Terry Gross

Scottish actor Brian Cox says Logan Roy, the ruthless business tycoon he plays on the HBO series Succession, is one of the most extraordinary roles he's ever taken. The patriarch in a family-run conglomerate that includes a conservative cable news network and a cruise line, Logan has little regard for ethics or morality.

"I don't defend Logan in any way," Cox says. "One of the jobs as an actor is we cannot judge our characters. He is a misanthrope [who] is very disappointed with the human experiment."

As a Department of Justice attorney charged enforcing voting rights during the Obama administration, Laura Coates says she saw countless ways in which the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was being undermined.

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As a child in Australia, actor Nicole Kidman was so fair-skinned that she wasn't allowed to go to the beach in the middle of the day with the other kids. Instead, she says, she'd stay home, curl up with a book and pretend she was one of the characters she was reading about.

"I've played every role in Chekov — in my bedroom, at all different hours, day or night," she says of her love of books. "Little did I know that that was going to lead me to my vocation."

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A year ago, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., experienced two unimaginable traumas in the span of a single week.

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