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tv   Tavis Smiley  WHUT  October 18, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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manager who pulls me from my reclusive life. earlyakes place in the 1930s. the first world war has lost me my three sons. and i have been for about 15 years a wreck. and obviously not in a very good place, not wanting to communicate. and i need this john t journalist -- this gentil journalist. he wants to meet me and get to know me because he wants to promote his singers and his band. i very reluctantly talk to him. when he mentions the music, i invite him to tea. i live in a grandiose house in the country alone. he just moves in on me. he is a pushy guy. matthew is wonderful in this.
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he is very naughty, sexy kind of a young man and we become very good pals. but gradually, he brings me back to life. know a lot of people socially. i've known them for years to i've been to hollywood. i met the royals. i met many many social people. and i am encouraged by this group to get them off the ground a bit and i introduced them to people who can help them. -- so --ecorded and there are lots of different stories in this piece. it basically, it is about the way racism was very prevalent in --land in the upper classes considerably in the upper classes. mid-n the background, the
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19 30s, hitler was rising, although it isn't featured as a thing. but it was something that was creeping up into germany and the context with the bush royalties sort of suggested. all of this horrible behavior that this band went through. they stayed in a very grand hotel, but they were in the basement. these young aspiring singers. of great plays a man distinction, very educated an. tavis: his name is becoming more and more well known to fans of hollywood for a lot of wonderful projects he has been in. as you know, at the moment, he is getting a lot of love for his lead role in 12 years a slave. >> i'm going to see that tonight. >> is quite a project. he is getting a lot of love for that. he is in this project with you.
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lexi is the lead. he is the bandleader. thehat happens really is band gets off to a good start. but they are constantly being -- they are always being tested and humiliated and put through people being just dreadful with them. , butlds his head high there is also a murder. it is hard not to tell the story. i don't to tell the story. -- things start to tip against him. tavis: i'm going to stop you there because i don't want to to tell the whole story. to keep uso back away from giving away the storyline. to a common back theme raised earlier that kind of struck me. that is this notion that there was a bit of fear and trepidation that you had about
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not wanting to let the director down. i'mia because, after -- struck by that because, after all of these years, all of your successes, the honors committee awards, the accolades -- >> don't push it. i haven't had that many accolades. mine had a good career -- quite wellve done for yourself. but i want to juxtapose that with this feeling of fear for letting down the director. >> when there is not sure who has written it all -- when there who has written it all and is directing at all, you can't be wasting time. the bbc does wonderful projects, and ally is tight filming is tight. television or film. but when you know you have a man
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at the lead, you don't want to be wasting it. you don't want to be less than great and good. it creates a kind of tension. i started off the projects on everest -- i haven't had nerves like this since i don't know which project. i mean, i was terrified. but thank god i came back together. but what happened is that i completely forget everything. so i have the actor's nightmare. i completely forgot my words . he said, jacqueline, what is going on? i said i have total stage fright. and some of the master shots for the cameras moving. for example, there may be 15 people in the room and the camera stops on a couple. then it moves to wait three or 201 or two a fireplace and cues have to be ticked up absolutely otherwise you can't cut these scenes.
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they add up to quite a few minutes. -- i you miss your queue just thought i -- if this goes on, she'll have to retire. and then, for god sake, you know, putting together. what is the matter with you? i knew the lines. i knew them. s. i knew i knew the line i knew i knew them. n," i couldn't remember my lines. i couldn't put on my glasses because the camera could see the side of my face. it was something beyond terrifying. i don't remember how we got through it. she was so nice about it. tavis: how'd do you get through it? how does it not shake your confidence. >> it doeshake your confidence. it is a thing that can happen --
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it is sort of the actor's nightmare. you dream about it and you wake up and it is a big terror. and then it passed because , i hope ittted to it never happens to me it's just awful. knownversely, when you that you are in your groove and that you are doing your best work only feel that as well? >> yes. there is a state where you can say, god, i am eating the best cake and is chewing up usually and you have a sense of -- shooting it up just beautifully and you have a sense of goodness. you still have to have that reserve. i always say about clarissa leachman whose energy is phenomenal. i always say she has an extra
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gear. tavis: yes, she does. you kind of need to have a touch of the next gear when you're working. and that is a matter conserving energy sometimes. and not worrying yourself down by wasting time. sometimes doing things that take you away from the work area everybody was very concentrated. i had never met john goodman. and his character is on and all kinds of -- tavis: he plays characters very well. gracias that this -- >> yes, but this is more on. i wanted to talk to him and he was -- so i found something to say to him and he responded. he was sweet. he was polite. and he went right back to where he was in character. -- i think everybody thought it was unusual to see so many characters be quite different to the way they are perceived
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normally. tavis: was there a particular turn on her challenge to you during a. piece -- a period piece? >> no. you can express yourself with limits. i love that which. the thing i had to get right was the voice. there are a million accents in england. voice is not a terrible one. where people can't understand you. [laughter] but just to get her voice and i did get her voice right. and then there's that class thing, getting her voice right which thrilled me. feel -- it is a pasting and also that thing of being used to people listening to her. her being the boss of a things, being very wealthy and being.
