tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN November 19, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PST
country and not in the studio. >> well, let us know. all right, thanks so much, sherry, nice to meet you. >> all right u we're going to be in if nation's capitol next week covering the super committee count down. on tuesday, cnn is hosting a republican debate on national security super committee. don't sleep, don't eat, do a deal. we're not going to give you water until you do a deal. here's piers morgan tonight. >> tonight, the mysterious death of a hollywood legend. what really happened to natalie wood? who's to blame? i'll ask laura wood in her first tv interview since the case was reopened yesterday. >> i don't think she fell. >> and beam me up, scotty. i've waited years to do that. >> you're off my list. i'm never going to come on this show again because it irked me so -- for so long. >> the extraordinary william
shattner. captain kirk opens up about star trek. >> what are you talking about? i thought i was loved? >> how he'd like to be remembered? >> blagz in the sky. >> and the greatest moment in his life. >> what has been the single greatest moment of your life? >> doing piers morgan interview. >> well, obviously. >> this is, "piers morgan tonight." >> good evening, we start with breaking news with shocking new developments in the case of natalie wood, the actress who once said her greatest fear was dark sea water who drowned 30 years ago next week. her body was found a mile from the yacht she had been on with fellow actor, christopher walken. los angeles county sheriff's office reopened the case last week in response to several people who had additional information. joining me now, natalie's
sister, lona wood. lona, very, very extraordinary development in this case. no other way to describe this, that 30 years on, it has been reopened. what was your reaction when you heard? >> i know that there had been petitions out and i know that there were great, great number of people that wanted the case looked into properly. and i have very mixed feelings about all of it at all times, actually. and, it's just -- it's very, very difficult for me. this is a pain that i've lived with for the past 30 years. and, now, i'm going to have to look at it more closely again as it unfolds as i will, you know. in caring. i think what's important to remember here is that this is about natalie and for natalie. it's not for anyone else. and i think that it's time that
natalie's actual voice was heard. and that's what i'm hoping will come from the investigation. >> the key development appears to center around dennis, he was the former captain of the yacht, splendor. he broke his silence with a detailed account of what he claimed at the time that happened in good-bye natalie, good-bye splendor. but on nbc's today show this morning, he said this. let's watch this. >> was he responsible for her death in some way? >> well, like i said, i think we all made mistakes that night. and -- >> mr. daven, that wasn't my question. was he responsible for her death? i'm not asking about your story. >> yes, i would say so, yes. >> how so? >> i really don't want to get involved in answering that question. >> how can you come on national television, sir, and i accuse him of something like that but
not back it up. >> that's up to the investiga r investigato investigators. >> so being pretty clear from the captain of the yacht that he believes robert wagner was more involved in natalie's death than we were led to believe. i have to stress that the los angeles kunty sheriff's department stressed tonight that she's not a suspect. and the veracity of this capt n captain's testimony must be called into question specifically because he hasn't said this before and he's published books about this. >> he's been trying to say something for quite a number of years. he used to call me quite frequently about ten years after natalie passed. and, um, tell me bits and pieces in a very agitated manner, very upset, crying. that there was more to it than he said.
and, um, how guilty he felt. and i always told him at the time, go to the authorities, then. and he was scared. and, um, i -- i don't -- i don't know. the -- i know that the sheriff's department, the homicide division, is taking this all very seriously. and i think what's important is not what i think happened or someone else thinks happened. i think what's important is to get to the bottom of what actually did happen. and i think that's what they should be allowed to do. i don't think anybody -- i don't know. you know, only r.j. and natalie know. and only one of them can speak. >> when was the last time you spoke to robert wagner? >> oh my goodness. 14 years ago when my mother passed away?
