tv Amanpour Company PBS February 23, 2019 12:00am-1:01am PST
to "amanpour and company," here's what's coming up, across america tens of thousands of teachers are walking out of their classrooms. we look at what's driving these educators to strike. then, athletes fighting for racial equality. our michelle martin talks to scholar and activist, dr. harry edwards. and one of the world's favorite actresses in a cutting edge role written 70 years ago. >> fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night. >> gillian anderson in the role betty davis immortalized on screen in "all about eve."
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everyone. i'm christiane amanpour in london. a tsunami of teachers strikes all across america is exposing a bitter truth, the country's educational system is torn and frayed with class sizes growing and budgets plummeting. teachers have hit a wall so they're walking out of tear classrooms and parents are right by their sides. already this year, there was strikes in colorado, california, and west virginia. with teachers threatening more walkouts in the coming weeks. it is a question of basic priorities, education money is pouring out of the already underfunded public schools and into charter and private schools in the name of quote school choice. meanwhile, state and local spending on prisons is rising at triple the rate of funding for children's education. pedro noguera, distinguished professor of education at ucla is an expert on issues of race and educational equality.
and nate bowling is one of america's great teachers. he was a finalist for national teacher of the year in 2016 and he himself went on a school strike in tacoma, washington, last september. professor pedro noguera and also nate bowling, thank you very much for joining us. let's start with you, professor. this is quite an amazing phenomenon. you've got hundreds of thousands of teachers in different states striking and they have been doing so for quite a long time. is there -- has there ever been anything like it? is this sort of unprecedented? >> it is unpresecedented, we ha seen isolated action in different communities across the country at various times but to have this many strikes in this many different parts of the country at once is truly unprecedented and it's a sign that many teachers are very frustrated at the state of public education. >> and just to expand on that,
is it a collective, so to speak, they're all striking for pretty much the same thing, and i know there are several issues that are at stake, but first let me focus on conditions in the schools, in the classrooms. what are the conditions that they are particularly exercised about. >> so the conditions vary. but since 2008, the great recession, many states began on a path of fiscal os tausterity, which took a particular toll on the schools and resulted in both cuts and major, you know, no raises in teacher salaries and the like, and what we have seen is that many states haven't even as accountings improved, have not reinvested in education, and so consequently, teachers are frustrated particularly in areas like the bay area where housing costs are so high, and the cost of living has risen but salaries haven't risen, that's a huge factor, but economics is not the
only issue driving the strikes. >> nate bowling, you are a teacher. a few years ago, you were declared washington state's best teacher and you yourself in the last few months have also been on strike in the streets, out of your classroom. flesh out for me what the professor has told us on a ma crmacro level, what does it mean to be a teacher in the public school system today? >> there's a two track problem i see in teaching. on track one you have basically almost all teachers are underpaid and overworked and asked to do a job they don't feel they're valued by society x in your profession, the highly effective educators, that means you can go to other career paths that are less stressful and pay much better. >> how has that affected you? have you been tempted to leave the school? have other of your colleagues left? i mean, how has it impacted you and also the schools? >> i love the job of teaching and i choose to stay in the
classroom, but if you look at my teacher of the year cohort, we had four finalist, of our four finalists, two of them are doing policy work in washington, d.c., one is a member of congress, and the remaining two both walked a picket line. if the teachers of the career are frustrated, imagine being one of the anonymous teachers tolling in a rural income school in america. >> professor, where is this going, if it's hitting the top teachers so badly, what's the solution? >> the only solution is to really reinvest in education. we have to make teaching an attractive profession so teachers like nate bowling will stay in the profession and we have to do things to improve conditions in the schools. in this country, there is no social safety net. poor children comes to school with basic needs not met. teachers are on the front lines addressing those needs but they are not paid to be social work and therapists but they are expected to take on those roles. what we have done is we have put
more and more pressure on teachers, asked them to do more and more. we haven't raised the pay and teachers are finally pushing back, and i think in the process of pushing back, what they are doing is really calling attention to the deterioration of conditions in our schools which has occurred over several years. >> what do the parents say when they see teachers going out on strike? what have you heard? >> i have been in the classroom at lincoln high school for ten years and i have a very good relationship with many of the parents in the community. there are families who i'm teaching like the third and fourth kid in their family and they're incredibly supportive. the families at my school and across the country i think are supportive of what teachers are trying to do. teachers are advocating if better conditions for themselves and the conditions for themselves will improve the learning environment for their student. >> professor, you know, you alluded to the fact, and obviously so did nate that teachers are simply in america and in the public school system, not compensated in kind, they're
not respected as being at the top of a professional ladder. they're almost, you know, treated as the least paid, the least worthy in society when in fact, they are the most, and you see in other countries, for instance here in europe where teachers are paid massively higher than those in the public school system in the united states. where here in europe and elsewhere, it's considered a topnotch profession to be a teacher. tell me a little bit about what you know about that and whether that's even transferable to the united states. >> i think that's a very important point, which is that teaching is not a position held in high regard in the united states. we actually assume that anyone could be a teacher, and in several states we have made it easy for anybody with a bachelor's degree to become a teacher, provide them with very little training, put them in classrooms with very disadvantaged students who are struggling to learn and then we blame the teacher for why they're not getting better test scores.
