tv Charlie Rose PBS March 2, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST
welcome to the program, i'm alison stewart still filling in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with politics and analysis is is of president trump's address to congress, we talk to ed o'keefe, david rennie and megan murphy. >> i think we have to be honest that this was a good moment for him. he had two objectives last night. he wanted to reset his image with the american people and he wanted to reset his image with his own party. he has some incredly difficult fights ahead to get his legislative agenda ahead. while david is is viet, while we don't know details we do know getting a comprehensive tax tact-- i think in terms of the omission, in terms of where he could have and should have done more, was number one on fleshing out the details of the things that could have been a very easy win for him in i think a
bipartisan win. >> we begin with natasha, pierre and the great come et of 1812. >> the core, the thing that brings tears to all of our eyes every night and hopefully audience members as well is i think the essence of what makes people happy and satisfied in their life, is told through these characters in very, very different ways but they ultimately i think by the end of it come to the same conclusion about what it is is that gives people vy tal et and happiness in their life. and for me, the thing that is the most powerful is for pierre and natasha's ending is is that they are both at their absolute lowest when they finally connect after all these scenes of frif oldity. >> stewart: we conclude with the director and cast of the newly crowned academy award win of for best picture "moonlight." >> people can see themselves in these characters who they assume are nothing like them, and it's been pie experience that people are finding a way to genuinely
empathize with the store story we're telling and the characters we're showing. >> politics, the great come et and another look at "moonlight" when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> stewart: good evening, i'm alison stewart filling in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with politics. president trump delivered a highly anticipated address to a joint session of congress last night.
he defended his administration's first five weeks in office and vowed to reach across party lines to achieve legislative goals including rebuilding the nation's highways and roads. >> if we are guided by the well-being of american citizens, than i believe republicans and democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades. (applause) another republican president, dwight d eisenhower initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program, the building of the interstate highway system. the time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.
(applause). >> stewart: the tone and content of last night's speech marked a reversal from the dire landscape that the president articulated during his inaugural address in january. >> a new chapter-- (applause) of american greatness is now beginning. a new national pride is sweeping across our nation. and a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dpreems firmly-- dreams firmly within our grasp. what we are witnessing today is the renewal of the american spirit. >> stewart: the question for many is which president trump should we expect moving forward. joining me now from washington is david rennie, is he washington bureau chief and lexington columnist for the economist, also in washington is ed o'keefe, a congressional reporter for "the washington post" and here with me in new york in megan murphy, editor in chief of bloomberg business week, the latest issue of the
magazine profiles top trump advisor stephen miller. welcome to all of you. we have had 24 hours to digest the speech. david, i want to throw to you first. obviously the president was physically speaking in front of congress but he was spiritually and sort of psychologically reaching out to his base. what did he say that made them happy, made them know they supported the right candidate? >> well, that's exactly the right question to ask. and i found myself watching the speech last night waiting to hear details finally filled in on how is is he going to sort of fund that infrastructure he talks about, you know, what will be his tax plan. when those details didn't come, and i realized that i guess people like us who were trying to work out what is donald trump's agenda is, are still disappointed. we don't know. i then was asking how come his supporters who i meet out when i go to rallies and political meetings, how come they are so absolutely certain that he is keeping his promises and they're so happy that he is doing what
he said he would do. and it occurred to me that what's really going on, i think, is that we in washington are you in new york, we're very focused on what politicians do. donald trump's genius is to be the guy who can tell you who he is doing it for. he's standing for his people. last night he broadened the frame of it to be the guy who september represents a champion for all american citizens who will put american citizens ahead of foreigners, ahead of illegal immigrants, ahead of kind of global rivals who are trying to do america down. he will tell you who he is for. we're still wanting to know what he's for. and i think that explains the gap. >> stewart: megan, let's talk about what wasn't covered in the speech last night. we didn't hear about climate change. we didn't hear about economic inequality. what was a glaring omission for you and why. >> we did have a quick shoutout to clean air and clean water. >> stewart: i'm talking about the epa. >> i think we have to be honest in that this was a good moment for him. he had two objectives last
night. he wanted to reset his image with the american people and reset his image with his own party. he's got some incredibly difficult battles to fight ahead in terms of getting his legislative agenda ahead. and david is exactly right, while we don't know details, we do know getting forward a comprehensive tax reform plan and an affordable care act, repeal and replace and what is going on with obamacare is going to be very difficult. i think in terms of the omission, in terms of where he could have and should have done more was, number one, on fleshing out the details of the things that could have been a very easy win for him and i think a bipartisan win. >> stewart: for example. >> one is infrastructure. he showed a little clip there but when you look at this administration, you look at some of the missteps and mistakes they've had which is immens. one is the immigration rollout and refugees from seven predominantly muslim countries but when you look back on the early days, if he turns out to be an unsuccessful president in getting his agenda forward, one
would be he missed this opportunity to really put the screws on the wheel. everyone is calling for infrastructure reform. he would have put his own party, in terms of a new stimulus budget forward and put them in a difficult place to reject it and - again not to press it harderat last night. >> stewart: ed, two weeks ago you and i were sitting here discussing that 77 million rollicking press conference now the speech we saw last night, it felt like to me that it was candidate trump's stump speech put through an auto tune, right? that's the program that record producers use to sort of smooth out the edges and get people back on pitch. did you hear anything new and different? >> well, i think his general approach and the fact that he was able to come into that room, command it, and deliver a state of the union like address proves that this is somebody who at least to nervous republicans is
capable of at least appearing presidential and delivering and laying out an agenda. the specifics be dam damned at this point. i did hear a little more specificity, not much but a little bit more about sort of where they want to go on obama care, where they want to go on tax reform. he did not get into discussion of immigration reform in ways that he has privately now twice in the last two weeks with senators and with news anchors talking about the idea of a broader immigration bill. and part of the reason we didn't hear more about infrastructure spending frankly is because the biggest most important audience he had to address there last night and to impress, i don't think was the american public. it was those hundreds of republicans in the room who for the last several weeks with little guidance from the white house have been squabbling amongst themselves about how exactly to do a new health-care system in this country, about how exactly to reform the tax system, how to pay for a board-- border wall and a host of other issues. so the fact that he didn't get
into the issues where he might find more bipartisan accord wasn't just because democrats right now aren't in the mood to work with him and don't feel that he's done anything to win them over but also because the next few months for him and for republicans are probably going to be the most critical of the last four years because this is is their one and only opportunity to prove that they can actually govern and make changes after years of threatening to do so if they ever had power. >> david, we did not hear about aleppo. we didn't hear about moscow. why not? >> foreign policy was kind of amazingly absent. we had some warmish words about nato. we had as you say i think the auto tune analogy is pretty good. we had a hint of the sort of nationalist suspicion of international organizations where he talked about sovereign states. he talked about free nations being able to decide their own fate. it was interesting that when i checked the european press today for their reactions one of the big french parties, lamond picked up on that and said that
sounded to them like an attack on the your mean union. it is those kind of things that make people very jumpy among america's allies. but i think in terms of russia, it's one of the many areas where it's not just that donald trump has kind of controversy that he wants to wish away. i think one of the fascinating things about this 40 days of rollout is that an open question does donald trump actually enjoy the kind of hard grind of governing, the hard grind of detail, of tackling these complex subjects or is that actually not his comfort zone. i think that's one of the unanswered questions too. >> i think it's pretty clear that the hard grind of govern is not something that he feels is is his strong suit. basically last night's address was pretty much here's what i want in terms of overarching promises and let's let the detail be worked out. complees come together-- please come taght in some sort of magical way and get forward these difficult agenda items. i think david is exactly right there. what he has shown over the first
few weeks is that is always going to be a little bit of a mountain sith this administration in general and they frankly don't have the organization and so far the internal discipline to push through these incredibly difficult challenges they have ahead like obamacare, like tax reform, like getting anything done needing still votes from the senate from the democratic side. >> stewart: ed, one of the things that i heard was done ald trump is an interesting entity in to himself. he is not a traician diddal republican. you heard the tep i had applause about infrastructure and paid family leave. he is also obviously not a favor of the democrats. so at this point, is his uniqueness, is it an issue for him or is it an issue for the congress going forward in terms of getting anything done? >> i don't think we know that yet. and i know in this day and age we want answers to this stuff and we want to see results quickly but you know, we really need to strap in for i think at least nine months of intense activity on the hill trying to
