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The Big Interview

Monocle 24’s new series features in-depth interviews with inspirational names in global politics, business, culture and design. Hosted by Tyler Brûlé, Andrew Tuck and Monocle’s senior editors.

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Latest episode

Ottessa Moshfegh :

The acclaimed American writer’s short stories first appeared in ‘The Paris Review’, ‘The New Yorker’, ‘Granta’ and others. She went on to publish her first novella ‘McGlue’ in 2014 and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for her second novel, ‘Eileen’. Her writing is whip-smart and bleakly funny. In conversation with Monocle’s Chloë Ashby she talks about her third novel 'My Year of Rest and Relaxation', New York in the early 2000s, and why she writes.

Latest episodes

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10019 May 2019
30 min

Ottessa Moshfegh : 

The acclaimed American writer’s short stories first appeared in ‘The Paris Review’, ‘The New Yorker’, ‘Granta’ and others. She went on to publish her first novella ‘McGlue’ in 2014 and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for her second novel, ‘Eileen’. Her writing is whip-smart and bleakly funny. In conversation with Monocle’s Chloë Ashby she talks about her third novel 'My Year of Rest and Relaxation', New York in the early 2000s, and why she writes.

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9912 May 2019
30 min

Fatima Bhutto: 

The author is the niece of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and part of the Pakistani political dynasty. In her memoir ‘Songs of Blood and Sword’, she tells the story of a turbulent and tragic family history. Her latest book, ‘The Runaways’, is a story about radicalism, belonging and muslim identity. She talks to Georgina Godwin about growing up in exile, Islamophobia and K-pop.

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985 May 2019
30 min

Tamara Rojo : 

As the principal dancer of the Royal Ballet in London, Tamara Rojo has played all the main parts in the ballet canon. Yet it is as artistic director of the English National Ballet that she has made the most impact on the world of dance. Monocle’s Chiara Rimella sat down with her to discuss everything from Brexit and its effect on the arts to the need for different voices in front – and behind – the curtain and why staging ‘The Nutcracker’ still matters.

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9728 Apr 2019
30 min

Pipilotti Rist: 

Rist’s video and installation art is known across the world for its bold, resonant and often funny style. With a major retrospective of her work open at Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Monocle’s Augustin Macellari sat down with the Swiss artist to discuss everything from colour and collectivism to austere white walls in contemporary homes and galleries, and the importance of a good music collection.

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9621 Apr 2019
30 min

Chiwetel Ejiofor: 

The English actor has had a successful career in film as well as on stage – and earlier this year he launched his career as a writer and director with critically acclaimed debut ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’. Ben Rylan sat down with him to talk about the craft of acting, writing and directing.

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9516 Dec 2018
30 min

Steve McQueen: 

For our season finale, we sit down with the British Turner prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning director of ‘12 Years a Slave’, ‘Shame’ and ‘Hunger’. He talks to Robert Bound about his latest film ‘Widows’ and focusing on the work, not the accolades.

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949 Dec 2018
30 min

Christine and the Queens: 

The French singer’s first album ‘Chaleur Humaine’ launched in 2015 and topped the charts in France and beyond. Since then, Christine and the Queens has travelled the world, performed with Elton John and famously got spanked on stage by Madonna in Paris. Her new release ‘Chris’ is a funk-filled record full of sexual references and plays on androgyny. Ahead of her tour, the singer sits down with Monocle’s Chiara Rimella to discuss her record, her evolving persona and gender boundaries.

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932 Dec 2018
30 min

Barry Jenkins: 

The director of ‘Moonlight’, which won the Oscar for best picture in 2017, has been on an extraordinary journey to Hollywood. In conversation with Monocle’s Ben Rylan, he talks about everything from getting into filmmaking while growing up in a rough neighbourhood, to adapting James Baldwin to the screen in his new drama ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’, and the responsibility that comes with having a voice.

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9225 Nov 2018
30 min

Jane Mayer: 

Investigative journalist Mayer became the first female Washington correspondent for ‘The Wall Street Journal’ in 1984 and had been a staff writer at ‘The New Yorker’ since 1995; she has also published numerous non-fiction books. She talks about corruption in Washington, increasing press hostility and her determination to expose the truth.

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9118 Nov 2018
30 min

Mary-Kay Wilmers: 

Wilmers has been the editor of the ‘London Review of Books’, Europe’s legendary literary journal, since 1992. She’s also the author of non-fiction work ‘The Eitingons: A Twentieth-Century Story’ and, more recently, ‘Human Relations and Other Difficulties’, a collection of essays on women’s experiences. She talks to Monocle’s Megan Gibson about the joy of a good sentence and retracing the history of her Russian ancestors.

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9011 Nov 2018
26 min

Sally Field: 

She won an Oscar for best actress in ‘Norma Rae’ in 1980 and another in 1985 for ‘Places in the Heart’. She appeared in numerous sitcoms and Hollywood box-office hits: ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ and ‘Lincoln’, to name a few. She has now written a memoir, ‘In Pieces’, and talks to Georgina Godwin about childhood trauma and losing herself in acting.

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894 Nov 2018
30 min

Esa-Pekka Salonen: 

The lauded Finnish composer and conductor, currently principal conductor for London’s Philharmonia and conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has spent his career tearing down the elitist labels associated with classical music. He experiments with VR and shaking up the classical-concert format to make orchestras and music more accessible. In a lyrical conversation with Monocle’s Robert Bound he muses over the idea of danger in classical music, pushing virtuosos’ comfort zones and giving back to the system.

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8828 Oct 2018
27 min

Agnès Varda: 

French film director Agnès Varda was a key protagonist in the new wave of French cinema in the 1960s. Her signature films include ‘Cleo from 5-7’, ‘Vagabond’ and ‘The Gleaners and I’. At age 90, ‘Faces Places’ is her latest documentary about a road trip to rural France with world-renowned artist JR. She talks to Robert Bound about bringing attention to the ordinary, using cinema to build bridges and her trademark two-coloured haircut.

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8721 Oct 2018
30 min

Mary Robinson: 

The former president of Ireland and ex-UN high commissioner for human rights devoted her life to standing up for gender equality and social justice around the world. Today, she is an outspoken climate-change campaigner. In conversation with Tom Edwards, she talks about her podcast ‘Mothers of invention’ and how she’s retained a positive outlook.

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8614 Oct 2018
28 min

Kerry James Marshall: 

The celebrated Chicago-based artist, known for his figurative paintings depicting black figures using his signature black paint, sits down with Augustin Macellari to reflect on his early passion for painting, the influence of the European masters and the invisibility of black bodies in the western canon of art.

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