the whole situation is one set people up for failure, and to not meet the needs of our students, so we could learn a lot from the countries that outperform us. most of the countries in western europe, in japan, in canada, where teachers are treated with much greater respect. the profession is held in much higher regard and what we see in those countries is it has an impact on student outcomes, so we have claimed in the last several years to be very concerned about our competitiveness in the world with respect to educational performance but we haven't made the investments in education that would lead to better performance from our students and so the teachers' role in this is critical. >> let's talk about policy now because it's not red or blue states where this is happening, these walkouts it's in many red and blue states and apart from the conditions and the pay that we have just been talking about, there's also this policy issue, and that is you and the public
school system, in the public school sector, are concerned about the ever increasing pro f privatization of american education, whether it's charter schools or the like. why is the charter school issue such an issue in west virginia and their strikes and what is wrong with charter schools? >> i think what the teachers in west virginia saw is what's happening in other places where charter schools have been allowed to proliferate. what it's done is diminish the amount of money available to public schools. charter schools are originally envisioned that the way to bring innovation into public education. what we have done is create a competitive system that's unregulated, so we have lots of cases of charter schools being run by for profit organizations that have engaged in corruption and really been unresponsible to the public for the use of public funds and so the threat posed by charters really does undermine public education further as we have seen in los angeles that has the largest number of
charter schools in the nation. it's become an issue that public school teachers increasingly are concerned about and striking over. >> and yet, of course, it's preached as the solution. >> and again, that's both democrats and republicans, so this is, it's interesting the way this is playing out, and it will play out in the next election. >> what is the problem with the increasing privatization of the public education system, particularly in your area in the california area, now we're in the second big strike, oakland is now underway, and apparently it's disproportionately affecting children of color, latinos, blacks, tell me about that. >> yeah, our public school system is the most accessible institution in the country and so when we allow those conditions to deteriorate as we have, what we see is that the kids basic needs are not being met, but we created a competitive environment where
charter schools and public schools are competing for kids, but we haven't put more money into the system. in los angeles and oakland, what we see now are many underenrolled schools and therefore we can't sustain them, and what we have seen is that as the number of schools has decreased, our ability to support schools and public education declined, so the real question, why is california in the midst of these strikes, you know, california is a very blue state. we have a democratically elected governor who was elected with support from the union but california spent 41st in the nation in spending. they're going to have to do a lot to change the tax law us to reinvest in public education and that means turning away from the privatization policies that were embraced both by the obama and the bush administration and now the trump administration which has resulted in this decline and deterioration of public education throughout the country. >> nate, do you feel based on the evidence so far, that these
strikes are getting to where you want them to get? are lawmakers listening? do you see any change or home on the horizon? >> i can say that here in tacoma, when we went on strike, we were able to come back from the strike with a substantial pay raise. that's made a difference in my life and the lives of teachers. the thing is, going on strike is a miserable experience. no one wants to be on strike. americans talk about valuing education but don't show they value education. hopefully this can be a catalyst to get policy makers attention. in washington state, i'm well compensated, for me it's not about the money, it's about the condition. i make frankly double what some teachers in florida make, a and lot of states they make it illegal to strike, and they are silencing educators. >> nate, what does this mean for
