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Your Call is Important to Us, Jodie Foster, Taylor Tomlinson

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
January 7, 2024 3:06 pm

Your Call is Important to Us, Jodie Foster, Taylor Tomlinson

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 7, 2024 3:06 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, David Pogue looks at how artificial intelligence is revamping customer service call centers. Also: Lee Cowan talks with Jodie Foster about her new film, "Nyad," and new TV series, "True Detective: Night Country"; Luke Burbank profiles comedian Taylor Tomlinson, host of the new late-night series "After Midnight"; Kelefa Sanneh sits down with Grammy-nominated rapper-turned country star Jelly Roll; and Elizabeth Palmer examines how the Chinese government is rebranding its Xinjiang Province – site of a crackdown on its Muslim Uyghur population – as a tourist destination.

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I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning. In our consumer-driven world, we all reach out for a little help from time to time with a banking issue, a product problem, or perhaps some sort of computer glitch. More often than not, we reach out by phone. And as most of us have experienced firsthand, the results can be discouraging, frustrating, or worse. Automated voice recordings.

That droning music. The long wait times. And then, if you're lucky, you find a solution.

If you're lucky. This morning, just in time for those holiday returns, David Pogue is looking at customer service and asking the question, is your call really that important? I spent over six hours on the phone trying to get this issue resolved. She typed and typed and typed and typed and then what I heard was a dial tone. Nothing's more exasperating than calling customer service, except maybe being customer service. It's frustrating for us, too, because we're on the other end, like, we're trying our best. Coming up on Sunday morning, can artificial intelligence fix customer service? I'm sorry, I hear that you had a bad experience.

What can I do to help you today? Lee Cowan this morning has a Sunday profile of Oscar-winning actor and director Jodie Foster, who is taking on a challenging new role. This is Ennis.

Some questions just don't have answers. Jodie Foster is back to chasing villains. Not the serial killer kind, but the demons within. A script she couldn't resist. It's very rare that that happens, that you read a script and you think, wow, this is just something that I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

I felt that way about Silence of the Lambs, too. An actor who's had one of the longest careers in Hollywood, who rarely likes talking about it, ahead on Sunday morning. Hard times in redemption are themes in country music and themes in the life of its most unlikely new star. Keala Fasane introduces us to Jelly Roll. Jelly Roll is at the top of the charts, but he started from the bottom, in jail. He was sitting in this cell when he decided he had to make a new life for himself, in music. Did you tell people, here's what I'm going to do?

Yeah, yeah, I did. And they would cheer me on, even though they didn't believe me. Everybody in jail's got a plan until they hit the street. Somebody save me. How Jelly Roll's big bet paid off, later on Sunday morning. Luke Burbank sits down with the very funny Taylor Tomlinson, now starring in her very own late night TV show. Plus, Elizabeth Palmer with a Sunday Journal from deep inside China, a story from Steve Hartman, humor from Jim Gaffigan, and more.

On this first Sunday morning of 2024. And we'll be back in a moment. Visit slash wonderypod or text wonderypod to 500-500 to try Audible for free for 30 days.

That's W-O-N-D-E-R-Y-P-O-D. slash wonderypod or text wonderypod to 500-500 to try Audible for free for 30 days. Hi, it's me, the Grand Poobah of Bah Humbug, the OG green grump, the Grinch from Wondery. Tis the Grinch Holiday Talk Show is a pathetic attempt by the people of Whoville to use my situation as a teachable moment. So join me, the Grinch, along with Cindy Lou Who. Hello, everyone. And of course, my dog Max. Bark, bark. Every week for this complete waste of time. Listen as I launch a campaign against Christmas cheer, grilling celebrity guests like chestnuts on an open fire. Don't try to get my heart to grow a few sizes, but it's not going to work, honey. Your family will love the show.

As you know, I'm famously great with kids. Follow Tis the Grinch Holiday Talk Show on the Wondery app or wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen to Tis the Grinch Holiday Talk Show early and ad-free right now by joining Wondery Plus. You dial the number, navigate the recorded instructions, and if you're lucky, there's a person, a real person on the other end of the line, if you're lucky. But more often than not, you don't get the action you'd hoped for. So is your call important to them?

Really? David Pogue looks at customer service, its frustrations, and its future. A call may be recorded or monitored.

Want to know how I spent my Tuesday? Trying to report some fraudulent credit card charges. They've been calling Global Commercial Cards. Hi.

Yes. I'm trying to report some fake charges on my credit card. I'll connect you with our fraud team. I see.

Thanks for your visit. Okay. Customer service is a real problem in this country.

Just ask literally anyone. So I've got a tale for your customer service story. We're sorry. We don't have anybody right now to answer your call. Please call back. AT&T had me on the phone for six hours. The airline gave me the runaround via email. It kept saying it couldn't find our flight.

