Back to One

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

  • 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
  • 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
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