Off Camera with Sam Jones


Off Camera is a podcast 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.


  • Ep 36. Dax Shepard

    Ep 36. Dax Shepard

    18/06/2020 Duración: 01h13min

    Philip Larkin drolly made parents the scapegoats of our generation with his observation “They f*** you up, your mum and dad…” And true enough, but with a bit of perspective and hard work, you can also come to see they’ve given you some tremendous gifts in the process. Dax Shepard grew up poor in Detroit with an absentee alcoholic father, and several stepfathers who weren’t necessarily an improvement on the original. Dax grew from an often-expelled trouble-making daredevil to become an alcoholic himself, all while pursuing…comedy. After some improv time in the Groundlings, he acted in a few comedies while also writing a few for hire – quite an accomplishment for a dyslexic who couldn’t read until age 11 and firmly believed in his own stupidity. Once in Hollywood, he endured an eight-year stretch of low employment and high self-doubt while he trying hard to find and produce work, and even harder to become sober (he succeeded). Then came marriage, parenthood and Parenthood, all of which have taught him plenty, b

  • Ep 34. Rashida Jones

    Ep 34. Rashida Jones

    11/06/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    Our news feeds these days are pretty reliably littered with examples of how easily kids of celebrities can be overshadowed, crushed or otherwise damaged by the weight of their parents’ fame. Rashida Jones, daughter of legendary and artistic force Quincy Jones and iconic actress Peggy Lipton rebelled from day one, becoming an avid reader, puzzle geek and serious student who declared her intention to attend Harvard at age six. Her status as a Mathlete also bears mention, just because, “Mathlete”. Once at Harvard (indeed, Ms. Jones does not mess around), her pursuit of the law soon turned to pursuits of a more theatrical nature, thanks to OJ Simpson and an Ivy League version of Mean Girls. If being “daughter of” didn’t make life hard, it didn’t help much, either. She wasn’t great at auditions, she wasn’t white – or black – enough for casting directors, and roles were scarce. She was on the verge of quitting the biz for grad school when her serious, straight-man demeanor landed her a parts on The Office and even

  • Ep 119. Chadwick Boseman

    Ep 119. Chadwick Boseman

    04/06/2020 Duración: 01h01min

    Not much in Chadwick Boseman’s early life would lead you to think he would become an actor. Not his birthplace (Anderson, South Carolina), not his family (his mom was a nurse, his dad an upholstery business owner), not his interests (he was the quiet one who played sports). Not one thing, it seems, except he just decided. A sad incident in his last years of high school prompted him to write and then direct his first play, after which he simply decided that’s what he’d do. He studied at Howard University and later at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, and in short order, commenced writing plays: His 2006 Deep Azure was nominated for a 2006 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Work, and the Chicago Tribune called it “Fascinating…Especially because the 28-year-old Boseman is a fresh talent – a young, sophisticated African-American writer with all of the flaws that flow from youth and inexperience and all of the excitement that draws from those very same places. With a slate of cultural references complex e

  • Ep 23. Jason Sudeikis

    Ep 23. Jason Sudeikis

    28/05/2020 Duración: 01h01s

    As a high school sophomore, Jason Sudeikis switched schools in pursuit of serious basketball dreams and, of course, a girl. Instead, he discovered classes in radio and TV and debate – and a new career option. Soon after swapping Final Four tickets for a video camera, he gave up on college hoops and eventually college itself to go pro in the improv leagues. He honed his chops at ComedySportz, the Annoyance and ImprovOlympic before getting drafted by Second City and eventually Saturday Night Live, where some of his most memorable work occurred behind the scenes writing skits for Justin Timberlake, Amy Poehler and buddy Will Forte. Along the way he happily stole (a term he prefers to “borrow”) from lifelong mentors to develop his own comedic DNA (watch him in the We’re The Millers and guess who he’s channeling). In this issue, Sudeikis discusses his improv roots, his development as an actor and writer, his early love-hate relationship with SNL, the art of guest host management, and of course, hoops. To this day

