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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  November 25, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight david mar tib, he is the national security correspondent for cbs news. >> if you play the old washington game of ditty-- did he jump or was he pushed, i think wah have to say the secretary of defense was nudged over the side. there were all these stories attributed to anonymous sources that they were going to have to be changes in the president's national security team, and i starts having a series of meetings with the president to talk about the next two years, the remainder of ot bama administration-- administration. and during these meetings, the president never asks him to stay. so i think chuck hagel who is certainly a veteran of washington politics saw the handwriting and tried to leave on his own terms, and submitted his resignation.
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>> we continue with james corden who is in the film "into the woods" and will replace or succeed craig ferguson at the late late show on cbs late night. >> in a sense it's a destructive fairy tale in a way, in that at the very start of the film, all of these characters are longing for something, the very thing that they think will make them happy. and the message of the film is sometimes the very thi that you want is not what you need. and you've got to be careful what you wish for. >> rose: we condition include this evening with sylvia jukes morris, her new back is called "price of fame: the honorable clare booth luce. >> she was so multifacetted. she was very good at everything that she tried to do. and that was starting out for the olympic swimming team when shes with just a teenager and going on to have all those fantastic
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careers of not only war correspondent, playwright. >> diplomat, ambassador, congresswoman. >> david martin, james corden and sylvia jukes morris when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: additional funding >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. we begin this evening with the president and his announcement of the resignation of his secretary
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of defense chuck hagel. >> last month chuck came to me to discuss the time quarter of my presidency and determined that having guided the department that you this transition, it was an appropriate time for him to complete his service. >> and as the president noted, i have today submitted my resignation as secretary of defense. it's been the greatest privilege of my life. the greatest privilege of my life to lead and most important to serve. to serve with the men and women of the defense department and support their families. i i am immensely proud of what we have accomplished during this time. we have prepared ourselves as the president has noted, our allies, and afghan national security forces for a successful transition in afghanistan. we have bolstered enduring alliances and strengthened emerging partnerships while successfully responding to crises around the world. >> i interviewed chuck hagel last week at the pentagon towards the end of a
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wide-ranging conversation. i talked about rumors that the president planned to make changes in his national security team. >> he's looking at his last ta years. and maybe he wants to change his national security advisor. maybe he wants to change his secretary of defense. maybe he wants to change other elements, is that true? >> well, you would have to ask the president. but -- >> do you concern yourself with it? >> no, first of all, i serve at the pleasure of the president. i am immensely grateful for the opportunity i've had the last two areas to work every day for the country and for the men and women who serve this country. i don't get up in the morning worried about my job. it's not unusual, by the way, to change teams at different times. >> rose: so you would expect him to change? >> i didn't say that. i didn't say i expect him to change. what i am saying is that it wouldn't be unusual to do that, first of all, historically. but second, i have got to
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stay focused on my job, charlie. and i do. and i am very fortunate that i have some of the best people in the world to work with. and whatever the president decides, he's the president, he makes those decisions. >> rose: are you convinced you have the confidence of the president? >> well, i don't think i would be here if i didn't. but you would have to ask him that. i mean i see him all the time. >> rose: he would tell you if he didn't? >> i would think so, yes. >> rose: what would you like your legacy to be? >> what-- i'm not thinking about that. not worried about it. actually, i've always just done every job the best i could, as honestly as i could, as straightforwardly as i could. and then i'll let the rest all sort it out. >> rose: joining me from washington david martin, the national security correspondent for cbs news, and i'm pleased to have him on this program. welcome, david. >> thank you. >> rose: so what happened to the secretary of defense? >> well, if you play the old
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washington game of did he jump or was he pushed, i think you would have to say the secretary of defense was nudged over the side. there were all these stories attributed to anonymous sources that there were going to have to be changes in the president's national security team. and he starts having a series of meetings with the president, that talk about the next two years, the remainder of the obama administration. and during these meetings, the president never asks him to stay. so i think chuck hagel who is certainly a veteran of washington politics saw the handwriting, and tried to leave on his own terms, and submitted his resignation. >> without being asked. >> without being asked, yes. >> why do you think the president didn't ask him to stay? >> i don't think it was his views. i think if anything, it was
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that the white house was disappointed that he wasn't more vocal in his defences of administration and national security policy. they did not see him as a great spokesman for their cause. but i think there was also just the imperative after the shell acting that the democrats took in the midterm election, that there had to be some changes made. and when you looked around the national security establishment, chuck hagel was kind of the guy holding the short straw. >> what was his relationship to the national security council? >> well, the reputation he had was that he was not very forceful in those meetings. he did not speak up at length in those meetings. his story was that the reason he didn't speak up at
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length in those meetings was because you could never be sure that it wouldn't leak. and what he had to say, he would say to the president directly in one on one meetings. >> somewhere i think it was in the new york times today someone said that when the president appointed his friend and former colleague in the senate, chuck hagel, he did not want another high profile defense secretary in the mold of bob gates. does that resonate with you? >> well, he got one. >> rose: yes. >> you know, bob gates was high profile because at the time that was-- it was an oddity to have a guy who had served republican administrations to be the secretary of defense for a democratic president held over from the bush administration. and because the stake approximates were so high at the time. i mean that was the-- that
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was the time of the troop surge into iraq. and that was the time of the great battles over whether there would be a troop surge in afghanistan. and it would have been almost impossible for bob gates not to be high profile. not to mention, the raid on osama bin laden as well. >> rose: leon panetta has written a book which i assume you have read, about his own life and about his wrip relationship with the obama team and about how he felt about his tenure as secretary of defense. is there any similarities between what he said and what chuck hagel experienced? >> micromanagement, micromanagement, micromanagement. that is-- that is everybody's complaint about the white house. in fact, i heard one military officer refer to it as nanomanagement. the white house just plays it very, very tight.