sort this stuff out. it's going to take a little while. we're not going to see a lot of movement on this very quickly. simply because these things take time and as the president learned last week, health care is a complicated thing. well yeah, it took more than a year for democrats in the obama administration to put this thing together to try to kobl it together in a new way is going to take just as long most likely. and how do you do that while you also want to tackle tax reform and immigration and all this other stuff. we just don't know yet. and i think megan and david both are correct in that we haven't seen much yet from trump on whether or not he really is into the art of governing. and whether his administration is capable of it. now that you have cabinet secretaries essentially in place across the different agencies that would be feaked by these big changes, the question is how do they build out their teams and their policy and work with these committees in the next few months. >> but this is going to take a little time. we're not really going to be able to measure the success of him and where he fits into the two-party dynamic, i think, for
a little while longer. i think we have to really put aside though talk of lofty immigration and infrastructure work and paid parent, you know, paid leave for taking care of children or sick parents because they have to get that other stuff done first and it's going to take awhile. and whether they can hold together really does remain a big unknown. there was a meeting today at the white house between top republican leaders and the president to talk about how they put together that health-care plan. how they sell it not only to the country but to themselves. and then how do they work on those tricky things like paying for the border wall and where exactly that border wall would go. much of the opposition to that on capitol hill isn't from democrats, necessarily, it's from border state republicans and border district republicans, congressional republicans who represent 2 thousand miles of border. they're concerned about this, there is going to have to be modifications and it will be really difficult for this president to sort it out. >> i wanted to nump in, when
were you talking about the fact that he sometimes stands on things like paid family leave, or you know, some of his views on not wanting tackle and title on reform, one of the things that is very striking. i've been covering american politics this time around for five years but before that my posting was covering european politics. he doesn't sound that unusual or that unfamiliar in the european frame. that mixes of lots of spending on law and order, on the military, on the border but preserving pengses for old people, preserving welfare for your old kind of white voters, that mix is basically the far right's nationalist french mix. for example, what we're going to see in the french elections, la penne, anti-immigrants willing to spend lots of machine on old people but lots of money on law and ford, that is basically the
france, in the netherlands, he is very much an economic blood and soil nationalist in the european style. >> stewart: talking about. >> stalk talking about the economics, i think it is also the one thing what that when we talk about will be maybe something that was an goal last night. david is is exactly right, saying his agenda is very much straight ot of maureen la pen but when you talk about inheriting a mess of an economy, 94 million people out of work, that number isn't true. when he sets the standard for himself of boosting growth to say 2% under the obama administration up to i 3%, 4%, even some republicans talk about 5% through stripping out regulation, through tax reform, et cetera. that is also something that people are going to look back over time, overlooking back at this administration and saying did you actually keep those promises to voters? so much of his agenda is built on this nationalist economic agenda for returning manufacturing, of creating more jobs, of bringing back a traditional economic base that people think it is. so many of the issues we have
economicically are due to structural displacement, automation t is incredibly aging workforce, a workforce that works in different ways that has different kinds of shift jobs where women's labor force participation remains a huge challenge for us. and i think that there will be a view that he was much too blase about the challenges of taking us from say a 2% or a 4% growth. and his economic agenda is still so focused on top down. we saw do you 21,000 today and there's no question that wall street and the titans of industry viewed this speech very favorfully. the irony is those people who were most likely to back him, white working class voters from the rust belt, michigan, ohio, wisconsin, those are people who are yet to benefit from that huge increase in the market, from these kind of policies, if he doesn't make good for that that will be a big problem for him and the republican party. >> stewart: ed, the president talked about civilians and had guests in the audience. one thing that struck me is out of the four people he talked to, two were african-americans,
talked about, the young woman who had the school choice and the gentleman whose son was killed by an undocumented person in this country. donald trump only got eight percent of the african-american vote, what was that stagecraft about? >> it's about improving those numbers. you know, republicans for years have worked at this, believing that, you know, it was jeb bush who used d-- he would say he quoted ronald reagan, that most americans are conservative, they just don't realize it yet, this is is a reince priebus and sean spicer obsession when they ran the republican national committee. and trump himself is interested. he believes if given a chance that he would win them over, we'll see. he has done nothing to help himself frankly among hispanics, among latinos in this country given how he's talked about and what he has done regarding immigration in recent weeks. you notice he didn't invite any latinos to sit up there in the balcony. deniesa meriweather was the woman there as sort of the em
