NL Longform: Entertainment

Exploring the people, events & ideas that shape the creative arts of film, TV, and writing/media through longform editorial.

If You Take Out Kenan Thompson, The Studio Will Explode
Insiders at SNL consider Kenan Thompson to be one of the greatest sketch comics ever. As he approaches a record 15th season on the show, maybe you should, too.
  17 Minutes - by Maxwell Strachan for Huffington Post


Dwayne Johnson: The Pain and the Passion That Fuel the Rock
Hollywood's most dependable good guy on saving the day in 'Rampage,' his beef with Vin Diesel, presidential rumors and more
  25 Minutes - by David Hill for The New Yorker


The Name's Hader... Bill Hader
A profile on the career (the anxieties of SNL, general insecurity, his new series, Barry) of Bill Hader... in our opinion one of the most talented former SNLers in recent memory. 
  13 Minutes - by Andrew Gruttadaro for The Ringer


Living Large
At one time a graffiti artist, rapper, internationally exhibited painter, video and TV-commercial director, screen writer, film scorer, actor, lecturer and when this profile was published in 1992 on Fred Brathwaite, he was the influential host of MTV's Saturday-night show, Yo! MTV Raps.
  43 Minutes - by Susan Orlean for The New Yorker 


Will Smith, Adam Sandler and How Sony Suffered Through The Collapse of the A-List Star
Book Excerpt: A fascinating look into how reliant Sony was on the machines that the two stars created and the extravagant lengths the company maintained to keep the stars happy.
 
11 Minutes - by Ben Fritz for The Hollywood Reporter


Show the Monster: A Profile of Guillermo Del Toro
He just won best picture for The Shape of Water. He's been the ultimate monster film nerd his whole life and now he's redefining the genre. 


A Day In The Life of a Line Cook in One of NYC's Fanciest Restaurants
NL Pick of the Week: Nina Araba Wilmot is hustling towards her dream while working grueling, long hours at Le Cou Cou - the much celebrated NYC restaurant. It's a fascinating glimpse into the gender, ethnicity, and economic dynamics of the hospitality industry. 
  16 Minutes - by Amanda Shapiro for Bon Appetit


Nostalgia on Repeat
Why do we feel nostalgia? And do infinite entertainment choices change the way we look back?
 
11 Minutes - by Chuck Klosterman for Grantland


What ever happened to Brendan Fraser?
Quite a sad story about a former leading man, now breaking back into the acting world. What happened was a series of personal struggles and one humiliating event that Mr. Fraser is first speaking about in this article.
 
20 Minutes - by Zach Baron for GQ


Vice's Action Bronson Problem
Vice has turned the rapper Action Bronson into a television star, but in conversations with Spin, over a dozen sources at the company say his disruptive presence and rude behavior is everything they're seeking to eradicate from the company. 
 
12 Minutes - by Jordan Sargent for Spin


   by Ann Derrick-Gaillot
 14 mins
Life After Vine
From Vine superstar (whatever that meant), to car dealership salesperson.


  by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah
 35 mins
If He Hollers Let Him Go
Semi-Retro, 2013: Searching for Dave Chappelle ten years after he left his show.


  by Adam Green
 15 mins
I Love You, I'm Here For You, And I'll Always Be Here For You. But I Can't Save You.
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s widow on addiction, loss, and recovery.


   by Zach Baron 
 22 mins
The Dark Optimism of Paul Thomas Anderson
Known as a recluse, PTA  is one of, if not the most admired filmmakers alive. In a rare interview, he chats about his new film Phantom Thread.


  by David Kamp
 38 mins
Sweet Bard of Youth: The Story of John Hughes
On the life of the wildly prolific writer/director who had his fingerprints on Home Alone, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck, and many more of the best 80's/90's comedies. 


