♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, best defense. as vladimir putin threatens nuclear confrontation with the west. we go inside one of america's strongest deterrents, 60 stories down in the ocean. >> i'd say it's the most powerful force in the world right now. >> the "uss maine" where the men and women endure long deployments without the internet and the comforts of home. >> so not a lot salad and fresh fruit at the end of the deployment? >> no, ma'am. >> reporter: finding ways to stay sane on the sea. ♪ while doing their duty. plus -- ♪ 100,000 things to see ♪ >> "whole new world." barrier-breaking representation on broadway. for the first time the lead characters of "aladdin" are
being played by south asian actors. >> can't put your finger on what it is that feels right about it, you just know. >> and more visibility in hollywood. >> how american. >> led by the director of "crazy rich asians." >> making the asian american director proud. >> making the asian american director proud.
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♪ good evening. thank you for joining us. when the war in ukraine, which began nearly three months ago, doesn't seem to be going well for russia, vladimir putin tries to change the subject. threaten the use of nuclear weapons against the west. abc's chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz takes us on board one of the u.s. navy's most powerful weapons of deterrence. >> reporter: this is america's most destructive warship. the "uss maine." patrolling the pacific ocean from underwater depths exceeding 60 stories. >> i'd say it's the most powerful force in the world right now. capturing this rare footage of the "maine" briefly above the ocean surface. when submerged, it is the ultimate stealth machine. >> we're approximately two miles from rendezvous spot. >> reporter: we're just off the coast of hawaii, getting ferried
to join the 150 sailors on board. on the way, vice admiral bill houston, the commander of submarine forces, gets us up to speed on the ship's missiles. >> missiles capable of carrying 12 re-entry bodies. it represents the most powerful deterrent in the world to prevent world war. >> you say re-entry bodies. nuclear arms? >> ma'am, i can neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on this vessel. >> reporter: the admiral is not allowed to say outright that this ship is nuclear armed. but make no mistake -- inside each of these 20 huge orange tubes is a ballistic missile. each one topped with a dozen nuclear warheads. that's 240 nuclear bombs that can be launched 4,000 miles. that's quite the deter represent. >> we are trying to prevent war with this ship right now.
and we're trying to protect u.s., allied, and partner interests with us. >> reporter: ships like these have been used by the navy for more than 60 years and house 70% of america's nuclear arsenal. but the goal is not to engage the enemy, in fact, it's quite the opposite. the vice admiral of the sailors inside the "maine" are working to maintain peace. >> we know when there's russians under way at all times. we track that very, very closely. >> there's a forward missile -- >> reporter: training is a constant, crucial drumbeat. now we're headed for the am missile control center, where the missiles would actually be launched from. you may have seen something similar on a movie screen. >> 13, away. >> reporter: but our cameras were allowed a rare glimpse into a simulation of a launch sequence. the footage you're seeing screened by the navy for operational and security reasons. >> come in, supervisors, stand by.
>> reporter: first, sailors are ordered to battle stations. >> we will receive an execution message on board our submarine via radio. >> reporter: the message would be from the president, ordering a launch. >> alert 1, alert 1, training execution message. >> reporter: to ensure that the presidential message is real, in this simulation, two officers head down to the missile control center or mcc to open a safe with the code they received from the message. once the safe opens open, the message is confirmed. each step of the way, two officers confirming every order. meanwhile, downstairs in that missile control center, lieutenant christopher holmes unlocks a separate safe that contains a simulated trigger device. >> fire order will be -- >> reporter: this device will launch each missile as ordered by the captain upstairs.
