tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 12, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
moment. the movie's global premier comes out as once again the world is focused on somalia. he's the franchise behind the deadly attack in nairobi, kenya. it was the most shocking blow to america's psyche since vietnam. after yu.s. troops pulled out i 1994, the country sank into an abyss of failed state. attacks by somali pirates was already an epidemic when four armed men from a coastal fishing
village force ed they're way aboard the u.s. container slip. the captain, an american named phillips was taken hostage leaving the crew and the ship behind. it's brought to life in edge of your seat detail in captain phillips the movie. later in the program, i'll speak to the somali who plays the pirate captain. first, tom hanks and paul greengrass. two men accomplished at telling the dramatic human stories behind real life events. between them they have spanned the wars from bloody sunday to saving pirate ryan and apollo
13. tom hanks welcome. paul greengrass welcome. >> look at this we're here. >> you are. a phenomenal film full of suspense. i'm going to play one of the clips. that's when the pirates start to come on board. >> we've got a problem. we push the ship too hard. we're off the grid. that means the computer is offline. >> captain, no one gets hurt if you don't play no game. >> the ship's broken. >> nobody gets hurt. >> look at me. >> we did not know what they
were saying. it wasn't until i saw the movie that i got their lines and their vernacular. it wasn't scripted. >> how did you do it? >> paul kept us separate. we never met the actors. we were in malta. we saw people that looked like they could be somali. >> that was the first time you had seen them? >> first time we met. >> it's sinister. look into my eye and say i'm the captain. he had a chance to say where's your crew and he would say i don't know. i'm here with you. in fact, he did know where they were. it was always true i'm here with you. i'm not with them. he just kept trying to go up
with it. >> amazing character. you kept them away, paul. where did you find them? where did you find need actors? >> it was the big challenge of the film really. i knew we had to cast somali actors to play them. we went to minneapolis where the main somali community in the u.s. is. to be honest, i thought it was going to be very hard to find four actors that could play opposite tom. that's no small task. when we got there it was something like 7 or 800 people turned up. there were more quality actors than you could shake a stick at. >> what did you think? >> i know if you can get past the self-consciousness of saying
you're an actor and performing, the movie making racket is something you can figure out in the morning or an afternoon. the other part is the aspect is maintaining that characterization and believe it. these guys were not intimidated by anything and they were very well prepared for this. they worked for weeks. they came in pumped and remained so throughout. >> i covered a lot of what happened in somali from the time these actors left their country. the war, the war lords. black hawk down. it happened to be the 20th anniversary. i think you try to give some context to these pirates, which i had never seen before. some humanity to these pirates. >> i think one of the central threads of movie making is to tell us about the world and tell us where we sit. this story does that with
dramatic characters. you feel that experience but also you get a little sense of the complex landscape of the world. >> you've done the great hollywood movies you've been awarded for and become famous for. whether it's philadelphia or saving private ryan. what was important for you to achiever in terms of how these pirates were portrayed. >> the best record is human behavior that's also checkered and a complex motivation. they do not hue to the antagonist story line which is the basis of any dramatic art. the interaction between richard phillips and all four of the
somali in the lifeboat, in reality there were laughs. there were jokes. there was a type of banter that went by all at the same time richard phillips was convinced that big guy was going to shoot him in the head for no reason. that's a type that brings out the most flinty aspect of human nature. i have to hold the mirror up to human nature. >> you talked to the real captain phillips. he saved his ship. he saved his crew. >> the name of his book is "a captain's duty." i think it's duty there. whether for good or bad he has to solve every problem that comes that way. in this case there was primary motive was to get the guys off the ship. he would never use the word hero.
he said i was waiting for the heroes to show up. >> before we talk about that and whoever we think the heroes are, i want to play another clip about their intentions. >> he came to you. >> operations. >> receiving. >> opposition is two degrees, two north by 49 degrees, 19 east. the course is 180. speed is 17 knots. we have two skiffs appropriating at 1.5 miles. potential piracy situation. >> alert your crew and follow lockdown procedures. >> yeah, is that it? >> i'm relaying your transmission now but chances are it's just fishermen. >> they're not here to fish. >> i've played them out of sequence. this was before they boarded. apparently a lot of this piracy
is because they're fishing waters have been depleted. how does that strike you? >> it's one of the real tragedies that go on that contributes to the problems. they have swept the place clean. some of the marine life is coming back because of piracy. >> that was, in the '80s and the '90s that was the response. you saw criminal bands get in there. it becomes what it is today which is hugely lucrative. the idea these are just fishermen, one of the things that was kwiequite successful ie film, we show how that was not true. that may have been once true. now you're talking about
international crime with its roots. >> tom, you've spent so much of your career doing things that are really in the news, really political, really cultural. things that really matter when you did "philadelphia," 20 years ago. it was at the height of the aids crisis. who knew how this was all going to work out. could you imagine then that now gay marriage is legalized in many states. now you can be openly gay and serve in the united states military. now being gay is a much more acceptable thing here in the united states. >> i could. part of that is my basic, what's the word i'm looking for? positive attitude where we are as americans. we always seem to be moving
forward on some sort of righteous front. we always seem to be a better version of ourselves. with philadelphia, it was the beginning of the public acceptance of the debate. it was no longer gay strangers who danced in clubs in urban centers that were dying of the disease. it was the bank tellers at our banks and the people we went to church to and people we went to high school with. that meant to me this just an example of america constantly redefines ourselves. we always redefine ourselves for the better. >> you won the oscar for that film in 1993. you talked about many gay plmen and women who inspired you. you also said this. >> wish my babies could have the same sort of teachers and my friends. there lies the dilemma here tonight.