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and is all over your case on even the slightest matters. and sometimes arranges things without telling the secretary of defense. and i think that was true for every secretary of defense under president obama. that's just the way this crowd rolls. i do not see that as a cause for resignation. that's just one of the things you have to live with if you are's going to be secretary of defense in the obama administration. >> i talk to you, i hope you don't mind me saying this, because i respect you so much, talked to you before i did an interview with chuck hagel and the secretary of defense about policy issues and other matters. and not because of my conversation with you, but because i read a bit, and i asked him point-blank, did he have the confidence of the president. give me the time line of that. >> that interview was on
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thursday, as i remember. late last week was the-- was the time in which he made the decision to hand in his resignation. although he actually went through the procedure over the weekend. it was late last week that he made the decision. so when he said to you, i don't wake up in the morning worrying about whether i'm going to keep my job as secretary of defense, he was telling the truth because by that time, he probably already knew that he wasn't going to keep his job as secretary of defense and that it was his joyce that he was leaving. >> but he didn't have-- did he or did he to the have the confidence of the president when he said to me, if i don't have the confidence, i'm sure the president will tell me. >> i think he had the confidence of the president. you know, its-- it's impossible to penetrate those one-on-one meetings between secretary of defense and the president of the united states.
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but i never saw any evidence that he didn't have the confidence of the president of the united states. a lot of attention has been focused on this memo he wrote about the inconsistencies in u.s. policy towards syria in which, you know, he basically said there is a disconnect between trying to defeat isis and insisting that assad must go because of course in defeating isis you are solving one of assad's major problems. well, he wrote that memo and almost immediately there was a big white house meeting to discuss it. >> yeah. >> so people were paying attention. >> rose: yeah, because in fact, in my conversation with the secretary of defense, you know, i raised that question, as you know, so-called holistic memo that they needed a holistic policy was in his words, and asked him what he said, he explained to me that he wouldn't-- that it was not his point to tell me what he wrote to the president or to
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the national security team. but what was interesting, is that he said clearly that if, in fact, the bombing has an impact, it weakens isil. an if it weakens isil, it strengthens assad. >> i think it's a fact of life. and they haven't figured out how to square that circle yet. i think they're going to try to do it through the cia by ramping up the covert training and equipping of the syrian moderate opposition that they can perhaps put more pressure on assad. but it is a disconnect in the policy. and the fact that hagel is leaving is not going to change that disconnect. >> can i just-- i mean, what pervades all of this is whether the president understands he's got a real problem with isil. he's got to do something because it's a real threat. and hagel said to me the number one priority for him
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and for the president, as he looked at national security issues, i mean, and we also, the question has come up in different places, are they reviewing the options? is there under way on the part of the united states government a serious look at where we are, what we're doing, and what we feed to be doing and how do we get there? >> well, if you mean a reassessment by the president saying hey, this isn't working, we've got to go back at this from square one and think this whole thing through again, i don't think there's that kind of reassessment going on. i think there is the obvious reassessment. they have meetings on syria all the time. and they're always trying to figure out how to make it work better. but you know, the basic strategy is iraq first and that is coming along with a slower than anticipated. but it's coming along.
