B&T is live and loud at Cannes Lions and yesterday we attended Louise Theroux’s “The Power of An Authentic Voice” session, presented by the BBC. Chloe Noel De Kerbrech reports.
Katty Kay, the BBC’s US Special Correspondent interviewed Theroux in what was a very eye opening 30 minutes.
When asked about his early career and what techniques he used to get to the heart of his interviewees, Theroux said “it’s my hopelessness [that] was the unique quality I brought to the job”.
He credits Michael Moore with “seeing something” in him and a “level of incompetence that he thought might be helpful” in the US market.
Of this market, Theroux added that his personal brand was widely accepted because “with an English accent, one has almost diplomatic Immunity” in the US.
He believes that because he was “over educated and under socially unqualified”, he was perfectly setup for these types of interviews.
He further adds that he believes his warmth and humanity helps draw out the stories. What makes his voice and his work authentic is that he has a naturally inquiring mind and is always looking for something honest, insightful, and intriguing from his interviewees.
He’s learnt throughout his career to never stop the camera running as it’s often in the unscripted scenes that he finds “surprisingly funny moments of unexpected comedy”.
On his more recent interviews and the shift in the media landscape, he adds that “weirdness has become mainstream” and that in the US, those who used to be on the outer echelons of society are now widespread, however that there are still a “myriad of ways that [he] continues to be uncomfortable” on camera.
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