blen of school choice. again, another person that jeb bush traveled with during his campaign. and she's really a symbol for many republicans of the benefits and the success, the potential of school choice which is a big concern of the presidents. and something he'll be talking about on friday at a catholic school in orlando. but yeah, they're definitely trying to broaden the appeal to do what he can, to win over african-americans and latino voters and union households and to just find ways to continue to cut in to the democratic die as fora but as polling has born out in the early days of this presidency, he's not making much of a dent despite his attempts. >> that was a spendy speech as they say in my house. how is all this going to get paid for. >> that's the big question, isn't it. with legal flesh on the bones to actually get this detail. one thing that has been talked about and is constantly talked about is this border tax, adjustment tax. this is projected to raise one trillion. you're already seeing huge
mobilization gengs him, this is the tax wall. the corporate tax rate with drop down to 20% which is something they've been trying to do for years. you also would put a bigger levy on imports. you would encourage american manufactures to keep jobs an production at home. you discourage them from importing goods from abroad. the problem is there a huge section of the american imhe, whether that is retethers, oil refineries that import these materials. and that would be in particular in the retail section sectder really deadly. they've already mobilized against it they're already running ads against it, this is a corner stone of the paul ryan tax plan to get this one trillion through to fund these i initiative. it will already looking deads on arrival. trump's own administration condition seem to agree between steve bannon, gary couldhen, and mnuchin who are against it versus bannon's wing who seems to be for it. it is very difficult to come up with the money. you look at his military spending, taking that up again, hugely divisive within his own
party let alone the democratic party. his budget looks dead on arrival. so look, it was a good night for him. it was a good speech given the very low expectations frankly that were out there. he jumped over the bar and he jumped over quite cleanly. the tax of getting this agenda through, welcome to washington. game on but let's see whether he will be able to forge any type of agreement within his own party, let alone getting some support he needs across the aisle to get this stuff through. >> >> stewart: megan identified. >> hey, alison. >> stewart: yeah, go ahead. >> to megan's point, it will be all about how to pay for these things. and that is why the next few months are going to be really tricky for republicans. it will be a real stes of-- test of his patience and may further expose whether he is in some ways embracing conservative orthodoxy especially on fiscal issues or whether he is just like no, screw trk let's just spend this money and the rest of you who are concerned about this be damned. if that happens there are at least two, maybe three dozen house republicans certainly who said they are willing to stand
up and start blocking things if they need to. >> last word here? >> i think another really interesting thing about donald trump which we learned during the campaign, i interviewed them at a couple of times. he is a guy who does not like to admit that there might be painful trade off. i asked him about things like what it happens if price go you have-- at the time it was about if he slaps tariffs on chinese importeds. i said to him a lot of your voters go to wal-mart. what will they do when those prices go up. did he not want to admit there would be a tradeoff. what he said to me at the time is maybe my guys go and buy three dolls for their daughter, i maybe they will just buy one call for their daughter but they will have a great job so everyone will be happy, no. i think what that showed you that at least as a campaigner he liked to think that everybody could be resolved to everyone's satisfaction and that he would be able to avoid painful tradeoffs. washington is a town where tradeoffs is the kind of air that we breathe. >> stewart: this is to be continued is what i am hearing you all say. david rennie from the economist, ed o'keefe from "the washington
post" and megan murphy from bloomberg business week, thanks, everybody. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks so much. >> stewart: natasha, pierre and the grea com et of1812 sct new hit broadway musical now playing at the imperial theater. the musical is inspired from a passage from leo toll stoi's master piece, war and piece. "the new york times" called the great comic quote the most innovative and best new musical to ep o on brood which since hamilton. here's a look. ♪ ♪ the great come et.
♪ of 1812. ♪ the brilliant come et of 1812. >> stewart: joining me is the writer and composer gab malloy and two of the stars of the joe, natasha, denee brenton and josh brob groban. you wrote this as 70 page, a slifer, what in your mind went from the story of war & peace to musical theater. how did you make that bridge? >> i really had an epiphany as i was reading the section. it wasn't something that came to me years later t was as i was reading, this section i got to the end where pierre has an incredible moment with a come et and tears are dripping down my face. and i just had an epiphany of what i just read was a perfect musical. it was a perfect piece of musical theater. i think at that time i
diligently went and googled to make sure no one else had done it. because i can't believe no one else had done it because it is such a perfect story. i loved the way the story in particular parallelled these two very different stories, this one young romantic story and this other middle-aged angsty philosophical story and the way those two ran in parallel and that they collide only at the very end, it just felt like such a musical to me. >> stewart: tell me a little bit about the story for folks who haven't seen it so they can understand the conversation. >> there are these two, natasha is young, which is one of the lyrics in the first song and she is newly engaged to this man andre off fielting in the war. so she is visiting her godmother in moscow and kind of being introduced to moscow society while she's waiting for her fiance. while she is waiting she meets a notorious young rogue named annatol and hijinkses ensue. and meanwhile an old family friend of theirs pierre. >> pierre's tavern there,.
