A set of five New York Times Magazines fanned out across a white table.
Photo: Andrew Zuckerman

David Marchese’s New York Times Magazine Talk Column Should Be Required Reading

By Aileen Kwun
April 4, 2020
1 minute read

“The truth of the interaction is the thing that you're trying to get across,” journalist David Marchese, columnist of The New York Times Magazine’s Talk column, says of the craft of interviewing. Known for his deft, often revealing longform interviews with well-known cultural figures and celebrities of all kinds, from Whoopi Goldberg to Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Marchese maintains a running log of some 500 folks, in his own estimation, that he’d like to one day add to that list. It’s a humbling detail to learn from the guy who, in his previous work with New York magazine, famously captured an 85-year-old Quincy Jones calling Harvey Weinstein “a jive motherfucker,” elsewhere referring to Trump as “limited mentally—a megalomaniac, narcissistic” while also confirming, on the record, that he once dated Ivanka. Regardless of his subject, Marchese, who deserves plenty of praise, has an immense and studied cultural knowledge that comes across with a casual ease in each conversation, even as he pushes to ask difficult questions. His masterful portrayals of public personalities and brilliant minds in their most intimate, no-filter moments can make you feel like a fly on the wall—a quality that we especially appreciate in our current days of couch-bound social distancing.