early models were invented in Berlin and Vienna, it was Castelfidardo that was home to the world's first accordion factory. Today Federico Pagini's family is the town's largest producer. When you run around the city, you can hear everywhere somebody is tuning the reeds or testing the accordion.
So it's a part of the tradition of our city. There are about ten major manufacturers remaining. At the peak in the 1950s, Castelfidardo produced the majority of accordions sold in America, around 200,000. But then came rock and roll, Elvis, and folk musicians, who gave the guitar a new image. As guitar sales went up, topping a million by the mid-1960s, the accordion was squeezed out. With its best-known players, not exactly cool. Do people give enough respect to the accordion?
You know, the mass. They still label the accordion as a folk instrument. And this is OK, because accordion comes from there. There are fewer image problems in Castelfidardo, where we found accordion music wafts into the street near the Paolo Soprani Music School. Here a new generation is learning to control its bellows, the lungs of the instrument, and keyboards, one of which the musician cannot see. To be able to play at the same time with the right and left hands is difficult, Elena Merli told us. Every kid in Castelfidardo has somebody in his family that is working on the accordion.
Federico Pagini is the fourth generation in his family business, Pagini. Their accordions can take a year to produce, and are fashioned from ten types of wood, appreciated to a point. You never learned?
No, no, since I was a child I had too many accordions around, so I decided don't play. But I'm quite OK making it, not playing. I guess it's more important that you can make them, since you sell them.
Each one is tested several times. This is a kind of dramatic part of the process. Yes, it is. Here to make sure air does not escape from the bellows, which would make it harder to play. It looks like he's blowing, but he's not.
No, he's feeling with his lips if the air is coming from the accordion. Pagini produces about $1200 a year, with specialty models costing tens of thousands of dollars. Well worth it, Simone Zancchini says, as any sort of enthusiast can attest. It's like a car, if you buy a little car to go to the grocery, or if you want Mr Ferrari or whatever. Are these Ferraris around you? Yeah, what do you think?
And driving through town, Ferrari or not, there's no need to stop the car to recognize Castelfidardo produces famed Italian brands all its own. You know, topics that are big to us, but small to everybody else. And as best friends who rarely agree on anything, there's going to be plenty of arguments. And I'm not losing the argument to anybody with that hairline.
A tax already in the promo, that's fine. Listen to Hold Up wherever you get your podcasts. If anything's got a chance of solving the world's problems, it's science and technology. And every breakthrough was the result of somebody doing the breaking through. I'm David Pogue. This is Unsung Science, the untold creation stories behind the most mind-blowing advances in science and tech, presented by CBS News and Simon & Schuster.
You can listen to Unsung Science wherever you get your podcasts. Hanukkah is a holiday rich with traditions. Serena Altschul tells us about one particularly sweet one, the donut. When the sun sets tonight, families around the world will gather to celebrate the Festival of Lights. They'll light a menorah, maybe open gifts. But for some, the beginning of Hanukkah means the end to a year-long wait. When do they start asking for jelly donuts and soufganiyot? Summer.
Summer? Yeah, yeah, seriously. You won't find any holes in this fried treat. Hanukkah donuts, or soufganiyot, are filled and topped. Berried jam and powdered sugar are traditional finishes.
But at Adir Makhaly's namesake bakery in New York City, he's mixing things up. So other than the classic strawberry jam, we have the dulce de leche, we have the pistachio cream topped with some strawberry, we have the halva cream, we have the hazelnut, it's hazelnut and milk chocolate. Kids would love that. Adults and kids alike line up for the treats. Can I get one of the soufganiyot, please? This year, Makhaly expects to sell over 20,000 of his sweet delights during the holiday. Hanukkah commemorates the military victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek army.
But the real miracle, the oil-burning menorah in the besieged temple, continued to shine for eight days, even though, according to the story, there was only enough oil to last one. We've long had the latke, or potato pancake, to remember the marvel. Soufganiyot came much later, according to culinary history expert Avery Robinson. The jelly doughnut came into the Hanukkah celebration as the soufganiyah about 100 years ago in the 1920s. So it's new? It's pretty new. All things considered, it is a very new thing.
