THE SHOW "Inside the Actors Studio"
WHEN | WHERE Wednesday night at 8 on Bravo: Amy Adams. Thursday at 8 p.m. on Bravo: Matthew McConaughey
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Oscar contenders engage in timely talks with longtime "Actors Studio" host James Lipton. The hour with Adams (who's already won a Golden Globe for "American Hustle") wasn't available for preview. But McConaughey (also a Globe winner, for "Dallas Buyers Club") radiates high-wattage star power vs. the inquisitor with the notecards.
It's quite an acting arc from a "Dazed and Confused" debut to "Dallas Buyers Club," and the Texas native covers it all, while digressing to his football-playing dad ("Jim 'The Bear' McConaughey sacked Johnny Unitas twice"), his Brazil-born wife ("met in a bar on Sunset Boulevard") and, prodded by an envious Lipton, his "level of physical fitness."
But there's much less "sexiest man alive" here than thoughtful, and grateful, actor, effusively exuberant about his art. He doesn't shrink from his romcoms like "The Wedding Planner" and "Failure to Launch."
In fact, he's prideful and precise about how to approach the genre: "There's a bandwidth that they live on, and it's levitated."
McConaughey also discusses the career "recalibration" embodied in "The Lincoln Lawyer" and his work since, including "Buyers Club" and his current run in HBO's "True Detective" (Sunday at 9 p.m.). He yearned to max out his bandwidth, let's say, after realizing that, compared to film, "my real life was so much more -- more mad, more sad, laughing louder."
MY SAY Maybe McConaughey could be the next inquiring mind to host "Actors Studio." Lipton proves less informed regarding the current equilibrium in television and film, telling his guest that his "True Detective" entry "constitutes the kind of unusual fare that we rarely see on TV, or even on film." Well, nuts to you, Jim. Try watching the medium on which you appear.
BOTTOM LINE "Actors Studio" is still a rare chance to watch performers expound upon what it is they do, and why.