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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  November 15, 2012 10:00am-11:00am EST

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president than i was a first-term secret that he's actually gone back and look-- he says i know well the research about second-term presidents who tend to overreach. but he still did say, "look, i have this mandate. the american people put-- re-elected me to fight for the middle class, yes and you can tell that-- you know, he hasn't said what he said when he was first elected that we've heard him say elections have consequences, but actions speak louder than words now. >> rose: we conclude this evening with the new film called "life of pi." >> i don't think there's a movie or book to make you believe in god as they advertise it. but i hope people believe in storytelling, and when you see this boy it is like a sign of god, say. directing him is much like directing, teaching him, but wake him up, reminding him-- seems like what he already knows from the previous lives. >> rose: the president's press conference and the "life of pi"
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> i'm al hunt of "bloomberg news" filling in for charlie rose from washington. we quinn if th evening with news from the white house. president obama heldaise first press conference since his reelection. he delivered a brief opening statement, emphasizing the need to avert the fiscal cliff set to take effect january 1. >> there's only one way to solve these humans and that is to do it together.
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as i've said before, i'm open to compromise and i'm open to new ideas and i've been encouraged the past week to hear republican after republican to agree on the need from more revenue from the wealthiest american as parent of our arithmetic if we're serious about reducing the deficit. >> the president fielded questions. the budget was the most pressing subject. obama vowed not tho extend the bush tax cuts for the top 2% of income earners. >> when it comes to the top 2%, what i'm not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don't need it, which would cost close to $1 trillion, and it's very difficult to see how you make up that trillion dollars, if we're serious about deficit reduction, just by closing loopholes and deductions. the math tend not to work. >> the president also addressed issues of national security, including a strong defense of
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the united nations ambassador and potential next secretary of state, susan rice. >> if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. and i'm happy to have that discussion with them. but for them to go after the u.n. ambassador who had nothing to do with benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. >> joining me are julianna goldman, white house correspondent for "bloomberg news," and martha raddatz, senior foreign affairs correspondent for angst news. thank you both for being here. >> great to be here. >> let's start on the domestic decide and we'll move to foreign affairs. julianna did the president leave any wiggle room for compromise on the tax cuts.
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>> the president said come january 1, taxes will go up. the congress, if they decide they're going to hold middle class tax cuts hostage for tax cuts on the wealthy, then tax cuts are going to go up across the board. but he's drawing a line in the sand, essentially, that the current tax rates, bush-era tax rates for the top 2% are going to expire january 1 but he did leave himself some wiggle room. it's just a question of when that wiggle room can really go into play. >> they have a lame duck session coming up-- "they" being congress that starts next week. there really isn't any possibility to resolve these big, big budgetary issues in that sort a period of time. >> that's the question of when he will really have that kind of wiggle room. he was asked whether or not he'd be open to a deal that keeps the rates as they are-- so keeps bush heav era rates for the wealthy-- but makes up the deficit hole by cutting loopholes, closing deductions
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for the wealthy. and what he said was interesting here. he said, "i'm not going to shut the door on anything. i'm open to compromise. i'm putting everything on the table, but a deal, a grand bargain that cuts $4 trillion from the debt over 10 years can't be on the backs of middle class. it has to maintain progressivity in the tax code." and it can't be sprapg and it's unream reelistic to think they could hammer out those kinds of issue overs the next six weeks without being vague and i immediately that you felt cinderella. you can go to ball, but first you have to clean the dishes, sweep the floors, clean the chimney. but the president doesn't valley his fairy gopped mother right now. >> he also talking about a $4 trillion deal and includes $1 trillion already done so it's not as big as he suggested. market afs struck by his impassioned defense of susan rice over the benghazi issue. she's been sharply criticized by john mccain and lindsey crime
