Acting

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Back to One, Episode 78: Cassidy Freeman

The wise and talented Cassidy Freeman plays Amber, wife of Danny McBride’s character Jesse, on the hilarious new HBO comedy series The Righteous Gemstones. She talks about the wonderful troupe mentality on that show, what acting in 60+ episodes of Smallville did to build her craft early in her career, the importance of creativity for the actor, plus much more! Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. And if you’re enjoying what you are hearing, please subscribe and rate us! Photo credit: Catie Lafoon

Back to One, Episode 77: Josh Pais

One could easily call Josh Pais a scene-stealer, but that’s not accurate. He actually feeds the other actor in the scene, and they both grow. Check out Leaves of Grass with Edward Norton, Synecdoche New York with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, and his recent work on Ray Donovan, to name just a few of his dozens of credits. This fall he’s in Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn, and Joker with Joaquin Phoenix. In this episode he talks about finding the character in his body, counting on spontaneity, partying in the unknown, creating not recreating, and Committed Impulse, his high […]

Back to One, Episode 76: Carroll Baker

Carroll Baker’s work in Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll and Jack Garfein’s Something Wild is just as impressive and valuable as any performance delivered by her legendary Actors Studio contemporaries Marlon Brando and James Dean. So why isn’t she talked about in the same way? After the simultaneous sensation and scandal of Baby Doll (it was condemned by the Legion of Decency), Baker became a star, but she spent most of her career either avoiding sex-symbol roles or begrudgingly accepting them. Despite a handful of other great performances (Giant, Cheyenne Autumn, The Big County, Station Six-Sahara), conflicts with studios, producers, and […]

Back to One, Episode 74: Wyatt Russell

Despite growing up in a Hollywood family, Wyatt Russell didn’t seriously consider pursing acting until an injury ended his professional Hockey career. In a few years he’s managed to cultivate a subtle and distinct style in comedies (22 Jump Street), dramas (Overlord) and a unique and unclassifiable series that lies someone between (AMC’s Lodge 49). In this episode, he talks about embodying the lovable Dud in that series, embracing an enunciation lesson from Joe Wright, getting “caught watching” Michael Parks, plus much more! Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and […]

Back to One, Episode 72: Lee Pace

Lee Pace has one of those dream acting careers where he gets to be painted blue or dons elf ears to play Ronan (Guardians of the Galaxy) or Thranduil (The Hobbit films), sparking the imagination of countless fans around the world, and then he hits the Broadway stage and knocks ‘em dead as Joe Pitt in Angels in America. I ask him if he takes stock of that aspect of his career, and we talk about a curious note Barry Sonnenfeld gave him while making Pushing Daisies that he still uses to this day. Plus why he’s not bothered by […]

Back to One, Episode 68: Damon Herriman

It’s rare for one actor to be cast as the same real-life character in two different productions almost simultaneously. When that real life character is Charles Manson, that makes some news. Australian actor Damon Herriman has taken on this challenging role in both Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood and the second season of David Fincher’s Netflix series Mindhunter. Herriman is perhaps best know for playing Dewey Crowe in the series Justified and currently plays Paul Allen Brown in Perpetual Grace LTD. We talk about the character of Manson, how good writing makes for good acting, and why […]

Back to One, Episode 67: Kevin Corrigan

Kevin Corrigan will always have a special spot in the Back To One pantheon, not just because he was the very first guest, but because he set the stage for the discussions on the craft of acting that were to come—personal, steeped in the work, confessional at times, often inspirational, always educational. In this hour, he shares some more inspiring personal experiences from a life in acting, and also talks about the work of those who’ve inspired him, from his friend Natasha Lyonne and his current co-star Pete Davidson, to Marlon Brando, Glenda Jackson, Taylor Negron, the actor Bob Dylan, […]

Back to One, Episode 66: Jesse Eisenberg

While he might be best known for his Oscar-nominated performance as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg’s preternatural ability for making unique characterization choices has won him roles in wildly original films, both indie and studio, such as The End of the Tour, Adventureland, Holy Rollers, American Ultra, Zombieland, and two of my favorites, The Squid and the Whale and The Double. Now he continues that trend with Riley Stearns’ The Art of Self Defense. In this half hour he talks about the effort he put into finding the right tone to play the absurdity in that film, […]

Back to One, Episode 63: Jacki Weaver

Jacki Weaver’s “big break” story is unique because she was finally embraced by Hollywood at age 63, landing an Oscar nomination for her incredible performance in the Australian film Animal Kingdom, after being a staple in the Australian theater and film world for 30 years. She went on to great roles in such films as Widows, The Disaster Artist, and Magic in The Moonlight, plus the acclaimed new version of Uncle Vanya on the stage with Cate Blanchett, not to mention her second Oscar nomination for Silver Linings Playbook. And this year she stars opposite Diane Keaton in the cheer-elder […]

Back to One, Episode 62: Michael Kelly

Through six seasons on House of Cards and multiple Emmy nominations, Michael Kelly has brilliantly embodied the character of Doug Stamper, navigating him through the highs and lows of loyalty, devotion, and dark-heartedness, culminating with a new layer of antagonism in the final season. It was a tour de force performance. In this episode he sits down to talk about the nuts and bolts of his craft, his meticulous and elaborate script breakdown process, how David Fincher knocked him off his game, and why he will never stop worrying about the next job no matter what awaits him post-Stamper. Back […]

Back to One, Episode 60: Lindsay Burdge

Lindsay Burdge is one of the bravest and best actors working in indie film this decade. Her breakout role in Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher brought her raves for her intense performance of destructive obsession. Bold choices continued in movies like Nathan Silver’s Thirst Street, Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation, and Joe Swanberg’s Netflix show Easy. Now she’s taken on the role of Mandy, in the long-awaited second season of Caveh Zahedi’s acclaimed The Show About The Show, after the real Mandy (Zahedi’s wife) left the show mid-production. She talks about the unique experience of working with Zahedi under these conditions, how […]