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Back To One
31 minutes | 6 days ago
Some actors go through a transformation to the point where the word “performance” feels inadequate. “Embodiment” is more apt. Nicole Beharie transforms into Turquoise Jones in Channing Godfrey People’s film “Miss Juneteenth.” It’s a wonder to behold. On this episode, she talks about the immersive preparation work that went into her Gotham Award-winning performance, how the opportunity to take her time and “own the space” affected her work in a deep way, and the substitutions necessary to create the motherly bond so central to the film. Plus we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of unanswered questions in a performance, and how simply loving people and life actually helps the work. Follow Back To One on Instagram
38 minutes | a month ago
The only thing that makes this a “Special Holiday Episode” of Back To One is a brief mention of Hanukkah, but the talented Nat Wolff brings plenty of joy to make up for it. He talks about playing Lloyd Henreid in the new version of "The Stand" on CBS All Access, and one scene in particular that worried him until an 11th hour “cloak of inspiration” fell upon him in the form of a song. I ask about his directorial debut, a short called "Youngest" that just might be the film that has affected me the most of all the films I’ve viewed during the pandemic. He shares why auditioning isn’t getting easier, his journey from insecure cockiness to actual confidence, how he keeps his head in this maddening business, plus much more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
53 minutes | a month ago
Willa on “Succession,” Astrid on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Jade on “Younger,” Holly on “Mr. Mercedes,” all characters brought to life by the great actor Justine Lupe, with all their quirks and nuances rooted in a reality that makes them seem to go on living outside the frame. On this episode, she takes us back to her time at Juilliard where she enjoyed the bootcamp-like training that suited her all-in approach to the work. She talks about growing to appreciate all kinds of directors, the importance of bonding with the camera operator, and shares her incomprehensible, hieroglyphic-like script marking technique that just might be the secret to her awesomeness. Plus much more!
35 minutes | 2 months ago
English actor Tuppence Middleton is on a steady, slow rise and that seems to suit her just fine. On this side of the pond she’s perhaps best known for playing Riley Blue on the Netflix Sci-fi series “Sense8” and Lucy Smith in the “Downton Abbey” movie, but you’d be foolish not to seek out her work in “Trap For Cinderella” and "War and Peace.” Now she’s part of the impressive ensemble in David Fincher’s latest film “Mank.” She plays “Poor Sara” Mankiewicz, wife of the alcoholic co-writer of Citizen Kane, played by Gary Oldman. I ask her about working with Fincher, whom actors (many of whom have been on this show) seem to adore, despite not necessarily having the traditional “actor’s director” traits. We also talk about an under-appreciated film she starred in last year called “Disappearance at Clifton Hill,” and what to say (or not to say) to an actor when they access their pain for the betterment for the film. Plus much more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
55 minutes | 2 months ago
It’s become a tradition to have actor’s actor Kevin Corrigan on the show every year. This is his third visit (his first two episodes are #1 an #67). Sitting down with the wise sage of indie film always ends up being both a reset and recharge. He has a way of speaking about this art that helps bring us back to the root of what it’s all about: connection, empathy, being alive. In this hour, he tells us about a life-changing event that happened right after wrapping work on the Showtime series “Ray Donovan,” and how the effects reverberate throughout his dealing with the pandemic. We talk about a scene in “The Godfather Part II,” and try to wrap our arms around the brilliant work of the young actor Jack Dylan Grazer, star of “We Are Who We Are.” I ask him about working on “The Exorcist III” thirty years ago, and Onur Tukel’s latest film this past Summer. As always, there are Brando quotes, plus much, MUCH more.
