Welcome to Beyond The Interview
Let's get one thing out of the way: We don't know shit.
We're not experts. We're not scholars. We're not sociologists. We're not "The Media." We're definitely not influencers. We're not even 30 yet. But one thing we are is insatiably curious about the world around us.
We're hungry for knowledge, context, tolerance, and, yes, even a little success along the way. And that's why we created Beyond The Interview. It's the only website out right now, dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent us from digging deeper.
We go beyond predictable conversation, into a deeply personal, uncomfortable place, because that's the only place we'll gain insight into the questions and answers that matter.
Our mission at BTI is to explore lives beyond the pictures, beyond the gossip, and beyond the mainstream media's incomplete portrayals.
We ask questions that touch upon weakness, strength, differences, crossroads, turmoil, family relationships, jealousy, controversy, and every other human experience that can transform or lead us to triumph and peace of mind. We talk to the up-and-comers, the faces you see all the time yet know nothing about, and the celebrities you wish you knew more about.
So much flies under the radar on this noisy Internet landscape. Luckily for you, we're fanatical pop culture consumers. We delve into the books, movies, documentaries, TV shows, interviews, and podcasts that will give you perspective, if you're ready to listen.
We don't have all the answers. But surely, someone else does.
Come along for the ride.
In it for the long haul,
Nicole Behnam and Mariella Rudi
Mariella Rudi has worked as a multimedia journalist in her hometown of her hometown of Los Angeles for more than 8 years.
An avid reader and pop-culture whiz, Mariella prides herself on being a reporter with a knack for conversation and connection. She applies her newshound charisma and years of interview experience to unearth the theme of everyone’s story and empathize with her subjects.
When writing, she relishes the opportunity to experiment with form, like literary and gonzo journalism. A fundamental tenet of Beyond The Interview is to push past the ego. With this, it’s always her goal to have an interview be fun, interactive, and always frank.
She has served as the print and digital editor of Westside Today, Brentwood News, and Century City News. She has written for Time Out Los Angeles, Yo! Venice, and the Santa Monica Mirror, among others.
She holds a journalism degree from Pepperdine University, where she served as executive editor of Pepperdine Graphic Media’s newspaper, online site, and magazine. It was there that she also won national Pacemaker awards—considered the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism—for feature story of the year and advertorials in newspapers.
She also has worked as the editorial assistant at to Edward Goldman, host of NPR’s “Art Talk,” with a focus on social media, research, and, of course, art in L.A.
Nicole Behnam is a columnist and feature writer from Los Angeles with more than 10 years of experience.
Nicole challenges her subjects and uses her unique personality to connect with them. Reporting is different in the digital age. This isn’t 60 minutes. Now, people can be real. Nicole’s not just interested in what you have to say, but how you feel, where you started, and what you’ve learned through your experiences along the way.
It’s common for reporters to sit back and rely on the old rules of journalism, but Nicole sees it differently. She helps people be brutally honest about subjects they normally would feel uncomfortable talking about.
With her curiosity, sarcasm, and wit, she brings common insecurities to the surface, including her own. As an interviewer, she has found that her interviewees are more candid when they aren’t sitting across someone in a pantsuit who meets them with an air of superiority.
Nicole’s writing has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Business Journal, WestsideToday, Jewish Journal, and The Huffington Post, among other outlets. Nicole graduated from the prestigious Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California as a Public Relations Major.