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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  December 14, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PST

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin with shakespeare this evening and talk to one of the great shakespeare actors mark rylance who is performing in richard iii and 12th night. >> well, it comes to the top of my head immediately and the, may not be the deepest answer but you just can't, you will never get to the bottom of a sense of humor, the sense of wit and humor, it is well-known that one of the great things he is really good at doing is marrying opposites juxtaposing sound, cold, fire, these things that romeo says at one point but juxtaposing tragedy and comedy and his deep sense of humor, even the most tragic moments still staggers me, still staggers me, i generally don't
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find it myself i find it with the audience. >> rose: continuing with shakespeare this evening we talk to stephen fry who is also in richard the third and 27th night. >> we know in 1602 when it was performed indoors, in fact, in the middle temple, one of the legal halls, medieval halls that the lawyers used, and we know what the hall looks like because it hasn't changed to this day and we know, of course, that this happened a lot, because english winter is pretty famous, the summers are pretty famous but during the hours of daylight you could use it and the outdoor theatre very happily but the whole other half of the year to keep your actors, you know, from starvation, so you go to lawyers halls, cambridge colleges, the houses of nobility and you played your plays there so you had to cut them and this new one was clearly written for an indoor theatre, you can sort of tell. >> rose: we conclude this evening with the great disrie lynnist anne-sophie mutter. >> part of the repertoire we
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will perform saturday is part of our favorite pieces which we have, lived through, so we feel rather confident that the concert will be fruitful. >> rose: good plays, good players, good music, when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following. and american express. additional funding provided by these funders. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: mark rylance is here, he won a tony award for his
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performance in boeing, boeing and the second tony for jerusalem in 2011, he is back in the theatre playing the lead in two shakespeare plays in repertoire, he is king richard in richard iii and libya in 12th night, both productions made their debut that london theatre where he served from artistic director from 2005, "the new york times" has written, rylance presence on broadway this season provides a master class in shakespearean acting, i am pleased to have mark rylance at this table for the first time. welcome. >> thanks, charlie. >> rose: what a nice tribute from "the new york times". >> yes. >> how did this happen these two plays coming here for you to show your stuff? >> oh, how did it happen? it has taken quite a few years, the particular artist, the director and the clothing designer, set and clothing designer and the musical director and the kind of
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choir of players were people that worked with me a lot when i was artistic director of the nobody and when my time finished, my ten years is finished i, tenure is finished i immediately went to i suppose propose or carry on the essential call work of what we did, which was a very careful and i hope rigorous attempt to explore what i call original playing practices, what we know of them from shakespeare's day. and so it took a long time. we had to figure a way of mounting two productions, it would be popular enough to raise enough money to make a whole new wardrobe of clothes as elizabethan spent their money on what they wore on their backs. and with six live musicians and 15 or so -- >> rose: what was the term you used in terms of original production? >> original playing practices, original practices. >> rose: what is that? >> that is what inspired sam wann maker who founded the
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globe, which was that there should be not only an intellectual inquiry into how the plays might have originally played and what conditions shakespeare imagined when he wrote these wonderful plays but there should be a laboratory, so to speak, where you could explore with a live audience and live players so he spent the last 25 years of his years building the globe theatre and died in 1993 and i became artistic director in 1995 and his thinking about the globe was really the inspiration for me, which was he demanded three things, very, very thorough research, accurate materials, so he fought very hard, for the building to be thatched, the first building thatched since the great fire, i think 1,000 oak trees went into it. lime plaster, all kinds of old building techniques and original crafts should be used as well. >> rose: and the premise was we would be more inside of shakespeare's head if we did
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that? >> well. >> rose:. >> we would learn, we might learn -- we would learn more about the reason he wrote the plays and the way he wrote them, we would be able to look at -- look at questions of the apt of time it takes, how fast did they speak? how fast did they place were the plays cut to two hours and played very rapidly? to make it two hours or was it two hours just to do with amphitheaters and were they played at a longer time in indoor playing houses? how did -- for an actor the space is remarkable because there is no lighting nor, or it is daylight, they only played in the afternoon. there are two whopping great pillars, so there is no way you can stand where some people in the audience won't be able to see you, but everyone can hear you like a bell. >> rose: yes. >> so the fact at that time, a commentary like yourself if you went to the globe would have say i went to hear julius caesar,
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not to see a play at the globe, they went to hear it so it immediately demanded in my time at least a lot more rigor and work on our eloquence and speech. >> rose: before we talk about these two plays, ten yearsable as artistic director of the globe theatre, if you are asked to give a last lecture about shakespeare what would you want us to know? >> well, it all comes to the top of my head immediately it may not be the deepest answer, but you just can't, you will never get to the bottom of his sense of humor, his sense of wit and humor. it is well-known that one of the great things he is really good at doing is marrying opposites, juxtaposing opposing sounds, cold fire. >> one thing romeo says at one point and juxtaposing comedy and tragedy and his deep sense of humor, even in the most tragic