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and if you look at the number of air strikes that are conducted daily now, the majority of the air strikes are now beginning to happen in iraq. and what that means is that the iraqi army is beginning to make some movement that requires air support. so the policy is creeping forward. but the end game in syria is still a mystery to everyone. and i think that the president understand its all this in much greater detail than you or i because he sees all that classified information. but his problem is to somehow solve the issue of syria without getting sucked in more deeply into that civil war with these
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proposals of, for instance, providing a safe haven in northern iraq or some sort of no-fly zone. to which he's been resistant up until now. >> are there any-- is general dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs and secretary hagel essentially on the same page about all these big military issues? or do they have competing views of a serious nature? >> well, i would bet that secretary hagel wished that general dempsey would not be quite so forth coming about his-- his desire to have forward air controllers call caing in strikes when the fighting gets hot and heavy in iraq. but there's really not a lot he can say to dempsey about that. because dempsey is saying this when he testifies
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before congress and he's just required by law to give congress his best military advice. so he's up there sort of establishing himself as an independent source of military advice. and it's kind of hard for either the secretary of defense or the president of the united states to say hey, knock off the independent advice. >> rose: when you look at the record of chuck hagel, what are the-- as secretary of defense, what are the big successes if. >> he's been secretary of defense for less than two years. and in an organization as large as the department of defence, you can't do much in two years. so all of the stuff that he has sort of initiated, his nuclear reform program, he's got a whole bunch of initiatives on sexual assault. he just wasn't been around
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long enough for the results to come in. you know, my experience is that secretaries of defense end up being judged as successful depending on how successful the president he serves. >> yes. >> is judged. so you look at bob gates. he came in for the iraq surge. iraq surge works at least in the short term. and so he was viewed as a successful secretary of defense. chuck hagel came in in time for this major strategic reverse when iraq came apart and isis ran across half of iraq. almost none of that can you blame on chuck hagel. but it happened on his watch. >> rose: and therefore the last question is, who is likely to replace or succeed chuck hagel? >> well, the name on everybody's list is michelle
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fornoway who was the undersecretary of defense for policy which is the number three job in the building earlier in the obama administration. she's highly regarded by everyone. she has a family. and children. and so she-- she left and to take a job that was-- had a little more reasonable time demands. and so now she is on everybody's list. she would be the first woman to be secretary of defense. but look, you're talking about somebody who has a life in the civilian world and you're asking them to give that up for the final two years of the administration when almost everything is already set in stone. so that's a big ask of anyone. and then you have to look at the call ep der and realize that the confirmation hearings are probably not
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going to start until next year which means john mccain will be chairman of the senate armed services committee and the republicans will be in control of the senate. and that could be a whole different ball game. >> rose: anybody else on the list other than mish snell. >> well, you always have to throw in his deputy, bob werk it there are people who have been named in previous go-rounds on choosing a secretary of defense like richard danzig who was secretary of the navy during the clinton administration and has done a lot of work for ot bama administration. but these, i got to stress, charlie, these are, this is the buzz in the hallway. this is not inside thinking in the administration. >> rose: and with confirmation, going to be a difficult confirmation, might they as they did with secretary of state want to go to someone who might come out and even though chuck hagel came out of the senate as well because of the confirmation thing, and the
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reason that leon panetta was perhaps chosen previously because he had a good relationship with congress? >> well, that's another one of the lessons i've learned over the years, charlie, is that political skills are more important in this job than anything else. it doesn't matter how much you know or don't know about defense. it's how well you can work in the political process. and somebody who is a part of the political process as a senator, i think would have a better chance. >> rose: david martin, thank you so much. >> sure thing. >> david martin, my colleague at cbs, chief national security correspondent. we'll be back, stay with us. james corden is here, he is a tony-award-winning actor. he was recently tapped to replace craig ferguson as the host of the late late show on cps. he also stars in a film adaptation of stephen sondheim's "into the woods". here's the trailer for the film. >> the i wish, i wish, i
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wish-- i wish-- you wish to have the curse reversed? go to the wood and bring me back a cow as white as milk. >> a cape as red as blood. >> oh dear, how uneasy i feel. >> the hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold. >> go to the woods. ♪ into the woods, who knows what may be lurking on the journey ♪ ♪. >> good day, mr. wolf. >> and what might be in your basket? >> i must find that girl. sneath into the woods ♪ ♪ into the woods ♪.
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>> all will come to a happy end ♪ ♪. >> not always. >> why would you run away? >> not dwight what i expected. -- quite what i expected. >> maybe i shouldn't have strayed from the path. ♪ don't you knows what's out there in the woods ♪ ♪ no one has to shield you from the woods ♪ ♪. >> it's because of you there is a giant in our midst. >> it is not what i wish, it's what you wish. >> we have one chance. don't you see that? if we're going to get through this, we're going to do it together. >> if you love me, why did you stray? >> i was raised to be charming, not sincere.