  • Ep 100. Ron Howard

    Ep 100. Ron Howard

    21/05/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    When a 16-year old Ron Howard was hanging out on set with Henry Fonda (as one does), Fonda gave the young actor a bit of advice: If he loved acting, he should focus on theater, but, "If you love movies, become a director.” Ron Howard loved movies. The Oklahoma-born son of two actors, his earliest memories are of memorizing dialog from his dad’s summer stock plays as a 3-year old. Walking unaware into an MGM kids’ casting call in 1959, Howard senior mentioned he had a son who was a fine actor. They called young Ronny in, had him do a scene, and asked his dad if he could do anything else. "I really don’t know if he can." Ron Howard entered our living rooms a year later as Opie in The Andy Griffith Show, and didn’t leave for the next 25 years when Happy Days ended in 1984. That’s when we really saw what else he could do. He started directing in 1977 by convincing producer Roger Corman to let him helm Grand Theft Auto (Howard agreed to act in Corman’s Eat My Dust! in exchange). Next came Night Shift, and then,

  • Ep 162. Javier Bardem

    Ep 162. Javier Bardem

    14/05/2020 Duración: 01h01min

    Acclaimed Spanish actor Javier Bardem comes from a long line of artists and filmmakers, but his love of cinema officially took shape when his mother, a working actress herself, snuck him into a movie theater to see Bob Fosse’s All that Jazz when he was 6 years old. It wasn’t exactly a Disney movie, but that didn’t matter—Javier was in awe. He wondered, “What is this mechanism of people, feelings, dance, music, colors, drama, and comedy? I want to be a part of that.” His passion and dedication to the craft are evident in his work—take his award-winning performances in the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men and Iñárritu’s Biutiful, to name a few. In his newest film Loving Pablo, Javier takes on the legend and mythology of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and takes on an intensity and physicality that was even intimidating to his costar and wife Penélope Cruz. But Javier and Penélope know the difference between fiction and reality. As Javier says, “At the end of the day, I give her flowers and chocolates an

  • Ep 82. Riz Ahmed

    Ep 82. Riz Ahmed

    07/05/2020 Duración: 58min

    You keep up on things. You know what’s going on in arts and culture. Then inevitably, it happens. Someone who wasn’t even on your radar is suddenly everywhere, making you question not where they’ve been, but where you’ve been. Meet Riz Ahmed. By now, you probably recognize him from HBO’s The Night Of, but for years, Ahmed’s been busy making wide-ranging, significant, and accomplished work. In person, he’s not some frenetic perpetual motion machine, but he does seem to function at a brisk and constant clip, creating, provoking and questioning. He approached Naz Khan, the role that’s brought him to recent wide attention, with a simple theory: “If you see the world in a certain way, the behavior follows.” Applied to Ahmed himself, it seems an apt description of how he creates art, and with it, change. Born in London to Pakistani immigrant parents, he won a scholarship to north London’s Merchant Taylors’ school, where he found himself and most Asian kids a subclass in a sea of diplomats’ kids in full prep regal

  • Ep 149. Sarah Paulson

    Ep 149. Sarah Paulson

    30/04/2020 Duración: 01h09min

    From the outside, it would appear that Sarah Paulson, after her Emmy award-winning performance as prosecutor Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson, has "made it." She's got a role in Ocean's 8, her first "big sh**-kicker, popcorn movie,” and has the luxury of sifting through multiple film and television offers to choose a part that “sparks something inside of her.” What more could an actor want? But that's exactly the problem for Sarah. She wants the want. Without it, she finds herself in a bit of an identity crisis. She wants to fight for roles and be challenged by an acting part that requires total commitment. As she explains, “Before Marcia Clark, I was full of all that want. I don’t have that anymore.” The road to this point was not an easy one for Sarah. She never had her Cannes or Sundance moment like peers Carey Mulligan or Maggie Gyllenhaal. She fought hard for many pilots that never saw the light of day. When she did get her big break, on Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, it was ca

