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[“Don’t Tell Me Your Major Theme” by Malena Ramnath]

Malena: Hey guys! My name is Malena Ramnath.

Hannah: I'm Hannah Fredly.

Malena: And we are your hosts and juniors here at Northwestern. This is "Don't Tell Me Your Major," an interview podcast where we avoid getting to know people on the surface level with questions like what their major is, where they're from and how old they are, but try to get to know them on a more profound level. That's how you really know the kind of person someone is, rather than judging them based on pre-established stereotypes. Today we would like to welcome our guest Nate Sowder, who is a student here at Northwestern. Say hi Nate!

Nate: Hello.

Malena: Thank you so much for coming onto our podcast, and today we will be discussing movies seeing as now as the the pandemic is ending, we can all start going to movie theaters again, and so many good movies are coming out right now – such as Dune and The French Dispatch, and pretty much anything with Timothée Chalamet in it. So, I guess we'll just get started with the questions. Since we're diving in kind of profound, I'm gonna answer the first question first. The first question is what movie has changed your perspective on things the most? For me, personally, that movie was Ladybird. It talks a lot about a girl's relationship with her mom and her father growing up in a family that's like really close together, but she's trying to become more independent. And for me, that reflected a lot of my life. I'm very close with my parents, and so it was difficult to become more independent and to leave for college and kind of the nuances that came along with that. And it kind of just represented how your parents ultimately just love you so much. And that leads to a lot of conflict and a lot of happiness in family life. And that really resonated with me at the time. I watched it with my mom – we just both ended up in tears. So yeah, that was the movie that changed my perspective on things the most. Hannah, what was the movie that changed your perspective on things the most?

Hannah: I think I would say Beautiful Boy, which Timothée Chalamet also happens to be in.

Malena: Yeah, classic.

Hannah: But he’s a good actor and, and I think Beautiful Boy was really, really cool because it looks at you know, drug use and stuff like that. And it sort of just gives you like a glimpse into a life of what it's like. And it really puts you in his shoes. And it's a really cool thing to sort of experience what it would be like to have a life like that. And also it looks at parental love. And you know, if you want to help someone, all that stuff, so it's really cool.

Malena: Yeah. What about you Nate?

Nate: I'm gonna have to go with a classic with It's A Wonderful Life – the old Christmas movie. And I don't know if I would call this one life-changing as much as life-defining in the fact that it's a tradition in our family to watch that movie every Christmas holiday. As I'm sure it is a tradition in a lot of families because it's like, public domain or whatever. But it's a really fantastic movie, that one, speaks to me a lot about the value of family, both, you know, from the movie standpoint as a movie, like emphasizing the importance of family, and also the fact that it was a familial experience every time I would watch it with my family. So both of those things really spoke to me. And obviously, also the fact that the movie, it just speaks a lot that there's always something we're like, you know, there's always something worth living for. Another thing I really like about the movie is that it really shows that life is worth living. And that's something I think that's sacred and valuable. And it's sometimes easy to forget in the business of life, but I think this movie speaks to it in a very simple and pure way.

Hannah: Yeah, it makes you like appreciate life.

Malena: Yeah, yeah. And I mean, that's kind of the same thing with Beautiful Boy, like, personally, like, I don't have a past with drugs. But there's plenty of people around us who do, and it really like, allows us to put ourselves in their shoes, you know. And in Beautiful Boy, he kind of realizes that there's more to life than drug use, like no matter kind of how deep of a hole he's in.

Hannah: Yeah, and you realize how fragile life is.

Malena: Yeah, so a lot of commentary on that. And those movies are really good. I've seen both of them. And they're pretty good. So my next question for you guys is what moment in your life – so there's this kind of classic line that everyone jokes about, it's kind of cliché, it’s like, oh, my life is such a movie, you know? Because you just kind of imagine yourself in a movie or music video when things are going well in your life or something like that. So my question for you guys is what moment in your life has felt most like a movie scene?

Hannah: You should go first.

Malena: Of course, I should go first. Of course, I should go first. Um ... I've been having a lot of moments like that recently. I think college is very, like kind of a culminatory experience where you're kind of just living with your friends. You're independent. You're getting to study what you want to study. You're kind of ... it's a very like coming-of-age moment. And I watch a lot of coming-of-age movies. They're probably my favorite movie. So I've been feeling like I've had a lot of moments like this recently. I remember one moment in particular was I was just walking down the street the other day, and all the fall leaves are turning like kind of their orange and yellow colors. And it's snowing. And I was listening to classical music in my headphones. And just walking down the street, kind of like to this soundtrack that I felt was like very movie-esque. I don't know, it was just very picturesque, with the fall leaves in the snow. It felt also very, like fleeting, you know, just because the snow and the leaves – that all felt like very temporary, and it was a really cool moment.

