Graham Norton Guests This Week – Will Smith, Richard Osman, Chris & Rosie Ramsey

Graham Norton Guests This Week – Will Smith, Richard Osman, Chris & Rosie Ramsey

On this week's show (26th November), Graham welcomes Hollywood superstar Will Smith, creator of the smash-hit Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda, TV host and author Richard Osman, hit podcasters Rosie & Chris Ramsey, and singer songwriter Yola.

Will joins Graham in the studio to chat about his new film King Richard and his autobiography Will.

 

Asked about his svelte appearance, Will says, “With all the Covid restrictions I sort of ballooned a little during that time, so I decided to get back in shape and really went for it.  I’m down about 30lbs.”

 

Talking about playing the father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard, he says, “It was such an opportunity to dive into the life of this family and spend time uncovering their amazing story.  He predicted Venus and Serena being the world’s number one and number two women’s tennis players two years before they were born!  He wrote a 78-page plan.  It was a really crazy prophecy and so amazing it’s hard to comprehend.”  

 

Asked if Venus and Serena have seen the film, he says, “They said they would see us through the process and exec produce, but they wanted to see the movie before they decided if they would put their names to it.  It was the worst two hours of my life, but they were a mess with tears, and they loved it.”  Adding, “I had made the mistake of watching Ali for the first time while sitting behind 

Muhammad Ali and mid-way through the movie, he turned to his wife and said, ‘Was I that crazy?’”

 

Revealing Jada has never seen the funny side of a joke he once played on her, he says, “She was going to meet my family for the first time.  I was raised in a very religious household and my grandmother Gigi is all the way down with Jesus.  Because she was didn’t know who Jada was, I put on a movie of hers and worked out that by the time Jada arrived my grandmother would be watching the love scene.  When she walked in, my grandmother was in the middle of the scene and she looked up and said to Jada, ‘When I was growing up people didn’t have to take their clothes off to make a movie.’  Jada took me aside and said, ‘Why would you do that?’  I said, ‘I promise you it’s funny, maybe not now, but one day this is going to provide us with years of joy.’  We have been together for 27 years and she literally hasn’t chuckled once!”

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda joins Graham from New York to chat about musical drama Tick, Tick... Boom!, which sees his directorial debut.

 

Talking about the film, he says, “It’s about Jonathan Larsen and an amazing portrait of an artist.  He would go on to write Rent, which, when I saw it as young man gave me permission to write musicals.  When I saw Tick, Tick, Boom! it clarified that this was my calling.”

 

Asked about Andrew Garfield who stars in the drama and whether he could sing before being in the movie, Lin-Manuel says, “I didn’t know if he could sing or not.  I saw him on stage at The National and left feeling that he could do anything – he had all the superpowers and I hoped he could sing.  He told me he had always wanted to, so he trained.  We gave him all the resources and he was like a brand-new instrument coming into its power over the course of a year.”

 

On the return of Hamilton to the stage, he says, “We just celebrated our 2000th performance on Broadway.  It’s really exciting to be back.  The audience and the cast are happy to be there.”

 

Interjecting, Will says to Lin-Manuel, “This is probably a terrible thing to ask at this time, but I want to do a one-man-show and I would love you to help me do it.  I have had it in my mind for years and I think you are the one of one in this business.”  A seemingly shocked Lin-Manuel says, “You heard it here first!”

 

Will, Rosie and Chris do an impromptu rendition from Hamilton.

 

Richard, talking about his new novel The Man Who Died Twice, says, “I was worried it wouldn’t do as well as the first one, so I am thrilled at the reaction.”  

 

Revealing why he doesn’t write about intimacy, he says, “I’m not interested in writing sex scenes.  I always find it very peculiar.  Love and romance are absolutely fine, but I really don’t want to read about it, so I don’t write about it.  Everyone you have ever met will think you are writing about yourself!”

 

Will interjects, “Sex scenes are the worst part of acting – when you watch it in a movie there is music and wine but on set there is some big dude holding the microphone, chewing and watching you.”

 

Asked about the upcoming Spielberg film of his first book, Richard says, “I am trying to keep out of it.  They are better than me at what they do so I am letting them get on with it.  They send me emails now and again asking if I would like to read anything and I am like, ‘Not really.’”

 

Rosie and Chris, chatting about their hit podcast Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed. and asked about working together and what it has done to their marriage, Chris says, “Communication helps a lot, but in 143 episodes we haven’t run out of ‘beefs’ with each other!”

 

Talking about discussing sex in their podcast, Rosie says, “We don’t actually talk about us personally having sex because we have found out we are actually quite boring because of what people send us.”  Chris adds, “One of our first ones we got sent was from a woman who said, “I need some advice because I am giving my husband his first foursome this Wednesday.  Our initial thought was ‘Wednesday?’”

 

Yola performs Starlight live in the studio before joining Graham for a chat.

 

Asked about her career, she says, “I decided to do things under my own steam, so I kept visiting Nashville for the folk scene and eventually a movie fell into my lap in a really big way.  I was recording with a friend and our producer suggested I sent a tape to Baz Luhrmann and now I’m playing the muse of Elvis.  Tom Hanks is in it too!”

 

 

The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, Friday 26th November, 10.35pm and available afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

 

Next week (3rd December) Graham’s guests include Tom Holland, Zendaya, Henry Cavill, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Little Mix. 

Graham Norton picture: BBC/So Television/Christopher Baines

 

 

 

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