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graham who said if she's nominated as secretary of state it's not going to fly. boy, obama came all but saying just bring it on because i'm going to defend her. >> that was absolutely fierce defense. that part press conference really sort of blew me back there, listening to that defense. but i also did hear lindsey graham and john mccain talking earlier today, and they were just as fierce on the other side. and one thing president obama kept saying is that this basically-- her coming out and saying who she did in the early days wasn't her fault because she was not responsible for benghazi. but that's basically what john mccain and lindsey graham are saying. that she wasn't responsible for benghazi, so why did the white house put her out there? and they're saying only for political rains. and they criticize ambassador rice for not asking more questions. she got a briefing. she got a briefing on the latest intelligence, says the white house. the white house says they're the
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ones that put her out there. so if what she said turns out not to be true later, they should take the blame. but, boy, what a fierce defense. i'm not holding my breath much longer on seeing who his nominee is probably going to be for secretary of state. >> and wants to have a fight. interesting, though, there's no greater defender of david petraeus, we'll talk about in a moment, than john mccain. he has been a longtime champion. and she got intelligence briefing, that was coming from david petraeus, isn't that right? >> that was certainly contributed to by david petraeus, and jim clapper and they were pretty critical of clapper, but i didn't hear much criticism of petraeus. >> so there's politics. i know that's shocking. >> really! >> i knew you'd be shocked, martha. if he-- if he nominates -- tell me, apart from this controversy-- >> and petraeus is going to testify, by the way. >> right. >> yup, yup. >> on benghazi. >> yes. >> if-- if prior to all of this,
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was it your opinion that she was likely to be nominated? and how would that have gone over among foreign policy experts? >> well, i think-- i mean, it's-- i think you have john kerry, or you have susan rice. and i think either one of them could be nominated and probably the foreign policy establishment would say that's fine. john kerry probably has more, but susan rice has served as u.n. ambassador and she's got know a lot of foreign experience, certain, from that experience. she's been at the state department before, too. i mean, her history is in foreign policy. she hasn't opinion secretary of state. he hasn't been on the hill in the capacity john kerry is, but she certainly is experienced. >> reporter: the aforementioned general petraeus, a story that continues to rock this town. the president talked about it at the press conference, said it was a sad personal saga. actually said very nice things about david petraeus' contributions to his country, and also said-- i'm not sure the
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exact word he used-- but basically no top vent intelligence was revealed. >> i think he made a point of saying so far. and so far, there is not any negative effect on national security. but this investigation is clearly still open. you have hagents going into paula broadwell's house, taking out boxes, taking out her computer. they are still looking for classified material. whatever too soon maybe it was something for the book. maybe it's a schedule that's classified. you know how this works. everything in the military is practically classified including weather reports. i've sat through briefings and it's classified. in terms of it being illegal, if she has classified material in her home, it is illegal. now, she had a clearance. she could read classified material, but not in her home. they've now yanked her security clearance we just learned this evening while this investigation continues. but she shouldn't have had
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classified material. i think what they're talking about is in terms of so far, they haven't seen, you know, pillow talk i guess is what you could say, that david petraeus was telling her any agreement secrets. they haven't seen that. but you also go back to the week of the the 21st and paula broadwell was talking about benghazi as it she knew something that other people didn't know. that was the very week she was interviewed by the f.b.i., by the way, which was pretty astonishing. >> pretty remarkable knowing that she would still talk to the public. this is a woman who didn't lack confidence. if there are potential problems, is it a paula broadwell problem or a david petraeus problem? >> it depends on what she had, obviously. is it fshe had something from david petraeus. i was struck by the president calling it a personal matter and talking about hills time as a general. we talked about david petraeu
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pelast night and his incredible service over so many deployments and how hard that is. the fact is, he was c.i.a. director. he wasn't a general in the army any more. he was c.i.a. director. and most people i've talked to think that is a very, very different situation. >> julianna let's go back to obama fair moment. you've been watching him going on close to five years-- over four years. he's pretty confident, isn't he? he feels good, as he should, i suppose, this is a more comfort, assertive obama than we saw six months ago. >> i thought it was noteworthy at the press conference when he talked about the kind of mandate he thought he had. he said i will be a better second-term president than first-term president-- he said know well about the research of second-term presidents who tend to overreach. but he still did say i have this mandate. the american people re-elect me to fight for the middle class. and you can tell, you know, he hasn't said what he said when he
