Monthly Archives: December 2015

Despite ‘Star Wars’ Success, Disney Stock Drops




ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you were holding stock in the company that made the new “Star Wars” movie – that would be Disney – you might expect to see a bump in value. But the day that the force awakened, shattering box office records, shares in Disney closed down. That surprised us. To find out what’s happening with that company, we turn to Ben Fritz, entertainment reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Hiya.

BEN FRITZ: Hi, Robert.

SIEGEL: Last week when “The Force Awakens” opened in theaters around the world, everyone knew it was going to make a killing, but Disney stock is down nearly 10 percent this month. What’s going on?

FRITZ: Sure. Well, I think a lot of investors assume that “Star Wars,” which is owned by Disney since they bought Lucasfilm a few years ago, was going to be a blockbuster. And it is, and that’s great. But people on Wall Street are always looking for the cloud inside a silver lining, and at the same time that “Star Wars” is great, ESPN, the popular sports network which Disney also owns, is facing some challenges. And that is a big concern for people on Wall Street, and they’re sort of looking at it as an opportunity to say, woah, hold on; it’s not all roses and sunshine at Disney.

SIEGEL: Now, Disney remains a profitable company…

FRITZ: Very much so.

SIEGEL: …Doing better than some other broadcast companies. Everybody’s having a drop in viewership and advertising. What’s the big problem with ESPN that you spoke of?

FRITZ: The big problem, Robert, is that ESPN has been the growth driver for Disney for quite a while. It’s been growing at a, you know, high single-digit rate every year. And the company had told investors to expect that for the next several years. But then in August, they said, well, it’s not going to be growing quite as fast as we had hoped. And the reason is that the young people are not subscribing to cable as much as they used, so there are fewer people paying for ESPN. And you know, they are certainly trying to develop a new digital plan, you know, to be delivered over the Internet and so on, but that future is uncertain. And the way they’ve been making big money in the past is kind of falling apart.

SIEGEL: How many subscribers has ESPN lost?

FRITZ: Yeah, so they lost 3 million this year, 4 million the year before. They’re currently at 92 million. And there’s no reason to think that that path is not going to continue. That’s worrisome of you’re a Disney investor because no matter how much money they’re making from “Star Wars,” they seem to be losing growth on the cable business at the same time.

SIEGEL: Yeah. Ben, help me out here a little bit. I’ve always assumed that if anybody has cable television, they have ESPN. It would be the – that and C-SPAN would be the most logical things you’d find there.

FRITZ: Yes, yeah – no. Almost anybody who has cable does have ESPN, but not as many people have cable anymore. And what you’re seeing is a lot of what they call in the industry cord-nevers, which are people in their 20s who are saying, why even start subscribing to cable; I can get everything I was from Netflix or Amazon or Hulu and – to kind of pick the services that I want. And if you do it that way, then you don’t get ESPN.

SIEGEL: Where does ABC Television figure in all this? Is it doing well? Is it – does it bring in less than ESPN?

FRITZ: ABC is doing relatively well compared to other broadcast networks, but that’s like saying you’re doing really well these day in the newspaper business. It’s a tough business in broadcast, and it makes a lot less money than cable and ESPN. So no matter how well ABC does, it’s kind of a drop in the bucket compared to cable networks like ESPN.

SIEGEL: Disney recently announced that it’s adding a huge “Star Wars” theme to its Disneyland Park in California, talks of spinoff movies, TV shows. There’s merchandise everywhere you turn. Is Disney banking on “Star Wars” to keep the company profitable?

FRITZ: Very much so. “Star Wars” is not the only thing they have, but it’s quickly become one of, if not, their absolute biggest franchise. And outside of ESPN, Disney has kind of built its business around these franchises like “Star Wars” and Marvel superheroes and “Frozen.” And so that’s very much a big part of the company’s future. “Star Wars” is at the heart of it. And I think the question for any Disney investor is, is the growth of these franchises like “Star Wars” enough to make up for the challenges in cable TV, specifically ESPN.

SIEGEL: Ben Fritz, entertainment reporter for The Wall Street Journal, thanks.

FRITZ: Sure. It’s my pleasure.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Despite ‘Star Wars’ Success, Disney Stock Drops




ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you were holding stock in the company that made the new “Star Wars” movie – that would be Disney – you might expect to see a bump in value. But the day that the force awakened, shattering box office records, shares in Disney closed down. That surprised us. To find out what’s happening with that company, we turn to Ben Fritz, entertainment reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Hiya.

BEN FRITZ: Hi, Robert.

SIEGEL: Last week when “The Force Awakens” opened in theaters around the world, everyone knew it was going to make a killing, but Disney stock is down nearly 10 percent this month. What’s going on?

FRITZ: Sure. Well, I think a lot of investors assume that “Star Wars,” which is owned by Disney since they bought Lucasfilm a few years ago, was going to be a blockbuster. And it is, and that’s great. But people on Wall Street are always looking for the cloud inside a silver lining, and at the same time that “Star Wars” is great, ESPN, the popular sports network which Disney also owns, is facing some challenges. And that is a big concern for people on Wall Street, and they’re sort of looking at it as an opportunity to say, woah, hold on; it’s not all roses and sunshine at Disney.

SIEGEL: Now, Disney remains a profitable company…

FRITZ: Very much so.

SIEGEL: …Doing better than some other broadcast companies. Everybody’s having a drop in viewership and advertising. What’s the big problem with ESPN that you spoke of?

FRITZ: The big problem, Robert, is that ESPN has been the growth driver for Disney for quite a while. It’s been growing at a, you know, high single-digit rate every year. And the company had told investors to expect that for the next several years. But then in August, they said, well, it’s not going to be growing quite as fast as we had hoped. And the reason is that the young people are not subscribing to cable as much as they used, so there are fewer people paying for ESPN. And you know, they are certainly trying to develop a new digital plan, you know, to be delivered over the Internet and so on, but that future is uncertain. And the way they’ve been making big money in the past is kind of falling apart.

