tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg January 20, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
from a mexican prison in july 2015. she met with guzman while he was still a fugitive. the meeting took place in one of his safehouses in mexico. the visit was to be the foundation for his 10,000 word story in rolling stone magazine. penn says he wanted to start a conversation with his readers about drugs in our society. on january 8 mexican marines captured el chapo again. he is now back in the prison from whence he escaped. it was to be the foundation for his 10,000 word story. start ahe wanted to conversation with his readers about drugs in our society. 8 mexican marines recaptured el chapo and he is now in the prison from which he escaped. penn story of the visit appeared in rolling stone on january 9 2016.
it created a sensation for many reasons starting with who el chapo was and is and the drama of his life. his crime operations and his escape and recapture. pan.ame of strong also penn's article in rolling stone. finally this. the many questions it raised about the motivations and interest of the people involved. i had an exclusive interview with sean pan taped in los angeles on january 14. it is obviously a compelling story. was theinutes interview highest-rated 60 minutes program since 2008. attracting more than 20 million viewers. thanks to sean pan for his time and his candor and his story. tonight part two of sean pan in his own words. rose: what went through your head? is a guy who's been recaptured the you have seen in
october. what did you think? penn: the 17 minutes that he recorded on video. one of them was paraphrased by the people who rescue him in spanish. it had been in my conversations returned when i was in the middle of writing the piece. after the contact. i bounced off some friends in washington. who work in drug enforcement. .hat they thought would happen one of the questions i was curious about was whether or not the reward money would be raised.
the united states maxes out at $25 million. asked did i think he would let himself be taken alive? my impression was that he would not. that was my impression from the night i spent with him. i don't i asked him that. that was my impression of the five of the conversation. sometimes you ask people questions they don't tell you the truth. but also they said they didn't feel that the mexican government would ever take him alive. they didn't want him alive. they would kill him. it turned out not to be true. and i was shocked. i didn't expect him to be captured as quickly.
i did expect that one day i would hear about the big shootout. charlie rose: the reason you had was that you believed the mexican government did not want to see him alive or did not see him talk. because he had information that you believe would be damaging to reputations at the highest levels of the mexican society. penn: i do want to implicate the marines who executed the action. had he stayed and fought out in that apartment that would've been the end. he came into an area that also had some exposure on the streets. he gave them an opportunity to
take him alive. and they did. the similar situation as it turns out not similar in libya. already was clear that having taken prisoner allies that a decision was made not to. to let qaddafi live. charlie rose: but they did let him live. they captured him alive. he is back in the same jail he was in. penn: despite the incredible corruption, there is still more good people do bad in the mexican government. charlie rose: when you look at where he sits now. what you think is going to happen? sean penn:
you know the attitude of the cartel you know what efforts they went through. i'm not going to speculate about what might happen. i hope that cooler heads prevail on all sides. i don't know the cartel that well. i have met his sons. i would describe their personalities is different from him. traditional. more of his place. over the place where he grew up. i went there with the idea being that what i felt for the part
that i could play with this person who would be unlikely to grant an interview, had never done so before. it took to me the idea that if i just placed all judgment here and i just go and sit with this other human being. however the world judges him. however justifiably the judge in that way. just go and be in that place with him. maybe tell a joke. have a couple sips of tequila. let him come in. did i feel another human being there? i did. we planned to see each other eight days later. the idea was to come down and ask all those questions that he
was encouraging me to ask. i asked to stay with them. my colleagues are going to leave. this is kate espinoza alto. they were going back the next day. i asked her to stay with him and his group for those two days wherever they were going to continue the interview. he said to me i just met you can we do it in eight days. i went away and has a business in south america. i came back eight days later and i sat the airport and i had someone send a message to his intermediary. i waited for hours hoping to get the tap on the shoulder and say come with me. so i can go back. meanwhile it was not a surprise to me that i wasn't going to get that tap on the shoulder because by this time the actions that were being taken by the military
had been made public. knew they were very much on the rise. un. he didn't have access to communications. they were going dark because they assumed they are being traced. i don't know. communications. charlie rose: if i were you i wherereally want to know their head was. what they thought. why they thought he was captured. penn: nobody down there wants to talk to me now. all this false advertising that i had something to do with his
capture. know but i do believe that i had nothing to do with the capture. do i think we were being surveilled? join think the government's new to some degree what was going on? i do think that. i said this in the article. i said that by the way joaquin guzman approved. did he really read the article? i don't know. he may have. i wasn't there. i think the press --
my biggest criticism of the press so i can go on record with this is a word that they would put on me. i think we have the most naive press corps that i can imagine. it feels very like a bigger picture i see would be making a greater claim that i would like to make. it is again in nuance where the world lives. to have had this kind of front row seat to the press covering a story that is if not significant, sensationalized.