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client, basically, but also deeply unhappy underneath. all those little tonal qualities. tavis: i suspect you have been asked this question a million times. but not by me. hadher or not you ever difficulty with being taken seriously for your acting versus your beauty. [laughter] , i can't answer that question. thank you for the comment. tavis: i'm not the first one to say that. >> i never worried about that. other people worry about that. ready, prepared, did the practical rehearsals, all the stuff i needed to do and i felt ready. believe me, i was not thinking about the way i looked. if people choose to judge it by the way you look, i didn't feel that it was a problem.
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i played all kinds of parts. i've played glamorous and unglamorous and all kinds of people. people want to pigeonhole you. i think. dealing with that is part of growing older and i'm happy to be in reasonably good shape for my age. tavis: that is a difficult -- >> i don't believe in judging myself. tavis: but hollywood does. >> but you can't please everybody. if they want to criticize you, they will find something to say. but i won't said that i didn't get some parts that i should've gone because of the way i look. thingsed quickly but slowed down and i actually loved what i was doing. it took me a while to get -- i am a slow burner. myself a i consider
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character actress now and then is working out. i'm getting chances to do things to do things. i like the process. i don't want to pretend i am something other than what i am and my looks are changing, obviously. sus like most women, if i look tired or i put on weight. so i relax a little. ao will ever know if that was point of me being judged by the way i look? when things started out really fast for you by your own admission and then they slowed down, how did you navigate your way through the slow period? >> i was working. but i wasn't doing the kind of work that i wanted to do. you know the big hollywood movies playing the female interest in things and people said, oh, you are being used decoratively.
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usedy hell, i wasn't decoratively. i have quality and i brought angst. spirit there are a million actresses were much more beautiful and have better figures than me and all of those things ago on when you are in your 20s. i had equality. and they represented something inside. i believed in that. tavis: this sounds to me like you are downplaying your beauty and the impact it had on your career. >> i wasn't encouraged to think of myself as a beauty and i never thought i was a beauty. tavis: that is how we are sister. how did you process it? >> i'm so lucky to be working. and i'm learning and am watching and maybe i don't find the roles . i did find a film early on in my life with jim brown. there were great reviews for that. but i had to look good in that one. i was supposed to be a showgirl.
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but that was encouraging. those reviews were encouraging. but because the film was not very well distributed, he did not get very much play. i did learn about that was i didn't like being in every shot of the movie good i've since realized that i have a tendency to like roles that are sort of medium-sized. i forgot the question. >> you answered it. >> did i? tavis: yes. it's not just this project that we talked about. i read somewhere that you have done -- you played the wife of dominick strauss khan. >> i just did a movie with gerard a purdue -- gerard despardieu. tavis: it is quite a story, the trouble he got into new york
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city in the trial. >> he plays a man called devereaux. and i think it will be interesting. of course, i have only seen the scenes i am in. i haven't seen the other shooting. i suspect it will have a pretty raw quality to it. and able for era is a- and abel ferr passionate man. he is a real brooklyn boy. uses all of the expressions. i really like him. us -- just don't script. improvise. tavis: is that easier or more difficult for you, the rising? .> i researched it quite a lot the only thing that was difficult is when you're doing another language with somebody. in french and english and
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gerard had more french and i had morning was. so we go in and out of french. i found him -- you know, he is a big air of a man and i like him a lot. i met him before. he is a funny man. -- he's got this strong energy. he works all the time. and it was at the time he announced he was living in russia because of taxes and all kinds of issues and i think he just hated with the french government was saying about him. but with me he was lovely. tavis: to your point of him working all the time, have you found at the stage in your life the right dollars for you of work and play? >> no. [laughter] tavis: re: so tragic figure that out? -- are you still trying to figure that out? >> i would like to do more. i would like to be cast against type. that is when it comes to what
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did -- tavis: it took me 20 minutes to get there. [laughter] finally. >> but i have always said that i could play the part. oh, you don't look like -- i said, you don't know me. i can be very, very different. it's my attitude. people don't expect me to be doing -- i am a very practical woman. speaking of practical, is it true that you drove around in a late in the same cadillac for about -- in l.a. in the same cadillac for about 30 years? >> yes, 33 years. tavis: that is very practical. yes, black, 1970 -- tavis: convertible. >> yes and i had such a time with the guys at the airport. [laughter] the first years, i sort of looked cool with a car. people were dashed with the
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traffic lights, the big dudes would engage. and i would go, is it me or the car? it was a car. the car. [laughter] yeah. but you know, i would never have got rid of it but it went rusty. one day, i put my foot through the floor to the ground. tavis: like fred flintstone. ? and i thought can they fix it i took it to someplace in sun valley -- jay leno had given me the address. tavis: he knows. to get another one. one. it is so rusty. tavis: with your gorgeous looks same cadillac, he could've made millions doing cadillac commercials.
