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An Interview with Molly Bernstein, Director of ‘Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay’

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Molly Bernstein, Alan Edelstein, Ricky Jay, and Scott Foundas at The New York Film Festival world premiere of Deceptive Practice. Photo by Joe Holmes.

I’ve been a fan of Ricky Jay’s since I was a kid, when I saw his TV special, Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants. I remember being taken by how different he was from anyone I’d ever seen perform magic—stern, with no bombast. He made magic this manly, intimidating thing, like a cigar or something. I’ve been scared and mesmerized by him ever since.

As I grew older, he and his inimitable voice turned up in some of my favorite movies, such as Boogie NightsMagnolia, Homicide, and Things Change—and of course, my favorite TV show of all time, Deadwood. And now he’s the subject of one of my favorite documentaries of last yearDeceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Molly Bernstein, the director of this wonderful film:
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