Minnie Driver, in her first-ever podcast, will plumb the psyches of celebrity guests with the same stock list of questions — seven existential queries aimed at finding common human truths.
The actor and singer-songwriter’s “Minnie Questions With Minnie Driver,” an iHeartRadio original podcast, will premiere March 24 with new episodes airing every Wednesday.
The podcast’s format was inspired by Vanity Fair’s long-running Proust Questionnaire feature, Driver told Variety. “I feel like podcasts can be extraordinarily wayward, and I wanted to create something disciplined around a jumping-off point,” she said. “It looks tame — but it’s pretty fierce.”
Driver said that for her, the podcast is about “finding creative diversification during lockdown. I felt like during the pandemic, it was a really wonderful way of connecting people… and finding out what people think about their life.”
In the premiere episode, Driver’s guest is award-winning actor Viola Davis, who shares the story of her trip to Gambia when she was studying at Juilliard; the lessons and pain of losing her father; and how the 8-year-old version of herself helps her find joy. Upcoming guests on Driver’s podcasts will include Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, journalist Ronan Farrow, Tony-nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris and actor-filmmaker-author Alan Cumming.
For the record, the seven questions that Driver poses to each guest are: When and where were you happiest?; What quality do you like least about yourself?; What relationship — real or fictionalized — defines love for your?; What would be your last meal?; What person, place or experience has most altered your life?; What question would you most like answered?; and What in your life has grown out of a personal disaster?
Driver is dealing with her own personal grief over the death of her mother, Gaynor Churchward, this past Sunday. Driver’s own last meal? Her mom’s roast chicken and apple-and-blackberry crumble. “That will be forever my last meal,” she said. “Sublimely delicious and comforting.”
For the podcast, Driver compiled a target list of interview subjects after “thinking about people at parties I wished I had gone up to and introduced myself but was too shy,” adding: “I must have called everyone in my contacts at least once.”
“Minnie Questions With Minnie Driver” is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and will be available on multiple podcast platforms, including on iHeartRadio (at this link), Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The company is targeting 12-15 episodes for the initial run, with the option for more.
“Minnie has a rapport with her guests and audience that is so genuine and magnetic, and we’re excited for people to hear the incredible stories she uncovers with her guests throughout the series,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group.
Driver is best known for her roles in “Good Will Hunting,” “Phantom of the Opera,” FX’s “The Riches” and ABC’s “Speechless.” Most recently, she was cast in the upcoming Season 2 of “Modern Love” at Amazon Studios. Driver is repped by CAA, Independent Talent Group, Untitled Entertainment and Morris Yorn.
As a teen, Driver began singing and playing guitar in London jazz clubs, while earning her degree in drama from the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. In addition to her acting career, she’s released three critically acclaimed solo albums.
Listen to the trailer for “Minnie Questions With Minnie Driver”: