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Off Camera is a website, magazine, television show, and podcast. Off Camera is hosted by photographer/director Sam Jones, who created the show out of his passion for the long form conversational interview, and as a way to share his conversations with a myriad of artists, actors, musicians, directors, skateboarders, photographers, and writers that pique his interest. Because the best conversations happen Off Camera.

Episodes

68. Luke Wilson  

Luke Wilson is not an actor who works hard to grab your attention. Maybe his natural screen presence is why he plays "average guy" roles so much better than the average guy. But it's his less mainstream work that reveals him to be a truly nuanced actor who absolutely loves what he does. Wilson's Dallas childhood, populated with cultural figures like Jim Lehrer, writer John Graves, Richard Avedon, and his own parents, was certainly far from average. That tight, idyllic Tenenbaum-esque world included brothers Andrew and Owen and close friend Wes Anderson (Woody Harrelson, FYI-your admission request is pending). Herein, Wilson shares Sisyphean tales of making films like Bottle Rocket and Satellite Beach and his transition to playing more dramatic roles. Famously laid back, he admits there are times when winging it doesn't pay off-like when you're in an elevator with Gene Hackman and a falcon. Unlike his filmic cohort Dignan, Wilson never had a grand plan for his career; but when you're making art for the purest possible reasons, you don't really need one.

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67. Thomas Middleditch  

We really wanted in, just to see what goes on in there. The quick, pinging pinball machine that is Thomas Middleditch's brain seems a veritable bouncy house of voices, characters and jokes that might spit you out exhausted and a bit queasy, but having thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Long before landing the lead on HBO's Silicon Valley, he paid his dues in improv, sketch and standup, all while writing and making hopeful, hilarious use of the Internet. But Middleditch knows the most effective humor has bass notes of sadness, and his early years reverberated with them. In our talk, he opens up about the effects of a rather lonely and picked-upon childhood. If he rebounded with a bit of arrogance, well, sometimes hubris is the only thing that keeps you going in the face of half-empty theaters and failed auditions. Looking back, he says he doesn't regret a moment of his roundabout career path through the cafeterias, dog parks and high seas of comedy. To our followers, we extend an invite to board the Off Camera Fun Cruise with First Mate Tom Middleditch. To Darren Lindsay (wherever you are), we extend a kick in the arse.

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66. Imogen Poots  

Imogen Poots has the resume of an actor twice her age and the chops to match. When you've worked with Peter Bogdanovich, Terrence Malick, Richard Linklater, and Cary Fukunaga, all by the time you're 27, your bulb would have to be sputtering pretty badly if you didn't learn a thing or two about your craft. Poots is smart, sure, but more importantly, wise. Smart is trying to choose good projects; wise is knowing the outcome isn't guaranteed and thriving on that uncertainty. (A good tip for surviving not only Hollywood, but life in general.) Smart is knowing the size of the bra that wardrobe hands you on day one of a shoot can signal a creative issue; wise is knowing, "You're here on Earth for a hot second, so you may as well spend your time doing something you believe in." Even though her career has consisted mostly of films, Poots believed in Cameron Crowe's Roadies enough to make an open-ended commitment to a TV series, and she's chosen well. Turns out music-albums, please-is a treasure she hoards and enjoys sparingly, wanting to preserve her sheer enjoyment of its magic. Which is kind of how we felt about this conversation.

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Off Camera - 65. Kathryn Hahn  

Kathryn Hahn swears she is horrible at selling herself, but these days, Hollywood sure seems to be buying. With film and TV roles multiplying in both quantity and scope, she's proven herself among the most versatile, funny and increasingly acclaimed actors working today. That has to give you some confidence, right? Well, maybe. It's taken Hahn a minute to find and own herself and her talent, and she says she's still figuring it out; but at this point, she's wise enough to know what she values not only in the projects she takes on, but in life. As well she should--given the opportunities she's had to work with and learn from some of the best, including Will Ferrell, Jill Soloway, Jeffrey Tambor, and her six-year-old daughter. In this issue, Hahn describes the smell of too much comedic gas (sweaty), the role childhood plays in art (crucial), and how Catholicism screws up everything (we're officially going to hell now). All, while proving that the best conversations happen with guests who bring two mugs to an interview.

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64. Keegan-Michael Key  

Keegan-Michael Key doesn't encourage people to make decisions out of fear, but it did work for him-at least for a while. Fear of being left behind and not accepted made him decide that making people laugh could come in handy some day. And fear of uncharted artistic territory resulted in a U-turn towards a career he never could've imagined for himself. Yet this is a guy who somehow found the confidence to turn down his second shot at Saturday Night Live-most sketch comics' very reason for existence. Now, as the lead in Don't Think Twice, he gets to flex new acting muscles, or perhaps better put, give the old ones a rest. Keegan's insights about nature versus nurture, code-switching, and decision-making are worth the read alone, but you'll be completely sucked in by his observations on the high-wire act that is improvisational comedy. It's a world we rarely get a good look inside of, and one that becomes more fascinating the more you explore it. To unravel its mysteries, you can go see Don't Think Twice, or read this issue. We hope you'll do both.

