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Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Novelist Attica Locke writes, quote, "My bloodline runs along Highway 59 in East Texas," unquote. Highway 59 is a north-south route many African Americans traveled during the Great Migration, seeking opportunity in northern cities. But Attica Locke's family stayed. So did the family of Darren Mathews, the main character of her last two novels. The latest one is called "Heaven, My Home."

Ronan Farrow's 2017 exposé of the sexual misconduct allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker earned him a Pulitzer Prize and helped usher in the #MeToo movement. Now, in his new book, Catch and Kill, Farrow writes about the extreme tactics Weinstein allegedly used in an attempt to keep him from reporting the story.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The recent biopic Rocketman painted a Hollywood version of Elton John's life, but a new memoir, Me, comes straight from the artist himself. In it, he describes how, as a young man, he was determined to enter the music business, in spite of some misgivings about rock 'n' roll in his household. As he tells Fresh Air, "My dad, of course, hated it."

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:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross, continuing our salute to "Breaking Bad" and it's equally excellent spinoffs.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BREAKING BAD")

AARON PAUL: (As Jesse Pinkman) Yo, yo, yo, one, four, eight, three to the three to the six to the nine, representing the ABQ. What up, beeyotch (ph)? Leave it at the tone.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

Editor's note: This interview contains a homophobic slur.

Growing up as a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roper was taught that God hated gay people. The church, which was founded by Phelps-Roper's grandfather, Fred Phelps Sr., became infamous for picketing the funerals of U.S. soldiers — whose deaths it believed were a punishment for America's sins and its tolerance of homosexuality.

I was fortunate enough to go into Parasite knowing almost nothing about it. Bong Joon-ho's brilliant new movie packs the kinds of stunning, multi-layered surprises that deserve to be experienced as fresh as possible. I'll tread as cautiously as I can, but suffice to say that Parasite is a darkly comic thriller about two families: the Parks, who are very rich, and the Kims, who are very poor.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Editor's note: This book review cites a passage containing a homophobic slur.

One could say that Saeed Jones' new memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives, is a classic coming-of-age story. A boy grows up in Texas; he's black, gay and isolated; he's raised by a single mom; he struggles with identity, goes off to college and, eventually, achieves a wobbly sense of self-affirmation.

When Christopher Wylie first began working for the British behavioral research company SCL Group, the company used data drawn from a number of sources as a means of potentially altering outcomes for its, sometimes military, clients.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

On November 8, singer Anthony Roth Costanzo will take center stage at the Metropolitan Opera, debuting as the star of a new production of Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten. It's a remarkable turn for a celebrated singer who nearly lost his voice to thyroid cancer.

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:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Updated on 10/3/19 at 11:20 a.m. ET

President Trump made building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign. But when, after the election, efforts to build the wall stalled, he turned to other possible options — including constructing a trench filled with snakes and alligators — according to a forthcoming book.

Conan O'Brien has been hosting late-night TV shows for 26 years — longer than anyone else currently on the air. So when a colleague suggested he start a podcast, he initially balked.

"My initial reaction was, 'Why would I do a podcast? I have a television show,'" O'Brien says. "That should be enough for anybody."

But then O'Brien thought more about the prospect, and he began to reconsider. On television, conversations with guests were constrained by TV cameras and commercial breaks; a podcast would free him to proceed more slowly and dig deeper in conversations.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The new Martin Scorsese film "The Irishman" will introduce a new generation of Americans to Jimmy Hoffa, the tough, mob-connected leader of the Teamsters Union who vanished and was presumed murdered in 1975. Hoffa's disappearance is one of the greatest unsolved crimes of the 20th century.

A few years ago, when actor Antonio Banderas was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack, a nurse told him that the heart was a warehouse for feelings — and warned him that he'd likely feel sad in the weeks or months to come.

As it turns out, she was right: Banderas had always considered himself a "tough guy," slow to cry and not overly sensitive, but suddenly he found himself tearing up watching movies or listening to music.

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:

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