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was first elected that we've heard him say-- elections have consequences -- but actions speak louder than words now. >> yeah, i think second-term presidenciy are very, very difficult. i thought ronald reagan had a fairly successful second term and bill clinton's was marred by his own personal issues. second trerms difficult. w. had a difficult time. one of the things i think they underestimate at the white house and the treasury is the idea of doing tax reform. when you both were probably in preschool, i was covering the '85, '86, tax reform act, and to call it heavy lifting is an understatement. it took a savvy, smart treasury secretary, jim baker, working with capitol hill and a supportive president, and democrats and republicans. i don't see any of those ingredients today to do tax reform in 2013, 2014. >> especially if the president is going to have a new treasury
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secretary. itim geithner, this has sort of been his-- tim geithner wanted to be behind tax reform, wanted to be the force behind corporate tax reform. that might speak to tim geithner staying on a little long fer they think they can get something done in the first six months. >> why is anything different now? why is anything different in the second term? >> good point. >> i'll turn the hosting to you. >> martha, i think they probably have leverage in the short term. i think probably in the lame duck-- on the tax issue-- they probably do have some leverage there, but i think that leverage dissipate verizon, very quickly, and i think we're right back-- it's the point you were just raising, the second term-- john boehner can turn around-- they man a bit chastened right now, but 235 house republicans were
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also re-elected, so i don't know why the-- why the washington environment is a whole lot different. >> the other thing the president said was i'm not up for reelection again. so they look ahead, they see 2010 and think if taxes do go up for the middle class, it will be john boehner, and the republicans to take the blame. >> well, that may be but who is it going to play that kind of bluffing game with the debt ceiling because that's when you really risk tremendous market reactions and peril. i know you talked about david petraeus, and the whole foreign policy issue last night on charlie, martha, but do you-- let me ask you again, do you take seriously the notion that john kerry could be defense secretary? >> i think that was a trial balloon. >> you do? >> i 19, clearly both of those stories were trial balloons. president obama, obviously, took it a little further, quite a bit further today talking about susan rice. it was no longer a trial balloon. but i think john kerry-- you
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know, is that a consolation prize? i think he's probably always wanted to be secretary of state. i'm not sure how that would go over at the pentagon. i mean, when you talk about someone going into-- as secretary of state, who maybe doesn't have the experience that some people want. i think on the other side, he certainly has military service-- >> heroic military service. >> he has military service, and that-- that's a great thing because not that many people from that generation do. >> do you have any latest intelligence on the petraeus. >> i don't have any on that. i think we're all on pins and needles. so many shoes dropped this week-- >> oh, my gosh. imelda marcos. >> here's what i think we have to watch. if you saw in the last couple of days-- it was tuesday night when we learned about john allen. at 1:00 in the morning this very dramatic press release that came from the airplane of leon panetta flying overseas that
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upon john allen, the it's so hard, you really need a flow chart-- very dramatic, very detailed senior defense official talking on background. but today, leon panetta was saying we're not coming to any conclusions. he was out on camera saying he's a great guy, and a great leader. and i think he got pushed back from the white house that probably wasn't that happy they went out and kind of threw john allen under the bus so quickly. but i-- you know, on first blush, this is nothing like petraeus. on the other hand, you've got a general in afghanistan back and forth, 12 emails a day with this socialite in tampa who they say are friends of theirs. i think there's still a possibility that some e-mails
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may have been inappropriate. that's why doing this investigation, that's why they don't want to clear him right away. it's also that issue of when you think about it, going into private e-mails, how many of us would want people going into our private e-mails? so this started as jill kelly getting harassment e-mails from an anonymous kelly patrol, and it turned out, according to officials, was paula broadwell. but in that investigation, they go into all these private e-mails. it's a really interesting-- getting off the petraeus thing-- it's a really interesting case of internet privacy, of e-mail privacy. >> it sure is and the role the f.b.i. played also. >> oh, yes. >> is something that ought to be investigated here. >> your point on allen, it was noteworthy that jay carney the next day-- >> absolutely. >> from the podium gave a staunch defense of him. he is usually so measured when he is up there and doesn't say anything that hasn't been sanctioned from the upper echelons.
