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
The program began as a televised craft seminar for students of the
The show deliberately uses 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. 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
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
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 Frenchtelevision personality Bernard Pivot, after the Proust Questionnaire. The ten questions Lipton asks are:
1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on?
4. What turns you off?
5. What sound or noise do you love?
6. What sound or noise do you hate?
7. What is your favorite curse word?
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
9. What profession would you not like to do?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
The program usually concludes with a question-and-answer session with the students.