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moments still staggers me. it still staggers me, i don't generally find it myself, i find it in performance with an audience. >> rose: the audience tells you what is humorous? >> you know, charlie, i have come to feel there is a collective thing that happens when a whole group of people focus on something, maybe religions have known this forever but it happens in theaters as well if you get a whole audience focusing on one topic or one-story in the case of shakespeare and all in the same room it feels that each of our individual finds are capable of something more when we are together focused on something, as if there is -- as if the berpt is just a manifestation of something that exists naturally in the human consciousness, that there is a collective consciousness in the room. >> you mean the brain, the coaling of everything is much larger than the sum of the individual parts? >> yes, yes .. >> so the -- particularly in the nobody which unlike most
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theaters are more square, it is a circular building, obviously and the collective, the collective experience of playing there for ten years really awakened this to me even more, the sense of humor of the author. this is the thing i would say that i would -- i would hope would take a long time before the universe destroys that. >> rose: yes. here is what ben brantley said, the critic for "the new york times". twelfth night, a celestial comedy, and richard the third, a grisly history play share a theme .. it is that life, in life, the skies come before a fall, all the characters are in some way not what they seem. does that resonate with you? >> yeah. yeah. even when you come to -- this is an interesting thing about exploiting the original clothing, the clothing of the period, i will tell you a little bit about that.
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there was summary laws at the time it was illegal to wear certain colors in the street you could be killed on the spot for wearing purple, for example, it was completely. >> because it was royal? >> yes because if you walked down the street you would have to bow and be appropriate to people, so it is important to see who is coming down here. >> rose: the royal. >> and you could tell by the color what level of society they were and you had to be careful, but the aristocrats like people now tonight want to wear the same thing to every party of the season so what could they do with their clothes? they gave them to the players, the players had these very remarkable clothes, more remarkable than a man playing a woman on shakespeare's stage would be a common man pretending to be a king or even pretend -- >> rose: more remarkable? >> that was revolution for the audience, to see richard, even richard pretending on the an aristocrat, he could really have been in deep trouble outside of the theatre for doing that, be 2 clothing is very beautiful,
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this old fifties red shirt, this would probably was not a particularly wonderful material so it may be on the outside it would be slashed and the beautiful, very expensive, say, gold silk that would be worth more than my house a as an actor that would show through unbeneath, so they loved layers, they loved hiding and revealing, i suppose that would be the next thing i would say about shakespeare too is you cannot, if you want to enjoy it or want to make shakespeare plays, try to understand his deep love, as i suppose of hiding and revealing. >> rose: is it harder to prepare for olivia than it is for richard? >> no, it is not. >> rose: really? >> >> rose: because it is the more interesting character? >> it is just not -- it is not such a comfortable place to go. i mean, olivia starts in deep grief, of course, but that is not necessarily --
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>> rose: a place to go -- >> it is not a place to go, it is that kind of feeling of, you know, i was reading this article by mike tyson about his childhood the other day in a magazine here. the stories of his lisp and being picked on as a kid and that kind of thing, i mean, you can imagine someone with richard,'s. >> shakespeare, now we know they were, but still his spine is like that. and in that day and age, it would have -- that kind of birth would have been accompanied with all kind of superstitions about omens and, so he would have grown up with a very, very i would imagine skeptical attitude about the be any sense of nature and of god and conscience. >> rose: he would have had that? >> yes .. >> rose: and everything would have been pro projected on him because of -- >> yes, yes. so he is -- it is a sociopathic
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mind, isn't it? there is a certain amount of fun playing him but it is also very hard when you have a play when you are to come out and give the first -- the first speech, and when it is a rather famous speech too. >> rose: that is hard. >> yeah. you have to -- you have to, you know, push through a lot of, you know, false expectations and just think, actually all i am doing is coming out here and waiting for my brother clarence to come by. >> rose:. >> and i might as well talk to you about what is going on. but of course you have fearful thoughts in your mind. >> rose: do you really? >> sure, sure. >> rose: i mean every night you go out with some fearful thoughts in your mind? >> by that time, i will start half an hour, i really will -- i immerse myself into the thinking of the character. >> rose: how do you do that? >> well, i think what the character wants. >> rose: said, wants. >> what he needs, the way his
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attention ranges. >> rose: so you are him by the time you hit the stage and -- >> oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. >> rose: or her? >> yeah. oh, yeah. as much as i can be. that is what you want to hear and see. >> rose: yes, you. >> do you want to be in the room with richard the third not just have an idea of him. >> rose: tell me how you do that. what is the craft of doing that? >> i don't know, i don't know. >> >> rose: it is your life. >> yes, it is my life and a lots of peop talk about it and write books about it. you know, for me -- >> rose: do you read those books. >> to be honest, no, i haven't. i have heard -- >> rose: i can imagine. >> i think they are really good and can be very helpful. >> rose: but would you not read them because you have other things you want to read or because -- >> yes, i have other things i want to read. i mean i read them when i was a drama student and things a like that, but i prefer talking with people about acting. >> rose: do you really? >> talking with other actors. >> rose: who do you talk to, other actors? >> yes.
