Variety Studio: Actors on Actors

PBS SoCal and Variety take you inside the biggest movies and TV shows of the past year through candid conversations with today's hottest actors. Hosted by Variety Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis and Variety Chief Correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister, each episode brings together pairs of actors engaging in intimate one-on-one discussions about their craft and work.


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Season 19

Season 18

  • Episode

    Emily Blunt, Brian Cox, Rachel Weisz, Jenna Ortega and more

    Emily Blunt ("The English") and Brian Cox ("Succession) bond over fascination with new characters; Taron Egerton ("Black Bird") and Rachel Weisz ("Dead Ringers") confess the enjoyment they found in harrowing roles; Elle Fanning ("The Great") and Jenna Ortega ("Wednesday") deliberate bringing old characters to life in new contexts.

  • Episode

    Pedro Pascal, Steven Yeun, Claire Danes and more

    Pedro Pascal ("The Last of Us") and Steven Yeun ("Beef") gush about each other- and their experiences acting in post-apocalyptic worlds; Melanie Lynskey ("Yellowjackets") and Natasha Lyonne ("Poker Face") reconnect to discuss the benchmarks in their careers; Kieran Culkin ("Succession") and Claire Danes ("Fleishman in Trouble") delve into embodying their characters' specific psychologies.

  • Episode

    Sheryl Lee Ralph, Katherine Heigl, Ellen Pompeo and more

    Jennifer Garner ("The Last Thing He Told Me") and Sheryl Lee Ralph ("Abbott Elementary") reflect on their approaches to characters and motivations; Theo James ("The White Lotus) and Brett Goldstein ("Ted Lasso") on what it's like to have multiple roles on a production; Katherine Heigl ("Firefly Lane") and Ellen Pompeo ("Grey's Anatomy") reunite to discuss their shared pasts and divergent futures.

  • Episode

    Jennifer Coolidge, Ali Wong, Diego Luna and more

    Jennifer Coolidge ("The White Lotus") and Jeremy Allen White ("The Bear") talk insecurity and finding confidence in their roles; Jason Segel ("Shrinking") and Ali Wong ("Beef") debate the compexities of navigating both comedy and drama; Hayden Christensen ("Obi-Wan Kenobi") and Diego Luna ("Andor") discuss their dynamic roles within the Star Wars universe over the decades.

Season 17

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    Cate Blanchett, Michelle Yeoh, Kate Hudson

    Cate Blanchett ("Tár") and Michelle Yeoh ("Everything Everywhere All at Once") discuss portraying characters originally written for men; Kate Hudson ("Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery") and Glen Powell ("Top Gun: Maverick") share the importance of chemistry with co-stars; and Laura Dern ("The Son") and Michelle Williams ("The Fabelmans") exchange their thoughts on working with young co-stars.

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    Carey Mulligan, Margot Robbie, John Boyega

    Carey Mulligan ("She Said") and Margot Robbie ("Babylon") discuss the range of female portrayals in film; Austin Butler ("Elvis") and Janelle Monáe ("Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery") reveal how acting takes a toll on a personal life; and John Boyega ("The Woman King") and Letitia Wright ("Black Panther: Wakanda Forever") discuss the importance of black stories in Hollywood blockbusters.

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    Viola Davis, Jennifer Lawrence, Adam Sandler

    Viola Davis ("The Woman King") and Jennifer Lawrence ("Causeway") get honest about female action heroes; Jamie Lee Curtis ("Everything Everywhere All at Once") and Colin Farrell ("The Banshees of Inisherin") discuss their recent complex roles; and Brendan Fraser ("The Whale") and Adam Sandler ("Hustle") share their movie history and special connection.

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    Ana de Armas, Eddie Redmayne, Brian Tyree Henry

    Ana de Armas ("Blonde") and Eddie Redmayne ("The Good Nurse") disscuss playing infamous real people; Paul Dano ("The Fabelmans") and Brian Tyree Henry ("Causeway") compare working with talented writers and directors; and Joe Alwyn ("Stars at Noon") and Paul Mescal ("Aftersun") share stories of working with female directors.

Season 16

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    Viola Davis, Samuel L. Jackson and more

    Viola Davis ("The First Lady") and Samuel L. Jackson ("The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey") share their advice for young actors; Jennifer Aniston ("The Morning Show") and Sebastian Stan ("Pam & Tommy") reveal how they spend their time in the makeup chair; and Jared Leto ("WeCrashed") and Amanda Seyfried ("The Dropout") discuss their responsibility in playing real people.

