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  • I've been watching this series for several years. When it's good, it's really good, and when it is bad, it is still usually interesting. The best shows, in my opinion, are those from very experienced top-dog actors and directors, but "lesser" actors usually have interesting things to say too. My favorite shows were those that featured Stanley Donen, Norman Jewison, Mike Nichols, Spike Lee, Ron Howard, Anthony Hopkins, Matt Dillon, Meryl Streep and Gary Sinise. These interviewees really let you into their working process and career history without a lot of bloated self-importance. When the interviewees don't say much: "Duh, I don't know," act too cool, or start waxing philosophical about dumb movies, then it can be pretty dull. Worse is when guests like Robin Williams agree to be on the show and then don't cooperate with the format, turning it into an opportunity to show off. It doesn't happen often, but it grates when it does. James Lipton is ideal as the very knowledgeable but groveling sycophantic host, and he seems to relish playing the part. At least he is consistent in his praise (over overpraise) of every guest equally, whether they have had a 10 year or 60 year career. He doesn't focus on flops or bad reviews, so the guests aren't defensive, and on balance, that's probably the best way to do it. It's clear that he just loves the business. My favorite part is when he reads some question from his stack of blue cards that shows he has REALLY done is his research, often stunning and amusing the interviewee. I've heard more than one person say, "Where did you get THAT?" or "Have you been speaking to my mother/therapist?" I usually turn it off when the students get up to ask their questions because often they are too fawning and embarrassing.
  • "Inside the Actor's Studio" offers something that virtually no other interview program does: an interview. The actors, directors, and writers that appear as guests get a chance to actually discuss their craft and their particular approach to it. James Lipton is a great interviewer, offering up questions & observations that you're not going to hear from the majority of other television interviews, as most of those are usually 4 or 5 minute snippets that rarely get past the current projects. Either that or its the same stupid anecdote that has been given on every other show. You don't have to be an actor or director to appreciate & enjoy this program. You don't even have to be a big movie fan to enjoy Lipton's insightful interviews. And for those who are interested in this business, what better way to learn than by hearing it from the masters.
  • One of the most informative shows on television right now. It allows actors, directors and writers to express their craft to the geniuses of tomorrow. James Lipton should also be commended for the large amount of time and work he puts

    into the research of every guest that has visited the studio from Paul Newman to Sidney Lumet to Robert DeNiro. It's an important show that deserves to be honored.
  • *Inside The Actor's Studio*

    I haven't seen Inside The Actor's Studio very many times, but the ones I have seen were fabulous. I love this show because instead of going into the celebrities personal lives (which all of E!'s shows do, and it's so BORING), they discus their films. Hosted by the wonderful James Lipton, who asks all the right questions.

    Here are some of the people who were being interviewed when I watched it. Steven Speilberg, Jack Lemmon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. As you can see, they have a diverse list of accomplished actors. For some reason, before I watched her on Inside The Actor's Studio, I disliked Sarah Jessica Parker. I always associated her with the character she plays on Sex In The City (rich, clothes obsessed, spoiled). After watching her on Inside The Actor's Studio I realized she grew up poor and with the dream of becoming an actress. She didn't make it on her looks like most actors. She struggled. When Jack Lemmon was interviewed he admitted he was an alcoholic. That really touched me. This show goes deep.

    Another thing I love about the show is James Lipton covers about every one of the actor's films, one by one. This is a great show for anyone interesting in film and the actor's craft.

  • macpherr16 February 2000
    "Inside the Actors Studio" is considered a television series but to me it is an acting class taught by the best actors in the world. Some of the guests: actors, directors, are members of Actors Studio, which is a school that offers training in both Alexander and Feldenkrais body technique, speech, and Linklater voice technique. The School has a training program for actors that gives equal value to Stanislavski and Strasger-based training. In the series the guests talk about their own views on acting techniques such as Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler methods. One of the productions companies is called "In the Moment Productions" meaning another technique, if you will, of acting from "moment to moment". We have recorded most of the shows and have enjoyed the tapes very much. I think that James Lipton (The Guiding Light) does such an incredible amount of research into the life of each guest that is fascinating to see how the actors react about this guy who knows all about them. Another plus for these wonderful acting classes is that one can see the guests as people working really hard on their craft, and not mere humans who make an enormous amount of money. I highly recommend the show, specially for people who are interested in the business, because television can be a wonderful teaching tool. Those who are not interested in the acting business will enjoy an interviewer who is really well prepared and knows what he is talking about. I wish all interviewers would pursue the James Lipton interviewing method. That is what I call quality entertainment. Bravo!
  • James Lipton would be really just a good Film and acting professor at the New School in New York City (it may be a different school now) if not for his show Inside the Actors Studio, where he brings on a different big name actor (and occasionally the infamous director, comedian, or even TV show cast or musician) and interviews them about the process. It ends then with his 'questions', which usually bring out hilarious responses, then leading to the students asking questions.