  • Ep 67. Thomas Middleditch

    Ep 67. Thomas Middleditch

    23/04/2020 Duración: 57min

    If your impression of Thomas Middleditch is that of a somewhat befuddled, bumbling, awkward-bordering-on-geeky misfit, we won’t blame you... yet. He has personified that type in films such as Splinterheads, The Bronze, The Final Girls, and even The Wolf of Wall Street. So neither can we blame Silicon Valley co-creator/director Mike Judge for writing the role of socially discombobulated Richard Hendricks specifically with Middleditch in mind. And now, Hendricks’ wide-eyed, stammering bewilderment seems to stem from Middleditch’s genuine disbelief at his own good fortune; after all, he’s landed the lead on a series that’s become more popular than the latest tech fads the show sends up. If it’s possible to be both a show’s star and its secret weapon, that’s what he seems to have achieved. In calling Middleditch the most underrated actor on TV, The Decider said, “One of the reasons that Silicon Valley quickly went from good to great to one of the best is because of Middleditch, who’s made Richard into an incredi

  • Ep 81. Michael Shannon

    Ep 81. Michael Shannon

    16/04/2020 Duración: 01h11min

    If you’re an actor who’s signed on to share scenes with Michael Shannon, you’ve got yourself a bit of a dilemma. On one hand, you can count on people watching; on the other, you can be pretty certain they won’t be watching you. To be fair, nothing could be further from Shannon’s intent; co-stars and directors routinely praise his generosity and dedication to the success of any project he’s in. It’s just that the guy is – inherently, chronically and helplessly – riveting. Evidence of this seemingly hypnotic power came to light most publicly with his fairly small role in Revolutionary Road. Variety wrote, “The pic’s startling supporting turn comes from Michael Shannon, who’s mesmerizing as the clinically insane son of local realtor and busybody… When Shannon is onscreen, it’s impossible to watch anyone else.” In that instance, “anyone else” included Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Or take 99 Homes, which Time magazine called “a showcase for Shannon, who magnetizes all eyes, like a cobra in the corner.” Th

  • Ep 108. Kumail Nanjiani

    Ep 108. Kumail Nanjiani

    09/04/2020 Duración: 58min

    In 2009 The New York Times ran a story about the New York Comedy Festival and the independent standup community that had become a hunting ground for late night shows looking for the next round of potential talent, citing Jenny Slate, Donald Glover, Aziz Ansari and Zach Galifianakis as formerly unknown comics lifted from the cramped rooms of obscure bars in hidden basements to a larger stage. The article’s new reference was a guy named Kumail Nanjiani, who “could be poised to follow… Or not.” On circumstance alone, “or not,” seemed more likely. Nanjiani grew up in Karachi, Pakistan (“not necessarily a very funny place”), raised Shia Muslim in a predominately Sunni nation. But a lot depends on how you see things. His dad was a psychiatrist (a fact he found inherently funny) with an inexplicable love of designer jeans (just blatantly funny). He got a taste of American comedy through movies his dad occasionally brought from the video store, and TV shows like Beavis and Butt-Head and Picket Fences. When he moved

  • Ep 170. Carey Mulligan

    Ep 170. Carey Mulligan

    02/04/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    When Carey Mulligan first stepped foot on set of 2005’s Pride & Prejudice, she was convinced she won the lottery. It was her first professional job and her first time acting in front of a camera, but there she was, acting alongside Judi Dench, Keira Knightly, and Jena Malone. “The entire experience was like summer camp; it didn’t feel like work at all.” Carey was living her dream, but she was still convinced it was all a fluke. “I remember thinking, ‘After this, I’ll reapply to drama school.’” In reality, her acting career had just begun—with the best yet to come. Her first lead role came in 2009 with the coming-of-age film An Education. Her compelling performance led to an Oscar “Best Actress” nomination and widespread critical acclaim, even though Carey was originally devastated when she first watched her performance: “It was like listening to your voice on the answering machine and wincing because of how awful you sound—but multiply that by 500.” She had gotten so used to flying under the radar in support

