The BEST episodes of Inside the Actors Studio

Every episode of Inside the Actors Studio ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Inside the Actors Studio!

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).

Last Updated: 5/20/2024Network: Ovation TVStatus: Ended
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Francis Ford Coppola
star
10.00
28 votes

#1 - Francis Ford Coppola

Season 7 - Episode 14 - Aired 5/6/2001

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.

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star
10.00
1 votes

#2 - Jessica Lange

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 6/12/1996

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star
10.00
1 votes

#3 - James Lipton

Season 15 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/10/2008

In the 200th episode, comedian Dave Chappelle interviews host James Lipton. Also, highlights and favorite guests from classic interviews.

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Alec Baldwin (II)
star
10.00
3 votes

#4 - Alec Baldwin (II)

Season 13 - Episode 13 - Aired 10/22/2007

James Lipton talks to Alec Baldwin about his career since his original 1994 appearance on the show, and his recent foray into television.

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star
10.00
1 votes

#5 - Forest Whitaker

Season 13 - Episode 1 - Aired 12/11/2006

Forest Whitaker is profiled and interviewed about his career.

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Clint Eastwood
star
10.00
30 votes

#6 - Clint Eastwood

Season 10 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/5/2003

The writer, director and long-running acclaimed actor draws on over five decades of professional experience in a thrilling dissertation of his successes.

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Barbra Streisand
star
10.00
1 votes

#7 - Barbra Streisand

Season 10 - Episode 14 - Aired 3/21/2004

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star
10.00
1 votes

#8 - Julianne Moore

Season 9 - Episode 7 - Aired 12/22/2002

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Al Pacino
star
9.75
32 votes

#9 - Al Pacino

Season 12 - Episode 20 - Aired 10/2/2006

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.

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Robert Downey Jr.
star
9.72
32 votes

#10 - Robert Downey Jr.

Season 12 - Episode 17 - Aired 7/9/2006

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
9.67
3 votes

#11 - Goldie Hawn

Season 15 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/3/2008

Morgan Freeman
star
9.44
59 votes

#12 - Morgan Freeman

Season 11 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/2/2005

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.

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Dave Chappelle
star
9.33
6 votes

#13 - Dave Chappelle

Season 12 - Episode 11 - Aired 2/12/2006

Comedian Dave Chappelle discusses his TV and film work, including "Chappelle's Show," "Blue Streak" and "Undercover Brother."

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Sir Anthony Hopkins (II)
star
9.03
60 votes

#14 - Sir Anthony Hopkins (II)

Season 13 - Episode 12 - Aired 10/15/2007

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.

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Sean Penn
star
9.03
33 votes

#15 - Sean Penn

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/17/1999

Actor Sean Penn is profiled and interviewed about his career.

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Salma Hayek
star
9.00
28 votes

#16 - Salma Hayek

Season 11 - Episode 9 - Aired 12/5/2004

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
2 votes

#17 - Kristen Wiig

Season 22 - Episode 6 - Aired 12/21/2017

In anticipation of her upcoming film Downsizing, Wiig discusses her Hollywood beginning at The Groundlings improv troupe which led to her breakout role as series regular on Saturday Night Live, where she earned five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. From the small screen to the big screen, Wiig expanded her repertoire to include both comedic and dramatic roles in films such as Mother!, The Martian, Skeleton Twins, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Despicable Me 2, Welcome To Me, Ghostbusters, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and the upcoming Where’d You Go, Bernadette. In the episode, Wiig recounts her journey to writing, producing and starring in the Oscar nominated film, Bridesmaids, and how she created many of her iconic characters in Saturday Night Live including the ‘Aunt Linda’ and ‘Sue the Surprise Lady.’

star
9.00
36 votes

#18 - Cast of Glee

Season 18 - Episode 4 - Aired 4/9/2012

It is time for fans to unleash their inner gleek as Bravo Media welcomes the cast and creator of the hit television series, "Glee," to the "Inside the Actors Studio" stage, premiering on Monday, April 9th at 8pm et/pt. Currently in its 18th season, host James Lipton is joined by cast members Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith and co-creator Ryan Murphy. From Chris Colfer's never-before-seen audition tape to Lea Michele's first big break on Broadway to Cory Monteith's troubled past, no stone is left unturned as they give viewers an inside look into their fascinating careers and reveal behind-the-scene stories from the set of the hit series.

Mickey Rourke
star
9.00
2 votes

#19 - Mickey Rourke

Season 15 - Episode 12 - Aired 8/31/2009

star
9.00
28 votes

#20 - Laura Linney

Season 15 - Episode 5 - Aired 1/12/2009

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.

Directors: Jeff Wurtz
Writer: James Lipton
Conan O'Brien
star
9.00
5 votes

#21 - Conan O'Brien

Season 15 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/26/2009

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.

Directors: Jeff Wurtz
Writer: James Lipton
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Dustin Hoffman
star
9.00
28 votes

#22 - Dustin Hoffman

Season 12 - Episode 16 - Aired 6/25/2006

A star-studded audience attends to see the beloved, talented leading man who gives a rare in-depth interview with humor and honesty.

Jodie Foster
star
9.00
28 votes

#23 - Jodie Foster

Season 12 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/25/2005

James Lipton interviews the quietly successful lead actress in many different films. Taped after the making of, but before the release of, "Flightplan."

Natalie Portman
star
9.00
28 votes

#24 - Natalie Portman

Season 11 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/21/2004

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.

Kate Winslet
star
9.00
28 votes

#25 - Kate Winslet

Season 10 - Episode 13 - Aired 3/14/2004

The beautifully vivacious, multi-award winning yet down-to-earth English actress, recently a mother at the time of broadcast, visits the studio.