Sophia Bush on the Joy of Working in Your Pajamas

Sophia Bush

The actor and activist explores why we’re all “works in progress” on her new podcast

Here’s a secret about humans: Even if someone seems like they’re on top of the world, in truth, we’re all just works in progress. Sophia Bush explores this concept in her new podcast… aptly titled, Work In Progress with Sophia Bush. The One Tree Hill actor, and passionate advocate for women and girls, features interviews with a variety of people (ahem, including yours truly!) to discover what they’re still working on — professionally and personally. Check out our episode of the podcast (premiering Tuesday, October 15), and read for more.

Katie Couric: Sophia, you’ve had a successful career in acting and you’ve done important work as an activist. Now, you’ve entered the pod game. What inspired you to take the leap?

Sophia Bush: I have been so fortunate to exist in such interesting communities — activists, creatives, political leaders, writers, musicians and more — and I realized that so many of the most fascinating conversations that I’m privy to would make for a great podcast. Being able to take the conversations that I get to have with audiences online into a deeper and longer-form space felt so natural to me. And exciting! That natural expression of my love of journalism and deep talks feels like the next right step.

On the podcast, I get to run the gamut of topics. It’s so much fun. It’s a space to have creative, personal, professional and sometimes political conversations with people I admire. And we get to dive into passion, motivation and drive. I have the opportunity to ask each of these incredible folks what they still feel like they’re working on, and what, to them, still feels like a work in progress.

Sophia Bush’s new podcast, “Work In Progress”

So, what have you really enjoyed about this format?

I love that it provides an open runway to deep curiosity. Being able to dive into the marrow of things with guests has been such an inspiring experience. I feel so fulfilled, and simultaneously so curious every day. It’s given me a container for my natural curiosity and obsession with how things work, from creative practice to political activism to the big systems we all participate in. The format is a gift.

Many of us have seen your work in front of the camera, but you’ve also been behind the camera as well, in terms of directing and producing. How are you drawing on these experiences with your podcast?

No matter what content vertical I’m working in, I’m a storyteller. And as an actor, my job is to figure out what makes people tick. That’s my favorite part, really. I’ve always been the actor who likes to attend production meetings and episode scouts, to really understand what makes the set and the crew tick. That’s informed so much of my work as a producer, which applies here very seamlessly. In this vertical, I get to figure out what makes people tick in such an in-depth and fun way, and do that in my pajamas if I feel like it. That’s real freedom for a storyteller!

What can listeners look forward to with the podcast? Any favorite interviews so far? (No pressure…)

Other than ours!? Really, our conversation was so much fun. Thank you for being so vulnerable and thoughtful. I’m also over the moon about my episode with Gloria Steinem. Karamo Brown was a highlight, as was Chelsea Handler. I had one of my longest conversations so far with Evan McMullin, who is a dear friend and happens to be the former foreign policy director for the GOP. People may not expect us to be pals, or to find points on which we agree about the future of American democracy, but we really do. I think it’ll be a very eye-opening conversation for my audience. I also sat down with Lisa Ling, and our conversation just lit up my brain! She’s another journalist that I admire so very much. Everyone has been incredible so far!

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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