Back to One

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

  • Back to One, Episode 182: Léa Seydoux

    Léa Seydoux was a talented young French actor when she reached planet-wide stardom with her incredible performance in Blue Is The Warmest Color (she even shared the Palme d’Or at Cannes, which had never been awarded to actors before). Since then she has invaded Hollywood, starring in James Bond movies and Wes Anderson films, but also continuing to turn in exceptional performances for international directors like Yorgos Lanthimos, Arnaud Desplechin, Ildikó Enyedi, and, for her latest film, France, Bruno Dumont. In this episode, she talks about the “sweet craziness” of working with Dumont, the importance of learning the “language” of…  Read more

    On Dec 10, 2021
    By on Dec 10, 2021Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 181: Scott Speedman

    Looking back at Scott Speedman’s work in the early days of Felicity is a bit surprising. His acting had a wonderfully nuanced authenticity even then. Two decades later, that natural artistry has grown into a charismatic intensity and assuredness. It’s on display this year in the third season of You, the eighteenth season of Grey’s Anatomy, and the charming indie film Best Sellers. When we spoke he had just wrapped films with David Cronenberg and Lena Dunham. He talks about working with those two very different directors, the secret to good onscreen chemistry, how fatherhood might deepen his work, and…  Read more

    On Dec 7, 2021
    By on Dec 7, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 180: Rebecca Wisocky

    Rebecca Wisocky plays Hetty Woodstone, the deceased Lady of the Manner, on the new CBS series Ghosts, where she’s a stand-out among stand-outs in its impressive comedy ensemble. In this episode, she talks about the absolute pleasure of working on that set and the interesting ways in which the large cast, who more often than not act together in the same shot, find the “music of the scene” together. She has pretty much mastered the art of the guest star role, and has played more than her share of villains. I get her to breakdown her latest in a recent…  Read more

    On Nov 30, 2021
    By on Nov 30, 2021Columns
  • Back to One Episode 179: Alex Hassell

    Shakespeare on the stage is his first love, but Alex Hassell loves the camera and it loves him back. Currently he plays Vicious in Cowboy Bebop, the live-action remake of the popular Japanese anime series. On this episode, he talks about being attracted to roles that are difficult, how years of stripped-down live theater work at The Factory formed him as an actor, why he’s more at ease when he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, his valuable contribution to Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, and how the particular challenges of acting on film excite him. Plus much…  Read more

    On Nov 23, 2021
    By on Nov 23, 2021Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 178: Jon Bernthal

    From The Walking Dead and Punisher to The Wolf of Wall Street, Small Engine Repair, The Many Saints of Newark, and this month’s King Richard, Jon Bernthal has established himself as the hard-working, all-in, go-to, actor’s-actor of the moment. In this episode, he talks about some of the elements he uses—generosity, energy management, isolation, fear-as-fuel, group strength—to do his work, the one thing all great directors have in common, why he’d be just as grateful doing regional theater, plus much more! Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. And…  Read more

    On Nov 16, 2021
    By on Nov 16, 2021Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 177: Ruth Negga

    Ruth Negga loves words. And even someone who doesn’t particularly love words falls in love with the ones spoken by Ruth Negga. It’s not just her Irish accent. She uses words like a master craftsman uses tools. A profound humbleness. No pretension. Just the right tool, used at the right time, to make you understand, to make you believe. Obviously this goes for her acting work too. But, in true master-craftsman-style, there’s no sign of craft. You just believe. Loving got her an Academy Award nomination, her Hamlet got raves on both sides of the pond, and now Passing, Rebecca…  Read more

    On Nov 9, 2021
    By on Nov 9, 2021Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 176: Jason Isaacs

    After 30 years in the business, with credits ranging from Angels in America to the Harry Potter films and everything in between, Jason Isaacs has cultivated an approach to the craft of acting aimed at bringing himself fully into the moment. As he talks about in this episode, that approach involves not memorizing his lines, erasing all descriptors in the script, making no decisions before seeing what the other actors bring. “I try to do nothing. I try to be an empty vessel.” In Fran Kranz’s Mass—a real-time, one-room, four-hander where every actor shines—Isaacs plays a father of a child…  Read more

    On Nov 2, 2021
    By on Nov 2, 2021Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 175: Bertie Carvel

    He already had an Olivier Award for his amazing performance as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda when Bertie Carvel made his Broadway debut in that unforgettable role. He went on to win a Tony the next time he stepped on the New York stage, playing a young Rupert Murdoch in Ink. Notable recent television credits include the BBC series Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Doctor Foster, and in November he stars in Dalgliesh on Acorn TV. In this hour, I get him to reflect objectively about his process and philosophically about acting in general. He talks about why collaboration (or even…  Read more

    On Oct 26, 2021
    By on Oct 26, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 174: Vicky Krieps

    Phantom Thread solidified Vicky Krieps as an acting force to be reckoned with. Her incredible performance in that film felt new, like a beginning of sorts. Her latest is Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island. She talks about figuring out ways to turn the difficulties of that production into opportunities to create something magical. Plus she gives us a glimpse inside her process-less process, made up of deconstruction, openness, acceptance, listening, embracing chaos, exploding the method, living with failure, holding space for the unknown, and letting intuition lead the way. Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including…  Read more

    On Oct 19, 2021
    By on Oct 19, 2021Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 173: Noomi Rapace

    Noomi Rapace returns to the podcast (first time: Ep. 43) to talk about her new film, the atmospheric, slow-burn thriller Lamb. Set in Iceland, which Noomi knows well from her childhood, the film’s landscapes feel almost like supporting characters. She talks about using the emotions they brought up in her, and the delicate way she entered grief into the performance. After I share my embarrassing animal parenting story, Noomi matches it, and illustrates why it was not hard at all to make her motherly love for the lamb baby believable. She schools us on the importance of not sticking to…  Read more

    On Oct 12, 2021
    By on Oct 12, 2021Columns
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