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Co-host of the Episode Party podcast, author of Storm Static Sleep: A Pathway Through Post-rock, editor at ATTN:Magazine.
Chris Addison is best known for his role in British TV comedy The Thick Of It: a political satire that revelled in the contrast between internal bureaucratic chaos and the media-friendly image of cohesion and conviction. Funnily enough, Addison invokes a similar dynamic when explaining how he navigates his newfound role as a film director. It’s his responsibility to keep a cool head and ensure the production team retain faith in his vision, even if everything around him is falling apart.
During this 80-minute interview – recorded a few weeks prior to the release of Addison’s film The Hustle, starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway – it becomes clear that he’s still adjusting to his migration from comic actor to Hollywood director. He speaks of overcoming his star-struck adoration of Julia Louis-Dreyfus in order to competently direct her on the set of Veep. He describes the anxious drive to the filmset on the first day of shooting for The Hustle. At this moment of heady career transition, there are few better placed to interview Addison than Stuart Goldsmith. The host of The Comedian’s Comedian is a touring stand-up comic in his own right, who has an incredible knack for drawing his guests toward discussing the vulnerability at the base of so much artistic work.
As is often the case on the podcast, the most intriguing moments are those that pour over the minutiae of creative process. Addison explains that he used to write an entire 1500-word essay about the narrative through-line of his stand-up shows, just to ensure that the story still felt coherent once the jokes were taken away. He also borrows a line from a Prince tour programme from 2002 to discuss the distinction between a “perfect” creative vision and the actual creative output that results from the vision. As always, Goldsmith is on hand to guide the conversation with warmth and minimal ego – traits that speak to his credentials as both a masterful interviewer and an unrivalled comedy enthusiast.