I said, lady, the technician is standing two feet in front of me and he has the unit in his hand. So why is customer service so bad? First of all, labor shortage, especially since the pandemic. It's hard to find people who want the call center jobs.

The average call center worker quits after about 18 months. Second, consolidation. All those corporate mergers of airlines and banks and telecom companies and cable companies. Now there's not as much competition, so there's less incentive to fix the problems.

So what happens? You get a lot of unhappy customers or worse. Needless to say, I did not stay with Verizon Wireless. So I filed a complaint with the Public Service Commission. Now I'm the proud owner of a new website where I plan to detail the rotten customer service.

So to this day, I have upstairs in my guest room a 4K direct TV box that drops out every four minutes and is hooked up to a TV that isn't 4K. This isn't about money. It's about human decency. Well, if it's any consolation, there is a group of people who may be even more frustrated by the customer service situation than you are, and that is the customer service agents. When they call in, they see you as part of the organization that's imposing the issue rather than a human being.

Believe it or not, I've had somebody curse me out completely. They can't see you. They're just over the phone. So they take advantage of that, of course. They call with their frustrations. They don't understand the procedures.

They have been told no multiple times. And sometimes that brushes off on me. I'm frustrated too. I want to help you out. I stand up.

I feel like I'm going to get in a state where I'm sweating. Would you ever say to a caller, I need to put you on hold for a second, when you really don't, but you just need a break? Of course.

Dominique Raymond, Kayla Zuniga, Generis Ortiz, and Calvin Echevarria. If you could just please provide me with your data. Work in customer support for health companies and patient advocacy nonprofits in Orlando.

Well, right now I don't even see that you're registered, so there's nothing to resubmit. I've read that turnover in call center work is more than double the average of other jobs. I think it's hard. They're not necessarily looking for a resolution. They're looking to vent. So, yeah, that can be kind of difficult and taxing.

Okay, give me just a second. Customer service is not easy. It's not meant for everyone.

My pleasure. Come on. So, if the job can be so hard, why do they do it? There's also a lot of redeeming qualities. It's very mentally stimulating because every day is a new challenge or a new experience. The beauty of it is honestly, to me, is to help out. It brings me joy. Sometimes I cry with the patient. I'm so excited to actually help someone out.

No cable company customer call center employee has ever cried with me. Thank you for holding. And so for years, that's how things have stood.

Two frustrated armies of people on opposite ends of the line, each frustrated by a dysfunctional underfunded system. And then this happened. My name is Grace. I'm a virtual front desk agent. What can I help you with today?

I left a bag at the gate. Can you describe the item? It's a nine-foot Steinway grand piano.

I have good news for you. We were able to locate an item matching that description. Welcome to the new age of artificial customer service. Artificial intelligence, that is. You can adjust these personality sliders. How much empathy should the bot show?

How much should it respond to your emotion? Nico Benitez is a co-founder of GridSpace, creators of an AI phone rep called Grace. My name is Grace.

At this moment, more than 100 hospital chains, airlines, phone companies and banks use Grace to take customer calls. It doesn't sound like you're talking to a robot. You hear the ums and uhs and all the imperfections that indicate that someone is listening.

Anthony Scuderi is another GridSpace co-founder. And so if you have a system that feels like it's listening to you and doesn't make you restate yourself, it's much less frustrating as a user interface. How does Grace make life easier for the humans at the call center? Well, that's a really hard job.

And it's just people yelling at you all day. And so one way Grace can help is by being kind of a bit of a blast shield. First someone calls in, they state their intent, they complain, the bot tries their best to help them, and then the person can kind of come in as the hero.

I mean, that's in general how automation really helps people, which is it enables people to do the stuff that people are best at. But then for the other 90% of calls where people are calling in with password reset, password reset, password reset or whatever, Grace can just deal with that. GridSpace set up a fake Airline 800 number so I could witness firsthand how Grace hands you off to a human when the problem requires creativity.

Thanks for calling CPS Airline. I have a service animal. Can I bring my service animal? Yes. You are allowed to bring your service animal on board. Okay. It is a tiger. Is that okay? I'm sorry, but I don't have any information about bringing a tiger as a service animal.

I'd be happy to transfer you to an agent. So common sense is not her strong suit. If there's no policy about tigers, she's not going to invent one. Unrestrained AI acting as a representative of your company can get you in a lot of trouble.

And so we would rather err on the side of being real by the book, real literal. Meanwhile, Grace offers another benefit to us puny humans, much less sitting on hold. She's answering millions of phone calls simultaneously.

Yeah. Picks up right away, even if it's a machine. A fascinating concept, but not everyone is sure that AI is the answer. It seems like you lose that connection, that ability to make that good first impression and to connect with the patient right off the bat.

