tv Charlie Rose PBS October 6, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> charlie: well come to the program. we begin this evening with part two of my conversation with mikhail khodorkovsky. >> if ukraine will be a successful country from an economic standpoint, then this will have a very serious impact on the readiness of russians for a change of regime themselves. if russia is -- if ukraine is not successful, this will be an additional argument for not changing the existing leadership in the country. putin understands this perfectly well, and it's precisely for this reason that ukraine's success on its path of
anti-corruption revolution is unacceptable to him. >> charlie: and we talk about khodorkovsky, putin and the future of russia with stephen seatanovich, fiona hill, and michael mcfaul. >> khodorkovsky pointed out something useful in the interview when he talked about the un predictability of revolutionary situations. he said, you know, these things can't be foreseen. it looks as though they're not going to happen until suddenly they do, and he's banking on a kind of unease within the elite and, hopefully, within the population at some point that the combination of putin's policies are producing a situation in which bad things lie ahead for russia. >> charlie: khodorkovsky part two. russia and putin and khodorkovsky and a preview of the new movie "gone girl" when we continue.
funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: >> rose: additiona!unding provided by: >> and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: you expect to see vladimir putin run for reelection in 2017 and win? >> i think that he will run, and i think that he will get the
victory, but the method by which he will get this victory will depend on how events develop. he could get the victory relatively honestly because, right now, this national chauvinism is supporting his popularity rating. >> charlie: you have said before about ukraine, you have said to him that you believe that he did not expect this, that this was not a well-planned action on his part, but it may very well be -- what? the consequences of ukraine for vladimir putin. >> if ukraine will be a successful country from an economic standpoint, then this will have a very serious impact on the readiness of russians for
a change of regime themselves. if ukraine is not successful, this will be an additional argument for not changing the existing leadership in the country. putin understands this perfectly well, and it's precisely for this reason that ukraine's success on its path of anti-corruption revolution is unacceptable to him. >> charlie: part of the conflict in ukraine was about turning to the west. that was part of the conflict in the beginning. you argue forcefully that russia has to turn to the west. that russia's natural place is with the west. explain that. >> russia, in the past several
centuries of its history, has been developing along the european path. there was some gaps, but, on the whole, if we look at 1,000 years of russian history, the greater part of all of russian history, we have been developing together with europe our ruling dynasty, as you know, was one in the same as today's germany, although germany didn't exist back then. many researchers, by the way, feel that even the name ruus, we need to thank our northern neighbors for that name. today, we're trying to find some
other path. i do not see another path for our 140 million people. we are part of europe. all of our culture is european. all of our traditions are european. a search for another path within the common european choice, that makes sense. every country in europe has its own unique path, but to search for a path that's separate from europe, to me, sounds strange. i ask people, who are you? are you chinese? are youcin you koreans, asians? no, of course not. i think that here our country is going to have to make a choice
in favor of europe and, on this path, jointly with europe, we will solve those problems that have arisen now with ukraine. >> charlie: there's also in russia recently this question -- and i want to say this correctly -- yevtushenkov. >> i know vladimir yevtushenkov well. we graduated from the same department at the me mendolay of technical institute. he is ahead of me, but i worked with him at the plant. i was one of his underlings on a machine tool. i have heard all kinds of attitudes towards him on the part of many people, but we're all complicated people. there is some people he may have
offended. that does happen. but what has happened with him is without a doubt a result of redistribution of political influence within the kremlin inner circle. igor ivanovic has for quite some time demonstrated a desire to get bashneft within rosneft. by the way, i don't know, after this scandal will he continue to have this desire or whether he's going to find another finance group and purchase it through this company. until recently, bashneft was in
the ambit of medvedev. now, from all appearances, medvedev's political position has weakened. while vladimir yevtushenkov didn't realize this immediately, while igor ivanovic is a man of traditional views, which is if you can grab a piece, you've got to grab it. >> charlie: he's also the closest person to vladimir putin, is he not? >> well, he has always carried out the functions of a servant of his whose job is to take care of a whole bunch of tasks that putin didn't want to deal with himself. i think that maybe in a lesser
role, but he still remains in this position. but you should note that he knows putin well and knows how to manipulate him well. i think that this effectiveness, this efficiency which consists of him coming up to putin with a question and just that time when putin is in the right mood or he creates the mood for putin and then comes up to him with a question, you know, the usual intrigues of this sort. this is something igor ivanovic is a great expert at. >> charlie: you're quoted as saying he's one of the few people i hate. >> well, that's probably too strong but if we say there are people towards whom i truly do
have a bad attitude then igor ivanovic is certainly at the top of that list. >> charlie: you have told me before -- i asked you how deeply you hated or felt because of what had happened to you, those ten years of your life and how you felt about putin. you said there are people i hate more than putin. i assume he's on that list. yes, no doubt. no doubt. he heads this list. he knows that, which is why transferring his psychological ideologies to other people, he has interviews to all other kind of publications that he's afraid for his>o
in actuality, i think that, in this way, he's asking in an indirect way for vladimir putin to give him sanction to do something. to me and my partner neslin whom he also despises and fears. >> charlie: that is the interesting question for me, for you. do they, because of your people that are close to you, they don't have your body -- your body is outside of russia -- but people that are your former partners, people that you care about are there. are you i in any way a hostage o that, what might happen to people associated with you or people close to you? >> we are at war.
