WIYS Institute
Film Clips
Joseph’s many television appearances include ER, Deep Space Nine, House M.D. and as “Archie Whitman” the Depression-era father of “Don Draper” in the hit series  Mad Men.
Joseph Culp’s film credits include leading roles in Alan J. Pakula’s Dream Lover, Monte Hellman’s Iguana, The Arrival, Chase Morran (Assault on Dome 4), and Maria Novaro’s El Jardin del Eden. He is the first actor ever to play the infamous Dr. Doom in the first film version of Marvel Comic’s The Fantastic Four. He was featured in HBO’s Full Eclipse, the noir thriller Innocents, Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, and Mario Van Peebles’ Panther and Baadasssss. He starred in the award-winning comedy Cyxork VII, and co-starred with Richard Thomas in Hallmark's Wild Hearts. He appeared in Norwegian director Knut Erik Jensen’s cold-war romance Icekiss and Voice of Life. Joseph won international critical acclaim for his performance as the starving writer in the award-winning film Hunger, an adaptation of Nobel winner Knut Hamsun’s novel, which he produced with director Maria Giese, and which featured his late father, actor Robert Culp. He co-produced and starred in the investigative drama, The Reflecting Pool, the first narrative feature to challenge the official version of the 9/11 attacks. Joseph recently directed the short films Traces and Sunset Strip Self-Improvement Affirmations.
Active in theatre for many years, Joseph has performed in numerous plays in both New York and Los Angeles, including The Actor’s Studio, HB Playwrights, Electric Lodge, and Theatre for the New City. He received a Los Angeles Drama-Logue award for his performance (as a rebel Irish coal miner) in Jason Miller’s Nobody Hears a Broken Drum and starred in the New York stage premieres of Foul Shots and Awake in A World That Encourages Sleep by Raymond J. Barry. Joseph is the founder and artistic director of the LA-Based Walking Theatre Group, (since 1992) integrating theatre, film and transpersonal work for actors, writers and directors. As a director his productions with the group include, A Wilder Evening - Six Short Works by Thornton Wilder, Franz Kafka’s The Judgment and In The Penal Colony, and Reclamation (series I-V) and Winter Walks. His musical play The Hound - An American Poem is currently in development at the Electric Lodge in Venice, California.
DVD available at
Awake In A WorldThat Encourages Sleep
This new documentary finally tells the behind-the-scenes intrigue around the ill-fated original version of Marvel’s The Fantastic Four – Co-starring Joseph Culp as the iconic super-villain Doctor Doom!   Many fans feel this low-budget sci-fi is the only film to ever capture the true spirit and style of the famous comic.  See this doc to find out why it was never officially released but eventually became one of the most bootlegged films of all time!
Traces: A film directed by Joseph Culp
3 short films with Joseph Culp in collaboration with Norwegian director Knut Erik Jensen
Walking Theatre Workshop
Now available for DVD rental on NETFLIX.
Link to LA reviews
Based on the play “Traces of Memory” by playwright Ann Wuehler. Two women meet by chance hitchhiking on a Nevada highway, desperate to escape their troubled lives. Both volatile and nuanced, actors Shanti Parsons and Elizabeth Gilbert deliver breakout performances as women pushed to extremes by their unfortunate choices. Shot entirely on location in the Mojave Desert, the drama unfolds as a contest of wills between two women struggling against the terrible secrets that have changed their lives. The film explores themes of vulnerability, trust, violence and reconciliation.
A play by Raymond J. Barry
A modern adaptation of Knut Hamsun's 1890 masterpiece, starring Joseph Culp and directed by Maria Giese
Link to NY review
Watch Traces on Vimeo.
Voice of Life - Music Video
HungerAvailable on Amazon VOD
A film about men Directed by Joseph Culp An odd-ball men’s support group descends into chaos and lunacy one Sunday morning, when one member appears headed for a breakdown, and long-standing conflicts threaten the trust between the men. The ensemble cast includes Timothy Bottoms, Stephen Tobolowsky, David Clennon, Joseph Culp, Mackenzie Astin, Phil Abrams, Terence Rotolo, and Ali Saam.  Coming Soon!
