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 <email@example.com>
During Robin Williams's interview, a man in the audience had to be removed from the theatre by ambulance. He'd laughed so hard, he'd acquired a hernia. See more »
[taking about Out of Africa]
Sydney, I remember, didn't think I was sexy enough to play it.
What did you do about that?
They didn't have wonderbras in those days, but I wore a padded bra... a push-up bra and a low cut top... isn't that tragic?
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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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