37 minutes | 3 months ago
With mesmerizing performances in such series as “Luther,” “Mrs. Wilson,” and “The Affair,” Ruth Wilson has established herself as one of our great actors. Her latest is the deliciously sinister Marisa Coulter on the hit fantasy series “His Dark Materials.” In this episode she explains the fascinating way she’s been able to build the multi-dimensional aspects of that character, and the challenge of hitting the proper balance when playing such a larger than life villain. She talks about the meditative aspect to her process, the invigorating power she gets from the theater, and how the energy of the audience affects her performance on the stage. Plus lots more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
39 minutes | 3 months ago
English actor Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù has two major releases happening in the States this month, the intense and compelling “Gangs of London” on AMC+, and the profound and unsettling horror film “His House” on Netflix. Taken together, they offer an apt representation of the impressive range of this great actor. We talk about his approach to the physicality required for the instantly famous epic fight scenes in “Gangs of London,” and what on-set elements helped his process. He takes us back to his time at the Royal Shakespeare Company and how being seeped in that material affects his approach to other work. Plus he details two big auditions in his past, one filled with self-inflicted disappointment, the other—revelation. Follow Back To One on Instagram
66 minutes | 3 months ago
Matthew Del Negro
You know Matthew Del Negro from “Scandal,” “Goliath,” “The West Wing,” or as Cousin Brian on season four of “The Sopranos,” or maybe, like me, you were wowed by his comedic tour de force as Jason Allen Ross in Netflix’s “Huge In France.” He’s currently filming his second season as Detective Chris Caysen on Showtime’s “City on a Hill.” He also hosts a great podcast called “10,000 NOs” where he has deep conversations with people who’ve overcome rejection on the way to success in their field. He’s just written a book of the same name which draws on his own story of survival as an actor, and it’s a gold-filled “must read.” In this hour he talks about his journey as a working actor, the benefit and drawback of having an athlete’s mindset when approaching the work, how a low point in his recent past led directly to an enrichment of his performance, the importance of connecting the role to your own story, and lots more! Find more info about "10,000 NOs: How to Overcome Rejection On The Way To Your Yes" here Follow Back To One on Instagram
31 minutes | 3 months ago
Dylan Gelula brings a captivating authenticity to her characters that makes them seem like they go on living outside the frame. Look at her work in “Flower," “Support The Girls,” and “First Girl I Loved,” to name a few. Her latest performance as Maggie in the SXSW winner “Shithouse" is a revelation. It snuck up on me and left me moved and in awe. On this episode she talks about her instinctual, untrained approach to this craft that she claims she hasn’t fully wrapped her arms around yet. I ask her about some specific moments from “Shithouse,” and about working with first time director and co-star Cooper Raiff. She professes her love of Mike Leigh, and tells us something good that’s come from quarantine time. Plus lots more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
43 minutes | 4 months ago
Cooper Raiff is the writer, director, producer, editor and star of one of my favorite films of the year, “Shithouse,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival this year. The 23 year old has filmmaking instincts and a sophisticated perception of people, and himself, that belies his years. In this episode, he tells a miraculous story of getting Jay Duplass to watch his short film, and how he became instrumental in getting "Shithouse" made. He talks extensively about his time at the Dallas Young Actors Studio and how that foundational work instilled him with the tools he needs to tell his story on both sides of the camera. Plus why it was important for him to inject a specific kind of love, comfort, and caring into the film, the brilliance of his co-star Dylan Gelula, why he’s not afraid of losing his voice in the film business, and lots more. ("Shithouse" opens Friday October 16th) Follow Back To One on Instagram
30 minutes | 4 months ago
Some actors steal scenes, Harry Melling’s scenes steal movies. The limb-less thespian in “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” the sinister Zuckerberg-like villain in “The Old Guard,” and now the “spider preacher” Roy Laferty in “The Devil All The Time,” are just some of the characters he’s brought to life, who all feel like they continue to exist beyond their short time on screen. In this episode he talks about his early acting education performing in the Harry Potter films, the importance of “forgetting it all” in order to be in the moment, getting the “invitation” to “play,” and not getting down in Covid time, plus much more!
42 minutes | 4 months ago
Carrie Coon has quietly built a reputation as an acting powerhouse though a collection of phenomenal performances in television shows like “The Leftovers,” “Fargo,” and “The Sinner,” and movies such as “Gone Girl,” “The Post,” and her latest, “The Nest.” In this episode, she talks about the paramount importance of breath work, using “touchstones” for emotional connection, her first experience on the New York stage in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” the quarantine film education she’s getting with her husband, Tracy Letts, and much more!
42 minutes | 5 months ago
Katherine Waterston is one of our most brilliant and committed actors. She brings superstar power to indies like “Queen of Earth” and “State Like Sleep,” and a captivating authenticity to franchises like “Fantastic Beasts” and “Alien.” It was “Inherent Vice” that first brought her to my attention. In this episode, she talks about why she was “a pig in shit” making that film, why having lots and lots of time to live with a script is ideal for her, becoming "comfortable being uncomfortable," the “best feeling I can experience without breaking the law,” and her exciting new multi-part project “The Third Day,” starting September 14th on HBO. Plus much more! Follow Back To One on Instagram (Photo by Tung Walsh)
40 minutes | 5 months ago
When one has the opportunity to listen to an actor with the amount of experience as Rosalind Chao has, one must seize it. From the legendary final episode of “M.A.S.H” to “Black-ish,” from "The Joy Luck Club” to Disney’s eagerly anticipated live action “Mulan,” Chao has seen it all! On this episode, the once “professional guest star” opens up about how she’s happier when working and happiest on a happy set. She talks about why it’s important to get to the fitting early in her process, adding years to her age to get her first job, learning from Peggy Feury, appreciating Robin Williams, gaining something from every character, and much more!
