Inside the Actors Studio (1994– )

TV Series  |   |  Talk-Show
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Famous actors, directors and writers reminisce about their careers and the philosophy behind their careers.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Host / ... (242 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 <>

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Official Sites:




Release Date:

12 June 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bruce Willis's interview was taped on September 10, 2001. The episode was respectfully dedicated by Willis and the Actors Studio Drama School "to the heroes who fell September 11th - and to the heroes who fight on." See more »


[regarding Lipton's guest appearance on "The Simpsons," in which Ranier Wolfcastle appears on "Inside the Actor's Studio," gets into character as McBain, and shoots Lipton]
James Lipton: Would it have been too much trouble for you to go out and get a prop gun?
Harry Shearer: [as Ranier Wolfcastle] I'm not the prop man. I'm the actor!
See more »


Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Kate Hudson/Radiohead (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Hit or miss, with a good (if full of himself) interviewer
13 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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).

15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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