Pre Netflix, pre internet, Louis Theroux was out in the real world telling the stories no one wanted to touch. The expert documentary man with an ability to ask the hard questions without flinching is hanging out in Perth right now. He never hesitates pushing on the uncomfortable makes for riveting TV. Honest, raw Louis is captivating to watch. Catch up on his 5 craziest moments in the name of journalism, he really has done it all.
In his documentary Under the Knife, Louis dives into the real life experience of plastic surgery. He speaks with patients before and after to see if their self esteem improved with unsurprising results. But then Louis in classic Theroux style dives head first and undergoes liposuction himself, documenting the whole thing from permanent marker sketch to ultimate bod. Watch the whole documentary for an in depth look into the motivations and mindsets of those paying hefty amounts in the name of self improvement.
#2 Spent Two Weeks In Prison
Now Louis goes where other journalists wouldn’t go, and manages to somehow to get clearance in places that remain off the news. Spending two weeks in prison in his series Behind Bars, Louis documents the racial segregation and warfare behind bars in spectacular form. In case it wasn’t eye opening enough, he went back and did it again in Miami years later.
#3 Lived with Westboro Church – Twice
Famously known for picketing dead soldiers funerals and embellishing their signs with violent slogans of hate, Westboro Church members are not the easiest people to talk too. Louis spends time with the whole clan in two documentaries addressing the Most Hated Family in America. He sits in on church and even pickets himself, dealing with lashings of hate from the church members but Louis stays strong. Getting inside the mind of a religious sect so irrational is no easy task but Theroux manages. Rational, no not at all but definitely a must watch.
#4 Visiting the Westbank
To Theroux a war zone is of no worry, this time travelling to the heart of international conflict, the West Bank. A place where patriotism and religion intersect so violently that only Louis was crazy enough to document it. He spent several weeks in Ultra-Zionist communities and even travels along the border in a mere vest for protection. This is peak Louis, brilliant, explosive and a little insane.
#5 Made A Porn Cameo
One thing Theroux does so wonderfully is making fun of himself, he has no shame. Across two documentaries he experiences the porn industry for himself. From penis polaroids to his cameo in a gay porn film Louis embeds himself like no other journalist would. Returning recently to see how the internet changed the porn industry, a where are they now of sorts proved sad. One suicide, one addiction and a range of issues affect the original subjects today. Needless to say a porn cameo is not something you’d see on 60 Minutes, his groundbreaking attitude meant uncovering a story no one else would touch.
Ps. Louis announced on the Project he’s been looking into a documentary on indigenous Australians. Must watch. Louis is the hero we all deserve.
Image source: Christina House / Christina House