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♪ stay a child ♪ while you can be ♪ a child ♪ with me ♪. >> look, this is a modern version of a number of fairy tales. >> yeah, yeah, it's stephen sondheim wrote the musical that incorporates all of the brothers grimm farree tales but with a whole-- fairy tales but with a whole new story in the middle there are a lot they will be familiar with, jack in the bean stock, little red riding hood, ra punz el, cinderella. and in the center of the story is my character the baker and especially blunt's character the baker's wife who are, i guess, the only sort of normal people in the center of this story. >> rose: but there is also meryl streep. >> oh, well, yes. >> rose: plays the witch. >> yeah. >> rose: johnny depp.
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>> plays the wolf. >> rose: simon russell biehl. >> plays my dad, yeah. i mean the list goes on. we could sit here and for an hour and name the incredible actors in the film, you know tracy ullman. it just goes on and on it was a real joy to be part of, it really does. >> directed by rob marshal. >> yeah. >> rose: and when he selected you, what did he say to you? >> well, it was a strange and sort of long process, really. i was in a play here in new york called one man two governors. >> rose: which we talked about at the time. >> that's right. and rob and the producer john deluca and mark platt, another producer came to see the play. and i went and sung for rob. and at that time, the film wasn't green lit. so he was putting together a sort of rehearsed reading, if you like, to show to disney executives. and so we did that. and in the back of my mind,
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the whole time we were doing it, i was thinking, well, if this gets made into a film, they are going to cast someone very, very famous to play this role. it's such a-- . >> rose: and you didn't figure it was you. >> well, it isn't. like, you know, it's such a big part. it is the biggest male role in the movie. there's been a couple of other moments where they tried to get this film off the ground with different directors. and i think that robin williams was going to play it at one point. billy crystal was going to play the baker at one point. and i'm well aware of, you know, my anonymity in the united states. and so i just thought that's what will happen. and we finished the reading and he came over and found me after we had shown it to the execs at disney. and said i just want to you know that when we make this movie, i'm to the going to make it without you. >> rose: wow. >> and i-- i knew he meant it. and i believed him. but even, you know, even in
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the back of my mirntiond i'm not naive enough to think that well then it's fact. because i know when things get to the business end of tring to get these films made, you know, some of the names bandied around to play this role. but to his credit, he's such a incredible man, him and stephen sondheim, both really went into bat for me really. and and you know, here mi. so it's incredibly humbling to be part of it. >> what's interesting about you and your life, and you foe better than anyone, you've had highs, an lows. >> yeah. >> and even lows after the highs. >> oh, yeah, yeah. i mean but that-- i think that's the nature of any creative career, really, is if you are always trying to do things differently or trying to do different things, you know, you learn a lot more from mistakes that you might make. you learn a lot more from your flops than you do your hits. you won't know this. you are only involved in-- you're only involved in
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megahit tv shows. you have no idea what i am talking about. you go really, i've learned loads, huge deal. but speaking of what rob mar chall-- marshal said, there's also the case of les moonves who saw you on broadway and loved what you did. what was it in? >> it was in one man two governors n that play. >> rose: same thing. >> yeah, i've got a lot to answer for, that play. it really does. >> rose: it was good to you. >> it really has. >> rose: he basically said, you know, i want to do something for-- i want him at cbs. but not necessarily at the time to host a late night talk show. >> yeah, yeah, we were-- we talked about, there was a sitcom i was toying with the idea of doing. and then i was going to write one. and then from nowhere, i mean genuine leigh from nowhere they-- les and nina, the president of the network said did i want to take over for late late show which-- .
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>> rose: follows david letterman now, will follow stephen colbert. >> yeah, i mean-- . >> rose: are you guys going to open at the same time. in other words, when stephen starts, will you start? >> no, i will follow in march. i will follow letterman for a bit and stephen will start later in the year. i don't know exactly when but he will start a bit 4r5i9er than me. >> rose: i think his last broadcast will be around the 18th. >> i done know hen his new show starts. for me it can't come soon enough t will take all the pressure off our show. >> rose: are you lacking forward to that? have you done that kind of thing before? >> never, never. i've hosted stuff. i've done things. >> rose: you hosted the awards. >> i did stuff, but i've never done-- i have never done this, what we doing now. >> rose: on my side. >> i've never sat on your side. i would be a robot if i wasn't terrified by it i always used to think that people were exaggerating when they said the phrase, oh, it's been keeping up at night. i always thought yeah, but
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it hasn't. now i know what they are talking about, because it really does. >> rose: you will be easy for it because you have a lot of talent and you're curious about many things. >> yeah, i was having this very conversation with my father when i was talking to him about you today. and i was saying that the one thing, if i could try an harness and harbor on our show is your seemingly endless ability to be interested in people and interested in things. and you might, i done even know if you are lying. you pite-- . >> rose: no, i'm in the lying. i'm not that good to lie. >> but i means that's ultimately what it's about, i think. and i mean, i don't know if the show is going to work. i hope it does. but i mean, i'm from-- it's so odd. i'm from such a tiny town. like a real-- a real dump an hour and 20 minutes outside of london. and it's just kind of gray.