the united states of america? we hear all over the world that the only way to get ahead, to propel yourself and your nation and your community is education. it's like a religion, education is the holy grail. what does this mean for the future of america if kids are not getting the education they deserve and need? >> we tell students every day that education is the gateway to a middle class lifestyle and a way out of poverty, but if we continue to have the system of school that we have with the poverty and lack of support, what we're really going to do is solidify people's social conditions and kids who grow up poor are going to live poor and die poor. by having the school systems that we have, we're removing and taking away education's ability to be an equalizer. >> that's a pretty dramatic way to put it. >> professor, pedro noguera, when you study this and look into it, i mean, it must be making america not only less healthy in the ways that nate
bowling just said but certainly less competitive around the world? >> it is. because the big issue facing america today is inequality, and the rising inequality. the only way to address inequality is to do what nate said and ensure that all kids have access to a good education so they can improve their lives, help themselves, help their families, the community, that's not what we have been doing. we have been doing the opposite of that, and we're a country with an ageing population, and what many people don't realize, particularly older voters in this country, is if young people are not working and not earning good salaries because they got a good education, they're not going to be able to support this pension system and social security. so what we don't see is that education is key to our future and that we are, in fact, interdependent, that when we don't do a good job of educating these generation of young people, we will pay for it later. it is in our own interest as a nation to make these kinds of investments in children and in our schools. >> well, you have both made that
case very very clearly, and we thank you both. professor pedro noguera and also teacher nate bowling thank you, both, very much indeed. >> thanks for having me. >> thank you. now, in a moment we'll bring you my interview with the theater, film, and television star gillian anderson, but first, we turn from activism in schools to activism in sport where america's racial struggles play out at every level from the youngest beginners to the highest paid professional athletes. dr. harry edwards is a social o socialologist and a civil rights activist who has been behind protests of high profile athletes for more than 50 years, and our michelle martin asked dr. edwards how he sees many links between sports and social justice. >> professor harry edwards, thank you so much for speaking with us. >> thank you for having me. >> when did you understand that sports was about more than the contest itself, more than the
game itself, that there was a bigger picture to it. do you remember when that insight came to you? >> yeah, well, my awareness vovled at the inter -- evolved at the interface of my study of sociology and scholar athlete. it became clear that it wasn't how well you played the game or your competence or capability or potential in terms of the sport, it had to do with a lot of issues, oftentimes reflecting issues that were in a broader society. i thought that there was something strange as an undergraduate, scholarship athlete, about the fact that the greatest sprinters and track players that we had at the school were black, the leading rebounders and scorers in basketball were black. the best running backs and defensive backs were black, but there were no black coaches. there were no black professors on campus to speak of. i think that there was one that
i never got to know, never got to meet while i was an undergraduate there, but i thought that there was something wrong with that, and as i began to delve into it from a sociological perspective, it became very very clear that it reflected the circumstances of society. >> you have been a part of our discussions about sports and society, particularly race and society for half a century now. i mean, people will remember say with tommy smith and john carlos, the olympic spruinters who made a protest at the 68 olympics, one of the most iconic images of protest sports, going straight to colin kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who has gotten attention for his protests against police violence, and other matters. you have been influential in all of that. what would you describe as your role in these important moments? >> i'm basically a teacher. and in all of these instances, i was a counselor or a teacher in
the case of carlos and smith, a counselor to kaepernick and they would ask me questions and i would give them honest answers and perspectives on the issues that they were raising. there's nothing new about athlete protests. this goes back to the turn of the 20th century. it goes back to plesy versus ferguson in separate but equal. in point of fact, plesy versus ferguson, the united states supreme court in 1896 says nothing about separate but equal. so when you looked at athletes such as jack johnson, who trailed white heavy weight champions all over the world, demanding a fight, when you look at athletes such as jesse owens, when you look at athletes such as joe lewis, when you look at athletes such as paul robison, when you look at the negro leagues, you recognize on analysis, the negro leagues was