  by Lynn Hirschberg
 15 mins
Daniel-Day Lewis Opens Up About Giving Up Acting After Phantom Thread 
Daniel Day Lewis became so engulfed with depression while taking on his final role in Paul Thomas Anderson's latest movie that he decided to quit acting.


  by David Handelman
 15 mins
Retro: Joel & Ethan Coen: The Brothers From Another Planet 
From 1987: Have you seen their movies? Aren't you curious about what RS was writing about the brother directors who have been at the top of the game for the past 30 years back when they were only 3 films in?


   by Ian Parker
 40 mins
Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig: Happiness
From 2013: Noah Baumbach has co-written several movies with Wes Anderson along with writing and directing some of his own (Frances Ha, Squid & The Whale, While We're Young). Greta Gerwig is a writer, actor, and now director having just released Lady Bird. They are dating.


  by Dan Fierman
 15 mins
Bill Murray is Ready to See You Now
From 2010: Bill Murray grants a rare interview and appears to admit, among other things, that he occasionally approaches strangers from behind on the streets of NYC, puts his hands over their eyes, and says “guess who.”


  by Derek Blasberg
 20 mins
How Reese Witherspoon is Changing Hollywood for Women 
[If acting didn't work] "Right now, I’d probably be the premier surgeon and pediatric cardiologist at Vanderbilt University,” she says, pausing. “What? I’m just being honest. I’m ambitious, and I’m over hiding that.”


  by Christine Smallwood
 23 mins
Greta Gerwig's Radical Confidence 
In her directorial debut, the writer and actress has created a character rarely seen onscreen: a young girl who loves herself. **If you're not familiar with Greta, we suggest the films Frances Ha ( 93%) and 20th Century Women ( 88%)


  by David Carr 
 35 mins
The Emperor Miramaximus: A Profile of Harvey Weinstein
One of the most powerful people in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, the cofounder of Miramax and founder of The Weinstein Company is under fire for sexual harrassment allegations. We look back at this 2001 profile from NYMag.


  by Joe Flaherty
 24 mins
Untold Story: The Battle for Blade Runner
Released to mixed reviews in 1982, director Ridley Scott's neo-noir vision of a not-too-distant future went on to cult status and influenced a generation of filmmakers.


  by Chris Jones
 39 mins
The House of Hugh Hefner.
(From April 2013): He's turning 87 as Playboy turns 60. The world has taken its toll on both, but the world is still no match for life at the Mansion. 


  by Jake Edelstein
 16 mins
'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' The Early Years: Crazy Auditions and the Art of the Cringe 
David and the cast dish on the humble origins of the HBO hit, the lines that made them stars, and discovering the science behind the awkwardness, "I had no idea I had that effect on people. 


  by David Alexander
 60+ mins
Interview with Gene Roddenberry: Writer, Producer, Philosopher, Humanist, Creator of Star Trek
Gene Roddenberry is one of the most influential yet unheralded humanists of the twentieth century. His two most famous creations, Star Trek and its successor Star Trek: The Next Generation, are solidly based upon humanistic principles and ideas. His creations have moved, inspired and sparked the imaginations of millions of people around the world.


  by Jeff Pearlman
 23 mins
The Fallout from Sportswriting's Filthiest Fuck-Up
The story of the most flagrant mistake in the modern history of sports journalism begins with a 21-year-old editor. His name is Kris Freeman.


  by Laura Wagner
 35 mins
How SB Nation Profits Off an Army of Exploited Workers
Valued at $1billion in 2015 after a $200 million round of funding from NBCUniversal, it is a vast operation read by millions of people every month and powered by unpaid and underpaid labor.


   by Sean Fennessey
 21mins
Can RottenTomatoes Crush a Movie at the Box Office?
Moviegoers, critics, and filmmakers weigh in on the website that is torturing major studios and redefining how we decide whether to go to the theater.


  by Sam Lefebvre
 17mins
The Surreal Life of Black Dog Bone, Founder of the Legendary Rap Magazine, Murder Dog
The untold story of Sri Lankan rebel who mixed music, danger, and politics as a catalyst in the 80's bay area punk scene and the originator of one of rap's most notorious publications.