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>> you read the same tea leaves di. i don't think they were happy with the way the defense department-- >> this is a reminder onovember 7, i'm sure the white house said all right we're going to focus on the fiscal cliff. this is what we have to get through first, and then we'll move to immigration. and the world is sometimes an untidy place. >> as some we would remember would say. >> i don't think they'd be talking about sex scandals and e-mails today. let me ask you both, one of the things that sort of has been submerged in all this, that the president has listed as one of his priorities, is the tank wind-down from afghanistan. that's tougher than it lookes, isn't it, martha? >> i think it's tougher than it looks. there is part of me this week when general allen was first implicated that i thought, the military is going to have a harder time now arguing. they've lost a little juice in this one. and it is the period of-- petraeus is out. but, i mean, in terms of the
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military. but with this kind of cloud over allen and him coming to the president and biden, who would probably just as soon get out there-- get out of afghanistan even sooner, i think that will be something very interesting to watch. because it's a distraction. because this is a distraction. it may take a while with the investigation. i think they're really pushing this through and they'd like it to be done quickly. it is a distraction. it's hard to concentrate on what's going on there now. but i'm one of those people who resident my e-mails, who whod where reads the names, and reads when someone dies in afghanistan, and if an e-mail comes across and someone has died and we're in the middle of all this tseems so far away. >> it really does. so out of proportion. >> yes. >> in some ways. julian another issue the president touched on, i know is probably high on their priority list, is immigration. he did a little bit of boasting it's what i said in interviews beforehand, which he did with
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"rolling stone" and "the des moines register." they have to address the fiscal cliff first, to be sure, but immigration they view is an important political and legislative priority. >> yeah, and they think it's an area where they'll be able to get sort of both sides to the table knowing that republicans need to reach out to the hispanic community after the results of the election last week. and you heard the president say it was something they wanted to be able to quickly pivot to, the number one item on the agenda, when and if they can get past the fiscal cliff. he did mention one of the priorities would be, of course, border security. he talked about visa issues that the business community is pushing for as well, and putting into law the executive order that they had instituted before the election for dreamers, for children whose parents came here illegally, but shouldn't be held accountable. >> whoever thought the week after the election would be like this. it's-- it's why the news business is so interesting, whether it's uplifting or not.
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and who better to talk about it than martha raddatz and julianna goldman. thank you so much. >> thank you, al. >> thank you. . >> rose: when the book "life of pi" appeared in 2001, few imagined it to be made into a film. "life of pi" is finally a movie. this production captures the magic and grandeur of nature that many thought unfilmable. here is the trailer.
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>> aaaahhh! are ar
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♪ ♪ >> rose: joining me are some of the people who brought the story to life. ang is here, an oscar winning director of films such as "broque back mountain," "crouchy tiger." irrfan khan plays pi.
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suraj sharma makes his acting debut as young pi. he lived the life of pi in a water tank with an imaginary tiger. i am pleased to have them here at this table. welcome. good to see all of you here. everybody thought this was undoable, unfilmable, and impossible, and along comes ang lee, said i can do it. >> for a long time i thought the same thing. when fox asked me to do it, i got seduced. it was so challenging. two things make me take the leap of faith. one is having the third person and the younger pi playing the story, the first person. so they're the same. so the power story, an ulilization within an illusion. i got excited about that. the other is, i thought if i had another i can mention, 3-d, maybe it is solvable.
