Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  June 2, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

12:00 pm
. >> welcome to the program, we begin this evening with michael morell, he is a former deputy director of the cia and acting director. >> i 24eu this is going to significantly impact u.s. leadership in the world. this is as bad, if not worse than barack obama's decision not to enforce the red line on syria. and as you remember, that decision lead our allies and partners to question u.s. credibility. this is going to lead our allies and parter to-- partners to question whether we have any interest in leading in the world any more. >> rose: we conclude with christopher plummer, his newest film is called the exception, he plays kaiser wilhelm 2. >> because we don't know anything about him from the time he was exiled on, or very little, he must have mellowed, everybody mellows a little bit. and so i concentrated on that,
12:01 pm
making him more of sort of a person and becoming a little bit more sensitive about his think t es. >> janet. >> michael morell and christopher plummer when we continue. >> rose: charl yea rose is prided by the following. >> bank of america, life better connected. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications
12:02 pm
from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> president trump announced today that the u.s. would withdraw from the paris climate accord. >> in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect america and its citizens, will withdraw from the paris climate accord. so we're getting out. but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair. and if we can, that's great. and if we can't, that's fine. >> rose: and here is the report on the president's announcement from the cbs evening news. >> the president's announcement was exactly what conservative activists in and out of his administration were hoping to hear. but the president left the door open a bit making clear that during the four years it takes to formally withdraw from the agreement, he will try to get a deal that he says would be fair
12:03 pm
to the u.s >> this iagement is less about the climate and por about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the united states. >> the paris accord, he said, would lead to the loss of millions of american jobs and redistribute u.s. wealth to the rest of the world. >> we don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us any more. and they won't be. >> mr. trump's decision followed a spirited debate. chief strategist steve bannon and epa administrator scott pruitt successfully lead the argument to get out of the agreement. secretary of state rex tillerson and the president's daughter ivanka tried but failed to convince mr. trump to stay in. in a statement the leaders of italy, france and germany said they regret the president's decision and urged other nations to speed up their action to combat climate change. the heads of most u.s. corporations also wanted mr. trump to stay in the paris
12:04 pm
accord. he long musk, c.e.o. of tesla and space-x tweeted that he is departing two presidential councils, adding climate change is real. ge c.e.o. jeffrey imity tweeted he is disappoint and that industry must lead and not depend on government. president trump did not mention president obama by name but criticized his administration for failing to put america first when it negotiated the deal. >> i was elected to represent the stns of pitsberg, not paris. >> in a statement mr. obama responded. even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future, i'm kf debt that our states, cities and businesses will step up and do even more it lead the way. >> meanwhile the russia probe coinues to make head lanes with former fbi director james comey set to testify before the senate intelligence committee next thursday. joining me now is michael morell, former deputy director of the cia and served twice as
12:05 pm
the agency's acting director. he is also a cbs news senior national security contributor and i'm pleased to have him as always back at this table, welcome. >> great to be here. a big news day. >> this is a significant decision by a president of the united states. >> i think is the worst decision he has made. i look at this from a national security perspective. and i see sort of three big implications here. the first is that climate as a result of this decision, climate will be worse than it would be had he stayed in. that has two national security pieces to it. the first is, and this is a way to think about there is when a president thinks about national security there's a whole bunch of things that they need to be
12:06 pm
pur sighing. having reliable allies and partners. making sure the united states of america doesn't get attacked by a terrorist, there is a whole list of things. at the very top of the list, charlie, is preservation of the nation. and when i think about the world and i think about the threat to the preservation of the nation, there are only three that i can see. first is a nuclear war with russia. the second is a-- is a naturally occurring or man-made biological agent that kills a significant percentage of the population. and the third is climate cnge. climate change is that serious over the long-term. and this decision. >> over 200 nations agreed with you. >> absolutely. and this decision now almost ensures that we, if this goes through, right, in and the next
12:07 pm
president doesn't change it, this decision is going to make the climate worse and therefore have national security implications from that very significant perspective. the other national security issue here is that there are specific national security implications of climate change. for example, water shortages, and fights, conflicts between nations over water. instability caused by the increasing size of deserts. food problems in the instability that that causes, right there is a whole bunch of stuff that we in the intelligence community study, kind of the national security fallout of climate change. so those are going to get worse as the climate gets worse. so two huge national security implications. then there's two other implications that i think about. one is i think this is going to
12:08 pm
significantly impact u.s. leadership in the world. this is as bad if not worse than barack obama's decision not to enforce the red line on syria. and as you remember, that decision will add our allies and partners to question u.s. credibility. this is going to lead our allies and partners to question whether we have any interest in leading in the world any more. >> it is said that this is one of the primary reasons that chancellor merkel made the speech that she did in her own campaign in germany. >> yeah, i think, you know. >> rose: said you couldn't defend on the united states any more, we have to be prepared to act together in europe. >> we have to be prepared to go our own way. fud that she sees a brighter re with china than she does with the united states. remarkable set of statements, right. >> china is our primary competitor, not adversary, but
12:09 pm
competitor. i think, i think part of it is domestic politics. part of it is an election coming up. and part of it is distancing ourselves from donald trump. but part of it is actual reality and what is in german interests. i thought the president did very well in the middle east reassuring our middle eastern allies who for eight years believed that the president of the united states did not have their back in their struggle against iran. i thought the president was very effective in reassuring them. directly the opposite in europe. we didn't reassure. the president didn't make a commitment to article five of the nato treaty that we would come to their defensement they wanted to hear it. he specifically did not say it. the decision on climate change, our go-- going back and forth. where are we on russia policy.
