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This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

Did you see the 2013 comedy-horror movie Hell Baby? No? Well, film critic Devin Faraci did, and what stood out for him about the otherwise “silly” film was a supporting actor who “walks into Hell Baby, picks it up and walks directly out of the theater with it.” That was Keegan-Michael Key. In his write up, Faraci said, “I’m not sure why this guy isn’t one of the biggest comedy stars in the universe, but we still have time to correct this oversight, and Hell Baby will help.”

Maybe, maybe not, but Key & Peele did. The history-making comic duo (Key and partner Jordan Peele) met at MADtv, where they were originally cast against each other so parent network FOX could pick one black actor for the permanent ensemble. Obvious questions about that strategy aside, the network recognized chemistry when they saw it and hired them both. Even “black actor” seems a slightly ridiculous term for two bi-racial comics who refused to see black culture as a monolith and any culture, topic, or character as off-limits for comic cannon fodder.

Their two-man parade of seemingly endless impersonations (and wigs) broadened and became even funnier when Key & Peele became its own sketch show on Comedy Central in 2012, sparing neither gay nor straight, young nor old, Asian nor Latino, black nor white, nor icons modern or historic. Not even vampires couldn’t escape ridicule. In its eulogy for the best TV comedy shows ending runs in 2015 (including The Colbert Report, David Letterman on The Late Show, and Parks and Recreation), The Atlantic said, “The departure of Key & Peele deserves to be remembered as the biggest loss of them all, because it was the only example of a show ending when it still had so much originality and energy left…The originality, charm, intensity, and fearlessness of Key & Peele will be impossible to replace.”

Key’s own abilities as a dauntless comic surrogate for almost any faction of society brought him to the attention of President Obama, who was in need of an Official Anger Translator for the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. It’s probably the first time the event has racked up over 7.3 million YouTube views—no mean feat in a town that regularly offers up a bottomless smorgasbord of things to laugh at.

Key’s rejection of any single racial or comedic stereotype appears to have started early and to have influenced his career path. Adopted as a child by a bi-racial couple in Michigan, he discovered a passion for theater in high school, largely because of the multi-cultural kids it attracted. He saw that unlike so many of us in high school, these kids joined drama not out of the desire to belong to a certain group, but out of love for their craft. He pursued his MFA in Theater at Penn State with the intention of becoming a “poor, happy, artistically fulfilled” dramatic actor, doing regional theater and Shakespeare festivals. But for a guy whose knee-jerk reaction to anyone who says, “There’s no way to make this funny” is an immediate and compulsive need to prove otherwise, a comedy detour was probably inevitable. That, and he’s just a damn funny guy.

Though Devin Faraci has been proven right about Key’s talent several times over by now, we wouldn’t be surprised if his review of the upcoming Don’t Think Twice is only four words: “I told you so.” And then there’s the tantalizing rumor of a script-in-the-works with Peele and Judd Apatow, who’s said he thinks the duo are “capable of making a movie America desperately needs right now.” All we know is that a film from a triumvirate like that is one we desperately need to see right now. Key and Co. aren’t sharing details, so if Luther is still available, we’d like to hire him to send a little message to our friend Keegan: GET OUT OF OUR DAMN STUDIO AND GO MAKE IT, ALREADY.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

The thing about superheroes is that beneath the capes and tights and high-tech crime-fighting gear, they’re mostly just people dealing with problems. Sure, the problems are writ large and usually involve imminent explosions or threats to the planet, but their most interesting struggles are always internal, and usually stemming from their own personal backstories. It’s likely the real reason we’ve identified with superheroes since Action Comics introduced us to Superman in 1938.

Krysten Ritter, who last year landed the lead as Marvel’s mysterious Jessica Jones in the eponymous Netflix series, actually had a pretty happy childhood until her parents’ divorce and a subsequent move to “the sticks” darkened the story. A sense of isolation and “falling through the cracks of her own family” set in, as did the physical traits that mark one as a super-human species from a mile away. Tall, rail thin and gawky, Ritter attended an Elite mall model scout at her mother’s insistence and found a tribe of sorts. Though she refused to participate in the cattle call, an agent sought her out, and modeling set her on a trajectory that eventually led to acting.