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>> rose: did you get some help on the 3d from cameron? >> a little bit. it is so new. one person's experience will be overthrown by the next. that's how new it is to all of us filmmakers. it's really a new media, but it is a great media, i discovered. i learned. >> rose: something you want to use again? >> of course. yeah. i think we know everything about 2d for a long time and 3d just began. it's very exciting. >> rose: what made this so hard, the fact you had to have for most film this relationship between a young boy and a tiger? >> right. >> rose: water. >> water. all of them, boy, which we get lucky. animal, tiger. and water. . >> rose: together. >> yeah, together. all of them. and i thought maybe if i can make it even more difficult, more impossible, with 3d, maybe it's doable. it turns out 3d is really
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bringing water to the next level. >> rose: indeed. >> you really fill-- you feel the drama, and how it goes with the tiger. think about it. it's a huge backdrop, the ocean, but the compound still is pretty small. it's high drama. . >> rose: what's the story? >> the story is about a young boy, the pam boat sinks. it carried the whole menagerie of the zoo on the way to canada the boat sinks and the boy winds up on the boat with the tiger. >> and a few others. >> eventually just him and the tyinger and drift across the pacific ocean. it's a story about faith and adventure, spirituality and most of all, it had a tricky ending that examine why we believe in spirituality, why we have faith, why we believe in god, why we believe in storytelling.
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>> rose: that's why it was such a phenomenal book. >> yeah. it's both fantastical and mind-boggling. >> rose: and casting, when you began to cast. what did you know about suraj? >> nothing. out of the 3,000 kids we interviewed and, you know, after three rounds we narrowed it down to 12. and as soon as i saw himmish began to see the movie. we don't know what pi looks like until you see him. >> rose: he looks like pi. >> he looks like pi. >> rose: now. >> he gave me the vibe. >> rose: tell me how you got the opportunity to play this character? >> i think i'm just a very, very lucky person. the characters, the character is just an amazing, amazing, amazing person. it's almost unimaginable how he is, how curious he is, how much strength he has within himself. it's really beautiful. and the story is beautiful.
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and then, obviously, just-- i was just-- i still can't believe how-- how this whole thing has happened. it still hasn't sunk in. it's really-- oh, i'm lucky. >> rose: and how do you play the older pi? > pi? because it's the voice. >> it's not just the voice. >> rose: the voice of wisdom. >> it's not playing wisdom. it's trying to entice you into a kind of world which is unbelievable. and he's also trying to examine the person whom he wants to download his experience you know because he has been bottled up with this experience fare longer time. he hasn't shared this experience even with his wife so he's looking for the right person to download all you can have fruition, it is going on ie beginning of the film.
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he's trying to judge the writer, and writer is trying gauge whether he has the story, which can change my life or no. and then the story starts unfolding how and what kind of background he was grown up, and what kind of-- how he got, you know, attracted to this concept of god, you know. leaving the-- the village and so-called-- what coyou dahl, this organized religion. he is not ready to, you know, get organized religion. he is fascinated by the concept that there is somebody called god-- which happens to us. it happened to me in childhood. i used to wait for the time when-- for the time of prayer i used to wait and i used to cry. you know, who is god?
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>> rose: this is where pi begins the journey. he were it is. this is our first scene. ♪ ♪ >> my name is pi. i have been in a shipwreck. i am on a lifeboat alone with a tiger. please send help.
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>> rose: what's happening in that scene? >> well, it's just like-- it's very hard to fin to define god. it is very hard to define what tiger is to pi. there are the obstacles of the beast. there's, you know, pi, the inner beast, the crouching tiger, so to speak, in him. so in the spiritual moment, in the hopelessness, his looking at his opponent, but at the same time, himself, the fearful tiger and also the truth of his own self, and this is the moment before he revealed himself to god, not religious god, but god in the abstract sense. as you can see, the water is like mirror. it's very reflective. it's a very introspective moment but in in the vast of the
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ocean. >> rose: i want to look at this clip as well. this is where a school of flying fish above pi and richard parker. here it is. ( tiger growling )
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>> aahhh! no! >> rose: what's happening there? . >> that's the first moment when pi decides to take over, in a way kind of-- in a way show him who's boss, basically. that's the beginning of when he starts trying to stand up for himself in many ways and try to show parker we're in this together. but there has to be this mutual respect as such. so it's -- >> rose: the moment he found respect. >> that's the moment he first tried to look for it.
