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|Index||33 reviews in total|
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.
*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.
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).
One of the most informative shows on television right
It allows actors, directors and writers to express their
craft to the geniuses of tomorrow. James Lipton should
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 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!
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
the total honesty of these marvelous artists. They don't come forth with
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.
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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