There is always a peculiar aura in the air when James Lipton
shows up on my television screen; I am quite transfixed with pure unadulterated fascination. Having said that, it should come to no one's surprise that I did not think twice when given the chance to attend a taping of "Inside the Actor's Studio" and be in the presence of Mr. Lipton once again (I had once seen him walk by me at a New York Mets game. Although I do hold out hope, I doubt he remembers me.)
Recorded on a blistering cold (well, not quite but it sounds good for effect) evening at Pace University, the guest of honor on this evening was W.
star Josh Brolin
. First of all, how long is the televised version of this show? An hour, right? Sometimes two? I have attended tapings of The Late Show With David Letterman
, Late Night With Conan O'Brien
, The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart
and The Colbert Report
. All of them lasted approximately the same amount of time as the final broadcast. But the "Inside the Actors Studio" taping started at 7:15 p.m. and ended at 11:15 p.m. Yes, over four hours!
If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: Josh Brolin is one interesting guy. Keeping my scattered attention for over four hours is no easy feat, and I would award him the Medal of Freedom if I had such authority. As you may be able to imagine, no stone is left unturned during this long of an interview session. Twenty minutes were spent on The Goonies
alone, much to my delight. In fact, Brolin said to this day it may be the greatest experience of his life. (It may be mine, too!)
I must admit after four hours of questions Josh Brolin has now moved into my personal top 10 list of people that I know the most about; this includes public figures and people I know personally. Honestly, if someone asked me right now to list the ten people I know the most information about, Brolin would come in around seventh, directly between my grandmother and Bruce Springsteen
The last hour of the taping was the famous question and answer session from the students of Lipton's class. I often think back to my years in high school and my years as an undergraduate and ask myself why I didn't take an acting class, if for no other reason than to release some creative juices. After listening to a few of the questions asked, I was quickly reminded why I did not want to spend too much time with serious drama students. To be fair, a few students actually asked some well thought-out, intelligent questions. Unfortunately, there were way too many questions focusing on the individual student asking poor Josh Brolin - who gave a wide-eyed "I have no idea what you just asked me" look more times than once during this session - how they could possibly take that extra step to truly find the inner monologues of the deep philosophical part they happened to be playing at that time.
Some news did come out of the evening. Brolin has been rumored to be cast as the title character in the new Jonah Hex
movie - based on the somewhat popular comic book (I've actually read it because my dad had some old issues). He all but confirmed this will be his next project following Milk
Final verdict: long, but immensely captivating. For those that have to know: Josh Brolin's favorite word is "Malt Liquor." His favorite curse word is "f---in' shit," said, as he explained, quick and under his breath. Brolin does seem to have a problem knowing the difference between the singular and plural version of the word "word." I certainly found no reason to curse that evening, at least until I walked back out into the freezing cold night (again, it wasn't that bad - still going for effect). If nothing else, perhaps, just perhaps, James Lipton will remember our evening together the next time I walk past him at a Mets game. At least, I'm sure he will pretend that he does right before security escorts me out of the stadium.
Story by Mike Ryan
Starpulse contributing writer