Soufganiyot may be new, but its origins go way back. The earliest compilation of rabbinic texts, the Mishnah, which was redacted and compiled around 200 CE, there is a discussion about different types of dough. Discussion, but no definition, until Israeli bakeries years later decided to borrow a tradition they had seen popularized elsewhere. So when Jews were living in central Europe in the 19th and early 20th century, and these Jews came to Israel as bakers, or pre-state Israel as bakers, they came with this knowledge and tradition and understanding of these doughnuts around them. To make it work for the Jewish holiday, a few things had to change. So many of those doughnuts may have been cooked in lard, but we will cook them in oil, because that's what we're supposed to do on Hanukkah.
If there's one thing that we're supposed to do on Hanukkah that's not like candles, it is oil. And that's how it's been done ever since. The method for making these is precise. Each doughnut here is weighed, hand-rolled, and meticulously topped.
The process takes almost three hours for Mikaeli, though there is a little room for some fun. I'm going to make a big mess. Make a mess, it's all about miskhanu. How much sugar do you like? As much as you can put. Oh, make it snow. I would double that.
You would? Double it? Yeah.
Oh my god. With each bite, a burst of flavor, a celebration, and a reminder of those eight special nights. One a day? More than one.
More than one. Balance, right? Doughnuts, balance with a little exercise.
There is no balance with doughnuts, but balance it in general. Cheers. Le Chaim.
Le Chaim. Movies on the Hallmark Channel. As Luke Burbank explains, for many of us, they're the hallmark of a memorable holiday season. An abandoned strip mall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in the middle of the night in October, might not seem like the place you'd go to make Christmas magic.
But that's exactly what was happening earlier this year as Holiday Heritage was being filmed. How are things in Boston? Good. I got the building. Ella, you signed the lease?
Three, two, one. Just one of a seemingly endless number of holiday movies created by, of all companies, a greeting card corporation. Did you know about this?
Of course I knew. Yes, it's Hallmark holiday movie season. That special time of year when millions of Americans tune into the channel and throw away their remote until January. I love Christmas. I really do.
Since I was a little girl, I lived for Christmas. Lots of folks know Lacey Chabert from Party of Five or Mean Girls where she tried to make fetch a thing. So fetch.
That is so fetch. Gretchen. But these days, with 55 movies for the network under her belt, she's more known as the queen of the Hallmark movie. I love that I get to live in Christmasland in July when we're usually filming these movies and even though we're wearing seven coats and it's 108 degrees outside and you're about to faint because you're sweating so badly.
I was decorating the house with Santa's helpers and I just lost track of time. Hallmark shoots the films during the summer so they can be ready in time for the holidays when the company says its channel is the number one most watched entertainment cable network in prime time among all women over the age of 18. You know, I feel like I'm a part of something that is spreading joy and you know what, you even feel that on set. There is something about when people come to work for Hallmark you're making a sweet story, especially with Christmas.
Can I please hold your hand? And it's a winning strategy for the company who made 31 holiday films this year alone. How do they do it? Well, by shooting an entire film sometimes in just 15 days and using much of the same cast for the different projects. It's true. We all support each other's movies. We're rooting for each other. So it is sort of like the Marvel Universe but like with more cookies. It's the perfect way of saying it.
More cookies and a little more glitter. Hi, 911. Yes, I'd like to report a very strange man. And also a particular kind of wholesome acting that I wanted to try my hand at. What are you looking for as far as how you want the characters to really read to the audience? Well, there always has to be truthfulness. You always have to tell the truth, otherwise people can tell when you're not.
And so bringing as much of yourself to it, being as authentic as possible, looking for the comedy, trying to be a good scene partner. Hi, 911. I would like to report a very strange man wandering around my property. Come on, I'm not that strange and you're not on it with 911, are you? No, but I will be if you don't tell me what you're doing. I'm just checking on some things.
Oh, let me guess. HOA things? How'd you know? My dad used to sneak around other people's houses looking for violations too.
He is such a legend. What does the HOA think about noise levels in the morning? It's actually a very strict policy. Nothing above 90 decibels before 9 a.m. Hallmark opted to hire Wes Brown and not me to play the role of Jared in Haul Out the Holly.
I've heard that you're one of the hunks of Hallmark. Is that true? I don't know.
Is it? Okay. I love being a part of this group so much and there's so many of those other hunks you're talking about that are good friends of mine and good people so to be in that family, I'm a very blessed man. Speaking of fans of the films... You just watch it and enjoy it. I wanted to talk to one to find out what the appeal is. Luckily, I knew one very well.