SIEGEL: How many subscribers has ESPN lost?

FRITZ: Yeah, so they lost 3 million this year, 4 million the year before. They’re currently at 92 million. And there’s no reason to think that that path is not going to continue. That’s worrisome of you’re a Disney investor because no matter how much money they’re making from “Star Wars,” they seem to be losing growth on the cable business at the same time.

SIEGEL: Yeah. Ben, help me out here a little bit. I’ve always assumed that if anybody has cable television, they have ESPN. It would be the – that and C-SPAN would be the most logical things you’d find there.

FRITZ: Yes, yeah – no. Almost anybody who has cable does have ESPN, but not as many people have cable anymore. And what you’re seeing is a lot of what they call in the industry cord-nevers, which are people in their 20s who are saying, why even start subscribing to cable; I can get everything I was from Netflix or Amazon or Hulu and – to kind of pick the services that I want. And if you do it that way, then you don’t get ESPN.

SIEGEL: Where does ABC Television figure in all this? Is it doing well? Is it – does it bring in less than ESPN?

FRITZ: ABC is doing relatively well compared to other broadcast networks, but that’s like saying you’re doing really well these day in the newspaper business. It’s a tough business in broadcast, and it makes a lot less money than cable and ESPN. So no matter how well ABC does, it’s kind of a drop in the bucket compared to cable networks like ESPN.

SIEGEL: Disney recently announced that it’s adding a huge “Star Wars” theme to its Disneyland Park in California, talks of spinoff movies, TV shows. There’s merchandise everywhere you turn. Is Disney banking on “Star Wars” to keep the company profitable?

FRITZ: Very much so. “Star Wars” is not the only thing they have, but it’s quickly become one of, if not, their absolute biggest franchise. And outside of ESPN, Disney has kind of built its business around these franchises like “Star Wars” and Marvel superheroes and “Frozen.” And so that’s very much a big part of the company’s future. “Star Wars” is at the heart of it. And I think the question for any Disney investor is, is the growth of these franchises like “Star Wars” enough to make up for the challenges in cable TV, specifically ESPN.

SIEGEL: Ben Fritz, entertainment reporter for The Wall Street Journal, thanks.

FRITZ: Sure. It’s my pleasure.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

‘Anomalisa’ Is A Charlie Kaufman Movie Featuring Puppets. Yes, It’s Weird


Actor David Thewlis voices Michael Stone as he engages in puppet showering, puppet profanity, puppet nudity and puppet hallucinations.i

Actor David Thewlis voices Michael Stone as he engages in puppet showering, puppet profanity, puppet nudity and puppet hallucinations.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures


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Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Actor David Thewlis voices Michael Stone as he engages in puppet showering, puppet profanity, puppet nudity and puppet hallucinations.

Actor David Thewlis voices Michael Stone as he engages in puppet showering, puppet profanity, puppet nudity and puppet hallucinations.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

A guy who thinks everyone’s the same meets a gal who’s different. That could be the TV listing for Charlie Kaufman’s extraordinary new film and latest weirdness, Anomalisa.

But that thumbnail description doesn’t get at the weird, and the weird in this film is prodigious.

Start with the fact that in a world that looks otherwise real and natural, the leading man — motivational speaker Michael Stone — and all the folks around him are puppets, which are animated in stop-motion.

And except for Michael, they not only look the same — think crash-test dummies with different clothes and hairstyles — but they sound the same, too. His seatmate on the plane, the cabbie who picks him up at the airport, Michael’s wife on the phone, his 5-year-old son, every staffer at his hotel, the characters in a movie on TV, an ex-girlfriend he gets in touch with — everyone.

Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich spent an hour or so building up to a scene full of Malkoviches, all with that actor’s face and cadences. This film, co-directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson, starts there, and builds from a cacophony of voices (that are all Tom Noonan’s voice) to a series of vignettes featuring Noonan-voiced characters so that by the time Michael is ensconced at the Fregoli Hotel, you’re pretty fully in his world.

Calling the hotel the Fregoli, by the way, is an obscure, but very cool joke. The Fregoli delusion is the name of a psychiatric condition in which sufferers believe all the people around them are really incarnations of just one person, who is tormenting them.

Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, is an anomaly in a world of same.i

Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, is an anomaly in a world of same.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures


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Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, is an anomaly in a world of same.

Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, is an anomaly in a world of same.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Michael doesn’t actually believe that, but he does see people as interchangeably unremarkable, and the film lets you see them that way too, even as it’s making the unremarkable things they’re doing, visually arresting — because, after all, they are puppets.

Michael for instance, engages in puppet showering, puppet profanity, puppet nudity and puppet hallucinations (where his jaw starts clacking and his face comes off in pieces as he looks in the mirror). It’s in the middle of that hallucination that he hears something in the hallway that takes him utterly by surprise: a woman’s voice, but more than that, a different voice.

Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh. In a world of same, she’s an anomaly — Anomalisa. Michael excitedly runs down the hallway, knocking on doors to no avail until, behind one, he hears her voice again, and invites her (and her roommate as an afterthought) to join him for a drink.

Michael is smitten, and Lisa is too. And that will lead to puppet sex, and puppet smoking after sex, and all manner of other things that would make Anomalisa intriguing to watch even if novelty were all it had going for it.

But what’s fascinating is how the things that make the film different are the very things that make it emotionally engaging. David Thewlis’ lonely stammer as Michael, Jennifer Jason Leigh’s heartbreaking insecurity as Lisa, have a kind of universality when wedded to expressions on plastic figures you quite forget are plastic. And that lets filmmaker Kaufman tap into an existential loneliness most films can only hint at.

In Anomalisa, he’s doing precisely what his characters are — reaching out, searching for a connection. And for 90 minutes in the theater, he finds it.