Luckily, Ritter discovered two of her superpowers early on: perseverance and patience. Though not as flashy as, say, leaping tall buildings, they’re powerful weapons against the chaos of life in the real world, and particularly in the Holly-world. Coming up, she decided that by working hard, studying hard (immersing herself in Stanislavsky and Meisner) and looking at each “no” as once step closer “yes,” she’d succeed. “I knew I could always work harder and be better and show I’m more prepared.”

And the jobs started coming in. But still…where to fit in? Mostly as a sidekick, to start. Was she funny? Caustic? Bubbly? Goth? Well, yes. She played a revolving cast of “friends of” in TV shows like Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, and Veronica Mars, and films such as 27 Dresses, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and What Happens in Vegas. In 2008 two more of Ritter’s powers—X-ray future vision and the ability to withstand large leaps of faith—revealed themselves. She’d been offered a part on CBS’ successful Julia Louis-Dreyfuss sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine when the chance for a part of undetermined duration on the still-unproven Breaking Bad came along. Unable to resist the lure of playing tattoo artist/recovering drug addict Jane Margolis, she opted in.

Though the part perhaps cemented the perception of Ritter as a darker, edgier actress, it brought her to the attention of a lot more fans and people in the biz. For Jessica Jones creator Melissa Rosenberg, it was that role, coupled with Ritter’s comic turn on the short-lived Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 that convinced her Ritter was right for Jones. “Drama is easier to come by in actors,” Rosenberg told Rolling Stone. “But the ability to shift from drama to comedy—sometimes on a dime in any given scene—that’s much harder to come by. We needed someone who had those edgy comedic skills, could deliver a dry line and give you a sense of what this character has gone through. That’s a rare talent.” Viewers and reviewers seem to agree. The show’s been renewed for a second season and Ritter will extend the role in the upcoming The Defenders.

So Ritter’s story seemingly comes full circle, but any adventure tale worth its salt promises more tantalizing plot twists ahead. The creative streak unleashed by the loneliness and boredom of her rural teenage years also included music and writing; she’s penned several scripts and sold a pilot. All of which leads us to believe—and certainly hope—that when she gets a break from saving the world, we might see even more of her talents unmasked.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

If there’s beauty in simplicity, there’s a whole lot of power in it, too. Applied to rock, there’s no better proof in the past three decades than U2 and its chief sound architect, The Edge.

Though “powerful” is easily the go-to adjective for the band’s work from its astounding debut Boy to seminal releases like The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, they’ve shown time and again that powerful doesn’t—even in rock—always mean loud, fast, or complex. If a chord change functions as a release, Edge knows there’s a sweetness in its anticipation, an almost physical yearning for its resolution. Listening to songs like “Where The Streets Have No Name,” it’s possible to feel oneself coasting on a simple, repetitive progression. In Bono, U2 has a frontman that virtually defines the word, but it’s Edge’s use of rhythmic delay and effect that created the singular clarion sound that has become a U2 trademark.

It’s a sound he’s honed since answering a 1976 school bulletin board ad placed by one Larry Mullen, who was looking to start a band. Edge’s earliest influences were punk and the fact that he taught himself to play by figuring out ways around what he didn’t know. As he did so, the gear piled up—to the extent that any online search of his name brings up link after link to mathematical analyses of his guitar sound and stage diagrams of his equipment setup.

It’s also a sound that’s landed him in iconic company amidst the upper numbers of both Rolling Stone’s and SPIN’s lists of the greatest guitarists of all time. In its listing, SPIN said “It’s difficult to imagine the monolith that is U2 ever having had anything to do with punk, but in the late’70s U.K., [The Edge] masked and flaunted his willful ignorance of how guitars are meant to be played with forgiving delay pedals, forging a sonic trademark so distinctive that his band’s name became an adjective. Every note of 1980’s Boy feels like an argument about how guitars in rock music are supposed to sound.” It also went on to say “…even U2’s most dug-in detractors would allow that parlaying limitation and brazen naiveté into 30-plus years of mega-stardom is a fairly unprecedented form of sticking it to the Man.”