  • Ep 42. Jack Black

    Ep 42. Jack Black

    26/03/2020 Duración: 01h02min

    Thanks to movie posters and pull-quote “reviews”, we’ve heard “electric” used to describe a performance so often that it barely registers as an adjective. But think back for a moment to the first time you saw High Fidelity. Now, think about the first moment Jack Black appeared on screen and jolted that film alive. It’s a great movie with a great cast, but let’s face it – his very presence flipped the switch. And that movie flipped the switch on Black’s film career, though it was a part he came within inches of turning down. But as the Guitar Pick of Fate would have it, he said yes, ending a 10-year struggle as a glorified extra that followed his first film role as a rabid political acolyte in Bob Roberts, where his real-life nerves turned out to be all the prep he needed to turn in another performance you must to go back and see. The good news about that flame-out decade is that he met a certain KG, and you know what rose from those ashes. But let’s flash-Black for a moment to our guest as a teenager who beg

  • Ep 13. Michael B. Jordan - Rerun

    Ep 13. Michael B. Jordan - Rerun

    19/03/2020 Duración: 01h07min

         Drug dealer, football player, alcoholic, shooting victim. In his first decade of acting, Michael B. Jordan has found ways to humanize characters that, on the page, may seem stereotypically what he dubs “the black guy.” In The Wire, a young and very sheltered Jordan asked fellow actors to help him understand how to simulate a cocaine high onscreen, and through that surreal experience discovered his unfettered love of acting.  In Friday Night Lights, Jordan started journaling as an acting exercise, and amassed a detailed back story for quarterback Vince Howard that made the character seem shockingly real.       With Fruitvale Station, Jordan dug even deeper. Playing a real person for the first time, he inserted himself deep into the family of the slain Oscar Grant, who was killed by a police officer on a train platform in Oakland in 2009. Jordan spent time with Oscar’s former girlfriend, mother, daughter, and all of his friends. The result was an intensely real portrayal of an innocent young man in a film

  • Ep 2. John Krasinski - Rerun

    Ep 2. John Krasinski - Rerun

    12/03/2020 Duración: 01h42min

    As Jim Halpert, John Krasinski embodies The Office’s most beloved Everyguy, but his middle-achiever alter ego belies the actor’s impressive and accomplished resume. At just 33, he has written, directed and produced both television and feature films with some of the industry’s most talented heavy-hitters. Krasinski shares his own version of the waiter-to A-list story and talks about staying true to his artistic path despite periods of self-doubt. An avid and humble student of experience, he discusses what he’s learned from his work with industry veterans such as Sam Mendes, Gus Van Sant and George Clooney. Krasinski talks to Off Camera about wrapping the final season of The Office, the value of supportive parents, and about his newest film, Promised Land, which he co-wrote, and co-stars with Matt Damon. At one of the most interesting junctions in his career, an actor who’s arguably done it all looks ahead to what he hopes will be next.

  • Ep 102. Elisabeth Moss - Rerun

    Ep 102. Elisabeth Moss - Rerun

    06/03/2020 Duración: 01h03min

    Watching Elisabeth Moss as Mad Men’s sec-turned-exec Peggy Olson (as millions did for 88 addictive episodes) and in recent projects like Top of the Lake, High Rise and Queen of Earth, you’d be forgiven for assuming she’s a capital-S Serious or capital-M Method artist. Even director Jane Campion might’ve drawn the same conclusion from Moss’ Top of Lake audition tape. “It was remarkable…I just found myself really interested in watching this gentle, quiet, obviously interior performance. At the end of about six hours, I was still really interested. She’s a little bit like a Mona Lisa. There’s a lot that she’s not showing you.” It’s an impression Moss sometimes wishes were true, but acknowledges that capital-C Class Clown is more apt. (That was, in fact, the title unanimously bestowed by her Mad Men cast mates). So much for our illusions. As she told The Guardian in 2016, “I wish I was super-serious, anguished. I see those actors and think, God, they are so cool and seem so interesting. I don’t take acting that