Actor Jeffrey Tambor On ‘Transparent': ‘I Loved It From The Very Beginning’




TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. We’re continuing our series of some of our favorite interviews of the year with Jeffrey Tambor. He stars in the Amazon series “Transparent” as a transgender woman making her transition from male to female late in life. Tambor won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance. Tambor also co-starred in the TV series “Arrested Development” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” “Transparent” was created by Jill Soloway and was inspired by watching one of her own parents come out at the age of 75 as a transgender woman. In season one of “Transparent,” Tambor’s character, Mort, started transitioning to Maura, revealed her female identity to her three adult children and ex-wife and started appearing in public in women’s clothes. Our interview was first broadcast December 10, just before season two went up on Amazon. We started with this clip from season one’s first episode. Maura is at her transgender support group and is describing how she just started testing out appearing in public wearing women’s clothes.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “TRANSPARENT”)

JEFFREY TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) Well, I went to Target, and I just – I took her out. You know what I mean? And I got into, you know, the checkout line. And the girl at the cash register said, I need to see some ID with that credit card of yours. And, well, you know what that’s like, right? And I just knew. I said, this is going to not be good, this is going to get ugly. And so she just kept looking at me. And then she said oh – like that, you know? And she rung up the batteries or something. That was a – and that was a big victory. And I didn’t – I was like, do not cry in front of this woman, do not cry in front of this woman.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Thank you for your share, Maura. Thanks for being vulnerable with us.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) One more thing. I made a commitment here last week that I was going to come out to my kids, and I didn’t do it because it just wasn’t time, you know? But I will, and it will be soon.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Yeah.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) And I promise you. I promise you. I promise you.

(LAUGHTER)

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) They are so selfish. I don’t know how it is I raised three people who cannot see beyond themselves.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

GROSS: Jeffrey Tambor, welcome to FRESH AIR. How did you find the part within yourself that could identify as a woman ’cause you need to identify as woman to play this part?

TAMBOR: Well, one of the things that I am amazed at is I thought that the hardest part would be the external – would be the – oh, nails and the hair and the makeup and the dress and the heels and the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And actually, that wasn’t the hardest. That was very, very, very easy for me, and I liked it. I mean, who doesn’t like a good mani-pedi? I – and so that came all very easy. What’s interesting about playing Maura is that I get to use more of Jeffrey that I’ve ever used in any role, and I think that’s the remarkable part about it and truly the most surprising part about doing this role.

GROSS: Can you give me an example of something you have to play as Maura that you never had a chance to do before or that you learned about yourself?

TAMBOR: Well, I do notice that when I’m playing Maura, I’m much more – and I want to be – I’m sort of careful of the words because they’re so stereotypical – but I do find myself much more sensitive. And I find myself much more vulnerable. Less protective and less protection and less armor. That’s a real – that’s a real surprise to me.

GROSS: Now, your character isn’t glamorous and fashionable in the way that, for instance, Laverne Cox, one of the stars of “Orange Is The New Black,” is. When your character, Maura, dresses in more formal attire, like, a long purple dress with, like, sequin-y, spangly things all over it, I am reminded of what my parents’ generation – the women of my parents’ generation used to wear to, like, weddings and bar mitzvahs (laughter). And I’m wondering when you dress in that women’s formal attire, who do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see people that you know, relatives that you know, friends?

TAMBOR: No, I don’t. I actually see – as I said, I do see Maura. I remember when we were just preparing, and we sort of did our first sort of field trip. And we were going to take Maura out for her – for the first time. And I was going to meet Maura for the first time. And so we went into the bathroom after a long, long talk, and I was scared stiff. And we began the makeup. And I did the hair – or they did the hair. And I remember Maura just – you know, just appearing on my face. And I’m like, well, that’s exactly how she looks. And we dressed her up. And we went to a – we went out dancing at a place called the Oxwood. And I remember walking through the lobby of that hotel. My legs were just shaking. And I said to myself, never, never, never, never forget this moment because this is exactly how it is to live as Maura. And the odd thing is, no one was looking at me.

GROSS: So what was it like for you to feel like you passed?

TAMBOR: I don’t know if I passed. I think I got through the night.

GROSS: Were people staring at you?

TAMBOR: Not at the Oxwood and not at the hotel. That was what was very odd. I did go on another field trip where I did have that, where I went to a grocery store. And I was in the middle of the aisle, and I was just, like, doing what if Maura went shopping and I wanted to find out what Maura would wear and what she would buy and things like that – you know? Just, not to sound too actor-y, but that’s how you research and that’s how you find. And one person did stare at me in the aisle and had somewhat of a sneer on their face. And I also said, do not forget this ’cause this is what it looks like to get clucked. And I don’t know if they were looking at me and saying, well, that’s Jeffrey Tambor or that’s a trans woman. I have no idea. But I do remember – I remember the sneer on the face, and it wasn’t pretty.

GROSS: Maura’s in the position of having recently started appearing in public as a woman, in women’s clothes with a woman’s wig. And sometimes she kind of passes, you know, unnoticed and just blends in. And other times, people stare at her with kind of, you know, confusion or anger, hostility. And I’m wondering, like, in your own life, as you, as Jeffrey Tambor, if you were ever in a similar position where people were just – based on how you looked, that you got, you know, hostile or mocking looks from people.

TAMBOR: I have two things I can point to. But what’s dangerous about me pointing them out is that I could never say that either one of them even equals what it is to be a transgender…

GROSS: Oh, of course not.

TAMBOR: …Woman or a man.

GROSS: Sure.

TAMBOR: However, I do know what it is to be other-ized in the community. When I was a young boy in San Francisco, I remember being sent home – I was playing with a friend. And I remember the mother saying, tell Jeffrey to go home. And I said to the girl, I said, why? She goes, my mother says that you’re the people who killed Christ. And I got home. And what was the worst part of that was when I – this is really getting me as I’m saying it. I remember when I told that at dinner to my parents. And I remember them looking up into each other’s eyes. And I will never forget that because it was – it wasn’t even fear. It was like, there it is. So I kind of know what that was. And also, I remember – I grew up – and I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this. I grew up with a lisp. (Speaking with lisp) I talked like this because I had braces. And so my name was Jeff.