34 minutes | 5 months ago
Ramy Youssef won the Golden Globe for lead actor in a comedy series for his work in "Ramy," the Hulu series he co-created. The second season came out in May, and the struggles of being a devout young Muslim man in America that fueled the first season, deepen, grow and expand out to peripheral characters in the second, highlighted by the addition of Mahershala Ali as Ramy’s wise and loving sheikh. Youssef directed more episodes this season (he’s nominated for an Emmy for directing as well as acting). We talk about that and the overall collaborative effort at work behind the scenes, the origins of the Ramy character, and about how the fear connected to what’s being depicted helps him play that stripped-down version of himself. Plus he shares some surprising reactions to the show from Egyptian Muslims to American Christians, and much more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
36 minutes | 5 months ago
Irish actor Niamh Algar has been making her mark in the UK of late portraying women dealing with their intense pasts, like Dinah in Shane Meadows’ “The Virtues” and Ursula in “Calm With Horses” (which just opened in the states as “The Shadow of Violence”). The intensity continues with her latest project, “Raised By Wolves," Ridley Scott’s sci-fi series for HBO MAX (which drops on September 3th). In this episode, she talks about following her gut, why she asks questions early, adapting to the director, the importance of not taking yourself too seriously, and much more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
35 minutes | 5 months ago
Kevin Alejandro is finishing his fifth season playing Detective Dan Espinoza on Netflix’s “Lucifer.” He’s also graced your small screen in such series as “The Returned,” “Southland,” and “True Blood.” In 2017 he graduated from the Warner Brothers television director’s workshop and directed an episode of "Lucifer.” Since then he started his own production company and has turned into a multi-hyphenate, churning out award winning shorts, including the absolutely hilarious “Adult Night.” He’s back in the director’s chair on “Lucifer’s” fifth season (part 1), which drops August 21st on Netflix. On this episode, he talks about how the need to create between jobs perpetuated that desire to direct, how learning how your body works opens up avenues in your mind, and he tells a great story about selling all his possessions as a young man to put on a production of “True West” to fundraise his transition to Los Angeles to begin his career, plus much more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
36 minutes | 6 months ago
The brilliant young British actor Paapa Essiedu speaks about the work with wisdom that belies his years. He plays Kwame on Michaela Coel’s groundbreaking new HBO series “I May Destroy You.” In 2016, his “Hamlet” at the Royal Shakespeare Company received great acclaim. In this episode he compares those two characters, who are each facing defining moments in their lives, and talks about the “conscious unconsciousness” necessary to embody them. He discusses the various ways curiosity is useful, and why it’s so important to immerse yourself in the world of the story. Plus lots more! Follow Back To One on Instagram
34 minutes | 6 months ago
Part of Stacy Martin’s performance, in her wonderful new film “Archive,” involves essentially playing robots at various stages of development. She talks about the challenge that posed for her as an actor, and how director Gavin Rothery’s complete command of his vision helped her process. She takes me back to her days at the Actors’ Temple in London, and how an intensive workshop there changed her life and prepared her for the remarkable experience of her first film, Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac.” She shares an important bit of direction that Lars gave her that blows my mind. We swap stories about Anne Wiazemsky and Anna Karina, and an appreciation for Carroll Baker, plus (*warning*) we spoil the hell out of “Archive,” so please check it out on VOD.
23 minutes | 6 months ago
Mireille Enos made a splash on Broadway in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” then her big break in television came with “The Killing,” where she played Sarah Linden to much acclaim for four seasons. “World War Z” opposite Brad Pitt followed, and now the second season of the action-drama hit series “Hanna” premiered on Amazon this month. Enos talks about how exceptional writing helps multi-season work, learning about story-craft from Tom Stoppard, the importance of being open to intuition, and how empathy helps you build yourself as an actor. Plus much more!
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