Back to One

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

  • Back to One, Episode 38: The Party’s Just Beginning‘s Director and Star Karen Gillan

    Starting with her big break on Dr. Who, and continuing with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers series, Karen Gillan has grown accustomed to fervent fandom surrounding her acting work. With The Party’s Just Beginning, (which she wrote, directed, and stars in) she stepped away from that hubbub to make a small, dark, intricately structured film in her hometown in Scotland. The movie folds out from her character through hallucinations, flashbacks and alcoholic hazes to tell the tale of her grief over her best friend’s suicide. I ask her what it was like directing a feature for the first…  Read more

    On Dec 18, 2018
    By on Dec 18, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 37: Disobedience Actor Alessandro Nivola

    We’re catching Alessandro Nivola at a very interesting moment in his career. A day before our talk, he was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards for his incredible performance in Disobedience, and a few days before that it was announced that he will star in David Chase’s Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark. He talks about the benefits of having time to prepare for the role of Rabbi Dovid Kuperman and facing the challenge of delivering that important climatic speech. And how, for him, inhabiting a character often starts with the voice. Plus he confesses…  Read more

    On Dec 11, 2018
    By on Dec 11, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 36: The Long Dumb Road‘s Jason Mantzoukas

    Jason Manzoukos has made a living “bringing the funny” in tv shows like The League, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, and movies such as The House, and The Dictator. Now he stars in Hannah Fidell’s The Long Dumb Road with Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel). In this half hour, I send him down a rabbit hole on the evolution of comedy, he tells a great story about getting the hard truth from a casting director early in his career, and talks about when to “pitch an alt.” Plus I forbid all comedic podcast banter and he…  Read more

    On Dec 6, 2018
    By on Dec 6, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 35: James Ransone

    James Ransone doesn’t like to talk about himself. He also doesn’t like to talk about acting. This might have been a disastrous interview except that his expressed frustration at having to speak about these things actually spawned an interesting and raw conversation about acting. I first noticed Ransone in the role of Ziggy in Season 2 of The Wire. He went on to star in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill, and in movies like Sinister, Tangerine and Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake. This year he played an astronaut in Hulu’s The First and he’s now shooting IT Chapter 2. His direct,…  Read more

    On Dec 4, 2018
    By on Dec 4, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 34: Escape at Dannemora Co-Star Eric Lange

    You recognize Eric Lange. He’s been a working actor for 20+ years, with extensive theater work and a long list of television and film credits (Narcos, Lost, Weeds, The Bridge, to name a few recent ones). For Escape at Dannemora (directed by Ben Stiller), he gained 40 pounds to play Lyle, husband of Patricia Arquette’s character, in the Showtime limited series based on the real-life prison break. He tells a wonderful, “outside-in” tale of finding a way into Lyle through some magic teeth, and waxes about the “getting paid to wait” life of acting for the camera. Back To One…  Read more

    On Nov 29, 2018
    By on Nov 29, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 33: Jinn and Luke Cage Co-Star Simone Missick

    Simone Missick is best known for playing Misty Knight in the Netflix/Marvel series Luke Cage (as well in The Defenders and Iron Fist). She tells a great story of getting that part, and her game plan for auditioning in general, and also talks about knowing when to offer script changes, even for Marvel material! Then we talk about her important new film Jinn, about a teenager torn between her burgeoning sexuality and her mother’s newfound Muslim faith. Jinn is now available on VOD and Digital. Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including iTunes, Google Play,…  Read more

    On Nov 27, 2018
    By on Nov 27, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 32: Melissa Leo

    Melissa Leo has acquired a lot of acting wisdom. On this episode, she graciously shares some. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her incredible performance in Frozen River, and won one for playing Alice Ward in The Fighter. Recent notable performances can be found in Francine, The Most Hated Woman In America, and her latest, Unlovable, where she plays opposite Charlene deGuzman, who co-wrote the script based on her real-life experiences in a program for sex and love addiction. Leo talks lovingly about that production, and about how she sometimes gleans more substantial info from a dolly grip…  Read more

    On Nov 22, 2018
    By on Nov 22, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 31: At Eternity’s Gate Actor Willem Dafoe

    With over 100 films in his legendary career filled with versatile, bold, and iconic performances, Willem Dafoe is one of the most respected actors of our time. His artistic curiosity in exploring the human condition leads him to projects all over the world, giant Hollywood movies as well as small independent films. In this episode he talks about inhabiting Vincent van Gogh through the act of painting for his latest film, At Eternity’s Gate, and how being part of a strong director’s vision is actually freeing. Plus I try to get him to talk a bit about the nuts and…  Read more

    On Nov 20, 2018
    By on Nov 20, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 30: The Miseducation of Cameron Post‘s Chloë Grace Moretz

    From her breakthrough in Kick-Ass through great roles in Let Me In, Hugo, and Carrie, Chloë Grace Moretz has become one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood. In this half hour, she talks about her recent decision to take time to “reassess who I am and find myself within my roles again,” which led to her brilliant performance in The Miseducation of Cameron Post, this year’s winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance (now streaming on demand). She also talks about avoiding what she calls “emotional cavities,” and how she craves to be taken off guard in her…  Read more

    On Nov 13, 2018
    By on Nov 13, 2018Actors
  • 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
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