i know my work is magnified by the fact that the streets of heavens are too crowded we angels. we know their names. they number a thousands for each one of the red ribbons we wear here tonight. they finally embrace in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all. >> that's the way i feel. >> you were emotional then. you tell me you believe in the glass half full. did you think then because you were so worried about sad about it back then? >> that's a very motional moment that plays itself out in front of billions of people. i did feel that the time would come where a common sense would prevail and be able to understand our brothers dilemma more than we care about our own narrow sense of some brand of law that is beyond that. >> tom hanks, thank very much.
good luck. paul greengrass thank you very mump. wonderful film. after a break, how do you find a real life somali to play a pirate opposite tom hanks? paul went to minneapolis, minnesota. the young man who answered that casting call when we come back. . you have the it card and it's your first time missing a payment, so there's no late fee. really? yep! so is your husband off the hook? no. he went out for milk last week and came back with a puppy. hold it. hold it. hold it. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with late payment forgiveness. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too.
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starring opposite none other than tom hanks. welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> did you ever think in your wildest dreams you would be playing in a major hollywood movie with the biggest hollywood star ever, tom hanks? >> not at all. not at all. it's not something i planned for it. >> what happened? when did you get the call? how did you know? >> well, i was just at my friend's house hanging out. >> in minneapolis in. >> where i live. it came on local television. the local channel saying casting call tom hanks film, somali actress. i kind of felt they came a little too close. i always loved acting. it's shotgun i want-- something wanted to do. >> i would just shoot music videos.
i wasn't in front of the camera. >> i'm going to play this clip. we already played it once. i want to show you yourself as a hollywood actor. >> we got a problem. we push the ship too hard. we're off the grid. >> captain, no one gets hurt if you don't play in game. >> the ship's broken. >> nobody gets hurt. hey, look at me. >> sure. >> look at me. >> sure. >> i'm the captain now. >> look at me. you weren't intimidated at all. >> that was the first time i met
tom. >> right there, that scene? >> yeah. when we got selected for the film, paul put us through the training. >> what sort of training? >> swimming. i didn't know how to swim. cl climbing, fighting. i had to learn how to stand still. after we done all that training, we're all excited to see tom. we wanted to see tom. after that time paul comes to us and i say no one is going to see tom like until the first scene of the film you're doing with him. we were sort of disappointed. i understood the wait of the scene. it was the same scene we did the auditions for. >> he wanted to keep the drama. he wanted to make it like tom the captain was seeing you, the pirate, for the first time? >> right. i understand the aspect of it. i thought about it that much.
i didn't get much sleep thinking about it. when i came the second day paul come to me and say you have to own it. you have to take control. do what you got to do. >> who would have known you weren't an actor or a pirate, by the way. that was pretty convincing. >> thank you. >> what did you think about portraying a pirate? somali has had a pretty bad rep. i've covered it for 20 years. you all went through a famine and war lords. what went through your mind? what did you think about what your country would say about it, your country people? >> well, right there and then, before the auditions began, there was a lot of people around me saying that this film will embarrass somali people. i didn't look at it that way. i did not look at it that way. it was a true story that happened. i understood why this pirate
doing what they're doing. they are some separate guys. we all know survivor in a lawless country for the last 24 years. growing up i heard all sort of bad stuff about my country. everything was going on. at this point, to me it was just tell the story. it was something that i loved. i had to do it. >> would you hope the take away would be for your family in somalia, the people that will see it? >> i hope they understand what the motivation that these people does. >> you mean the pirates? >> yeah, the poverty. >> the organized crime. >> these pirates are mostly just young men being used by older guys. >> how have you felt recently? you've had somalis who have
wreaked havoc in nairobi at a mall. you had navy seals try to get the leader just this week. there you are in minneapolis trying to have an american life. >> we're just sick and tired of them giving a bad rep to our people. all somali people are not bad. there's a lot of success stories going on here in the u.s. and in somali. all we hear about is just the bad parts. we're tired of it. question don't support these people. i really feel sorry for all the bad stuff that happened to them. >> do you have family still in somali? >> i have a lot of people there that i haven't met all my life. >> you haven't met them? >> some i've never met. >> will you ever go back mp. >> one day. >> what do you want to do with the rest of your life?
>> for now i want to see if i can act more and see how it goes from there. >> well, barkhard, abdi, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> if he ever goes home, what kind of country will he find? it's been 20 years since the military united states disit's aer predicted in another movie, "black hawkdown." woo we'll look at how far they have come since then when we come back. only at red lobster where we sea food differently. [ male announcer ] now try 7 lunch choices at $7.99. sandwiches, salads, and more. [ male announcer ] now try 7 lunch choices at $7.99. hall we do is go out to dinner.? that's it? i mean, he picks up the tab every time, which is great...what? he's using you. he probably has a citi thankyou card and gets 2x the points at restaurants. so he's just racking up points with me. some people... ugh!
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20 years ago he was backed by an emerging al qaeda held sway over the country and it was meant to end his rein of terror. it ended in disaster with young somalis dancing on a blackhawk helicopter. i was there. >> three years, all the that remains is this wreckage of a helicopter and the ruins of a u.s. policy that aimed to restore hope but for the clinton administration ended in humiliation, defeat and retreat. america took a long time to recover from that damage to its prides and to its foreign policy. yet in the intervening decades the grip of the war lords has given way to a constitution and a parliamentary government and its first female foreign minister. a recent guest on this prog