and, of course, i can't not think about hostages, but neither can i wage war as if though they are limiting me in any way. there are very many people who have to encounter this dilemma. israel has to deal with it every day. and the decision that they make is a difficult one but it's understandable why they make that decision. >> charlie: you are at war with vladimir putin and others who are a part of a system that you want to overthrow.
>> let me repeat what we started our talk with. i believe vladimir putin is but the expresser of the system. in actuality, the fight is with the system. as for igor sechin, he is just an unpleasant element who is outside the bounds of our real objectives. >> charlie: do sanctions work? badly. >> charlie: badly. yes. >> charlie: so they're not having the impact that we might think they are in the crisis over ukraine? >> i think that, in the form in which they were adopted and
announced -- let's put it that way. the second one is more important. the way these steps were announced, they had more of a -- an opposite effect than the one which they were supposed to have. >> charlie: do you believe that vladimir putin fears you? >> i think that today, no. but i do think he's worried. how strong this worry is depends on how effective i am. like all my life, actually. my opponents, my competitors worried about me only when i was
working well. >> charlie: are you working well? >> i'm just starting. but i am going to try. >> charlie: thank you for joining. pleasure to have you here. a conversation with mikhail khodorkovsky. we go now from the conversation with mikhail khodorkovsky to a conversation about vladimir putin, the president of russia and the future of russia within the context of some of the things considered cord says and some of the -- some of the things khodorkovsky says and some of the realities in russia today. joining me to talk about these issues, stephen seatanovich, a professor at columbia university. fiona hill, brookings institution, latest book "is mr. putin operative in the kremlin" and from stanford michael mcfaul, former ambassador to russia former
member of the national security city council and professor of stanford university. stephen, tell me about this man you obviously know as a russian expert but also having followed what he has done since he left prison and what he said to me in this interview. >> well, khodorkovsky is an extremely careful, cagey guy. he didn't become the richest man in russia without being a strategist. he is very aware, now, of the uphill struggle that he has in trying to dislodge putinism in russia. very aware of putin's assets. putin has incumbency, resources, popularity, and he has the strength of the state on his side, the ability to rewrite laws, and khodorkovsky is plainly aware that, in trying to organize an opposition, that
it's going to be extremely difficult for him, particularly because he's not going back to russia. he's trying to unify the opposition from abroad. >> charlie: and it's hard to do that. every revolutionary force has always come from within, has it not, for the most part? >> well, there is the famous story about lenin. >> charlie: yes. (laughter) >> and russians are aware of that. but we tend to think of cord of khodorkovsky as having the enormous assets of wealth, notoriety and moral authority, but it may be that, in the struggle that he sees for himself, other assets are -- and tests of political strength are going to be important, what we call a ground game here, of organization and issues and allies. and that is still untested for khodorkovsky. he's plainly got a lot of feelers out to try to figure out
how to if yo unify people, but e don't know what kind of success he's having or exactly how he intends to proceed. i thought this was a very interesting interview but one that didn't tell us a lot about his next moves. >> charlie: nor is he saying about his next moves. >> he's not only not saying, he said he's not going to say a lot if he thinks it isn't going to help. >> charlie: all right. michael, what's the opinion of him in russia? >> depends on who you ask. >> charlie: clearly, the kremlin, i know what they think. >> well, actually, charlie, that would be a more confused answer, too. >> charlie: really? mr. khodorkovsky actually have some friends who work in the kremlin. i know them, i used to work with them. they would not want me to reveal your names -- their names on your program but there is sympathy for him in the kremlin. certainly in the financial and business circles in russia, he's well regarded. as he himself says to you, you
know, he thinks there's 10%, 15% of the population that's pro-european. well, that part of the population is sympathetic to what he did, and i just remind you, the notion of spending a decade in jail in a way that is perceived by that 10% as being just political gives him a kind of credibility that other political leaders in russia today on the liberal side of the ledger do not have. >> charlie: does he have the moral authority of other dissidents? >> yes and no. i mean, when he was first arrested, there was a debate among the human rights activists, many of whom spent time in the gulag of whether they should support him. over the years, they have come to see him as one of theirs, yes. that's interesting and different. that didn't happen before. >> charlie: yes. the problem that steve pointed out is how do you lead
