Back to One

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

  • Back to One, Episode 29: Leave No Trace Actor Ben Foster

    With riveting performances in films such as Hell or High Water, The Messenger and 3:10 to Yuma, Ben Foster established himself as an intensely serious actor who goes all-in for a role. With this year’s Leave No Trace, Foster takes that same intensity and brilliantly turns it inward, portraying a laconic veteran who suffers from PTSD and survives in the woods of Oregon with his teenage daughter, played by Thomasin McKenzie. Foster talks about working with McKensie to establish the connection they needed, why he took performance enhancing drugs to play Lance Armstrong, and the “emotional erectile disfunction” of over-directing.…  Read more

    On Nov 6, 2018
    By on Nov 6, 2018Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 28: Eighth Grade‘s Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham

    Elsie Fisher was not just some 13-year-old Bo Burnham plucked from Middle America to star in his debut feature Eighth Grade. She has been a working child actor in Hollywood since infancy. She did, however, just finish eighth grade in public school when filming began, and she managed to create a performance so vulnerable and true that the seams of the acting craft are invisible. In this half-hour, I attempt to get Fisher and Burnham to open up about the origins of this movie and how this young lady carried it so successfully that it just might be the performance…  Read more

    On Oct 30, 2018
    By on Oct 30, 2018Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 27: Thunder Road‘s Jim Cummings

    Jim Cummings’ performance in the Sundance winning, one-shot short film Thunder Road was the talk of the indie film world in 2016. Then he turned it into a feature, and it won the Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival. Now Cummings has decided to turn down less than thrilling distribution offers and make the risky decision to distribute Thunder Road himself. It was the right move. The film has not even hit American screens yet and it has already made its money back and more. He talks to me about “performing” the script into existence, mastering the long…  Read more

    On Oct 23, 2018
    By on Oct 23, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 26: Private Life Breakthrough Kayli Carter

    It’s difficult, right now, to find the words “Kayli Carter” without the word “breakthrough” nearby. The adjective refers to her brilliant performance in Tamara Jenkins’ Private Life, in which Carter unflappably shines next to her more seasoned co-stars Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti. She talks about the chemistry she had with those three, and about her formative experience with Mark Rylance in the play Nice Fish (including a 60-minute audition!), plus how she’s perfectly fine with passing on parts that do not depict young women as fully formed characters. Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts,…  Read more

    On Oct 17, 2018
    By on Oct 17, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 25: Private Life‘s Kathryn Hahn

    Kathryn Hahn has joked about her plethora of “best friend or randy crazy lady” roles in comedies like How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, Anchorman and Step Brothers. But recent projects by Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight and I Love Dick) and Tamara Jenkins (the new Netflix film Private Life) have cast Hahn in the lead role, and suddenly we have an exciting leading lady who’s much more than a scene-stealer extraordinaire. She lets us in on a fascinating process she has for getting into the “I” of the character, talks about the road that lead to Private Life…  Read more

    On Oct 9, 2018
    By on Oct 9, 2018Columns
  • Back to One Podcast, Episode 24: Nicolette Robinson

    When Nicolette Robinson made her Broadway debut in September, taking over the lead role of Jenna in Waitress, she was not just fond of Sara Bareilles’ hit musical, she had been listening to the cast album cathartically as she went through emotional ups and downs in her own life. This might be part of why I found her “Jenna” so connected to the material, so alive. We talk about what led up to that Broadway debut night, stepping through the complex engulfing that is Hamilton (her husband Leslie Odom Jr. won a Tony for the musical), and what her inner…  Read more

    On Oct 2, 2018
    By on Oct 2, 2018Columns
  • Back to One Podcast: Taran Killam

    The hilarious Taran Killam lets us peek under the hood of his comedic craft in this half hour. He stars in the new ABC series Single Parents (premiering September 26th) and the comedy Night School (opening September 28th) opposite Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. He’s probably best known for his six years on Saturday Night Live. We talk about how that “bootcamp” prepared him for almost anything. But his talent goes beyond comedy. He writes, directs (check out his film Killing Gunther on demand), and sings (he was King George III in Hamilton). Plus he finally answers a question I…  Read more

    On Sep 25, 2018
    By on Sep 25, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 22: Linus Roache

    Linus Roache has played upstanding characters on Law and Order and Homeland but he had to plumb the depths and reach the epicenter of narcissism to play Jeremiah Sand in Mandy, and it’s a frightening joy to behold. He talks about the draining yet rewarding time bringing this character to life and the guidance and trust he had from director Panos Cosmatos. Plus he answers a listener question about the faith life of his character, King Ecbert, in the TV series Vikings. Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. And…  Read more

    On Sep 18, 2018
    By on Sep 18, 2018Columns
  • Back to One Podcast: Ashlie Atkinson Talks Using the “Substitution Tool” to Play Evil and Treating Auditions as Work Sessions

    Ashlie Atkinson is getting kudos for playing Connie Kendrickson, the motherly yet evil KKK wife, in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. We talk about the unique prep work that went into inhabiting her and the tools she used to stay present inside such a sick character. We also chat about her approach to comedy, particularly in the Ingrid Jungermann web series F to 7th, and working with Craig Zobel in both Compliance (a favorite of mine, as may listeners know) and now the brand new CBS All Access show One Dollar. Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts,…  Read more

    On Sep 4, 2018
    By on Sep 4, 2018Columns
  • John Cho Talks About the Challenges of Acting in Searching, the Importance of Eye Contact, and Shooting from the Hip

    John Cho is perhaps best known for playing Sulu in the Star Trek reboots and Harold in the Harold and Kumar films. His new movie Searching takes place entirely on computer screens. Cho’s performance is one of the reasons why it is a successful piece of true cinema and not a novelty. We discuss the unique challenges of performing alone in some scenes and trusting director Aneesh Chaganty to navigate him through the space. We also talk about one of my favorite recent indie films, Columbus, and the connection he felt with co-star Haley Lu Richardson that truly powers the…  Read more

    On Aug 28, 2018
    By on Aug 28, 2018Actors
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