So hailing from that sensibility, what happens when you kind of become the man? Some thought that happened some time ago, others in 2014 when the band struck a deal with iTunes to have its album Songs of Innocence automatically download to users’ playlists. In apologizing to the ranks of the disgruntled, Bono said, “Artists are prone to that kind of thing. A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn’t be heard.” It’s an apology that can also be read as a formula for longevity and success; i.e., continued risk. It’s admirable in any artistic endeavor at any time, but especially in “the biggest band in the world,”—one that could’ve easily rested on $170 million in record sales, $1billion+ in concert sales and more Grammy Awards than any other band.

These days it seems we’ve developed particular reverence for “undiscovered” bands that cater to niche-loving, genre-specific hipsters; and many such acts are deserving. But the detractors who call U2 “too commercial” might pause to remember that you don’t often get there without first having made something that touches, joins, and elevates us with a common emotional language. Does anyone else find it odd when we criticize artists for doing what artists are arguably supposed to be doing?

One person likely not much interested in that debate is Dave Evans. He remains the unflappable, optimistic gearhead-slash-poet, doing what he’s done since getting his first flea market guitar at age nine. And as the band prepares to release a new album this year, we’ll be listening, because U2 continues to experiment, surprise and connect, with Edge at its beating, reverberating sonic heart.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

All artists are essentially storytellers, and the Irish are legendary storytellers (if you disagree, go immerse yourself in some Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Neil Jordan, or Christy Moore, and get back to us). For three decades, musician and sometimes-actor Glen Hansard has told his tales through song: first as a street busker, then as frontman for Irish band The Frames, next as half of folk rock duo The Swell Season, and now as a solo artist. If his early family life was a bit difficult and alcohol-dampened, it was also kind of enchanted. Household gods like Dylan and Van Morrison, a tradition of gathering to sing, and the folks he met on the streets of Dublin gave him as good an education as he’d ever have received in school—if he’d stayed there.

Hansard’s ear and general disposition are finely tuned to the tragi-comic, ironic side of life—the Irish seeming to have caught on earlier than most that life doesn’t really offer up an alternate side—and that sensibility helped propel The Frames to native-soil popularity. Their second album (Set List, recorded live) hit the top of Irish charts, The Sydney Morning Herald raving, “This glorious live recording shows exactly why The Frames are the darlings of Ireland’s music scene…There are moments of transcendental magic on this album, showcasing their ability to capture an audience’s interest as the crowd sings along to songs and reacts to frontman Glen Hansard’s anecdotes.”

We’re not sure if one of those anecdotes was one Hansard has told about seeing an advert for the film The Commitments floating in a dirty puddle on the streets of New York. While The Frames’ popularity remained chiefly confined to Ireland, Hansard’s popularity jumped the pond along with his appearance as guitarist Outspan Foster in the wildly successful film. It read as a soggy reminder for Hansard, who didn’t enjoy the acting experience and felt it overshadowed the band. Like many of his countrymen, he displays a cocked eyebrow at fame: “I make art, and that’s great; but digging in the hole and growing potatoes is a higher calling. In Ireland, the land is pulsing.”

Maybe so, but eventually the lure of a great story (or maybe just perversity) brought him back to the screen with fellow musician Markéta Irglová in Once, a film that charmed critics and virtually everyone else who saw it and went on to become a smash stage show. More music than dialogue, Once is a testament to what Hansard seems to always have known: some things are better conveyed and more profoundly understood through words that we sing than those we speak. Of the score (co-written with Irglová) The New York Times said, “What lends a special, tickling poignancy to [the] songs is their acceptance of loneliness as an existential given. These are not big ballads that complain angrily about how we could have had it all. An air of romantic resignation, streaked in minor-key undercurrents, tempers the core heartache of numbers like “Leave,” “When Your Mind’s Made Up,” and “Falling Slowly,” which earned the duo a Best Song Oscar.