12:10 pm
that is a fundamental thing for the europeans, particularly germany. we didn't reassure them it is not surprising that they need to go their own way just as our middle eastern allies and partners felt they needed to go their own way when they felt barack obama didn't have their back. >> george schultz, former secretary of state in the reagan administration said if the u.s. fails to honor global agreements that it helped to forge t raises serious questions for this country's relationship and leadership around the world. agreement it helped forge. >> so i'm a huge fan of secretar schultz. i think maybe we've talked about this on this show before. but you know, he says, he says foreign policy, national security is a pretty easy thing if you do three things. if you say what you mean, in other words, you have a clearly articulated policy with everybody in your administration saying exactly the same thing. consistency, right. you have a clear policy and articulate it and everybody says the same thing.
12:11 pm
that is a real problem for this administration, right? secondly, that you do what you say. that if you draw a red line, you-- you, you respect it. >> or you loose credibility. >> that you lose credibility. if you forge a treaty and you join it, that you stick with it, right. so now we're struggling. >> people came to join it because you were there and were part of it otherwise they might not have joined them. >> and one of the risks now, right, is that other people may see an interest if going their own way on this as well. >> there is also said to be warring factions in the white house. >> yeah. >> people who were for staying within the paris accordment people who wanted to leave it. >> yeah. >> and we have identified some of them. >> yeah. >> so, so i have been an analyst of other countries my entire career. and now i've become an analyst of my own country because everybody nts to talk about what is going on in washington,
12:12 pm
rit. so i have been looking very clsly on this. obviously i don't talk to these guys, but what i see are four centers of graphity, charlie. in the white house, on foreign policy, national security issues, international economic issues, climate change. one of them is what the media is now calling the nationalist group, right. it's steve bannon, it's steven miller, it's this sebastian corker guy, peter and a half aro on trade, right? it's people who have this america first mentality. people who want to restrict trade. people who want to restrict immigration, people who want to drop out of the climate change agreements, people without want to go backwards on the environment, because they want to save jobs in west virginia, et cetera, et cetera, right. and very-- they're very narrowly focused. narrow minded, in my view. the second group are what the media is now calling globalists.
12:13 pm
i call them the traditional republican national security camp. general mcmaster, the national security advisor, jim patties,-- mattis, the defense secretary, rex tillerson, mike pompeo, the cia director. >> rose: you conclude pompeo. >> i would include him, dan coates, the dni, nikki haley the u.s. ambassador to the u.n., gary cohen, the president's economic advisor, right. that group, that group sees the world the way i do. which is the u.s. has to lead. and when the u.s. doesn't lead, that vacuum is filled by our adversaries and we pay a price, right? so that group believes in free trade, right. that group believes in -- in-- in climate change, in sticking to our commitments on climate change and on the risks posed by climate change. those are the two primary groups. and then there's two others. both of those others have only one person in it. the third one is jared kushner
12:14 pm
who has-- without has, you know, amazing influence with the president. and i think he comes at things not from an idea logical perspective, not from a perspective of what is in the best long-term interests of u.s. national security, but from a perspective of making sure my father in law doesn't make a mistake. making sure that his legacy is not tarred. and so i tul actually call him, interestingly i call him the barack obama of the trump administration. >> rose: because. >> he's risk-averse. he asks a ton of questions, wants the answers before he makes a decision. >> rose: that sounds pretty good to me. >> is cautious. that sounds very good to me, actually in this environment. that sounds very good to me. i think that is a helpful thing. i think for the most part he has been on the side of the globalists, right. >> rose: i assume when you talk about him are you mentioning his wife ivanka as well.
