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As the host of the popular business podcast How I Built This, Guy Raz is used to having hours-long interviews with CEOs and entrepreneurs, coaxing out stories of the failures and successes that made his guests into the business heavyweights they are today. But for his next venture, Raz is turning his attention toward celebrities.
While there is no shortage of celebrity in the podcast world, whether it be actors hosting podcasts or Hollywood stars appearing as headlining guests, Raz sees an opportunity to “demystify” the creative process and help listeners take something useful away from each episode.
“I wanted to talk to … these really creative, successful, talented artists, to find out where they tap into to find their creative spark, with the idea that it could apply to anybody — that anyone listening doesn’t have to necessarily be interested in celebrity interviews or biographies of famous people,” Raz tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Raz says he’s had the idea to take on the celebrity interview in a new podcast for “a long time,” sparked by memories of his decades-long career as an NPR host who regularly spoke with musicians and actors.
“I missed having conversations that weren’t about contemporaneous things, necessarily,” he says.
The lineup for his show — The Great Creators With Guy Raz — will include guests like Stephen Colbert discussing the two actors who changed him into a “completely different person,” Zooey Deschanel sharing how she overcame stage fright and her fears of becoming “washed up,” and Graham Nash divulging an experience at Joni Mitchell’s house that helped spark the formation of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Other guests include Audra McDonald, Justin Long, Ryan Tedder, The Chainsmokers, Nick Kroll, Jim Parsons, Danny Elfman, Andy Garcia, Nathan Lane, Blair Underwood and Björk.
“Every single person has been open and willing to kind of surrender to the process … and be prepared to talk about their life and to really share their experiences in a way that I hope will be not just interesting, but will actually be beneficial to people who listen,” Raz says. “With How I Built This, I don’t want people to listen to the show thinking, ‘Well, that was interesting, that’s important.’ I want them to listen to the show and say, ‘Wow, I’ve taken a lot away from this episode. And that helps me think about how I structure my job or my career, or my life or my business.’ I want people to walk away from this show thinking the same thing in the context of creativity.”
The Great Creators is part of a three-year deal between Raz and Amazon Music and Wondery — companies that he had previously struck an exclusive licensing and ad deal with for How I Built This. Similarly to that partnership, The Great Creators will appear one week early on Wondery+ and Amazon Music beginning on Sept. 20 before releasing wide on all major platforms.
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