James Lipton interviews some of today's most talented actors, directors and writers. In the audience are students and famous alumni of the Actors Studio's master of fine arts program. The interviewees talk about their childhood, how they got started in show business, their early career and behind-the-scenes trivia. The interview concludes with a standardized questionnaire that includes such questions as "What is your favorite word?" and "If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive?" After that, Lipton and the interviewee move to a classroom where the M.F.A. students can question the interviewee directly. Written by
Steven W. Siferd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Once, while a guest on British talk show host Stephen Merchant's show, the comedian Louis CK joked about the students in the audience on "Inside the Actors Studio" who ask famous actors for career advice: "it always occurs to me, you know, when an actor stands up - one of the people in the audience - 'I am an actor what can I do' and asks Sean Penn or whoever 'what can I do to reach your level,' you just want to say 'you will never be famous!'" In 2013, Louis CK costarred in American Hustle with Bradley Cooper, who was not only one of those Actors Studio students in the audience in several episodes (including one featuring Robert DeNiro, who was also in American Hustle) but also specifically one of the students who asked Sean Penn a question during Penn's 1999 episode. See more »
What is your favourite word?
I... well, y'know, I don't want to lie...
Because I knew that this was coming and so I asked my daughter what her favourite word is and she's six and ever since she said her favourite word, which she said without hesitating, I can't think of anything else...
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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.
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