There is no shortage of podcasts connected to the iconic Playboy brand. They include shows like Girls Next Level, which took listeners inside the gates of the Playboy Mansion, and Power, a show that told the complex story behind legendary founder Hugh Hefner. Now the PLBY Group and Audio Up Media are teaming up for a new series that will bring to life seven of the most iconic Playboy Interview conversations.
The Playboy Interviews: Icons & Iconoclasts podcast series will feature an all-star line-up of actors voicing the interviews. They include Rosanna Arquette as Betty Friedan, Taye Diggs as Muhammad Ali, Michael Shannon as Tennessee Williams, Maya Hawke as Helen Gurley Brown, Kevin Corrigan as Frank Sinatra, Natasha Lyonne as Mae West, and Gael Garcia Bernal as Salvador Dali.
“I hope these interviews can serve as inspiration for subject and journalist alike,” Hawke said. “An interview often reaches more people than the art you are being interviewed about. It was an honor to be asked and to gain a better understanding of brave women with big mouths and sharp minds.”
For generations of fans, the Playboy Interview was revered as the gold standard in American journalism. To read it in its totality is to glimpse a record of everyone who mattered in the history of the 20th and 21st centuries; kicking off a remarkable run of public inquisition that has featured just about every cultural titan of the past half century.
The podcast is hosted by journalist Molly Jong Fast, whose mother, the “Fear of Flying” author, Erica Jong sat for the September 1975 interview. In each episode Fast provides an introduction and why the interviews should be celebrated.
“We’re thrilled to reintroduce these iconic Playboy Interviews to a new generation of Playboy fans,” said Rachel Webber, Playboy’s Chief Brand Officer. “The Playboy Interviews: Icons & Iconoclasts is a deep dive into the evolving cultural perceptions and the American psyche – each of these iconic conversations feels just as relevant today as they did decades ago,” she said in a statement.
‘Quality Becomes The Differentiating Factor’
The Playboy Interviews: Icons & Iconoclast was adapted, produced and directed by Audio Up’s Chief Creative Officer Jimmy Jellinek. Executive Producers include Playboy’s Webber and Audio Up CEO Jared Gutstadt. The podcast will be exclusive to Audible.
“We’re in the business of creating premium audio entertainment,” said Jellinek. “With The Playboy Interviews: Icons & Iconoclasts, the pedigree of the IP and the talent involved in this series speaks volumes to our ambitions. As the podcast space becomes more saturated, quality becomes the differentiating factor and Audio Up is perfectly positioned to be the HBO or A24 of Audio.”
The series comes hot on the heels of a flurry of activity for Audio Up who recently announced the largest ever IP deal in the podcast space for their partnership with legendary romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises. Audio Up is adapting 52 books from Harlequin’s bestselling “Montana Mavericks” series.
The Playboy Interviews: Icons & Iconoclasts is being released through Audio Up’s deal with Audible. It is one of eight series Audio Up is currently producing for the service; including the upcoming, 13-episode adaptation of James Ellroy’s “American Tabloid.”