Zach Woods, the Silicon Valley vet and star of the new HBO series Avenue 5, discusses his favorite short story, a life-affirming indie film, and his other recent obsessions. — As told to J.R. Sullivan
What Zack Woods Gives His Seal of Approval
I recently bought Craig Semetko’s book Unposed. His photos are deep and complex but unpretentious. In one, a guy is standing at a urinal below these photos of Marilyn Monroe, who appears to be looking down at him, unimpressed. It’s really amazing.
I’ve been listening to Kind World, a show about empathy. In one episode, a single dad takes his daughter to punk shows while he waits in the car. Then he loses his ability to speak. You’ll slam Gatorade because you’ll get dehydrated from weeping.
Give Me Liberty is the biggest-hearted movie I’ve seen in forever. It’s about a guy who drives a medical-transport van in Milwaukee and his encounters with the people who rely on him to get around. The movie is pro–human being in a way that’s rare and true.
My favorite short story is “Sonny’s Blues,” by James Baldwin. I was a real jazz nerd when I was a kid, and the story follows a guy whose brother becomes a jazz player and heroin addict.
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