Lipton's guest chair, actors cease being stars for a while and become artists and teachers." Though sometimes, some interviews go longer; Steven Spielberg's 1999 visit, for example, stretched to four hours, and was later shown as two episodes of one hour each.
The interviews are guided by Lipton's trademark index-card questions, which sometimes reveal his well-researched knowledge of guests' lives, often startling some.
The show deliberately uses a slower pace in the interviews as compared with a typical celebrity interview, thus cameras usually record a couple of hours of conversation, later edited to one or two hours, a trick used by Groucho Marx on his 1950s quiz show You Bet Your Life.
The result, as a New York Times article put it, "In Mr.
People who are too grand to talk to anyone will talk to Inside the Actors Studio.
They believe they're giving something back, offering precious pearls of insight to a new generation.
The questionnaire concept was originated by French television personality Bernard Pivot on his show Apostrophes, after the Proust Questionnaire.