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>> rose: what is an actor's conversation about acting about? >> why did that work? >> i am fascinated because it is a way for me sort of get inside the performer. >> yes. >> rose: to understand how they see it. >> i don't know how different -- i think we all play a little bit differently, my particular fate was to be born before i even knew there was a theatre with a love of pretending to be someone other than who i am. >> rose: really? >> yes that is how i passed my childhood so when -- >> rose: you were alone or -- >> no, i have a great brother and sister. >> rose: yes. >> and they would often take part in the names as well. >> rose: but you just chose to do that, you chose to pick your own companions? >> not only pick my own companions but rather than play baseball or football, although i played those things as well to play star trek or voyage to the bottom of the sea, play the funeral of john f. kennedy, someone wrote to me the other day, a friend of my parents, and
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this person wrote and reminded me that i and her son, we must have been -- well, i was -- i think she is confusing, i think it was robert f kennedy's, robert's funeral we acted out, we took a shoe box and put it in our little red wagon. >> rose: and john f. kennedy went to choate. >> president kennedy went to choate, i think i was six or seven and when the funeral -- >> rose: that would have been in 1968. >> yes, so the whole weekend we acted out the funeral around the grounds of choate walking solemnly with a red wagon and a shoe box in it. there was something about -- i had some need to maybe to be witnessed, to act things out, to experience it. >> rose: i remember the soaring rhetoric of the remaining brother, edward kennedy which was, he had first of all to do the eulogy in the democratic national convention for his brother, the slain
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president, and his brother the attorney general, and presidential candidate, you know and he said do not make him larger afterlife than he was in life and went on to talk about, you know, the virtues that he had in life. so back to 12th night and richard iii, olivia, tell me where she is going, what -- how do you get inside a woman's head? >> well, she is a person, you know. she is a woman, so she has different -- she has different physical qualities than a man. i think what happens when you play a woman, you play a man if you are a woman is that your father or mother comes out quite a bit. i know when my mother came to here or see me play cleopatra or olivia, two women i played at the globe, she was a little quiet about it, but olivia.
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>> rose: she was quiet about it? >> yes, my mother has passed now, god bless her, but there is a lot of my mother in olive, i can't i would say, a lot of her things i feel or that side of me. >> rose: yes. >> i think comes out. not that i particularly focus on it but it comes out. but she like any male character has certain things she is longing for and certain obstacles that are preventing her too. >> rose: your interest in shakespeare goes all the way back to high school, doesn't it? >> it does, yes. i skipped the part to play hamlet at 16. >> rose: yes, but you since have played hamlet, romeo, macbeth, olivia. >> i think i have been in 52 productions of plays by shakespeare or his contemporaries, middleton, the people, at the time, yes. >> so is there any better training for an actor? >> oh, i would think there are much finer actors than me.
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>> rose: no, no, to really get your teeth into shakespeare and shakespearean characters is that the best possible training for an actor? >> no, i wouldn't say that. >> rose: you wouldn't? >> no, i wouldn't say that, i am not someone of the opinion that shakespeare should be loved by everyone, was meant for everyone. >> rose: or somehow because of the range it gives you an opportunity to really dig deep into understanding human nature therefore understanding actor, therefore a larger ability to inhabit different characters? >> depends how you approach it, doesn't it? i mean, you know, you and i could get a set, the same set of paints that picasso used and wouldn't necessarily come up with the same thing, i don't know. it all depends. >> rose: because it doesn't come from the paint, it comes from the head. >> yes. >> rose:. >> and it comes from your life. >> rose: yes. >> and how -- what the way in which you deal with shakespeare material, but i don't know that robert mitchum or spencer tracy
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or montgomery cliff or brando -- >> brando actually gives one of the best shakespeare experiences for my taste i have ever heard as mark anthony. >> rose: does he? >> yes, in that film you get a fantastic performance from gielgud, very fast askar use, incredibly fast. >> rose: why is brando as marc anthony so good for you? >> because he is so present. for me i totally believed those words have never been said before and that he absolutely needs to i don't know vince the friend, the romance and countrymen of -- >> rose: i mean, that has been said here before at this table, convince people that these words have never been said before. >> yes. >> rose: and i have just thought them. >> yes. i am thinking them up as i speak as you and i are. i am going to say something here about a glass of water and i think of the green in this table and i come back to the glass of water. >> rose: that's exactly right. >> and the tone of the speaker changes, we organize all of these things very naturally when
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we are making up -- >> rose: and the trick, not the trick of acting but the skill of acting is to be able to make it seem every time that you just thought of it. >> yes, yes. >> rose: it is not something you have memorized it is manager that comes from who you are and you just thought of. >> yes. and our director tim carroll has a wonderful phrase which he is always saying us, which is play to win, play to win, i don't want to come and watch boring, it mcenroe and boring, i don't want to see them doing a demonstration of the best tennis game ever they rehearsed for six months and then he slips hear and he dives there and, i want them both to try to beat each other, to win, so likewise when i come out as richard the third. >> rose: you are playing to win. >> i want to pull everyone else down into the ditch i am in, yes and i will do everything i can within what is written there for me to do to convince, to convince clarence that i love him, to convince my other brother that i love him.