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it's painfully gray and ode. it's essentially three roundabouts. and there is really no reason for a chubby boy from har wickham to be given the opportunity to talk to america every night before they or whilst they fall asleep. and so it's not lost on me what a privilege it is to be able to do such a thing. >> rose: but what is that going to did to all these other things you have been given an opportunity to do like "into the woods". you can't do those, or can you, at the same time you're hosting a show. >> well, i can't for a while. i have to-- i mean acting-- is a thing i've really, i love doing so much. and i hope that there would be a chance for me to carry on and do that done the line at some point. but right now i really have to give everything i've got to this tv show. it can never be-- it can never be something which is said lined, i don't think.
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because the thing that excites me is the very thing that is certificate ter faying about it. i love the idea of a day-- i love being in play here in broadway. i love a day that works towards something, when an audience comes and everybody involved is working towards this one moment. and then it happens and you do it all again the next day. i enjoy-- . >> rose: absolutely what i love. >> i enjoy the race of that, the grind of that. and i am-- and you don't get that when are you acting, really, very much. certainly not in films. like you are really stuck in a caravan in a car park a lot of the day. so i'm looking forward to the creative freedom of being able to just try and make people laugh and try and make a show that's pontiff and joyous and fun before people fall asleep, you know. >> rose: the history boys played what moment in your life.
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>> it was the most, i what say-- i think sometimes i think if you-- you know, when you come to the end of your life you could look become and essentially scale it down to like 12 decisions that you made in your life that would have kicked on the rest of your life. and the history boys was one of those for me, without question. i had never done a pay before. and to do a play, you know, we did it at the national theatre and we toured around the world for a year and then we brought it here to new york. and then we shot a movie of it. but more than that, i made my best friends, my best friend dominic cooper was in the play who introduced me to my wife, alan bennett who wrote the play, who i honestly think is maybe one of the greatest living playwrights we have, was the person who encouraged me to write comedy. and it was while i was doing the history boys i wrote a tv show called gaffe inand stacey which was really the thing that changed my whole career at home in london,
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really. so i have everything, essentially i have my whole thrive be thankful to nicholas hit whon -- heightner who directed one man ta governors and also directed the history boys. >> rose: those two things made a huge difference in your life. >> yeah, a huge difference. >> rose: . >> when you think about all these people that played a role, what influence did they have in terms of creating the artist you are? like nick heightner. >> well, nick is-- i mean my favorite people in the world are people who take their work incredibly seriously and don't take themselves seriously at all. i don't think there's anything worse than an actor or a director or a playwright thinking that they are really changing the world or reinventing the wheel in anything they're doing. and that's not to say-- meryl streep is the best example and finest
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example of that, actually. and being on a set with her taught me pore about how to lead a company and lead a company of people and be aware of the power that you might have in an environment, but to use it only in a good and positive way. and she is meticulous about the work. i mean meticulous. never, ever stops reading and reading and rereading, and rereading. and yet will laugh at herself-- . >> rose: one of the funniest people i know. >> at herself. takes it all with a bag of salt. and those are my favorite people. those are the people i would say i have learned more about, and i think nick heightner is the same and alan bennett. and all of the great people that-- rob marshal, you know, i feel incredibly fortunate to have worked with so many brilliant people. >> rose: what was it you did that got trashed? >> i wrote a sketch show
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which wasn't very good. and i was in a movie called-- i was in a movie performed so badly. and when i tell you the title, you're going to understand completely why it didn't work because it was called the lessbean vampire killers. and it-- lesbian vampire kills. and it was such a bad film, i mean really bad. but you know, there's a strange thing that happens in those first sort of flushes of success, really, where for me personally, i always think and still do, to many-- think well this is all just going to end tomorrow. at some point someone is going to pick up the phone and go-- . >> rose: it's over. >> we've made a huge mistake. we actually meant the other guy. i'm so sorry. you can clear up your desk and leave. so what you do at the start of your career, when that first flush of success happens is you go, really? me?