So everyone in my school called me Cliff, unfortunately. And I’d say, no, (speaking with lisp) Jeff, Jeff.

And so they called me Cliff Cliff. People would make fun of me because I had this lisp.

GROSS: How did you lose the lisp? Was taking off the braces sufficient?

TAMBOR: No. I went to – I went to so many people. And at San Francisco State College, I still had it. And there was a man named Dr. Joe Mitzak (ph) who one day said, have you ever heard your lisp? And I said, no. So he recorded it. And he said, that’s – you’re saying (speaking with lisp) F. And I went, oh. He said, this is how you say S – S. And I went, oh, S? And he went, that’s correct. And that’s what it took.

GROSS: Wow.

TAMBOR: I had to hear it. I had to hear it.

GROSS: That’s so smart.

TAMBOR: Is it? Isn’t it amazing? Yes.

GROSS: If you’re just joining us, my guest is Jeffrey Tambor, who stars in the Amazon series “Transparent.” Let’s take a short break, then we’ll talk about some of your other roles.

TAMBOR: Great.

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. My guest is Jeffrey Tambor. He stars in the Amazon series “Transparent” as a transgender woman who is transitioning late in life. When we left off, Tambor had told a story from his childhood about an anti-Semitic insult directed at him.

So after somebody accused you of killing Christ because you’re Jewish…

TAMBOR: Yes.

GROSS: …And you told your parents, did that lead to things that they had never told you before about anti-Semitism either they or your grandparents had experienced?

TAMBOR: No because we were in that generation that – they were second-generation. And that was the thing where everyone was trying so hard to blend and so hard to fit in. So, no, they never talked about it. They absolutely never talked about it. Yeah, I was bar mitzvahed at gunpoint, by the way.

GROSS: (Laughter). OK so this walks us right to a clip I want to play from the first season. So there’s a flashback in the first season where we see that as you’re starting to figure out that, you know, you really want to dress as a woman and that there are other men who are that way too, you find out that there’s this, like, weekend getaway – this kind of camp for men who dress as women and you very much want to go. Problem is, it coincides with the bat mitzvah of your daughter. And so one weekend, she comes to you and says – and this is all in flashback – she comes to you and says, I don’t want to do my bat mitzvah. I don’t believe in God. What’s the point of this? I don’t want to do it. And you kind of say, OK, (laughter) fine.

TAMBOR: Right.

GROSS: And then you use that as an opportunity to cancel the bat mitzvah and then kind of sneak off to this camp where you can dress as a woman with other men.

TAMBOR: Right, Camp Camellia. Yeah.

GROSS: So flashing forward to the present, in the final episode of the first season, your daughter has just found out that that’s why you agreed to cancel her bat mitzvah. And on that day, she’s left totally alone. You’re at this camp, so she finds out that you really went to this camp and now she’s going to confront you about that. Here it goes.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “TRANSPARENT”)

GABY HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) So mom tells me that you canceled my bat mitzvah so you could go to some dress-up camp in the woods. Is that true?

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) No, no, not at all. No. I – it was a – I let you cancel it.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) I was 13.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) Honey, you canceled your bat mitzvah.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) 13-year-olds don’t get to cancel bat mitzvahs.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) Honey…

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) Yeah.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) …You canceled your mat mitzvah…

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman): Yeah.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman): …We made an agreement, I respected your mind. I can’t get you to do your haftorah. What do you want me to do, point a gun at your head? So don’t be so self-centered. There’s another world out there.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) OK.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) It’s not all me…

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) Right.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) …All Ali, all my feelings.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) In this room, I’m the one who’s self-centered. That’s…

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) Well, I believe so.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) …That’s good. That’s rich because I don’t need Judaism. Who wants to be Jewish, you know? Who needs guidance in life? I mean, what on earth would I do with God, you know? So thank you.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) You can keep your voice down, all right?

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) Oh, keep my voice down? Because that’s our family religion, right, secrecy?

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) You’re being just a little bit too much, I mean, even for you.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) Here’s some money to go to college, but don’t tell anybody. Don’t tell Josh and Sarah.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) Oh, my God, Ali.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) Why are you always pushing money on me?

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) Because, my beautiful girl, you cannot do anything. You know, you have so much more to say now than when I was writing your checks, giving you loans, which by the way, aren’t actually loans because you don’t pay back [expletive]. Do you understand? Not one cent – I’m paying for your life.

HOFFMANN: (As Ali Pfefferman) I don’t need or want or give a [expletive] about your money. You can’t [expletive] scream at me anymore ’cause I’m an adult, OK? So there we go, it’s settled – done.

TAMBOR: (As Maura Pfefferman) I have a question – now that you’re not on the payroll anymore – do you like me? If I didn’t give you any money, would you even talk to me?

GROSS: A great scene from “Transparent” from the first season with my guest Jeffrey Tambor as Maura, and Gaby Hoffmann as his daughter, Ali. So he says to her in that scene about the bat mitzvah when she says, what did you want me to do, point a gun at your head? And you said that you were bar mitzvahed…

TAMBOR: At gunpoint.

GROSS: …At gunpoint.

TAMBOR: And I was being euphemistic.

GROSS: So what happened at your bar mitzvah?

TAMBOR: I was bar mitzvahed at Beth Shalom, and I had trouble. I didn’t quite get it all. Part of it was I had a teacher – a wonderful teacher, but he could be very strict. And I remember I asked him – he said – I said, can I ask any question? And he said, yes. And he said, take your time. Questions take a long time. What is it? And I said, how do we know there’s a God? And he said, get out.

GROSS: (Laughter).

TAMBOR: So he threw me out of Sunday school.