  • Ep 37. Jake Gyllenhaal - Rerun

    Ep 37. Jake Gyllenhaal - Rerun

    26/02/2020 Duración: 59min

    Jake Gyllenhaal has become somewhat synonymous with beyond-brutal physical transformations for movies like Nightcrawler, and more recently (and even more brutally), for the role of boxer Billy Hope. But after crying three times over a first-draft script for Southpaw, he knew it was worth taking some punches for. He’s no masochist, but calls any work needed to tell the story of characters that fascinate him a joy. Gyllenhaal is the kind of actor who knows not only that his character bears a certain scar or walks a certain way, but why. He’s become known for going deep, and seems embarrassed and proud in equal parts about how seriously he takes his work; the same guy who’ll spend five months in a boxing ring or memorize an entire script just to sound as robotic as Louis Bloom will also tell you the best analogy for acting is Super Mario Brothers. Level One, to be specific. Though much has been made of his on screen metamorphoses, his most profound change in recent years is one we didn’t realize we were seeing.

  • Ep 26. Will Ferrell - Rerun

    Ep 26. Will Ferrell - Rerun

    19/02/2020 Duración: 01h22min

    Just mention Will Ferrell’s name or glance at a picture of him and chances are you’re already smiling (or smirking or laughing out loud). But the really funny thing is that it’s not necessarily because his best-known characters are so gosh-darn loveable. See, Ferrell never bought the conventional movie truism that comedic leads have to be likeable, and went on to prove it, perhaps most pointedly with the iconic Ron Burgundy. In fact, he doesn’t even think comedy has to be particularly funny to be hysterical. While working a number of “regular” jobs, (he actually almost became an anchorman), Ferrell did stand up in small clubs, clinging to his father’s surprisingly helpful advice that his ever making it would be a long shot. It was just that take-it-or-leave it approach that allowed him to pursue his unique comedic style free from the angst that might have otherwise crushed it. It might also explain a small sadistic streak that underlies his performances – if you don’t like what he’s doing, sit back and enjoy

  • Ep 56. Don Cheadle - Rerun

    Ep 56. Don Cheadle - Rerun

    13/02/2020 Duración: 01h07min

    We expect actors to dramatize a range of emotions as the characters they play; even, to some extent, when they’re playing a version of themselves on The Tonight Show or E! News. That’s what actors do, after all; they “act”—tearing up, raging, clowning, and otherwise emoting. So what secret magnetic field does Don Cheadle tap that allows him to convey all that with no detectable effort and a virtually unreadable face? He sits back, unruffled and self-possessed, while we do the work of reading into his performance whatever it is he needs us to know. This is not charisma of the “Let’s put on a show!” variety; it’s the kind that makes an actor impossible to look away from. The Hollywood Reporter noted in its review of his current series, House of Lies, “There’s an exceptional cast…, but everything revolves around the fact that Cheadle is riveting and impressively deft at being funny one moment, serious the next… He’s the giant magnet at the center of the show.” But a number of critics (and casting directors) loo

  • Ep 57. Kristen Bell - Rerun

    Ep 57. Kristen Bell - Rerun

    06/02/2020 Duración: 01h06min

    If souls or psyches can be compared to houses, Kristen Bell’s would be one with few dark corners. It would probably also be lavender scented, with a nice breeze blowing through. Delightfully real and candid, she’s become one of the most relatable and loved personalities on TV, that personality often being herself: Her Samsung commercials and goofy personal videos with husband Dax Shepard are some of YouTube’s most popular. No word on how many high-tech home appliances they’ve sold, but the Toto cover video they shot in Africa has garnered well over five million views. The soft heart and strong values that Shepard both teases and loves her for are ones she supports in both words and example—marriage equality, animal rights, and voter registration, for starters. Not surprisingly, then, the sunny, perky blond wasn’t the first actor that came to mind for Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. “I had Christina Ricci in my head when I wrote it. I wanted someone who had a caustic delivery for lines that had weight and d

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