His ability to temper a healthy respect for the muse with the nuts and bolts of his craft is most evident on his 2015 solo album Didn’t He Ramble, a hard-won work that’s at once sad, hopeful unsentimental and beautiful. If Hansard’s music—and Hansard himself—embodies worlds of contradiction, he holds true to those contradictions. After all, they’re what make all of us human; and they’re what make the humans who can write and sing about them, artists. You’ll still find him busking out on the evening streets, albeit mostly for charity and with friends like Bono and Eddie Vedder. “It may be a little cold,” he’s said, “but it warms my heart.”

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

Titus Welliver was once termed by The Daily Beast as “a journeyman actor whose name is more distinctive than celebrated.” They got the journeyman part right, but they could’ve added that he owns a face that’s even more distinctive than that singular moniker. It’s one that’s been virtually un-missable, given that he’s appeared in well over 100 film and TV roles, including a calculating bag man (Deadwood), an ominous smoke monster (Lost), a prick politician (The Good Wife), and an Irish gun kingpin (Sons of Anarchy).

If you’ve clocked a certain lack of bonhomie, slapstick, and general buffoonery on his resume, then maybe an actor’s real life etches some stuff on his psyche that directors are especially keen at sensing. Welliver’s experienced enough sadness and loss in his personal life to make it hard to trust happiness. But it made it easy for the producers of Amazon’s acclaimed Bosch to hand him the part of the series’ scarred, hard-nosed—and painfully vulnerable—L.A. detective. After Welliver left the audition, Michael Connelly, one of the show’s producers and the author of the books on which the series is based, said, “That was Harry Bosch.” So maybe it took 25 years to score the first lead role of his career, but Welliver’s dad cautioned him long ago about putting time limits on a career in the arts.

Welliver’s father Neil, a very well known painter, was long on advice. An accomplished painter himself, the younger Welliver started studying with his dad from age 12 and considered pursuing it professionally. As it often goes, growing up in the artistic overhang of a talented parent can define your career—either by setting you on the same path, or making you step off it pretty quickly. Though the relationship was fraught, it wasn’t without its gifts. When Welliver decided to pursue acting, his dad was supportive, but cautioned him that be it painting or acting, art is art, and art ain’t easy. The only reason to do it is because you love it—not for fame. Or to quote Welliver senior more specifically, “Work hard, and don’t be another dipshit actor.”

We’re pretty sure Welliver’s avoided that trap, and for the record, his world these days is not all moody concrete landscapes and flinty stares. He dotes on his kids, has recently (and successfully) returned to painting as a creative outlet, is working on his third Ben Affleck-directed film, and may just have a project of his own creation in the works. And, he loves being Bosch. The consummate hard worker, he of course read the novels to prepare for the role. The results of his investigation? “You can’t stop. You’ve got to know what happens next. It’s the best way to experience this world.”

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

If Bob Odenkirk had won the role of Michael Scott on The Office (he was in the running), mainstream America might’ve heard of him a lot sooner. But his moment came later and in a different kind of office on the second season of Breaking Bad. In the years he spent not being a household name, he was busy building an influential comic legacy likely to endure long after Saul Goodman launders his last dollar.

Odenkirk is a textbook case of career inevitability. As a kid, he entertained the dinner table with impressions of anyone who’d crossed his path during the day; he wrote sketches for middle school assignments and then took them on the road to other classrooms with the school’s encouragement. In college, he worked as a DJ, where he created the late-night comedy show that formally launched his writing ambitions. Those ambitions were soon tested in the big leagues with a gig in the notoriously ego-withering, flop-sweat-drenched writers room of Saturday Night Live, an environment that made him question his skill. Feeling more confident as a performer, he decided to pursue that route instead. But despite working on well over 100 TV shows and films in the following two decades, he never gained widespread notoriety—nor did he ever stop writing.

