Podcasting is currently a hot medium and “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” is one of the more popular programs on the internet. While the movie-TV star is the main attraction, her co-host and business partner Sim Sarna, who grew up in Manhasset, oversees the show.
“Anna trusts me to handle the business and creative side of things plus oversee our staff,” says Sarna, 40. “We prepare every single show together.”
On the show, Sarna and Faris interview celebrities, play games and take calls from those seeking relationship advice.
“Anna creates a welcoming atmosphere,” says Sarna. “She is a unique personality that has the ability to empathize and relate to just about everyone.”
After graduating from Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, Sarna headed out west, where he attended the University of Southern California to study film and wound up producing star-driven indie feature films “Winter Break,” “Lower Learning” and “Uncanny.”
“I wasn’t having fun doing it,” says Sarna. “The movies weren’t performing well. It became harder and harder to get them funded and get the bigger actors.”
The duo met through mutual friends and when Faris mentioned that she was interested in starting a podcast, Sarna went to work.
“I stayed up all night and wrote up a business plan, which she accepted,” says Sarna. “We launched November 2015 and that’s when the journey began.”
The podcast immediately took off and today garners more than 1 million downloads a week. In fact, their company Unqualified Media is starting to produce other podcasts expanding their brand.
“There’s no way I could have done any of this without Sim. He has all the skills that I lack,” says Faris, 41. “He saw my vision and took it to a place I could have never imagined.”
“Unqualified” draws big celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Jeremy Renner, Lisa Kudrow and Seth Rogen, who tend to open up for Faris and Sarna.
“We really want people to get to know our celebrity guests,” says Sarna. “You learn a lot about their personalities when they give relationship advice.”
In addition to the guests, listeners tune in to experience the unique chemistry between Sarna and Faris.
“We know each other really well. I like to think that’s a comfort to our listeners,” says Faris. “We truly get a kick out of each other.”