James Lipton

James Lipton ushers us into Inside the Actors Studio's 17th season, and its barrage of blockbuster guests.

on Dec 2, 20100

If you were watching Bravo at 8 P.M. on Sept. 28, as we launched our Seventeenth Season, you were privileged to see Betty White, dispensing the wit, wisdom and, yes, sex appeal of her 88 ½ years (she's always meticulous about including that ½ - like a kid who wants you to know that she's six and a half years old). That's part of Betty's charm–-an eager, childlike enthusiasm that meets life head on, with an open mind and heart, ready for anything.

Next on our schedule as we've continued our march through the Seventeenth Season, have been Bradley Cooper and James Franco, two of the most gifted and celebrated actors of their generation-–which is to say, they could be Betty's grandchildren! If I may sound a note in praise of Inside the Actors Studio, this illustrates one of the series' virtues: its sweeping range, bringing to our stage, and to television screens in 94,000,000 homes in America and 125 countries around the world, all the hues, aspects, ages, races, genders, ethnicities and ideologies that make up the dazzling rainbow of our profession.

In the case of Bradley Cooper, there is an additional element, a first after more than 250 guests. One of the most frequent questions I'm asked by interviewers, is, "Who is the guest you want the most?" My answer is invariable: "Since I'm the founding dean of the Actors Studio Drama School, of which Inside the Actors Studio is a class, the night that one of our graduates has achieved so much that he or she walks out and sits down in that chair facing me will mean more to me than any moment since this journey began."

Bradley Cooper is that graduate-–a member of the Actors Studio Drama School, Class of 2000-–and I was his dean. When he walked out on our stage to the frenzied cheers of our Actors Studio Drama School students and the rest of the 700 people in our packed house at Pace University, my prediction came true: the two of us were too choked up to speak for more than a minute.

Later in the evening, as Bradley spoke about his experience in our school, his emotions once again flooded to the surface as he exclaimed, "This is sacred! This is sacred! This is sacred!"

There were as many laughs as tears as we roamed through his remarkable career, from The Hangover to his newest film, The Dark Fields, in which he co-stars with his fellow Actors Studio member Robert DeNiro (yes, upon graduation, Bradley was admitted to the inner circle of the Studio itself).  But you can see every sizzling minute of his return to his alma mater – one of the most emotional experiences in the history of Inside the Actors Studio - when the Bradley Cooper episode airs next Spring with the release of The Dark Fields.

Next on our stage was James Franco. Like Bradley, he is one of the most respected members of his generation, and, as you probably know, there's buzz, mounting to a roar, about an Oscar nomination for his stunning performance in 127 Hours. And, like Bradley, he also has a connection to the Actors Studio, since his breakthrough role was as James Dean, one of the Studio's most famous icons. And he's just been announced as co-host of the Oscars!

As with Bradley, there were lines around the Pace campus, clamoring to get into the Franco taping. You may have seen the newspaper stories that rocketed around the country last week, beginning with, "James Franco just made history on Inside the Actors Studio. Tickets to see J.F were in such demand that the staff literally rejected a record number of people. As for the interview, set to air next month, we're told Franco was such an awesome guest that, one source told us, 'After the taping, James stayed another hour and talked to every single person who wanted a personal moment with him,' which host James Lipton said, 'hasn't happened since Paul Newman, our first guest, was here seventeen years ago.'"

You won't have to wait 'til Spring to see this episode. It airs December 7th.  Miss it at your peril.

Our next guest? Jim Carrey. That's right, Jim Carrey, coming to our stage after a courtship that began when we opened our doors in 1994. We haven't taped it yet, but whatever will transpire will be on Bravo, waiting for you, on January 4th. Need I repeat? Miss it at your peril. We are, in the immortal words of Jim Carrey as The Mask, "Smokin'!!!"

