Famous actors, directors and writers reminisce about their careers and the philosophy behind their careers.
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Host / ... (244 episodes, 1994-2015)


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 <ssiferd@aol.com>

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Release Date:

12 June 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inside the Actors Studio: The Craft of Theatre and Film  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lipton has stated guests like, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy and many others performed in comedy clubs that normally wouldn't allow them to enter as patrons because they were too young. See more »


Why does Lipton ask every guest the redundant question if they enjoy working with a certain director on a previous project? The guest will always give a positive response. The guest wouldn't speak ill will of anybody in public, especially on National TV. See more »


James Lipton: I believe you're a man who believes in revenge.
Harry Shearer: [as Montgomery Burns] Yes! Hence the hounds.
See more »


Spoofed in Chappelle's Show: Episode #1.5 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Inside the Vomitorium
28 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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)

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