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Back to One, Episode 86: Emily Beecham

Emily Beecham won the best actress award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for her brilliantly nuanced and tightly focused performance in Jessica Hausner’s art house science fiction film Little Joe. Recently she played The Widow in the AMC series Into The Badlands, starred in Daphne, and had a memorable supporting role in Hail Caesar. In this episode she talks about the importance of connection, avoiding “attractive acting,” Mike Leigh, the strenuousness of intense physical performance, her Little Joe hair, and much more! Back To One can be found wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and […]

Black Friday Sale — One-Year Print Subscriptions, 40% Off

For our U.S. readers partaking in the shopping ritual known as Black Friday, Filmmaker is this weekend discounting our one-year print subscriptions 40%. One year — four issues — of Filmmaker is now only $10. And by subscribing you’ll also immediately receive our fully searchable and downloadable library of digital editions going back to 2007. In two weeks you’ll receive the our Winter, 2020 digital edition, and then your print subscription will begin with the Spring, 2020 issue. Filmmaker‘s print edition is a stylish, compelling read with a look and feel unlike any film magazine. Plus, our print issue includes […]

Back to One, Episode 85: Stephanie Kurtzuba

Stephanie Kurtzuba plays Irene, wife of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), in The Irishman. It’s her second film with Martin Scorsese. She played stockbroker Kimmie Belzer in The Wolf of Wall Street. She talks about working with the legendary filmmaker and what sets him apart as an actor’s director. She also explains her process of extracting preconceptions made in the audition, and she gushes about her first love–the rehearsal room, but tells us why, despite her heart being on the stage, she wouldn’t give up working for the camera if she could. Plus much more! Back To One can be […]

Back to One, Episode 84: Tracy Letts

Tracy Letts has parallel successful careers as an actor and a playwright. He won a Tony Award for his performance in the Steppenwolf revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and a Pulitzer Prize for his play August: Osage County. His screen credits include Lady Bird, The Lovers, and the new movie Ford v Ferrari, in which he plays Henry Ford II. In this episode, he talks about “pretending with authority,” making friends with the camera, the “responsibility” of the leading role, and how he’s preparing to do something he’s never done–act in a play he wrote (The Minutes) on Broadway. Plus […]

Back to One, Episode 83: Devika Bhise

The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is the first Hollywood action film to have a female Indian lead. Devika Bhise not only stars in the film (opening Friday November 15th), she co-wrote it with her mother, Swati Bhise, who also directed it. In this episode, she talks about performing under stressful time restraints, how not having “the leisure to lose it” actually helped her play such a powerful leader, and the physical work required (including some “illegal” horseplay!), plus how her intense training in classical Indian dance helps her prepare for every role, and much more! Back To One can be […]

“This Little Live Show I was Doing on the Board”: DP Larry Sher on Joker

The Gotham City of Joker is a mere fraction of a degree removed from the New York City of 1981, a time and place Larry Sher knows well. The Hangover and Godzilla: King of the Monsters cinematographer grew up in nearby Teaneck, New Jersey and would sneak into the city on the bus as a teenager in the early 1980s. Sher channeled those experiences—as well as the seminal New York films of the era—to evoke the alienating urban nightmare of Gotham.  “My approach for Joker was to feed a little bit off of what the city looked like in my […]

Back to One, Episode 82: Dorian Missick

I’ve wanted to sit down with Dorian Missick for some time. The seasoned actor has six dozen credits in television shows like Southland, Luke Cage, Tell Me A Story, and movies spanning from Two Weeks Notice to this year’s Brian Banks. In this hour, he passes on pearls of wisdom acquired from his many years in the business, like his new radical approach to auditions, why he aims for 100 reads of a script before first day of production, how he and his actor wife Simone Missick support each other’s journeys, and the importance of a “team sport” mentality, plus […]