12:15 pm
>> yes. >> rose: even though he they may not agree. >> him more on national security, him more on policy. >> my understanding he is he was with the globalists on the climate change debatement then you have the president of the united states who is the fourth. people, i think, don't understand what the president's worldview is. i think people sometimes associate it with the bannon view of the world. and i don't think it is. i don't think he has that same strong views. i think president trump's worldview was framed on the campaign trail. on the basis of what he said that resonated with the crowds. and what he basically said was that resonated with the crowds, was if there is a direct threat to the united states of america, we are going to deal with it and we are going to crush it. attorney another that, we are going to withdraw from the world. >> l me movto the middle eastgain to connect several of these things in terms of what is doing what in the white house. that trip was largely a product
12:16 pm
t is said, of jared kushner. cuz he carries the middle east brief, or certainly the-- for the president. did he a lot of conversations with the saudis coming too this. and why do you think that was successful and is it wise for the united states to identify iran as the enemy, and identify with the saudis and emiratis and other sunni nations who believe that the fight to the end in the 34eud el east or the gulf is about sunni versus shia, others, sunni ver sis shia and saudi plus versus iran. >> yeah. >> rose: while obama thought it was important for them, for the united states to be talking to both sides, here is a complete shift. and you think it's the right thing. >> well, part of it, part of it.
12:17 pm
yes, i think it's appropriate to see iran as a significant strategic challenge to u.s. interests in the middle east. and there is a long list, right, there is a long list of things that concern us. very, very quickly. they themselves conduct terrorism as a state caft. they .support to internationl terrorist groups. >> rose: where are they dog that, just for the benefit of the audience where they are conducting terrorism s it through people like hezbollah. >> no, no, no. so themselves, right, so the state of iran through the irgc kuds force, they conduct terrorism against jewish and israeli targets around the world and against their neighbors, right? it's been ongoing for a very, very, very long time. so that, that is themselves, right. they are the only country in the world that i think today practices terrorism as a tool of state craft. secondly they provide support to international terrorist groups.
12:18 pm
hezbollah and hamas, among others. those, and hezbollah could not exist without the support it gets from israel-- . >> rose: from iran. >> from iran, i'm sorry. third, third is they provide support to shia insurgent groups in the middle east, yemen is a great example. shia militant groups in-- in eastern provinces of saudi arabia. shia groups in bahrain, and that support is intended to overthrow those sunni regimes. fourth is it is iranian state policy for the state of israel to disa breer-- disappear. it is iranian state policy for iran to become the-- power in the middle east, calling the shotds, reestablish the empire in a similar way to what vladimir putin sees himself as reestablishing the russian empire. and then put the nuclear program on top of that. so this a country that poses a significant set of issues.
12:19 pm
>> not withstanding t fact that just had an election and someone who not necessarily might be a moderate in our judgement but certainly was to quote more moderate than the other candidates. >> certainly more moderate than the hard-liners. but you know, this is not a moderate from our perspective, right? and realize that, that this was an election but every single candidate for president was approved by the supreme leader. this is not exactly open democracy. >> rose: some didn't approve like ahmadinejad. >> exactly. so yes, we have to worry about iran. we need to push back against iranian bad behavior in the region. we have needed to do that for a number of years. we haven't. >> rose: but we're back to a group of states that do not want to talk to them, they just want to compete with them. i think that was president obama's principle point. >> so, so, we need, right, we need to pushback on their bad
12:20 pm
behavior but we also need to leave open a channel to them to give them an out should they want to change that behavior, right? and we need, wed need to back our allies, make our allies feel that we are with them, that we have their back in this struggle against iran. and they felt that president obama didn't do that. and what they felt in this trip was that president trump will do that. so they could not be more happy with the president's trip and the way the president is handling, handling the middle east. you know, i would like to see some conversations about human rights and democracy donen private, not in public. >> with the saudis. >> and the gulf, right. and i would like to see a door kept open to iran, but i would like to see the u.s. and our regional partners push back more. >> would you like these sanctions because of what they have done on the ballistic
12:21 pm
front. >> so i would much rather see sanctions on iran than i would military action against iran. >> and john kerry still says that if you engage more sanctions from congress, it has the possibility of unraveling the deal, then they walk from the deal. >> then it's them walking, not us. they qunt-- we can't let them have it both ways, right. we can't let them continue with bad behavior because we are afraid of losing something else. we have to get them to do both. that's our policy. >> rose: are sanctions the only power we have to change their behavior. >> i think over the long term. i think president obama is right, over the long-term there say chance here. >> rose: that they will modernize and moderate. >> yes. so there is a chance it will happen on its own. i think engagement is a good thing from that perspective it would be good if the saudis and emiratis can engage, that would