    It's hard sometimes to watch the show to not think of Will Ferrel's dead-on imitation of Lipton from SNL; there is something to Lipton that is full-of-himself, that he's so honored to be interviewing these highly revered celebrities and actors about their craft. Sometimes this is a worthy place to be that he's in; interviews with Robert De Niro, Meryl Street, Martin Scorsese, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spiebgerg are very worthwhile to hear from. But sometimes the questions asked by the students themselves end up having some more worth, as they're the ones who will want to know more for their lives than Lipton; also, some of the interviewees are either still on their way in their careers, or make you scratch you head thinking 'why is HE on the show'? But for the most part, it is a consistently interesting program past the overly serious and sad points, and for film buffs it is always of some fascination to hear their favorites speak about the craft and the process and the actors they work with. Sometimes it is a little too full of bull, but then that is countered with the funnier guests (people like George Carlin and the cast of the Simpsons have appeared).
  • Mr. James Lipton, an accomplished/actor producer himself, brings out the talent and communicative ability of these actors/artists. It is a pleasure to watch Mr. Lipton ask questions, review accomplishments, and show films clips of the actors, that are gracious enough to share their talents and experiences to future actors, directors and TV viewers. I am overwhelmed by the total honesty of these marvelous artists. They don't come forth with any ego, condescending attitude, but a willingness to share their experiences and faults to further advance the theater and film making.

    Please continue the good work,
  • Inside The Actors Studio took me by surprise, I was expecting the host James Lipton to brown-nose celebrity's as per the Will Ferrell sketch. Instead the host gives an insightful and intelligent interview with various members of the Acting & Film Making community.

    You've probably seen the list of guests, made up of some of the most famous but more importantly talented actor's and directors. Very infrequently the guests I suspect were chosen because of their personal interest to Mr Lipton.

    His interview technique is amazing, he's probably the first interviewer I've seen with perfect timing. He tends to probe his guests to offer up a side of themselves or an experience that other people or they themselves may not even be aware of or want to admit to. Unlike many interviewers he does not back off when he hit's a nerve, instead he cajoles the guest to open up. He generously offers the guests an opportunity to make interesting comments or jokes, sometimes at his own expense.

    Every episode is interesting even when it features an artist who you may not find interesting. I hope you'll be surprised by this show too.
  • I can sit in my living room yet feel like an audience member learning from this show. Here, the interviewed actor/director/writer feels liberated enough to reveal a relaxed side of themselves: There's always a golden nugget of info the actor shares with us. Actors should watch this with a pad and pen ready for note-taking. I don't know about the general public, but most aspiring/struggling/starving/working/professional actors who watch this show will toss away the idea of attending seminars to absorb the info being spilled here. Why read a book on acting when you can hear Julianne Moore talk about how she approaches a roll? Most viewers have their favorite interview: The best actors are the most educational ones while the rest are entertaining. I like James Lipton's approach to the actors. How else can he get the actors to relax and spill their guts? If I want hard-hitting journalism, I'll watch 20/20 for that. All I want is more info on what could make me a stronger performer, not this person's sexual preference or how many times they've checked into rehab: I'm not interested in the gossip and I'm thankful this show isn't about that.
  • When I first watched this, I believe it was the Cast of The Simpsons, after this, it was my new favorite show!

    Inside The Actor's Studio is hosted by James Lipton (with the exception of the 200th episode in which Lipton was interviewed by Dave Chappelle). The show has not one, but more than hundreds of actors and actresses.

    From Anthony Hopkins to Jane Fonda, actors and actresses recount their lives to what brought them to being an actor, actress, writers, and directors by birth to the seat they sit in.

    It is a fantastic show with a wonderful ending Q & A. The show is wonderful, it is funny and informative!
  • I have known actors and I dislike them for so many reasons. When done well, there's no denying acting IS a skill. But too many people think they should be actors, mainly because they see it as a lifestyle and a way to be the center of attention, not a job - laziness & privilege are what appeal to them. Most actors cannot stop acting, and they are constantly attempting to shine attention on themselves. This plays out on the show as actors "method-act" their answers.