this movement in exile? it has happened historically, not just lenin, but one can think of the african national congress, for instance, that had a big exiled community for a while. it was decades before they had impact inside south africa. >> charlie: fiona hill on mikhail khodorkovsky, an opinion on him and the struggle he has and authority he has within segments of the russian population. >> there's a very significant thing about khodorkovsky that steve and mike have also touched upon, it is that he has earned, in many respects, the respect of the broader population, not just in and around the kremlin, but across the russian populous, because he actually served his time. although part of the story of his release seemed to indicate he asked about some sort of pardon or early release because
his mother was sick. i don't think people saw that. when putin announced he was having clemsy or mercy for khodorkovsky and releasing him, he made the point of saying he was stuck in jail for a long time and has been really punished. that resonates in the russian psyche and in history of people who have suffered in that way. in that respect, whatever he did in the past, khodorkovsky has earned this grudging respect in some quarters, but a certain kind of moral authority. he didn't run away. he went back to russia when he knew he was sure to be arrested and he did his time. that does count for something in that rather complex society. >> charlie: so let's talk about russia today and putin. measure his popularity now as we look at ukraine and look at his own support within the community. most, i guess, the assumption is when a president does the kinds of things that he has done, at
the first instinct, his popularity goes up. is that true with putin? >> it certainly is. we actually saw putin on the downward trajectory in his polling ratings. last year, putin was actually to some degree in trouble. he had gone down from about 86%, 87% in the polls in 2008 to at the end of the year before the winter olympics down to 64%. i mean, a great polling race in a normal circumstance, but putin has always been judged according to his past performance and clearly people weren't seeing him performing as well. he saw the polling ratings go up again after a successful winter olympics and have gone off the charts after crimea which has been immensely popular. what goes up can come down and i think the kremlin and putin are watching for hints of trouble. it's going to be hard to maintain those kinds of ratings
as it is in any circumstance and it is, including in russia, where, again, it's all about putin and his performance, all eyes are on him in this system. >> charlie: michael, what are his vulnerabilities? >> the economy, without question. this is a leader who does not have an ideology. there's no communist party. there's no party system here. he doesn't get authority from god like previous leaders in the past so it's all about economic performance. fiona is right, his numbers went over 80% after crimea, but george bush was over 90% when he went into afghanistan and close to 75% even when he went into iraq in 2003. and that's without controlling all of the media. that's without having just one party in control or a congress, right? let's just remember it's easier to have those numbers when you control all the institutions of
the political system. if you look at the economy, it's not growing, it's going to be zero this year, maybe less than that next year. capital flight is tremendous. the ruble is falling. investment is way down. just this week, there was a major investment conference that putin performed at, and he was in a very good mood and very funny and, you know, a lot of confidence, but all the economic tectechnocrats including those o worked for him were not in a good mood and that's his achilles heel. >> charlie: will sanctions make him more vulnerable? >> in the long run. the sanctions are having an impact on the economy, without question. the problem is there's a long cycle from sanctions to opposition to putin, right. first, the economy has to worsen. then somebody has to organize
around that, politically. that hasn't happened. the haves and have nots andinst rally people to say that this is being caused by the west. so i think the cycle of how sanctions play we should measure in years, not weeks or months. but without question, it already is having an impact on the economy, and people are starting to talk about it. is it really in russia's national interest to be mucking around in eastern ukraine if the price to be paid for that is a collapsing ruble and zero percent growth? >> charlie: as events have unfolded, stephen, do you believe that what's happened in ukraine was not something he intended to do but a reaction and he may now look at it as a mistake but he's got himself out there and doesn't know what to do? >> for putin, i think crimea was a big score, a big success and i doubt he has any real regrets about that.
