Louis Theroux explains his motivations as a film-maker

The journalist reveals what interests him about the "strange" people profiled in his work


Documentary-maker Louis Theroux has appeared in a new online video for the BBC Knowledge website, explaining the motivations behind his work.


In the clip, Louis says: “Basically I’m a journalist who works primarily on television making documentaries about secret worlds, worlds that I find fascinating in which people do things that I find bizarre.

“I immerse myself in these worlds and try to understand the mentality of the people who engage in these behaviours.

“The key point for me is that these are human beings, motivated by the same impulses we are. And so what might seem utterly alien at first glance, when you unpick it and go deeper, becomes something perfectly human and recognisable.”

Theroux then goes on to discuss the role of communication in prisons, citing as an example two prisoners he observed during the making of his film Miami Mega Jail who had invented their own sign language, and plays a clip of the two men that was not used in the finished documentary.


You can see the video here. Louis Theroux’s next documentary, Louis Theroux: Extreme Love, is on BBC2 this Thursday at 9pm.