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every moment there is something you are trying to achieve or win or really try to do it, really try and play, so it is as the words says, it is a play it is not a present application, presentation, it is a play that makes it fun and i suppose that connects back to my childhood origins in it. >> but you also said the interesting thing about shakespeare also is the humor. because some have said that you found more humor in richard the third than belong there. >> >> they might well say that, yes, i tend to find when i have been to richar richard iii more villainy, apparent villain, villainy that i would usually hang around and if you don't make him charismatic and a sense of humor, and the characteristics of a normal person the other players have to
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act stupid and it diminish it is play and although i have never met -- i have met psycho paths and sociopaths but they have been in institutions and i will say the ones i have met always seemed to be very gentle, humorous, incredibly intelligent people who the nurses for doctors who have been with us at that time have said, yes, but don't stay in the room on your own with them. so -- >> rose: don't stay in the room alone? >> yes. so i think the humor -- i think the humor is a very effective way of disarming people, whether i do too much of it or not, of course, that is for each member of the audience to decide. > side. >> rose: and i have views of that myself and criticisms of myself but it is a nice way of disarming the audience and bringing the audience in too. >> rose: you have also said about acting that for the audience to have a sense that something has happened in each
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-- a fleeting moment of confusion. >> yeah, yeah. i have been to some plays where a lot has happened, but you feel like no one was ever confused, none of the actors, you know, and i think even when a single cell grows into two there must be a me moment of confusion at even the cellular level and certainly in human endeavors, certainly in my life i spend a lot of time confused, particularly at moments of great importance, of great. >> rose: con fewed about what to do? >> yes, yes, yes. >> rose: the consequences and at that -- >> yes, what is the right path to take. most plays would be about that kind of thing. you see, you want to feel you are in the presence of not always in the presence of someone who knows exactly what they are doing but in the presence of people who are considering different options, marlon bran toe was wonderful at that type of acting, if brando ever wanted to sit for coffee,
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there would be -- there would be a long time when he considered different ways he asked for a stipulate of coffee and then he might just take it. so a lot of different -- just because it is written in one way doesn't mean that there are, there aren't many other ways that the character might speak or to the next thing they are going to do. >> rose: has acting been all you thought it would be? >> i think it has been much more than i thought it would be, yes, much more. i think i really was just -- i mean, i was in milwaukee at the time when i was 18, i was really just -- i just wanted to make a living at it, i thought i would be happy if i could just make a living of doing this thing i enjoy that would be fantastic. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> oh, my pleasure. >> rose: it was great to have you here. >> rose: stephen fry is here, she an actor, comedian, writer, television presenter,
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documentary film maker and political activist, that is a lot, he has interviewed steve jobs for time magazine, been to prison and at cambridge he thought he would devote his life to studying shakespeare, he is currently making his broadway debut playing malvolio in shakespeare's 12th night. i am pleased to have him here at this table for the first time, welcome. a. nice to be here, charlie.>> n broadway and this remarkable production and play -- >> it is a remarkable production. for those who don't know, remarkable not just because i think the greatest stage actor in the world, the speaking world anyway, mark rylance who is playing richard iii, it is a double bill, i am not in richard iii. >> rose: why do you think he is the greatest in the world. >> you just hav have to see it,s inning energy, just astonishing verbal facilities, physical mobility, it is a car irs ma that is not selfish to other actors, none of us in the cast feel -- it is just quite
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something. harris years ago harris, many people may not remember, the great director of a broadway in the 20 and 30s. barry more is based on him. and he described olivia when he first saw him on stage and said i have just seen the greatest stage actor and olivia was no one who want. >> he said why, i don't know, he just gives it off. it is something he gives off on stage that no one else -- >> he doesn't know it himself. he can't train to have it, but, you know,. >> rose: there is a famous story about olivier doing some remarkable performance and mcdowell went backstage and thought this was a moment of great, great performance. and he was there and hat in his hand sobbing or something and he said why? this was remarkable. and he said yes but i don't know why. and. >> and it won't be as remarkable tomorrow. i will have the
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technique and be able to do it but there is one -- it is like a sport there is one day where the racket in your hand is just so -- and the ball floats over like thistle downs and you can time it and you are in the right place. >> rose: exactly right. >> and other plays no matter how hard you concentrate it you can't hit it off the racket. >> rose: this production first started in london. >> yes, the globe theatre, the outdoor theatre, sam wanna maker pioneered and you have to bring it in slightly because the globe is like your table. it is a wooden o and of course this is tv is tv's wooden o. >> rose: well, you flatter me. >> and so you have half of it is people standing, it is called the yard, and they are called the groundlings and they would have paid a penny in those days and there are these tiers of grander people, the aristocracy or middle classes would sit and watch and it is more or less the same now, except people queue