rose: hard facts of this story are a compelling story. professionalur and soand intelligence it was enormously prominent to get to see someone who has enormous power and wealth and that are awful in terms the consequences. if that is not a powerful narratives the one understand. you want to understand why you wanted to do it. why it iso understand an unfinished story for you. you want to understand what it was like that you wrote about. you want to know more. even those 10,000 words.
you saw and felt and experienced a lot more. penn: the journalism i like to read like the movies i like to watch ask questions. is even if they don't have the answers to those questions. the way that i process this kind in asking to go myself questions and to see how the experience works on me. and the process of that and to reflect those questions in the article. going back to all of the things that we have challenged me on. very fairly. reminded that it is all in my article. all of these observations are either their, it is not all kiss and tell.
and then he used his right hand to do this. about re-reflecting on certain behaviors, the anchor. this is the narrative approach. for me a very honest approach. thingtuck with one whether it like it or not a human being. he is being very hospitable and the fruit is good and the tequila is ok. i believe he loves his kids when he looks at them. now you have a lot of questions. connecting with the world that they were in. skipping over the beginning of the story. you are talking to a question asker who is still at the
beginning of his own questions and is sharing that in an article. which i consider it legitimate form. don't think i have all the answers that you are seeking. they are good questions. i'm sure that many of them i would gotten further had i been able to spend those two days with him. if i got today's further. rose: you have said to the associated press that you have no regrets. sean penn: i have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose which was to try to contribute to this discussion about our policy and the war on drugs. i have a big regret about that. i failed at.
i regret that people misunderstood what i did. a lot of it comes from predisposition. let's face it. when it's movies it's one thing. even a critic is separate from a practitioner in the movies. but when you get the story that every journalist in the world wanted there is a lot of green eyed monsters that are going come after you. those are jealous journalists. i don't think any journalist who have had access to it. there is no reason for them to be envious of something that wouldn't have existed. anybody who is known specifically as a journalist would not have the opportunity.
i got access because i am perceived differently by that man. somebodyess through with whom i share a field, another field which is acting in movies. with her. it is not hard to track it back to his awareness of her because she is quite a significant factor. rose: he didn't know you who you were. penn: i don't think she would've had the trust in a journalist. i am speculating now. i don't think she would've had that trust. she didn't see me principally as a journalist. rather than equating it
to i am out there to beat all my fellow journalists, that is not the way i think about it. i found out about this thing that i tapped into. there was a front line that was exceptional. to eley got so close chapo. they have an excellent interview with his mother. which would not have happened without his approval. in the middle of that process of making the documentary he was .aught and arrested they just missed. guys who were really digging in the dirt to try to get there and risking quite a bit to do it. for a long. of time.
period of time. they were the ones you deserve it no question. didn't sell her on an idea. we talked and we met. do.id what i hoped to do you think that he would respond? she explained who i was. who my two colleagues were. asked if i could come down and talk about it. it was in august when this first came up.
i was in paris i came back here to meet her. in this hotel right here. in the restaurant at this hotel. understood that contact him. to the next time should he contacted her which she presented to him the question about me doing a piece. you'd have to ask her what she thinks of him. i would do everything again. i hope to talk to him again.
under whatever circumstances. this article had its focus and its intention now over time i will process what clearly is a unique experience. and i'm interested in asking more. some of the questions that we all have and none to get the answers to the matter of hours or days. it would take understanding of the culture and a lot of history to really get there.
i think he knows a lot of things about a lot of things. i imply it from the same information that anyone can do it. i think that we do understand it in the american prison system or the mexican prison system. allows for aion better lifestyle and your circumstances. i'm not suggesting that he would cooperate i'm just saying who knows what it's going to happen?