It seems impersonal. I love the fact that we can actually be, they're live agents. You can't do that with an AI. Take that, Grace. Plenty of companies are working on AI customer support systems like Grace. But until they become widespread and reliable, most of the people answering your calls will still be people. We get them at their worst, but then also at times when you can pivot and recover that situation, then get them at their best and they're most grateful.

They'll write your name down and say, hey, I want to let your supervisor know that you helped me. And even though I started yelling at you from the beginning, it was not your fault, you assisted me and you never hung up on me. So you forgive them their anger? So no need to forgive. There's no forgiving.

I don't take that personal. You just needed somebody to listen to. You as well.

Happy holidays. I'm Mo Rocca and I'm excited to announce season four of my podcast, Mobituaries. I've got a whole new bunch of stories to share with you about the most fascinating people and things who are no longer with us. From famous figures who died on the very same day to the things I wish would die, like buffets.

Listen to Mobituaries with Mo Rocca on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Many put their hope in Dr. Serhat. His company was worth half a billion dollars. His research promised groundbreaking treatments for HIV and cancer. Scientists, doctors, renowned experts were saying genius, genius, genius.

People that knew him were convinced that he saved their life. But the brilliant doctor was hiding a secret. Do not cross this line that was being messaged to us. Do not cross this line. A secret the doctor was desperate to keep. This was a person who was willing to cold-heartedly just lie to people's faces.

We're dealing with an international fugitive. From Wondery, the makers of Over My Dead Body and The Shrink Next Door comes a new season of Dr. Death, Bad Magic. I'm Laura Beal. You can listen to Dr. Death, Bad Magic exclusively and ad-free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in the Wondery app. Jelly Roll is an artist who crossed over from rap to country and from prison to Grammy nominations and chart-topping hit songs. Caliph Asane introduces us to an unlikely rising star. He's a former rapper who calls himself Jelly Roll. He sings songs about the troubled life he used to lead. He recently won a Country Music Association Award for Best New Artist and he just turned 39. I want to tell you success is on the other side of it. I want to tell you it's going to be okay. I'm only one drink away from the devil.

In 2023 he had three number one country hits and this year he's nominated for two Grammy Awards. Someone was asking me what is the precedent for this Jelly Roll story and I said it's not really like anything. Yeah, thank you man. We're definitely on our own island. This is jail. It sucks.

Everyone I've ever been to. If you're wondering where Jelly Roll came from. So this is your old room right here. This is it. One difference is that the door is open right now. Yeah, it still smells the same though.

One answer is here, the county detention center in Nashville. There was a time in my life where I truly thought this was it. That this was your future. Yeah, and then coming here, you know, just after getting nominated for two Grammys it just hits different.

You know, it's just, I didn't think I'd get emotional to be honest, but every time they just sell. You just think man, even when I left here I didn't have a plan. Jelly Roll was in and out of facilities for 10 years starting at age 14.

Drug possession, drug dealing, shoplifting, aggravated robbery. I knew that I loved music and I knew it was the only thing I had any skill set in I thought. I can't believe I'm crying. His real name is Jason DeFord, but when he was a boy his mother gave him a nickname that stuck. Your family called you Jelly Roll, your friends called you Jelly Roll. Oh yeah, yeah to this day my mother calls me Jelly.

If somebody walked in here right now and said Jason, I wouldn't look up. Growing up Jelly Roll never pictured himself having a normal career. I knew my father booked bets, I knew my mother struggled with drugs, so to me this was just what you did. When he wasn't getting in trouble Jelly wrote songs, like this one about driving around and getting high. Cock and a big body down south, optimals burning slow, staying smoked out.

In the Chevy and I'm heavy and I ride clean, I'm wiping sticky off my dickies from the light green, the light green. He started making informal hip-hop CDs known as mixtapes. You're selling drugs to people and selling mixtapes? No, no, no, I'm just giving the mixtapes away. I'm just like yo, here's a sack of weed, here's a gram of coke, here's a mixtape, you understand, I rap too.

It was like my business card. Even my drug dealing to me was always a means to music. I wrote hundreds of songs right here. I wrote Riding All Alone's chorus right here. You know I wake up every day, I hit my knees and pray, my mind is filled with pain, so many things have changed. I'm looking at my life like it's an hourglass.

I'm still spending every minute trying to kiss the pain. He was 24 when he left prison for the last time. By then, a prison guard had given him some news that changed the way he thought about his life. He said, D4, you had a kid today. I said, what? He said, yeah, yeah, you had a child. And I was like, what's her name?

And he said, hell, I don't know. It turned out her name is Bailey. Like so many in Jelly's life, her mother suffered from addiction. Jelly is now raising her with his wife of seven years, Bunny XO, a podcaster who calls herself the Trailer Park Barbara Walters. In 2010, Jelly Roll had his first minor hit, a hip hop track called Pop Another Pill. I have a line in that song to show you where I was at in my mental space, how insecure and how much I didn't believe in myself. I ain't got no single, no potential for the radio. I ain't got no single, no potential for the radio.

