Monday, July 16, 2012

Leveraging in an interview

Beginning an imaginary interview with a real interviewer…
wh5: You are a very successful interviewer of a surprising number of top-flight film actors and actresses in your career and you've won prizes for your program, Inside Actors’ Studio. When did you start this program?
JL: In 1994.
wh5: And you have interviewed 200 of them. That’s about ten each year.
JL: Yes, about once a month on average.
wh5: You are 85 years old. Where do you get your energy to perform?
JL: I’m very low key. I know how to pause. I know how to listen. I ask short questions. And I leverage. Most of my questions require long answers from the guest. They do the work.
So far, 200 of the world’s best-known actors, actresses and directors have been interviewed on Inside Actors’ Studio. James Lipton begins by noting achievements to establish ethos and relax the guest. Then he jumps out of the bushes with a surprise question – surprise is the drama. His guests are people who like to talk. That’s their job. And surprise sets them off.

Following James Lipton’s strategy, imagine you are interviewing a movie star.

(1) How would praise them? Establish the public image.
(2) How would you surprise them? Ask a private question. What do you think their reply would be?
(3) And finally, what Proustian question would you most like to ask the guest?


rolenzo said...

My Proustian question would be: When did you last see Madeleine?
My Faustian question would be: are JL's surprise questions actually surprises? Cf BBC World Book Club interviews, which have an odor of sans surprise.

Barry Natusch said...

I do declare i' faith Sir Rollo, feigned fluency in response to a surprise question may be preferable to a flustered, stuttered statement. En teatro, scripted, maybe, veering towards a yes. Although Artifice in the Art of Acting is that which Appears as Authentic. Hence it comes as no surprise that Surprise is scripted. The troupers probably know beforehand WHAT will come up but the marionetter is the one who knows WHEN to pull the strings.

11AA003 said...

(1) He is a famous director.
His works were awarded a prize. For example, Terminator, Titanic, Avatar.

(2) I was very surprized that his mother's occupation nurse and artist.

(3) What does he think that Terminator was awarded a prize?

Anonymous said...


(1)He is a famous actor.
He has awarded a lot of movie and TV prizes. For example, Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
(Family Ties, Back to the Future etc.)

(2)I was very surprised that he hided his desease(Parkinson's disease) during played his TV drama, and also he feel hardships and pleasures in his desease.

(3)If you recover your desease, what role do you want to perform?

11aa002 said...

Daniel Radcliffe
(1)He is a famous actor.
He got an actor award at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
(2)I was surprised he has coordination disturbance.
(3)Do you think there is magician?

Barry Natusch said...

JL: James Cameron, you have won academy awards for films such as Terminator, Titanic and Avatar. But you are not only a film director?
JC: I like to think of myself as part scientist and part artist.
JL: Your mother was an artist and a nurse.
JC: My mother encouraged me to paint, and both my parents were quite demanding, so I became creative and hardworking.
JL: You directed Terminator 1 and 2 but now we have Terminator 5 and 6.
JC: I stepped back from directing Terminator; after the second one I didn’t have anything new to say.

Barry Natusch said...

JL: Michael J. Fox, you have won awards such as Emmies and Golden Globes for films and TV shows such as Family Ties and Back to the Future.

MJF: I was lucky to be able to work in both film and TV. After I got Parkinson's Disease I have also been able to work as a voice actor.

JL: I was surprised to hear that you hid your Parkinson’s Disease for several years.

MJF: I was first diagnosed in 1991, and after several years of denial, I was able to face going public with it.

JL: If you make a recovery from the disease, what roles do you want to play?

MJF: I'm doubtful about making a recovery. I’m older now. But I’m happy with my life. I wrote a book called “Lucky Man”. My activism and my foundation for research into Parkinsons means a lot to me. That keeps me going.

Barry Natusch said...