i have not contacted him. is means by which i would be able to reach him. i dealt with one lawyer. i never had anybody's phone number. i never communicated directly with any of them. there was a security specialist mocking me saying i probably didn't know what mirroring was. i used the word. mean.s what i these people know so much. these expert testimonials. owns a sabertooth cyber security company. if you say five of those and slip it into five phone; one guy on an encrypted phone and he
gives it to another guy who goes to a different encrypted line and then against you and now you answer back through this. any real security expert would know. all through the others. i never had a device where i was talking directly to anybody involved in the organization. charlie rose: do you worry about any legal action? someone suggesting that you gave some material to someone and under some definition it is harboring. anybody atard from justice? that because of your you are giving
him a pass and some people might say that is the easy way out. sean penn: of course i understand your colleagues anybody in your seat has to ask this question. someone whong at was so much more concerned with the results. we are we going to be in 10 years? in this war on drugs. in the addiction crisis that we have in our country. in the murders on the street. where are we going to be in 10 years? on, iffocus remains there's something i can pray for it would be that people get so tired of talking about the bad guys that they start talking about the change. how do we make the change? this is not going to do it. thank you.
groff at this table for the first time. welcome. let's talk about you for a second. have you always wanted to be a writer? lauren: yes. but i thought i was a hell it. but i am -- but i thought i was a poet. i couldn't get into the literary journal. i was really, really bad. it was terrible. charlie: did anyone come to you and say try novels? lauren: people think at that time you can develop into whatever you want to be and they let me have my poetry phase and then i took a fiction class. the clouds parted and angel in charlie: did you think -- and the angels saying here in turley: did you think that this
is not only my passion -- people have said to me somehow got on book --ther high school high school and say this is where i go on. lauren: i was a french and english literature major. i was very shy. it was not where i belonged because i was terrible at first. you have to work up into your skill set and i had none to begin with. charlie: but he did not deter you. lauren: no. my family is a family of bullheaded people. turley: you are certainly not the athlete in the family. lauren: not at all. charlie: but you have no affleck ability? lauren: -- no athletic ability?
lauren: i would never have been an olympic athlete. charlie: this is not the first book you have written. lauren: it is my fourth. actually, it is the seventh or eighth book i have written but the fourth that has been published. charlie: will you go back to them? lauren: no. i finish things and realize they are hopeless. they get jettisoned as they should. i thought i was writing two books. these are amazing books. i had my mind to write a book sort of like that. i thought it would come out at
the same time and, yeah, whatever. i realized about halfway into the process, agent, i wasazing writing "a marriage" in book form. charlie: how did you start this book? do you start with an idea? lauren: it started with mr. bridge and mrs. bridge. it started with other books. we are all thieves. actually -- i was reading my previous book, arcadia, at the time. the experience of writing that was also like eating my own heart every day. it was horrible.
it felt necessary. it felt like i had to read that book. something morete lively with a greater range of voices. i love opera and all the things i have been so fascinated by the course of the years. for this one, probably 10 to 12 drafts. 10 or 12 in long hand then there are many after the longhand. charlie: what are you working on about the 11th draft? you go from a to z?
lauren: it has nothing to do with the book. nothing is the same from the first draft in the last. it gives me a hand hold the story and iowa's find out that there are major cracks in the fine nations. i and up, over the course of many quick drafts and progressively slower jobs, i build a three dimensional -- a 3-d printer idea of almost a city, a city of stories. charlie: kind of like virtual reality. lauren: right. the ideas are still in my head. it is in my world. who is your first reader? my husband is my first reader. most of the time he doesn't know what i am working on.
i have a first rough that i am not ashamed of and he is very gentle. he is really smart and he doesn't want me to embarrass myself. [laughter] charlie: how much is this a commentary on your own marriage? lauren: no, massively. [laughter] charlie: the dialogue is about marriage. it would have to come from your heart about marriage and your experience. absolutely. it is such a fraught space to live in. even the best marriages are deeply intense and complicated. most early novels are about marriage. "middlemarch" is my favorite book on the planet. charlie: why? lauren: it has a whole world of
empathy in a. the in it.ott -- and george elliott is the kindest, most sensitive -- you live in her wisdom of the course of 600 pages. you just want to live with them inside their brains for a little while. charlie: you read a lot. lauren: i do. i write in the morning and then i give up and read. charlie: you get up in the morning and have breakfast and -- lauren: i get up at 5:00 charlie: is he up at that time? lauren: yes. we have two children. 5:00 is a really quiet time. i don't see the kids off to school. i ignore their very existence, which is very important to preserve that space. and then i get them from school. my writing day is from about
5:00 to 8:00. charlie: you don't see them. lauren: no, i don't want to see them. i don't look out. i looked at a wall. flowingand does it come ? lauren: not always. sometimes, you ride that wave and it's beautiful. charlie: but in the afternoon, you are reading. lauren: most of the time or doing book reviews. charlie: and informs you in what way? lauren: i think every book comes out of not only lived experience, but also all the books that came before that you've read it charlie: it's gotten some -- that you've read. charlie: it's gotten some praise. do you feel you got this right? lauren: no, you are only as good as the work that you are doing at the moment, right? and at the moment, i am sitting here talking to you, right? i'm not actually working, right? so i am delighted. i'm overjoyed.