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Off Camera - 63. Krysten Ritter  

Though it's probably not what Shakespeare meant when he had Hamlet pondering "...the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," it's a phrase that comes to mind in pondering the fortune of Krysten Ritter. For years, she's patiently taken every small, prescribed, and hard-fought step to acting-mall discovery, modeling, commercials, countless 'friend' roles and a couple of cancelled shows-before landing the lead in Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix, a role Rolling Stone called "...the sort of conflicted, damaged anti-heroine who's right in Ritter's sweet spot." Ritter didn't mind the journey, believing each step prepared her for the next. But nothing quite prepared her for Jessica Jones. With exponential opportunities, success (and minor injuries) came an outrageous new schedule, responsibility, and fame that she's still learning how to handle without throwing up or fainting dead away. But she'll take every arrow in the quiver if it means continuing to do what she loves. Ritter talks about her tough but formative adolescence, being at the forefront of an unprecedented new TV format, and why you might want to pick up a pack of Post-Its the next time you're at the store.

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Off Camera - 63. Krysten Ritter  

Though it's probably not what Shakespeare meant when he had Hamlet pondering "...the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," it's a phrase that comes to mind in pondering the fortune of Krysten Ritter. For years, she's patiently taken every small, prescribed, and hard-fought step to acting-mall discovery, modeling, commercials, countless 'friend' roles and a couple of cancelled shows-before landing the lead in Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix, a role Rolling Stone called "...the sort of conflicted, damaged anti-heroine who's right in Ritter's sweet spot." Ritter didn't mind the journey, believing each step prepared her for the next. But nothing quite prepared her for Jessica Jones. With exponential opportunities, success (and minor injuries) came an outrageous new schedule, responsibility, and fame that she's still learning how to handle without throwing up or fainting dead away. But she'll take every arrow in the quiver if it means continuing to do what she loves. Ritter talks about her tough but formative adolescence, being at the forefront of an unprecedented new TV format, and why you might want to pick up a pack of Post-Its the next time you're at the store.

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Off Camera - 62. The Edge  

At least once, and hopefully many times, each of us has experienced the rush of being completely transported by a musical experience - one concert, one song, or even a single riff. For 15-year-old Dave Evans, Moment One was playing guitar (loudly) for his classmates in a high school auditorium with a band of three friends. One of those friends thought maybe the band could become as big as The Beatles. Evans' reaction? "Yeah, right." How U2 struggled out of Dublin's small music scene and actually became the world's biggest band is one of the best stories in rock, but even more amazing is how they've managed to stay that way for decades. Equally proud and humble about the journey, The Edge recounts it from the inside, sharing the origins of his iconic guitar sound, the unique songwriting process that both confounds and inspires him, and how the band chased - and then adjusted to - success. And, why success is never a good place to stop.

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Off Camera - 62. The Edge  

At least once, and hopefully many times, each of us has experienced the rush of being completely transported by a musical experience - one concert, one song, or even a single riff. For 15-year-old Dave Evans, Moment One was playing guitar (loudly) for his classmates in a high school auditorium with a band of three friends. One of those friends thought maybe the band could become as big as The Beatles. Evans' reaction? "Yeah, right." How U2 struggled out of Dublin's small music scene and actually became the world's biggest band is one of the best stories in rock, but even more amazing is how they've managed to stay that way for decades. Equally proud and humble about the journey, The Edge recounts it from the inside, sharing the origins of his iconic guitar sound, the unique songwriting process that both confounds and inspires him, and how the band chased - and then adjusted to - success. And, why success is never a good place to stop.

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Off Camera - 61. Glen Hansard  

Despite his promising start as a vendor of illegal fireworks, there was never much question that Glen Hansard's street trade would be anything but busking music-a practice, it's safe to bet, would never be outlawed in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, where it's also apparently not illegal to leave school at 13 to take it up. He rose to decent acclaim in his rock band The Frames, but it was a no-budget, quickly shot little film called Once that changed the trajectory of his life and fame. At height of that success, he began work on his latest and most deeply felt album, only to be told his songs were essentially no good. If there's one cliché we're happy Hansard perpetuates, it's that the Irish are delightful storytellers. The singer, songwriter, and reluctant actor talks about his complicated family life, the folly of courting the muse, and the risk of tunnel-career-vision. He also divulges how you can sell the same piano four times and improve your songwriting by replacing words like "heart" and "love" with... something a bit less romantic.