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    Zendaya, Andrew Garfield and more

    Zendaya ("Euphoria") and Andrew Garfield ("Under the Banner of Heaven") discuss carrying the emotional weight of dark stories. Cynthia Nixon ("And Just Like That") and Bowen Yang ("Saturday Night Live") share stories of writing and directing for television. Courteney Cox ("Shining Vale") and Faith Hill ("1883") compare their process for finding good roles.

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    Martin Short, Jean Smart and more

    Martin Short ("Only Murders in the Building") and Jean Smart ("Hacks") discuss the joys of generational humor. Jung Ho-yeon ("Squid Game") and Sandra Oh ("The Chair", "Killing Eve") compare experiences working as a native Korean and a Korean-American actor. Tom Hiddleston ("The Essex Serpent", "Loki") and Lily James ("Pam & Tommy) talk about using American accents both on, and off, the set.

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    Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong and more

    Anne Hathaway ("WeCrashed") and Jeremy Strong ("Succession") share stories of playing characters in over their heads. Christina Ricci ("Yellowjackets") and Sydney Sweeney ("Euphoria") discuss changing opportunities for female actors. Quinta Brunson ("Abbott Elementary") and Adam Scott ("Severance") talk about their roots in comedy. And Josh Brolin ("Outer Range") interviews... himself.

Season 10

  • Episode

    Julia Roberts, Amy Adams and more

    This episode features Julia Roberts (Homecoming) in conversation with Patricia Arquette (Escape at Dannemora). Meanwhile, Amy Adams (Sharp Objects) and Richard Madden (Bodyguard) discuss how they handle the anxiety of playing difficult characters. Taraji P. Henson (Empire) with Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy) talk about how playing strong characters affected their careers and paychecks.

  • Episode

    Emilia Clarke, Michael Douglas and more

    Watch veteran actors Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method) and Benicio Del Toro (Escape at Dannemora) look back on their careers and choice of roles; Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Regina Hall (Black Monday) speak about how clothing and a character’s backstory; and Sam Rockwell (Fosse/Verdon) joins Renée Zellweger (What/If) to discuss how the quality of television programs.

  • Episode

    Chris Pine, Michelle Williams and more

    Robin Wright (House of Cards) and Chris Pine (I Am the Night) talk about playing morally ambiguous characters. Meanwhile, former co-stars Michelle Williams (Fosse/Verdon) and Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects) discuss why they made the jump from the big screen to television. Sacha Baron Cohen (Who is America?) and Don Cheadle (Black Monday) discuss how costumes can make or break a role.

  • Episode

    Sarah Paulson, Rachel Brosnahan and more

    Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Billy Porter (Pose) discuss how fashion can actually elicit social change; Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) speak about what it’s like to direct their own series. Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) and Maya Rudolph (Forever) talk about producing projects that deal with death and mortality.

Season 9

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    Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and more

    Nicole Kidman (A Boy Erased/Destroyer) discusses her struggle with shyness, while Amy Adams (Vice) talks about her competition with co-star Christian Bale. Mahershala Ali (Green Book) discusses his unusual role with John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) talks about working with director Spike Lee. Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex) and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) talk #MeToo and #TimesUp.

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    Emily Blunt, Hugh Jackman and more

    Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) differentiates between dramatic and comedic roles, while Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther) discusses the impact of international box office hits. Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy) and Emma Stone (The Favourite) recall their earliest roles. Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns/A Quiet Place) and Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner) discuss singing in public.

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    Michael B. Jordan, John Krasinski and more

    John Krasinski (A Quiet Place) talks about how parenting influenced him. Rosamund Pike (A Private War) discusses playing a real-life American journalist. Michael B. Jordan (Creed II /Black Panther) and Charlize Theron (Tully) discuss how they prepare for roles. Finally, Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Kindergarten Teacher) and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) reflect on feminine filmmaking.

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    Sam Elliot, Dakota Johnson and more

    Glenn Close (The Wife) talks with Sam Elliott (A Star is Born). Find out the reason Armie Hammer (On the Basis of Sex/Sorry to Bother You) accepted the role of Marty Ginsburg, while Dakota Johnson (Suspiria) talks about why she chose to play a character trapped in a cult. Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) talk about the importance of listening when acting.

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    Lady Gaga and Lin-Manuel Miranda

    This special half-hour episode features Lady Gaga (A Star is Born) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns), both of whom are bringing musicals back to the big screen. Join Lady Gaga and Lin-Manuel Miranda as they talk about navigating the differences of film performance versus live concert and theatre performances and finding a new source of adrenaline when a live audience isn’t present.

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