>> stewart: tell me about pierre. >> well, there's all this vanity and narcissism happening as you said in this moscow society where there is war outside the gates and everybody is just concerned about the high society, the balls and the opera and all that. pierre is searching for meaning in his life. he's, you know, he's i think a little bit of a depressive. he drinks a lot as he mentioned many times in the lyrics. and he's searching for some kind of meaning after having been thrust into wealth. he's got this unexpected money. he's married somebody who he is very attracted to but knows doesn't love him very much. and so you know, while everybody is at war with either napoleon or society, pierre is at war with himself. and so there is this wonderful arc and wonderful songs that are so, so gratifying to sing as pierre. and so yeah, i think we all see a little bit of ourselves in these characters. >> stewart: now i didn't fact check this but i'm guessing that you have been offered broadway roles before. >> i have been. >> stewart: given your success
as a singer. you saw this and in one of his incarnations, smaller, not even off broadway, in the meat packing district. what made you realize okay, this is the one that i will make the leap. i will take the leap and go to broadway. >> i was a fan of this show off broadway. i came to see it in a tent downtown in the meat packing district. and i walked out of there, first and fore most just totally transmissioned by dave's score. i thought this was a genre bending complicated but beautiful score that just hit all my buttons as a mu so. and then just the story felt so relevant to me. it it felt relevant to me then. but it felt even more relevant now as we look at things that are going on in the world and the way we are all trapped in our own little screens, in our own little worlds and searching for meanings in our own lives now. i have been offered things in the past. but this to me seemed something
unique, it seemed like it would be something that broadway hasn't ever seen before and i knew it would be a k458 eng to me. this is a role that is very different than the kind of person i generally am in my life. me and pierre have a lot of differences, some similarities but also a lot of differences. and so i thought to myself, yes, this was worth the wait. hi read somewhere they were thinking of bringing it to a-- and i thought you know, what the heck. i'm going to reach out and see if it feels right. and dave and rachel, our wonderful director and i went out for one or five drinks and we talked it it over. and it was a natural fit. >> glad he waited. >> stewart: denee, about three years ago you were getting #r-d to graduate from carnegie melon. >> yes. >> stewart: and you think about where you are now, can you think about a moment or a decision you made that really steered you toward this time in your life? >> that's a really good question. not quite to be the treeks but i had an opportunity to leave school early for a different job. and i wouldn't have been able to graduate. and i always have been a very
ambitious person. so opportunities like this is where my dreams were set. and so i waited. and then the right opportunity came along where i would be able to graduate and my college meet me agents and to help make my step into the industry, those decisions there really helped me get into the right rooms because as an actor, getting seen is the trick, right, getting the audition. and so i got very fortunate with the people that i got connected with in the industry. and from there, it was sort of you just kind of wait for the right opportunity and you're putting yourself out there and doing your absolute best. and a role like natasha comes along. and i think every female at my age would kill to play a role like this. it's so complex, it's so rich. she's the archetype, the enagain u and also dealing with coming up age as a woman for the first time in her life which i feel very connected with her there. i feel very similarly, we were kind of dealing with these
things of what it means to be a woman in our current societies and all those things. so i feel very fortunate to get to connect with a character so deeply. and also for the material to be perfect, you know. so yeah, i think that answers your question. >> stewart: well, i would love for people to hear your beautiful voice. let's take a listen to a clip of natasha sort of in one of those times in her life hen she is just overcome by love, sort of laced with lust. this is is the denee benton in the great come et of 1812. ♪ the time i heard your voice. ♪ ♪ and i saw your sighs. ♪ i saw your smile. ♪ and the world opened wide. ♪ and the world was inside of me. ♪ and i catch my breathe sneet. ♪ and i laugh and blush.
♪ and i hear guitar. ♪ i love you i love you i love you. ♪ i love you. ♪ i love you. ♪ >> stewart: i'm curious about your decision about. >> you look good in blue. >> stewart: your decision about what this would sound like. because there are so many different kinds of sound. there's sorted of like a steampunk craziness, rock 'n' roll, at one point. i went to that club, i remember that club in the '90s and then these beautiful balance odds as well. how did you decide how to balance it and what would go where. >> totally. honestly that is one of the things that war and peace t is such an all encompassing novel am like he has the zar and napoleon are just characters in his novel and belling ao lowest peasant-- driver. the music is the same. my grew up on '60s and 70s rock 'n' roll then became a jazz snob
and classical snob and found out about electronic music and bjork and radiohead so i always just included all of that in my musical palate. and so yeah in looking at war & peace, i said this is perfect because i get to flex all of these millses. i really get to do that. when natasha is swinging a love song in a broadway musical to feel like a real rogers & hammerstein broadway love song but then when they go to the club and they're all drinking vodka, it can be like raucous house music. i think that is what i loved about the book is st gave me the opportunity to do these different things and not put myself in a certain box, this has to be all russian music or whatever it it is. >> i feel like so many of the characters have their own genre almost attached to them. i feel like you've also written like so much of the electronic is for annatoll. he comes out and it becomes this, you hear the subwoofers going when he is out there. >> is he is the heartthrob, right.