    The actors I've known are needy, awful, empty-headed people. These qualities are enervating. This is the TV show that confirms the truth of every unflattering cliché about actors AND liberals and makes everyone else do a slow-boil. When they answer Lipton's limp questions, actors reveal the self-impressed minutia & trivial crap that their minds are pre-occupied with; the things that have stunted their growth.

    There are no more unkind words to waste on the hideously self-impressed and fawning sycophant James Lipton. The dynamic he provides is revolting.

    The coda of each episode is a grotesque display of touchy-retchy posturing and self-disclosure: "Hello my name is Sierra, I'm the product of my parents most delirious self-indulgent baby-boomer dreams. I'm a 2nd year acting student, and I haven't thought deeply about anything but myself for over a decade...." (Although this sounds like a conservative rant, I'm a liberal)
  • I haven't seen an enormous number of these shows, and I think the first few I saw were of genuine acting giants such as De Niro and Streep. Lipton's awed reverence seems a tad over-done but not inappropriate. But as time goes on and one sees a few people more known for being movie stars rather than notably talented actors, one can't help but notice that Lipton's attitude towards his interviewees doesn't change one iota. They all get the same, "Another of my favourite films is..." treatment.

    Last week I saw the Simpsons interview (which included a clip from The Simpsons satirising Lipton's sycophancy), and I have to say it left a bad taste in the mouth. Of course, his oleaginous manner didn't change in the slightest, but at least most interviewees are given the respect of talking about their work as *actors*, whereas the poor old Simpsons cast (Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer) had to jump through their vocal hoops like so many performing monkeys, answering questions as their characters and the like. No wonder Julie Kavner left early!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Maybe it's the only comment here which has a spoiler alert because I'll reveal some real secrets from this show ! Like how (Robin Williams) is an intellectual actor not only a clever clown who quitted drugs because the love of his child and the death of his fellow (john Belushi), and how he could answer every question by a long, breathtaking and totally improvised sketch ! How (Ben Affleck) reacted when he first saw a screenplay for him in shooting (cried), or when he won the Oscar in the age of 26, and the different endings of his (good well hunting)'s script, plus the (Matt Damon)'s eternal hatred to be in a classroom !

    (Val Kilmer) is actually a poet who hates his movies (Top Gun, Batman Forever, The Island of Dr. Moreau ..etc) being the best man on earth to mock at and tell jokes about them. (Harrison Ford) is a co-writer in most of his movies (without credits !), and thinks that god will tell him at the pearly gates "You look better in person." (!!!). (Clint Eastwood) can SMILE, and LAUGH TOO !! And made all of his career by believing in (take your work serious but don't take your life so serious) rule, and by the way he wants 72 virgins for him only when he goes to heaven !!

    (Hugh Jackman) is not only "Wolverine" from (X Men) but also a fine singer and a star of great musical plays. (Will Smith)'s word (Gettin Jiggy With It) is considered valid, accepted and appeared in the new dictionary while he still doesn't know the actual meaning of it !! (Antonio Banderas) works with no exact method, waiting for the truth to hit him the second he dies ! (Bette Midler) stayed for 3 whole years with no job for no reason ! (Debra Winger) is a nice and melancholy woman who slept in a grave once just to see the influence of that on her, so she can use those new feelings in a role after (!) since she see that (the one who doesn't surprise himself is just not knowing himself) !

    (Ed Harris) is a great man who believes in one principle (that effected me as a screenwriter myself)…I'll paraphrase it : (after all your studying, just leave yourself free and forget what you've studied, because after that, your own sense will choose what it needs and can succeed with), though I didn't understand his very long hard silence when he mentioned accidentally his parents !? (Kevin Spacey) is a perfect genius in impersonation American and British actors (and actresses too !) and he admitted of robbing once from a woman's purse (a party's invitation) just to get some role, and Mr. Lipton insisted on telling the whole story for the sake of the students to learn a lot about fame, fate and maybe the different ways of seizing the opportunities.

    Well, these are some parts of the secrets. So of course with the wit, great culture, and the sense of humor of James Lipton you'll know the real secrets of this show's magic, charm and continuance. And Yes, he has natural sense of humor and repartee, just keep watching carefully and you'll discover that and discover a lot more also because this is a rare simple show that can enjoy as well as teach in the same time.
  • Every once in a while, they get a true giant of cinema, television or the stage to come on the show and talk about their craft, and their lifetime of making films or shows. I am looking forward to the Clint Eastwood one, I liked the DeNiro one, Mike Nichols.