a resistance movement. the goal was to push black people back to as close to slavery without that. athletes had a role to rebel against this that in the resistance against that, and the performances at the turn of the century were about establishing legitimacy were part of the resistance movement. kaepernick was saying there's something wrong about 147 black men, women and children being shot down, largely unarmed, being shot down by police every year. but instead, it was converted into, well, this a protest against the flag. this is a protest against the police. >> let's go back into your history lesson, if you would, for a moment, you're saying that black athletes have always been part of resistance movements, i think what i hear you saying is that black athletic, has sometimes been resistance in and of itself, for example, the negro leagues was a resistance
movement. wouldn't it be fair to say that john johnny -- >> it represented something new, but every phase of the athletes resistance movement, protest movement has been something new. so the first era was about legitimacy in a situation of abject segregation, the second wave of athletic was jackie rob yunson, the third wave was about dignity and respect. jim brown said i played football for respect. mohammed aliment wanted respect his name, for his religion, and bill russell refused to be called a basketball player. he said unequivocally, i'm a man with a whole bunch of talents, one of which is i have a tremendous talent for winning basketball games, but that
doesn't make me a basketball player, and so as we go through these various phases, we find that no era does things the way that the last era did. colin kaepernick and erik reed and michael bennet, and malcolm jenkins and those athletes are not doing things the way that tommy smith and john carlos did. >> many people say they believe that kaepernick has been blackballed as a result of this, do you think he was prepared for all of that? i know that u you spoke with hi and advised him? was he prepared for the magnitude of all of this? >> i think he was accepting for whatever came. he was accepting of whatever might come. and we discussed specifically the outcomes of mohammed ali who lost his championship, the outcomes of smith and carlos, who were banned from amateur athletic competition. we talked about joe lewis and jesse owens as great as they were as athletes, as patriotic
as they were of athletes, they wound up being hounded most of their lives by the internal revenue service, so anytime you're high profile, and you stand up for are you part of a resistance movement in terms of this whole history of america's -- one of america's original sins, white supremacy, the other being patriarchy, then you're going to pay a price, and so i don't think colin had any illusions that that would be some backlash and point of fact, the backlash came all along the way. and he was accepting of that reality and willing to pay that price. >> you're a tenured professor emeritus at your institution, and i know you had a struggle to get tenure, i think it's assumed in part because of your activism, shall we say, although you did ultimately get tenure, is there any part of you that
when you see a young man like kaepernick coming forward, seeking your advice,menti wanti tell him no, don't do it. >> no, i never tell athletes or anybody else i counselled what to do. i tell them the likely outcomes depending upon what type of option they choose. i have been in that situation. i was fired from san jose state for organizing the olympic project for human rights and shutting the school down over issues of racial injustice. i was persona nongrata at cornell university for half a century. they just invited me back this coming april as a consequence of takeover of willis state hall, which the chancellor blamed me for at cornell, and so for 50 years i have never been back on that campus, even though i
lectured a virtually every other ivy league university from harvard to penn and yale and so forth. university of california denied me tenure. over the period of time that i have been out there as an activist, i mean, in the 1960s, i was shot at twice. so i know that that goes on. you don't have to be a celebrity to run into those kinds of issues. you don't even have to be an activist. >> i know that you are aware that these protests, particularly ones that attract a lot of attention sometimes, you know, repel as many people as they attract, and i know that i was reading that you actually conducted an exercise or thought experiment, if we want to call it that with an audience that you were speaking with, and you asked them, you know, how many of you are uncomfortable with these protests or slightly uncomfortable to very uncomfortable and you said that, what was it, something like 60% of the hands went up. >> about 75% of the audience.
