Every performance tells a story, and for every story the audience sees, there are as many more that only exist behind the scenes of the polished, finished product. Those narratives run the gamut from the good to the bad and even ugly.
Uncovering these tales is Karina Longworth, a Los Angeles-based journalist, author and film critic whose podcast, “You Must Remember This,” is a peek behind the curtain in Hollywood during the creation of legendary performances.
Wondering why you should tune in? Here are a few reasons:
1. Dramatic Retellings Play Out Like a Radio Theatre Performance
The podcast is like a play where Longworth is the lead and sometimes only actor, and she’s brilliant. She weaves tales of Old Hollywood, creating the light levels of drama and intrigue without over-the-top theatrics or special effects.
2. Learn How the Most Iconic Names Broke Into the Business
There are lessons to be gained from Hollywood giants such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, as well as from those who fell short of icon status, including Barbara Payton.
3. There Are Little-Known Behind-the-Scenes Tales
Many a famous star is the subject of Longworth’s examination, but the tales are more than just the basics. Every episode is an in-depth look that goes beyond the famed details and publicized scandals. Longworth does her research and finds the untold stories while simultaneously humanizing her subjects.
4. History Matters
Not learning from the past leads to repetition, so it’s important to know where you’ve come from when deciding where you’re going. There is value in examining your predecessors as a member of the theatre and creative arts community.
While early Hollywood saw its fair share of success and innovation, the studios also underwent dark times. Longworth doesn’t shy away from such moments — instead, she puts them under the microscope, as seen in her series about the Blacklist.
5. There’s No Drama Better Than Drama That’s True
There are stories uncovered that couldn’t be more theatrical if a writer had put pen to paper and dreamed them to life, giving truth to the notion that there are good ideas everywhere. History is full of inspiration for those in search of a good story.
6. It’s a Model of How to Weave a Story
Longworth is a stickler for research — and she does a lot of it. She is well-known for combing through books, newspapers, old films and accounts to ensure each story is represented fairly on all sides. Arguably one of the elements that makes her podcast so popular is her ability to take a known account and find a different version or a new angle. Playwrights, take note.
7. There Are Revolutionary Examples of Actresses Fighting to Break the Mold
The struggle of actresses is not a new story and unfortunately still persists today. Classic Hollywood actresses are often most notorious for their love affairs with famous men, their sex appeal and their deaths. Longworth doesn’t ignore these factors, but she does bring the focus back to their careers, highlighting their achievements in the arts and their fight to be taken seriously in their industry.
“You Must Remember This,” which is distributed by Panoply, has been airing since 2014 and just launched a brand-new season on July 3. If you are new to Longworth’s online story hour, be sure to start working your way through the back catalog before you begin the new season. Then, just relax and enjoy a new kind of travel this summer as you journey back in time.