the crucial moment for him was the pivot from seizing crimea to getting embroiled in ukraine -- eastern ukraine, which is much more of a less, much less payoff and a kind of open-ended commitment that he may not be able to manage well. you know, i would add another vulnerability, charlie, to the question you asked mike about, about putin's position, because khodorkovsky pointed out something useful in the interview you had with him about when he talked about the unpredictability of revolutionary situations. he said, you know, these things can't be foreseen. it looks as though they're not going to happen until, suddenly, they do. and he's banking on a kind of unease within the elite and, hopefully, within the population at some point that the combination of putin's policies are producing a situation in
which bad things lie ahead for russia. he's talking about a revolutionary scenario that everybody wants to avoid, but he's saying putin is making that more likely with a combination of economic policies, corruption, delegitimizing the regime, cronyism and maybe getting bogged down in a war that doesn't succeed. that's a combination that could produce more than just a change in poll numbers, a real change of heart, change of mind within public opinion as to what kind of country they want to be. >> charlie: is there a figure in russia today who would be the most likely opponent of putin with the possibility of emerging as a victor? >> two years ago the guy you would identify as a talented
speaker and has a common man touch, putin seems to be in agreement, he has navalde (phonetic) under house arrest. khodorkovsky is a different kind of figure. we've talked about some of his assets and weaknesses. the way he talked to you and has talked to other people doesn't clearly see himself as the person at the front of that leadership crowd. >> charlie: when you look at russia beyond economics and beyond change, what's putin's grand agrandgrand ambition? >> the way he's talking this year, to become catherine the great, to yiew unify russia ande
glory that will make him great in history. khodorkovsky raised questions about that. he said he could die with his boots on -- >> charlie: three ways he could go. >> -- but he says, you know, there's a divided elite and you could end up if things go badly with a coup or end up with a real mess in the country, a revolution. he's trying to raise a question mark about putin's catherine ambitions. >> charlie: does he care about his image in the world and care about russia's relationship with the west? >> he cares about russia's standing in the world. steve's just said there's an imthat russia is on an expensive drive. catherine was renowned for her expansion of the russian empire moving out into the many parishes being contested now. but i think putin is laying claim to all the places the russian empire and the soviet union have been before and
that's the sphere i'm interested in defending and protecting. i want to make sure russia's position is stable there. he's engaged in offensive defense in what he sees as russia's interest in this area, very much fused with his own interests of president and maintaining that position and the position of the people around hi him and the system hes created. what he's trying to do is really, in a way, repel all others who might have any kind of aspirations or political or economic engagement in a sense, but a kind of protectionist, a very muscular protectionist stance of this position he's sketched out. of course, it's also in a very different mindset, a very different frame from what we're talking about and i think that's the challenge we have. he's establishing a different way, an older way of talking about russia's position in the world, not one we were hoping for certainly several years ago, and he cares about russia but
cares about the idea of being respected and treated in accordance with the way he has laid things out. >> charlie: that in part was the emphasis on the olympics, i assume, and those kinds of things, he wants the world to admire russia and admire him as a great nation which the world does and in some cases sense russia will be part of the future. khodorkovsky talked a lot about the west and his own idea that russia should be looking west. is putin looking east? >> he's not looking east, no. he's actually trying to carve out a position that he wants to say is russia's position, not east and west. there are interesting things putin said over time. he said russia is part of europe, just is, no argument about this. he may not see russia in that same way but russia is part of europe. he's gone on to say russia has a
eurasian perspective. it's a unique civilization. he's trying to carve out russia being like the united states and china. in his idea, only three country matter, and russia will be one of them. a land mass, a struggling of continents and the fact russia is still with us in many respects as an empire and has been for hundreds of years and is quite unique in a geopolitical context and in an economic context, vast natural resources. so he's trying to carve out the position that is very much unique to russia and he's posing that challenge to himself and the rest of us. >> charlie: michael, what is the policy making, where are we today and what options do we have and what policies can we enact that might make the relationship better or is the ball simply in his court?