My actual sister, Hannah, and my niece, Maddie. We met at their house to get cozy and get some answers. It's the girl next door, the boy next door. It's haven't seen you for 15 years type of thing.
I don't know. It's just something very romantic about that. In every one of these films, there's always a Christmas cookie situation. That is a feeling of what Christmas is supposed to be. You're supposed to be relaxed and enjoying the snow and the music and the movies and the lights and eating Christmas cookies.
That's a part of the whole thing, what you should be doing to relax at Christmas time. We're trying to do more character-driven stories. Lisa Hamilton-Daley is Executive Vice President of Programming at Hallmark. I think sometimes these things end up being situation-driven, which is outside forces working on the characters and from a creative perspective, we're trying to really reflect the reality and the lived experience of different kinds of people. For instance, this year, Hallmark featured its first two gay lead characters. But Hamilton's boss, Hallmark Films CEO Wanya Lucas, says it's also people of color who need more representation on the network, which has traditionally been very white. I think what's important is that we understand that based on race or based on gender or based on ethnicity, people are not a monolith, right? People are different, and they're multilayered, and that's what we're trying to bring to life. One of the people bringing those characters to life is Holly Robinson Peet, the star of Holiday Heritage, where our story started.
Remember Ottawa, fake snow? I literally lobbied to be part of this network, and I've always loved Christmas. Look, my name is Holly.
Come on. For the elders from whom we can learn much. And this movie that we're doing now is about Kwanzaa. It's the very first Hallmark Channel Kwanzaa movie, and boy, did they get the right person to be in it because I raised my kids on Kwanzaa. Meanwhile, back at Hallmark Central, I was wrapping up my big audition with the queen of Hallmark, Lacey Chabert.
This is a Hallmark movie. You should at least show up to the meeting and tell them you're not taking part yourself. I mean, you told everyone you'd be there. Because I was pressured to say yes in front of the whole town. Not cool.
And scene. I don't know how to say this to you, but you're hired. You're hired.
That was the most nervous I've ever been. So maybe I didn't quite have it to be a hunk of Hallmark. How much of a prerequisite is immaculate hair? It's a prerequisite.
Or they make you, you know, do something about it. But that's all right. The channel's got plenty of actors and fake snow. And let's be honest.
Happy Kwanzaa, baby. Extremely earnest plot lines to keep its fans watching for many holidays to come. So is the official Yellowstone podcast. Now, this isn't just your typical recap podcast. Every week, you're gonna get exclusive access to cast and crew members who will take you behind the scenes of Yellowstone in a way that no other podcast can. Saddle up for all new episodes of the official Yellowstone podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts. Don't miss it.
Listen to Beyond the Scenes, wherever you get your podcasts. No matter where you get it, just find us. From Santa Fe, Connor Knighton has a burning question. Red or green? It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the streets of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The central plaza sparkles with lights, faralitos, little lanterns line the rooftops. Even City Hall is showered in shades of bright red and green. You can find those colors all year long in the kitchens of New Mexico, where the meaning of Christmas takes on a different flavor. Green, red, or Christmas today? Christmas.
Okay. At Tia Sophia's restaurant, diners deck their dishes with sauces made of red or green chilies. Green chili, red, or Christmas? Christmas. Whenever they can't decide, they get a bit of both. There's different complexities to the red and the green, but they're both amazingly good.
That's why I get Christmas, because I love both of them so much. Chilies are everywhere in New Mexico. You've got to love chili if you want to live in this city. The state license plate proclaims it the chili capital of the world.
They're collected in bunches, decorated with bows, even used to trim the trees. But when it comes to cuisine, they're far more than ornamental. It rankles me when people call the chili a sauce, and it's my own personal hang-up, I'm sure, but it's such an integral part of the meal. Nick Mariol is the owner of Tia Sophia's. His parents opened the popular Santa Fe restaurant in 1975. According to local legend, a former waitress, Martha Rotunno, was the first to call the colorful chili combo Christmas. She started to encourage people to get both, get both the red and the green, and one day she hit upon the idea of calling it Christmas.
How true do you think that story is? 90 percent. All right. Today, it's New Mexico's official state question, but the choice between red and green isn't as black and white as you might think. It's all technically the same plant. So really, the difference between red chili and green chili is the difference between a grape and a raisin.
Ah, okay. One is fresh, one is dry. Chef Mika Chavez teaches courses on New Mexico cuisine at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. We're the only region in the Southwest to do this.