12:22 pm
be positive too. but they have to pay a price for their bad behavior, be disincentivized from their bad behavior and i believe the best way is sanctions. >> rose: look at what is going on in washington. we have james comey testifying next week. talking about the memo that he kept, i assume. will do both a pub public and private testimony, and only he and others know where o end and the other begins. >> but wt is thconsequence of this, to have an fbi director, perhaps say i was urged to that wart an investigation into a nominee to be the national security advise tore the president. >> if in fact that is what he said. >> so before jim comey was fired, i thought there were three issues that needed to be investigating with regard to trump associates and the
12:23 pm
russians. the first which jim comey had earlier said the fbi was indeed investigating was did any trump associates conspire with the russians in their interference of our election. did any of them help the russians choose the material, to be released, for example, for maximum impact, help them think about the timing of releasing the material for maximum impact. did anybody do that? second is did russian organized crime launder money through the trump organization over an extended period of time. remember one of the presidents son, i forget which one, said russian money is flowing. and there's been some, you know, there is enough there to at least askt question. if anybody in therump organization knew that it was russian organized crime money, that would be a crime. and even if they didn't know,
12:24 pm
then the question becomes did they do the due dill against that's required under u.s. law to know where foreign money is coming from. so that is an issue that needs to be vected. the third thing that needs to be investigated is, is there anybody in the trump administration, particularly with access to classified information who has an inappropriate relationship with russian intelligence. so i thought those were the three things that needed to be looked at before jim comey was fired. now that he is fired and now that we've been through all of this, charlie, i think there is a fourth question, which is did the president of the united states obstruct justice in asking for jim comey's, reportedly asking for his loyalty, asking him to let the michael flynn investigation go. and then in firing him, right. so now there is a fourth issue, i think. so with regard to, with regard to jared kushner. >> meeting with the ambassador, russian ambassador, talking
12:25 pm
about an alternative channel. >> i think this is a great micros could am of the bigger issue. so the first thing i would say, charlie s that i look at this as an intelligence analyst would look at an issue. and when i do that, the first thing i say is wow, there's a big cav yet here. and the big cav yet here is that the facts that are in the public do maying-- domain may not turn out to be accurate, right. the real facts may be som what different than the facts in the public domain, why do i say that. >> because you have experienced it. >> how do we know this jared kushner thing. how do we know the story, right? well, what we reportedly have is we have russians talking to each other about the meeting. and we have the u.s. collecting that intelligence of the russians talking to each other about the meeting, right. then we have former officials and current officials leaking that to reporters. and we have the reporters then
12:26 pm
writing stories based on those leaks, not having seen the intelligence documents but having talked to people who have leaked them. >> rose: and who read from them. >> and who read from them. that's not a great sourcing chain, right. and i'm an analyst looking at that. i'm not going to put a high level of cred ability in thoses facts. >> rose: so you are saying by jared kushner and meeting with the rush arne ambassador. >> be careful of the facts, that is the first point. my first thought when i-- when i thought about all of this, was number one, this isn't just about jared kushner. this is also about michael flynn. he was wited kushner in that meeting. and-- . >> rose: he's known to have had a relationship with the russians. >> yes, and he would know this. >> a pretrump relationship. >> while i can maybe believe th jared kushner was naive in asking to use russian secure
12:27 pm
dmeun communications as a con duity, michael flin should have known better, right? and the focus is on jared kushner because he's still in the administration. he's still in the white house and michael flin isn't. >> and he has enormous power. but michael flynn was there. i think he should be part of this story. the second thing that struck me is it is less, it's less the desire to set up a channel, remember, this was as reported by "the washington post" and "the new york times," this was a channel for michael flin to talk to the russians, supposedly to the russian military, supposedly about syria and other issues. that was the channel. that doesn't bother me. that does not bother me. >> what if it was to talk about sanctions? >> that doesn't even bother me. >> what would bother you then? >> well, what bothers me is two things. i want to know why the request for secretary resee. what were they trying to hide.
