Terry Gross

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

2012 was a terrible year for comic Tig Notaro. She had pneumonia, a life threatening intestinal infection, breast cancer and a double mastectomy. She also split with her girlfriend — and her mother died unexpectedly.

But since then, things have taken a turn both professionally and personally. After her stand-up set about having cancer went viral, she released the comedy special Boyish Girl Interrupted, and co-wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical Amazon series One Mississippi. In 2015, she married actress Stephanie Allynne, and they now have twin boys.

Author Michael Pollan had always been curious about psychoactive plants, but his interest skyrocketed when he heard about a research study in which people with terminal cancer were given a psychedelic called psilocybin — the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms" — to help them deal with their distress.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Annette Bening has made her career in film and television, but she hasn't always been comfortable in front of the camera.

"For so many years I was really intimidated ... " she says. "I felt very comfortable on the stage ... I didn't really do movies 'till I was almost 30."

Now 59, Bening has "fallen in love" with filming. "You can get so many things across with the camera that one just can't do onstage," she says.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Filmmaker siblings Jay and Mark Duplass grew up making movies using their father's VHS camera, but it wasn't until they were in their mid-to-late 20s that their artistic vision really fell into place.

Jay remembers one day in particular, when he was "pushing 30" and feeling frustrated with his desire to do the "impossible artist thing." That's the day his brother Mark announced that he was going to the store to buy tapes for their dad's video camera. Jay had to come up with an idea for a movie before he returned.

Many of chef Lidia Bastianich's earliest memories are of her grandparents' village on the Istrian peninsula, which was part of Italy when she was a small child. The family ate what Bastianich now calls "peasant food," farm-to-table meals consisting of animals they raised and fruits and vegetables they grew.

Later, after Bastianich emigrated to America, she drew on those childhood meals in opening her first restaurant with her husband, Felice. "We brought the simple dishes to a level of service and presentation that was above what it would be in the home," she says.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

British singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn writes music that chronicles themes in women's lives that aren't often addressed in pop lyrics. Take, for instance, the single "Babies," off her new solo album Record. The song is meant to be a humorous ode to birth control, but there's also a deeper feeling to it.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Editor's note: This interview contains language that some readers may find offensive.

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