April 30, 2012
How many actors have played a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a geisha, a martial arts master, an astronaut, and a stunt-crazy, sexy sidekick to James Bond, 007? Just one - the amazing, pioneering Michelle Yeoh. Michelle is no stranger to a good fight: from those dazzling kung fu scenes in 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' to the way she re-invented the role of the "Bond Girl" in 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. In fact, Yeoh has been blazing trails ever since she drop-kicked her way to the top of Hong Kong's action-movie scene in the early '90s - matching the likes of Jackie Chan, stunt for stunt. Not bad for a former Miss Malaysia who quickly became the highest-paid female actor in Asia. Michelle has also become a passionate spokesperson, educating people on the importance of road safety in developing nations. So her latest movie 'The Lady', in which she plays the role of Burmese leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi - someone who's spent decades fighting for democracy - is a perfect fit.
April 30, 2012
In 1997 'Open Mike with Mike Bullard' was born. It started small, but it became a big deal. See, talk shows had always thrived in the States; just today you've got your Lettermans, your Lenos, your O'Briens, and your Kimmells to name a few. But in Canada we'd never really cracked it until Mike Bullard came along. Mike dominated the airwaves for 7 years, even earned some Gemini awards. Today Mike's back with a new show on the radio. Beyond the Mic with Mike Bullard on Toronto's Newstalk 1010 radio has the pioneering comic sounding off on the news of the day - and whatever else strikes him.
May 1, 2012
Back in the day, TV news anchors had a pretty traditional and well-defined gig: Put on a suit, sit at a desk, and monologue the news - the newscaster as the "voice of God". Well, for better or worse, our media landscape is shifting, and nobody knows it better than Kevin Newman. Kevin paid his dues as a reporter in Toronto, but he spent years working south of the border, including a few years as a co-host on 'Good Morning America.' Ultimately, Kevin decided to come home. For nine years, he was the anchor for 'Global National,' a job that took him across the country and beyond. These days, not only is he a co-anchor on CTV's 'Question Period,' speaking truth to power on Parliament Hill, he's also CTV's official Digital News Evangelist (yes, that's his actual title) - Basically, Kevin is focused on where news is heading in the 21st century, and the changing ways we tell stories. So, does TV news still matter? Can news be a two-way conversation? And as we witness a changing of the guard, will old media giants be forced to evolve, or get out of the way?
May 1, 2012
Wonder Mike & Master Gee
One of the biggest landmark moments in music history can be traced back to 1979: Three kids from New Jersey put out the first hip hop song to ever become a hit: 'Rapper's Delight,' by The Sugarhill Gang. Eleven verses, and over 300 rhymes, all by three trailblazing Emcees: Wonder Mike, Master Gee, and Big Bank Hank. At its peak, 'Rapper's Delight' was selling more than 50,000 copies per day. It inspired countless artists, and helped define a whole new genre of music - unfortunately, that's where the feel-good story goes bad. For the past 20 years, Wonder Mike and Master Gee have been at war with their former record label. It started with creative differences and lost royalties, but it ended with a battle over the group's very name. Now, Mike and Master Gee are speaking out in a new documentary called, 'I Want My Name Back.' It's the story of two musical pioneers, fighting for the recognition they deserve.
May 2, 2012
Back in 1981, Rick Springfield had it all. His song 'Jessie's Girl' about one of the all-time classics themes in rock & roll - unrequited love - was a number-one hit and he was also pulling double duty with a starring role on 'General Hospital.' But Rick wasn't able to fully enjoy his success: A few weeks before 'Jessie's Girl' took off, his father died from cancer. And it wasn't long before the depression that had plagued him since adolescence returned. But with the help of therapy, Rick battled through the depression and carved out a lasting career. Now Rick himself is back in the spotlight with a memoir that reveals some pretty personal details about his self-doubt, marital infidelities and sex addiction. Plus, Rick features in a new documentary, 'An Affair of the Heart', that's all about the intense and long-lasting relationship between Rick and his devoted fans.
May 2, 2012
When Carmen Aguirre was just 11 years old, she had a life changing conversation with her mother in the Los Angeles airport. Her mom explained that Carmen and her younger sister were headed to Peru to join the Chilean resistance against the dictator Augusto Pinochet. For the next ten years Carmen led a dangerous and secret double-life: balancing the typical interests of a teenage girl - boys, clothes, and pop music - with the uncertain and underground life of a revolutionary - harrowing border runs, codes of silence, and military interrogation. After more than a decade of living on the run in South America Carmen chose to return to Canada and settle in Vancouver, where she's since become a successful playwright and actress. Her literary debut, 'Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter', was crowned the Canada Reads champion of 2012, though not everyone was a fan. Canada Reads panelist Anne-France Goldwater had some choice words for Carmen, going so far as to call her a "bloody terrorist." If she was hurt by the comments, Carmen didn't show it. She maintains her story is about a complex mother-and-daughter relationship - set against the backdrop of revolution.
May 3, 2012
If you watch 'How I Met Your Mother,' you know that Cobie Smulders' character, Robin, has a secret - some might say shady - past. She was a teenage pop star in Canada, with amazing '80s music videos like "Let's Go to The Mall" and "Sandcastles in the Sand." That's right, when the producers of the show learned Cobie hailed from Vancouver, they decided to make Robin Canadian. And as you may have noticed, she takes a bit of heat for it (remember "The Hoser Hut?"). Growing up in B.C., Cobie fell for the ocean, as B.C.ers tend to do. Like George Costanza, she dreamed of a career in marine biology. But while she was still in high school, Cobie started modeling, eventually turning to acting, and landing parts on shows like 'Smallville' and the ground-breaking drama 'The L-Word.' And soon she'll be kicking ass in the first big popcorn movie of the summer - 'The Avengers.' It's her first ever role in an action movie, and Cobie describes it as "being a woman in a man's world." Cobie plays Agent Maria Hill - one part of a crack hot team just trying to save the world.
May 3, 2012
Michaëlle Jean & Jean-Daniel Lafond
The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean once said Canadians are 'encouraged to believe that everything is possible in this country.' She knows that from her own life -- Michaëlle overcame a tough start in life, eventually becoming Governor General. It was a role in which despite criticism from both sides - some said Michaëlle overstepped her role, others say she didn't step up enough - she certainly connected with Canadians - meeting them where they lived. She found common cause with her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond - a celebrated documentary filmmaker and writer who's generated his own controversy due to comments some see as too sympathetic to separatists. Together, through the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, they're working to empower young people to use the arts to ignite positive change in their communities. It's a way to get kids on the margins, a place at the table.
May 4, 2012
Best of The Week and Measha Brueggergosman
Fridays on the show, we play our best interviews of the week - featuring Kevin Newman, Rick Springfield, and Cobie Smulders this week - plus a musical performance from Measha Brueggergosman. Singing has been a part of Measha's life since soon after she was born. As a child, she started performing in her local Baptist church choir, and started studying voice and piano at the age of seven. Now she makes her living as a soprano, and from her first lead performance at the age of 20 (in a production of George Elliott Clarke and James Rolfe's 'Beatrice Chancy') to singing the Olympic Hymn at the 2010 Winter Games, Measha's taken her powerful voice all over the world. And now she's bringing it to the show ...