I'm originally from El Paso, Texas. You see red chili, you see green chili, you don't see red and green. Hatch, New Mexico, is the state's best-known chili-producing region. Because we have such hard, mineral-rich, packed soil, our chili is going to take on a different flavor than something grown, say, in California. Those green chilis, allowed to ripen and dry in the sun, turn red, creating a different texture and a somewhat sweeter, more complicated flavor.
People come for the green, but you stay for the red. While the chili typically ends up on dishes like enchiladas, which means in chili, it can't go on anything. Just ask Albuquerque's most famous fictional methamphetamine chef. Hey, we've got omelettes. You want an omelette?
No, I'm good. New Mexican Christmas-style red and green chilis. You never need a reason, or a season, to consume chilis in New Mexico. New Mexicans eat chili three meals a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. People from around the world don't have the same obsession with chili that we do. We realize that.
We don't understand it, but we realize it. Here, every day, can be Christmas. This is Steve Hartman with a story about a simple act of kindness and the lives it changed.
I really like this one. For Ida Zhugei of Boston, Massachusetts, no matter what shows up under the tree this year, she says no present will ever compare to a gift she got back in 1999 on one of the scariest days of her life. Civil war was raging in Yugoslavia, closing in on her family. So Ida's parents put their 11-year-old daughter and her sister on a plane to the U.S. by themselves. Ida vividly remembers the fear, but remembers just as well the comforting stranger seated next to her, an American. I remember how kind she was to us, you know, treating us like we're family. So it was a bit of a shock, to be honest. Especially when she handed you the envelope.
Yeah, I couldn't believe that somebody had so much empathy. The outside of the envelope read in part, I hope your stay in America will be a safe and happy one, signed a friend from the plane, Tracy. And when Ida opened it, she found a $100 bill inside.
Ida and her sister moved in with a relative who didn't have too much more than they did. So that $100 bill fed the family for three months. And Ida says it continues to feed her soul to this very day. That's why I actually kept Tracy's letter because it's a reminder to me that people are good. It has also been a main driver in her life. Ida owns two businesses that promote environmental and social justice. The reason why I do what I do is because of Tracy.
Every decision that I made had to do with paying it forward. I was wondering if you can help me find Tracy. A few years ago, Ida put word out on social media, hoping to find the woman who gave her life direction. She spent years searching, until not long ago, when her message finally got through to Tracy Peck of Blaine, Minnesota. Tracy, Ida, and her sister Vanya reunited last weekend. We just stood there and hugged and cried, and I just felt such a deep love for them.
I can't wait to come to your wedding. Tracy Peck gave away $100 to total strangers, but she says the gift she has gotten in return is far more precious. They've taught me the slightest thing that you can do for someone. You don't realize what impact that's going to have on their life. We have no idea.
But if you're lucky, maybe someday you will. Hey, it's Roy Wood Jr. Every week I sneak away from The Daily Show and bring you Roy's Job Fair, a dope podcast where we laugh about bad jobs or figure out ways to be better at the jobs we have. We've had on legends, like Kerry Champion. Oh, he fired us. The next day we came in and he gave us our check for the week. He paid us out for the week and said, thank you guys, but no, thank you. We all need something to eat, someone to love, and a way to provide. These podcasts cannot help you with the first two.
Listen to Roy's Job Fair on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. On the next Drew Barrymore Show. It's President Joe Biden. Mr. President, if Dr. Biden could change one of your habits, do you know what it would be? There's so many.
And a White House holiday tour with Dr. Jill Biden. On the next Drew. So I presume you're Italian? On my dad's side. I'm also Dutch, German, English. I'm a mutt. And you're a mutt. She still seems like a fresh face, but actor and producer Margot Robbie has more than two dozen films to her credit, along with two Oscar nominations.
Tracy Smith has a Sunday profile. And with the rest of the tourists, here we go through the Paramount Gate. In the movie biz, the Paramount lot in Los Angeles has always been sacred ground, a crossroads for stars of all sizes. And it still is. What's it like walking around here now?
I love it. I just have so, I remember shooting up there. I remember I did all my dance lessons around there. It was so surreal being on the Paramount lot. Two-time Oscar nominee Margot Robbie says it's a place she never gets tired of. It's so exciting. There is nowhere more magical, nowhere more fun than a movie set.