>> so how do you respond to that? those who say it's not productive if most of the people in the audience are uncomfortable with it. what do you say to that? >> because they don't want the discussion. these protests are not about making people feel comfortable, making people feel okay. it's about promoting the discussion, and the reason you have the shift from the points that kaepernick and these other protesting athletes have been trying to make, that we are better than 147 black men, women and children being shot down in this society every year since 1968 by representatives of the judicial system, we're better than that. they don't want to discuss that. they don't want to discuss white supremacy. they don't want to discuss injustice, so that is simply the nature of protests. there has never been a protest
by a minority in american society where the american mainstream has stood up and said amen. we support that. that's why they call it a protest rather than a picnic. >> you recently wrote a piece talking about why there were so few people continuing to kneel during nfl games last year, for example, there were a couple of hundred people who were participating in these protests. it became like a major sort of story. by the end of this season, there were sort of very few. how should we interpret that? does that mean that these protests were not successful or the athletes were intimidated from continuing them? >> well, first of all, you have a situation which is not organically connected to the sports that are involved. the issues that kaepernick and these athletes were taking a knee about and so forth, came oe over the stadium wall from the broader society. your unlikely to get a large
proportion of athletes saying, yeah, i'm going to do that because they're not directly and specifically impacted and affected by the issues in question. the second thing is that these types of movements tend to have about a six-year life span. that is to say if you go back and look from the time that lebron james and d. wade and the miami heat did the hoodie demonstration, up until last year, it's about six years, from 2012 up until 2018. so these movements have about a six-year life span, the black power movement, which was initiated with stokley carmichael in 1966. by 1972, it was virtually dead. they have that period of life, principally because of internal contradictions and challenges, so these kinds of evolutions and
the window of time when you can be active and effective are sociologically predictable. that's one of the things that we have learned through pursuing the sociology score. >> i know that you say you don't tell athletes what to do but i'm going to invite you to and say now that you have said that this is like the natural life span of this kind of protest, what should happen now in your view? what would you like to see happen now? >> well, i would like to see this whole thing move from protests, which have already diminished substantially, to policies and programs for the interests of generating problem. kaepernick is not against the police, he's not against the justice system. he's against injustice. that means that collaboratively, we're going to have to come together and get everybody around the table, including the police, including the citizens,
including the people from the various sports and determine how do we move this thing from this focus on protests to progress through changes in policies and the development of collaborative programs. >> there have been a couple of reports lately that suggest that the american love affair with football is waning, in fact, a number of high profile figures in the sport, for example, like terry bradshaw has said he wouldn't let his sons play. in fact, he's not the only one, and i wonder what you make of that? i mean. >> well, you have hall of fame football players, nfl football players who say they would not allow their sons to play football. you have the usa football league which is down 17%. you have pop warner football, which is down over 20% over the last two years.
and so what you have is this decline at the level of development in terms of people allowing their sons to play football, but that is why you're going to have an overwhelmingly black league. as i talked to one mother from oakland who had a son playing football in college and in high school she said, hey, you're telling me about the concussion issue. and my son could be killed on the way to football practice right here. if he can play football, and that's a way of him to move up and out and get better circumstances, not just for himself, but for the family, then he's going to play football. when you look at that kind of reasoning, which makes sense, don't tell me about a concussion that might impact my son 25 years from now. lock at the circumstances we're in. you see blacks being channelled into football despite the medical issues. the other thing is that blacks historically have not trusted the medical profession, going
back to the experiments on syphilis and beyond. they have not trusted the medical profession, so even when they have the information, oftentimes they look at it askance, and then the third thing is because they're so committed to the sport, they tend to dominate in those positions that they have access to, and so there's nobody else out there competing at that level. so for all of those reasons, blacks are going to prevail in football and that's who you're going to be watching in the nfl. so it's not just an issue of whites pulling their sons out of football at the developmental level. it's that old issue of whether whites will watch what is substantially an overwhelmingly black league. >> i do find myself wondering after half a century in the fight what's your state of muin?
i mean, do you feel that progress is being made? do you feel optimistic? >> i'm overwhelmingly optimistic. >> because? >> we have to understand that movements are a part of america's political dna. old sam adams and his sons of liberty movement was not a british government program when they threw that 300 plus boxes of tea into the boston harbor. all throughout american history, there have been movements. this protest movement that was set in motion by the miami heat and followed up on by colin kaepernick, those are traditional and as american as cherry pie. we came out of the abolitionist movement better. we came out of the labor movement with an eight-hour day. we came out of the women's movement with women's right to vote. we came out of the civil rights movement with the voting rights act and the civil rights act.
we're going to come out of the black lives matter movement better. we're going to come out of this movement among protesting athletes better because that is what we americans do. >> harry professor amemeritus, thank you so much for talking with us sglr. >> thank you my privilege. dr. edwards was talking about his relationship with colin kaepernick. he settled his case against the nfl, though the details have not been disclosed. we turn to another distinguished veteran, gillian anderson, an actress at the top of her profession in television, theater and film, in her breakout role as star of the number one hit the x files to her saucy turn as a self-proclaimed shag specialist in the netflix comedy, sex education. now she's back on stage in london's west end in a brilliant new production of "all about
eve." it's an adaptation of the hollywood movie which is best remembered for the iconic performance of betty davis by channing. it's a penetrating look at hot button issues from sexism to ageism to our obsession with physical beauty. when i spoke with gillian anderson here in london, i asked her about the daunting challenge of filling betty davis's shoes, the play that has just made its debut. gillian anderson, welcome to the program. >> thank you for having me. >> what's brought you back from film or tv? >> well, i like to do stage every three or four years, and for the last play that i did was "streetcar", and it's difficult to find something once you have done tennessee williams or something like lawrence dubois.