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i get to-- oh, you know, and you're like a kid in a sweet shop. an are you just-- and then you realize that this is just what you absolutely shouldn't do. >> rose: you go a bit crazy. >> i hope i've learned by that. i mean the tv series i wrote after that a show called the wrong mans which plays on hulu here. we-- it took me like two and a half years to write. >> rose: that's pretty successful, isn't it. >> it has done really well. >> rose: i think it is one of the most successful things on hulu. >> yeah, it's done incredibly well. what i realized is you really, the harder you work, the luckier you will get, is my experience. >> rose: mine too. >> so far. you know. >> rose: i don't know of anybody, i have never said to anybody in all the years, this program, this table, the more than 20 years. and i've never said to anybody so what's the secret to what you have achieved. no one has ever said i'm just smarter, better, more
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talented than everybody else. every one of them could say it could be a concert pianist, a rock star, i worked hard. i cared more. i was more passionate. that's why. i wanted it more. >> it's also often, in my experience, the people who in their younger years, they're more formative year its weren't considered the best. >> rose: rate. >> or the top. because if you are-- i feel for the kid who is 18 who is being handed everything on a plate. because you know, how you can ever really know what it is that you are doing or striving for? how can you-- how you can take it in and cherish it. >> rose: you have no appreciate. >> you and i are very lucky. we're both handsome guys. so we have managed to get through it on our looks. >> rose: exactly. >> do you know what i mean? but people people don't understand how hard it is for the likes of me, you, george, brad, it's difficult for us to get through.
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>> rose: i think of that -- >> exactly. when are we having dinner again, the four of us, the hand sop-- handsome man's group we call ourselves, right? >> rose: i was just calling today the. when is the next dinner for the handsome's man's group. >> bradley coop certificate joining. >> rose: he wants to come, does he? should we accept bradley. he's a nice guy. >> we're going to see the elephant man and say i don't know, bradley. >> rose: good, i think you have a new movie coming out that is very good directed by-- clint eastwood which people are saying-- this is what, back to-- this part of the conversation, and the film, the theme of it is be careful what you wish for. >> yeah. it's-- in a sense it's a deconstructionive fairy tale in a way in that at the very start of the film all of these characters are longing for something, the very thing that they think will make them happy. and the message of the film
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is sometimes the very thing that you want is not what you need. an you've got to be careful what you wish for. and it's an unbelievably smart piece of work. stephen sondheim, i don't know if there is anybody better than him at writing musicals. but this one in particular is so, the intricacies of it. the truth in it, is like nothing i've ever seen. and i'm saying this is when i went to see it when i was 14 years old. just going-- i saw it in london just thinking, this is a genuine masterpiece. this is to thread all of these things together and tell a story that has a meaning and a moral purpose is a rare thing indeed, i think.
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>> rose: this is what stephen said. >> he told the paris review this he said it's about moral responsibility, the play. the you have been getting your wish not to cheat and step on other people's toes because it rebounds. the second act is about the consequence of not only the wishes themselves, but of the methods by which the characters achieve their wishes which are not always proper and moral. >> rose: yeah. >> rose: that sort of nails it, doesn't it. >> yeah. now if stephen sondheim was a pulitzer winning playwright, would you go oh, this is a bit-- you know. but what is incredible about this piece of work like so many of his pieces of work is that here is an incredibly entertaining, humorous, funny moving piece which still encapsulates all of that. and so to be, to write musicals and to have a scale and breadth of work like stephen does from one end of the scale, a funny thing happened on the way to the
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forum which is my favorite musical of all time, right through to, you know, a little night music and merrilly we roll along and into the woods-- "into the woods" an sweeney todd. it's unparallelled to have so many different sides of the graph, if you like. >> rose: much congratulations for everything. great to you have back be the show. >> thank you. >> rose: i look forward to all that you do. and we'll see if you march when -- >> i'll be terrified. >> rose: when you step on at 12:30. >> it's just going to be ridiculous. >> rose: thank you, thames james. >> bless you. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. sylvia jukes morris is here. her 1997 book rage for fame chronicled the early life of clare booth luce, a playwright, magazine editor, kong woman, and wife to -- "new york times" said she was often on the list of the world's most admired woman but her glamor us existence and tart tongue grew
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criticism, sometimes envies o, morris published-- it is called price of fame. i'm pleased to have sylvia jukes morris at this table. welcome. >> what is it about her that has caused you to spend a number of years with her. >> seems like half my life. >> indeed. >> well, i think you have got it, really. she was so multifaceted. she was good at everything she tried to do. and that started out for the olympic swimming team when she was just a teenager and going on to have all those fantastic careers, not only war correspondent but playwright. >> rose: lip do mat-- diplomat, ambassador. >> congresswoman. and everything she did, she succeeded. although she would be the last to to think she did succeed because she was always somewhat insecure. because they didn't-- she
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didn't have what she used to call the american express card. -- of a really good education. she never went to college, for instance. >> rose: but she was admired as a con ver vacationalist. >> yes, brilliant intellect and brilliant conversationnd wit. extremely witty. a lot of the lines are immortal, really. one of my favorite ones is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the pessimist is usually better informed. >> rose: somebody once said to me he's paranoid and has a lot to be paranoid about. >> yeah. >> rose: when i look at her and i know that men were very, very smitten with her. >> yes. >> and she used that. >> yeah, she was a vamp. her mother was too. so she learned it at her mother's knee. and every man, really, that she encountered fell in love with her t seemed. she did. and it endured too. a lot of them never got over with it. >> rose: why, was she a flirt?