And she should know. What do you say we come in for my close-up now? Her new film Babylon, from our parent company Paramount, is a picture made the way they used to make them, and maybe never will again.
Director Damien Chazelle takes us on a three-hour-plus deep dive into the chaotic underbelly of 1920s Hollywood, an epic story told in beautiful and sometimes lurid detail, with Robbie's character running off the rails in a place where the parties never seem to end. It seems like you're all about taking risks. Yeah. I like taking risks.
How can I say? I'm a thrill seeker. If it doesn't scare the shit out of me, I normally don't really go for it. The girl seems nice. She is. She has no idea what's next.
And in Babylon, there was a lot to be scared of. Many big tears. Big, you got it?
Is that gum? Her character, the young actress Nellie LeRoy, is a hungry outsider who turns out to be talented beyond anyone's expectations, with powers like the ability to cry her heart out on command. Cut. Hiya. I'm Nellie LeRoy.
Should we go in again? Okay, so let's talk about this crying IQ thing. You can really do that? Yes.
I did 300-and-something episodes on a soap, so I had a fair share of practice to crying on cue. How? I don't know, mate. I think it's like a muscle. I could say to a director, do you want it on my left eye or right eye? Stop. And tell me the word you want it to drop. And what is going through your head? Where does it come from? I don't know. Honestly, it sounds so stupid and derivative, but I just think of something sad.
Margo, top throw! But in her life, she says, there's really not much to be sad about. Margo Robbie was raised by a single mom in Queensland, Australia. Through sheer persistence, she hit paydirt at age 17 with a role on the popular Aussie soap, Neighbors. Cue the tears. No, he promised me he would be home for a special night. She was a perfect fit for the show.
Almost. I had a very strong Australian accent. It was too Australian for Neighbors? Too Australian for Neighbors. They had a dialect coach come in to make me sound less Australian for the most Australian TV show ever.
Can you do it? What's a too Australian accent? I was very like, oh, how's it going? Just not nice on the ear. And they tried to round it out.
They're like, you're so nasal. We need to just round that out. So ask yourselves, why would Pan Am, the best airline in the world, promote someone so young? But her American accent was good enough to land her a series here, Pan Am, in 2011. It only lasted one season, so she started sending out audition tapes, including a Hail Mary pass to a casting agent for a new Martin Scorsese film, The Wolf of Wall Street. No part of me considered that my tape would ever be seen by Martin Scorsese.
And she was as surprised as anyone when she got a bite. But when they first told you, oh yeah, Marty wants to see you, your reaction was? I was so confused. I didn't know who Marty was, to be honest. I was like, they said Marty. They're like, Marty wants to see you. And I was like, who is Marty?
Martin Scorsese. And I was like, how does he know who I am? They're like, he watched your tape. And I was like, Martin Scorsese watched my audition date? And they're like, yeah. And he wants you to come in and read with Leo. And I was like, Leo, as in Leonardo DiCaprio. I was like, I'm on the same basis already with everyone.
Yeah, it was wild. We're going to be friends? Yeah. You want to be my friend? We're not going to be friends. Her performance opened a lot of eyes and a lot of doors.
Since then, she's played everything from the Queen of England. Young. Clever. Confidence. To a real doll in the upcoming film Barbie.
To a complete psychopath. Seriously, what the hell's wrong with you people? We're bad guys.
It's what we do. And she went from breaking glass windows to glass ceilings. In 2014, she started her own production company to make female-focused films like this one. For the movie I, Tanya, Robbie actually learned to skate like an Olympic figure skater and to fight like, well, Tanya Harding.
I out-skated him today. We also judge on presentation. Her turn as Tanya got her the first of two Oscar nods, but also put her on the map as a producer, drawing comparisons to Katharine Hepburn, who used her own business sense to help bring the Philadelphia story to the screen.
I'm such an unholy mess of a girl. What do you think of that comparison? I mean, there could be no higher praise for me because I adore Katharine Hepburn. But yes, I think I definitely have that kind, I've always been like a bit of a, like, yeah, I've had a business-savvy brain.
And Robbie's success has allowed her to do things even more important to her than movies. When you got your first paycheck, you had kept a written record of all the money that you borrowed from your mom? God, you do your research. Yeah, yeah, I have that piece of paper still. I kept it. Yeah, everything I owed my mom, I had it written down. She'd take money out of, like, the house mortgage, lend me money. So I always knew, I was like, oh, I gotta pay that back. And then one day when I made enough money, I just paid that whole mortgage off completely. I was like, mom, don't even worry about that mortgage anymore. It's your house. Yeah. It's awesome. Honestly, anyone in my position, you'd do that for your mom. Of course you would.