>> what is your feeling towards him? >> i've known r.j. since i was nine years old. i've always loved him dearly. i can't imagine that he purposefully would have done anything to hurt natalie. however, i know things happen when there's too much drinking and fighting and, there, again, this is so difficult for me. you have no idea how painful this is. i just -- i just think it's time for the family to hear the truth. that's all. >> robert wagner has made a statement through his publicist today. and it says that although no one in the wagner family has heard from the la county sheriff's department about this matter,
they fully support the efforts of the la county sheriff's department and promise to evaluate any new information is valid and that it come frs a credible source or sources other than those schismly trying to proft from the 30 year anniversary of her tragic death. fairly pointed, i would say that statement. a clear suggest that the motivation of this captain of the yacht may well be driven by the 30th anniversary, the chance to make money as he has done in the past. you've spoken to him, as you said, many times. you know this guy better than most people. do you think that what he says should be taken seriously? or could he have other motivations? >> i think that, first of all, i think that's sort of a slap in the face to the homicide department because they wouldn't simply reopen a case based upon what one person is saying. i don't -- i don't think that's quite fair to them.
secondly, dennis has always told me the truth. he has withheld a great deal, but he has always told me the truth. and, in speaking with him, i have no reason not to believe him. he's never lied to me before. i don't know -- i don't think he has anything to gain. i think it's a matter of trying to get to purge himself. i don't know what his -- i don't really think it's about money, though. i really don't. >> clearly, this captain believes it wasn't just an accident. in the conversations you've had with him, i mean, the general agreed areas of what may have gone on that night are that alcohol was ininvolved, there was fighting of some description between natalie and robert. and when you've spoken to this guy, has he said to you that he believes robert was personally
involved in her falling from the boat? >> yes. he has told me that. >> and this is, presumably, what he's now told the police? >> presumably. i don't think they're just taking his word for it, though. they have been in touch with me for quite some time. and they have information from a lot of other people, a lot of other sources. i would prefer, as i am sure a great many people would, to not have all of this brought up in this fashion. i would prefer to always believe that r.j. would never do anything to hurt natalie and that he loved her dearly, which he did. and i don't believe that whatever went on was deliberate. i've always cared about him.
i always will care about him. and i would prefer to continue living the prior explanations. but i doen't think that's going to happen. and, as i've said, very painful. very, very painful. it's going to be painful for everyone, i'm sure. >> finally, lana, what are your thoughts about natalie? it's been 30 years since she died. she was a wonderful actress and an incredibly well loved person. >> yes, yes. it's -- she -- there's so many parts of natalie that are still with all of us. it's the movies, it's the smile, it's the laughter. it's the bits of her self that she gave to every role that she did. and i don't mean that to sound, you know, sop pi py at all. i miss her enormously and all of
our lives changed drastically at her passing. but i also know that there were some unkind things being said about natalie that were not true. and i think it's time for those things to be put to rest, as well. and let's just let everybody do their job and the innocent have nothing to fear. so, you know, it should go smoothly, hopefully. >> well, owhat are the misconceptions that upset you about natalie the most? >> oh, various things that were said in a couple of books that i would get. glamorous book and another one. but people keep bringing them to my attention saying look at this. those things stay with you. they sort of eat at you that she was flirtatious and that she would have left the boat undressed to go to a party. it's the most ludicrous thing i've ever heard. she wouldn't leave the house
unless she was fully made up. she wouldn't go in the backyard. it's ridiculous. it made her seem like -- i don't know, someone frivolous. and she was not frivolous. she really was not. she needed to be more frivolous, but she wasn't. not in the least. various things like that. >> from your conversations with captain daver, are you in any doubt now that natalie didn't fall into the sea? that she was pushed? >> i don't think she fell. i don't think she was pushed. i don't know whether there was, you know, an altercation and it happened accidentally. but i don't -- she shouldn't have died. she shouldn't have died. and that does stay with me. and hurt.
>> lana, i really appreciate you coming on today. thank you very much. >> thank you, piers. >> coming up, star trek fans li like me have been waiting for, the one and only william shatner. [ male announcer ] if you're only brushing, add listerine® total care for more complete oral care. ♪ it works in six different ways to restore enamel... strengthen teeth... freshen breath... help prevent cavities... and kill bad breath germs for a whole mouth clean. so go beyond the brush with listerine® total care, the most complete mouthwash. now get all the benefits... without the alcohol. new listerine® total care zero.