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Off Camera - 61. Glen Hansard  

Despite his promising start as a vendor of illegal fireworks, there was never much question that Glen Hansard's street trade would be anything but busking music-a practice, it's safe to bet, would never be outlawed in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, where it's also apparently not illegal to leave school at 13 to take it up. He rose to decent acclaim in his rock band The Frames, but it was a no-budget, quickly shot little film called Once that changed the trajectory of his life and fame. At height of that success, he began work on his latest and most deeply felt album, only to be told his songs were essentially no good. If there's one cliché we're happy Hansard perpetuates, it's that the Irish are delightful storytellers. The singer, songwriter, and reluctant actor talks about his complicated family life, the folly of courting the muse, and the risk of tunnel-career-vision. He also divulges how you can sell the same piano four times and improve your songwriting by replacing words like "heart" and "love" with... something a bit less romantic.

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Off Camera - 60. Titus Welliver  

To quote noir crime master Raymond Chandler, "When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand." Given that Titus Welliver was once put on a "Nastiest Villains of All Time" list, we weren't sure what to expect when the Bosch star stopped by for a visit. Turns out he's a lot less ominous than you might think, not to mention a lovely and intelligent guy. Above all, he's a keen observer of internal and external environments and the people who inhabit them-a trait common to great detectives, and great actors. Luckily he's a bit less stoic than his alter ego, and offered up a fascinating, honest conversation on the lessons of his challenging childhood, how he approached the delicate business of inhabiting a character that already lived in the imagination of thousands of fans, and how picking up a paintbrush after 25 years changed his relationship with his father, a well-known artist. He also offered up some impressions that are hilariously spot on-just ask Christopher Walken. Or maybe, don't.

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Off Camera - 60. Titus Welliver  

To quote noir crime master Raymond Chandler, "When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand." Given that Titus Welliver was once put on a "Nastiest Villains of All Time" list, we weren't sure what to expect when the Bosch star stopped by for a visit. Turns out he's a lot less ominous than you might think, not to mention a lovely and intelligent guy. Above all, he's a keen observer of internal and external environments and the people who inhabit them-a trait common to great detectives, and great actors. Luckily he's a bit less stoic than his alter ego, and offered up a fascinating, honest conversation on the lessons of his challenging childhood, how he approached the delicate business of inhabiting a character that already lived in the imagination of thousands of fans, and how picking up a paintbrush after 25 years changed his relationship with his father, a well-known artist. He also offered up some impressions that are hilariously spot on-just ask Christopher Walken. Or maybe, don't.

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Off Camera - 59. Bob Odenkirk  

It's hard to believe now that Breaking Bad was clinging to life for its first two seasons, but that was just long enough for Bob Odenkirk to be offered a turn as its lawyer-to-the-shady, Saul Goodman. Odenkirk didn't see fit to memorize his lines before starting; he just requested that Saul sport a comb-over. If that seems a flippant approach to a role that wound up changing his career, you can't blame him. Years of "getting my ass kicked in Hollywood" have gifted him with remarkable sangfroid. He just does what he's always done - work hard and write funny stuff. Simple, right? Well, anyone can work hard, but very few can distill all existence into absurdly, exquisitely true moments. We talk to the co-creator of "the most influential flop on TV" (i.e., Mr. Show) about the turn his career has taken, what Bryan Cranston taught him about taking on a series lead, and how not to dress for an audition. He also reveals his never-ending source of comic fodder: "People are fucking ridiculous." Be insulted if you want, but be honest - you're laughing right along with him.

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Off Camera - 59. Bob Odenkirk  

It's hard to believe now that Breaking Bad was clinging to life for its first two seasons, but that was just long enough for Bob Odenkirk to be offered a turn as its lawyer-to-the-shady, Saul Goodman. Odenkirk didn't see fit to memorize his lines before starting; he just requested that Saul sport a comb-over. If that seems a flippant approach to a role that wound up changing his career, you can't blame him. Years of "getting my ass kicked in Hollywood" have gifted him with remarkable sangfroid. He just does what he's always done - work hard and write funny stuff. Simple, right? Well, anyone can work hard, but very few can distill all existence into absurdly, exquisitely true moments. We talk to the co-creator of "the most influential flop on TV" (i.e., Mr. Show) about the turn his career has taken, what Bryan Cranston taught him about taking on a series lead, and how not to dress for an audition. He also reveals his never-ending source of comic fodder: "People are fucking ridiculous." Be insulted if you want, but be honest - you're laughing right along with him.

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Off Camera with Sam Jones Promo  

"Off Camera with Sam Jones" premieres Friday, April 22, 2016

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Off Camera with Sam Jones Promo  

"Off Camera with Sam Jones" premieres Friday, April 22, 2016

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Off Camera - 58. Richard Linklater  

Off Camera - 58. Richard Linklater by offcamera

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Off Camera - 57. Kristen Bell  

Off Camera - 57. Kristen Bell by offcamera

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Off Camera - 56. Don Cheadle  

Off Camera - 56. Don Cheadle by offcamera

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