The BEST Episodes of Inside the Actors Studio
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Jul 9, 2020
For over 12 years and more than 100 episodes, James Lipton has sat down with some of the world's most accomplished actors and directors for penetrating, fascinating interviews. Lipton's studious research and enlightened curiosity has inspired his guests to open up and confess their deepest thoughts about the art of acting. The series premiered with Paul Newman, an Actors Studio alumnus and former president (1982-1994).
#1 - Francis Ford Coppola
Season 7 - Episode 14 - Aired May 6, 2001
One of the all-time great directors takes the stage to compare notes on his signature directing style, his relationship with his actors and the support of his family and the importance of all these factors on his work.
#2 - Stockard Channing
Season 8 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 27, 2002
#3 - Julianne Moore
Season 9 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 22, 2002
#4 - Clint Eastwood
Season 10 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 5, 2003
The writer, director and long-running acclaimed actor draws on over five decades of professional experience in a thrilling dissertation of his successes.
#5 - Barbra Streisand
Season 10 - Episode 14 - Aired Mar 21, 2004
#6 - Alec Baldwin (II)
Season 13 - Episode 13 - Aired Oct 22, 2007
James Lipton talks to Alec Baldwin about his career since his original 1994 appearance on the show, and his recent foray into television.
#7 - James Lipton
Season 15 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 10, 2008
In the 200th episode, comedian Dave Chappelle interviews host James Lipton. Also, highlights and favorite guests from classic interviews.
#8 - Jim Parsons
Season 20 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 18, 2015
#9 - Al Pacino
Season 12 - Episode 20 - Aired Oct 2, 2006
One of the most respected veteran actors in all of showbusiness takes the chair to go through the moments in life which defined him as both person and performer.
#10 - Robert Downey Jr.
Season 12 - Episode 17 - Aired Jul 9, 2006
It hasn't been the smoothest of careers for the multi-talented entertainer, but here he recounts tales of his best and worst moments with panache.
#11 - Morgan Freeman
Season 11 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 2, 2005
The versatile, highly-skilled, softly spoken veteran takes the time to describe his life, his surprise at his success and his intentions to keep acting for as long as posslble.
#12 - Dave Chappelle
Season 12 - Episode 11 - Aired Feb 12, 2006
Comedian Dave Chappelle discusses his TV and film work, including "Chappelle's Show," "Blue Streak" and "Undercover Brother."
#13 - Sir Anthony Hopkins (II)
Season 13 - Episode 12 - Aired Oct 15, 2007
Acclaimed actor and proud owner of a knighthood, Sir Anthony Hopkins returns to talk to James Lipton about his continually successful career on screen and stage.
#14 - Sean Penn
Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 17, 1999
Actor Sean Penn is profiled and interviewed about his career.
#15 - Spike Lee
Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 17, 2000
#16 - Ben Affleck
Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 14, 2001
The charismatic character actor discusses his on-screen personas, his writing career, his relationship with fellow actor Matt Damon and all points in-between.
#17 - Ben Stiller
Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 30, 2001
The world-renouned comedic actor looks back on a life lived constantly in showbusiness, his appearances on various television shows and his breakthrough into the world of movies.
#18 - Drew Barrymore
Season 9 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 2, 2003
The charming actress discusses the challenges of being a child actor, her teenage struggle with drugs and her transformation into a venerable leading lady.
#19 - Kate Winslet
Season 10 - Episode 13 - Aired Mar 14, 2004
The beautifully vivacious, multi-award winning yet down-to-earth English actress, recently a mother at the time of broadcast, visits the studio.
#20 - Natalie Portman
Season 11 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 21, 2004
The former Harvard graduate and runaway success story takes the chair and discusses her mixed roots, her response to being cast in so many successful films and her plans for the future.
#21 - Salma Hayek
Season 11 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 5, 2004
The beautiful and talented actress enlightens the audience about her struggles to become a leading lady and how much she intends to make the most of her accomplishments.
#22 - Jodie Foster
Season 12 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 25, 2005
James Lipton interviews the quietly successful lead actress in many different films. Taped after the making of, but before the release of, "Flightplan."
#23 - Dustin Hoffman
Season 12 - Episode 16 - Aired Jun 25, 2006
A star-studded audience attends to see the beloved, talented leading man who gives a rare in-depth interview with humor and honesty.
#24 - Conan O'Brien
Season 15 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 26, 2009
James Lipton interviews late-night talk-show host Conan O'Brien. The onetime writer for "Saturday Night Live" and "The Simpsons" gives humorous expression to his life experiences and career journey.
#25 - Laura Linney
Season 15 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 12, 2009
Laura Linney---three-time Emmy winner and three-time Oscar nominee (for 2007's "The Savages," 2004's "Kinsey" and 2000's "You Can Count on Me")---shares perspective on her life and career in a discourse with host James Lipton.