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>> rose: looked for it. how much acting had you done before this? >> none. ( laughter ) >> rose: and you're sitting here with one of the more famous actors? >> yes. which is why i said i'm extremely textremely lucky. >> rose: how did you find it? what was interesting about this other than the doing of the thing? what did you call on to be effective? >> oh, in many ways teferg-- you know what's funny is all these things happen in your life, and at that point that he can just incidents or events that take place in your life that you just go through you know. and it was at times like this when i kind of had to finally-- i needed them. you know, before that-- they're just things you go through -- >> rose: you mean to access experiences in your life that you could convey into the character? >> uh-huh. >> rose: did you talk to him about acting?
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>> oh, no. the master was there himself taking care of him. i wish, i wish. when i was in drama school, i used to have so many questions and i used to go from teacher to teacher with all my questions, and i used to, you know, find the-- which will make me an actor. there was no teacher who could reply to simple questions like how much i am there in the situation. how much i am observing myself. things like that, you know, whether i have to be a good human being to be an actor. things like that. and we used to contemplate all night and used to talk about if it. and used to think, now, tonight i have the formula. tomorrow when i go to the stage, i will be actor. so he never had that. if the master is there to train him. >> rose: this is a remarkable achievement for someone who never act before. >> it's miraculous. >> rose: miraculous. >> yes, really makes you believe in, have faith in film making. yeah, absolutely. i don't think this is a movie or
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a book that make you believes in god, as they advertise it. but i hope people believe in storytelling, and when you see this boy, boy, it's like a sign of god, say. directing him is not so much like directing, teaching him, but like wake him up, reminding him, seems like what he already knows from previous lives. >> rose: from previous lives. >> yeah, like a little buddha. remember what he used to do? remember what it's like. and as you come to life. actors like that will spend years pursuing that and he's just, like, right there. actually, we kept saying he never acted before. in the middle of the movie, shooting the movie, you realize he's a very good actor. he's really an accomplished actor. >> rose: so what does that say to you about acting? >> it's hard my son wants to be an actor after i shot "the tiger." i said, look at the tiger. that's what acting is all
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about. he get indignant. what do you mean? acting is about-- i think innocence. i think acting is about revelation. peel off what you know. peel off the covers and tell the truth. it. >> rose: find the truth. >> it's about revelation. something we're hiding all our lives and you just want to be honest, and he's there already. he's a little buddha. all you have to do is, like, peel off those things to see the truth. >> it's sometimes harder for him than for him actually. >> rose: really. >> yes. >> sometimes you have it in yourself and luckily find a person who makes you notice about things and sometimes you don't have and you to realize yourself and you work on it and you cultivate that. so it's a mysterious thing. you know, it's not like anybody will be there with ang, and ang will direct and they'll come up with that. it's just that he could see in him that it's lying there. i just need to know-- >> half of job is
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tailing actors, try to forget what they know. yeah. and he's halfway there already. i just have to add things. >> rose: let's take a look at one more excerpt from one more scene from the "life of pi." >> i never thought a small piece of shade could bring me so much happy know. that a pile of tools-- a bucket, a knife, a pencil-- might become my greatest treasures or knowing richard barker might ever bring me peace. in times like these, i remember the he has as little experience in the real world as i do. we were both raised in the zoo by the same master. now we have been orphaned left to face the ultimate master together. without richard parker i would have died by now. my fear of him keeps me arb letter. tending to his needs gives my life purpose. >> rose: most of this was films without the tiger there. >> yes.