GROSS: That’s an answer?

TAMBOR: And I sort of…

(LAUGHTER)

TAMBOR: And I had a little problem with it. And also, I just wasn’t into it. Anyhow, I had a bar mitzvah. I learned it from Cantor Bornstein. Actually, I think I was a little dazed during it. Do you remember there used to be a drug called Miltown? Do you know that drug?

GROSS: Yeah, it was, like, one of the early anti-anxiety pills.

TAMBOR: Yeah, yeah. And so my mother – we got out of the car and my mother said – my mother was really interesting – and she said, are you nervous? I said, yeah, I’m really nervous. She goes, here. And she gave me a Miltown.

GROSS: So you were drugged, basically (laughter)…

TAMBOR: Basically drugged…

GROSS: …To do your bar mitzvah.

TAMBOR: Drugged at my bar mitzvah, yes. But I gave a great speech.

GROSS: (Laughter). What did you say?

TAMBOR: A great – I just – I kind of went off script and just started thanking anybody that was in the synagogue.

GROSS: You were feeling good (laughter).

TAMBOR: I was feeling good. I was in the moment.

GROSS: You’ve said in other interviews that your father gave you the advice, don’t celebrate, they’ll take it away from you. And this is – this is the kind of advice from, you know, like, long periods of suffering and persecution that Jewish people, you know, faced through the centuries. But were there times in your family where it was an official celebration, it was your duty to celebrate – like, you’re not supposed to be too happy, but on these days, it’s your job to be happy?

TAMBOR: Well, my dad’s thing was – I mean, we practically had don’t celebrate printed on the napkins.

GROSS: (Laughter).

TAMBOR: It was serious business. But his big thing is – I would say, Dad, Dad, Dad, I’m on Broadway with George C. Scott. And he would say sh-sh-sh-sh, don’t say anything. Don’t tell anybody. Dad, Dad, I’m getting married. Sh-sh, don’t say it. Nothing, nothing. Don’t do anything. So he honestly – ’cause he was taught don’t celebrate, they’ll take it away from you. And his parents were taught that, and his parents and parents’ parents. Because if you did celebrate and you were visible, it could be very, very dangerous.

GROSS: Right.

TAMBOR: So part of it is just trauma, but part of it is fact.

GROSS: You grew up in San Francisco. Your father was a flooring contractor, but I think he’d been a boxer before that. Is that right?

TAMBOR: Yeah. He was a light heavyweight. Legend has it – legend is that he sparred with Joe Lewis. And again, let me really reiterate – legend. And his mom made him give it up because she was so worried about it. But I do remember once when he was selling tile out in the front of the store – he was a very big man. He was about 6-foot-1 – and he was stooped over in this position. It was very odd. It was very submissive position. He was talking to this guy – this short guy – and I later found out that was his boxing trainer and he was assuming the position that you do in the corner listening to his trainer. And it was a very memorable thing. I also remember once when I was – after he’d passed away – and I really – I really loved my dad. I was very, very close to my dad. He – you know, he was very, very nervous about my being an actor. And I went to clean out his office. I never knew that – he just never really – he just worried, worried, worried about me being an actor. He didn’t say much. He didn’t – you know, in other words. And I went to get his trophies and his stuff out of his office, and I opened his office door, and there wasn’t a single piece of wall space that did not have my picture or reviews on it. It was unbelievable. He had saved every review, but he’d never said anything.

GROSS: So that’s great. He was kind of proud and kind of bragging to himself in a space that no one would see (laughter).

TAMBOR: Exactly – which is exactly right, and exactly what…

GROSS: It fits perfectly.

TAMBOR: And exactly what that generation did. He did – he did see me on Broadway. I was with Robert Preston in “Sly Fox.” And then he saw me just before he passed away in my first film role, with Al Pacino, in “…And Justice For All,” so that’s – that was good. I later found out – somebody came up to me and said, you know, your dad supered at the Met. And I said what? They said, yeah, your dad held a spear at the Met on Saturday. Supernumerary – in other words, an extra. And…

GROSS: Oh, so the Metropolitan Opera.

TAMBOR: Yeah, yeah. And so I went – so maybe – I think there was a grudging sort of – there was a lot more to be said about Barney Tambor than he was letting on to.

GROSS: My guest is Jeffrey Tambor. He stars as a transgender woman in the Amazon series “Transparent.” We’ll be back after a break. This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Let’s get back to my interview with Jeffrey Tambor. He stars in the Amazon series “Transparent.” He also co-starred on “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Arrested Development.”

So one of the great roles that you played was on “The Larry Sanders Show.” And Larry Sanders was played by Garry Shandling. And Larry was this late-night “Tonight Show”-style host. And you played the sidekick, Hank. And your catchphrase was – you want to do it for us?

TAMBOR: Hey, now.

GROSS: Yeah. And so I want to play a scene from “The Larry Sanders Show” in which Larry Sanders tells you that maybe it’s time to drop your catchphrase, hey, now. So here’s my guest, Jeffrey Tambor, with Garry Shandling, on “The Larry Sanders Show.”

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW”)

GARRY SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) You know, Hank, this isn’t easy for me, but would you mind not doing it on the show anymore? ‘Cause frankly, I’ll you the truth…

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) Well, wait a minute. Are you telling me that when you…

SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) Yeah.

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) …Do your – you do this…

SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) Yeah.

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) …That isn’t the same affectation? That isn’t the same as my hey, now?

SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) There, you just said it again. And, you know, I asked you not to say it.

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) I can’t say it offstage, either?

SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) It doesn’t even exist. Use hey, now in a sentence, Hank.

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) Hey, now, that was real funny.

SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) You know what, Hank? It’s not even in the dictionary, hey, now.

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) OK, this is – this is how I use hey, now in a sentence, OK? You say, and of course, my sidekick, Hank.

SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) And of course, my sidekick, Hank.