Hannah: Yeah, a lot of the movies I watch are like Interstellar or like Tenet – also same director. None of my life resembles that. Anyway, those are also like very sci-fi-esque movies. But if I had to choose a moment, I feel like anytime I'm in a car, I just feel like I’m in a movie. It's raining outside. You're in the car, sort of like looking out the window. That's when I feel like I’m in a movie.

Nate: I'm gonna take something from both of yours, both the car part and the music part, and relate it back to one of my first memories at Northwestern, one of my oldest friends at this school. We had met during this excursion to Chicago, and we were taking the bus back up to campus. And we were listening to J. Cole. We both like J. Cole. And we were just sitting in the back of the bus, listening to J. Cole and just talking about what we liked about the song, and it was just in retrospect, it was a very, movie-esque moment. And it was a cool moment.

Malena: For what it's worth that person was me. And yes, we did miss our bus stop listening to J. Cole. We ended up like a half a mile into this random part of Evanston. It was very strange. But we had a good time. It was a good moment. Okay, and kind of for our last question for today. My question for you guys is if someone could play you in a movie of your life, who would you choose?

Hannah: Oh, I have no idea. Let me think about this.

Malena: Okay. I mean, I've always said–

Hannah: Can we choose a boy?

Malena: Yeah, of course! Of course.

Nate: Danny DeVito.

Malena: Danny DeVito!

Nate: Enough said.

Malena: No, I mean–

Hannah: Oh I know! What's her name? The one that's like older and plays in every single movie.

Malena: That’s kind of everyone!

Hannah: It’s a woman.

Malena: Keira Knightley?

Hannah: No, no, no, she's older than that.

Malena: Maggie Smith?

Hannah: I'll figure it out. Say yours.

Malena: Okay, Hannah's gonna quick look hers up. I've always said Hannah looks a lot like Keira Knightley. For what it's worth, even though you guys can't picture her beautiful face through the podcast.

Hannah: Oh, thank you! I’m blushing.

Malena: I know. I would have in the movie of my life, Tina Fey. I think she is exactly like me. She is, you know, a nerdy, really cool woman with dark features. She grew up in Evanston, too. She worked at the YMCA here. She’s just got a fantastic sense of humor, kind of clumsy and all over the place, but at the same time, very professional, and ultimately put together when it counts. So Tina Fey. My main woman.

Hannah: I found the person I was thinking of, and it was Meryl Streep.

Nate: I was going to say that! I was like there’s no way she actually means Meryl Streep.

Malena: She actually means Meryl Streep!

Hannah: No, but she would definitely play me when I was like, old or something. But like, Meryl Streep.

Malena: Like the Mamma Mia! woman, you know.

Hannah: Yeah, yeah.

Malena: People living on a Greek island. Because that's where you hope to be, is the Mamma Mia! lifestyle? I respect that. I respect that. Nate, what about you? He whips out Ryan Gosling.

Nate: Hey, you know, such as the way when you know, when you have someone with such a – you need someone that can really fill your role. No, I was actually honestly I was just looking up Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I feel like he has a very cool energy. And I don't know if I seem like him in that movie, but I feel like him a lot. Like I relate so heavily to his character in that movie. So it would be an honor to let him play me.

Malena: Yeah, he's kind of like nerdy and charming at the same time, I think.

Nate: Bingo.

Malena: I think that fits you quite well actually. And Meryl Streep is very – she has an elegance about her that – I've always said Hannah is the most elegant person I know. So I also understand why...

Hannah: Getting so many compliments!

Malena: No, but I've always I've always said that about Hannah, so I could see why that Meryl Streep character kind of fits around your personality. Anyways, that was all the questions I have for you guys today. Thank you so much to Nate for joining us. Thank you to Hannah for being my wonderful, amazing through the podcast co-host.

Hannah: Thank you Malena for hosting!

Malena: And this has been "Don't Tell Me Your Major" brought to you by North by Northwestern Audio. Have a good one guys. Bye!

[“Don’t Tell Me Your Major Theme” by Malena Ramnath]