>> well, when i was in government i never allowed us to make the goal of any bilateral relationship to make it better, it's what's in our national interest. up until this latest crisis, we had a very clear strategy of trying to integrate russia into the international system and work with russia on security and economic interests we thought were of mutual benefit. i want to remind you of that because the pivot that we're talking about with putin is very recent. just two years ago, he wasn't talking about russia going his own way. they were talking about russia as a european country when president medvedev was there. he's trying to pivot and go it alone. what i don't know is whether the rest of the russian elites are going along with that. think about the largest oil company in russia. a close friend of putin, they've
worked together for 25 years. when i was the u.s. ambassador they wanted make rosneft the next mobile. he wants russia to be part of the west and the world capitalist system. that's what we were trying to do. i think that has to be put on pause until russia figures out what it wants to do. i'm not so sure that the elites around putin are going to be with him for the long term in terms of this turn away from the west. >> charlie: i talked to friends who know the people you're talking to. they say there is a split between those closest advising, those who support him and are leaning towards the views that you expressed earlier about sechin, how people who had his
ear are changing in their attitudes about the future of russia. >> i think it's been clear for a couple of years that the russian elite is divided about how to proceed, how to try to modernize the country. there are not a lot of people who will tell putin to his face that he's on the wrong track. so the question really is how does this discontent and division within the elite play itself out. it's one of the thing khodorkovsky is plainly counting on. he's just as mike says, seeing that 12% who have european outlook within the country as his allies but how does he mobilize them? how does he encourage them to act on their interests and on their views and even if he doesn't lead them, how do they express their own preferences? that's a tough climb in russia
today that because putin has so many of the strong cards. >> what's interesting is we have been talking about society around him but look at the regime. look how paranoid this super confident regime is actually behaving. >> charlie: exactly. they're talking about regulating the internet and making twitter a media company. two days ago, the russian government canceled high school exchanges with the united states. that's not a regime that's really confident about its course of action, in my opinion, and that suggests something about, since we're talking about revolutions -- i teach a course of revolutions here at stanford -- and there's a great piece that talks about hidden preferences and how we're always surprised by revolutions because people hide their preferences when it's inconvenient to express them. and then there's a cascade effect once there's a breakthrough. i don't pretend to know that in russia, and i don't believe anybody that does know what the hidden preferences are, but it
doesn't seem like it's a regime that feels confident and it doesn't feel like a place that feels confident in the course that they've recently taken. >> charlie: but does putin maintain the power to crush any of that? >> he does until he doesn't. i think that's the point that, i think, you know, revolutions seem impossible beforehand and they seem inevitable afterwards. the problem i think he has is i think he does not have a basis of legitimacy beyond economic performance. i really don't think, you know, telling people for the next 20 years that we're fighting nazis in n.a.t.o., because that's what you see on tv in russia. that's not going to work for 20 years. maybe two months, two years, five years, but 20 years? that does not seem like a strategy -- a long-term strategy for the putin regime. >> charlie: stephen? harlie, i would add one other thing to that.
we haven't seen putin recently. you could argue we haven't seen putin at all since he returned to the presidency with a kind of offconfidence in the way he acts and an ability to deliver the goods. just take what happened in ukraine this year. he and his associates were publicly urging yanukovich to crack down forcefully and restore order against these protesters, and when they finally took his advice, the result was a nationwide upheaval against them. so putin called that one totally wrong. if he called situations like that in his own country that wrong, then we may have veryt5 unpredictable futurel]ñ ahead. >> charlie, can i just say something on this? >> charlie: yes. what we do see with putin, you're right, he's made miscalculations, but he's very capable of learning from his mistakes. he's very adaptable. people look at him and say this
guy is a great tactics. they always say he doesn't have a strategy. actually, putin was plan. he always has contingencies of something else. we've seen time and time again when he's made a miscalculation, it's taken a while, but he's made a correction. not necessarily in the way we would be happy about. in the case of the opposition in 2011 and 2012, he triggered that off by many respects by saying he was coming back to the presidency. he didn't expect the backlash. he misread the mood as stephen and mike are saying. but then he figured out how to geget to truest of the opposition -- to the roots of the opposition. he basically had khodorkovsky detained for ten years so others could see what are the consequences of taking action against him. what he's doing in ukraine is big messaging and signaling.