Since we’re celebrating the Seventeenth Season, I'd like to observe that 'some of the greatest shows in television history have managed to stay on the screen for seven years, in rare instances eight. Only one cable series has had a longer run than Inside the Actors Studio's seventeen years – thanks to you, the readers of this blog and viewers of this show.

Not bad for a series that has never claimed to be anything but a class in a masters degree program, the Actors Studio Drama School of Pace University, of which, to bring this blog full circle, Bradley Cooper is a graduate.

40 comments
Debbie Balzum
Debbie Balzum

I would really love to see Kurt Russell on your show. He is a great actor with amazing talent and versatility. I think he has been hugely underrated. Is it possible to get him on the show?

marianne.FIN
marianne.FIN

Hei, James!

I really enjoy your show and what I love the most about it is how you get your guests to relax and open up about their life and experiences. It shows great character on your part and I congratulate you for the fine work you do.

I do have a question too: when are you going to have Christina Ricci on your show? Regardless that she was a child star, she has kept herself busy with the acting and I would really love to hear her thoughts about "her profession" and the business in general. Many thanks and happy holidays from Finland

-Marianne

Thea Dahlberg
Thea Dahlberg

Mark Rylance may be one of the best actors of any generation. The next time he is on this side of the pond, your program should bet him for an interview. I would love to hear him talk about his craft.

Joan D.
Joan D.

Dear Mr Lipton, I enjoy your show every time I watch it, and I feel so badly that I missed your interview with Colin Firth. I watched the clips on the website, but would like to see the entire show. Is there a way to do that.? Thank you, JMD

Pacmanrocks100
Pacmanrocks100

I would really like the see a Viggo Mortensen interview.

WALTER TISDALE
WALTER TISDALE

I LOVE UR SHOW, I WAS WONDER IF U HAVEN'T HAD HIM ON COULD U PLEASE GET ACTOR--ZELKO IVANEK-(usure about spelling) ON UR SHOW HE HAS A HUGE BODY OF WORK AND I WOULD TO HEAR HIS STORY!!

Oliver Jürs
Oliver Jürs

Dear Mr. Lipton,

I admire you for constantly providing a great stage for the actors and at the same time for your humble but always precise way of asking. This is unique.

All the best from Hamburg

Oliver

PatriciaSi
PatriciaSi

Hi, James I m from Argentine and love "Inside the Actors Studio", I d like to see again but I cant see here, it says "clip isn´t available from your location..." ... I m in Argentine, here we can see all we want, please Bravo TV , can you verify ? We Love James too ! thanks

marv schoenberg
marv schoenberg

I am also a big fan of the Actor's Studio, but cannot find when it is on the Bravo schedule. Why does bravo make it so difficult to see this program. Bravo features so much junk tv that it is about time for them to give The Actor's Studio a prime time spot and to publisize when it will be shown. Get your act together Bravo Thanks

jcardona
jcardona

Hello! I am a long time fan of Inside the Actor's Studio. I am wondering why I can never find it on Bravo TVs schedule. regards

William J. Houston
William J. Houston

Mr. Lipton, Your show is wonderful, insightful and entertaining. Not only do we see "inside" the actors, we see them as people as well. Keep the show flying high (from one fellow pilot to another).

Mary Cahn
Mary Cahn

I miss the Actors Studio interviews - and would like to know if there any new ones scheduled in the near future. If so - how does one find out about them....there do not seem to be any listings in TV Guide - or even on the Bravo website......

Chris T.
Chris T.

I have enjoyed this series for years however I would love to see what did not get aired due to time constraints or contents. Couldn't you put on a DVD the balance of the interviews that didn't get aired, one DVD per interview? So many times I feel that we only get the tip of the iceberg and so much more is left unsaid. After all, those blue cards indicate what we are missing. Very frustrating.