  by Bret Easton Ellis
 11 mins
The Weird Brilliance of Joaquin Phoenix 
He's the greatest screen actor of his generation, but also a reluctant celebrity.


   by Christopher Lehman-Haupt & Nathaniel Rich
 59 mins
From 2006: The Stephen King Interview - The Art of Fiction
"I don’t think there’s anything that I’m not afraid of, on some level. But if you mean, What are we afraid of, as humans? Chaos. The outsider. We’re afraid of change. We’re afraid of disruption, and that is what I’m interested in."


    by James Hughes
 5 mins
Stanley Kubrick's Unmade Film About Jazz in the Third Reich 
The things we would do to see the unrealized vision of Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Jazz. Even that name... Dr. Jazz. Give us a time machine and we'll get right to butterly fly effecting that movie into production. 


by Mary Schmich
16 mins
Unbridled Taschen - (Publishing, Erotica, Thousand Dollar Books, and a UFO Shaped House)
"Combining the eccentric passions of a gentleman publisher and the pop-culture instincts of an impresario, Benedikt Taschen has built a multimillion-dollar illustrated-book publishing house that flies in the face of industry wisdom." ...Also, check out his home in LA, the Chemosphere. And if you haven't been to a Taschen store, find one and make an afternoon out of it.


by Paul Maher Jr.
30+ mins
The Only Written Terrence Malick Interview that Exists
He’s the most enigmatic movie director of our time. The genius behind Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line, and the upcoming “Song to Song,” starring a who’s who of acting, (Gosling, Mara, Portman, Blanchett, the list goes on…) avoids the press like the plague. We literally had to find a Google Books version of this 1974 interview which is a section in the book, One Big Soul. Fun “Terry” fact: Adrien Brody, who was cast as the lead in The Thin Red Line, didn’t realize that Malick had cut his part down to just a few lines until he sat down and watched it at the premiere (he removed Mickey Rourke and Bill Pullman entirely).


   by Sean O'Neal
 17 mins
GQ's David Lynch Profile + The Return of Peaks 
Cinema auteur, transcendental meditation proselytizer, and a man fueled by equal parts routine and chaos. “As a result, most of Lynch’s ensemble tends to speak of working with him as less film shoot than New Age spa retreat—someplace they find their bliss by performing life’s deepest fears and cruelties for premium cable.”


   by Darry King
 14 mins
Uwe Boll: The World's Worst Movie Director (Quit and is Now Running a Decent Restaurant)
Internet trolls love to hate him. He's gotten in arguments with interviewers over film reviews. He specialized in b-movie video-game movie adaptations. Now he runs a restaurant. 


    by Luke Dittrich
 58 mins 
Tonight on Dateline This Man Will Die
The suicide that led to the cancellation of Chris Hansen's show, To Catch a Predator.


   by Nicole Holofcener
 13 mins
An Interview with Spike Jonze 
The visionary director of Her, Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, and yes.... Jackass. 


   by Christopher Orr
 13 mins
How Pixar Lost Its Way 
For 15 years, the animation studio was the best on the planet. Then Disney bought it.


by Xan Brooks
7 mins
Cary Grant: How 100 Acid Trips in Tinsletown Changed My Life
At the height of his fame, Cary Grant turned to LSD therapy for help. He later claimed the drug saved him, but did it also spell the end of his career?


  by Ruaidh Nicoll
  20+ mins 
Tyler Brûlé - The Man Who Sold the World
We look up to Monocle Magazine. This is the guy who started it.


   by Richards J. Heuer Jr.
 20+ mins
Aziz Ansari on Quitting Things, Loneliness, and Season 3 of Master of None
"I hope more people get very successful and then quit. Shouldn't that be the game? That you make a bunch of money and just move to Italy and live a quiet life? "