Back to One

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

  • Back to One Podcast: Set it Up Star Zoey Deutch on “Process, not Outcome” and the Miracle of the Pizza Scene

    Not every ingénue is deserving of the attention Zoey Deutch is about to get. But this 23 year old already has the miraculous and mysterious skill of a veteran actor. Since her brilliantly nuanced performance in Flower, I have wanted to find out the secret to her magic. Her natural talent shines equally bright in heart-wrenching dramas such as Before I Fall and wild comedies like The Year of Spectacular Men. And now she has delivered a rom-com-pantheon-worthy performance opposite Glen Powell in the Netflix film Set It Up. We talk about “process and not outcome,” being “right for a…  Read more

    On Jun 26, 2018
    By on Jun 26, 2018Columns
  • Ten Episodes In, A Short Introduction to the Back to One Podcast

    Back to One is not a normal interview podcast. There is no greeting, no elaborate guest introduction, no banter, no small talk, no inane humor, no plugs, no closing. Just one actor every episode discussing their own approach to the craft, and one big (perhaps foolish) attempt at something pure. I love actors. As a filmmaker, I believe it is of the upmost importance to love them. But I am ashamed to admit that, at the same time, the filmmaker in me is kind of afraid of actors. Specifically, I am terrified that I am going to give an actor…  Read more

    On Jun 25, 2018
    By on Jun 25, 2018Columns
  • Back to One: Actor Glen Powell on Developing His Process and Starring in the Netflix Comedy, Set it Up

    Glen Powell gives me hope for the future of the movie industry. He crushed the role of legendary astronaut John Glenn in Hidden Figures and donned some ’80s duds in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some, but he really grabbed my attention in the brand new Netflix rom-com Set It Up, where, in my humble opinion, he has crafted a classic, for-all-time, romantic lead performance opposite the incomparable Zoey Deutch. We talk about his process in general and do a deep dive into his work in Set It Up in particular. And by the end, I come closer to understanding why…  Read more

    On Jun 19, 2018
    By on Jun 19, 2018Columns
  • Back to One: Back to the Future Actor and The Year of Spectacular Men Director Lea Thompson on How Actors Need to be “Director-Proof”

    Lea Thompson has a lot of wisdom to share. Her work as an actor spans three decades with hit films like the Back To The Future trilogy and Some Kind of Wonderful to successful television shows like Caroline in the City and Switched at Birth. She recently started a second chapter as a director. Her first feature film The Year of Spectacular Men (opening Friday June 15th) stars her daughters, Madelyn and Zoey Deutch, and was written by Madelyn. We talk about how this true family affair was stitched together with nothing but love, and how actors need to be…  Read more

    On Jun 12, 2018
    By on Jun 12, 2018Columns
  • Back to One: Margaret and Nancy Star J. Smith-Cameron on Stage, Screen and Her “Inner Actor”

    The brilliant J. Smith-Cameron blew us away in Margaret (written and directed by her husband, Kenneth Lonergan) and in the acclaimed series Rectify. Currently she’s starring in the new play Peace For Mary Frances (with Lois Smith), and the praiseworthy film Nancy (written and directed by Christina Choe and co-staring Andrea Riseborough and Steve Buscemi), which opens Friday June 8th. We talk extensively about her work in the latest two pieces and how her desire for rehearsal is sometimes satisfied in a roundabout way on a TV shoot. She also shares what she does right before she steps on the…  Read more

    On Jun 5, 2018
    By on Jun 5, 2018Actors
  • Back to One, Episode Seven: Blue Bloods and Candy Jar Star Sami Gayle on Getting to Know her Characters and Navigating an Early Career

    Sami Gayle has played Nicky Reagan on the hit CBS drama Blue Bloods for eight seasons, performed on Broadway a few times, acted opposite Adrien Brody in her first film, and she’s only 22. She now stars in Candy Jar, a fun and smart new Netflix film set in the world of high school debate, which was written by her brother Chad. We talk about the unique way the work deepens when you have played a character over a period of time, and why “quality over quantity” is the approach she’s taking with her career. This episode can be listened…  Read more

    On May 29, 2018
    By on May 29, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode Six: Lee Grant on Strasberg vs. Meisner, Being Directed by Mike Nichols and More

    I finished Lee Grant’s incredible autobiography I Said Yes To Everything right before sitting down with her and that was a huge mistake, only because it was frustrating to have such a limited time with the legendary actress after reading her extraordinary story. Consider this episode a tiny drop in the ocean of this astounding life. She was nominated for an Oscar for her first screen role in William Wyler’s Detective Story and then was blacklisted by HUAC for 12 long, painful years. She rebuilt her career with roles in Peyton Place, In The Heat Of The Night, and Shampoo…  Read more

    On May 22, 2018
    By on May 22, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode Five: Harry Lennix on Classic Foundations of Acting, His Own Production Company and More

    At the moment, Harry Lennix is perhaps best known for his portrayal of FBI agent Harold Cooper on NBC’s The Blacklist. The breadth and depth of his work on the stage and screen go well beyond that hit show, however, with film roles spanning from Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats and Julie Taymor’s Titus, to General Swanwick in both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, and on Broadway in August Wilson’s final play Radio Golf, and Cymbeline at The Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2014 Lennix created Exponent Media Group and began producing his own content, such as H4, a…  Read more

    On May 15, 2018
    By on May 15, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode Four: Sheila Vand Talks Knowing a Character, Dark and Light Roles, and Operating in Tandem with One’s Spiritual Journey

    In this hour, Sheila Vand gifts us with a glimpse into the inner life of an incredibly talented young actor who, role after role, is harnessing her art and reaching new heights. She first captured our attention in Ana Lily Amirpour’s noir vampire western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and in the small but pivotal role of Sahar, the Iranian housekeeper, in Argo. Co-starring stints on NBC’s State of Affairs and FOX’s 24 Legacy followed, and by the end of this episode she’ll make you anxious to see two of her upcoming projects, Jeremiah Zagar’s festival hit We…  Read more

    On May 8, 2018
    By on May 8, 2018Columns
  • Back to One, Episode Three: Joshua Leonard Talks Acting in Improvised Films, Acting in iPhone Films and Too Many Bad Guys

    Joshua Leonard first came onto the scene with the lo-fi sensation The Blair Witch Project, then went on to receive rave reviews for his performance in Lynn Shelton’s Independent Spirit Award-winning Humpday. His narrative feature debut as director, The Lie, premiered at Sundance in 2011 and he just wrapped production on his sophomore feature Behold My Heart which stars Marisa Tomei. Currently he co-stars in Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Unsane, which was famously shot on an iPhone. Leonard talks about how freeing that was and how he’s dismayed, now that he’s a dad, at all the bad guy parts he’s being…  Read more

    On May 1, 2018
    By on May 1, 2018Actors
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