That’s where the legacy comes in. In 1995 Odenkirk and David Cross created the iconic—if cult—Mr. Show with Bob and David, which ran on HBO for three deplorably short years. Mr. Show in turn created a showcase for emerging, edgy talents like Tim & Eric (Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Good Job!) Patton Oswalt, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, and became the genesis for many future alt-comedy shows. Rolling Stone ranked it third on its list of the most influential sketch comedies of all time (behind Odenkirk favorite Monty Python’s Flying Circus and SNL); Wired magazine said of Mr. Show: “Without [Odenkirk], a certain strain of modern humor—a kind of sketch comedy that’s rigorously silly, intelligently designed, and more than a little self-aware—likely wouldn’t exist.”

So why did Mr. Show and many of his other past and current projects (The Birthday Boys, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Let’s Do This!) remain confined to relatively small, if critically acclaimed circles? Well, alternative comedy has been defined (probably by some comic) as comedy most people just don’t get. But Odenkirk keeps writing, presumably because he keeps thinking—about things that make him laugh, things that make him angry, and the world’s never ending supply of hypocrisy in constant need of lampooning.

Never has a career so matched a roller coaster for its ride of hits and flops, obscurity and fame. And it will likely continue that way, because Odenkirk is a compulsive attempter. He admits he’s not always easy to work with, but what perfectionist is? His work is to find new and absurd ways to question, challenge and critique, never sparing himself in the process. He shakes us awake from the mild sedative that most screen comedy has become, and in that calling, we find nothing to mock. He’d probably say we’re just not trying hard enough.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

Some filmmakers are born, not made. And of the born ones, a few make films that look as if they are not films at all, but just happen to have happened.

—from The Guardian’s 1991 review of Slacker 

Richard Linklater made Slacker in 1991 for about $23,000. Though it was only his second feature, (and Linklater himself only 31), it showed a director already in possession of a distinctive filmmaking style. It was a narrative approach others would later attempt to imitate, some because it felt so fresh and original, others, perhaps, because it grossed more than $1.25 million.

If his artistic vision seemed established from the outset, his path to filmmaking was less so. Up through his sophomore year in college, he held out hope of a pro baseball career with the Houston Astros, a dream that informs his just-released Everybody Wants Some!!  Instead, he dropped out of college to work on an offshore oilrig, a job that gave him time to read, write, and deepen his love of storytellers like Edward Albee and Leo Tolstoy.

When—much like Tolstoy—your artistic theme is essentially “life,” how do you tackle it? For Linklater, the answer is the way we live it—in moments. Those moments are captured in his trademark style of minimal camera movement, loose structure and looser narrative, the best and most well known examples being Dazed and Confused and the Before (Sunrise, Sunset, Midnight) trilogy. Minutes can meander for hours, and hours for years (see his masterful Boyhood). Without being artsy or precious, Linklater is a master of stretching time while rarely stretching our patience. The encompassing sense of place and perspective in his work is felt, rather than fed to us. Linklater shows us love, towns, grief, boredom, school, childhood, cars, fights and bewilderment as we’ve experienced them ourselves—all made profound because they trade on our memory, not our credulity.

Though most revered as an iconic patron saint of independent film, he’s occasionally taken on more commercial projects, and those he’s chosen to helm (Bad News Bears, School Of Rock) have Linklater’s grip on real life to thank for snatching them back from the brink of being too cute or cliché to resonate. Which makes us very impatient to see what he and Cate Blanchett will do with his upcoming film version of Maria Semple’s best-selling novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

We’d add to The Guardian’s review that some filmmakers are born independent, and those who are, are likely to stay that way—happily. Linklater’s long made a habit of offering his loyal stable of stars percentage points versus Hollywood salaries, a practice he’s called “betting on myself.” Making art largely for yourself is a risk, but when “yourself” is also frequently “all of us,” it usually pays off. Sometimes at the box office, often in critical acclaim, and always in the satisfaction of making the stories you see in your head. However it goes, you can’t lose too badly.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

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 dryness.” As it turned out, Bell was also damn funny, with a gift for injecting just the right amount of dark, wry wit into what became her breakout role, turning her into a geek goddess of sorts. Her excellent turn as Elle Bishop in Heroes only settled that crown more firmly on her head.