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>> they never asked me. they did no caps on very low- key, you know. tavis: in a convertible, you couldn't have been that low-key. >> people saw the car parked outside my house and they didn't think i drove it. bird pooper.was a it was there for the birds to poop on. i'm just ticking, you know. but i do drive it. and i drove it -- i loved it. it had three seats in the front and three in the fund -- in the front without a divider. like athere's nothing gorgeous practical woman who is smart and talented, too. i have enjoyed having you on. >> has it finished? tavis: see how quickly 30 beans go? you have to come back again. but we did talk about the new project. edge,"cing on the
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starting on starz. there is another little movie coming out. i did a movie called "the two out on thet comes 18th of october. danny houston and jack houston and locked -- that's an interesting little film, two. that's an independent. tavis: and you still want to work more. that is your camera there. can you tell us once again how you want us to correctly pronounce your name? >> jacqueline bisset. tavis: thank you for being with us. until next time, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley on tavis: join me next time for a conversation with the writer of
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a new biography of jim henson. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more.
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>> welcome of "joseph rosendo's travelscope"... >> ha ha ha! >> where you join us as we accept the world's invitation to visit. >> today on "travelscope," i visit quebec, canada, and explore the many sides of montreal, the french-speaking city with a european flair. >> "joseph rosendo's travelscope" is made possible by san antonio, texas, where you'll find art, culture, romance, authentic tex-mex, 50-plus golf courses, and hundreds of attractions. san antonio--deep in the heart. and no-jet-lag jet lag prevention.
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>> founded along the banks of the saint lawrence river in 1642, montreal has grown to become the largest city in the french-speaking province of quebec and the second largest city in canada. for 26 miles along the saint lawrence river, from old montreal to beyond mount royal, there are numerous neighborhoods, cultures, and attractions. join me on my montreal, quebec, canada, adventure. like most visits to montreal, mine begins in old montreal, where my guide nathalie takes me to the place d'youville, where the 1893 obelisk honors the first settlers and the original site of the mission ville-marie. so this spot is where it all began, where montreal began. >> it is. actually, ville-marie, the name of the first settlement, it started here in 1642. you've got the saint lawrence river right ahead of us. so it created a v-shaped piece of land, very convenient, surrounded by fresh water. so they thought, "hey, it's the perfect place. let's call it home." the first purpose, and i quote here, was "to convert the
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savages of the new world" to catholicism. so this was a religion-based settlement. >> nathalie, we didn't have to go far from the monument to the first settlers to find a little bit of history. >> what you're looking at is the signature of the head chiefs of the amerindian tribe that were in the area. so in 1701, the governor of montreal invites those tribe to come to ville-marie in order to sign a peace treaty that would allow an easier type of commerce between the settlers and, of course, the amerindian. >> well, so before montreal could become the great commercial center with a port, it had to start somewhere. it's always good to start with a little peace. >> usually is. >> you know, nathalie, ever since those early days of the first settlers, i know that montreal has changed quite a bit. >> it has changed. the first major change was actually in 1763 because at that point, we became british. so we got conquered by the british. so at that point, this predominantly french and catholic settlement becomes english and protestant.
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>> so what is montreal today? is it a french town? is it a canadian town, english town? what is it? >> i'd like to say all of that. actually, montreal is french; it's english; it's multicultural, but it has, also, that european joie de vivre. >> ha ha ha! thank you, nathalie. i get to experience modern montreal's happy hour--cinq a sept. i understand that's 5:00 to 7:00, but it really starts at 4:00, and-- >> finishes whenever. >> ha ha! sante. >> cheers. a sante. >> since the city's earliest days, the french culture of montreal has distinguished itself through its religion, language, and food. you should be my expert on poutine. >> yes. i am. >> now, how did that name ever come about? >> an englishman ask somebody who was making fries, "can you put in some cheese..." >> put in. >> "on top of it." so the french
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guy understand poutine, and then it becomes their name. >> so he's back there putting together the ingredients? >> he's making poutine. so we have golden brown french fries, and he's gonna put some cheese on top of it... >> there he goes. >> mozzarella cheese curd... >> right. >> and then he's gonna pass it to me, and i put some sauce on top of it. >> wow. let's see the final touch here. >> merci, monsieur. >> ah, and what is this gravy? >> this is vegetarian gravy. >> vegetarian gravy. >> yep. it's soy-based. >> so it's a little healthier. come on. >> come on. yeah. >> how healthy can this be? >> i mean, it's the best. >> i'm gonna try this. >> yeah. >> let's go give it a try. >> let's go. thank you. >> ah, merci. >> je te'n prie. bon appetit. >> merci. well, if you're looking for a down-home taste of montreal, poutine c'est cela. that's it. mark twain said that montreal was "a city where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window." old montreal has more than its share of houses of worship. located on place d'armes, the montreal notre dame basilica is foremost among them. capable of