he's made mistakes and tried to correct them. but he's saying if he's crossed, we should not underestimate him and he will be prepared to commit to any threat he's made and that's a dangerous situation we're in now because we have poor, at this particular juncture, contacts directly with putin and his inner circle, he doesn't trust us at all and he has a threat perception which mike and steve have laid out very clearly here that goes to the idea that we're trying to overthrow him and also because he feels defensive and things are not going according to the original plan so he's constantly having to up the ante and react in a more forceful way, so that's why i think we're in such a dangerous juncture at this particular time. >> one last thing about putin here because it comes straight from khodorkovsky. khodorkovsky clearly has a high regard for putin as an opponent, and one thing he said about him
is putin never will go completely against russian public opinion as he understands it. he knows that putin is always trying to maneuver so that he can claim he's got the public at his back, and he's been pretty skillful at that in many situations. so i think khodorkovsky knows that this is a formidable opponent he's taking on. >> charlie: that lends itself to what i was going to ask mike which is sometimes in the american conversation you will see senators and congress people say things like he's just a former k.g.b. thug, but he's more than that, isn't he, mike? >> obviously. he's had a long career in politics. i first met him in the spring of 1991, and he's been involved in various ways to this day. i agree with fiona that he's an
adaptive learner and he did handle the opposition, but he handled it with coercion, and the long arc of history is against autocratic leaders that rely on coercion to stay in power. if you look over the last hundred years, the odds are against those kinds of regimes, especially ones that are as rich, educated, connected as the russian people are today. so at some point, maybe it's in the post-putin era, by the way. putin might survive as a leader and a regime, but it's hard for me to imagine over the long haul how this current way of governing russia survives. >> charlie: thank you all. very interesting. thanks so much. >> charlie: we now turn from russia to the movies. there's a movie opening friday night called "gone girl." it is directed by david fincher and stars ben afleck and based
on the novel by gillian flynn. here's a preview of the conversation in full monday night. thank you for joining us. see you then. >> mick dunn, probably the most hated man in america right now, for killing your wife. everyone told us and told us marriage is hard work. not for me and nick. >> as y'all know, my wife, amy elliott dunn, disappeared three days ago. i had nothing to do with the disappearance of my wife. i have nothing to hide. >> you have friend -- she has fs to talk to? >> not really. you don't know her friends or her blood type. >> a good guy. you don't like him. i'm being nice to the people who are volunteering to help
amy. >> have you ever seen those glasses before? >> amy attracts admirers. whoever took her is bound to bring her back. >> tell me what this means. amy treasure hunt. seen this girl? i remember her. know you. i saw you at the volunteer. i wanted to help. >> what did she want? a gun. we are all scared but here now. >> i feel like something to be jetsonned, if necessary. i feel like i could disappear. >> the hallmark of a sociopath is a lack of empathy. >> you lost a lot of blood and somebody mopped it up. >> why did they mop it up if they're stage ago crime? >> whatever they found, i assume it's bad. >> i'm frightened of my husband. n a deposition, what to say and not. >> a trained monkey? doesn't get lethal injection. >> you assaulted her? absolutely not, i never touched her. (siren) >> nick is involved in the
disappearance. >> without a body, without a murder weapon, their only hope is a confession. >> don't know anything yet. you need to tell me, how was your marriage, nick? >> are you asking me if i killed my wife? >> this man of mine may kill me. what about mine. this man may truly kill me. you ever hear the expression simplest answers are often the correct one? >> actually, i've never found that to be true. >> what these guys put together was an interesting challenge and interesting protagonist. it's not a conventional protagonist. if you read the studio's notes, the guy's not likable enough. we're not invested with him enough. to make somebody likable the theory goes you have to adhere to these six or seven articles of behavior. >> charlie: yes. and this movie is -- this book and movie seem to totally want to abandon that. what happens is sometimes he makes choices that sometimes you can understand and empathize
with and then things happen and you're going, whoa, whoa, i'm not sure i'd do that, exactly. and he's sometimes obtuse and sometimes astute, and what's interesting about that, i think, is the audience is forced to project themselves on to a more honest protagonist than one that is conveniently manufactured to, you know, sort of reassure us of our own virtue. >> so you got to the bar around 11:00 today. where were you before that? >> i was home ivment left at 9:30. i had coffee, newspaper, went to the beach and -- >> did you visit anyone there? i go there for the solitude. your wife has no friends here. is she kind of stand offish, ivy league, rubs people the wrong way? >> she's from new york. she's complicated. she has very high standards. >> boy, that can make you crazy if you're not like that. you seem pretty laid back, type b.