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) Hey, now…

SHANDLING: (As Larry Sanders) Hank.

TAMBOR: (As Hank Kingsley) That’s a sentence.

GROSS: (Laughter) That’s a scene from “The Larry Sanders Show” with Garry Shandling and my guest, Jeffrey Tambor.

TAMBOR: Everything – when I watched Garry Shandling, I said, whatever he’s doing is what I believe in. That’s what I believe comedy is. It’s not pat, it’s not automatic. It’s not super performed. It’s sort of messy and very, very funny. And he goes past the laugh to get something else.

GROSS: So this final question – this might be heading into territory that’s too personal.

TAMBOR: I kind of want – I want – I kind of want to talk to you for the rest of my life.

GROSS: (Laughter) That’s so sweet. I would enjoy that too (laughter).

TAMBOR: Yes, yes. Go ahead.

GROSS: So – so you’ve been sober for, I don’t know, more than a decade. I don’t know how many years exactly.

TAMBOR: Sixteen – 15.

GROSS: Fifteen.

TAMBOR: (Laughter).

GROSS: I’m wondering if it’s liberating to be sober in the sense that – you know, an actor has to be kind of naked in a lot of ways. Like, you’re inhabiting somebody else but you have to feel free to go to uncomfortable places and everything and to not be – to be open to feeling things. And if you have a secret, like if you have been secretly drinking or something, that has to kind of close you off in some way so – I would assume. So I’m wondering if it’s easier to be open in a way that you must as an actor when you’re sober?

TAMBOR: Well, being sober…

GROSS: Even though people think it’s more freeing to – you know, to be high.

TAMBOR: Yeah. Actually, I can only speak for me. In my life, I find that in sobriety, I feel much more. And I have much more depth. I also feel – not to segue – but as being a parent of five kids, I can bring much more to my acting. And so I’m all about anything that gives you more feeling and more depth. You also feel more. And in feeling more, there are – the waters can get rough. But so what? Let the waters be rough. I don’t think if I had – if I hadn’t been sober, I don’t think I would have been around for “Transparent.”

GROSS: All right. Thank you for that.

TAMBOR: Yeah. I think your resources are feeling. Your resources are depth. Your resources are learning. Your resources are touching and feeling. And for me, sobriety helps and aids all of that.

GROSS: Jeffrey Tambor, I enjoyed our talk immensely. Thank you so…

TAMBOR: Me too.

GROSS: …Much for doing this.

TAMBOR: Me too. Thank you. OK, so we do – we talk every 10 years. Is that correct?

GROSS: (Laughter) That’s true.

TAMBOR: (Laughter).

GROSS: We could speed it up a little bit.

(LAUGHTER)

TAMBOR: I think we’re going to have to.

GROSS: We’re going to have to.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSS: Jeffrey Tambor stars in the Amazon series “Transparent.” Our interview was originally broadcast December 10, just before all of season two went up. Tomorrow, we continue our series featuring some of our favorite interviews of the year. We’ll hear from Mark Ronson, whose record “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars was one of this year’s biggest hits. Ronson also produced Amy Winehouse’s hit, “Rehab.” And we’ll hear from Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, co-creators of the Netflix comedy series “Master Of None.” They previously worked together on “Parks And Recreation.” I hope you’ll join us.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

At 81, Feminist Gloria Steinem Finds Herself Free Of The ‘Demands Of Gender’




TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. This week we’re featuring some of our favorite interviews of the year. Later on this edition, we’ll hear from Jeffrey Tambor, the star of “Transparent.” Up first, my interview with Gloria Steinem, recorded in October. Steinem has been a leader and symbol of the women’s movement since the 1970s and continues to speak out at the age of 81.

She co-founded Ms. magazine in 1972 and remained one of its editors for 15 years. She’s written about political, social and economic barriers to women’s rights and has also written about her own life and the personal obstacles she’s had to overcome and how they represent obstacles many women face.

Her latest book, “My Life On The Road,” was published in the fall. She estimates that she’s spent at least half of her time on the road for more than four decades. She’s traveled with a purpose – to raise awareness of women’s issues and organize women in the U.S. and around the world. As we’ll hear later in the interview, she kind of grew up on the road.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

GROSS: Gloria Steinem, welcome back to FRESH AIR. I want you to start by reading the dedication of your new book.

GLORIA STEINEM: (Reading) This book is dedicated to Dr. John Sharpe of London who, in 1957, a decade before physicians in England could legally perform an abortion for any reason other than the health of the woman, took the considerable risk of referring for an abortion a 22-year-old American on her way to India. Knowing only that she had broken an engagement at home to seek an unknown fate, he said, you must promise me two things. First, you will not tell anyone my name. Second, you will do what you want to do with your life. Dear Dr. Sharpe, I believe you, who knew the law was unjust, would not mind if I say this so long after your death. I’ve done the best I could with my life. This book is for you.

GROSS: Thank you for reading that dedication to your new book. When did you first speak about your abortion?

STEINEM: The amazing thing was that it took me so long. There was no women’s movement. It was supposed to be a secret. Women didn’t share in the same way. So it wasn’t until many years later, after New York Magazine had started. And I had gone to cover an abortion speak-out held in a church downtown in New York City. And suddenly I heard other women standing up and talking about what it was like to have to go out and seek an illegal abortion. This was actually an alternate hearing to one that the New York state legislature was holding on the liberalization of abortion law in New York state. This was before the Supreme Court ruling.

And, you know, a group of early feminists had just say – said, wait a minute, you know, in New York (laughter) – in the legislature, they asked 14 men and one nun to testify. You can’t make this up, right?

GROSS: (Laughter).

STEINEM: (Laughter) Let’s hear from women who have actually had this experience. So I sat there as a reporter for New York Magazine, listening to women tell their stories, you know, that were tragic and ludicrous and every human emotion all wrapped into one. And suddenly, I thought, wait a minute, you know. I had an abortion, and actually 1 in 3 American women had needed an abortion at some time in her life, so why is this illegal? And why is it dangerous? And it’s the kind of revelation that comes from people just telling the truth and discovering you’re not alone.