it's challenging to find something as needy or challenging and enjoyable. >> your partner is? >> peter morgan. >> right. the creator of the crown. >> and quite soon after we got together he said have you ever thought about doing an adaptation of "all about eve" as a play. >> how much do you love this play, the story? >> it's a wonderful film. >> anne baxter, margot, who you play, and eve who is your understudy, and. >> and it's hugely popular, won lot of oscars at the time. >> first and foremost, did you feel the pressure to betty davis it? did you feel you should mimic or do something different, obviously your performance is completely different. she's sarcastic and incandescent. you are somewhat glacial, and somewhat controlled. give us the seat belt line. come on. >> hang on, i'm going to answer your question first, which is that, you know, my understanding
in going into work with eve, is you come in knowing nothing. you have no idea how he's going to treat it, what it's going to end up as. i think in the end we actually didn't know what it was going to be until we were told what it was after the previews started, really, because we're not in the audience and so much is going on technically, and also not knowing whether things are going to be cut. whether it was going to be present or past or an amalgamation of different eras. and so i think all of us kind of showed up with an empty mind and wanting to learn and be taught, and so in that process, one lets go of preconceived ideas of who this character is, and also if you're working from the text alone, the text alone is not bitchy. the text is not monstrous at all, and so, you know, a lot of -- and also what we don't realize in seeing again, i watched it again before, i
hadn't watched it. >> the film. >> the film until i worked down with evo. i watched it again for the second time this morning. just for you to just have a conversation about what it is that betty davis actually does, and actually, a lot of her lines are quite gentle. she's -- she has a harsh base and she is -- but actually, she's acting against that, and she's very often much gentler than we remember her. we have tendency to misremember how monstrous she is. >> so we tend to think she's very monstrous, and she's not? >> and she's actually really not. >> can you do the line? >> i've had annie lennox sing at this table. >> well, okay. hang on a second. so where we find margot in this
minute is that she -- the party is starting, and she is starting to feel already usurped by this young actress who she has allowed to take over her life and to be her assistant. >> who stalked her. >> who essential stalked her and is living in her house, and may be making a move on her younger boyfriend. and eventually will make the move on her career. but in this moment is the very beginning of margot's feeling that maybe this is happening and she's -- they've got a welcome home party for her lover, for her boyfriend, welcome home and birthday party. he has been away for a while, and he has spent the first 20 minutes not coming to say hello to me but to say hello to this young girl in the other room and so she's already grumpy, and she's a little bit drunk and her
good friend karen has said to her, you know, what's happening here, you know, we have seen you in this mood before. is it over or is it just beginning? and she assesses them all in the room, all of her friends lined up in front of her, and says fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night. >> i love it. it's fantastic because it goes to the heart to have it. let's talk about the really serious themes, first and foremost, the evil camera work is remarkable because one of the cameras is stuck right into the makeup mirror where you do a lot of your scenes. and there's one where you can see, you know, you're doing this with your face, you're taking off the makeup, and then there's other way you literally morph ten years or more. >> more. >> 30 years. >> thanks.