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william shat shatner, welcome. someone said to me you're 80 years old. >> well, somebody said to me you're 40? >> well, by the way, you don't look 80. you shouldn't be 80. >> well, i don't feel 80. i don't know how to deal with that. well, tell me about this great book, shatner rules. you don't want to be old and 80 and facing death, do you? >> well, no. as you've read in the book, i described my 80th birthday getting up and not wanting to
get up but realizing that i had to get up because it could all end right now. >> do you fear death? >> i'm in torment. i'm terrified. i envy the people upstairs. i've got my name in the golden book and i'm going to be entered into the pearly gates. >> what do you hope happens? >> that this continues. can't i go on, make a record here and there, write a book now and then, say hello to my wife in the morning? it would be great. >> you've worked unbelievably hard your entire life. you don't need the money. you don't need the success. you've had every success imaginable. what drives you? why do you still put yourself through this? >> piers, if you were given the opportunity to get a great interview, a great interview, but you're sick and you're tired, wouldn't you get up out of bed? and they would say well, piers, we'll have anderson do it. and you'd say, dear god --
>> even if i was dead, i'd get out of the coffin. >> that's right. i'm going to do that interview. >> is that how you feel? >> yes, i've got to do that part. i've got to say this thing. i've got to ride those horses. i've gots to. >> you've been acting for six, seven decades. you've been singing a lot of that time, as well. you've been making hilarious commercials. you've done all sorts of stuff. what is the one thing, if you're completely honest, that you enjoy about everything else that you've ever done? >> i like making people laugh. making people laugh is a joyful occupation. first of all, the invention of the joke itself is a crafting art. a good joke about -- and it has to have commentary, as well, whether it's on the human condition or the political condition, whatever it is, a
joke makes you laugh at the thing that's scathing, usually. >> your comedy now, a lot of it comes from television, where people are laugh ag long time after you tape this stuff. do you not fancy -- if company is the thing that really gets you going, do you not fancy taking the ultimate risk? >> i am, basically, in the one-man show called all time flies. the opening joke is have your cake. and my mother's whole thing -- >> no, i love this story. this is from your book. i should talk now. so your mother, god bless her, had this wonderful thing where she would go to any restaurant, often with the entire family, and say it's her birthday and you would all get massive amounts of cake. >> well, no, one piece. >> one piece. but it was never her birthday. >> well, her birthday once that year. and then she would go to a restaurant with all of us there and say it's my birthday. and the waiters would come out and sing.
and my mother would say thank you very much. in the beginning, we sang happy birthday. and then, after a while, we wouldn't sing happy birthday. and the waiters got really upset. and the maitre d', i heard the maitre d' once on the phone saying i'm telling you, shatner hates his mother. >> what did she teach you, your mother? what did she teach you about life? >> my mother was an exuberant, silly lady. and that silliness, which, in her part, was a little overboard for the silliness. you need to be silly to be funny. but you can't be too silly. on the other hand, depending on what kind of comedy it is. i mean, slapstick is silly. but slapstick is, like, the slipping -- the -- the pretentious man slipping on the banana peel. it's funny and it's cruel and it's observant. but that's slapstick. it's outrageous. and then you throttle all of
that back, you've got drying room comedy and somebody drops a cup of tea. it's all related. >> so you've been able to laugh at yourself without ever crossing that line where it becomes a bit ridiculous. you've managed to straddle that dwis. >> and that's what you're working on without an audience. that's laughing at yourself. the whole irony of life, i mean, the fact that we're here talking about me in the midst of all of this is a bit of a joke. and it should take its rightful place. >> what's the best william shatner joke you've ever heard? >> i'm terrible with jokes. i can't remember them. >> what was the one from your roast that you found most offensive, and, yet, funny. >> oh, the roast was -- oh, well, the actor, george decay, i was given the line that was the
line. i rode in on a horse, on my rose. and the obvious line was screw you. f you and the horse you rode in on, right? so george got the line. and he liked it so much that when he said it, he meant it. it wasn't funny at all. holy cats, george, take it easy. >> e're going to come back to that and your relationship with your star trek people. we'll come back to this, your list of questions you get asked at star trek conventions because you've had to answer these things so bloody often, you now have every answer in the book. no need to ask you anymore star trek questions. [ male announcer ] butter. love the taste, but want to cut back on fat?
