Back to One

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

  • A middle-aged white man with dark wavy hair “The Fear Was Real”: John Christopher Jones on Returning to Set with Advanced Parkinson’s (Back to One, Episode 219)

    Esteemed veteran actor John Christopher Jones returns to the podcast (his first time was episode 13) to talk about conquering the “real fear” he had of going back to work, in a guest starring role on the television series New Amsterdam, while dealing with the unpredictable and often debilitating effects of worsening Parkinson’s. Then he takes us on a brief tour of the various directors that worked well for him over the years, and others that, sometimes hilariously, fell a little short, like José Quintero and his maddening direction in the 1985 production of The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards.…  Read more

    On Sep 6, 2022
    By on Sep 6, 2022 Columns
  • “The Only Important Thing is the Work”: Austin Pendleton on a Life on Stage (Back to One, Episode 218)

    Austin Pendleton might be best known for My Cousin Vinny, or What’s Up Doc? but the 82-year-old actor, director, playwright and teacher is a one-man theater institution. It almost seems like there isn’t a great play that he hasn’t performed or directed, somewhere, in his more than 60 years in the business, and he’s not slowing down in the slightest. In this epic, 90-minute episode, what Meryl Streep said of Pendleton will ring tru: “There’s no line between the man and his work.” He talks about his latest performance, in the celebrated new Tracy Letts play The Minutes, then takes…  Read more

    On Aug 30, 2022
    By on Aug 30, 2022 Columns
  • “Listening Became My Prime Directive” Back to One, Episode 217: Adrian Pasdar

    Adrian Pasdar has experienced a lot in his nearly 40 years as a working actor and in this episode he generously shares the wisdom he’s gleaned. Some of the highlights in his credits include Top Gun, Near Dark, Carlitos Way, Heroes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and perhaps the most talked about single-season series of the ’90s, Profit. Not to mention he’s the voice of Iron Man. He talks about how listening became his prime directive as an actor, his search for truth in performance (and the search for a better word than “truth”), “the method” as protective element, and why he…  Read more

    On Aug 23, 2022
    By on Aug 23, 2022 Actors
  • Evil Star Katja Herbers on Over-Directing: I Know How Not to Listen” (Back to One, Episode 216)

    Dutch actor Katja Herbers plays forensic psychologist Kristen Bouchard on the hit series Evil, which just finished its third season at Paramount+. On this episode, she talks about how saying no to the audition actually secured her the role, and hitting it off with “the Kings” (show runners Robert and Michelle King) helped her feel ownership of it. We get into the beautiful weeds about the pitfalls of over-directing and how she often simply ignores direction or translates it into something she can use. She explains why laboring over an emotional through-line is unnecessary, how working with the girls that…  Read more

    On Aug 16, 2022
    By on Aug 16, 2022 Columns
  • “I Did Not Play this Like it Was a Comedy”: Zoey Deutch on Not Okay (Back to One, Episode 215)

    Zoey Deutch returns to the podcast (Ep. 11, Ep. 97) to talk about her latest role in Quinn Shephard’s dark social satire Not Okay. She plays Danni Sanders, a lonely, semi-clueless photo editor who suddenly gets the attention she craves after lying about almost dying in a terrorist attack. Deutch talks about how she approached the challenge of making Danni relatable, the frustrations of shooting in New York City, why she didn’t play it as a comedy, spirit animals, “using” the paparazzi, the amazing Mia Issac, what she learned from Mark Rylance on The Outfit, and much more! Not Okay…  Read more

    On Aug 9, 2022
    By on Aug 9, 2022 Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 214: Himesh Patel

    Himesh Patel is nominated for an Emmy this year for his incredible performance as Jeevan in Patrick Somerville’s HBO Max mini-series Station Eleven. In this episode, he talks about how that role made him a better actor, which is saying a lot because he had already given us some phenomenal work in films like Tenet, Don’t Look Up, and his first feature film Yesterday. He talks about the attention and care given to him by the big-name directors of those films, and how that helped his work. I ask about his 10 years on the UK television institution EastEnders, and…  Read more

    On Aug 2, 2022
    By on Aug 2, 2022 Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 213: Angourie Rice

    She’s only 21, but Australian actor Angourie Rice has earned respect in Hollywood for stacking up diverse roles in The Nice Guys, The Beguiled, Jasper Jones, Mare of Easttown, not to mention a few Spider-Man movies. Now she has her first starring role in Honor Society for Paramount+. She talks about how it helped her to be able to relate so much to her character in that film, and why talking directly to the camera was oddly easy. We chat about her podcast, The Community Library, which is a celebration of literature and storytelling of all kinds. This leads to…  Read more

    On Jul 26, 2022
    By on Jul 26, 2022 Actors
  • Back to One, Episode 212: Ethan Hawke on The Last Movie Stars

    Ethan Hawke returns to the podcast (first time was episode 41) to talk about The Last Movie Stars, his epic six-part documentary that chronicles Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s iconic careers and decades-long partnership. Years ago, a friend of the couple interviewed Paul, Joanne, and many people close to them for a potential memoir, but Newman burned the tapes. Miraculously, the transcripts survive, so Hawke called on his acting friends to bring them to life. The result is both an intimate portrait of the lives and careers of this great duo and also a constant celebration of the endeavor of…  Read more

    On Jul 19, 2022
    By on Jul 19, 2022 Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 211: Jeanne Tripplehorn

    Fresh out of Juilliard, Jeanne Tripplehorn’s first screen role was Basic Instinct. That started a 30+ year run of films like The Firm, Waterworld, Sliding Doors, and series such as Criminal Minds, Big Love, and her latest, The Terminal List for Amazon. In this episode, she talks about her love for extensive research, the most important tools for an actor—confidence, relaxation, and focus; how the happenings off-screen affect what’s on the screen; and why, at this point in her career, she just wants to play. Plus we get the scoop on her preternatural ability to sing classic rock songs in…  Read more

    On Jul 12, 2022
    By on Jul 12, 2022 Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 210: Juliette Binoche

    Read just a sample of Juliette Binoche’s credits — Mauvais Sang, Three Colors: Blue, Damage, The English Patient, Chocolat, Certified Copy, Clouds of Sils Maria, Let The Sunshine In — and one thing becomes clear: few actors have been as internationally respected for such a sustained period of time. In this episode, she speaks about the importance of acting from the body and learning to use “sensation” as a starting point. She tells a story about feeling lost on the set of John Boorman’s In My Country, and what set her free should be a lesson to all directors. She…  Read more

    On Jul 5, 2022
    By on Jul 5, 2022 Columns
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