Nathan, Jack, and Ben have been attracting celebrities and “people with interesting jobs” for their podcast The Interview Dudes since its inception in June 2019. They’ve produced four seasons since then. What sets this podcast apart from others like it? Well, the Dudes in question are all finishing up Grade 6.
The boys originally started the podcast to interview their classmates. They wanted to learn about different career paths, so they decided to shift their focus to interviewing people with cool jobs.
“We created a podcast because we believe you don’t have to be over the age of 18 to do cool stuff,” says Jack.
For their first episode they interviewed James Charron, a voice actor, who is Jack’s dad and the producer of the podcast. In later episodes they interviewed Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson and, most notably, Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds.
The Interview Dudes use their Twitter page to attract guests, tweeting at people they would like to speak with. “The boys and I have learned that interviewing important people causes other important people to want to be interviewed by us,” says Charron.
They landed Ryan Reynolds as a guest after Jim Watson gave him a shout-out on Twitter to do the podcast. Reynolds surprised The Interview Dudes by deciding at the last minute to do the interview, giving the boys only a few hours to prepare.
“I was really nervous,” says Ben. “My heart was beating really fast when we started talking to him,” Nathan adds.
Other guests have included scientists, politicians, athletes, musicians, and people working in the film industry. The Interview Dudes often cannot contain their excitement to learn about their guests’ jobs.
“A lot of the people we talk to have jobs that I would also like to have. I get really excited when I talk to them.”
“I find that staying calm during an interview can be challenging,” says Jack. “A lot of the people we talk to have jobs that I would also like to have. I get really excited when I talk to them.”
Each of the dudes has his own strategy to cope with nerves while talking to people with high-profile jobs: Ben squeezes a stress ball, Jack often has his dog sit next to him, and Nathan takes deep breaths.
As the boys continue to record their podcast, they are learning that their guests are not so different from them, and that a lot of people are down-to-earth and share their enthusiasm for learning.
“The podcast has taught me that everyone is just a person,” says Nathan. “Sometimes I get nervous in the beginning of an episode, but everything becomes fine as we talk.”
COVID-19 has made doing the podcast trickier. Before the pandemic, the boys would all go to Jack’s house to record after school. But since the pandemic started, the boys have been doing the podcast remotely.
“It affected our communication with each other,” says Jack. “Before the pandemic started, I could just point at someone to let them know that it was their turn to talk. I can’t do that when we are all in our own houses.”
The pandemic has also affected the ability of guests to take part in the podcast. For example, the Dudes had to cancel an on-site interview with Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein because of COVID-19. But The Interview Dudes also say the pandemic has affected them positively as well, because without it they probably would not have landed Ryan Reynolds as a guest.
They don’t see their career as interviewers ending anytime soon. “When we get older, we want to do podcasts full-time,” says Jack.
Reggie Watts, bandleader for The Late Late Show with James Corden, is the next celebrity guest scheduled to appear on the podcast, on July 3. The boys are excited to ask him about his TED Talk where he makes and records sounds using his mouth. Other upcoming guests include a Sony animation storyboard artist, announcers for the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, and a scuba diver with the Royal Canadian Geography Society who specializes in cave diving.
The Interview Dudes podcast can be found on SoundCloud and most other podcasting apps.