>> yeah. >> he literally electrifies the room. that was actually like a dram turnlg kal discovery. early original it electronic stuff bah as i wrote more and more i said all of annatoll's songs are electronic. that could be a thing. so then so now his entrance he brings electronica into the room. >> stewart: with you and rachel you worked together and one of the things about the show that has sent critics oning for their thesaurus to describe it is because it is unusual and unique and vibrant. was there any creative decision that you folks wanted to make. people said they can't do that. but you said we're going to do that. >> no, i mean we have been blesessed with incredible producers all along the way. this show started at this very small theater, 87 seats i think it it was. and you know, i immediately thought that they would shoot down the entire idea, like oh t was my first peace with them. maybe let's do something more small and reasonable. i said war and peace they said yeah, let's do it it then our producers, howard and jana an
many others who brought us first to the tenth, they insisted that we not just transfer to a house that we kind of keep the small intimacy that we had. and then we went to art in boston. that was like another step along the way and we knew on broadway we had to figure out how it it would work, but we didn't want to concede and just go okay, we'll just do a production. it it was essential to us that we keep the heart of the show in tact so we have this kind of intimacy and 360 degree surround. so then art was a huge step in that in terms of they helped us figure out how to put this immersive show into a per simeon house. >> sounded like he wanted to you to be as creative as possible. let's talk about that 360. for people watching at home i suggest go look at clips online because as being in the audience you can be sitting on the stage or part the show, the cast self ree where, they are in the aisles. i'm wondering for you because your character, he's suicidal at some point. he sings in very, he's going through such an emotional thing and you're seeing these songs
and lois and rogger from great nek are right here. what is it it it like four. they're great. what is that like for to you have to do that right in the middle of the audience? >> it made an already vulnerable new adventure for me. even more naked. coming back into the acting world after you know leaving it kind of essentially for many years, i was at a fork in the road. and we both went to carnegie melon university. i did take the job in my freshman year, but flexing the acting muscle again was something that i knew going to be like getting back on a bike am and i was grateful for rachel's unbelievable guidance and direction for me. one of the things she made sure i did during rehearsals was be as kun comfortable as possible as much as possible. she placed people in the room for me to make eye contact with during my songs, friends, crew members to help out, just to get us used to the idea that eyes were going to keep on us at all
times. and so even when there are those moments when you feel like you are throwing your heart and soul out on to it the stage, you are doing it it while being face to face with people. and you are performance changes sometimes night by night based on the looks you get, the responses you get because you are basically telling your story both to people out in the house, you have to projected but at the same time you are telling it very sim matically to people right in front of you it was a terrifying endeavor to get used to that. now i think we look forward to it, now that we have done 150 or so we can't wait to see who is coming in from where and we can't wait to present that to them each night. >> stewart: what is that experience for you. >> i use them as an acting cool. i-- tool. i sort of treat them because natasha is going through such a sort of, such an arc and arctypal i think, i kind of use them as my diary. it's funny, there are people like annatoll comes in and they are trying to send me messages not to choose him and some women are like yeah. and if is is interesting. i have at the last scene i do,
it's like you're weeping. and it it almost helps to have people so with you in that moment. and for me it helps with the vuller in ability. you feel so exposed that those emotions that you sort of need to come up with tell the story, i find it actually helpful. i can't really imagine doing it now with just us on stage and them out. there i feel like i wouldn't understand how to tell the story because they are so a part of it. it keeps me active. >> their energy. >> i was going to say, one of our most clever things i think we've done is that we have managed to have a cast of 1200 people in our show because we actually have a cast as big as toll stoi's book because you see the audience reacting. one of my favorite moments in the show is watching that song we just saw, no one else. and watching a 14 year old girl sing that sk and a 70 year old woman watch you sing that. >> you really take from that i desperately use that, especially you know, in theater you are
doing the same show eight shows a week and you sort of have been given the gift of freshness because you kind of have to stay on it. >> it is the x factor. >> for pierre who sits in his study and gets to watch sometimes t is so great for my prep going into the scenes to watch the interaction, feel the energy of the room each night it it is different every night. it it definitely keeps you on your feet. >> stewart: i want to let the audience take a look and listen to you in the role of pierre. let's take a look. ♪ and we are a guardian angel weep. ♪ but if i die here tonight. ♪ i die in my sleep. ♪ ♪ until we fall.