charlie: you should be. lauren: but that was my past. and what i am working on now is it working out all that well. so that is what i am judging myself by. charlie: you don't read critics. lauren: no, not until years later. [laughter] charlie: this is 2016. lauren: is it? [laughter] charlie: you will read this and maybe 2020. lauren: i will only read the ones my husband has polled for me and kept for me. charlie: he hides those for you. lauren: he is my filter. say, by god,oesn't they said these wonderful things about you. why gainesville, florida? lauren: i ask myself that every day. no. it's really, really good. it's really good for a writer to feel like an outsider, first of
all. it's really excellent for a writer to be socially isolated as well. charlie: how are you socially isolated? lauren: i don't really teach. programtheir residency that does not involve seeing human beings. charlie: you love publicity. you love talking to people and being interviewed about your book. lauren: well, i put on the skew the suit, right -- the scooby suit, right? if it's nicely. but i long for the day i can take it off again and just be a hermit. charlie: this book is about a woman who has secrets. where did that idea come from? from another novel? no, i don't have any secrets. i'm an open book. idea that, in a healthy marriage, everyone knows everything about the other person. charlie: i think you're
absolutely right. lauren: it's not healthy. it's not good. everyone needs miss you within oneself to be a functional human being come i believe, things you don't tell other people. charlie: including a spouse. lauren: in fact, i think intimacy is much more interesting when there is something held back a little bit . au can actually reach different kind of intimacy when you have your own autonomy. guess i was resisting the idea that come in order to really love someone, you have to order -- i did that, in to really love someone, you have -- to know them completely. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
and that's what we're doing at xfinity. we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around.
charlie: some have called this a realist novel. lauren: it was funny. i was reading today and i don't look for my name. i am allergic to my own name in articles but i saw that someone called me a fabulous writer, which kind of shocked me. it is sort of magical realism. i use certain tools at certain times. anything.t ascribe to i would like to write books that
cannot necessarily be categorized other than under the large amber alert of literary fiction. charlie: how long did it take you to write this? lauren: oh, god, i don't -- five years? but i was writing something else at the same time. byrlie: you are influenced george elliott and greek tragedies. lauren: yes. charlie: you know these are good aspirations. lauren: they are thrilling and they are exciting. if you are alone all the time, you have to find your excitement somewhere. charlie: how are lotto and matilda different? he was lotto, i thought going to be the embodiment of florida. his sunny. his charming. he is kind of sexy. there is something weird going on on the inside. charlie: you said kind of handsome, kind of sexy. lauren: sometimes he is. other times, he is not. he has some darkness that is not
immediately apparent. he is an actor who becomes a playwright. he is one of those lovers of other people, whose love comes out of deeply embedded narcissism. and this is not as abnormal as one thinks it is. you can only see examples of this everywhere. charlie: narcissism? lauren: such incredible charismatic narcissism that makes that person into the most popular person in the room. charlie: would you have a face or anything in mind when you are writing? lauren: [indiscernible] [laughter] i cannot tell you this. sort of, yes. charlie: was a real person? lauren: i don't know. charlie: you do know. i'm not going to ask you a name. do you have some fantasy figure in mind? lauren: characters are always amalgams. charlie: charismatic, tall --
wickedly handsome -- or was it wickedly sexy. i don't remember. lauren: next question. [laughter] charlie: that is great contrast to matilda in the beginning. lauren: yes. she is quiet. choose the one that everyone wonders why she is with him. she is the mover behind the scenes. she sets up all the parties were he shines and gleans. she becomes a person who deals with the business side because he can't. he is just too narcissistic. she is really, really, really quiet. charlie: and she needs security. lauren: she desperately needs security. yes. charlie: you also think she's cool. lauren: i love her. i actually started this book thinking i was going to write my own narcissism into lotto and matilda would be -- charlie: bus talk about euro narcissism. [laughter] lauren: we all have it. charlie: your greatness.