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was she just -- >> i think it was the combination of the looks. the wlond puttee, gorgeous translucent skin, blue eyes, blond hair. and then of course with that went the charm. and also the intellect. and this added wit which really got everybody. so i think it was a lethal combination. >> rose: how did she meet luce. >> she met luce at a party one night. the woman who wrote gentleman's agreement. and they got into conversation. they started to talk about the possibility of a picture magazine. this is before life. and all of a sudden luce stopped dead in his tracks, took out his watch. said it was almost 10:00. i have to leave. turned on his heels and just left her standing there. >> rose: she was telling him. >> she was telling luce about the need for a picture magazine. >> and she tried it in "vanity fair" and conde nast, depression, ran out of money, they couldn't do it but she
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had the idea, really, which became life. and then when they met the neck time t was at the-- . >> rose: why did luce leave, because he had somewhere to go. >> he always had to go to bed early. he needed 8 hours sleep. he left promptly. and so the next time they met, she was sitting at the table at the star lite room at a party given by elsa maxwell to celebrate cole porter's anything goes. it was the opening night celebration. she was sitting at a table by herself. lose came by holding two champagne glasses. one was for his wife at a table just further along. and she mr. luce, why don't you just sit down with me. i will get my revenge on this man. and they talked for hours. and at one point-- . >> rose: what happened to his wife? >> she said i want to you company downstairs. she just left his wife sitting there. come down with me because i have something important to till. and she went down. she thought oh maybe, he's going to offer me a job. and he said i have experienced what the french call the coup de-- a bolt of
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lightning and are you the one woman in my life and i have to have you. >> rose: and did she -- >> he had a wive and two children. she was totally bewildered the. the at first he wanted just to have an affair, try it out for three months or a year or sop. but she would have none of that. she said no, i'm going to go abroad and you have to sort things out in your marriage. and then you can come to me when you're free. and that's what happened. >> rose: and he did. >> an he did. divorced his wife. >> rose: and they became an extraordinary couple. >> they say a power couple. the power couple of their time, i suppose. because they worked better together as a duo than they worked separately, in many ways. he depended on her a lot. she gave a lot of advice about the magazines. nobody ever knows about it but many of the ideas were hers. >> rose: how did you become her biographer? >> it was-- i often think that the subject chooses you in a strange way. and it happened that i was
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looking for another subject. hi finished a biography of mrs. theodore roosevelt. and looking for another subject. and i keep this file on interesting people. and i lacked at these cuttings that i have, "new york times" articles and pieces. and something fell out. and i picked it up and it was interview with clare booth luce that "the new york times" did when her play the women was revived on broadway in 1973. >> and she was all -- >> she was how old at that time. >> she was in 77. and i read it, child actress understudied mary pickford. we made a movie at the ed ton-- edison studies when she was 13 and went on to the great careers which we already talked about. i thought wow, this is a really interesting person. that's why i kept the piece, obviously. and so i didn't say anything to anybody. but just a few days later, i had a call from a friend in washington. you probably know her. and she has said i'm giving a dinner party. would you like to am could.
