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Fresh Air Weekend: Timothy Spall, Review Of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah,' John Cleese

Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions."
Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:


Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime': The 19th century painter wasn't always "very pleasant" and he was a "man of massive contradictions," Spall says. So Spall says he had to "dig deep" to play the title role in Mr. Turner.


D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Collapses Years, Genres: D'Angelo has built a considerable reputation on the basis of three albums: 1995's Brown Sugar, 2000's Voodoo, and now Black Messiah, unexpectedly released early Monday morning. The singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist has been widely praised for connecting many decades of different rhythm & blues styles, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for.


Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else: The co-founder of the Monty Python troupe admits he wasn't "naturally gifted" at physical comedy, and learned a lot by imitation. His new memoir, So, Anyway..., covers his boyhood and early career.

You can listen to the original interviews here:

Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime'

D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Collapses Years, Genres

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

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