As a rapper, Jelly Roll sounded a bit like the southern hip hop stars he admired. Somebody save me. But when he started singing, Me for myself.

The twang in his voice made country fans pay attention. In 2020, he released an acoustic version of a ballad called Save Me, which became his breakthrough. I'm so damaged beyond repair.

Life has shattered my hopes and my dreams. On YouTube, the video has been viewed more than 200 million times. Tonight is the most special night of my life.

And the next year, he performed at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. I knew the moment I did it, I made at least a small piece of history in this town. Unreal, man. This place is holy ground. One tree waits for me. Songs like Son of a Sinner and Need a Favor make fans feel as if they really know him and believe in him.

Like Dale Henry and her daughter Kelsey Roberts. It just really touches your soul. I mean, when you hear him say, save me from myself, it just makes me think, it's such pain there. And he just exuberates it through his music. I just love it.

I just love it. It started with a little pill. His latest album, Whitsitt Chapel, is anchored by a song called She about a woman fighting drug addiction. She was the life of a party. But what an amazing full circle moment.

You have She, this song about the fentanyl epidemic, from an artist whose first single was called Pop Another Pill. It shows what God can do with you, can't it? It shows how much change can happen in your life.

The windshield is bigger than the rear view mirror for a reason because what's in front of us is so much more important than what's behind it. These days, when Jelly goes behind bars, he's only visiting. And he's bringing a message. For you it might be welding. For you it might be barbering.

Whatever it is, find that thing. And it might just be starting with simply being a good father. I'm trying to just encourage, inspire, and entertain. I'm just trying to get you free for a minute. When I go to juveniles, I'm trying to get you to understand that you're loved.

He may talk like a preacher, but he says he doesn't exactly live like one. One of the things that people really relate to you for is not just that you have this sense of wanting to inspire people, but also this idea that you're still someone who's still trying to figure it out. I think that it's cool to see vulnerability that way and that we can all grow together and that it's okay to not have it figured out at 35. It's okay to not have it figured out at 25.

It's okay to not have it figured out at 15. Just know that you can figure it out and believe in that. How do you feel about your success? Do you feel like you've earned it? Do you feel like you deserve it? I'm starting to.

I didn't at first. And I'm still dealing with imposter stuff. I'm still dealing with talking to my therapist about that.

Do I really deserve this? I'm still a guy that's haunted by my past. There's a very dark hallway between my ears. But sometimes Jelly Roll takes a minute to think about his unlikely journey, like when he phoned his mother a few weeks ago. I've called her addicted. I've called her homeless. I've called her from rehab facilities. I've called her from halfway houses broken down on the side of the street. Never got to call her and say I've been nominated for two Grammys.

One of the coolest moments of my whole life. This is Stephen Colbert here to talk to you about The Late Show Pod Show, which is our podcast of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I'm here with my producer, Becca. Becca, what can people expect on the podcast?

The extended moments, for sure. For instance, if I'm talking to Tom Hanks for like 20 minutes, only 14 of that ever makes it to air because we just don't have time. And Tom's a jabber jaw. You know, he's a chatty cat. But it's all gold because it's Tom Hanks and we put that on the podcast. We do. That's value added.

Listen to The Late Show Pod Show with Stephen Colbert wherever you get your podcasts. It's a region of China that was off limits during the pandemic. But western Xinjiang province, origin of the Silk Road, the ancient gateway for trade to the Middle East, is again open for tourism and raising questions.

Elizabeth Palmer takes us for a visit. Xinjiang, on China's western frontier, is being marketed these days by the state both for its beauty and its business opportunities. This tour was arranged by the Chinese government's information office. It rented the buses, it set the itinerary, and it also provided the translators and the staff that has a company that's every step of the way.

They showed us everything from agricultural machinery, to ancient ruins, to e-sales of local plums on TikTok. What we didn't see was evidence of these, the detention centres and prisons that turned Xinjiang into an international scandal. I am Tumara Sialpan, daughter of Yalkan Rosie, the renowned Uyghur literary critic, writer and educator. My father has been forcibly disappeared since 2016 and is suffering in the Chinese prison. Human rights groups say that starting in 2014, up to a million Muslim Uyghur people were rounded up in Xinjiang and imprisoned.

Those who could escaped, and thousands settled in the United States. Babur Ilchi is with the Uyghur Human Rights Project in Washington. What is it about the Uyghur people that threatens the Chinese Communist Party? Ethnically, we're not Chinese, we're not Han Chinese. We're separate from the majority of China. The Chinese government perceived us as a potential threat to their complete supremacy over China. Meanwhile, the government has been investing heavily in Xinjiang. For example, its multi-billion dollar high-speed train. Everywhere, we saw evidence of the eye-watering money China's spending on infrastructure and tourist development.