Margo! Of course, she's made her mom proud in other ways. This year, the British Film Academy celebrated her lifetime in film, never mind that she's only 32. Does it feel kind of weird to get that at such a fairly young age? Yeah, at first I was like, I don't think I should be getting this.
Like, aren't I too young to be getting anything that has the word in it? But then I was like, but I'll take it. Thanks. Night night, honey. Don't worry about that.
The car is not mine. And with her latest role, it's clear that she's earned her own place in Hollywood history. I mean, it's iconic.
All these studio lots are, especially this one. I know I'm hardworking and blah, blah, blah, but I'm also the luckiest, luckiest, luckiest, yeah, person in the world. You know, every time that I did something, I was like, oh, now it's the top. It will never get better than this. And then somehow it's just kept getting better and better. I'm so, so grateful and lucky. It's been called the most wonderful time of the year.
But for Jim Gaffigan, not so much. It's the most wonderful time of the year. It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Really? Is it the most wonderful? Have you been outside, seen the crowds, the traffic, ever go through security in the airport in December?
I'll tell you one word that doesn't come to mind. Wonderful. Maybe for you it is the most wonderful time of the year. It's better than summer, fall, spring. You prefer crowds, cold, and congestion. To you, that's wonderful.
Who even uses that type of language? Wonderful? Oh, this time of the year is wonderful.
I know that song's from the early 60s, but you know even back then people were like, who says wonderful? There is pressure to be happy in December, to be full of wonder. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas.
At times I want to say, settle down. I'm not saying I don't have great holiday memories. I like Christmas, but not enough to fill a month or to make me behave like I'm in one of those Hallmark movies. I guess what annoys me the most is when someone says happy holidays, you have to give a happy holidays back. It's an obligation. Happy holidays. I want to say my parents are dead, but I just give a long pause and respond with happy holidays.
The only thing worse than that mandatory happy holidays is the mandatory happy new year. Oh, that's coming up. Anyway, have a good one. It's a vital ingredient in most movies. The music playing in the background.
David Pogue sits down with someone who really knows the score. Award winning composer Nicholas Brittel. When you watch a TV series on a streaming service, you can click skip intro to bypass the opening credits. But if you do that on HBO's Succession, you'll miss one of the best parts, the theme music. It's like classical with a hip hop beat. Would you play the famous four chords from Succession?
I absolutely could. Composer Nicholas Brittel won an Emmy for his Succession score. You're marrying a man fathoms beneath you because you don't want to risk being betrayed. The show is about a deeply damaged family of billionaires, so Brittel wanted the theme to sound a little bit off. You know, the pianos are added to each other, the strings are a little bit off. This should feel kind of like something's a little wrong.
Three of Brittel's movie scores have earned Oscar nominations, Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Don't Look Up. But all of his scores begin the same way, in the same room as the director. It's like a rule.
It's like you have to be here. It's obviously technologically possible for me to write all this music and email it over, but I lose something in that process. We don't know what we want a lot of the time, you know, and we don't know until I play it up against the picture.
A TV or film composer's blank canvas is something like this, a version with no music at all. Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. He's not well. You can help us, right? You can help us stop him. Well, I'm focused on whatever outcome best serves the financial interests of the shareholders of the company. But I just want to be in the wrong room, keep the government and then to serve my interests. You know, you do all these things, but they really screen you. And I think when you think there isn't an excess that's too much going on with you, you have to respond to yourself a lot.
And it's a casts He's not well. You can help us, right? You can help us stop him. Well, I'm focused on whatever outcome best serves the financial interests of the shareholders of the company. But it doesn't serve my interests.
So hopefully there's a feeling of perhaps it's dread, perhaps it's sadness, perhaps it's loss, perhaps it's the knowledge of loss, incoming loss, you know? Right, so let's say I'm the director sitting on the green couch. Sure, yeah. And I say, uh, no, Nick. Improvise me something that is angrier.
That would be something like this. Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. He's not well. You can help us, right? That kind of thing. That feels like we're pushing you. Too much?
Too much. Yeah, because you know what? I like those chords, obviously. I'm cool with those. But I think there's something to me that feels like we're forced into this kind of set of feelings. Manipulative. Yeah, you don't want that.