have no greatness. but matilda would be some character that i didn't know. what happened is i started seeing elements of myself in mathilde that friend may, frankly. she had so much rage. i see this in myself and i see this and a lot of my friends. charlie: one thing you have rage about? lauren: it's not so much that i am unusual in my rage. it's that women are not necessarily allowed access, open access to our fury. charlie: wait, stop. women are not necessarily allowed open access to their fury? lauren: i will tell you in an anecdote. this at this table -- not one, but a different 1 -- with my friends. we were having drinks. charlie: what do you drink? lauren: wine.
i thought, all of you, all of you are just boiling under with rage, so much rage. charlie: what was the ridge about for these women sitting around the table? them in their place? them in their relationships? lauren: feeling pressure from society, feeling pressure to raise children in a certain way, to do also fulfilling work outside the house -- there is so much that is also subtle and also small. when someone says it out loud like this. but it can build up, right? and if there are no outlets, then it becomes really dangerous. the thing that i also see is, because i am steeped in books, it is a different lenders that i love and that i know. i see that the model of female rage in literature are self harming. anna karenina, what do she do?
she jumps in front of a train. madame bovary is poisoned and has a terrible, terrible death. even going back to the greeks, madea, dido come all the women, except for possibly antigone, hurt themselves. no, antigone does, too. she hangs yourself. charlie: but is it driven by one powerful idea? lauren: it is a very powerful narrative about women. yes. charlie: it clearly is. in all those fictional characters you mentioned, was their deaths driven by one powerful idea? unrequited love? a world that was not -- easy for them? ultimately, love is in the core of it, isn't it? lauren: an inability to be free is at the core. a feeling of being caged. in these invisible cages.
charlie: or restraint. lauren: absolutely. right. so how did you access all of that? lauren: the rage? charlie: yeah. lauren: i live. [laughter] charlie: what rage do you have? here you are, young -- lauren: i'm 37. charlie: you are young. successful -- shall i read you the reviews? a wonderful family, great life. what am i missing that you don't have that causes rage within you? i want to -- i want you to think about this. i desperately want to know. lauren: charlie.
charlie: yes? lauren: how have to write you another book. charlie: do you know? -- lauren: i will have to write you another book. charlie: do you know? lauren: no. charlie: does he know? your husband? do you sit around and talk about the themes of this book with him? lauren: we certainly did. we don't talk about themes. i hinted in this book with a lot of fear because there was a mirror of me and both characters and a mirror of him in both characters. that was a really tricky situation. charlie: what is the mirror of you in lotto? lauren: the creative narcissism, the ability to step away from family at 5:00 in the morning until 2:00.
this introspection and deep shame. charlie: deep shame? lauren: yeah? i am from a pennsylvania dutch family. we have a lot of shame. it's the way it is to keep us doing the right thing. yeah. did anything surprise you about the response to this book? lauren: i haven't paid much attention to the response of the book, to be honest. i'm delighted, right, when things do get to me. my publicists don't send me anything. i try really hard to put blinders on and just work on the next thing. but the thing is, charlie, no, i not surprised because i don't pay attention but also because i work really hard, right?
deserven't think that i any of this. of i am also -- i get a lot the pleasure of these books out of the work, write? the doing of the thing. that is where the pleasure comes from. absolutely. charlie: what part of the doing of the thing is most appealing to you? is it the beginning, the middle or the end? lauren: nothing. being deep inside. when you are really into a novel, everything in the world conspires with you to talk to the novel. you are in the grocery store and you see a pregnant woman trying to reach the peas on the top shelf. so you take it. you take everything. you take conversations the people have. you take little tiny moments that you create and build into this thing, this work that reflects your retail -- a reality and changes it in a very real way.
there's nothing better. i am always seeking that deep immersion. and when it comes, i'm happy. and when it doesn't come, i am o lauren.nd depresse how to you put this? lauren: [indiscernible] charlie: i read that it got the bad sex writing of -- in context, it makes a lot of sense. [laughter] out of context, it is really bad. in real life and in fiction. there aren't that many sex scenes in literary fiction. people are scared every -- of writing sex. you could get the bad sex award. people don't want to be ashamed. charlie: you said there are not