Maybe the fanboy hall-of-fame was a pre-destined landing place for someone who always felt (and early on, was often told) she wasn’t homely enough to play the nerdy girl and not nearly pretty enough to play the pretty girl. If that was a struggle at the outset, it seems to have made her a guileless and non-judgmental career plotter. That approach doesn’t work for everyone, but in Bell’s case, it’s allowed for angst-free role choices that ultimately did justice to her surprising range. (Check out Hit & Run for an early example of her abilities—and her director and then-fiancée’s knowing exactly how to push her buttons.)

Post-Veronica Mars, her big screen break arrived with a part in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a potentially intimidating career leap that landed well. In its review, Rolling Stone gave “Cheers to Bell for finding nuance in a diva written as a stone-cold bitch.” More recent evidence of her range turned up in a role in which she technically never appeared. For thousands of unsuspecting fans, Disney’s unstoppable snowball of a hit Frozen unmasked her extraordinary talent as a singer, a gift she honed in years of early musical theater training but modestly underplays.

These days, Bell finds herself increasingly in demand, and increasingly in the company of bar-raising colleagues, a challenge she deliberately seeks out. She’s playing the ambitious partner and foil to Don Cheadle in Showtime’s not-so-sunny House of Lies. In the upcoming film The Boss, Bell plays a mousey would-be brownie maven alongside Melissa McCarthy, one of her comedic idols. She’s also somehow managed to start work on a new NBC show called Good Place from the executive producer of Parks and Recreation and co-starring Ted Danson. The series allows Bell an interesting opportunity to explore the character of Eleanor, a not-so-good person trying to figure out how to become a good person—if she can figure out what actually defines “a good person.” Our advice to Eleanor? As examples go, your friend Kristen Bell wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

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After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
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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) looked under the radar long before a lot of us in the mass movie-going public, noting his uncannily facile power in films like Rebound: The Legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault, Talk to Me, Devil in a Blue Dress, and Traffic. Most of us, though, wised up a few years later with the release of Hotel Rwanda, The Atlantic along with us: “[Producer and director] Terry George has, in Don Cheadle, perhaps the most underrated performer working in motion pictures. A character actor of uncommon range and charisma, Cheadle has over the last decade shown himself to be exceptional at playing characters both ineffectual and ferocious. Cheadle delivers a performance without seams, one in which the character’s later heroism is merely another facet of his earlier pragmatism. His genius makes Hotel Rwanda not only an important work of politics, but an important work of art.”

It was a role George was honest in telling Cheadle he’d have to give to an actor with a bigger name, if he could get one. Cheadle’s reaction says a lot about him and how he sees his career. He told George he’d support the film in any way necessary regardless of whether he got the part, because it was a story that needed to be told. Cheadle honestly doesn’t care a whole lot about Oscars and fame and the like; he’s interested in longevity and the ability to make work that he believes has value—whether it puts him in front of or behind the camera. These days, he’s finding himself in both places, often simultaneously. He writes, directs, and stars in the upcoming film Miles Ahead, a take on musician Miles Davis so fiercely imaginative it demands its own genre. He’s also established his own production company, through which he’s now producing a new comedy for NBC—all while continuing to lead House Of Lies, which just became the first U.S. scripted series to shoot in Cuba.

All to say, he’s going to need his preternatural calm more than ever. But it should be noted that in Cheadle’s case, “calm” does not mean “reserved.” He continues to be an outspoken advocate for issues like humanitarian aid to Darfur and climate change awareness through fundraising, and by making films and co-authoring books on the subjects.

You get the feeling the man contains multitudes we’re only starting to see. Fittingly, we’ll let Miles summarize: “When you’re creating your own shit, even the sky ain’t the limit.”

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

A home that doubles as a daycare center and foster shelter for 12 kids over 12 years doesn’t tend to breed self-centered actors. It can, however, be a valuable immersive classroom for the study of personalities, comedy, chaos, and relationships.

Consciously or otherwise, Michelle Monaghan was an apt anthropologist, absorbing homegrown character analyses along with a family-sized dose of warmth and humanity. It helped her hone a wry wit and emotional intelligence that proved difficult (or for Hollywood, unnecessary) to see beneath her unfortunately stunning exterior. Not that she’s complaining about the good looks. They came in handy for the modeling career that paid tuition while she studied journalism in college and then rent while she auditioned for acting jobs in New York.

