Back to One

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

  • Photo: Stephanie Diana We the Animals Star Raúl Castillo on Embodying Toxic Masculinity, His Theater Roots and Owning Your Space as an Actor

    His portrayal of “Richie” on the HBO series Looking brought Raúl Castillo some serious recognition and started moving him into bigger and better parts. One such role is “Pops” in the astonishing queer coming-of-age film We The Animals (in theaters now) directed by Jeremiah Zagar from the Justin Torres best-seller. Castillo talks in depth about his process of bringing this complex character to life, and the importance of owning your space as an actor. Plus we do a deep-dive into the straight man’s approach to same-sex on-camera kissing. Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including…  Read more

    On Aug 21, 2018
    By on Aug 21, 2018Actors
  • Back to One Podcast: John Gallagher, Jr. on the Importance of The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Sorkin, and the Success of Simply Surviving a Role

    His performances in Spring Awakening and American Idiot are probably what John Gallagher Jr. is most known for at the moment (he won a Tony for the former), and are often what get him labeled a “musical theater guy,” but they were the only musicals he’s done in his 20-year career. I ask him about two recent play productions (Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Jerusalem) that I suspect were very formative for him, and his latest screen role in the important and moving indie The Miseducation of Cameron Post. And, of course, I couldn’t let him go without talking…  Read more

    On Aug 14, 2018
    By on Aug 14, 2018Columns
  • Back to One Podcast: BlacKkKlansman Actor Topher Grace Talks Playing Evil People, Working with Great Directors, and the Epidemic of the Hollywood Earpiece

    Seven seasons on the sitcom That ’70s Show led Topher Grace to roles in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, In Good Company, a not entirely successful turn as “Venom” in Spider Man 3, and lighter projects like Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and Valentine’s Day. He then decided to change the trajectory of his career. He told his agents he wanted to work exclusively with great film artists in environments that inspired him. Worthy projects like Interstellar, Truth and War Machine followed. And this year, Grace’s next chapter continues with David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake and the challenging role…  Read more

    On Aug 7, 2018
    By on Aug 7, 2018Actors
  • Back to One Podcast: Ann Dowd Talks Keeping it Simple, Staying Positive and her “Love Affair” with Aunt Lydia

    The “stay positive and keep it simple” approach Ann Dowd has toward her work is truly inspiring. A go-to character actor extraordinaire for 30 years, she has now received wide acclaim (and an Emmy) for her portrayal of the terrifyingly devout Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale. And her pitch perfect performance in Craig Zobel’s Compliance is, in my opinion, a tour de force for the ages. In this half hour, she talks about the nuts and bolts of playing these roles and generously lets us peek “under the hood” at the inner workings of her craft. Inspiration is guaranteed.…  Read more

    On Jul 31, 2018
    By on Jul 31, 2018Actors
  • Back to One Podcast: Grace Rex on Making Comedic Choices, the “Bizarre” Endeavor of Auditioning, and Keeping Her Bunny Alive

    Grace Rex has been a series regular on the British sitcom High and Dry, a recurring guest star on The Good Wife, and had roles in Master of None, Mindhunter and Boardwalk Empire, among many other TV shows and films. For me, her finespun and hilarious work in Ingrid Jungermann’s Women Who Kill solidified her place among the uniquely talented comedic actors to watch. We talk about one special moment in that film, the “bizarre” endeavor of auditioning, and NOT getting into a co-dependent relationship with acting. Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including iTunes,…  Read more

    On Jul 24, 2018
    By on Jul 24, 2018Columns
  • Back to One Podcast: Actor Theodore Bouloukos Talks “Sleuthing” Out a Character, Diving Into Roles and Childhood Fascinations

    We really get to know the brilliant actor Theodore Bouloukos in this hour. He lets us peek in on him as a child fascinated, perhaps to a peculiar degree, with design, typography, and channel logos. And then what led him to performance art with Brock Enright and others, and the “self training” of student film parts that led to feature roles and works exhibited and staged the world over. We learn the components that now make him a unique talent in the New York film world. I am thrilled and privileged that we get to take a journey inside the…  Read more

    On Jul 20, 2018
    By on Jul 20, 2018Columns
  • Back to One: Stage Veteran John Christopher Jones Talks Fighting for the Part, Loving the Text, and not Letting Parkinson’s Have the Last Word

    John Christopher Jones is a veteran “actor’s actor” with many Broadway shows including Simon Gray’s Otherwise Engaged (directed by Harold Pinter), Hurlyburly (directed by Mike Nichols), The Iceman Cometh (with Jason Robards), and Shaw’s Heartbreak House. He is the subject of a documentary film, The Endgame Project, which follows him in his tenth year with Parkinson’s as he rehearses and performs Beckett’s masterpiece. A “text-lover” through and through, he continues to translate the major plays of Chekov (he received a Lortel Award for his version of The Cherry Orchard) and work on his memoir. I’ve often heard the word “craftsman”…  Read more

    On Jul 10, 2018
    By on Jul 10, 2018Actors
  • Back to One Podcast: Keith Poulson on Developing as an Actor in the NY Indie Film Scene.

    There is, perhaps, no actor at the moment more synonymous with New York indie filmmaking than Keith Poulson. His uncanny comedic sensibilities first caught my attention in Bob Byington’s Somebody Up There Likes Me. He’s since honed his mastery of the low-key “throwaway” in dozens of low budget gems and appeared in nearly everything made recently by the prolific Brooklyn filmmakers Alex Ross Perry and Nathan Silver. He got to stretch his wings a bit in Zach Clark’s Little Sister, where he played a severely disfigured Iraq War veteran. We talk about the incestuous world of independent film acting in…  Read more

    On Jul 3, 2018
    By on Jul 3, 2018Columns
  • 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
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