Barbara Ninos
Barbara Ninos

I am addicted to James Lipton, and Inside the Actors Studio. I just wish you were on more often, and less of the other junk. I am not a film student, just someone who loves quality television. Every guest is exposed in a very interesting and unique manner. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

View58
View58

I love your show too. I sit there with a smile on my face with some of your guests. I can't say I'm a faithful watcher but when we come across your show we watch it if we know the celebrity. Betty White was fantastic and I can't get Billy Joel out of my head - he answered a lot of your questions playing the piano. I thought that was great. Keep up the good work. Michael J Fox, Samuel L Jackson. Robbin Williams (he was a hard one to contain - very funny though). All Fantastic. Best show on TV . I just watched Colin Firth last night. The things you find out about these celebrities is sometimes fascinating. As far as I'm concerned - the show is never long enough.

Singleindixie
Singleindixie

Have loved your show for many years, but it is OK for you to smile when the audience and at home viewers laugh.

Mtoy
Mtoy

I remember seeing James Lipton on the Guiding Light and he was drop-dead handsome. :)

CamilleW
CamilleW

Mr. Lipton,

Thank you so much for such a wonderful, the only intellectual and intelligent show here, in USA. It's so great to know there are educated, cultured and really creative people in this country too. I feel myself in Europe when I watch your show. Thank you so much again. I only wish Bravo showed "Inside the actor's studio" as often as corny "Housewives" or the horrible Kathy Griffin.

Michael Wigdor
Michael Wigdor

I'd love to see an interview with Jon Hamm, the great Mad Man. I also thought the Jim Carrey interview should have been 2 hours, since he is such a great comic actor.

Jim Allen
Jim Allen

Dear James;

Why have you never interviewed the entire cast of the "Little Science Fiction Show" that Chaned Everything; Babylon 5.

This show truly Deserves a Two Hour Interview special, Especially because this show was voted one of the three most important and influential shows of its type of all time, and in my Opinion the Greatest of all time. Again this show truly, truly Deserves at Least a Two hour interview special, and again, in my opinion, more than one, because like many fans, we would like some answers from the Creator and Producer.

When you do the interview, I would like to know.

Sincerely;

JimAllen

Rodrigo
Rodrigo

Hi Mr. Lipton. I've always been a huge fan of your show, having watched it here in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for many years now. I always wandered: why haven't you interviewd Winona Ryder yet? She is surely an icon and would be great hearing from here not only about her carrer as a teen star, but also as a serious actress and, of course, about her recent comeback to the movie industry. I guess people would really enjoy that.

chad
chad

When does the new season start?

Film Girl
Film Girl

Mr. Lipton, I love Inside the Actors Studio. Love to see Bryan Cranston and Michael C Hall as guests sometime.

Film Girl
Film Girl

Mr. Lipton, I love watching Inside the Actor's Studio. The questions you pose to the guests are great as is the diversity of guests picked to be on the show. I would love if you could get Bryan Cranston and Michael C Hall as guests on Inside the Actors Studio.

DJW
DJW

I'd love to see Tom Waits on the show. He's one of the few people who came from music and had a nice career as an actor (he was outstanding in "Dracula", "Ironweed" and "Short Cuts"). He's been in over 20 movies, has worked in live theater (Franks Wild Years, The Black Rider, and a few others), composed scores, and might even play a song or two?

I also wish Bravo would run a midnight "Uncensored Actors Studio". If Comedy Central can go completely explicit after midnight with their "Secret Stash", why can't your show?

Nejc from Slovenia
Nejc from Slovenia

Greetings, Mr. Lipton.

I apologise in advance for my hideous English, but I was wondering, after just seeing the episode about Ricky Gervais, when he made a joke about your ''heroin'', I know for a fact it was snuff, but I'm curious which brand of snuff do you use? Please, do tell me, it was such a golden shiny box, I need to have it!! :D

Looking forward to you're reply, Lep Pozdrav iz Slovenije.