The first investigative drama to challenge the official version of 9/11.
A provocative tale of Love, Politics and Economic Hitmen in a World of Endless War.Performed by Tacey Adams, Raymond J. Barry, and Joseph CulpJoseph Culp won rave reviews for his performance as a corporate warrior caught in a triangle of love, politics and war in this powerful new play by Raymond J. Barry.
DOOMED! The True Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four
The Reflecting Pool
Three Short Films with Knut Erik Jensen
My Home in Honningsvåg
Joseph Culp currently runs this creative workshop for actors, writers, filmmakers, poets and performance artists at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA.   Joseph offers training in Walking-In-Your-Shoes(WIYS), a body/mind process also known as the practice of “Spontaneous Empathy” which has many benefits both personal and creative. WIYS and other techniques are used to develop original work for theater and film. Solo and group work is presented for the public at the Electric Lodge. For more information go to:
Voice of Life
Cyxork 7
Innocents (Dark Summer)
The Fantastic Four
The Reflecting Pool
El Jardin Del Eden
Full Eclipse
© 2012
Assault on Dome 4
Wild Hearts
The Chorus - Documentary
Columbia St. Mary's Hospital
Hyundai Compilation Reel
New American Century
Joseph Culp provides distinctive voice-over and narration for a variety of commercials and film.   Commercial clients include Hyundai Motor America, Microsoft, Healthnet Inc, U.S. Armed Forces and Columbia St. Mary's Hospital.  Joseph recently provided narration for the documentaries The New American Century by Massimo Mazzucco and The Chorus (about AIDS and the San Francisco Gay Men’s chorus) by Thierry Vivier.
Walking Group
Developed work will be presented at the Electric Lodge!Workshop Info: (310) 408-8023Visit the Website
A specialized workshop for professionals committed to developing their unique gifts and creating new projects for theatre and film.   "Walking-In-Your-Shoes"™; A Body/Mind Method for Knowing and Being Others". Developed for performers by Mr. Culp, this simply learned yet powerfully intuitive approach has roots in “shamanism” and is widely used by artists and healers around the world.Called the "Yoga of Acting", the transpersonal "Walking" practice will:   • Bring truth, power and freedom to your work. (in performance, on film sets, auditions, eliminate social anxiety, writer's block) • Allow you to consciously "walk" (spontaneously embody) characters, people, roles, archetypes, stories and dreams.  • Develop new original projects in a supportive group process • Expand your emotional/physical range and empower your artistic life   JOSEPH CULP: Actor, writer, director, producer (stage & feature film). Drama Logue and SAG award recipient. Co-founder of the WIYS Process; Artistic director of the Walking Theatre Group. Culp offers his own unique method of combining Transpersonal Process of WIYS and Organic Development of Character based on his work with Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen, Kenneth McMillan, The Actors Studio’s Arthur Sherman, and “Method master” John Lehne.Workshop includes Culp’s Walking-In-Your-Shoes TM Process, Cold Reading, Improvisation, Building a Character, Affective and Sense Memory, Scene and Monologue work. You will be guided to create your own film or theatre piece.