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for a long time in line to get the standing up seats. not the standing up seat but you know what i mean, because they so love it, they love it. and the relationship you have with the audience is utterly unique, there is nothing like it, it is completely -- you realize every soliloquy is a conversation. >> rose: it is an all male cast. >> it happens to be an all male cast it is called an original practices cast. >> rose: mark talk about that idea of the original practice. >> so every single element of the play is as far as so lastcally we know absolutely as it would have been in shakespeare's day, we know in 1602 when we did research it was performed indoors in fact in the middle temple, one of the legal halls, medieval halls that the lawyers used, and if we know what the hall looks like because it hasn't changed to this day. and we know, of courseable, that this happened a lot, because english winter is pretty famous, the summers are pretty famous, but during the hours of daylight
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you can use the wooden o and the out door theatre very happily but you have the whole half of the rest of the year to keep your actors, you know, from starvation. so you go to lawyers halls, uxbridge and cambridge colleges, the houses of nobility and you played your plays there, so you have to cut them, and this new one was clearly written for an indoor theatre, you sort of tell, and intelligent lawyers and people to come and watch but this is not to say that it is a very difficult play. it is a hilarious, ram bunks you farce. >> rose: i want to talk about character. did you want to be a shakes experience scholar or is that -- >> i did. >> rose: or something growing up about you -- >> it is kind of true. it was the thing i was best@university which was cambridge i found it easiest to write on shakespeare, i loved performing at cambridge, and i thought i would do a thesis, a dock tomorrow thesis on some aspect of shakespeare and quietly hid into the corner of a
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cottage somewhere, and -- >> rose:. >> one of my contemporaries has become the greatest shakespeare scholar in shakes beer, base, he is now at oxford. >> rose: talk to me about the part and make sure i am saying this right, malvolio? >> malvolio. >> rose: malvolio. >> >> it is hard to say who is right because there is a theory that american english is closest to shakes experience english than our current english. >> rose: i suppose southern english is closest. >> i we have heard that. it is sort of latin, cognate, it means ill will, there is a character called ben volio not by shakespeare which means well-disposed so his name is ill disposed, malvolio, and rather bizarrely there are all these sorts of an grasmatic connections because there is violet and olivia and malvolio so there are a lot of voli, olivia characters anyway, malvolio was the steward to olivia who is a countess, who is in mourning because her father
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died and very quickly her brother died so she is in charge of this vast estates and has a steward, malvolio .. and she has an uncle, uncle toby who is a drinker and she has a claim per made, mariah who is very charming and she has a fool, jester who tells things she doesn't like to hear like king lear. and the nearby duke is deeply in love with her and she won't have anything to do it with, and she squares she will wear a veil for seven years and not look at the face of men. there is a twin brother and sister, each believes the other drowned, the sister comes up and the sea cap captain, who rescued her, she says, what can a woman do, i am in a strange country, what is it? it is called a lira, my brother drowned, what will i do? where will i get to where i am from and in trunk is closed, well her brother -- she says dress me as a man and take me to the local ruler of this duke and i will speak with him,
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present me as a eunuch because i will be a black boy so she dresses as a boy, of course calls herself cesar owe and serves olivia who starts to fall in love with him, but we know she is a girl. >> rose: yes. so it is really weird, meanwhile sebastian survived and looks exactly the same, and he has been taken around by antonioable, an old pirate who falls in love with him and we don't know in what way but the language language is very strong, so there are those who push the homo erotic nature, he sure talks about his absolute devotion and love, pure love as he calls it for sebastian and they never meet until these final, farcical moment and suddenly they are on stage both at the same time looking identical and they both go, and the pirate says, sebastian, are you? how can you doubt that, well, how have you provisioned yourself, an apple --
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>> and they look at each other and they can't believe it, and, it means that viola can actually marry sebastian who is actually a man who looks exactly the same as the girl she thought she wanted to marry and the girl can marry the duke and meanwhile i have terrible tricks played on me because i am the shape of things to come, a -- there is a moment where i am described as a puritan, though, in fact, mariah says quite rightly the devil, is whatever he wants to be or thinks will impress people but i certainly don't like other people having a good time and i like to be the boss and very pleased with myself and i assume everybody adores me and play this very, very cruel trick on me by letting a letter lying around which looks like a secret letter from olivia to me that she loves me and wear particular clothes. >> rose: including -- >> yellow stockings, cross gartered and to smile all the time and as it happens she hates