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i said well, i'm lucky we're in new york. you're in washington. well, you know, who is it for? it's for allister horne, the english historian but said clare booth luce was coming on. she didn't know anything about my wanting to meet clare booth luce. but i went and she sat me at her table. and she said she won't take any notice of you. she is only interested in men. and that was true. she just zeroed in on mr. horne the whole evening. but she did notice me because when she left that evening, she gave me a hug. and i thought that's really odd. did she mistake me for the hostess who is also short and dark. anyway, apparently not. and so i wrote her a letter. and several other circumstances conspired that people thought i should do this book. >> rose: she was amazing to me also because she kept everything. she kept all notes and pictures. >> everything. >> rose: everything that was a krap book paper of her life, she collected which is why i thought she probably wanted to write her life
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herself. >> she did mean to. always mean to. >> but couldn't because of harry. >> because of harry and telling the truth, she had had many affairs it would have meant revealing a great deal which what have embarrassed the luce family. she just couldn't bring herself to do it. and. >> rose: did she think with you would do it? >> well, eventually she agreed to do it she said at first she was disinclined to work with a biographer. because she said my personal life has been so unfaep. she said you know, my mother was killed in a car crash. my daughter was killed in a car crash. my brother committed suicide. my marriage has not really been all that great. and but nevertheless, the stuff was there. >> rose: was she most in love with po per-- power if. >> a lot of people, the french ambassador once said to me, that to me once. >> rose: that's what i thought. >> he said really, he said what clare luce was about was power. that is what she was really interested in. >> her on talents or through
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her marriage. >> he is liked to mick it on her own if she could, of course. and she was touted, you know, to be running mate for nixon. >> rose: what kind of member of coming was she? >> she was much more left leaning than with you imagine. although she was elected as a republican. and i think it was senator-- without said of her she was the smartest colleague i ever worked with. but her voting record was -- >> when he was in the house. >> she voted for immigration, increased immigration for chinese and indians. and for displaced europeans and jews. and she also voted for equal pay for not only for blacks but for women. she wanted-- it is an amazing record when you think about it. >> rose: but there is also something about her. she knew she had the talent she did but she was also extraordinarily and i have considered this a positive quality, extraordinarily ambitious. and she was constantly looking, thinking, scheming,
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to achieve her goals. >> yes. and she said, i hope i will have ambition till the day i die. she saw nothing wrong with it she thought it was a good, healthy thing that she wanted to do pore and more. >> rose: the later years were lonely. >> yes. she called it a deluxe loneliness. the rut of hawaii, she called it. but of course she was lonely because all her friends started to die off too, as well as her husband. >> supported nixon throughout watergate. >> yes, supported nixon. great fan of nixon. and i think he would have picked her as his running mate if she had been willing. >> rose: when he ran in vi 0-- '60 or when he ran -- >> if he had taken over when eisenhower was sick, they-- it was thought that nixon would have to take over. and it was widely believed that he was choose clare booth luce as his vice president. >> but she finally-- at that point, she had what i call a
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low bothering point. she always wanted to move on to something new. so she really gave up on politics after a while. wanted to get back to writing but it was too late. >> rose: how many years did she live after you started the first book. >> i was with her for the last seven years. i traveled with her everywhere. we want to the first fight of the women of london. did a lot together. so i got to know her personally, really well. >> rose: and for you, what was her most remarkable achievement? >> s with it an idea, a person, an event, an award, or -- >> i think she would like-- she always liked to say that the happiest years of her life were the "vanity fair" years. because she had only been on there as a writer for a couple of years when she became managing editor. and of course in those days you knew everybody. dorothy parker was there. noel cow ard, pg woodhouse,
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you met everybody of any consequence. eugene o'neill. and those were-- and of course she was young then. she was in her --. she was free of her first husband. so that was the happiest period of her life. >> you married to edmund morris. >> yes. >> is he your first editor? >> well, we don't show-- . >> rose: and are you his. >> the work when it's in progress. but we do show it when we've got it polished and the-- he's not interested in looking at pie scribbles. >> but dow talk about it ongoing. >> we used to, when i was a lot, talk about it. when i was doing mrs. roosevelt he was doing his triology. we talked a lot about the roosevelt family then. but of course later, when he's doing different subjects, we don't talk so much about the subject. because i don't know as much about his subject as i did the roosevelt. >> the book is called price of fame, an interesting title. the honorable clare booth
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luce. thank you, it's a pleasure. >> thank you. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us and charlie captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> undering for carlie rose has been provided by the connect cole company, supporting this program since 2002. american express, additional funding provided by be by bloomberg, a provider of-- information services worldwide. of-- information services worldwide. you're watching pbs.
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man: it's like holy mother of comfort food.ion. woman: throw it down. it's noodle crack. woman: you have to be ready for the heart attack on a platter. man: okay, i'm the bacon guy. man: oh, i just did a jig every time i dipped into it. man #2: it just completely blew my mind. woman: it felt like i had a mouthful of raw vegetables and dry dough. sbrocco: oh, please. i want the dessert first! [ laughs ] i told him he had to wait.