Mondays 6:30 to 10:30 PM At the Electric Lodge, Venice, CA.  Info: (310) 408-8023 
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Joseph Culp as Dr. Doom
Film Credits
Read Dr. Doom Interview
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INTERVIEW WITH JOSEPH CULP FOR FANSITE VICTORVONDOOM.COM  by Joshua Hicks (2008)   First off your performance as both Victor and Doctor Doom felt very genuine. What type of preparation did you do for the film?   After I was cast in the role, I started by going back through all the issues of Doom in the comic books and I realized just how important a task this was. This would be the first time any actor was going to play Dr. Doom on screen, so I got more excited and also realized what a responsibility I had to try to do something that would honor the glory and grandeur of the character. There were limitations of time and budget, and so much came down to what I could do without special effects. . I definitely wanted to capture his classical style, the villainous "panache", in his voice and physicality, but I also wanted to know what kind of inner life drove him. Doom is right up there with some of the classic archetypal villains who are filled with contradictions: The gifts of genius, the lust for control and power, but the desire to be loved. I invested a lot in Victor's backstory, even if it wasn't mentioned in the script. The loss of his gypsy mother, the desire to contact her through mystic arts, the need to fulfill a destiny as the rightful ruler of his country. I wanted to show in the beginning scenes with Reed, that he had a softer side and even valued the friendship, which later his madness transformed to bitterness and feelings of betrayal. Not all these ideas are supported by the comic, but I felt they would give a fuller human picture. I wanted to try to bring out some of his pain and suffering even as he pursued power and the destruction of others. I also saw a wicked sense of humor in the comics, (as is befitting a tortured genius!), so I wanted to give him moments to tease, be sarcastic and enjoy his power, reveling in some moments of explosive mad laughter. But if you listen, the laughter is also full of rage and sorrow as well.   In preparation, I remember spending some time in a ski-mask to see what feelings would emerge from living in a "mask" and armor. The sense of affliction, imprisonment, of not being truly seen, and also permission and power. Lots of improvisation, physical and vocal exercises and finding my own personal link to the extreme qualities of this character.   From viewing your other work you have a gift of not playing a man but actually becoming the man. What was the feeling from an emotional standpoint of portraying such a complicated character as Doctor Doom?  One tries to pull things out on some personal level that will bring you to your vision of the character. Sometimes you have to dig around in your psyche to find the right triggers, and these become colors and motivators of action. I certainly had to dip into some of my own anger, hurt and desire to act as Doom does. Those are creative challenges which I enjoy. Actors are funny that way, we turn personal suffering into art and feel accomplished about it. But there is also a sense of fun that comes with playing a powerful tyrant-king because you get permission to indulge the power-fantasy. Like being back in the sandbox when you are 3 years old, you are king of the mountain and can command the world. There was also a whole sensual element to being Doom which I experienced. There is some kind of enjoyment he gets out of wearing the suit of armor, and tormenting others, it may even be somewhat sado-masochisitc, not unusual in power-mad people. So, playing Doom or "becoming" him was quite a ride and forced me to places I had not been before. And that's always a good thing.   I noticed you did a lot of subtle motions with your fingers as well as the more grand posing throughout the film. Were these Motions in the script or something you brought to the film your self?  There was nothing in the script but dialogue and some basic action. All the physical stuff I did as Doom was there because I was wearing this hard plastic suit and mask and I was desperate to show physically WHO this character was. I was afraid of just standing there looking like a tin can. I practiced as many articulated gestures, poses, finger movements as I could come up with to show with my body what I could not show with my face. I also think it was appropriate and true to the style of the comic. There are some personal touches, like palpating Dr. Hauptman in the Chinese Medicine style, caressing Alicia's face and lips, pushing the edge of Doom's sensual nature, but many of the gestures are right out of the original books. So much was dictated however by the constraints of wearing the suit.   What was the process involved in actually wearing the garb of Doom? Was the suit uncomfortable? I would imagine it was not always pleasant?  The suit was a grueling experience. It was hot, it cut into my flesh, it was very difficult to move freely and definitely contributed to the over all emotional intensity of the performance. I had no trouble feeling anger, rage and frustration inside that suit. I just transferred these feelings to the actions and motivations of Doom. As I mentioned, I think Dr. Doom may have enjoyed some of this pain, it makes him stronger, but I have to say I personally did not! (Though maybe I am stronger for having worn it!)  