>> permission to fire -- >> reporter: the trigger is pulled. the exercise a success. >> four away. >> reporter: from start to finish, the process can take around half an hour. all these precautions in place to make sure missiles are only launched at authorized targets. so every missile is pointed to a spot in the ocean, but if you ever had to actually launch them? >> upon the orders from the president, we would retarget them, point them at targets specified. >> our missiles are 44 feet in height, 7 foot in diameter, 130,000 pounds. they will fly over 4,000 miles and be able to put a re-entry body inside a baseball stadium. that's how accurate they are. >> is it harder for them to do this every day, knowing hopefully we never have to use it? >> we take it very, very serious. we know if we make a mistake and the deterrence fails, it's
costing hundreds, potentially millions of lives. >> reporter: and women seen playing a key part on submarine missions. >> thank you to everyone on board -- >> reporter: women have only been allowed to serve on submarines since 2010, after the navy lifted its long time ban. just a little more than a decade later, nearly half of the 15 officers aboard the "uss maine" are women, although the enlisted numbers of females on this submarine are still very low. chief wendy shutt is part of the navigation team. >> there are people who still don't know women are on submarines. is that challenging? >> it is. but we're simple. i think they try to walk on egg she shells, don't know how to react to us. but they're here to work their butt off and couldn't be prouder of the females we have on board right now. >> reporter: lieutenant erin
chandler is one of the officers on the boat. you might remember seeing her during the missile simulation where she, among other duties in the exercise, carried the key to the commander. >> i really want to be an example for other female submariners. especially for enlisted since a lot of those that have female officers still don't have female enlisted. we are just as capable, just as deserving of a chance to serve. >> reporter: an average patrol can last for months at a time. months where you're cut off from the outside world. even though the sub bristles with the latest in technology, one thing missing, the internet. opportunities for contact with friends and family are few and fleeting. >> right now, when we're 500 feet below the ocean, i have almost no way of getting in touch with anybody because i can't communicate through the water. so for the most part, i have to come up to periscope depth, put
an antenna out of the water, be able to copy information from the satellite. >> reporter: going to periscope depth, which is roughly 60 feet underwater, still poses a threat to the safety of the crew and the ability for the vessel to remain stealthy. >> somebody's looking for us or had an airplane or a ship that was out there, they could potentially see me. >> reporter: the sub doesn't even come above the surface to replenish supplies. the kitchen staff telling us they head out to sea with 150 days' worth of food, just to be safe. >> the oldest products get used first. so we can maintain the freshness of the food. if we get fresh, we usually burn through that pretty fast. >> not a lot of salad and fresh fruit at the end of the deployment? >> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. >> reporter: most of the crew lives by hot sauce for when the fresh stock slowly dries up. aside from being fueled by an
impressive stash of sriracha and tabasco, they're also fueled by a deep sense of camaraderie. >> you're on day 48, 49? >> it's been a long one. >> and what's that like when you're so long submerged? >> tough, but we get opportunities to have fun. we do different activities all the time as a family. >> reporter: during their down time, playing cribbage, a traditional game submariners have played since world war ii. squeezing into tight sleeping quarters. housing nine crew members to a bunk. ♪ a lone sailor finding an unlikely moment to play the violin he takes with him on every mission, telling us the acoustics are best aboard a ship. ♪ >> i would say this is where we're more comfortable. it's a -- a pilot likes to be in
the air, we like to be under the sea. >> reporter: that teamwork and competency more important now than ever before. with russia constantly teasing the possibility of nuclear war with the west as its war with ukraine rages on. >> we are training constantly. we're at the highest state of readiness. we are not changing our day-to-day posture at all, so we are always ready for any eventuality. 365/24/7. >> our thanks to martha. you can see more of martha's rare access inside the sub in exclusive report reporting on america's nuclear defense this sunday on "this week." up next, the barrier-breaking moments for asian americans from broadway to hollywood. this is the story of two homes. they both have bugs, but only one has zevo.
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♪ for years, asian americans have been underrepresented in the entertainment world. now that's slowly changing. abc's ashan singh sits down with those behind the scenes and on the same for helping to pave the way. ♪ a whole new world ♪ ♪ don't you dare close your eyes ♪ ♪ 100,000 things to see ♪ >> reporter: jasmine and aladdin like you've never seen them before. opening the eyes of broadway to a whole new world. though this production is based in the fictional land inspired by the middle east and southeast asia, the actors who played the leads have never been from those regions. for the first time the two lovers are played by south asian
actors, how the original disney movie intended. ♪ a whole new world ♪ >> what are ways you guys have made this iteration of "aladdin" unequivocally brown? >> well, i've heard from many of my dancer friends say that they think that i'm leading the section at the end. >> just by taking up the space. even if you don't, you can't quite put your finger on what it is that feels right about it, you know. you just know. >> reporter: these rising broadway stars breaking barriers in the theater. ♪ their accomplishment one of the many shared by the asian american community, now seeing a rise in representation on stage and on screen. disney is the parent company of abc news. were you guys surprised it took this long? >> for both of us, this movie and the source material has been a foundational part of our childhoods. when these auditions came to us