>> i don't know what that was all about. a lot of halabalut. >> i loved star trek. i was a treky. bordering on going to a convention. never actually did. >> why didn't you? >> no, i didn't. i nearly did. >> why didn't you? >> i just don't think i've ever had one in my neck of the woods, a little village in the south of england. but i loved star trek. and i used to just crave star trek. >> you know why? >> captain kirk was like my idol. >> you know why? >> why. >> it's part of the myth. >> what is the moyth? joseph campbell. every culture needs a myth. the myth is this promised land of star trek. the heroes of the star ship. the ritual is going to a convention. partaking. the autograph. >> are you absolutely sick of it? >> no, i'm not sick of it. >> really? >> really.
>> to me, it's like a cape following me. how did the king get to be current? you know, or the queen? someone's got to be lifting. it's there. it's behind me. it's part of what -- it's why i'm here, essentially. maybe. and -- >> do you worry that when you finally leave us, the headline will be captain kirk dies, page 176. >> um, no. no. i don't care. you know, i say to other actors, kelly, gene kelly was a great, great dancer. and they say who? fred estaire? what? nothing. it's so ephemeral. it's so airy. it it disappears. >> do you not worry about your legacy? >> no, my legacy is my wife and my children and my grandchildren. >> you had an extraordinary
ground-breaking moment. you had the first interracial kiss ever shown on u.s. television. did you realize at that moment how significant that was going to be? >> not really, although we had heard rumors that the southern stations -- some southern stations may get that. the context of that kiss is i'm being forced to do it by the alien. so it wasn't, like, i was falling in love and ravishing this beautiful woman whose skin was darker than mine. it was i'm being forced as the -- as her boss to kiss her. subsequently, people talk about it, and i think, well, i guess it was important. but, no, no. all of those things -- anything you think is important now, we just brushed off back then because in the early of making the service. >> your costars, from star trek, with the exception of spak, the resz of you -- well not you,
actually. they all seem to have a massive problem with you. >> because they're trying to sell a book. >> is that what it's about? >> as far as i'm concerned. >> will you doubt captain kirk? >> yeah, why not? everybody else does? >> that really surprises me. he stole all of my great scenes. >> he didn't have good scenes. he didn't have any great lines. there was nothing to nick. but i was shocked. i was interviewed. and i said thank you for that great interview. and i said wait a minute, don't you want to know how much we decembspise you? i said what are you talking about? i thought i was loved? >> do your care? >> i care that somebody in this world dislikes me. and i care that the am nety is carried over. it's absolutely nonsense. i mean, we're going to die. go out the way you came in with
a little innocence. it's ridiculous. >> how has leonard managed to avoid despising you? >> he doesn't know me very well. >> and he also -- >> he might, secretly. >> are you good friends with him? tell the truth? >> absolutely. absolutely. i think he's an admirable man. a great human being. >> when you walk into a treky convention, this must be like the president. >> 15,000 people going crazy. and, piers, you're in front of them and you don't know what to say next. how about that for a balancing act. 15,000 and you're in the actor's nightmare. >> do you have an opening line? >> my mother ate cake. . no, what would you like to know? >> do you say something like captain kirk? do you give the desiisciples wh
they want? >> piers, you're at the convention. hello. good evening. piers, i see you sitting in the audien audience, what would you like to know? >> beam me up, scotty. >> i hate you. you're off my list. i'm never going to come on this show again because it irked me for so long, beam me up scotty. >> did it? why? >> i thought it was derisive, after a while. after 30 years. i thought -- then about getting into the 40th year, i thought what the heck? why are they saying that? it must be their derision. they must be laughing at me. and then i go see patrick stuart and he's this great shakespeare yan actor. and i said mie god, why are they doing that? i said i've been doing this terrible thing. i shouldn't get irked at beam me up scotty. i should say i would if i could. >> yes, embrace it. >> embrace it.