The message? Forget human rights abuses, take in the sights. Zhu Bin, one of our translators, is Han Chinese. He grew up in Xinjiang and wanted to tell us how proud he is of the area he's always called home.

I hope you could change some of the ideas or change some of the impressions which has been spread by some Western medias about Xinjiang. He's talking about those Uyghur detention centres that, at first, the Chinese government denied existed. But after they showed up in satellite pictures, it's said they'd all been closed in 2019.

The official with us wouldn't go on camera but did confirm we had driven by one which he said wasn't worth pointing out because it was shut down. Instead, we saw ethnic dancing, local wine production and a village remodelled and beautified especially for tourists. But there was no chance to speak casually with the people who lived there and of private Uyghur life, we caught only passing glimpses. There was one official nod to China's crackdown on the Uyghurs. The extremist museum in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi. Gruesome exhibits recall attacks by Uyghur extremists going back to the 1990s.

In one, says the guide, 1,700 people were injured and 300 stores were burned. The message is China's government had no choice but to come down hard. The Chinese government, as you well know, will say, listen, we had some very serious terrorist attacks and we just responded.

If your response to acts of violence or perceived acts of terrorism are to round up an entire ethnic group into mass concentration camps, then you have gone beyond your ability to defend yourself. At night in Urumqi, we did see some heavy security presence but overall with facial recognition cameras everywhere, the policing and the atmosphere were relaxed. The very fact of this tour shows China's government believes it has brought the Uyghurs to heel. Everything that we've seen on this tour and everything that we haven't underscores China's determination to rebrand Xinjiang. So it's no longer notorious for gross human rights violations against the Uyghurs but rather famous as a tourist attraction. The traditions of Islam were once everywhere in Xinjiang. Religion was a pillar of Uyghur community life and so were conservative customs. Veils for women, beards for men.

Not anymore. The law now discourages overt religious expression, even dress, in public. Meanwhile, majority Han Chinese influence is officially encouraged. The ancient capital Kashgar is now Kashi, its Chinese Mandarin name. In the Xinjiang bazaars, Uyghurs have been Disneyfied.

Even the sacred Id Kah Mosque sells tickets to tourists. In Urumqi's bazaar, we found Uyghur Imamu Maimati Siddiqui who told us he'd been in a re-education camp for seven months. His crime? Being overly religious.

I wouldn't even let my wife work, he said. And now he responds with the party line. I learned I'd been breaking Chinese law and reformed. But with surveillance cameras watching and our official guides very nearby, how free was he to speak?

We'll never know. It's showtime in Nazarbag village kindergarten for local Uyghur kids. Officially, the Chinese government promotes bilingual education for them. But this is Mandarin.

And so are those books back there on the shelves. The Chinese government wants the world to believe its draconian crackdown was a good thing for stability, security and for the Uyghurs themselves. If the Uyghurs disagree, they're not saying. Least of all to us. And as far as China's concerned, that is mission accomplished.

Welcome to Xinjiang 2.0. But I've been single for the last year now, and it has been the most relaxing year of my entire life. It has been lovely, waking up every day going, oh, no one's going to make me cry today but me. She's hit all the benchmarks for success in comedy at a pace that's no joke. Sold out tours, Netflix specials, and now her own late night show. Luke Burbank is talking with Taylor Tomlinson just for laughs. Okay, so this is stage 30. That's where we're going to be. It's Taylor Tomlinson's first day on the Paramount lot, and the set for her new late night show, After Midnight, is, well, non-existent. That's where your show's going to be happening. I'm telling you, nothing's done yet.

I thought that's where they were storing chairs. I'm telling you, everyone's asking me. I'm like, I don't know yet. We're working on it.

And Tomlinson, as the host of that new late night show premiering next week, the one that has yet to start taping, a show that will follow none other than Stephen Colbert himself on CBS, she's still figuring things out. Allegedly we can fit through this, but we're going to find out together. Oh, wow.

All right. Look at that. Wouldn't it be great if I just totaled this golf cart, like, before I even started working here? At this point, not even a golf cart mishap could derail Tomlinson's Fast and Furious career. My career is going very well right now. Yeah, that's like in the middle.

So I think we just need to pick which angle we want. She spent December editing her third Netflix special, Have It All, which is due out next month. Nobody gets to have it all. And then I saw Hugh Jackman in person. And I was like, oh, no, I guess you could have it all, but there's none left because God gave it all to Hugh. But if watching the 30-year-old on stage or screen makes it seem like her career success was a foregone conclusion, to hear Taylor Tomlinson tell it, it wasn't. I grew up super sheltered and very Christian, so I didn't even really know what stand-up was until, like, middle school.