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i wish i could film him and the tiger together but we're not allowed. >> rose: not allowed. >> yes. fox policy. it would be too dangerous. >> rose: so in the end, did you overcome all the obstacles you knew you faced? >> i-- i think so. but that's not really the point. the point is, like, i have to make a movie that however people look at the film they can take away with something different. it has to be as provocation of some sort for both thoughts and emotions. so obstacles are really the reason-- i want to make this thing. it's not reality point. i don't know if i overcome them or not. it really is up to how the audience takes them. obstacles are nothing. >> rose: james cameron said about this that you had broken the notion that 3d had to be
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about some big action fantasy spectacle super hero movie. i mean, this is just a boat and a person. >> he-- he did it himself, too, i think james cameron really legitimized the media as a good storytelling tool opinion . it's not tricks but a legitimate artistic form that you use to tell glrs did you talk to martell about this? >> yeah, he's a book writer. >> rose: i've seen that, but sometimes you can be informed by the author. every author understands when a book is taken over by a familiar that it is in fact the filmmaker's. they own the book then. >> yeah, he has a lot of input when we went about of about the movie and the script writing process. at some point, it seems to me, the movie wants to go certain ways, just make it happen. and at that point, not only him, including myself, you have to
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let it go. you just have to-- for me, to convey what the movie wants to be. >> rose: the movie talks to you somewhere along the process. >> yes. >> rose: tells you where it wants to go. >> when it doesn't want to go somewhere it won't work. you just health a bring brickwall. >> rose: really? >> yes. you just have to-- it's a humbling experience. >> rose: film making. >> film making. >> rose: can you appreciate that? >> oh, absolutely. the film comes across to me as a living being. it's not a dead object. it reacts to you. making the creation into chemistry. and you can feel the chemistry always. i can give you 00s of-- hundreds of examples the way different films behave nay different way. the way i was easy with the role in the beginning when i got the script, and suddenly things started becoming difficult for me because i realized that the
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path he has chosen is not supposed to be easy. it has to have its share of sufferings. and it lended, you know, in-- it landed in my lap as well, when i started shooting on the set. you know, it has never happened in my life, the kind of difficulty this character started posing at me. first i went there and i thought, you know, this is-- the part was not really to come to me. it never happens you know. you read the script, some of the portion of the part, it starts speaking to you. it starts showing its face. and while you're doing the shoot, it possesses you. but this part was not really to come. it was just sitting there looking at me. lose yourself. lose yourself. the first night when i went back from the shoot, i still remember the road and the visual, i was in taipei, and i
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was there,un, like zero, and i was thinking just forget-- forget your homework, forget everything. go there tomorrow. and i didn't have too many days, n five, six days it's over. the director ang lee is trusting you without any audition. he's just given you a responsibility of introducing the firm, you know, present, the film to the audience, and then concluding it. and now it's up to you right up to the moment. it will i be able to rise up to the occasion? >> rose: you obviously thought that didn't you? that he'd be all to rise up to the occasion. >> i didn't have enough time. everything every day from the moment i landed in taiwan, every day was very-- it was like the
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moment-- the only thing i could do if i was not working was sleep. and that's the only thing i wanted to do. because, you know, i had to learn so many things. i knew nothing. i was-- i was nothing. and i had to learn all these different things-- i had to become pi, and i had to become pi really quickly. at that point i walk think of that. i'm like i'm just going to listen to everybody and do what they tell me to do and things will be okay. that's all i did. and slowly it just-- i just got so consumed in the whole thing and, you know, it was-- for me, it was just so much fun also. >> exactly. >> it was just the most amazing -- >> rose: how old were you when you started filming? >> 17. >> rose: 17 then. at what age were you hired? >> 17. >> to play 16. >> to play 16. >> and i turned 18, we were
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still shooting. and i'm 19. it's been a while. >> rose: what was your experience in life as a teenager? what had you done? >> very ordinary-- just very-- just regular, super regular-- almost-- what is that word-- almost-- just super normal. just very normal. >> rose: a regular kid gee, a regular kid, yeah. regular kid and not so regular circumstances. q. exactly.extraordinary opport. have you decided to become an actor? you are an actor. have you decide. as an actor giprobably will act again, but i feel i would want to be behind the camera. >> rose: really? why is that? >> many things. i just feel like i'm more interested in that. not interested only. i love act. it's just that maybe acting come ways lot more things, and i just feel like i want to be behind
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it, just safer. ( laughter ) >> rose: safer, safer? >> no, he wants to do what i told him to do. ( laughter ) that seems to make more sense. >> rose: here is john martell talking about how we're all frightened by the mystery of animals which is at the core of this film and book. >> i think animals are mystery, with a capital "m." and i think that's why we tend to project so much on animals because we look at something and we see it's alive. it's an mat. obviously has some form of consciousness but it's not like us. that's very puzzling. because it's puzzling we project on to it to map over the mystery. we strip away and just look at what we see, i think we're puzzled. we see mystery and that frightens us. >> rose: is this purely philosophical or is it also political? >> all of them.
