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Virk’s “Cinephile” podcast takes fans to the movies

Adnan Virk (Jon McLeod/ESPN)
Adnan Virk (Jon McLeod/ESPN)

Adnan Virk is known for his versatility hosting and co-hosting a variety of shows at ESPN. However, Virk’s favorite pastime – as evidenced here – is watching movies. When he talks about a new film or his love for Martin Scorsese you soon realize he is not just a movie buff, he’s one of the most thoughtful and discerning motion picture critics in the nation. He is truly a cinephile.

Fittingly, Virk’s new biweekly ESPN podcast is dubbed “Cinephile: The Adnan Virk Movie Podcast.” On the show, Virk rates and reviews movies, discusses actors and actresses and interviews some of Hollywood’s most well-known names. (His regular segment, “Three Words,” is a fan favorite and gets a Front Row twist in the sidebar.)

Front Row sat down with Virk in the ESPN Radio studio where he records his podcasts to ask him a few questions about shifting gears from sports to cinema.

“Three Words” for some of Virk’s colleagues:

Mike Golic: Affable, Notre Dame and old school.
Ryen Russillo: Angry, brooding and thoughtful.
Tim Kurkjian: Likable, passionate and generous.

How do you connect what you do for Baseball Tonight to what you do for Cinephile?
Once I started talking about my love of movies on ESPN Radio that started to develop a bit of a following and then this past Oscar time it really started to take off. So I talked to Pete Gianesini, senior director, Digital Audio Content, who runs the podcasts here to see if it was a possibility.

You come in, you hit the mic and you just start talking and I thought that free-flowing vehicle was something I could be good at. Thankfully my friend Dan Stanczyk, one of the producers here, said he’d help out. It’s a labor of love for both of us.

How do you do your research for the podcast?
When I try to plan out my week I’ll plan Friday, Saturday and Sunday to try to see a new movie and then we’re taping “Cinephile” every two weeks. We also talk about older movies and we do actors in “Three Words,” so we have all different games and segments that are fun but it’s all centered around whatever new release came out.

Is there someone at ESPN who would be an ideal [Gene] Siskel to your [Roger] Ebert?
Matthew Berry is a big movie guy and was a Hollywood screenwriter so he knows the landscape much better than I. He would be a very good foil. Michelle Beadle’s a big movie fan and she’s worked in entertainment so she has a feel for that world. So those are the two that I think would be nicely adversarial.

Catch the latest Cinephile: The Adnan Virk Movie Podcast later this afternoon. Also, check out the overwhelming success of ESPN’s various podcasts.

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