Melanie A. Stinson
Melanie A. Stinson

Hello. I am reading "Inside, Inside" & just came to the part where Mr. Lipton describes studying ballet with Benjamin Harkarvy. I got to know Harkarvy when I lived in New York and studied ballet, working on staff at New York City Ballet. I found him remarkable and wish there had been a way to pass on his profound knowledge of ballet. What an incredible man. As a writer who loves dance, theater & film, I am thrilled in reading "Inside, Inside" to be opened up to a world to which I am so aligned. All the information about acting is so helpful & I was relieved to learn that I do some of the sensory prep when I write, embodying my characters. To have been trained via the Actors Studio/New School as a writer for film and musical theater--wow--wish I was 18 again to do it! I came on here looking for a way to contact Mr. Lipton by mail/e-mail to share what I already feel having barely begun his book. My screenplay, The Prince of New York, reminds me of some of his life story so far. There's even a connection to Detroit - LOL! That's divine mystery for you.

Judy Good
Judy Good

I have been looking all over the place trying to find when you were on and finally stumbleded across you this morning. I was a faithful viewer and this past year you have been impossible to find. Tell Brovo to get it together and post their schedule. Thank's

David Guercio
David Guercio

Hi James. Did you ever get a chance to interview Leslie Neilsen?

~Lindsey~
~Lindsey~

The episode with Jim Carey aired on 1/10/11 and I was disappointed. I had been waiting all week for it and frankly, he deserved a 2 hour special. It seemed very cut short and we didn't even get to see what his favorite curse word was! Mr. Lipton only spoke about 4 movies that Jim has done. Come on now, Jim is best at what he does. If Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle could have a 2 hour special, Jim Carey should definitely have. I love this show, but was very disappointed.

Paul A.
Paul A.

Mr. Lipton,

I am also a fan of your show and I look forward to seeing new episodes but it is very frustrating when there is not a schedule listed. On Monday you had one of my favorite people on the show Jim Carrey and I missed the episode. He is was one person when I am not feeling myself with day to day life stuff that puts a smile on my face when I am watching one of his movies or anything else he's be on. Would you happen to know when that show will be aired again? By the way Mr. Lipton I think you are the coolest guy ever.

Paul A.

octavio
octavio

This is how I found the program on TV: I have Direct TV, so I go to "Menu", then "smart search". Then build the name : Inside the Actors and you'll see the programing right there. It is on Monday nights at 5 PM and 10PM. I am not sure if the whole series is a re run. But at least we get to see it. Hope you find it

John C
John C

I used to like watching this show, but I never see it on the schedule anymore. There's nothing on the web page that lets anyone know when the show is on. I went through the entire Bravo schedule for this week and couldn't find it. When is it on?

MT.Rob
MT.Rob

Dear Mr. Lipton What has happened to Bravo? It's not what I remember. All that is listed in my area is reality at is worst. I want....need.....Inside the Actor's Studio!!! In a 6 month period my recording machine recorded 2 shows, James Franco and Betty White the time they were recorded was at 1AM!! I can't even get through to Bravo to ask why it's not on more often and at a reasonable time. Is there any other way of seeing your show? I can't find any kind of schedule. I do hope you plan on going to season 25 plus

ann andrews
ann andrews

james...oh how i miss the great sunday evenings when i looked so forward to your show...it came from the actors studio, as you well know, and it was my favorite show as well as many of my friends favorite show....the wonderful guests you had...and now you are on so infrequently...and we miss you so very much...we all talked about the show on monday mornings....so very many wonderful and diverse personalities... such a shame....we miss you so much these past years...you are great...but such a disappointment to not have those wonderful sunday evening shows anymore

Francois
Francois

I live in Paris and "Inside" has always been my favorite show on earth. Why isn't it possible to watch the videos on the Bravo website in France?

~Sher~
~Sher~

Hi James...

Really enjoyed your session with James Franco..he's one of the industry's BEST actors and it's my wish-hope that he will one day be honored with a well-deserved OSCAR...

Look forward to all your future 'guests'....HAPPY HOLIDAYS...

Tracy 1
Tracy 1

Why have you not interviewed David Strathairn?