♪ ♪ and i'm so ready. ♪ to wake up now. ♪ i want to wake up. ♪ don't let me die while i'm like this. ♪ i want it to wake up snoalt god don't let me die while i'm like this. ♪ please let me wake up now. ♪ god don't let me die while i'm like this. >> stewart: one thing that is interesting about this play, one of the many things interesting about the musical is that it has a multiraiks castment denee you have been very i think mature about this, because i think you've gotten a lot of, a lot of discussion about the fact that you are a black woman playing a russian princess. and i follow you on instagram. i know you really embrace this
discussion of inclusion and diversity in the theater. you could have just, i'm an actress, i'm playing a part. why did you decide to really sort of disease-- decide to take part in this discussion. >> it's interesting. i mean it doesn't really seem lake there's another option for me. i think i'm naturally really interested in those topics. but beside that, it's not really like a trendy topic for me. it's my livelihood, having the opportunity to be a working actor in successful shows is a right i think anyone should have if you worked hard enough for it it. and so for me i think understanding what it was like to be a 12 year old, an 11 year old girl desperately wanting to be a part of these stories and not seeing myself and the toll that that took on my self-esteem and my confidence. i think having the opportunity to be in the position where i know little girls might be watching and kind of wanting to save them some of that drama and be a part of what it is like to really articulate and use the vocabulary of your beauty standards and understanding why
you might feel left out of the narrative. and i think it's special because outside of the fact that natasha is russian, she is an arctype of beauty and light and love. and everything that a girl goes through. and i think it's important to have arctypes actually look like the every woman. and you don't have to look like tom hank totion look like the every man, the every man looks like dave, he looks like the asian man down the street. and so i think that was important to me. because i think we have a power to really normalize people and heal a lot of the divisions that exist in our nation, by telling the truth and representing a truthful world. and when you have toll stoi, i heard dave had a dramatu rgical reason for it it, because every type of person is is represented, every time of russian person is represented in war & peace. so what does that look like in an american landscape to have every type of person represented on an american stage for our audiences. so i thought that was a really cool explanation, outside of my own personal reasons of wanting representation for women of color. there was a dramatu rgical
reason for it as well. >> stewart: one of the things also that's interesting to me, and i'm curious if it it had an impact on the show there are a great number of people in the cast for bhom this is their broadway debut, you two, your two leads, has that had an impact on the show, on its energy? >> i feel like the energy amongst like everyone is just so happy to be there. >> we're such ne-wbs, what's tech, what's happening. a few of the people who have been with the show for the longest time are just old, old friends of mine who i kind of tricked into doing a show, at this little theater. they were not really actors at all. briton ashford and-- bell are two women who are amazing singer songwriters who i have known for many many years. i asked them to do this show and now four or five years later they find themselves on a broadway stage, like what, i disn even audition for this. that sense of every one of us is so lucky to be here.
>> we all had moments of real emotional, like it it gets you, at points you don't expect. when we first started walking to the theat are and seeing the set being built and we were looking up and it wasn't even polished yet and things weren't on the walls yet, and you know rachel would say you know, that is mark right there, that is where you are going to sing that solo. and you just go, you look at it it under construction and it hits you because i think for so many of us we've dreamed of this moment. we've been thinking about it even if our careers have taken us into britan and gel fee, myself into music and other avenues but we've been in school or whatever it it is, like the dream of having this moment has been the same for so many of us. so there isn't a moment where we don't walk out there and just have absolute gratitude for this opportunity, it's krin edible. >> stewart: it would be easy to just talk about the fantastic sets and the big sounds and the amazing costumes. but my last question for you is what is the small thing that is moving to you about this story? because you could just get lost
in the spectacle of it it. there is something very emotional about this. what moves you about this story? >> well, i mean, it is interesting, as the show has got everyone bigger and bigger, we all looked at what it is now. like this is very toll stoi. we have very lucky especially in the rel am of musical theater we get to have that and give people that. but i think the core, the thing that brings fears to all of us every night and hopefully audience members as well is i think the essence is of what makes people happy and satisfied in their life is is told through these characters and very, very different ways but they ultimately by the end of it it come to the same conclusion about what it is that gives people vitalities and happiness in their life. and for me, the thing that is the most powerful is for pierre and natasha's ending is that they are both at their absolute lowest when they finally connect after all these scenes of frif oldity. and i think that that is something that i think in my own life as the kir sus swirls
around you and you search for thoses meetings, we all know what that meals like t is to notice that that vulnerability is sometimes when you find the real path. and i think that's the main story that i take away from pierre with the show that has always meant the most of me about the show. >> what moves you about the slow? >> i think for me it's the grace that the characters offer each other at the end. it's like they make terrible decisions. and they break people's hearts and they break their own hearts. and sort of at a place where forgiveness might not come easily. and even in the entirety of the book of the characters, you end up seeing their humanity. there is a talk back with kids yesterday and it is is like it is is hard cuz i like natasha and she makes bad decisions. and i don't know how to it deal with her, that is is kind of like life. it's kind of like life and the people that you love. age the grace that they offer each other in the end and see the humanity in each othernd he reminded her that she is
still worth something. that ets go me every time. you make those decisions that you think you ruined your life and someone tells you that you are still worth it t are you worth another chance. i think that is just magnificent. >> one of the arcs of the show is is that we do try to trick our audience. they will show a lot of the show is this big spectacle and amazing music and choreography and all these things happening. at the heart of the show is is a spoken exchange between two human beings. he just says something to it natasha and she hears it. and like that is is the moment that transforms the lives t is not all the other things, so that has always felt so essential to me. >> the show is natasha and pierre and the great come et of 1812. thanks so much for being here am congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> the film "moonlight" is an intimate more freight of three distinct moments in the life of a young black man who comes to terms with his sexuality and
struggles to find his identity while growing up in a miami housing project it is an outpatient of a play in "moonlight" black boys look blusm the film was added for eight academy ard what is second only to "la la land," another oscar favorite in a dramatic turn of events warren bate tee and e danaway presentedded "la la land" as best picture when it was "moonlight" that had in fact won the vote. as a result of the mistake, "moonlight's" direct are barry jenkins was unable to deliver the speech he had prepared but released it today in the hollywood reporter. it reads. terrell and i or tyrone, we are that boy. and when you watch "moonlight," you don't assume a boy who grew up how and where we did would grow up and make a piece of art that wins an academy award. i have said that a lot. and what i have had to it admit is that i placed those limitations on myself is. i denied myself that dream. not you, not anyone else, me.