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this, and is not in the mood for people smiling when she is treating her brother, her late father so ultimately it is looking like a fool and end up in a prison and then he goes -- >> rose: so tell me how you approach, and what was it for you as an actor to get inside? of malvolio? >> some people may say he is a pompous self-regards ass, therefore it took little of a stretch. i think as in all acting people often find this so pretentious, any time an actor opens his mouth it seems to be pretentious, our job is necessarily to entertain people and the fact is you have to believe in it and you have to see it from his point of view, that simple and malvolio he genuinely thinks he is keeping the house calm he thinks the influence of the fool and mariah and sir toby who drink a lot are bad and he thinks he would make
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a wonderful husband for olivia and he even thinks there is an example for that, the lady married the -- of the wardrobe so there are local references so times when, you know, some servant has married their mistress or master, so he just goes off into fantasy land. other people have played him as really quite wicked or highly comic and brilliant comic performance by sir donald simmons and i ran into him just before i started rehearsal he said, oh, i give you full permission to use my business. i said what is it. >> in the garden scene, make sure your art director has some, sun dale, i said yes, what i used to go is come on and i would take the sundial and look at my watch and i would look at the sundial again and i would look at my watch and just move the sundial. >> rose: friendship is such an interesting thing. i mean, it is almost the most interesting --
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>> i think your great ralph waldo emerson said friendship, a prepared is the masterpiece of nature. >> rose: what a great quote. >> it is. and a friend samas search piece of nature. >> yes. and, you know -- >> rose: why is it? what is it about it that makes it so -- >> i think it is an odd thing, there is more embarrassment between lovers than there is between friends. >> rose: yes, exactly. >> although you do things with lovers that obviously -- >> rose: more tolerance? >> more tolerance, absolutely, yes, when things go wrong with love or work or with self, with how you feel about yourself, with a friend you don't have to tell them anything, you say get a whiskey bottle out or the coffee. >> rose: does that have to do with the absence of sex and sexual tense tension? >> i think it does, i do have trends who are ex-partners, who stayed friends and they value that enormously, and i dedicated to one of my books to them. >> but it was a friend who is another self. it is your other self.
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and a friend is the thing that fills you up, they are the other half of you that you look for as a rule, or the one -- the one that tells you to stop being an a hole and tells you you are being an idiot and you are making a fool of yourself, only a friend would uh tell you you are drinking too much, oh, no, no, it is just because -- no, you are drinking too much. okay. i need to believe in, and next time you see them you are proud and say i haven't -- you don't say i haven't had a drink, i have only had two drinks since i last saw you. >> rose: we shad somebody here a couple of nights ago, this was a man who was a warrior and hero, you know, and there was a great, he was a navy seal and had been in the service and survived an attack in which all of his friends -- so we talk about counsel, and he said he thought it took huge amount of courage to commit suicide. do you think it does?. i don't know. i have tried it more times than i would talk about on a program like this, but i have, i am the
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president of the largest mental health charity combined and i am bipolar a and the particular bipolar i have, although dsm 4 is just waiting for dsm 5 to come out. >> rose: right. >> the statistical manual that sort of defines mental illness for the purposes of courts and insurance companies and all sorts of other reasons, says -- serious it is not as serious as bipolar one or two in terms of its manic episode it is more likely to lead to suicidal i'd investigation which is a rather triple raise they use, and .. >> bipolar leads to that? >> yes, it does, it can and certainly, certain time of the year. >> rose: i have two or three that -- >> well, the last time was a year and a half, i was in the middle of filming, in uganda. >> rose: what happens? >> i think it is partly i spent a whole afternoon looking into the face of evil, it was the ugandan minister for integrity of ethics, i killed you not,
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that was the name. he was trying to bring about a bill in which actors -- within uganda would receive the death penalty. and he was talking to me about how if -- i said, sir, in the street, no, i said well that would be the death penalty, no but you would go to prison for a very long time, i said. >> rose: so you looked in the face of evil? >> yes and the thing that really made it was i said even aside, you can use all of the old arguments against homosexuality that they try to promote it or choose it, who would choose it in a country like uganda, you can't for heaven's sake, and even if what you are saying is true there is an epidemic at the moment in uh banda, thanks to conversion to fun fundamentalist christianity there are no longer condoms as health against hiv, they are actually told they spread it, which is such a wick
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lie it is unbelievable. i said, so there is, in the book of mormon addressed it, this idea that if you rape or have sex with a virgin, it will cure your aids and so there are these monstrous acts of rape against young girls, girls as young as frankly babies, and i said to him and i looked at him that day, i said there is an epidemic of child rape in uganda that is infinitinfinitely more serious o men who fall in love and go to bed in private. and he said, ah, but it is the right kind of rape. and i said, you do know the camera is running, you have just said that remaining a baby girl is the right kind of rape? and i left that interview as if the life had been sucked out of me, i mean it would have been bad enough for anybody, you would be trembling. >> rose: of course. >> or hit him on the jaw or you wanted a bit of time to yourself to calm down, the professional