Back to One, Episode 81: Alex Wolff

He’s only 21, but going by the depth of his work and the eloquent way he talks about it, Alex Wolff feels like a seasoned veteran. “I’ve basically been on camera since the sonogram,” he says, joking about his childhood in The Naked Brothers Band with his brother, Nat, on Nickelodeon. Since then he’s knocked out a handful of impressive performances in films like Patriots Day, My Friend Dahmer, and Hereditary. Now he’s written, directed and stars in a labor of love called The Cat and The Moon. He talks about treating his actors like kings and queens on that […]

“A Scare is an Algorithm”: DP Checco Varese on It Chapter Two

Read a few Checco Varese interviews and you’ll quickly discover that the Peruvian cinematographer likes to talk about his job through similes and metaphors. He’ll compare cinematographers to chefs who shop at the same store and cook with the same ingredients, yet create distinct dishes. He’ll say that partnering with a director is like partnering in a marriage (sometimes for Varese that’s literally true–his wife Patricia Riggen is a director and frequent collaborator). He’ll tell you that a good scare is like an algorithm or that crafting a suspense sequence is akin to nurturing a plant. For It Chapter Two, […]

Back to One, Episode 79: Tim Heidecker

I didn’t know if Tim Heidecker was going to show up for this interview, or if I was going to get his boorish, abusive, dim alter ego, Tim Heidecker. Luckily Tim Heidecker leaves Tim Heidecker in the On Cinema universe. That project he started with Gregg Turkington is comprised of an ongoing series called On Cinema at the Cinema, various spin-off series including The Trial of Tim Heidecker, special episodes, segments, tweets, songs, and now the feature film Mister America. In this half hour, I ask Heidecker to lift the hood on his performance style and the evolution of his […]

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

“The Sadder We Made It Look, the Funnier It Became”: Gaffer Daniel April Lights The Death of Dick Long

I first saw The Death Of Dick Long at a press screening at Technicolor Postworks. It is the second feature film from one of Swiss Army Man’s co-directors, Daniel Scheinert, whose kooky debut portends the mercurial sensibilities of Dick Long, a cotton state comedy of errors with a hushed twist. The film’s gaffer, Daniel April, the sought after lightsmith of New York indie film, still hadn’t seen the film, so I invited him to attend A24’s special screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn, featuring free wine and popcorn, the common bribes. April had just gotten off the set […]

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 […]

“If a Director Feels the Need to Move the Camera Simply to ‘Make It Interesting,’ It’s Likely an Indicator the Scene Itself Isn’t That Interesting”: DP Erik Messerschmidt on Mindhunter, Season Two

When David Fincher transitioned from music videos to feature films in the 1990s, the descriptors “glossy,” “slick” and “stylized” were frequently affixed to his work. Those adjectives were often aimed as pejoratives, categorizing Fincher as a technical virtuoso who created shiny but hollow thrillers. Watching the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter—executive produced and partially directed by Fincher—the evolution of the filmmaker’s aesthetic is striking. As FBI profilers Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) interview America’s most notorious serial killers, the camera rarely moves. Instead, it unobtrusively observes.  What hasn’t changed over the years is Fincher’s unwavering exactitude, […]

Back to One, Episode 75: Kaitlyn Dever

Kaitlyn Dever’s sophisticated comedic instincts were on full display throughout her teens in the sitcom Last Man Standing. This year she took it to another level, starring with Beanie Feldstein in the hit comedy sensation Booksmart. And now we get to marvel at another side of her incredible acting talent in the powerful new Netflix limited series Unbelievable. In this episode, she talks about how she dealt with the emotional weight of the material in that series, and one compelling monologue in particular where restraint was a key ingredient. Plus she explains how being a “moldy person” helps her work, […]

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 73: Michaela Watkins

A Groundlings and Saturday Night Live alum who has evolved beyond her improvisational prowess, Michaela Watkins continues to surprise us. The Unicorn, Search Party, Transparent and Casual are some of her television highlights. And I loved her in movies like Afternoon Delight, Person to Person, and the important and inspirational Brittany Runs A Marathon. We talk about the vital role she plays in that film, and what, if anything, has changed in regards to meaty roles for woman. Plus she talks about being Jill Soloway’s muse, and the importance of embodying a whole person. Back To One can be found […]