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Terry Gross

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In his new film, The Power of the Dog, British actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays Phil Burbank, a hyper-masculine cattle rancher living on the plains of Montana in the 1920s.

Scottish actor Brian Cox says Logan Roy, the ruthless business tycoon he plays on the HBO series Succession, is one of the most extraordinary roles he's ever taken. The patriarch in a family-run conglomerate that includes a conservative cable news network and a cruise line, Logan has little regard for ethics or morality.

"I don't defend Logan in any way," Cox says. "One of the jobs as an actor is we cannot judge our characters. He is a misanthrope [who] is very disappointed with the human experiment."

As a Department of Justice attorney charged enforcing voting rights during the Obama administration, Laura Coates says she saw countless ways in which the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was being undermined.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE LAST PICTURE SHOW")

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As a child in Australia, actor Nicole Kidman was so fair-skinned that she wasn't allowed to go to the beach in the middle of the day with the other kids. Instead, she says, she'd stay home, curl up with a book and pretend she was one of the characters she was reading about.

"I've played every role in Chekov — in my bedroom, at all different hours, day or night," she says of her love of books. "Little did I know that that was going to lead me to my vocation."

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

A year ago, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., experienced two unimaginable traumas in the span of a single week.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. During this final week of the year, we're featuring a few of the many interviews from 2021 that we enjoyed. A TV series that I really enjoyed this year is "Schmigadoon!," a smart, funny and loving satire of musicals from the '40s and '50s. It's streaming on Apple TV+. We'll hear two interviews related to the series. Later, we'll hear from Cinco Paul, who co-created the series and wrote all the songs.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. During this final week of the year, we plan on keeping things upbeat. There's been enough bad news this year. We've selected a few interviews from 2021 that we think you'll enjoy.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Editor's note: This interview deals with themes that may be disturbing to some readers.

Author Faith Jones was raised in the cult group the Children of God (later known as The Family and The Family International). For most of her childhood, Jones lived in a commune in Macao, an island off the coast of China. She spent hours reading doctrine, memorizing Scripture and chanting and praying.

"We grew up very isolated in a remote village doing sort of sporadic home-study stuff and a lot of chores," she says.

And, she says, there was sex.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

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