Monaghan’s transition from model/actress-hopeful to living room regular came in 2002 when she landed a role on Boston Public as idealistic teacher Kimberley Woods, a character many would agree wasn’t too far removed from her own. If her one year on the series didn’t make her a familiar face, Mission: Impossible III sure did (starring opposite Tom Cruise tends to have that effect on people). The confines of that role, and a preponderance of other “beautiful woman” screen assignments might’ve chafed a bit, but she didn’t spend much time bemoaning the situation. Admirably, she finds something to enjoy and dig into with every role, while pragmatically and optimistically pushing for more.

And reviewers began to realize that if given a second or third dimension, Monaghan would show what she could do with it, citing as examples her simultaneously under-used but sharply observed performances in films like Source Code, Gone Baby Gone, and Fort Bliss, Variety saying of the latter, “Even when the plotting feels strained or inauthentic, and the score a mite too insistent, Monaghan’s performance rings true.”

Maturity can diminish or present increasingly interesting opportunities for women in this business. Monaghan knows what she can do, and is making sure we see more of it by patiently forging her own path, producing and starring in the small but highly acclaimed Trucker and pressing True Detective directors to add layers to her character Maggie Hart; much, fans would agree, to the benefit of the show. Next is the upcoming Sleepless Night, a re-telling of Frederic Jardin’s Nuit Blanche that is rumored to have some surprises up its sleeve, one of which just might be Monaghan herself. Given that she’s a multiple blue-ribbon hog wrestler and holds an 18-wheeler trucking license, we can hardly doubt it. Even if we did, we’d be kind of scared to say so.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

As a nation, we love our sports. We love the team, the players and the game. And often—sometimes without even realizing it—we love the voices that bring them to life for us. Maybe it’s a certain sportscaster’s delivery we respond to, the style they’ve honed over years of calling and coloring the shots. Or maybe it’s just our innate trust and pleasure in the way their take on the game reflects our own.

Radio programming vet Len Weiner once analogized, “Dan Patrick is to SportsCenter what Peter Jennings is to ABC News. What you see, and what you hear, is the real Dan. He’s a sincere and down-to-earth Midwestern guy who loves talking about sports.”

That’s likely because Patrick also loved playing them, which he did well enough to garner awards and the attention of scouts in high school and college, where he chose cable TV over heat for his living quarters so he could afford to watch a fledgling network called ESPN. Even back then, Patrick was pretty certain he was destined to talk about sports for a living, and he would up doing just that for 18 years on ESPN, where he helped make SportsCenter the network’s flagship show with his spot-on blend of humor and insight. The oft-quoted Dan Patrick lexicon is rife with straightforward lines that aren’t inherently funny, but somehow get that way through his wryly un-theatrical tone. Awards he could’ve potentially received on the baseball field or basketball court were more than replaced by others: a Sports Emmy for Studio Host, a Sportswriters Association National Sportscaster of the Year Award (only the second ever given to a cable commentator), and a Marconi Award and NSSA Sports Broadcaster of the Year (twice).

Sharp, restless and more than a little competitive, Patrick eventually left ESPN, a move then-Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly called, “one of the top five biggest career mistakes in entertainment history.” Well, any armchair QB can make a bad call, Rick. Reacting to a fear of stagnation that in hindsight seems absurdly unfounded, Patrick quickly picked up a writing gig for Sports Illustrated, a show on Fox Sports Radio, a partnership with Fan Duel, hosting duties for Crackle’s Sports Jeopardy and a string of mostly mustachioed cameos in nine Adam Sandler films. Most impressively, he’s built an attic-based, self-produced radio program into what became the first show to premiere on Directv’s Audience Network. On The Dan Patrick Show, he plays host to some of the heaviest hitters in—and outside of—the sports world. It’s testament not only to his skill and standing, but to integrity over showmanship. Maybe it’s something his dad told him early on: “Do things right, remember people, and don’t be more than what you are.” What he is, is a guy who loves what he does. For thousands of listeners and viewers, that’s more than enough.