GROSS: Do you often wonder what your life would’ve been like had you not had the abortion and had you had a child at that age?

STEINEM: You know, it just – you know, I don’t know what would’ve happened. I had been doing all the foolish things that we then did, like riding horseback, throwing ourselves down stairs (laughter), you know, the – all kinds of things in the hope that’s…

GROSS: Well, let me stop you right there. Did you throw yourself down stairs?

STEINEM: Yeah, kind of, I did. I did. And, you know, I am the most cowardly (laughter) person you can imagine, so – physically speaking. But I did. I kept thinking that somehow, you know, I could – I don’t know what I thought. I was desperate. I really was desperate because, you know, I just knew that if I went home and married, which I would’ve had to do, it would be to the wrong person. It would be to a life that wasn’t mine, that wasn’t mine at all.

GROSS: So, what surprises you about the current debate around abortion?

STEINEM: I think I am still most surprised by the inability or the reluctance of many people to tell the truth because – you know, about the need for abortion and, I must say, about the morality of abortion because it seems to me that every child has the right to be born, loved and wanted. And every person has the right to control – male and female – to control their own bodies from the skin in. I think we need a – legal principles called something like bodily integrity which recognizes that, though the state may jail us, they can’t insist on injections or tests or pressuring us for organ transplants or, you know, the – our skin needs to be the line of defense between our own dignity and will and any outside force. We do need a new wave of telling the truth, I think. However, I’m not surprised by the opposition because it is the basis of (laughter) – of everything. I mean, to be able – the definition of patriarchy is to be able to control reproduction. And that means you have to control women’s bodies.

GROSS: You spent half of your life on the road. You’re still on the road a lot. You grew up on the road. Let’s talk a little bit about your very atypical childhood. Your mother was often incapacitated by depression. Can we call it depression?

STEINEM: You know, I – I don’t know what to call it. I think her spirit was broken. You know, she, before I was born, had to give up everything she loved and cared about. And she was depressed. She got addicted to tranquilizers. I just think her spirit was broken.

GROSS: Your father, until you were 10, during the summer, ran a dance pavilion that he created. Would you describe what your father did summers?

STEINEM: This was a little lake in southern Michigan called Clark Lake. He had built a kind of long, big pier with part of it covered, part of it uncovered over the lake. And on weekdays, there would be sort of canned music and a jukebox. And on weekends, a band – then, the big bands of the ’30s and ’40s used to travel the country in the summertime in a bus (laughter). And so we would get some famous bands sometimes – Wayne King and Joe Venuti, I mean, names I don’t know if people know anymore. And this was his dream. And he – you know, he created a kind of magical place.

GROSS: So, what was it about being there or about being with your father that broke your mother’s spirit?

STEINEM: It just wasn’t hers. Well, let me describe what she had been doing (laughter) long before I was born. She was a pioneer newspaper reporter and journalist and, actually, editor, which was extraordinary. But it was an era in which she at first had to write under a man’s name in order to get published. So, you know, she was a real pioneer, and she loved it. She adored it. At the same time, she was married to my father, a wonderful, kind, charming, utterly irresponsible man, so there were always money troubles and, you know, lots of difficulties. She had my sister, who is nine years older than me. And I think, you know, as she later explained, she’d fallen in love with a man at work and had grown up believing that you could not divorce. You could not change. She had a girlfriend who wanted to come to New York with her where she could try her hand at being a journalist. You know, she had all these aspirations. She just couldn’t make it work. She had a – what was then called a nervous breakdown, which meant she was in a sanatorium for a year or two. I’m not sure. And there, she got hooked on an early form of tranquilizer.

GROSS: So getting back to this life that you had as a child, your mother’s spirit was broken. It was often hard for her to get out of bed. Your father created this – you know, like, wonderful dance-pavilion summers. But then when the summer was over, the family would move into a van and drive south and basically live – when I say a van, I should say trailer, I suppose – and then the family would live in the trailer for the duration until the following summer. You write that you never started out with enough money to complete the trip. Your father would buy antiques and then sell them to antique dealers – you know, buy them at country auctions and then sell them to antique dealers at higher prices to fund your trip south. How did you like being itinerant like that?

STEINEM: I suppose that two things happen at once when you’re a child. One is that you just accept as normal whatever is around you. And the other is that you go to the movies and you see kids or your classmates – because I would go to school till it got cold – to Halloween or something – who are living a different way, and you want to be like them. You want to be like the other kids. It never, for a moment, occurred to me that they might envy me. So I both accepted it and hoped that my real parents would come find me and take me to a house with a picket-fence and a pony. I mean, that’s the degree of realism and fantasy.

GROSS: So you weren’t in school for those years that your family was on the road. How did you learn to read and do basic math?

STEINEM: Well, I’m not sure I’ve ever learned to do basic math to be frank (laughter). But I learned to read just because my family had lots and lots of books, especially my mother, you know, read all the time. My memory is that I learned how to read from ketchup bottles and labels and billboards along the highway. I don’t know. I’m not sure. But I don’t remember not knowing how to read.

GROSS: Was it legal for you to not be in school?

STEINEM: No, I’m sure it was illegal. And my mother always said that if the truant officer showed up, she would use her teaching certificate – the fact that it was for university calculus, which she had been teaching in order to make money to finish college herself, I don’t know how impressive it would’ve been. But anyway, no – but no truant officer ever showed up.

GROSS: Your parents separated when you were 10, in 1944, and you had to take on a lot of responsibility for your mother at a young age. What were the – some of the things you had to do for her when you were still a child yourself?