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side would say man we got that on camera. >> rose: yeah. which you can always edit. >> i was alone and i was miserable and many things wrong with me and because i had been traveling so much i had taken a whole lot of sleeping pills because i had to get to sleep when i had to get to sleep because i was traveling thousands of miles on a plane backwards and forward and i just sat down and i was overcome and, stalin writes about it, but it was as if. >> rose: you were dealing with manic depression? >> yes, this feeling of absolutely no future, that there simply was not a future for me on this planet, there was nothing -- there was no purpose, that sort of what is the point feeling? it was magnified to the extent that there really was about point in being alive and even though what held me back is both of my parents are living and a brother and sister and nephews, nephew serving in afghanistan for heaven's sake, and i just took as many pills as i could and watched them down
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with as much vodka that i had two-thirds of a vodka, which through good fortune, i had medical -- >> >> i didn't even write a note. >> rose: do you think you didn't want to die or you wanted to die? >> as far as i know at the time i absolutely didn't want to wake up. i was horrified when i woke up, i thought it was an unbelievable pain because whatever i had taken caused such convulsions and i threw myself off the bed and broke four ribs, the producer and me, and the hotel manager managed to get themselves in. >> rose: and took you to a place. >> got me to a place and got me ba back to england and i went into sort of a -- i met some fantastic psychiatrist. and he said, well, it is your decision, really, isn't it? he was very cheerful, he said, and i since discovered, he said, i think probably if you carry on as you are, even if you try hard without medication, you will be dead in two years. i said what? >> he said, no, you will, you
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will. it is getting worse you see, because he read my case history. he said, all, or we can try some medication and i always know you live by your wits and your ability to put words together to form a sentence and be on the charlie rose and be impressive and say things and sound articulate and all of that kind of stuff so i don't want to make a zombie of you, we won't make a zombie of you but won't give you too much at first so he gave me these select if the nora ever rin/written reuptake inhibitor, ms. nora epinephrine and with mood stabilizers, and huge dosage and, for a few days, i was very happy. but i couldn't have completed a quick crossword puzzle of or a difficult one and i have to say to myself, 13, 14 and we tried to go down to the 1812, 30
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second president was, document all of this kind of stuff just just to check my brain was working, so he halved the dose, anyway to cut a long story short we refined the dose to the exact right amount such that. >> rose: so the medication works? >> so the medication works for me and it does, and, you know, i don't want to -- i wrote about it, and i waited -- so the same thing, when coming out, i never, you know, something is there is pompous to call a press conference to say i am gay, i am in government so i am insane, so this guy who does these pod casts richard hearing, very popular british comedian and he asked me about my health, how is it? and i to it is better, well i would have said that to you but unfortunately i am on medication and explained why, because it was a big news story and i wrote a blog, you know you want to tell people so you have this condition, don't think it means you are therefore cast down into the depths prefer, you
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can -- as highly as possible but at the same time you want to tell them it is really serious. go and see a doctor. don't think you can just laugh it off or walk it off, so it is that mixture of getting that across. >> rose: i think of wallace. >> i know. utter tragedy, utter tragedy, and the thing is, alcoholics, bipolar people are a bit like alcoholics we can be quite devious and hide from our friend how we are feeling and i presented a show called qi and there are occasions where i did a two hour showing where i was laughing and underneath on my stomach said to my brain i am in agony, i am in hell i hate this so much, and so the next question and i have been feeling so ill a and i am ill and happy behind it and it is a bit like alcoholic you have the bottle behind the ventilation rail, and saying, everything is fine and in fact, it is weird. so but on the other hand you don't bore people, you say how are you and they say, well, and
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half an hour later, you say i didn't really mean it. i didn't want to know how you are. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: thank you very much. >> rose: and anne-sophie mutter is here, she is a world renowned violinist, her performance at carnegie hall and recorded her latest album with the berlin philharmonic earlier this year here is a look at her performance of this violin concerto.
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>> rose: i am pleased to have anne-sophie mutter back at this table. welcome. >> it has been 25 years since you made your debut at carnegie hall. >> yes. that is correct. and my recital debut but one with orchestra was a few years earlier, and i am really excited to perform on such an evening. >> rose: what will you perform? >> two world premiers by two world famous composer, one is andre premise and the other one is keisha la goal i can't and play schubert and other great polish composer, whose birthday we are celebrating and a fun piece at the end of the evening if we are st. louis alive. >> rose: very good. speaking of andre he said to me once in an interview in 2009 i have if i have to spend a day without composing or conduct aring or playing or listening to piewfk, it is a complete waste of time.
