Southern California is home to some of the world’s most incredible innovations and accomplishments. But who are the change agents responsible for it all? Each week, Giselle Fernandez will take a deep dive into the philosophies and motivations of these people, who are creating an impact throughout the community. LA Stories Unfiltered is the companion podcast to the weekly television series on Spectrum News 1 and gives you an even more in-depth look at the stories and lives of change makers in SoCal.
Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu on his most personal film yet
Known for award-winning movies such "Amores Perros,” "Babel,” "Birdman” and "The Revenant," five-time Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu opens up to host Giselle Fernandez about his latest film, "Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.” Iñárritu says he identifies closely with the story, which uses surrealism and humor to explore stories of his own life. Just as the main character grapples with his insecurities and identity, so too has Iñárritu, who once used his Oscar acceptance speech to shine a light on Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. Iñárritu plans to continue to use his voice, work and platform to continue to uplift immigrants.
Revisiting the untold story of Death Row Records
Michael Harris was once known as “the Godfather” in South Central Los Angeles. In the 1980s, he was arrested on attempted murder and drug trafficking charges, spending 33 years in prison. From behind bars, however, he helped build one of the most prolific music labels in the world. In 2021, then-President Donald Trump pardoned Harris in the last hours of his presidency, and once freed, “Harry-O” went right back to work. Host Giselle Fernandez revisits her conversation with Harris, who ultimately partnered with Snoop Dogg as COO of the all-new Death Row Records.
Revisiting millennial mastermind April McDaniel
As the founder of creative agency Crown + Conquer, April McDaniel works with brands, including Adidas and Spotify, to create experiences and events to promote their products and share their stories. Host Giselle Fernandez revisits her conversation with McDaniel, whose success did not come easily, but after being left a widow at just 33 years old, she was forced to raise her two young sons on her own. According to McDaniel, the experience inspired her to create her agency. Her perseverance has inspired her many A-lister friends, including Adele, who dedicated her album "30" to McDaniel.
Revisiting Derek Hough’s rise to fame, Vegas residency
Derek Hough has won the coveted mirror ball trophy on “Dancing with the Stars” more times than any other professional dancer on the show. Host Giselle Fernandez revisits her conversation with Hough, who opens up about the lessons he learned from the experiences — both on and off the dance floor. Recalling his childhood, Hough shares horrific stories of being bullied as a young boy, which he details in his book, "Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion.” Hough has expanded his career with his "No Limits" Las Vegas residency show in addition to returning for the latest season of “DWTS.”
From homeless to Amazon executive: David Ambroz shares his story
David Ambroz says he spent most of his time starving and freezing while growing up on the streets of Manhattan, surviving on old pizza crusts and sugar packets with few people offering him help or support. At 12 years old, after a moment where he says his mother almost beat him to death, Ambroz entered the foster care system. He finally found foster parents to give him the love and support he needed, and was able to break free from the struggles he faced. Today, Ambroz is considered a national poverty and child welfare expert, advocating on behalf of children in the foster care system and those experiencing homelessness.
Garcetti’s goodbye to Los Angeles
In one of his final interviews before stepping down as mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti opens up to host Giselle Fernandez and reflects on his time serving the city. During his tenure as mayor, Garcetti says he’s happy to know his administration is responsible for projects such as investing in infrastructure, bringing the Olympics to LA, cutting poverty and increasing the rate of job growth. Despite headlines reporting on all the work that is yet to be done in the city, Garcetti believes the good he brought the city is significant. He considers Mayor-elect Karen Bass a dear friend and is excited to see what she brings to LA in her new role.
Powerful stories from a wide variety of guests. Very entertaining and inspirational!
I really enjoyed the interview with Arturo Sandoval. So many great stories and Giselle did such a great job of conducting the interview. It's very relaxing and entertaining. I loved how Arturo told stories of his early life in Cuba. I can't wait to listen to more episodes.
Giselle is great at peeling away the wall and getting the real story!
Informative, relaxing, inspirational and easy to listen to.