As a non-fiction television producer, I get to meet and interview people that I would not normally cross paths with. Sometime the are average people and sometimes they are famous. Here is a list of well-known people that I would absolutely love to interview. They are in no particular order.
President Barack Obama – Self explanatory really. However, my husband is also half-Kenyan and my father-n-law knew Barack Sr. so at least there is some connection.
James Lipton – Besides interviewing artists who at are the top of their creative craft, Mr. Lipton has impressed me with his ability to sample all that life has to offer and not judge others for doing the same. His friendship with Dave Chapelle is intriguing. I’d love to interview him despite some of my respected colleagues calling him the biggest sycophant ever.
Questlove – A pure musical genius. If you ever get to see him live as a drummer or deejay, go! If you ever get to hear him talk about music, get ready to get schooled! Anyone who has converted a room into a music library then tasks his sister with managing it, must be given credit for dedication to his passion.
Phillipa Gregory – I almost hate to admit this in writing, but I love literature, television and film about the Tudor period. I find the social stratification and people’s willingness to adhere to social rules as if they are hard and concrete things absolutely fascinating. No one brings the Tudor period to life like Gregory.
Malcolm Gladwell – One of the most interesting “thinkers” of our time. I love the way Gladwell is able to connect ideas in new ways to shed light on old problems. One question I’d like to ask him is why, when describing people he has interviewed, he always talks about their hair?
Toni Morrision – A pure literary genius. There is no question that her books are among the best ever written but her Nobel Prize speech was also a work of art.
Mira Nair – I actually got to speak to her on the telephone once for an extremely brief pre-interview for a documentary called “Understanding: Race” that aired on The Learning Channel (now TLC). I never got to meet her and have always wished that I did. She has produced and directed some of the most luscious looking movies of our time including one of my all time favorites “Karma Sutra.”
But then again, perhaps I really DON’T want to interview these people. In the past, I have interviewed people that I admired and is isn’t always all that it is cracked up to be. Sometimes, being up close and personal with them takes some of the shine off their glow. I won’t name names here in case I disrupt the glow for you. I guess, you never really know until the interview happens. I think I’ll take my chances with this group.