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>> rose: do you have the same love affair? >> he is such a multimy, multi-my, multiple my i have two children and not a conductor or composer, just a violinist so there are things i can do for my children and foundation and still be a good day even without music. >> rose: how important is this piece, this borjac piece you do. >> it is the last one i haven't recalled yet, as i have started early at the age of 13 to record with the berlin orchestra, many of the great respiratory meanwhile has been recalled twice, i guess it was just necessary to revise what i had done as a necessary but this, i never, it never came around and now that it is just one of the great romantic pieces and it is just wonderful to do it with an orchestra with which i haven't played for 30 years but which i will open the season at carnegie next year which is just a wonderful, you know, part of my
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history with the philharmonic orchestra. >> rose: what is the greatest strength von carry on had? >> vision. >> rose: vision. >> and relentlessly driving himself and everything close to him to this point. >> rose: he was merciless in terms of wanting to achieve the objectives he had. >> you name it, anything. [laughter.]. >> rose: but you remember those times well and fondly and --? >> yes, very fondly because it was great, gratefulness but i also remember the times when he had to acquired his helicopter license. >> rose: how old was he? >> he was over 80. >> rose: when he got his helicopter license? >> and flying to him was very frightening. >> rose: did he love to fly after he got his license? >> he loved to fly. he loved to be in charge. if it was the orchestra, the soloist, the helicopter, his lear jet, you name it. >> rose: and extraordinary person. >> yes. yes. not only a musician, he was
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just, you know, a man with vision, he was investing in cds in the eighties when most people thought oh this is new nonsense, you know. it will never make it. >> rose: would you change anything about your evolution as a musician? would you do anything different? >> >> i have never came my life that serious that i was thinking about such a thought. >> i am very forward driven and more interesting. >> rose: you look forward rather than backwards? >> yes and i am very interested in my foundation and helping young scholars, long stringers around the world to successful, i am doing a lot of benefit work and that gives me purpose in life, which besides perfecting my playing is important to me. >> rose: do you believe there will be a time in which you do not want to be cash, to play on stage? >> oh, definitely, yes. >> rose: do you think about that now? >> i have always thought about it and i am not -- not in panic about it.
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it is just the way life goes, you know, how things will appear. >> rose: this has been the center of your your life. >> yes. >> rose: and i realize you have family -- >> and i just love what i am doing and i am very grateful and excited for where i am right now, but we will see. life happens while you are making plans, usually. >> rose: yes, indeed. it does indeed. how is the berlin fill harmon mick today? >> wonderful, .. it is a totally different orchestra than the one i started out with. and. >> rose: how is it different other than the fact it will be different because the experience of the -- >> the players. >> rose: different players in the orchestra? >> yes, different players but in an orchestra, it is just an on going tradition, that nothing is really ever lost because the tradition this which they were trained, you carry on, it is something which the players pass on to the new generation, so you still have this pizzas, this incredible forceful play but it is sensitivity so yes, they have changed, they have enlarged the repertoire to what is more
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contemporary music but still, they are still holding the traditional values of what we believe the berlin philharmonic makes so special. >> rose: you once said mozart is one of the most difficult composers to play. >> yes there is so little he has written, it is like haiku, every word has 100 meanings, every note is a jewel, so if one goes wrong, the entire phrase is gone. you need lots of purity and really simplicity and sometimes that comes difficult. >> rose: how important is a conductor for you? >> oh, he can be a great source of inspiration, and in those cases, he is sometimes also a source of annoyance but joke aside a conductor usually is an incredible source of inspiration, different striewps he brings whatever he has, lives through a particular piece in rehearsal, it is great. >> rose: you said i am intrigued by the quest for perfection yet it is useless to think one could even come close.
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a great artists are always reaching for it and they know that they haven't gotten there. >> of course, the in the process of reaching for it you don't want to know that you will not reach it. >> rose: yes. >> you are hopeful. it is an endeavor. it is a mirage, and the closer you come to it, viewpoints open up, i mean it is like mountain climbing once you at the peak you see all of these other mountain ranges and it opens up different musical possibilities. so of course the quest for perfection, that is why you have the flow and that being one with people, that is very addictive. >> rose: so actors, after carnegie hall where do you go? >> after that i fly back home and play for our president in germany at the christmas thing. >> rose: you do? what will you play? >> the romance, the rajak -- and the ave maria, which seems to be very appropriate for christmas.
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>> rose: it is good to see you. it has been much too long. >> thank you very much. it is fun being here. >> captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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