STEINEM: Well, it depended on, you know, on the ups and downs of her moods. But I would make her meals, or the child’s idea of a meal. I kind of always worried about what I would find when I came home from school, you know, because she might be really depressed or she might have retreated into another world or she might be convinced that a war was happening outside the house and be wandering around in the street. I – you know, talking to other people whose parents were, say, alcoholics and who also kind of didn’t know what they would find when they came home, has made me realize that it’s not – I mean, it’s hopefully uncommon, but it’s certainly not unique, my experience.

GROSS: She was called the crazy lady of the neighborhood once you had a neighborhood. What was your reaction to that, and did it make you think of her differently than you did before?

STEINEM: No, I don’t – didn’t make me think of her differently. She was – how can I say? – I mean, she was a loving, wonderful woman who recited poetry by heart and was, you know, certainly super loving toward me, but sometimes she was just in another world, and I didn’t know when that would happen.

GROSS: If you’re just joining us, my guest is Gloria Steinem, and she has a new memoir called “My Life On The Road.” Let’s take a short break here then we’ll talk some more. This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. And if you’re just joining us, my guest is Gloria Steinem. She has a new memoir called “My Life On The Road.” Do you remember the moment when you first realized women’s rights was a legitimate issue along with all the other rights that you are interested in fighting for?

STEINEM: You know, the amazing thing is how long it took me, actually. I mean, there was no – at least to me, there was no visible women’s movement. So I thought I just had to function within the system as it was. And I identified with everybody else who was having a hard time. I think women often do that without knowing that it applied to us, too. But I owe it to the women who held that hearing on abortion, for instance, or, you know, who had been inside the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam movement and even in those movements that we utterly loved, still were not treated equally and so I had understood that there needed to be an additional women’s movement.

GROSS: I remember you telling me that one of the reasons why you co-founded Ms. magazine was that writing for other magazines, they just weren’t interested in women’s issues. They’d say, oh, we did an article about women’s issues or about the women’s liberation movement, like, eight months ago, so we don’t need another article yet. And that article about men was, like, articles about the world. But articles about women fell into the category of, like, yeah, we covered that a while ago. We’re done.

STEINEM: Well, in – that was true of women’s magazines, but in other places where I was writing, including The Sunday New York Times, (laughter) you know, lots of other places, the attitude was even worse. It was sort of, well, if we publish an article saying women are equal, then in order to be objective, we’ll have to publish one saying they’re not, you know (laughter). So…

GROSS: What was your reaction to that?

STEINEM: Well, it seemed perfectly logical to them because they thought it was debatable, if you see what I mean.

GROSS: Yeah, I definitely see what you mean.

STEINEM: But it seemed – right.

(LAUGHTER)

STEINEM: But it seemed extremely frustrating and outrageous to me.

GROSS: Do you remember the articles – the headlines – in the first edition of Ms.? I want to see if those articles could still be written today. Like, how much have things changed?

STEINEM: Well, we did have a piece about a couple that had made a marriage contract. In order to make up for the unequal laws on the books, they had made their own contract. We had reprinted an article from another feminist publication called “Why I Want A Wife,” by Judy Syfers. I remember. She deserves credit.

GROSS: I remember that article.

STEINEM: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

STEINEM: And it was a woman talking about all the reasons why she needed a wife. It was funny and wonderful.

GROSS: To have somebody at home who was doing the cooking and cleaning and taking care of the errands and stuff…

STEINEM: Exactly.

GROSS: …Which was what wives were supposed to do, but she was working so she needed to somebody to take on that role.

STEINEM: Yeah, exactly. Right.

GROSS: Would have been helpful. Yeah. So that first edition was 1972, right?

STEINEM: Yes.

GROSS: What’s your connection to Ms. magazine now?

STEINEM: Now it’s published by the Feminist Majority Foundation in Los Angeles, and I am an adviser to it. But I’m not the daily role at all that I was for, you know, such a very long time. And I’m very grateful to them that they are taking good care of it. And now it’s quarterly, but it has an additional and big life on the Web.

GROSS: If I asked you to make a list of the five most important issues for women today, what would be on that list?

STEINEM: Well, I can do it, but I would like to say that the most important issues are those to the women who are listening. I mean, it’s not about dictating to each other what’s important, but supporting each other and solving the ones that are in our daily lives.

GROSS: I like that point that you just made.

STEINEM: However, if you add up, you know, in terms of the numbers of people, I would say that competing for number one would be violence against females worldwide. If you add up all the forms of violence, whether it’s domestic violence in this country, which is at an enormously high rate – I mean, the most dangerous place for a woman in this country is her own home, and she’s most likely to be beaten or killed by a man she knows. Or it is FGM – female genital mutilation – or it is female infanticide or honor killings or child marriage and too-early childbirth, which is a major cause of death among adolescent girls worldwide. So, you know, violence has reached an emergency – well, it’s – I mean, any violence is an emergency but, you know, collectively…

GROSS: What – well, the sense of emergency has certainly increased with groups like the Taliban and ISIS truly attacking women and denying them any form of rights.

STEINEM: Yes, yes. Yes. No, it’s the extreme forms of patriarchy, often religious – so-called religious, and the violence against females in warzones – sexualized violence in the Congo and, you know, many in the former Yugoslavia. You know, and all of these have mounted up to a real emergency. But tied, I would say, for first place is the ability of women to decide when and whether to have children because that is a major cause of death – the lack of that ability is a major cause of death. And it is also a major cause of inability to be educated or to be free outside the home or to be healthy. You know, so I would say those two concerns – violence – sexualized violence against women and reproductive freedom or reproductive justice are right up there in our focus in every country.

GROSS: Gloria Steinem, it has been great to talk with you again. Thank you so much.

STEINEM: Thank you so much.

GROSS: Gloria Steinem recorded in October after the publication of her book “My Life On The Road.” We’ll continue our series featuring some of our favorite interviews of the year with Jeffrey Tambor, who stars as a transgender woman on the Amazon series “Transparent” after we take a short break. This is FRESH AIR.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.