As 2021 wraps, TIME looks back at some of this year’s most fascinating video interviews. This group of individuals is defining the moment, from climate activist Vanessa Nakate to actor Steve Buscemi. Below are seven top conversations from the past year.
Steve Buscemi: Everyone Said ‘Never Forget’ 9/11. Some have no choice
Steve Buscemi is an actor who was a former firefighter. He discusses how the impact of 9/11 on first responders has remained enduring 20 years later. Here is his essay on that burden.
Vanessa Nakate: ‘You Cannot Leave This Responsibility to Young People’
Vanessa Nakate is a young climate activist who speaks out on the inability of older generations for funding to aid poor countries adapt to a warming world. She calls for climate justice in Africa, from a passage taken from her book published by TIME.
Amanda Gorman: Poetry, Beauty, and Sudden Fame
Amanda Gorman’s eloquent poetry at President Joe Biden’s inauguration soothed millions of Americans still reeling just two weeks after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. She spoke with Michelle Obama, the former First Lady, about activism, art and other topics shortly after.
Justine Bateman’s Aging Face and Why She Doesn’t Think It Needs ‘Fixing’
Her new book is available here Face: 1 Square Foot of skinJustine Bateman, actor and director spoke with 47 women about their changing faces. Bateman speaks with Susanna Schlabsdorff about ageism, and how women feel about looking older.
Billie Eilish – Growing up in the spotlight
In this interview, Eilish—who was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2021—talks about the ups and downs of an adolescence in the public eye.
Cathy Park Hong on trying to “change this country’s consciousness”
The Korean-American poet—another one of TIME’s most influential people of 2021—discusses her book, The Asian American Reckoning: Minor FeelingsThis includes the study of America’s minorities and races.
Mike Fanone, Officer on January 6, 2009.
Officer Mike Fanone of the D.C. metropolitan police department was seriously injured in the Capitol riot—and is still grappling with what happened on that day, and in its aftermath. Molly Ball interviewed Fanone, who walks the viewers through footage from January 6.