Back to One

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

  • Back to One, Episode 166: Jurnee Smollett

    When it comes to her characters, Emmy nominee Jurnee Smollett is guided by truth. In this episode, the Lovecraft Country star talks about how painting in the tiny details helps her know how to live in a character, and why she doesn’t need to know what her character doesn’t know. She talks about why actors shouldn’t be afraid to speak up when they are not getting what they need, and why she needs to express herself through acting for her very survival. Plus we go off on a pretty cool Al Pacino tangent, and much more! Back To One can…  Read more

    On Aug 24, 2021
    By on Aug 24, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 165: Daveed Diggs

    Actor, rapper, writer, producer: Daveed Diggs loves wearing many hats, often at the same time. Hamilton made him a star. He won a Tony for it. Now he’s nominated for an Emmy for his incredible work in the filmed version of the musical. In this episode, he talks about his need to find the character somewhere in his body, and why attending editing sessions for his new show Blindspotting on breaks from acting in the television series Snowpiercer was the opposite of overwhelming. He paints us a picture of his creative life in the lead-up to the life-changing experience of…  Read more

    On Aug 17, 2021
    By on Aug 17, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 164: Matthew Rhys

    After six seasons, Matthew Rhys won an Emmy for his stellar work on The Americans. Spielberg’s The Post, and A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood (opposite Tom Hanks) followed, and now he’s nominated for another Emmy for his incredible work in Perry Mason on HBO. In this half hour, he compares the experience of building (and “wrestling”) his two major television characters into life. He talks about the humiliating way he learned the acting lesson that listening is just as important as speaking. He shares a few tools he uses when he can’t get in the groove, explains why he’s…  Read more

    On Aug 10, 2021
    By on Aug 10, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 163: Jess Weixler

    Teeth, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Chained For Life, The Good Wife, are just a few of the great Jess Weixler’s credits. Ten years ago she co-stared in The Lie with Joshua Leonard. They played a couple with a baby and one big problem. He directed. Most of the dialogue came out of improvisation. Now they’ve done it again with Fully Realized Humans. They again play a couple. This time the baby is in utero and the laughs are bigger, the situations more absurd yet also more thought-provoking. Weixler is credited as co-writer. In this episode she details the improv…  Read more

    On Aug 3, 2021
    By on Aug 3, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 162: Phillipa Soo

    Phillipa Soo’s first time on Broadway was in the unprecedented phenomenon that is Hamilton. She was nominated for a Tony for her portrayal of Eliza, and now she’s nominated for an Emmy for her incredible work in the filmed version. In this episode, she talks about how she managed to not let the superlatives overwhelm her into paralysis during that run, and the surprising way deeper, more playable meanings began to grow out of the text. She details a few specific ways the tools she was given at Juilliard came in handy, particularly in her first New York stage production,…  Read more

    On Jul 27, 2021
    By on Jul 27, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 161: Jon Huertas

    Jon Huertas is the first actor on the podcast to talk extensively about the “BMS Technique” for preparation. He plays Miguel on This Is Us. His past credits include Castle, Generation Kill, and the new film Initiation. He tells an amazing story about botching an audition so badly that he felt a formal apology was necessary (of course he landed the role). He talks about the importance of making different choices with every take, his mission, on the other side of the camera, to create content about Latinx people that completely avoids stereotypes, and much more! Back To One can…  Read more

    On Jul 6, 2021
    By on Jul 6, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 160: Frank Mosley

    For the past decade, Frank Mosley has been independent cinema’s go-to actor. Upstream Color, Thunder Road, Some Beasts, Chained For Life, Freeland, The Ghost Who Walks are just a few examples of films that benefit from the authenticity, deep-rooted intensity, and “all-in” approach he brings to every performance. His talents extend to the other side of the camera as well. His uncompromising, visionary shorts and features have played around the world, from Slamdance to the Champs-Elysées. In this hour, he informs, inspires, and reflects on this wonderful and insane creative endeavor that he can’t stay away from without getting withdrawal…  Read more

    On Jun 29, 2021
    By on Jun 29, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 159: William Zabka

    It makes sense that Cobra Kai star William Zabka often uses phrases common to musicians, like “find the rhythm” and “in the pocket,” to help describe his acting process. Not only is he a musician himself, but music plays a fascinating part in his process. The phenomenal surprise success of Cobra Kai is due in no small part to the depth and intensity Zabka brings to the role of Johnny, which obviously has deep roots in his career. On this episode he talks about those roots, breaking down the text until it “falls into his belly,” the “rivers” that run…  Read more

    On Jun 22, 2021
    By on Jun 22, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 158: Ben Rosenfield

    Ben Rosenfield has only been at it for 10 years, but he already has an interesting body of work behind him—Boardwalk Empire, 6 Years, Greetings From Tim Buckley (in which he played Buckley), the third season of Twin Peaks, and last year’s Mrs. America, to name just a few. Not to mention the New York stage productions where he performed opposite Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan. Maybe this is why the 28 year old speaks with the wisdom of an acting elder. He talks about the “turning of the soil” that has to happen with the text before he builds…  Read more

    On Jun 15, 2021
    By on Jun 15, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 157: Susan Kelechi Watson

    We’re catching the super talented Susan Kelechi Watson at an interesting moment. She plays Beth Pearson on the network television phenomenon This Is Us, which just finished its fifth season and announced that the sixth will be its last. On this episode, she talks about what makes a performance “leave the screen,” learning the power of minimalism from watching Sade, how sometimes being a little lost “in the wilderness” is an important part of her process, why she started building her post-This Is Us career many seasons ago, and much much more! Back To One can be found wherever you…  Read more

    On Jun 8, 2021
    By on Jun 8, 2021Columns
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