You don't want that. Movie music has been in Britell's life from the moment he heard the music for Chariots of Fire at five years old. We had this very old, upright piano in our apartment.
And the first note is just the repeated note. And I figured it out. And I asked my mom for piano lessons.
So I guess for me, in some ways, film and music and the piano were always spiritually kind of linked together somehow. But his first real employer wasn't in Hollywood. It was on Wall Street. I was trading currencies. It ended up getting to a place for me that I wasn't happy, you know? And I wasn't doing what I love. And so I quit my old job and just took that chance of like, hey, I want to do music full time. Britell began working steadily with two rising directors, Barry Jenkins and Adam McKay. There's a very Disney arc here, like, you know, guy rejected Wall Street to follow his dreams.
And now he's rich and famous and fulfilled. But it might not necessarily have turned out that way. Oh, absolutely.
I had no. Music is hard. It's really hard. I think the process of figuring out what is the music for a film, it's not obvious at all.
Britell's wife, Caitlin, supported his career switch. She's a professional cellist who plays on most of his recordings, including on the score for this year's She Said. Sometimes people say, oh, you know, you're both musicians.
How does that work? I mean, I can see where that would get. That could get tricky. She's very picky about exactly the tuning of things, intonation of things. And so we'll have very, very good conversations, I would say, about how it should sound.
I think she wins those conversations pretty often. Is there a Nicholas Britell sound? To be honest, I try to go out of my way, project to project, to not do what I've done recently. Because I actually think it's so important that every project has its own sound. But there is a signature Britell trick. He buries sort of academic Easter eggs in his music.
For example, in the tennis movie Battle of the Sexes, he used an out of tune upright piano to represent Bobby Riggs and the Steinway grand piano for Billie Jean King. And for the new Star Wars series Andor on Disney+, Britell wrote a different variation of the main theme for each of the 12 episodes based on what's happening in the plot. But this is of episode two, actually. That's the sound of the opening of episode two. And then in episode nine, you hear this.
Same theme, totally different arrangement. Do you really think any audience member is going to notice this stuff? I think whether you consciously notice things is actually not my hope, you know? And it's working on an emotional level. These days, Britell's plate is full and getting fuller.
But landing more work is not his objective. If there was a goal, it's to perhaps do fewer things and be able to really savor those things. It'd be nice to just have a glass of wine and be like, that was really cool, you know? With just a handful of shopping days until Christmas, Santa Claus is coming to town, and our Faith Salie can hardly wait. I've known Santa for 50 years, or I guess he's known me. When I was really little, Santa brought me presents and joy. You can see here, I was stupefied with joy. I was a little bit of a boy, but I was a little girl.
You can see here, I was stupefied with joy. As kids, my brothers and I actually heard reindeer hooves on the roof. And I once talked to Santa on the phone.
I called the North Pole, and he knew that I wanted a tape recorder and a cassette tape of Annie. As I grew up, Santa continued to visit, except the things I asked for changed. When I was 39 and single, I sat on Santa's lap and asked for a baby. Two Christmases later, I was a married mother. Santa delivers. In bringing my own kids to sit on his lap, Santa offered me a new kind of joy.
Their lists are now in cursive. We leave Christmas Eve cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer. On Christmas morning, we find the remnants of Santa and Rudolph's snacks and proof of his visit in the form of ashy boot prints. What do you see in there, guys?
Look, a footprint. The year COVID prevented us from our traditional Christmas visit to my dad's house, Santa still found us in our apartment that doesn't even have a fireplace. The older I get, the closer I am to Santa. I see him more. I feel like I know him, and I have a deeper understanding of how hard he works to bring hope, the joy he feels when he gives, not just to children, but to all of us who yearn to believe.
Santa reminds us that, at least for a short time every year, when the nights are long, all of us grown-up kids can experience the gift of magic. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning.
We'll be right back. Big city adventure. This is a mountain of entertainment. Paramount Plus, stream now. There's something about having a number one hit.
Can't wait for the next one. Streaming now, a new Showtime original series, George and Tammy, starring Academy Award winner, Jessica Jastain. You live in a fast world. And Academy Award nominee, Michael Shannon.
Fast is the only speed I know. It's the incredible true story of country music's king and queen. They're gonna take it from us. Take what? Our fire. George and Tammy, now streaming on Showtime.
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