    Then you get Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone, Mike Myers for the love of peter. The "giants" of the entertainment industry. I mean, Sharon Stone? Her only claim to fame is flashing us her beaver in "Basic Instinct" and she is up there lying between her teeth about whose fault it is that she flashed her beaver (for the record, she is saying that she had no idea Verhoeven was filming her flashing her beaver!).

    Lipton is at his best when he interviews the true legends, and at his shameless worst when he interviews the fluffers, especially making them jump through hoops by saying famous lines, or asking them to dance. I think his very best show was the one with Billy Joel, go figure.
  • I do like this show very much and I look forward to each new one. I agree with all the comments; to get good actors talking about their craft makes for excellent and interesting TV. But......! Does Mr Lipton have to be quite so sycophantic (perhaps he does otherwise the guests won't appear), and the incredible build up he gives to individual movies..... well, a tad overdone. And the questionnaire!! why does he invest these rather banal questions with such cosmic significance? In truth it is much like the sort of questions fan mags used to ask David Cassidy or Donny Osmond.

    Gosh! I am sounding grumpy! And I do really like the show. Perhaps what I am criticizing is all part of its quirky charm.
  • this is the only show ( at least i watched until now ) that not only helps to know how our favorite stars are... but also helps to develop the craft for professionals ( being and wanted to be ) and know the difficulty of the craft for non-professionals, you may ask why general public should know how difficult the craft is and that is because they are the people who comments ( usually bad ) on them.

    i really admire James Lipton a lot , i never admired a interviewer before. what i really like him about, is the way he presents himself dominating even in front of legends. i really show my gratitude for that kind of admiring attitude.

    i recommend " 100th guest special " show ( if u have not seen )bec it is the only show where u can clearly understand how actors are.., i mean he complete mixture of sentiments, humor, professionalism, attitude, he way they were, etc.., and for general audience, it is Aone ENTERTAINMENT, especially when they show JULIA ROBERTS in between smiling, VOW... the amount i like is just doubled like hell, vow, hats off to Julia Roberts, well not only that, u will be finding your own favorite stars doing stuffs like that especially KEVIN SPACEY, STEVEN SPIELBERG, ROBIN WILLIAMS, JERRY LEWIS, man the list goes on...

    great TV show - inside the actors studio

    inside the actors studio's best - 100 guest special

    continue enjoying the show

    see u guys...
  • Inside the Actors Studio is a show that airs on Bravo and hosted by James Lipton. It's a TV show but is also used as a teaching class for prospective actors and directors learning their craft at Pace University in New York City.

    The show gives you a far more in-depth interview with famous actors/actresses about their careers from start to present day and what lead them to be where they are today. This isn't your pre-interviewed talk show interviews with actors where they're just using it to promote their most recent project and then also some trivial funny thing that happened in their day to fill time. You can really get in the head of the actors and see what their motivations for a particular role were.

    At the end of the show the actors get to take questions from the audience of students and in a way become a teacher to them.
  • I have watched this show many a time when im feeling distinctly bored and every time the presenter of this clearly low budgeted program seems to make my skin crawl. He is boring, wooden, has little to no charisma and places every person that enters there on to a little pedestal, which is frankly vomit inducing. The audience clap politely whenever the rare occasion is that he raises his voice to highlight some other tedious Matthew Broderick detail which seems silly and attempts to appear like a high class artsy production. Over all, the programme tends to use a very standard boring formula, which merely encourages me to change the channel whenever i see it on.

    Despite that , there are some rare interesting actors that appear on it, however most seem to talk to him because they havent been able to get film work in years. Has so much potential, get rid of James Lipton.
  • moeu62811 January 2007
    I discovered this show only months ago, and was so mad that it had been on so long without my knowledge. I am not interested in becoming an actor or director, but I am a movie lover to the core and am always interested in what actors have to say. These interviews are wonderful because they are not the average "hollywood" interview. It's not about who the actor is sleeping with, and how hard they've been partying. The interview explores the reasons behind the career choices, and experiences of filming. It is much more real, and deep, and interesting then any others. You really feel like you are part of the audience, and you get to see a different side to some very incredible actors and learn something new. I love it!
  • I admit that I am a fairly frequent viewer of this show. Whenever I know that it's on, I often wish to go right to it immediately and find out what established actor/screenwriter/director is being interviewed...and then, of course, it got to a point where a lot of the guests didn't seem all that "established" to me. I'm sorry, but Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore, Will Smith, Sarah Jessica Parker, Melanie Griffith, Mike Myers, the voice cast of "The Simpsons"...for all of their collective accomplishments, they do not exactly strike me as the ideal choices for guests on a show that prides itself on getting the most out of legends like Spielberg, Streep, De Niro, Ford, etc. Moreover, it pained me to see episodes like ones featuring Robin Williams or "The Simpsons" cast - episodes that seemed less like informative, compelling interviews and more like bloated, tedious showcases for the guest(s)'s comedic flair, and/or versatility with voices and characters. The "Simpsons" episode in particular...I don't think I'll take this show so seriously again, after watching that disappointment. I don't know about you, but when host James Lipton starts repeatedly asking guests to answer his questions in a certain voice or character, it sort of kills the show's once-high level of credibility. Now, it's just a train wreck in the works...slowly winding down into a disastrous, unwatchable wasteland of "Talk TV".
  • oscarnestell30 December 2003
    Ok. I used to like this show. But after a while you realize that James Lipton does nothing but kiss butt. He is, simply put, the worst brown-noser ever. A wannabe who now runs a show that is becoming increasingly softball. Lipton has never, EVER posed a question that has even come close to being a hardball question. He slobbers his guests with wet kisses. Sure, in the process, some interesting info comes out, but it comes out because the guest lets it out, not because of Lipton.