and to anyone watching this who sees themselves in us, let this be a symbol, a reflection that leads you to love yourself. because doing so maybe the difference between dreaming at all and show through the academy's grace, realizing dreams you never allowed yourself to have. >> what you looking at me like that for. >> come on, you just drove down here. >> yeah. >> at some point you have to
>> what did you expect in moonlight lite will be re-released this weekend for its widest release point today on more than 1500 screens. charlie talked to barry jenkins along with three of the films stars, tre vane rhodes, naomie harris and andre holland, here say piece of that. >> what is it you hope to accomplish with this film? >> you know, people have said that "moonlight" is a story that doesn't get told often and characters that we don't see often. they're like voiceless. and so my greatest hope for the 23eu8 am and it it is what i have experienced, tell your-- these places far removed from the setting of the film. >> rose: which is miami. >> exactly, and inner city miami, just these four jair blocks, that people can see themselves in these characters who they assume are nothing like them. and it's been my experience that people are finding a way to genuinely empathize with the story we're tell iting and the characters that we're showing in the fill. >> rose: now you know miami.
>> born and raised, yeah. >> rose: and how did that shape this story? >> hugely, you know, there is-- there is almost an syne it thesia that happens in a place you know. there is a scene in the film where the character says sometimes that breeze comes through the hood. and liberty city where i grew up is three miles from the ocean. and you can smell it i think knowing those kind of things, you go into a location with more confidence that it is going to have the same emotional currency as you felt growing thrup. >> rose: trevante, tell us who shyrone is. >> shyrone is a beautifulfully flawed individual who has come to terms with finding out who he is, finding out what love is, finding that relationship with his mother. trying to understand life really in general. >> rose: tell me about his mother. >> his mother is paula who is a struggling single parent who is also dealing with quite a severe crack cocaine addiction as well. >> rose: what's interesting about this is you see him in
different parts in his life. how hard is that to pull off? >> you know, i thought it would be impossible but with the way-- . >> rose: the mother stays the same. >> i wanted to have some kind of foundation or bed rock. nay onliee naomie as paula was a bed rock. i think the team between the chapters is changing the character as these young men are shaped so much by their environment, that i wanted him to be a different person, the same character but different person in each chapter it. my hope was if we found actors who had the same feeling in their eyes, that you could see the soul of the character across all three parts. and so far i think that is what people are experiencing. >> rose: andre, what was the challenge for snu. >> one of the big challenges for me, i play kevin, the childhood friend of shyrone and goes on to become the object of his affection. the big challenge is i came in at the very end of the show and seemingly out of nowhere and we don't really understand why he's come back. and there on screening to for a very long time, working through a problem. we don't quite know what the motivation of the character is.
so thats was a big challenge was identifying what that was. >> rose: we talk about masculinity and identity. are they one and the same? >> i think for this character they are. they are one and the same. and i think what happens is there is this performance of masculinity that the world is projecting at you always. this is how a man walks, how he talks, how he speaks to another man. this is how he speaks to a woman. and i think when you're getting that stimulus so much from the outside world, you start to lose your grip on what your idea of masculinity is. which i think if you are a man growing up in the world we grew up in is very key to your identity. and it it becomes harder to self-identify the more you receive t the sort of positive and negative reinforce am of what masculinity should look like. >> when you were think being playing at the age that you play him, in connection to andre, did you look at the earlier performances? >> no, actually-- we were both trying to find some sem
ambulance of something. >> something, but barry was really adamant about it as well. but i guess that was to kind of depict how we changed so drastically in our lives at certain points it was an ingenuous thing to do, mr. barry. >> i just feel like the world is shaping the character so much that when you meet them in each chapter it it he becomes a different person. and i wanted to keep the soul of the character so when you look in his eyes you still see a little boy but he say different person. st great because he and andre works this point where that old person slowly comes back to the surface. >> there is this, you come to the realization that shyrone is gay. how does that affect the relationship that paula has with him? >> i think she really can't accept it it it at all. she finds it disgusting, unpallatable and it is part of her further rejeksz of her son as well. and also i think she genuinely fears for his safety and what that means growing up in the kind of community that they're growing up in.
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