For more than twelve years, James Lipton has sat down with over 200 of the world's most accomplished artists - ranging from actors and directors to musicians and comedians - for penetrating, fascinating interviews. Lipton's studious research and enlightened curiosity has inspired his guests to open up and confess their deepest thoughts about their craft since the series premiere in 1994. Inside The Actors Studio has earned a reputation of being a forum where guests can speak fearlessly, openly and honestly about the things that matter most to them: their craft and the crucial events of their lives and careers. The series is seen in 80 million homes on the Bravo cable network and has received 12 consecutive Emmy nominations including this year's nod for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. This set features some of the most popular actors in Hollywood and includes the interview with Barbra Streisand that broke records for the series drawing 1.14 million viewers. Four episodes including: Clint Eastwood (2003) Paul Newman (1994) Robert Redford (2004) Barbra Streisand (2003) SPECIAL FEATURES: "James Lipton: Flashbacks" (new introductions with James Lipton) "Great Moments That Didn't Make The Cut" (previously unseen portions of the original interviews) Since its debut in 1994, Inside the Actors Studio
has become an institution of artistic inquiry as vitally important as the legendary subjects of its interviews. In presenting in-depth interviews with Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, and Clint Eastwood, this three-disc set of Icons
is not just the inaugural ITAS
release on DVD, but a shining example of the show's consistent excellence as a cultural touchstone. As Dean Emeritus of the prestigious Actors Studio Drama School (where Lee Strasberg and others once taught such future stars as Newman, James Dean, and Marlon Brando), series host James Lipton brings his own passion for acting to a forum that is both reverently devoted to craft (with minimal discussion of politics and a refreshing avoidance of gossip) and remarkably candid in terms of personal revelation. Lipton's high-toned pomposity was certainly ripe for Will Ferrell's satirical spoofing on Saturday Night Live
, but it's satire borne of affection, and Lipton's tastefully distinguished lines of inquiry are precisely what makes ITAS
an enduring attraction to some of the biggest names in the history of film, TV, theater, and music. In addition to his astute questioning (at turns probing, playful, and thoroughly researched), Lipton provides eloquent "flashback" introductions here that place these essential interviews into richly informative perspective.
The interviews themselves are truly unique, each qualifying as definitive explorations of the careers being discussed. Revealing details are too numerous to mention, but highlights include Newman's humble account (in the series' premiere episode) of his early struggles as an actor who lacked natural talent; Redford's lament over the loss of time-honored American traditions (not to mention his practical jokes played upon Newman); Streisand's life-shaping experience with parents she never really knew (which fed her unique precociousness as a gifted performer and perfectionist); and Eastwood's generously educational analysis of his own directorial approach. As always, the interviews end with Lipton's time-honored questionnaire (inspired by French talk show master Bernard Pivot), a kind of Rorschach test for his guests including questions like "what is your favorite curse word?" and "what sound or noise do you love?" (Streisand's response: "The sound of orgasms"), providing a perfect lead-in to Q&A sessions with the attending master-class students of the Actors Studio. The intimate setting, Lipton's searching but non-threatening inquiry, and a pervasive love of performance are what make these interviews special, worthy of multiple viewings as priceless glimpses into the minds and personalities of icons who've clearly earned that designation. Numerous outtakes are included from Newman, Redford, and Eastwood, but not, tellingly, for Streisand. One can only wonder, was that her decision, or Lipton's? --Jeff Shannon