no, sorry. >> sorry gillian. >> that's all right. what did that feel like, a, as a woman, b as an actress, what does it feel like being seen and shown doing that every night? >> that doesn't bother me at all. that's the essence, you know, that's one of the essences of what this play is about. it's not just about ageing but that is certainly, you know, at the core of her insecurity, as well as, you know, her whole life has been her work, and if she's no longer going to be able to even work, then what is she, and she doesn't even know. she keeps saying over and over, she doesn't know herself. so many people seem to know her but she doesn't know herself. to speak to what you just asked, i mean, ageing is an inevitable. it was fascinating to go through this prophetic process, ev o's right hand man and husband of 30 years, and production designer, art designer, came up with this
idea of projecting because there's a lot of video that's projected up on the screens above us, but projecting my face as i sat in front of the mirror, in front of the audience, up there but going through an ageing process of 30 years. >> shocking and moving. >> but i'm touching my face at the same time, so you don't quite know what's happening. if i'm sat there, touching my face, how is that ageing work something. >> so it's prerecorded, it's six hours of prosthetics. extraordinary work. we do a lot of movie work. it was fascinating to go through the process. i had aged before in something i had done, but it wasn't the quality that you get today in today's, you know, prosthetics that are done. and it was moving for me to see it in real life because there were no scenes. >> not scary? >> no, not scary. but i wonder if part of it not being scary is that i am, you
know, in relationship with somebody who is my age. we are very aware of the fact that we are our age and celebratory of the fact that we are our age and that we are going through this together. and when i sent him these pictures, he was very moved and touched and felt compassion and love and understanding. and so, which also then speaks to margot's concern, which is if she's with somebody who's younger than herself, then is she with somebody who is not going to be able to hold her in these moments, hold her through menopause, understand through these changes. is he going to ditch her for somebody younger, and will he be able to understand the pain and the trauma that everybody has to go through in coming to terms with it. >> did you as an actress worry, freak out that you'd be forgotten once you got to 50 or
you wouldn't get the roles, did the whole ageing thing in your real life, was it traumatic? >> well, i mean, i have been extraordinarily lucky in my career. i continue to work. >> you have aged in front of us for the last 25 years. >> and you know what, i keep wor working and that doesn't happen for all actresses. i have been incredibly lucky, and to that first and foremost, but also, i have, you know, they have absolutely even, you know, we were talking earlier about sex education, which we'll talk about in a minute, which is in seeing myself on camera in that, when i first saw it, i thought, i've aged. look, i'm so old. ics, oh, my goodness. >> we're going to get on to sex education in a second because that's a whole other realm and
it's very different to margot, and very relevant and what you're doing on netflix, sex education, but just stick with the play for a second. i've read that you say, you complain that you have a not very good memory and that it's hard for you to maybe remember all the dialogue. >> it seems to be okay in theater. what i really struggle with is doing speeches, doing interviews, doing press. >> like this? >> yes, doing anything that triggers anxiety of some kind, yeah. >> are you anxious now? >> no. >> good. i have had panic attacks in my life, in my early life, quite severe ones and so that's always, you know, in the back of my mind. >> what would you tell young people who are so stressed right now, so anxious, boys, girls, young people, middle aged people, old people, panic and stress and anxiety seem to be a
very prevalent emotion right now. >> well, i think firstly is getting honest with ones self-about the fact. i think very often we run and push it into the background and we don't address it because it feels like a weakness of some kind we don't tell somebody we get more and more depressed or more anxious because we're keeping it at bay, and feeling like we have to, you know, juggle so much in life. and so i would first of all, find somebody to properly talk it through with. and then, you know, what i have found is that, you know, finding as much time for myself as possible, i've really struggled with that before, you know, i have three kids, you know, doing, giving, i'm the last person that i think about so whether that means ten minutes in the morning to sit quietly or
going, you know, separately at lunchtime to take a break so one gets to decompress, and meditation or, you know, just taking care of ones-self, and communicating. >> communicating leads me right on to the other big thing you're doing, it's a netflix series, sex education, you completed series one. it's up there. everybody thinks it's phenomenal. i just did a series which ended up on netflix as well for cnn, sex and love around the world. mine was more documentary. yours is fiction, set in an english high school. what drew you to that? and were you surprised that you really hit the sweet spot? this is the -- everybody is talking about this right now. >> i was so surprised. i'm going to be honest with you. i started to read it, and i, as much as i embrace comedy, i don't get off from comedy very often, and am always on the
lookout for comedy -- offered comedy very often. and am always on the lookout, and i got the offer and tossed it away, and then because my partner also works with netflix and had heard that they were keen on it, i said let me give it a read, and all of a sudden i started getting these texts saying you've got to pick this up, it's hilarious. it would be so good for you to do this, so begrudgingly i picked it up again and laughed from beginning to end. >> it's phenomenal. i bing watched five of the episodes. i have to watch the rest. waiting for the next series. >> i didn't know. it's so different from what we have seen before. it's so raw, you know, it's gotten no specific time, place, era, it's both american and british, would people embrace that or would it just confuse them. >> i'm going to play a little clip, the only one we have at the moment is from the first episode of series one. it's you, anyway, you'll see.