william shatner, you're a tweeter, aren't you, william? >> i am. i don't physically tweet, i have people who tweet. but i give them the impetus. i tell them. >> what do you think of the social networking phenomena? we >> well, it's extraordinary. it's a few facet to our civilization, if you will. i did mr. halburn wrote about
his father, tweet t about his father, ultimately became a half hour comedy that i was performing. it's instant communication. and we use it to tell the people who are interested what it is i'm doing, what it is i'm thinking, feeling. and what -- how they may share it. >> talk to me about mythology and the importance of it is one of the down sides of twitter, facebook and so on that famous people just give way too much of thems. they kind of kill the magic. >> yes. there's no magic, anymore. that's true. >> does that sadden you? >> from a theatrical point of view, it does because what was done with smoke and mirrors and pulleys and wires, now the camera is focused on the wire. here's how we're pulling him out and here's the cti. and you're seeing the bare bones. when i was doing this half hour
sit com and the lines wouldn't work and the jokes might not work and we're given new jokes and there's 400 people watching the actor get the joke and it was like a nightmare to me, the actor, who was used to covering over any mistake. so the audience wouldn't know that something else was happening. here, they were in on the mistakes. and i had to embrace them and the mistake and say, all right, everybody, you're in on this mistake. and you have to tell us whether this line works or not, only by your reaction do we know. so it's a whole other area. yes, the smoke and mirrors is gone. and that's a shame. >> one of the great ethoses of this book is, really, you should always say yes. tell me why you think that's important. >> well, i'm -- you've got to condition the word, "always." i don't say always say yes. >> pretty much. >> you've got have some discrimination. not pretty much. yes. you have to -- the ethos is say
yes. but, i mean, use your sense. the idea behind saying yes is it's easier to say no, especially as you get older, it's easier to say no, no i will not entertain that idea, no, i will not take a fresh look at something, no i will not meet that new person. it's easier to stay at home. it's easier to insulate. it's more difficult and more dangerous to say yes to opportunity. but saying yes to opportunity is saying yes to life. >> what has been the single greatest moment of your life? the moment -- if i said, right, i can replicate that moment for you right now. what would you choose? >> doing piers morgan interview. >> well, obviously. can you replicate that? >> of course, we can repeat it. let me make it the second greatest thing? >> well, that's an impossible question. i mean, i'd go through, um, my marriage to elizabeth.
i'd go through the birth of my children and my grandchildren. i'd go through the absolute ecstatic joy i feel at moments riding horses. i would go through that moment when the audience and i were in partnership, the feeling of unity. >> what's been the greatest professional level? >> there -- piers -- >> i'm pinning you down. i've got a gun to your head. >> well -- >> you have to say something. the one thing where you went, "wow, that was it. that's why i came here. ". >> i had a scene where i decemb discover my daughter, my granddaughter, she's been gone 7 years. we've been looking for her for 7 years. i felt the moment, i lived the dialogue. looking at her and wanting to
touch her and not knowing whether to say. and i was totally invested in the moment. and i think that's the moment. if i could put those -- the ability to do that in all the moments in a part. >> is that what it's all about? and you live for those moments? >> exactly. it is in that purity that actors live for. >> we'll take another break and talk politics. i'd imagine you've got some pretty strong views. and i want to hear them all. i want to suck them out of you, william. r support to help move them to the pool daddy promised! look at me, i'm swimming! somebody, get her a pony! [ female announcer ] the travelocity guarantee. from the price to the room to the trip you'll never roam alone.
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we believe in their point of view. and to disparage that point of view is to lose the argument. do you believe that? >> yeah, i believe it because i said it. >> not everything that hollywood stars come out with, they actually believe. >> well, that's kind of innocuo innocuous. it doesn't take a side. it just says what's happening. but that's true. there's a fundamental argument going on in the country. let's take better care of our people. we can't afford to take care. let's cut back. i mean, it's as basic as that. and everybody says, well, we can't afford to do that. but on the other hand, we can't let the poor people suffer. >> and you can't obviously vote because you're canadian in an american election. but if you could, how are you saying it all? >> well, it's totally -- and it's fraught with terrible decisions. we're spending more money than we've got. we've got to cut back. where do you cut back? there are people that are out of work and they're suffering and kids are going hungry.