12:28 pm
>> in other words to do it out of the russian facilities in order to make sure you could not be. >> by the current administration, right? it might be that they were just worried about leaks and they didn't want, you know, even the most-- even the most benign conversation. >> they do have a reason to be paranoid about leaks. >> maybe that was the reason. maybe they're trying to hide something else, i don't know. but that request for secretary resee is something that needed to be looked at. so the second question i have is was this flynn and kushner's idea that they carried out completely on their own. >> or. >> or did they have, did they have permission from the president-elect. did they have instruction, permission from the president-elect, the vice president-elect who was the head of the transition at the time, other senior members of the transition team, was this a well thought out approach or was this kushner and flynn acting alone, right? implications either way. i think the third thought i had,
12:29 pm
charlie, was, was, i'm much more interested in what the trump associates said to the russians before the election than i am after the election. cuz i'm much more interested in the question of did they help the russians interveer-- der fear in our election. i'm primarily interested in what they said after the election as a way to inform what they were doing with the russians prior. that's much more important here, to me. it is not unlikely that flin did want to talk to them about syria and sanctions and other issues. and i don't think that's that big a deal. but-- . >> rose: is that par for the course for an administration that is not yet in power, and is it par for the course because something will always raise the question if we only have one president at a time. >> so you know, there is this thing called the logan act, right, that is supposed to
12:30 pm
prevent a nongovernmental official from undermining u.s. policy. never-- haven't been enforced in a couple hundred years. during a campaign, a presidential campaign, during the general election campaign there are foreign officials coming through both campaigns, having conversations about what is your policy going to be, right, what are you thinking about. here is what we are thinking. we would like your policy to be what are you guys thinking, that conversation is already occurring. >> and helpful. >> an helpful. there is no reason why that conversation has to stop during a transition. in fact, there is every wherein to believe that it should actually increase. that is why that doesn't bother me. here is the last pointi would make on this kushner thing. i think a lot of people particularly some people in the media have been very quick to grab this and conclude that
12:31 pm
something wrong, something was done here that was inappropriate or even criminal. and i simply don't think the facts as we know them, and you know my concern about whether the facts are right, that the facts as even we know them in the media take you there, right. take you to the judgement that there was something wrong done here. we have to be patient. we have to let the fbi do its investigation. >> i only have a couple minutes here. former secretary of state hillary clinton and candidate think yesterday, that she was interested in the question of whether americans guided russians on how to weaponnize information used against her. >> right. and i want to know that too, right. that's why i want this focus on did anybody in the trump camp help the russians with both-- with both what to do with the conversation they stole from the dnc and what to do with the information that they stole from john podesta. as well as what fake news to
12:32 pm
amplify that would be most harmful to secretary clinton. i want to know that too. >> president putin said in the last several days that this could have simply been from russia, nothing on the state level, this could simply have been a hacker operating in the patriotic way. >> patriotic way. >> i thought the word pait rom-- patriotic was the most interesting. >> they use modern technologies and because of modern technologies he suggested, anything is possible. and he even agreed with an servion e by president trump that perhaps it came from somebodyitting in a room in new jersey. >> yeah. >> it came from russian intelligence. the word patriotic tells you everything you need to know. >> let's go back to the middle east from the investigations taking place. the possibilities in syria of deeper conflict between powers
12:33 pm
that are not part of the civil war. >> yeah. so i think we're entering a new phase. and we're not giving enough focus to what is a growing risk. all of our focus is on the defeat of isis, the last fight in central mosul and the fight to come in raqqa. that is where everybody's focus is. there is something else that is happening. and that is the growing risk of conflict between the major powers who are involved in this war. mainly between the united states and iran and the united states and russia. so what is happening? what is the dynamic here? so for the longest time, charlie, there were two separate wars. there was a civil war between assad and the syrian opposition. and there was a separate, a second war which was a war
12:34 pm
between the u.s. and its allies and isis. >> and bashar al-assad said he was part of that war. >> but he really wasn't, he really wasn't. so now what is happening is that, is that as assad is gaining ascend see in the civil war, and as he is winning territory back, that that the syrian opposition took early on in the war, he and his iranian and hezbollah and shia militia allies are getting closer and closer to the syrian opposition forces that the u.s. has trained who are fighting isis. and just in the last two weeks u.s. forces struck, shia militia forces backed by iran, fighting for assad, because those forces
12:35 pm
were getting too close to a military base where u6789. is and british forces train opposition fielters to fight isis. so the u.s., it was the second time we have struck syrian government forces. first time was after the sarin attack. second time was last week. and then just yesterday, day before yesterday, the russians attacked western-backed, western-trained syrian opposition forces who are fighting isis because they were getting close to a shia militia group. so what is happening now is these forces used to be separated. now they are getting closer and closer and closer together. this is a growing risknd it is something that, that the pentagon needs to pay attention to. the state department needs to pay attention to, the situation room at the white house needs to pay great attention to. >> the risk is show you end up with somebody doing something
12:36 pm
that causeses the other person to react and then it comes spiraling out of control. >> escalation. >> that is how wars are started. >> thank you for coming. >> good to be here. michael morell, back in a moment, stay with us. >> christopher plummer is here, is he an oscar, tony and emmy award-winning actor. he stars in the new film the exception as kaiser wilhelm the secretary. it is an adaptation of alan judz's novel the kaiser's last kiss. the film follows the kaiser's exile into the netherlands during world world war ii. here is a look at the trailer. >> you have beautiful hands. we are quite unused to physical labor, no? >>-- is everything. >> kietioner relays great symbolic importance to the german people. >> you will speak only when spoken to. >> are you to take immediate command of his military guard.