for the broadway show, it was like, such an exciting moment to be like, you know what, i feel ready and excited to put my stamp, bring my lived experience and my culture onto that stage. >> when disney introduced princess jasmine into the roster of disney princesses, it felt like a got send for brown girls around the globe who felt a struggle to relate to any character on screen. to be stepping into this role has been really meaningful. >> reporter: castings like theirs are ushering in a new era in representation. ♪ for decades the asian american community has endured ridicule -- >> i can't accept your way of life. >> reporter: and objectification in the entertainment industry. from "the world of susie wong" -- >> i've never tried nudes. >> time to try. >> reporter: to austin powers in "goldmember." now new faces are changing what it means to have a voice and space in more nuanced productions. ♪
a reality that at times seemed like a distant dream. did childhood johnty this was imaginable? >> childhood john was naive. i'm reading books about walt disney and steven spielberg. oh, yeah, that's attainable, it's here in the book! my parents would remind me, it's hard work. >> reporter: you may not know his face but you know his work. he's becoming a dominant force in hollywood, directing the 2018 hit "crazy rich asians." a turning point for american cinema. >> pursuing one's passion. how american. >> reporter: becoming the first film to feature a predominantly all-asian cast since "the joy luck club." >> i want to understand my mother. i really try. >> reporter: which debuted nearly 30 years ago. did any part of you fear that america might not be ready, even if you were? >> 100%, i didn't think people
were ready for that movie. i told my team i wasn't going to make them any money. but at that point, it didn't matter. let's make something that exists so that it exists. >> reporter: before the blockbuster romantic comedy, chu, the son of chinese and taiwanese immigrants, learned hard work and perseverance at a young age through his parents who still own a restaurant in los altos, california. those formative years guiding chu in his career which charted directing films like "g.i. joe: retaliation." >> if you think you've seen it all, take another look. >> reporter: and "now you see me 2." >> when shooting did part of you want to just be considered a director, not an asian director? >> yeah. that was definitely, when i first got into the business, i did not want to be identified as an asian director. because then you only get certain projects. i didn't realize how poisonous that was, not just to the world,
but to me personally with my own identity. i was young, i was 27, 28. you listen to the adults in the room who are saying, they wouldn't understand an asian person falling in love with another asian person, that becomes an asian movie. >> reporter: it was only when chu poured all his passion into creating "crazy rich asians" that he found freedom. >> as a director who had at some points in his life shied away from that asian identity, was there a catharsis in making this movie, in being around this cast? >> yeah, i think the movie healed me. i think the movie showed me life that i'd never understood. it wasn't the movie, it wasn't the script, it was the actors and the crew that were around us. because everyone there had baggage. >> reporter: this shared experience, a motivating factor for many in the asian american community to keep pushing forward. >> mrs. wang. mrs. wage, are you with us? >> reporter: so more doors could
be opened for a film like "everything everywhere all at once." this new and critically acclaimed film features a majority asian cast. including hollywood legend michelle yeoh. >> there is no way i am the evelyn you are looking for. >> suddenly someone sees and is giving me the opportunity to showcase what i've learned over the years. to be able to do comedy, physical comedy, which is very different from doing martial arts. because in my previous movies, i've always been the mentor, you know, the teacher, very elegant. >> you said you used to shy away from the title of asian american director. do you wear it proudly now? >> i totally wear the asian american director proudly. i also think we forced the industry to think of it more broadly, too. i think when you rush the door and you knock it down, no one can stop the momentum. yeah, i have a flag. i'm like, let's go, let's keep
going. >> reporter: waving a flag and passing it onward. wherever that stage may be. >> even though you guys are the first south asian aladdin and jasmine, i've got to imagine you guys won't be the last. >> hopefully no. ♪ >> our thanks to ashan. when we come back, we meet the mini queen helping spread positivity. if your moderate to severe crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis symptoms are stopping you in your tracks... choose stelara® from the start... and move toward relief after the first dose... with injections every two months. stelara® may increase your risk of infections, some serious, and cancer. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you have an infection, flu-like symptoms, sores, new skin growths, have had cancer, or if you need a vaccine.
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pint-sized girl starting to celebrate the queen's platinum jaub jubilee a couple of weeks early. 3-year-old isla bates. just like a royal, complete with a pearl necklace, sensible heels, and some gray locks. >> i'm going to be the real queen. >> reporter: isla has been visiting nursing homes in northwest england and planting trees in honor of the queen. and the child shall lead the way. that's "nightline" for this evening. catch our full episodes on hulu. we'll see you right back here we'll see you right back here same time tomorrow.♪ thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer... are living in the moment and taking ibrance. ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor is for postmenopausal women or for men with hr+/her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole significantly delayed disease progression versus letrozole.