speaking of which, amy's blood type. >> i don't know. i will have to lock it up at the house. >> you don't know if he has friends you don't know what she does all day and you don't know your wife's blood type. >> are you sure y'all are married? >> maybe it's type o. where are her folks, new york? >> yeah. can can they get here in time for the press conference tomorrow? >> i have no idea. you haven't called your wife's parents yet? >> you can't get a signal in this building. i've been in here talking to you. >> call them, please, nick, now. i don't know my wife's blood type? >> charlie: you see a screenplay and movie and you see an amazing cast. has that added tyour insight of what you were trying to say? >> i finally realized what i tried to say. yes, that's it. >> charlie: give an interpretation that adds to your own sense of who you drew? >> absolutely. that for me is part of the process and fun of it and the
two different disciplines of writing the novel and the movie. i had a sticky note above my laptop that said it's a movie. we go to movies for different reasons than we read a book and you have to respect that. when i got in rehearsals for these two, i felt that that's when the screenplay really started clicking and being fun to write because i was tailing it to them and what they were bringing. they were doing different things with the lines i had going through at that point. i would have to catch myself because they would hit a word differently. then it was really refreshing to realize, oh, yeah, no, these characters were going on to a different life and to two very good hands. >> i want you to be careful.
might attract a desperate character. >> yes. they relieved me of my artisnal meat platter. >> i don't want you sitting quietly while -- (whispering) >> i prefer men who are funny. what type are you? >> core of the earth, misery guy. native new yorker. what's your name? >> amy. >> charlie: what are we saying about marriage? >> conflicting. you know, i certainly started the story with that idea of, you
know, how honest are we ever in relationships. you know, i like the idea we are kind of emotional con artists when we start in any sort of meeting, that we're presenting our best self forward and i like that idea that, you know, this was, you know, a murder mystery, but marriage was a mystery. you know, to solve the murder, you have to solve the marriage and figure out who these two people really were and that idea, especially in this very media-saturated world, how much are we ever really our true selves? i like the idea of the media as almost a third character in this film. >> charlie: this also pervades, this idea of what are they thinking? >> yes, exactly, you know, do you ever really know what the person is thinking? just because they tell you what they're thinking, are they truth telling there? >> did they ask you if you wanted a lawyer? >> don't need a lawyer. id they ask personal stuff about amy?
>> if she had any friends. what did you say? she's complicated. complicated is code for bitch. oh, god... i feel sick. this is so bizarre. it teams like the kind of thing that would happen to amy. she always attraction -- >> drama? you can say it. >> just because i don't like to be around amy doesn't mean i don't care about her. anyways, whoever took her is bound to bring her back. >> wasn't it t.s. elliott said if you think of a playwright as trying to break into the mind of the audience that the plot is sort of meat to the guard dogs to distract them while you get into the subconscious and that's really to me what's going on here. this plot, it's not that it's discarded but that it okay buys the conscious -- occupies the
front mind, the brain, which is the question of how much is marriage is lying. which i think is sort of scary. everybody wants to have a good mary ellen and doesn't want to think of themselves as a liar and there's a dance of how do we present ourselves. >> charlie: when do we find out in marriage there's no middle line. >> it depends on the marriage. gillian sets up this couple who sort of for reasons of their own have shifted their true selves to fit in with who they would like to be perceived to be by the other person. >> the suggestion is any couple could be this couple and they could do this way and these tendencies are at the root of the marriage. with the love and purity there is this underbelly that could be potentially quite toxic. >> mr. dunne. collins, i know you. i saw you at the volunteer
center. >> i wanted to help. well, i hope you don't mind me coming by. i got your address from this letter you wrote my wife. >> amy and i believed in the lost art of letter writing. >> i always wondered why you kept in touch after -- everything. you were together for two years in boarding school, right? >> she was my first serious girlfriend. >> why did you break up? that's a strange question. did you treat her bad? that's a rude question. let me tell you what amy told me. she dumped you, you completely unraveled, you stalked her, you threatened her, you attempted sue said in her bed. >> your wife is missing and you came all this way to tell me this? >> i thought there might be another side to the story. mr.le collins! >> charlie: for more about this program and earlier episodes vies us online at rbs
man: it's like holy mother of comfort food.ion. kastner: throw it down. it's noodle crack. patel: you have to be ready for the heart attack on a platter. crowell: okay, i'm the bacon guy. man: oh, i just did a jig every time i dipped into it. man #2: it just completely blew my mind. woman: it felt like i had a mouthful of raw vegetables and dry dough. sbrocco: oh, please. i want the dessert first! [ laughs ] i told him he had to wait.