12:37 pm
>> british secret service have an agent in the area. if anything happens to him, you will be shot. >> captain, there's a british spy after me. >> you will be quite safe, your highness. >> my name is ste fan, i was wondering what yours was. >> mika. >> take your clothes off. >> the female staff are not to be interfered with. >> the old man is getting a visit tomorrow. >> heil hitler. >> it seems we are to go back to berlin. >> can that to be true? >> i'm jewish. >> i don't care.
12:38 pm
>> one day you might have to. >> there was another transmission last night, the gestapo will be making. >> the ss murdered my father. >> i think we should keep this to ourselves. >> i will protect you. >> are you serious? >> be careful. >> nobody is safe. >> can you not have a loyalty greater to anything than your country. >> marry me, mika, now, today. >> i was going to turn you over to the guess stapo. >> mika, trust me. >> i am pleased, very pleased to have christopher plummer back at this table. welcome. >> thank you very much. great to see you. >> rose: so tell me, first of all, about kaiser, what happened to kaiser wilhelm. >> i think he just went on living in holland and he died
12:39 pm
there. and that part of his life is so vague and he never went anywhere. so nobody followed h. and i think nobody really cared any more. >> rose: but that was a problem for him. he wanted to be relevant. >> yes, he did have those two changeses. one-- two chances, one not so accurate, perhaps. but the fact that the nazi party wanted him to come and be a puppet emmerrer. but the real one was churchill wanting him to come, and then crown him and put him at the head of the losing country. horrible, but he was pulled between these two sort of desires of his. and that wawhat was so fascinating to play. >> rose: and here you have a german soldier coming in. i had forget en,-- was in the netherlands, is that where he died, he died from an attack on him. >> i don't know, i can't
12:40 pm
remember remember itz. >> rose: whether it was the nether lands or not, they caught him in a jeep when he was going somewhere. >> yes. >> rose: so he's there, and then the nazi soldier comes. >> yes. >> rose: and then all of a sudden he has to choose between love of country and love of woman. >> yes. >> rose: a classic dilemma. >> yes. but i thought it was beautifulfully handled. because he is an actor who las done all these action films. and he is a hell a lot better than that. and he was dying to do something. he played that very difficult part that you described beautifulfully, absolutely beautifulfully. and very sensitively. as indeed did young lilly james. >> rose: who was the woman. >> yes. >> rose: tell me what you know about kaiser wilhelm. >> well there isn't a hell of a lot. i'm-- take mike wallace. i grew up with mike wallace on the box, there was no need to do
12:41 pm
long research. and research is fascinating for me but there was very little on him, on this rather empty man who is so insecure as well as being a narcissistment and we know all about that. >> rose: yes. but i read this, now i'm asking you, did you, you played leo. >> yes. >> rose: did you reach back into your sense of leer? as a betrayal of kaiser wilhelm? >> well there is a lot of leer, you're absolutely right, in kaiser wilhelm. eval ud his medals more than he does his kingdom. and he really is-- leer was just a forked animal, as shakespeare calls him. he didn't realize that, that saul he was.