JL: Daniel Radcliffe, you have have been the face everyone knows as Harry Potter.
DR: For a long time, yes. From the first film in 2001 to the eighth and final film in 2011.
JL: You have dyspraxia. What is that?
DR: It’s a neurological disorder.
Sometimes I find it hard to do simple things like writing. I had a hard time at school because of this.
JL: Your films are about magic. Do you believe in magic?

DR: Being an atheist, I can’t really say I believe in supranormal events. But I have taken lessons in doing magic tricks from illusionist Paul Kieve.

Anonymous said...


(1)she is famous actress,and the most beautiful.
(she was received four golden globe nominations,screen actors guild and british academy award)
(2)I was surprized that she worked a total over two years to make a movie. Tom is good person.
(3)What did you think that whe you read it?

Barry Natusch said...

JL: You are well-known and, if I may say, a very beautiful actress.
NK: Thank you.
JL: You are Australian. And yet you played British writer Virginia Woolf in The Hours so well it gained you several awards. How do you change from Australian accent to British accent?
NK: I had done English accents in several movies before that. If you move from country to country you develop an ear for accents. Learning to use the accent takes work though.
JL: How did you feel playing Virginia Woolf?
NK: I had to wear a false nose and that was a bit distracting.

Anonymous said...


(1)He is a famous actor.
He has awarded many movies.For example, Benny&Joon, Donnie Brasco, What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
(2)I was very surprised that he has many tattoos, especially the word "Wino Forever".
(3)What role do you want to play next?

Susumu said...

Hugh Jackman
(1)His professionalism is strong.
When he was given a role which was well-muscled, He trained his body. Then, he was able to bench press of 140kg.

(2)I was surprised that he hates cigarettes.
I've seen his smoking in the movie. So,in my impression, he is a smoker. In fact, he hates cigarettes and he has smoked only once in the drama.

Barry Natusch said...

JL: You are famous for playing a variety of roles, for example Gilbert Grape.
JD: And Jack Sparrow.
JL: Of course. Are your tattoos connected with you playing a pirate?
JD: Sailors had tattoos, yes. And tattoos remind you of events in your life.
JL: You have a tattoo “Wino Forever.”
JD: It originally was “Winona Forever.” That was my girlfriend. But we broke up so I changed it.

Barry Natusch said...


JL: You are very professional.
When you were given a role which was for a muscular character, you trained. You were able to bench press 140 kilos.

HJ: Yeah. Wolverine. Wasn’t easy. Had to put my mind to it.
JL: You hate cigarettes.
HJ: Some movie roles I smoke. But not in real life. I find it horrible to smoke in movies.

11AA022 said...

JL:Will Smith,you ranked 1st in the ranking of actor who earned most in 2008. And the movie which you acted main character recorded 1st place by first appearance in America by eight-work continuation. So you are one of the worthiest actors in the world.
WS:Thank you. Especially "Men in Black" series are famous.
JL:I was surprised that you started entertainments activities as a singer at first. Are you working as singer even now?
WS:I have much opportunity to work as actor now. But I released some albums.
JL:What movie remains in your heart most?
WS:It is "The Pursuit of Happyness". Because I could play together with my son in this movie.

11AA011 said...

Matt Damon
1 He is an american actor.He also known as a screenwriter, too. He cowrote "Good Will Hunting".He's got Best Actor nominations.
2 He was told from his drama teacher to do just your work and apparently this teacher changed his life. I was surprized and it's really good to know that he changed his life by a good teacher.
3 What is your important point of being a successful actor? Getting a title role is the most important things to you? And is it means anything to you or not?

11AA009 said...

1.she's athe first actrecc have a movie and music albam in the No.1 position in same week. surprising thing is she learned danceing since she was very young.

3.i want to ask her what do you feel when you are singing on stage?

11AA014 said...

Meryl Streep

1.She is a famous actress.
She was nominated for the Academy Award 17 times and this is the highest record.

2.I was surprised that her professionalism.
In 『Sophie's Choice』, she roled Polish woman. She got English of the Poland provincial accent to express entirely heroin's family line.

3.How do you keep your motivation?
You are successful. What is your next goal?