Tomlinson is a self-professed introvert who first got started with stand-up comedy at, of all places, her church. All my jokes have always been really rooted in my real life. When I first started, obviously, I was very clean. I was 16 years old, very sheltered. I mean, I hadn't dated. I hadn't had sex.

Like, I hadn't done much of anything. And so I think the jokes I was doing were probably, A, pretty observational and, B, very self-deprecating, probably to, like, a point where it might have been a little sad, actually. I know that my friends both envy and pity me simultaneously, just like I envy and pity them.

I know my friends look at me and go, yeah, I'd probably focus on work if I was all alone. And I'm like, yeah, I'd probably have a bunch of kids if I had no talent. This special's different because it's me acknowledging the fact that I am a successful comedian, which felt sort of hard to say for a while. Not that anyone made me feel that way. I just felt that way in my own heart. Tomlinson lost her mother to cancer at the age of eight and says, as a teen, she used stand-up as an outlet for writing, performing, and eventually working through her grief.

I started writing jokes about losing my mom when I was much younger, but they were very, like, hit or miss as far as how often they would work because I was doing them, you know, like, on Sunset Friday night, and everybody's like, we're kind of here trying to get laid. Can I say that? Oops.

I want to just give that version of you a little side hug. I know. Those jokes eventually found their way into her second Netflix special, Look at You. I know dead mom jokes make people uncomfortable.

I know that. And if you are uncomfortable, I don't know what to say. You should have worked harder, so it was you up here. Few work as hard as Tomlinson does or reveal as much in their comedy as she did when she shared a difficult diagnosis on stage. I'm so glad I know that I'm bipolar now. I mean, I have the right meds, I got a mood ring, I'm handling it. But when I first found out, it was a very tough pill to swallow, and I've swallowed a lot of pills. Because when you first find out something like that, you're like, oh, man, am I going to tell anybody?

Should I tell anybody? And if I do tell people, am I hot and or talented enough to be an inspiration? All joking aside, her openness was an inspiration to many, as has been her directness about how helpful therapy has been in her life. I really want to find out if I'm my therapist's favorite client. You can't just ask. They won't tell you.

I've tried. Tomlinson's new show, After Midnight, will feature herself and other comics riffing on the latest updates from a little place called the internet. She's hoping it's television's equivalent of comfort food. There will be memes, emojis, laughs, murder. What?

No, no. There's no murder. Who put murder in here?

We will get that fixed before we air. No murder. I mean, I don't know.

Murder's pretty hot right now. So what is it that you think will be the biggest learning curve for you about this new gig, After Midnight? Honestly, the thing I'm most nervous about, and this is sort of a lame, uncool answer, I am naturally very introverted, and it's something I've worked on a lot over the years. The thing I'm most nervous about is the social aspect of it and how many people I'm going to be interacting with and being on in that way, because that is a skill that doesn't come to me naturally. But again, I feel like I'm in a place now where it is something that I am better at and want to continue to keep getting better at.

But it is the thing I'm most nervous about, weirdly enough. But something that does seem to come to Tomlinson naturally, and that's served her both onstage and off, is finding the humor in some of life's most difficult situations. If I can write a joke about something that was sad or hard or uncomfortable for me, it sort of neutralizes that event and makes me go, oh, that's a joke now. That's not like a bad thing that happened.

That's a joke. It makes me feel like I got something out of it that I know you can't hold a joke in your hands, but it has the same feeling, because you can put it in a special or on a late-night set or even if it's just a clip on Instagram. I'm so grateful that I have an outlet stand up to do that with.

But you should go to therapy, too. An introvert who goes onstage in front of thousands, a once sheltered kid who's now flying high in public without a net. Taylor Tomlinson might not have it all just yet, but she seems well on her way. From rough streets to the recording studio, Steve Hartman has the story of a singer who got a chance to shine.

In downtown Boston, hope was fading for Ara Bolster. She'd been homeless for more than two years after a string of unfortunate events and abusive relationships. I had been in tears, and I remember thinking to myself, you know, God, when is the tide going to turn? And that's when this guy walks into your life?

Yeah. Ara says she'd been singing on the street, which she does on occasion, when a stranger came up to her. His name is Matt Shearer. He's a radio news reporter. Matt was out covering something else that day, but he sensed a better story in her. Can I sit with you and chat?

Absolutely. And that's when Ara told him about her most prized possession. I have a song, and I wrote it here on the streets.

The lyrics were written on a piece of cardboard she'd been using as a mattress, the melody only in her mind. But Ara felt so strongly about this song, she told Matt her only wish in life was to share it with the world. And when Matt heard that... I thought, well, I've got connections.

I know people. And so, a few days later... Come with me. He said, hey, I have a surprise for you. Let's go. There you go.

Got her in the car, and I told her where we were headed, and she was so happy. I'm taking you to a recording studio. Are you serious? Yeah. No! I'm serious.