12:42 pm
once you brush all the honors away from someone, are you just a forked animal. i love thathrase. and indeed it applies to kaiser wilhelm. >> rose: a forked animal, meaning. >> well, is he just an animal on the spit. >> rose: right. >> and leer was a good thing, to indeed think about. but also i had great fun with kaiser. i mean he was a wonderful strutter. and imagine firing business mark just at a time when europe absolutely needed that, that extraordinary. >> rose: yeah. >> he got more publicity. >> i mean henry kissinger had written books about business mark and looked, you know, at the diplomatic skills he had. >> what a great extraordinary man he was. so when you approached these, why did you take this role? >> because first of all, i love good writing. and i think-- simon was very
12:43 pm
good. you don't often get it on the screen as we all know. so i grab, also he was a wonderfully theatrical character. it was something i had never done bmplet i never played for kaiser. i don't know who has played for kaiser, actually. perhaps some german actor has done it on the box. but i don't, do you, i can't remember. >> no. >> so i thought i have to grab this because maybe nobody else has done it. my turn. >> rose: more your turn to define it, so he has some definition. >> hi such f fun with him. because we don't know anything about him from the time he was exiled on, or very little, he must have mellowed, everybody mellows a little bit. and so i concentrated on that, making him more of sort of a person. and becoming a little bit more sensitive about his life played absolutely wonderfully by i think one of our absolutely greatest actresses. >> rose: janet.
12:44 pm
>> yes, in this business, she is extraordinary. >> rose: she really is. >> did you would you tell her when we see her we want her back at this table. >> i will, if she is talking to me. >> rose: oh. >> because i didn't bring her. >> rose: oh, that's right. >> my grandfather was an army officer, as was my father. he was killed, just before i was born within and your mother. >> from a land-- . >> rose: which one. >> related to the luddendovers distantly. after the war, of course, she had to clean houses. i remember helping her wield her wages home in a barrel. of course by the time we got to the bake ree it was worthless. she died of teub teub when i was 12. >> am i to blame for every misfortune on this earth?
12:45 pm
i gave my life to the fatherland. and this is my thanks? nobody cares. my-- betrayed me, nobody remembers, my army fell apart, luddendorf where were they, where were they, where were they? after all i have done for them, they stab me in the back. >> they lost me to war. >> they lost me my country. >> rose: do you want to work hard at this stage. >> yes, i do. i can't hang around, three weeks is about it for a vacation. i'm dying to go on again am because i enjoy what i am doing, bad or good, i love the theater. >> rose: would you rather be acting than playing golf or. >> well, tennis is my game, yeah, i love tennis. i played all my life. >> rose: what is it that you
12:46 pm
enjoy nice other than this stra professional life you have had? >> music, i think. i mean classical music because i studied to the classics. >> rose: as a meanist. >> yes, i thought god wouldn't it be wonderful to play. >> rose: so you grew up in canada thinking i might be a great meanist. >> yes, i group up in montreal and i had seen, i'm young enough to have seen rock manoff play the piano and he played at his majesty's theater in montreal. he gave a recital and my mother who took me to everything that there was, she took me to ballet, symphony orchestra. >> rose: i think that is so important. >> oh, god. >> rose: to show, to have a lot of books around the house. >> yes. >> rose: and talk about them. >> yes. >> rose: so that there is a curiosity. and secondly have music. >> my wife was always telling me, for you, you have a lot of books around the house but you don't read them. she is always
12:47 pm
accusing me of that. and then no, of course, i realized how impossibly hard work it is, and very lonely work be a concert meanist. my cousin, nina is a very fine one, and she plays all over the world. so really she is doinwhat i once wanted to be. but music has helped me enormously. it helps me shade and color a role, if it's really huge and worthy. >> rose: what do you mean by shade and color. >> shading, giving each theme a different tone and on a different plane. it's terribly important, that. an do you it in the theater because you have all the great writers writing for you. but you don't always get a chance to do it on screen. and here was one chance. >> rose: it may be true in theater more than in film and i'm asking, that you have a chance to be more influenced by
12:48 pm
your colleagues, your other actors on stage than you do in film. >> yes. >> rose: because often scenes are shot differently. >> that's right. there is a sort of love bond or hate bond the jason rob ards was my pal during the 50st. and we tore this town apart or thought we did. >> and what did you do when you tor the town apart. >> this is a bar or was this. >> it must be have been. >> still exists. >> i know. >> but not the same. >> nothing is the same. >> i don't mind being an old-fashioned-- but. >> that's right, the saloon idea in america is ge. >> we used to play scenes together on the stage when w were in play together. we always were just under the line to each other. jason would say, where should we go tonight. -- and continue the dialogue. >> glads you can do that.
12:49 pm
>> we talked about, we gave a long list. we used to go down to the white wash tavern. >> in the village. >> yes, and i saw dylan thomas get up and speak. >> rose: in the tavern. >> yeah, he hadn'ted that little place. >> rose: and would he read his poetry a lot aloud. >> he was very angry about something. >> rose: rage into the night. >> yes, there he was again. and he got up. and this harangue, i don't really remember what it was all about. but it was so musical and he was extraordinary. he could talk on any subject, brilliantly. >> do you have any great regrets that you didn't do this, that you didn't take this role, that you, you know, didn't take this opportunity to do something when it was within grasp? >> well, no, i don't have regrets and i shouldn't have. i think i am extremely lucky. i have show managed to cut terrible corners in my life, and have gotten away with it.
