Karina Longworth introduces the new season of You Must Remember This
Since 2014, Karina Longworth has chronicled the secret (and/or forgotten) histories of Hollywood on her top-ranked podcast You Must Remember This, part of the Panoply Network. After spending 2016 exploring the Hollywood blacklist and the life of Joan Crawford, the new season of YMRT just launched today and will run through April 25. You can listen to the first episode right here. EW spoke to Longworth about the future of her podcast and which Hollywood icons she still wants to explore.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s the new season about?
KARINA LONGWORTH: It’s called “Dead Blondes.” The title is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but it’s also incredibly literal. It is about 11 actresses, all of them blonde, who died unusually or tragically, and whose deaths have attained as least as much of a legend as their careers. There does seem to be this fascination in the wider culture with these quote-unquote “perfect victims,” the beautiful woman who is taken too soon.
Which actresses will you focus on?
The series is really wide-ranging. I decided to pick a combination of people like Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, but the very first episode is about Peg Entwistle, this Broadway actress who was only in one Hollywood movie, and her part was cut out of it. Today, she’s pretty much only famous for having committed suicide by jumping off the Hollywood sign.
Were there other topics you were considering for the new season?
As late as Christmas, I was still following a different path of a possible season. There was this idea that came to me – I don’t know if I came up with it, or if somebody suggested it – to do something on the three main actors in Rebel Without a Cause, all of whom died in untimely ways.
There’s been a real explosion of interests in podcasts since your show debuted in early 2014. Has that changed your process for working on the show?
When I started it, I didn’t know that anybody would want to listen to it. I wanted to do something that was halfway between firing off a few tweets about something that I watched on TCM and writing a book. I got lucky that people found it right away and liked it. Actually, Entertainment Weekly wrote a brief blurb about it, and that brought the show a lot of attention. Now, I don’t know if you could just throw a podcast out there without some kind of promotion. When I was doing it, you didn’t have so many media companies involved, and you didn’t have so many celebrities with their own podcasts. I hope it’s still a democratic thing.
Have you thought about expanding You Must Remember This beyond the podcast form?
I’ve been working for the past year on a book inspired by a few episodes. I’ve had conversations about doing TV shows – and that might still happen!
You’re coming up on 100 episodes. Are there any Hollywood icons you badly want to explore in a future series?
There’s a lot of real heavy hitters. I’ve never done Gene Kelly or Cary Grant. I considered putting Betty Grable in this series. I’ve talked about everybody like her: The blondes, the pin-ups, the World War II-era people. That’s a big one I need to get to at some point. There are just too many dead blondes to fit into one season!