    And take a look at the recent roster of guests. Naomi Watts ... huh? Could it possibly be that she has a movie called "21 Grams" coming out that very week? Jude Law ... I'm sure the impending premiere of "Cold Mountain" had absolutely nothing to do with his appearance. And now? JAY LENO ... I guess he'll be filed under such great actors as BILLY JOEL, another guest on "Inside the ACTOR'S Studio".

    In booking these last two guests, I guess Lipton was too busy kissing someones butt to realize that some of his guests are not actors at all.

    Used to be a great show, but as Lipton slobbers his way to fame, the show becomes more and more castrated.
  • maurice_8417 May 2013
    I've come to this show late, as I haven't had television for over 16 years, but I am sooooo grateful to have found it through Youtube. Lipton deserves all the praise that can be given for his "character" as the interviewer who actually allows the interviewee to speak. He asks intelligent questions and shuts-the-eff up after that (unlike the smarmy and intrusive C. Rose, per ex). I would love a full DVD set to become available. I would love Lipton to be given many lifetime achievement awards. All the good (and none of the bad) reviews here are accurate: this is a great show, created by a great (and really modest) man that allows the profession and its many practitioners to SHINE.
  • I really can't believe that this show is popular! James Lipton has wonderful guests appear on the show but his manner is so boring and stagnant that it is painful to watch! The questions that he asks the guests are typical non confrontational boring questions! On occasion James asks a good question but doesn't follow up and delve deeper! I really find James Lipton boring and his voice is aggravating! When the questions are directed by the audience the questions are even more safe and predictable! The apprentice actors in the audience don't want to offend the accomplished actor by asking a controversial question! I understand this but James Lipton could attempt to show the viewers a different side of the guest but this never happens! Boring interviewer with a boring demeanor!
  • I'm sorry but Rosie O'Donnell talking about her mother's death and Barbara Walters (who has never really acted) on the actors studio. I have suggestions as to who should be on the Actors Studio in the future. What about your former wife, Nina Foch? What about the following? Kim Novak (retired and very much alive in Oregon. I bet she can teach acting), Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Windsor, Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak (she has 6 daytime Emmys), Jeanne Cooper, Emma Thompson, Susan Flannery, Helen Wagner (she celebrates 50 years playing one role on AS the World Turns), don't forget your soap roots, John Lipton. You spent 10 years on daytime with some of the finest around. You could have some longtime actors and actresses on your show. I bet they have better stories and can teach about acting. I look forward to your Liza Minnelli interview which will be a deservedly 2 hours long. Don't forget the Redgraves as well, Lynn, Vanessa, and Corin? What about Broadway stars like Cherry Jones, Zoe Caldwell, Angela Lansbury, John Lithgow, Oprah Winfrey, etc. There are plenty of wonderful actors and actresses out there waiting to be interviewed for your show. Kim Novak is a good example of somebody. She is a golden girl from the golden days of Hollywood. She would be worth watching as well. Come on, Lipton, you can do better than Rosie and Babs.
  • I would like to say that I very much so enjoy this show.This show sheds light that even the most glamrous actors are people just like you and I but the difference between them and "us" is that they all (as actors) have the guts and courage to become totally different people in front of the camera,not to mention the talent. All actors on this show are artists that perform and entertain us as movie-goers in such various ways .They all have such unique talents and are gracious enough as people to share their stories with us.The actors of today bring their characters alive just as brilliantly and seamlessly as the great legendary actors.
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