Barry Natusch said...

11AA022‬ said...
JL: Will Smith,you ranked first in the rankings of actors who earned the most in 2008. And the movie in which you played the main character won first place in eight times running. You are one of the most successful actors in the world.
WS: Thank you. Especially the "Men in Black" series helped a lot.
JL:I was surprised that you started your career as a singer first. Are you working as singer even now?

WS:I have a lot work as an actor now. But I have released some albums.

JL: What movie remains in your heart most?

WS: It is "The Pursuit of Happiness". Because I could perform together with my son in this movie.

Barry Natusch said...

JL: Matt Damon, you an American actor. You are also known as a screenwriter, too. You cowrote "Good Will Hunting" for which you received a nomination for Best Actor.

MD: I was told by my drama teacher to just focus on work and this teacher changed my life.
JL: It’s good to hear that an actor’s life was changed by a good teacher. What is your important point of being a successful actor?
MD: Getting a title role is important. But I like to be involved in other aspects of the film, too such as writing and directing.

Barry Natusch said...

11AA009‬ said...
JL: JLo, you’re the first actress to have a movie and music album in the No.1 position in same week.

JLo: That was my second album, J.Lo, yes.
JL: You learned dancing when you were very young.
JLo: I did. My parents weren’t wealthy, it was a sacrifice for them, but they stressed it is important to work hard.
JL: want to ask her what do you feel when you are singing on stage?
I feel great. If you don’t love the music, the audience will know.

Barry Natusch said...

JL: Meryl Streep, you are a famous actress. What more can I say but that you have been nominated for the Academy Award 17 times and this is a record.
MS: Thank you.
JL: What an amazing is the number of different roles you play. For example, in“Sophie's Choice”, you play a Polish woman. You speak English with a believable Polish accent.
MS: I am lucky, I can do accents to some degree. It takes a lot of work, I am a perfectionist, but it’s worth it because native speakers will pick up a false accent very quickly.
JL: How do you keep your motivation? What is your next goal?
MS: I am realistic about my future in film, but I feel I have made some good films.

11AA026 said...

Tommy Lee Jones
(1)His acting movie, The Fugitive, won an Academy Award.
He himself won the awards for best supporting actor.
(2)I was surprised that former Vice-President Al Gore was his roommate at Harvard.
(3)What movie do you like best in your acting movie?

11AA007 said...

Clint Eastwood
(1)he is well known actor, director, producer, and composer, who got Best Director and Best Picture on Academy Awards.
(2)actually, he was not a famous actor when he started his actor life in the U.S . but he would be a famous film actor in europe, and that news imported to the U.S .
(3)what kind of movie will you want to make?

Anonymous said...


(1)He is a very famous actor. For example, "Seven", "Oceans series", "Mr. &Mrs. Smith", " Money ball" and so on. Also, in the magazine, he won many prizes. For instance, the no.1 sexy man you think.
(2)He said "The stripper is very interesting."
(3)Do you think that you let your children in entertainment world?

Barry Natusch said...

11AA026 said...
JL: Tommy Lee Jones, your movie, The Fugitive, won an Academy Award.
You yourself have won awards for best supporting actor.
TLJ: Yes I seem to end up playing supporting roles in dark movies.
JL: I was surprised that former Vice-President Al Gore was your roommate at Harvard.
TLJ:Yes, we go way back. We got along very well actually then, still do.
JL: What movie do you like best in your career?
TLJ: I've been working in films since the 70s, MIB did OK for me I guess.

Barry Natusch said...

JL: Clint Eastwood, actor, director, producer, composer, among countless movies, you have received Best Director and Best Picture awards. Did I miss anything?
CE: I am also into politics. I am Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
JL: Acting did not come easy to you.
CE: It didn’t. I needed to be coached originally, I didn’t know which way to turn, I hissed my lines. But some filmwork I did in France helped me make it in the U.S.
JL: What kind of movie do you want to make?
CE: I like to try different things.