15 Jun 2019

Louis Theroux: the TV version of me is semi-fictional

From Saturday Morning, 8:09 am on 15 June 2019

Louis Theroux is coming to New Zealand and spoke to Noelle McCarthy on RNZ’s Saturday Morning.

Louis Theroux

Louis Theroux Photo: Carsten Windhorst

Famously unafraid of awkward moments, and incurably curious, filmmaker Louis Theroux has been making BAFTA award-winning documentaries for over twenty years. 

He has specialised in immersing himself in the world of his subjects, whether they be neo-Nazis, drug addicts, religious fanatics, or those accused of sexual assault.

He said his live show was a chance for people to get a more “three-dimensional” version of him.

“As much as I could be cute and say the me you see on TV is the real me, you know I’m there doing a job.

“The hours and hours of interviewing I do gets whittled down at a rate of about 40 or 50 or 60 to one.

“You get this, sort of, semi-fictional version of me. Or at least heavily tidied up.”

He said that level of “curation” was not present at his live show.

“I don’t think I’m much more stupid or much more offensive; it’s more that I’m just a three-dimensional person with the same wants and desires, anxieties and needs. And with the live shows, you get to see that a little bit.”

He said he did not treat his interviews like a job.

“For the most part, the stories are the kind of stories where I think what a privilege it is to be in this world and I can’t quite believe I get to see this.”

Theroux is coming to New Zealand in January next year for a one-off event called Louis Theroux Without Limits - live on stage, details here.