It probably all boils down to this: Our favorite hosts are the guys we want to hang out with, chewing the fat and the stats, and Dan Patrick is one of those guys. And the way things are going, he’ll be letting us in on the conversation (and the jokes) for a good long time. Score one for the fans.

This is the best way to experience Off Camera- When you get the app, you can instantly subscribe to Off Camera, or buy single issues a la carte. The Off Camera app is a beautifully designed hybrid magazine with the entire television version of Off Camera contained within it, available for any tablet or mobile device.

This e-magazine has all the images and extra content available in the physical version of the Off Camera magazine, plus enhanced HD video streaming so you can enjoy Off Camera your way.

After downloading the app, you will find Off Camera in your Apple newsstand folder. You can play steaming HD video straight from the pages of the app, making this experience truly multi-media.

Off Camera subscriptions available:
Single Issue/episode: (non-subscription): $2.99
6 month subscription: (11 issues/episodes): $27.99
1 year subscription: (22 issues/episodes): $49.99

Available in the Apple App Store and on Amazon:

In season three of Downton Abbey, lady’s maid Anna Bates shares her philosophy on good men: “They are not like buses. There won’t be another one around in ten minutes’ time.” The same could be said of great TV series, and thus viewers everywhere mourned the end of one of the most-beloved, most-watched (by about 10 million people per season) British aristo-dramas since Upstairs, Downstairs and Brideshead Revisited.

But what of the Downton cast? Signing on to a juggernaut show, wittingly or otherwise, can mean a long-awaited breakout and ever-widening career paths. Or, it can be the albatross necklace that forever cements your “type” in the eyes of casting directors, leaving you with few opportunities to change their impression by hogtying your schedule for years—or at least as long as ratings remain high.

Joanne Froggatt, who spent six seasons playing one of the noble household’s best-loved non-nobles, is glad she took the ride; it resulted in her being “discovered,” albeit for the fourth or fifth time in her career, as she’s been known to joke. Downton executive producer Gareth Neame has said that as Anna Bates, Froggatt became the beating heart of the show. “She is the character I would most like to have as a friend out of all of the characters in the show, I think.” So many people agreed that when her character was brutally raped in season four, many viewers protested to UK communications regulator Ofcom and ITV. On social media, fans likened it to “the rape of a Teletubby.” Still others wrote directly to Froggatt—they were the rape survivors to whom Froggatt paid tribute in her 2014 Golden Globes acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, the ones who were perhaps most moved by her portrayal.

Her vulnerable but forthright take on Anna Bates may account for how popular her character became. We see few such purely good people on screen these days, but we want to believe they exist. No doubt they do, somewhere; but the majority of us are the more complex, ambiguous humans Froggatt has played with great subtly, and to great acclaim. She got her start on notorious Brit-actor launch pad Coronation Street playing a teenage mother, and has not shied away from taking controversial roles since. Her portrayal of an Iraq war vet suffering from PTSD in In Our Name earned her a British Independent Film Award, and critical praise for the subtlety and intelligence of her acting. In the contentious TV film Danielle Cable: Eyewitness, her stunning performance as a teenage girl who witnesses the murder of her boyfriend garnered a Best Actress nod from the Royal Television Society. If you want more proof that her range extends beyond a starched apron and a stiff upper lip, watch her 2013 film Still Life.

If most of her pre-Downton work is like the proverbial tree falling in a forest for Stateside viewers, so be it—Froggatt is doing what she always wanted to do, a seemingly unlikely dream for a young girl raised on a sheep farm on the remote Yorkshire Moors by parents who initially hoped her acting ambitions would fizzle. Froggatt left home at 13 to attend theater school, fighting for tuition grants the whole way. Now, she’s once again leaving home, abandoning the manor and the UK for Los Angeles “to see what happens.” Her parting gift (for now) to British TV is Dark Angel, an ITV drama in which she plays real-life serial killer Mary Ann Cotton. How very un-genteel. We can’t wait.

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