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Back to One

A podcast about acting -- just the work. by Peter Rinaldi

“What I Long For in My Work is Self Revelation”: Chris Messina (Back To One, Episode 260)

Chris Messina is that rare character actor leading man who is the go-to supporting actor in seemingly everything. From The Mindy Project and Newsroom, to She Dies Tomorrow and I Care A Lot, he handles ultra-serious roles (like in Blame, which I loved) or uproarious ones (such as in this year’s hit Air) with what seems like effortlessness, and now he’s starring in the new series Based on a True Story with Kaley Cuoco. In this hour, he generously takes us on an extended tour of his process. He talks about learning to “experience” rather than “act,” why the thought of preparing a role “for 14 years” excites him, and the elements that make up Air which elevated his work past simply being four phone calls. He tells wonderful stories about his time at the Actors Studio in New York, getting a helpful note from Amy Adams that has profoundly affected his work, why a recent viewing of Raging Bull got him emotional, and leaves us with much more inspiration and wisdom than we had before.

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