|Inside the Actors Studio|
Inside the Actors Studio logo
|Opening theme||Angelo Badalamenti|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||16|
|Running time||60 minutes; 120 minutes|
|Original run||August 14, 1994 – present|
Inside the Actors Studio is a series on the Bravo cable television channel, hosted by James Lipton. It is produced and directed by Jeff Wurtz; the executive producer is James Lipton. The program, which premiered in 1994, is distributed internationally by CABLEready and is broadcast in 125 countries around the world reaching 89,000,000 homes . It is currently taped at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University's New York City campus .
The program began as a televised craft seminar for students of the Actors Studio Drama School, originally a joint venture of the Actors Studio and New School University in 1994, with Paul Newman, a former Actors Studio president as its first guest, and soon became Bravo's flagship program . At first taped at the New School's Tishman Auditorium in Greenwich Village, New York City, blocks away from Actors Studio's home in the theater district in midtown Manhattan, and shifting subsequently to its present location, Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University's New York City campus.
And as per the studio, it deliberately used a slower pace in the interviews as compared with a typical celebrity interview, thus cameras usually record a couple of hours' of conversation, later edited to an hour, a trick used by Groucho Marx on his 1950s quiz show You Bet Your Life. The result, as a New York Times article puts it, "In Mr. Lipton's guest chair, actors cease being stars for a while and become artists and teachers." Though sometimes, some interviews go longer, like that during Steven Spielberg 1999 visit, stretched to four hours, and was later shown as two episodes of one hour each. The interviews are guided by Lipton's trademark index-card questions known for well-researched details of guest's life, often startling some, like on one such occasion, Billy Crystal told Lipton, You know you're scary, don't you? .
In May 2005, the contract between the Actors Studio and New School University was not renewed. Beginning with the twelfth season, in the fall of 2005, the program has been taped at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University's New York City campus. The show now has a new set with a gritty backstage feel, designed by Will Rothfuss for Blair Broadcast Designs, and The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University has re-opened in new facilities.
Since its premiere, Inside the Actors Studio has had over 200 guests, with Dustin Hoffman being the 200th guest in June 2006 . Of those guests, the very first having been Paul Newman, were succeeded by 74 Academy Award winners: 8 directors; four screenwriters; 61 actors and actresses; and two musicians. For its 200th show, James Lipton became the guest subject of the show. He was questioned by Dave Chappelle whom James picked personally. The show ended with Pace University provost announcing that the college is sponsoring a scholarship in Chapelle's name to his high school alma mater. Based on the show, James Lipton published a book titled "Inside Inside" in 2007 .
While most of the show is a one-on-one interview conducted by Lipton, this is followed by the host submitting a questionnaire to the guest. The questionnaire concept was originated by French television personality Bernard Pivot, after the Proust Questionnaire. The ten questions Lipton asks are:
The program usually concludes with a question-and-answer session with the students.
(Alphabetically by first name)
Select episodes of the show have been released by Shout! Factory. Three DVDs containing a single episode each feature Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, and Barbra Streisand. Two compilation sets were also released. Leading Men features Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, and Russell Crowe. Icons features Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Barbra Streisand.
|Inside the Actors Studio|