you can't have that. you've got to spend the money. it's a terrible, terrible dilemma. >> are you a fan of barack obama? >> i think he's wonderful. you keep hearing this criticism of him sitting on the fence. but maybe that's the way to go because there's -- people are tearing at the fence in such passion. >> tea party? what do you think of that? >> well, they're extreme. you can't have -- you just can't cut back. >> but aren't they extreme? or, as they would argue, do they represent vast ways of america? >> well, they are extremely -- they're representing -- >> can you be extreme? extreme always implies you're a sort of minority. they would say, hey, go to lots of parts of america and you'll meet millions of people saying exactly what was said. >> well, if they're saying we can't spend anymore, we've got to cut back, that's a nonargument. of course we have to.
but where are you going to cut back? are you going to cut back on education? the space program is gone. the space program waved a flag. we are american. there is a mystery up there that has occupied mankind forever. we've got to go and take a look. if we take a look, it means jobs, it means expertise, it means fall out industries. no space program. okay. let's take care of the poor. no, you can't take care of the poor. and unemployment because we don't -- i mean, it's such a dilem dilemma. >> take another break and come back and talk to you about music. your new album. there it is. . only going where very few hollywood stars have gone before.
>>. ♪ heavy bills of lead, fills his victims ♪ >> intriguing musical start you had, mr. shatner. >> well, that's heavy metal, man. and when i finish that and then i went to zach wild's studio, guitarist for ozzy osbourne, and he layed down history. i thought, well, i've done this terrible. that, what you just saw, is awful. i had to go back in there and
match his energy. >> you think you're a good singer? or you're an entertainer? >> no, no, no, i'm not a singer. a word smith. i mean, these words are phenomenal. >> does it ever stray you to singing, do you think? >> no, no. >> is it an early form of rape? >> yes. well, rap is words and the rhythm of the words and the meaning of the words. >> tell me, you've got some amazing names up there. >> yeah, the musicality. >> featuring richie blatt, lyle lovett. amazing. >> i mean, there's twenty of the greatest musicians alive today on this album. it's a monomumtal album. it's about major tom and what happens to major tom after he exits the capsule in the david bowie song. >> and there you are, heading off into space. space, basically, is what it's all about. finding new frontiers.
glu be that's not space. that's the inner space. and that is an attraction. >> well, no, not that. it's outer space. but i'm talking about boldly going, all of those, in our inner space, where no -- where you haven't gone. >> where do you boldly go to next? >> i'm going to go next door. anderson is giving a talk show. >> all right. these priceline commercials, right which i didn't know anything about, obviously being british. but then i caught up and got the history. that decision you took when you thought to yourself, right, i'm not going to take a fee for this, i'm going to ask them for stock. was is that the greatest decision you've ever taken? >> it could have been. well, what happened was i got stock. i got stock in a dot com
company. you know, mr. shatner, you're locked in for a year and a half. >> okay. i've got stock. everything started going up and i'm doing these commercials for a year and five months. >> when you watched the stock going up, what did you think? >> i thought i'm rich beyond any concept of being rich. the owner of priceline, the guy who thought of it, was a billionaire. he had more money coming to him as a result of the stock than general motors. he was not going to endow a university, he was going to build a university. so the stock went up. but we're all tied down, locked in. and then, the dot com bubbled and we all still couldn't get rid of our stock. and we heard a boom. and it was worth pennies. everybody sold their stock. but what we didn't know was how great the company is because from those ashes has arisen
priceline.com. >> did you keep -- >> no, i got rid of that terrible stuff. >> so all of this stuff about you making $600 billion? 1 i would have. could have. >> but it's easy to say. did you make any money? >> no, listen, by the record. for god's sake, help me. $600, i think, was what my stock was worth. and half of that in -- >> let me ask you, was your decision to sell your stock the worst decision of your life? >> it was the only intelligent decision. >> and what was the worst decision? >> can you think of another dot com company that exists? >> a few. >> name me one. you see, you have to any about it. >> i agree. so priceline.com comes to mind because it had something to offer, other than the air in dot com. >> so all of this impression that you're this billionaire, actually, you need to buy a few records, don't you.