Mario Batali and Michael Stipe: BFF

Michael Stipe and Mario Batali are old friends, but nevertheless, it seems odd to have Mario Batali interviewing Michael Stipe for the Sundance Channel’s Iconoclasts. In what sounds like a live-action Interview magazine, the famous interview the other famous, presumably in their mansions or whatever, to talk about how “unique” they are. Salon gushes:

Sundance’s “Iconoclasts” is refreshing because it affords us a look at visionaries who are worth knowing regardless of whether they’re in the news at the moment. Instead of focusing on sensational aspects of their stories, the series intelligently explores exactly those inspired, unconventional aspects of their personalities and their work that make them such fascinating subjects. Upcoming shows feature actress Renée Zellweger interviewing Christine Amanpour, Robert Redford interviewing Paul Newman, and chef Mario Batali interviewing REM frontman Michael Stipe. You heard me right: Batali interviewing Stipe. Hats off to the weirdo who dreamt up this series!

The Robert Redford/Paul Newman pairing is sort of obvious, but promises to be pretty decent. Otherwise, I can imagine the conversations being along the lines of “Why is your music so brilliant, Michael Stipe?” “Well, Mario Batali, I can’t say for sure. I know that I reached a turning point creatively when I tasted your cooking for the first time. In fact, our album Monster is a direct result of me not being able to eat Mario Batali’s italian cooking, because that’s what I become- a monster.”