The first time I saw James Lipton without really knowing who he is was on the show Arrested Development in which he played a prison warden.
His aura on screen give me the feeling that this was a popular person in real life, not simply an extra. (Similar to when Carl Weathers guest starred as himself, not realizing who he was).
Well I finally clued in watching a few Inside the Actors Studio on youtube when it dawned on me how stellar this guy is...
He is pretty much the male version of Barbara Walters, in my opinion. He asks very candid questions to some of the biggest hollywood stars with such authority. While some might laugh in response to a question or comment, he will stare right back and wait for a real answer.
I've watched a few interviews already (Kiefer Sutherland, cast of Modern Family, etc) and I think my favourite part comes at the end, when he reserves a series of questions to each guest, the final one being this: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
It's wonderful to see, if even for a glimpse, an actor's walls down and vulnerable as they take a pensive moment to think through. Some are quick witty one-liners, but I sense that some answers are genuine and exposes an inner desire for something deeper.
What do you think?