Back to One

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

  • Back to One, Episode 139: Tom Noonan

    As the annual Sundance Film Festival begins again this week, legendary actor/director Tom Noonan takes us back 27 years to a very different Sundance, where his film What Happened Was… won the Grand Jury Prize. It’s the ultimate “actor’s film,” just two people, Noonan and the incredible Karen Sillas, in one room, real time, on a first date like no other. He talks about the circumstances that led him to Sillas, the extensive rehearsal process they had, the production, and the ups and downs of its ultimately triumphant reception. Plus Noonan tells the story of the first big lesson that…  Read more

    On Jan 27, 2021
    By on Jan 27, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 138: Nicole Beharie

    Some actors go through a transformation to the point where the word “performance” feels inadequate. “Embodiment” is more apt. Nicole Beharie transforms into Turquoise Jones in Channing Godfrey People’s film Miss Juneteenth. It’s a wonder to behold. On this episode, she talks about the immersive preparation work that went into her Gotham Award-winning performance, how the opportunity to take her time and “own the space” affected her work in a deep way, and the substitutions necessary to create the motherly bond so central to the film. Plus we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of unanswered questions in a performance, and…  Read more

    On Jan 19, 2021
    By on Jan 19, 2021Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 137: Nat Wolff

    The only thing that makes this a “Special Holiday Episode” of Back To One is a brief mention of Hanukkah, but the talented Nat Wolff brings plenty of joy to make up for it. He talks about playing Lloyd Henreid in the new version of The Stand on CBS All Access, and one scene in particular that worried him until an 11th hour “cloak of inspiration” fell upon him in the form of a song. I ask about his directorial debut, a short called Youngest that just might be the film that has affected me the most of all the…  Read more

    On Dec 22, 2020
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  • Back to One, Episode 136: Justine Lupe

    Willa on Succession, Astrid on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jade on Younger, Holly on Mr. Mercedes, all characters brought to life by the great actor Justine Lupe, with all their quirks and nuances rooted in a reality that makes them seem to go on living outside the frame. On this episode, she takes us back to her time at Juilliard where she enjoyed the bootcamp-like training that suited her all-in approach to the work. She talks about growing to appreciate all kinds of directors, the importance of bonding with the camera operator, and shares her incomprehensible, hieroglyphic-like script marking technique…  Read more

    On Dec 15, 2020
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  • Back to One, Episode 135: Tuppence Middleton

    English actor Tuppence Middleton is on a steady, slow rise and that seems to suit her just fine. On this side of the pond she’s perhaps best known for playing Riley Blue on the Netflix sci-fi series Sense8 and Lucy Smith in the Downton Abbey movie, but you’d be foolish not to seek out her work in Trap For Cinderella and War and Peace. Now she’s part of the impressive ensemble in David Fincher’s latest film Mank. She plays “Poor Sara” Mankiewicz, wife of the alcoholic co-writer of Citizen Kane, played by Gary Oldman. I ask her about working with…  Read more

    On Dec 8, 2020
    By on Dec 8, 2020Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 134: Aubrey Plaza

    From Parks And Recreation to Legion, from indie film queen to The Happiest Season, Aubrey Plaza is not done surprising us. Everybody’s favorite late-night talk-show guest and hilarious awards-show host rarely gets to show off the serious roots of her acting chops. Enter Black Bear. The Sundance hit from Lawrence Michael Levine stars Plaza as a former actress on a writing retreat opposite Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon. Further description is not only pointless, it can be detrimental to your enjoyment of the film. Let’s just say it’s worth your time, in large part because of the emotional territory Plaza…  Read more

    On Dec 1, 2020
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  • Back to One, Episode 133: Kevin Corrigan

    It’s become a tradition to have actor’s actor Kevin Corrigan on the show every year. This is his third visit (his first two episodes are #1 an #67). Sitting down with the wise sage of indie film always ends up being both a reset and recharge. He has a way of speaking about this art that helps bring us back to the root of what it’s all about: connection, empathy, being alive. In this hour, he tells us about a life-changing event that happened right after wrapping work on the Showtime series Ray Donovan, and how the effects reverberate throughout…  Read more

    On Nov 24, 2020
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  • Back to One, Episode 132: Ruth Wilson

    With mesmerizing performances in such series as Luther, Mrs. Wilson, and The Affair, Ruth Wilson has established herself as one of our great actors. Her latest is the deliciously sinister Marisa Coulter on the hit fantasy series His Dark Materials. In this episode she explains the fascinating way she’s been able to build the multi-dimensional aspects of that character, and the challenge of hitting the proper balance when playing such a larger-than-life villain. She talks about the meditative aspect to her process, the invigorating power she gets from the theater, and how the energy of the audience affects her performance…  Read more

    On Nov 10, 2020
    By on Nov 10, 2020Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 131: Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù

    English actor Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù has two major releases happening in the States this month, the intense and compelling Gangs of London on AMC+ and the profound and unsettling horror film His House on Netflix. Taken together, they offer an apt representation of the impressive range of this great actor. We talk about his approach to the physicality required for the instantly famous epic fight scenes in Gangs of London, and what on-set elements helped his process. He takes us back to his time at the Royal Shakespeare Company and how being seeped in that material affects his approach to other…  Read more

    On Oct 27, 2020
    By on Oct 27, 2020Columns
  • Back to One, Episode 130: Matthew Del Negro

    You know Matthew Del Negro from Scandal, Goliath, The West Wing, or as Cousin Brian on season four of The Sopranos, or maybe, like me, you were wowed by his comedic tour de force as Jason Allen Ross in Netflix’s Huge In France. He’s currently filming his second season as Detective Chris Caysen on Showtime’s City on a Hill. He also hosts a great podcast called “10,000 NOs” where he has deep conversations with people who’ve overcome rejection on the way to success in their field. He’s just written a book of the same name which draws on his own…  Read more

    On Oct 20, 2020
    By on Oct 20, 2020Columns
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