No! Matt found an engineer and a producer, and what they all heard... Oh, I was blown away. The lyrics were powerful. How love can be both toxic and intoxicating. I'm addicted I'm so addicted to you I'm addicted to your finger I'm addicted Ara has now uploaded her song to the online music platform Bandcamp, netting nearly $5,000 in downloads.

Look at this. But as much as she needs that money, she says Matt matters more. He's everything to me right now that I don't have, and he's a hero. Finding someone who believes in you. I'll try to get you singing the national anthem at the Sox game. What do you think? The best way to feel like a rock star.

And baby if I die you can bring me back to life I'm addicted That expires in one week. You're not real FBI, are you? I'm still in training at the academy. Jack Crawford sent a trainee to me. Yes, I'm a student. I'm here to learn from you.

Maybe you can decide for yourself whether or not I'm qualified enough to do that. It's Sunday morning on CBS, and here again is Jane Pauley. She's been in the spotlight since she was a child, and she's in the spotlight tonight on CBS. Jodie Foster is among those nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Lee Cowan has our Sunday profile. I had my time, and it's not my time necessarily anymore. It's my time to support other people, and I have something to contribute because I have experience and I have wisdom, but I don't have to play the same role that I played when I was in my 20s. That is the wisdom that actor Jodie Foster found when she entered into her 60s, the kind of professional epiphany that she blames on Mother Nature. I think it might be a chemical thing that happens to you when you're older where you just kind of relax. That's really saying something since she started her career at the age of three. You don't have to worry about me.

Just take good care of yourself, and don't catch any cold or anything. With nearly 100 credits to her name and two Oscars, she says she's always had a frustrating on-again-off-again love affair with acting. Sometimes I go through years where I just don't want to act for a while or I don't find anything. I'll read a perfectly good script about a perfectly good thing that I should be interested in, and I just don't care. For most of the last decade, Foster was focused on her marriage to Alexandra Hedison and raising her two teenage boys. But then two roles came around that have her now back in front of the camera again.

Some people come to Alaska to escape, get away from something. You don't even think of me. And she says she's prouder of them than almost anything she's done. If you die, I want to be the last person you see. But don't die. But if you do, I'll be right there with you. She's already earned Golden Globe and Critics' Choice nominations for her role in the Netflix original There's no one more Nyad than you.

Nyad, where she plays Bonnie Stoll, friend and coach, to swimmer Diana Nyad, played by Annette Bening. What were you thinking, you pathetic? Hey, hey, hey, no. No, no, no, no. Stupid, stupid. None of that, none of that. Don't beat yourself up. You're doing great.

I think it was much more challenging for Annette. I spent a lot of time on the side of the boat, sucking in my stomach. That's pretty much what I did in my jogger bra. I'm not working with you again ever. You think I want to work with you? I do, actually. Yeah. Then, after a five-year wait, there's the highly anticipated fourth season of HBO's True Detective, out next Sunday.

My job is to keep everyone safe. Night Country is just as spooky and supernatural as the first True Detective, but this time, it's set in the frigid polar winter nights of Alaska. Was it as cold as it looked up there when you were shooting? It was probably colder than it looked. There are moments where it's really hard to speak.

It's so cold that your mouth kind of talks like that. Stop f***ing around. This is a crime scene. Aren't you pretending like you know what you're doing?

Foster plays Detective Liz Danvers, who's confronting a certain darkness of her own. No, you're not going to blame her on me. I wasn't even here. You know who was here?

You. I didn't think that I would come back at this level, or I didn't think that I would come back to acting as often as I have now. Many thought acting was just her destiny. After all, Hollywood has always been home. Every L.A. kid loves growing up in L.A.

True. That's their reference. Did you?

I loved it. She lived with her mom and three siblings just a mile from what was then a very gritty walk of fame. You were talking about Hollywood Boulevard. Oh, yeah.

And how it's very different than it is now. Yes, we weren't allowed to go there. She said that if she ever found us on Hollywood Boulevard that we shouldn't come home.

Foster's mom, Brandi Foster, got her into acting and, as her early manager, kept her in it, she says, in a gentle but firm way. She's asked me about a thousand times, you know, do you want to be an actress? And I could have always said no, but I don't. It's fun. You said you were kind of forced into it, I guess, isn't really the right word, but you didn't choose it. No, I didn't choose it. But at some point you chose to keep doing it. Yes. I knew that there was sort of an unsaid thing, that you accept these parameters or you can always stop. You can always say no. That was always an option?

It was always an option, but it's a little bit of like, you know, here, you can have this dog food or you can starve. You know, there's a little bit of that. Despite being the youngest child, there was always a maturity about her, an old soul in a young frame. And this is me.