What are your personal feelings on the character? I have never seen him as a "super-villain" myself.  Doom is certainly considered to be one of the great villains in the history of the genre. I love his intelligence, his wit, his sense of personal entitlement, his determination and he has a lot of style. But I also think he has a heart full of torment and sorrow that he cannot express in any other way but to try to dominate and control the world. His disfigurement is more than skin deep. So he could be right up there with Cronos, Herod, Richard III, Phantom of the Opera, Sauron, and of course he is a precursor to Darth Vader. But Doom is tortured so I always feel sorry for him and kind of wish he would always win.   Talking about the film itself; were there any times during the filming that you had a sense that something wasn't right?   No one ever had a sense that the film we were making was not meant to be seen. No indications or premonitions of any kind. It was very clear we had a very limited budget, script and time to get this thing done. We were shooting on Roger Corman's stages and it was the most expensive thing he ever backed, so I think we all hoped for a pretty decent and fun low-budget B picture that might just break out because of the fan base. Everybody involved wanted to give their all to this effort even with our meager resources, the spirit of which I believe still shows in the film. I thought the Thing looked cool. Sue was pretty hot. We had some cool set pieces. However, when I saw one of the bendy arms for Mr. Fantastic, I was a bit concerned! CGI and advanced computer graphics were still a few years away, so I certainly had to wonder if these stunts and special effects were going to work. We didn't have the budget of a Superman film, but I felt it was going to be better than a Power Rangers episode for sure. Actors and filmmakers want to work and will generally put their heart in a project because that is what they love doing. We did and we had fun doing it.  Do you personally believe the rumors that the movie was sabotaged from the get go?   Anything is possible, but it seems hard to imagine even in 1993. I do not personally believe that over 2 million dollars was spent to make an entire film with no thought of making money from it but only to retain rights. It doesn't seem good busainess to me. I may be naive and I suppose anything is possible, but we started doing press junkets and Comic-Cons promoting a release of the film until we got the sudden word it was shelved. Money could have been made on that film, even as a DVD, and they STILL could have gone on to make a big budget version. It took about 12 years before the big-budget version was made, so why sit on the film and not make any money and see it get bootlegged all around the world? Maybe that was their business plan, but I doubt it. Even if it was the case, I'm sure nobody thought it would take so long to make another one. Now it's just a strange part of Hollywood lore. If the owners were really smart, I think they should release the old film as a special bonus or something on a special DVD with the new films.. They would make even more money. And that was the goal, right?   In retrospect what is your overall feeling towards the whole ordeal?  The Fantastic Four movie I did was just part of my journey as an actor and filmmaker. I was glad to have the experince and I remain proud of my work as the first Dr. Doom. I think I was able to capture some of the classic Doom from the original books and put my own personal touches on it as well. Not all may agree with my choices, but I did what I could under the circumstances of that shoot and tried to give the director Oley Sassone what he wanted as well. I think Oley did a great job with such limited resources and he also tried to give the film a "comic book" feel, which was appropriate for the size of the picture. He encouraged me to go "all the way" with Doom, and I appreciated that. The Doom in the recent versions has none of majesty of the original character, which I think is unfortunate, but that was the choice I suppose. I still get fan mail about my work as Dr. Doom, and my son grew up watching the tape of my Doom and imitating my voice and laugh as he played with his action figure, and that kind of makes it all worth it.   Moving on to more recent work. I have to say the Reflecting Pool" was a very brave piece to undertake not only from a production standpoint but as an actor. What do you hope viewers will take away from the film?   The Reflecting Pool is an invitation to look closer at a much mythologized turning point in American history. There is no closure for 9/11. Thousands died, families forever impacted, workers traumatized, sick and dying as we speak, and then the Bush administration used it as the basis for two foreign wars and the loss of many civil liberties. Over a million Iraqi people and thousands of US soldiers are dead for no good reason. 