James Lipton Q&A: ‘Inside the Actors Studio’
“That was extraordinary! It did take a long time and was the sweet 16th nomination when we won the Emmy,” recalls James Lipton about his first victory for “Inside the Actors Studio” at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony in 2013. In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “I was sitting in my seat without any particular hope. I’m honored as always to be nominated. Imagine to be nominated out of that enormous number of television programs. Suddenly I heard our name, and we had about 17 seconds to get to the stage and make our remarks. I never ran so fast in my life!”
For the 2017 ceremony, Lipton and his team have a 20th program nomination as Best Informational Series or Special for their revealing show where he has hour-long interviews with major film and TV stars. His first guests in 1994 were Alec Baldwin and the late Paul Newman. He has chatted with many of this year’s Emmy nominees, including Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon (“Feud: Bette and Joan”), Robert De Niro (“The Wizard of Lies”), Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”), Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”).
However, one of the highlights of his career was in 2011 when former student Bradley Cooper returned to his school for an in-depth conversation. Lipton says, “Bradley had asked questions in the audience of De Niro and Sean Penn, and suddenly here he was on the stage. The two of us looked at each other and burst into tears. It was almost impossible for us to continue. We did with some difficulty but with memorable results.”
For his category this year, Lipton is up against “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” “StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson,” and “Vice.” Results will be unveiled over two ceremonies on September 9 and 10.