The BEST Episodes of Inside the Actors Studio

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Network: Bravo

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).

Francis Ford Coppola

#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.

star 10.00
28 votes
Stockard Channing

#2 - Stockard Channing

Season 8 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 27, 2002

star 10.00
1 votes
Julianne Moore

#3 - Julianne Moore

Season 9 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 22, 2002

star 10.00
1 votes
Clint Eastwood

#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.

star 10.00
30 votes
Barbra Streisand

#5 - Barbra Streisand

Season 10 - Episode 14 - Aired Mar 21, 2004

star 10.00
1 votes
Alec Baldwin (II)

#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.

star 10.00
3 votes
James Lipton

#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.

star 10.00
1 votes
Jim Parsons

#8 - Jim Parsons

Season 20 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 18, 2015

star 10.00
1 votes
Al Pacino

#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.

star 9.84
31 votes
Robert Downey Jr.

#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.

star 9.73
33 votes
Morgan Freeman

#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.

star 9.44
59 votes
Dave Chappelle

#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."

star 9.43
7 votes
Sir Anthony Hopkins (II)

#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.

star 9.03
60 votes
Sean Penn

#14 - Sean Penn

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 17, 1999

Actor Sean Penn is profiled and interviewed about his career.

star 9.03
33 votes
Spike Lee

#15 - Spike Lee

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 17, 2000

star 9.00
1 votes
Ben Affleck

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Ben Stiller

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Drew Barrymore

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Kate Winslet

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Natalie Portman

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Salma Hayek

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Jodie Foster

#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."

star 9.00
28 votes
Dustin Hoffman

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Conan O'Brien

#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.

star 9.00
5 votes
Directors: Jeff Wurtz
Writers: James Lipton
Laura Linney

#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.

star 9.00
28 votes
Directors: Jeff Wurtz
Writers: James Lipton