>> yeah. >> how old are you, dan? >> i'm 32. >> you having some kind of preemptive midlife crisis? >> thank you for writing it. >> no thanks. do you ever have a poor complex? >> like do i want to have sex with my mom? not really, it's not really my thing. >> just ignore him, he's teasing you. it's perfectly normal for a younger man to be sexually attracted to a mature woman. in fact, when you stigmatize, you feed into an unhealthy narrative on masculinity and middle age. >> you should never date a shrink, huh. >> sex and relationship therapist, thank you very much. >> yeah, should probably. >> thanks very everything, mom.
>> definitely. >> honestly, it's hilarious. you're the sex therapist. otis is your son, who's phenomenal, and that's one of the people who passes through the night, let's say, and what have you heard from young people? because the real focus is on the kids and how they talk about sex and all of the issues around it, whether it's bullying, whether it's performance anxiety, whatever it might be, what's the reaction been? >> well, i guess, i mean, what i have been surprised at is how is the age range of viewers. i mean, hopefully not younger than 14, but you know, from 14 to 70, i have people, you know, e-mailing me, and i guess the response is how refreshing, how refreshing at this particular time specifically that we're
able to have such a frank and unflinching look at sex, but also a lot of, you brought up communication so i play a sex therapist, my son played by asa butterfield takes it upon himself to be a sex therapist in his high school because he's grown up with it, basically. and he has a knack for it. it's not like he's preaching. mostly what he's trying to relay to his fellow students is about communication. communication between couples. the importance of intimacy, which, i mean, have we ever heard that word in high school ever, let alone in our sex ed classes and there's something incredibly touching and moving about just those two things, even though we also, you know, see the painful, the awkward, the messy, the gross, the, you
know. >> the funny, the sometimes violent, and the bully. >> and the broad that are then counter balanced and broken down. >> you seem to be embracing it. i gather your current twitter bio, gillian shag specialist. >> it's pretty funny. just a quickie, you have just said that, you know, you're a working mother, your first kid arrived when you were amid x files files. >> most of the first year. >> just on the issue, you were paid a lot less than your male costar, david duchovny. >> initially. >> i'm going to ask how you changed it. >> and i even read that you had to, excuse me, get out of the car after him, walk behind him? >> so initially when i was cast, he was the star, and i was -- i had never been seen ever in
anything pretty much, and so it made sense that our salaries were at a complete, you know, i don't even know what the percentage is, but completely different. in the third season as it was successful and there were a wards and it was the number one show, it was the right time to negotiate, and it took a lot of negotiating. it took threatening to leave did they not raise it up close to what his was, given that we were both doing the same amount of work. the big issue and why it was brought up again recently is when we went back in again post the series ending and us coming back to do another series, even four years ago whenever it was that we did it, they were offering me a third of what they were offering david, and we just could not believe it. >> how much? >> we couldn't. >> we being you and david. >> no, we being me and my
representatives who were getting the phone calls saying they have offered you this, and they have offered him that. are you kidding me. so that was when i spoke about it again, and you know, in this particular instance, it's a no brainer because you can't have one without the other, and so it was an easy negotiation for me. for most people, it's not so easy, and also the stakes are not so high. they're not as high for me as they are for most people who have to sit in front of their boss and risk losing their jobs to be that bold or ask for what they deserve, and so i struggle a little bit to have this conversation because -- >> but it's not fancy land, the more people ask and demand, the more it happens. >> true. >> finally, we have mentioned your partner several times, the great peter morgan, he is in continuing with the crown and there's a whole other series envisioned about to drop, and i understand you're going to be playing margaret thatcher.
>> that has not been announced. we're not allowed to talk about it. >> would i be wrong? >> when is this airing? >> would you like to play margaret thatcher? >> shouldn't they come to me, or should they offer it to me, i would be delighted to play margaret thatcher, an extraordinary woman, margaret thatcher. >> okay. we'll see, we'll watch this space. gillian anderson in london with "all about eve", thank you very much. >> a pleasure. we'll look forward to that bit of news being officially confirmed when the crown launches its third season on netflix later this year. for now, that's it for our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour and company" on pbs and join us again next time. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour and company." when bea toll mon's culinary
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