9/11 was the catalyzing event for this "War on Terror" which has ended up doing most of the terrorizing in the world. There was no proper investigation of this massive crime, the 9/11 Commission was severely impeded, and much of the information has been kept from the public by suppression and various forms of censorship. We must look more thoroughly at what happened and not wait for fifty years. There are many problems with the "Official Story" and I believe we owe it to ourselves and everyone who was affected to get to the truth. The Reflecting Pool presents many important verified facts surrounding 9/11 through the form of a fictional investigation. All these facts come from public sources and I want people to become curious and look into them. I believe those facts show this was not some incredible accident but that there had to be many more people involved, and if so, who? It's the healthy thing to do if we wish to create the kind of transparent democracy we say we want. The role I played in the film of a father who lost his daughter speaks for the human and psychological cost of the event and how our grieving and the need for answers is not over. I hope everyone sees this film and it makes them think about getting more informed, voting for a new investigation (which is poised to go on the ballot in New York next November) and continuing to look more carefully at how we get our information and who we elect to represent us in this country.   For those unfamiliar with your Walking Theatre Group, explain what you hope to help other actors achieve? What are the main principals of this approach to acting?  I run a workshop on Monday nights at the Electric Lodge performing arts space in Venice, California where we develop new projects for theatre and film. We often perform plays and evenings as the Walking Theatre Group. "Walking" refers to a process I co-developed over a twenty year period called "Walking-In-Your-Shoes". This is a Body/Mind process where people learn to use their natural gift for empathy to "spontaneously embody" another person. It makes use of the entire body as a vehicle for knowing and can be applied to developing characters, plays, poems, stories and ideas. I work with actors, writers, directors, performance artists, even poets, and help them use the Walking Process to expand their talent and access material in their "unconscious" to give more depth to their work. The process was first developed with therapists as a way of integrating sense of self with sense of oneness, but I took it to the theatre because of its creative applications. At the heart of the work is stepping beyond limiting self-concepts to experience other aspects of our humanity. There are numerous techniques and tools for performers and I have studied many and every actor uses what works for them. The Walking Process is another such tool and helps free the performer and put them in touch with their body in the moment while they "explore" what it is like to be someone or something else. There are many benefits to the Walking "practice". I have seen it effect big changes in people, not only in their work but also their lives. A person who could not show his anger can come out slugging. A person who never danced becomes a ballerina. Someone walks your grandfather who has been dead for decades and remarkably becomes him before your eyes. The ability to empathize and transcend are gifts belonging to everyone, but we need to practice to know their true benefits. For the actor, this is essential.   Lastly, what does the future hold for Joseph Culp?  More acting, writing, and filmmaking. I am definitely a "hyphenate" these days because I like to have a hand in everything. I am currently working on a wider release of The Reflecting Pool after completing a year of theatrical and festival screenings and touring the U.S. It will play in a festival in Egypt this April. I am working on a release of Hunger, the adaptation of Nobel winner Knut Hamsun's 1890 novel, in which I produced and starred. I am busy with several new film projects, acting, writing, producing and directing. I recently shot a pilot for a comedy show. I will be recording a spoken word and music project. And the theatre is a constant source of inspiration. More stories, more characters, more adventures. As Dr. Doom says, "Here's to the future, my friend!"
Dream Lover
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Chase Moran
The Arrival
Joseph Culp appears as Archie Whitman, the depression era father of Don Draperon AMC's hit series MAD MEN.
Click here to read an interview with Joseph Culp about his role as Archie Whitman.
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Awake In A WorldThat Encourages Sleep
A provocative tale of Love, Politics and Economic Hitmen in a World of Endless War. Performed by Tacey Adams, Raymond J. Barry, and Joseph Culp
“…with Joseph Culp (Don Draper’s surly father in those stylish “Mad Men” flashbacks)…’Awake” is a masterpiece of comic ensemble acting!”LOS ANGELES TIMES (Critic’s Pick) "Joseph Culp, delivers a brilliantly nuanced performance, mining the depths of the many layers of his character."  “Riveting…Spellbinding performances”  SPLASH MAGAZINES “Joseph Culp is great as the increasingly desperate, bewildered husband and corporate hit man.” HOLLYWOOD PROGRESSIVE “Culp exhibits exceptional slow-burn chops as a conservative archetype who comprehends more than his position allows.”  BACKSTAGE Joseph Culp brilliantly portrays his denied guilt over forcing his only son into a war engaged military with disastrous results.  NY THEATRE WIRE
El Jardin del Eden
Based on the play “Traces of Memory” by playwright Ann Wuehler. Two women meet by chance hitchhiking on a Nevada highway, desperate to escape their troubled lives. Both volatile and nuanced, actors Shanti Parsons and Elizabeth Gilbert deliver breakout performances as women pushed to extremes by their unfortunate choices. Shot entirely on location in the Mojave Desert, the drama unfolds as a contest of wills between two women struggling against the terrible secrets that have changed their lives. The film explores themes of vulnerability, trust, violence and reconciliation.