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and also intuitive. whatiment to add to that, when i make the moviees, don't forget we're animals. >> rose: we're all animals. >> richard parker when he looked not just at the animal you're speaking to, your own inner animals. and that's confusing. it's -- >> rose: there's something in all of us that's wild and untamed. >> yeah we're animals. we think we're rational. not quite. we are animals. there's a tiger and there's a tiger. >> rose: do you believe that? >> yeah, i think we have animals and we could deof reflect on ourselves. that's only thing and we would become too confident about that. we can deflect ourselveses so we can define god. we can define nature. we become too sure about ourselves. just one faculty you can reflect
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on yourself, and that animal doesn't have, i think. you don't know about-- anyone can't sea i'm a tyinger and i'm nay jungle. a human being can do that. in suffering, i can can see my suffering and endure it and so saul kinds of-- there's only one faculty which makes us seem like we are different from animals. >> rose: does religion offer things that science doesn't? >> faith. i think religion is-- religion comes from society, it's organized. that is what i mean, a human effort to bring people together. but god is something else. it's much harder. he has all the religions he wants, as you know in his earlier life he practed all three different religion. he lost all of that in his society's pam three, anything he
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can rely on, he's cast on the ocean to face the abstract idea of god. it's rather abstract and his mostly inner self. that's something else gla john martell noted one of the significant differences between the film and book, the film's implication that richard parker became friends with pi. >> that's not quite my intention, though. i think richard parker represents something very complicatefor me. and they can be friend, companion in some ways. can be adversaries. it can be a reflection of himself. the way of nature. >> rose: "in the novel heremains a true tiger in there is never a notion of friendship. for the sake of the movie he's created a slight illusion of
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friendship. in he maintains the animal is a wild animal. it has its own rules. >> woo make very clear at the beginning and the ends of the movie that they are not friends. in the middle, it's blurred. it makes it more interesting for the movie. it makes it more interesting for me that the tiger has different dimensiones, symbolically, too. >> rose: you sauls say-- always say in my movies it's the idea not me. >> you should do the it service. >> rose: what's the big idea are you doing service to here? >> to this particular -- >> rose: yeah. >> i want to take the audience to a spiritual experience of cinema, if you will, such as -- >> rose: feel all the thoughts
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that-- ask all questions. >> ask all the questions from this guy, but experience what he has to experience from this guy. so you're experiencing it at the same time we think the illusion of the film making to examine. why do we have illusion in the first place? why do we need it? >> rose: of your movies, is there something that unites all of them. >> insecurity, maybe. . >> rose: yours? >> yeah. what can you rely on? what can you believe? what is the right thing? what is not? i was of i wasn't so sure. >> rose: you're a huge star. what did you learn from this experience. >> this one? >> yeah. >> it just pose a different kind of difficulty and living up to that was a sense of achievement, a sense of okay i, can do that. i could sail through and i
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reached the shore. the subject itself is something not completely new. it has been kind of concerned with all different elements like god, of being caged. different ideas. but they were not together. and this subject brings it together, everything, and it starts examining everything. and i've-- i was fascinate bay th tiger, and god, death, these are things which are constant-- a kind of in your system, and you keep on reflecting about it each and everyone day. i never knew there could be at a firm it by ang lee will come to you. and you will sort experiencing it closely in a way that you share it with the larger audience that i never knew. and it happened. . >> rose: "life of pi," scheduled to be rileased
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november 21. november 21. suraj, thank you. it's a remarkable experience. thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: addly, my friend, great to see you. extraordinary questions raise bide this. thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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