Born in Mountview Hospital 13 years ago, give or take a month. Female, blonde, natural, of course. I'm like such an awkward adolescent every Freaky Friday, with like lots of pimples and kind of chubby and greasy hair and all that. Gross. I wish I could switch places with her for just one day. She proved she could convincingly play characters wise beyond her age.

Even her own mother. Those are kind of my home movies. What's your name? Easy. Well, that's not any kind of name. Well, that's easy to remember. Yeah, but what's your real name? I don't like my real name.

She was already a veteran actor at the tender age of 12, when she was cast as an underage prostitute in Taxi Driver. Why do you want me to go back to my parents? I mean, they hate me. Why do you think I split in the first place?

There ain't nothing there. I didn't really understand what building a character was until I did Taxi Driver. If there was an ambivalence about her career, she says, it was rarely about the work.

It was about the celebrity that came with it. You said that you were, you've said it a bunch of times actually, I think that you're an introvert in an extrovert's job. Is that still the case?

Definitely true, yeah. I'm 100% an introvert. I've never been okay with being a public figure.

It's not something that's ever felt okay to me, or felt healthy. She was in college at Yale when an obsessed fan, John Hinckley Jr., said he attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan to get Foster's attention. Last fall I received several pieces of unsolicited correspondence signed John W. Hinckley or J.W.H., and I threw them all away.

She was dragged into history through no fault of her own. Foster then endured years of speculation about her private life, about her sons, about her sexuality, all of which she kept from the tabloids, much to their dismay. I tried to be as authentic as I possibly could, and I had to protect my own psyche from the publicness. I just had to figure out how to dig a trench around me to survive intact, and some of that meant being more isolated. Is that trench still there? Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah, definitely. I mean, I'm working on it. I'm working on it.

And the roles she's generally taken, she says, seem to be characters who also have something to work on. What did you see, Clarice? What did you see? Lambs. They were screaming. There's always been an intensity or a vulnerability that have marked so many of her roles. I thought...

I thought if I could save just one, but... He was so heavy. So heavy. Aah! Aah! First bill of county, Sheriff. When she played a rape survivor in The Accused, she made us all uncomfortable, and rightly so.

I have not seen The Accused in, I don't know, 25 years. I don't think I wanted to revisit it, actually. And he pushed me down on the pinball machine, and he ripped my shirt. He lifted my skirt.

He pulled down my underpants really, really hard. I can only do one thing at once. I'm not a multitasker. So I'm a focuser, and if you're a focuser, you do get obsessed with things.

I think every movie I make, I get obsessed with. Swim. No swim. You are a force.

No matter. So whether she's pretending to be in the Florida Straits or straight-out frozen in the Arctic Circle... Those men died before they froze. What the... Get out of here, now! At 61, Jodie Foster now says she's reached a point of acknowledgment in her life. Yes, she's a little obsessed, and yes, she's an introvert, and yes... Yes, yes, I am crazy.

But for one of the first times in her long professional life, Jodie Foster is finally feeling a little more free. I think I have managed to survive and survive intact, and that was no small feat. And look at me! I survived! The holidays are behind us.

Good reason, says our Jim Gaffigan. To celebrate. Well, I made it. I survived the holidays. With my family. My families.

All those weirdos that I'm somehow related to. Let's just say, if God is the producer of the holiday season, He tends to lean into drama. I am truly grateful that I can spend time with these goofballs, but the amount of crisis and tension I encounter during the holiday season often makes me feel like I'm involuntarily participating in a reality show. The entire holiday season seems like a series of rotating reality show experiences. In early November, I always envisioned Thanksgiving being like the Great British Bake Off, with everyone being supportive and polite. Your sponges are actually really good.

But often what transpires is more reminiscent of kitchen nightmares. That is well done! What about this? It's well done! Or even nailed it. I don't mean to laugh, but what is happening?

December has all those holiday work parties, which seem to bring out behavior from coworkers more commonly found on Jersey Shore or The Masked Singer. Take it off! Take it off! Take it off! Take it off! Heck, even getting to holiday destinations often has a heavy, amazing race vibe.

It's going to take another hour. Okay, well then take this out and let's just go. If you go on a trip with your family during the holidays, you subject yourself to a whole other set of reality show comparisons. I took my family on a beach tour which at times felt like a never-ending Survivor episode where unfortunately nobody was voted off. Job is spoken. I'm just grateful it didn't get to the point of naked and afraid.

Where else would you like me to clean my bum? The holiday season officially ends with New Year's Eve, which for some reason turns normal adults into participants on Love Island. I guess any time with family can turn into a holiday. I guess any time with family can turn into a Real Housewives episode. You will never go near my husband. Everybody will know.

You will never go after my bitch. But around the holidays, you really wish Andy Cohen was there to keep the peace. Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. by completing a short survey at slash survey
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-07 16:23:00 / 2024-01-07 16:44:37 / 22

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