12:50 pm
>> like what? >> i can't tell you. it's too embarrassing. to be lazy and do it all technically. but that was only for awhile and then i got down to the serious uff, as i got older i realized there wasn'that much time left and i better be good and real and honest when i do my work. >> rose: but you've always taken the work seriously. >> yes, even though i have had horrendous fun, i've had marvelous fun. >> rose: you can have plenty of fun but it was important for you to be good. >> yes, yeah. >> rose: there is also this. i think lawrence olivia always wanted to, larry, always wanted to do a musical. was always asked to do. >> he was going to do guys and dolls. >> when i was at the national theater, he was-- the following season he was to play an ace in
12:51 pm
detroit and gar son was to come over and direct it. but it didn't happen. and i can't remember why. but for some reason it all exploded in the air. >> this seems like such a great time in british theater where you had geel good. >> a beautiful voice, richardson. >> yes. >> olivier. >> burk, yeah, yeah. >> rose: and o'toole. >> pet other pool. >> peter o'toole. >> you, a canadian who they let in. >> yes, i know, the colonial friend they used to say. >> rose: and butteron being a well shallman they let in. >> yes, yes. i liked him very much. >> rose: richard butteron, yes, i didn't know him as well as peter. pet other tool was magical. you have done him, i've seen that. is he magical, isn't he? he did lawrence of arabia and he left me to play the part he was going to play in the national
12:52 pm
theater which was henney 2 in beckett, the king. so i actually got to role because he left to go and make lawrence of arabia. and fortunately we all made a big success of it. and i got the prize that year. and he came back at the end of the season, backstage to see me. and there was rather a lot of posh people in the room, rather elegant. and older and i had to be polite. and peter came in, hello,-- look, i want to show you something, i want to show you something, and he lifted his pants, he took them down and there was his bare ass in front of all these people who were terribly shocked and they all left. he said this is what those-- camels do to me. bloody camels. i tell you, what i do for my art. of course, he had to ride bare back. >> rose: now that changed his life. that changed his career, that pompleance. >> yes, it did. and to me he never got the
12:53 pm
credit he should have had for that extraordinary performance. >> rose: now was there a role that changed your trajectory. >> yes, well, later on in life it was the insider, because. >> rose: when you played mike wallace. >> yeah, but back then, henry 5 got me going actually, up in stratford, canada, i did it i was 26. and that got me my name above the title on broadway. it was the success of henry 5th that really started me going. on a rough ride, but a good one. >> rose: what did you think of the sound of music? >> you of all people bring that up. no, listen. >> rose: i'm sorry, i have no pride in doing that. just being a little mischiefious. >> yes, do you really care? >> rose: no, but-- i don't.
12:54 pm
i don't because i know it was not the favorite thing. >> no, it was not, because everybody in the world saw it. >> rose: yeah. they did. >> and they saw me playing the part of-- . >> rose: and fell in love. >> but i was playing a part, unfortunately was rather dul, i thought. and then i was terribly arrogant and very spoiled. i had already played hamlet and macbeth, saying what am i doing, done they know, i'm a shakespearean actor, not here to serve some commercial venture. >> but i adored julie because she was a love. and all the kids. everybody was great. it was just me that was unhappy. >> rose: would you spend more time on the stage or more time in film if you were. >> if i really, yeah, if i was in marvelous shape i would go for the theater again. i may do something again before i croak. >> rose: well, i hope not soon. >> well, not on your show. >> rose: certainly not on my show. thank you.
12:55 pm
>> thank you. >> rose: a pleasure. >> great to see you, charlie. >> rose: you too, thank you. >> thanks very much. >> rose: the film is called the exception. thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us yb line at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
12:56 pm
>> funding for charlie rose is provided by the followin back of america, life better connected. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide.
12:57 pm
12:58 pm
12:59 pm
1:00 pm
announcer: the following kqed production was produced in high definition. ♪ >> must have soup! >> the pancake is to die for! >> it was a gut-bomb, but i liked it. >> i actually fantasized in private moments about the food i had. >> i didn't like it. >> you didn't like it? >> dining here makes me feel rich. >> and what about dessert? pecan pie? sweet potato pie?

19 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on