tv Charlie Rose PBS August 18, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with cuba and the new u.s. embassy there and we talk to senator amy klobuchar of minnesota and peter kornbluh. the reopening of our embassies are critical steps in the long process of fully normalizing our bilateral relations. >> there is a distrust and a sense that perhaps this is a trojan horst, horst, this new em grace the united states and through the bridges of culture and economics and politics that are going to be built into this new relationship the united states may still seek regime change and that's the tension between the cuba relationship and the united states government right there, right now. >> rose: what do you mean game change? >> that that the united states will use these bridges of engagement to try to pursue the same goals it has been pursuing all along. >> rose: we conclude with the new film called grandma that opens this week, it stars lily
tomlin and is directed by paul weitz. >> i really like the idea that this granddaughter who is 1 18 s such a powerful grandmother and mother that all of the air has been sucked out of the room and she is completely oblivious to women's history and also needs to be taught by the grandmother how to stand up for herself and that the grandmother and, on her part can, in sort of helping her granddaughter is able to move on from some of hermes anthroby and dealing in a positive way with all of the things she has gone through .. over the last 50 years. >> rose: cuba and a new film starring lily tomlin when we >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> rose: additional funding 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. >> rose: the american flag flew over the newly reopened u.s. embassy in havana on friday, the event marked a ceremonial resumption of diplomatic ties more than 50 years after they were severed, the flag raising was the latest step in a process that, set in motion by the obama administration last december. joining me now from minnesota is senator amy klobuchar, who attended the ceremony, also joining us later, peter kornbluh, se the director of the cuba documentation project at the national security archive in washington. i want to talk about cuba and its importance, but first there is much debate as you know about what will happen in congress and in the senate and the house with respect to the nuclear iranian nuclear deal.
tell me, i know why wow took the position you did and what you think the senate and house are likely to do. >> well, i, as you know, think this is the best available option for putting the brakes on the development of a nuclear weapon by iran, which always has been one of our top foreign policy priorities, our top security priorities for our country and i do this with eyes wide open about the nature of this iranian regime, the fact that they have engaged in terrorist activities and human rights abuses, but i think it would only be made worse if they possessed a nuclear weapon, and as far as what will happen with this in the future, i don't have a c chri crystal ball but i thik people will have noticed there have been a few people on the other side, on the democratic side, a number of people literally daily are coming out after much thought and talking to nuclear experts and military experts are coming out the same way in favor of this agreement.
so i do find it hard to believe that there would be enough votes against it somehow that the president's veto would be overridden, if we got to that point, but again i don't know all the numbers. >> rose: you think you have the numbers, that they are not sufficient numbers to override a presidential veto, if it comes to that? >> if it comes to that, i think so. because i, i mostly know about the senate and i have seen a number of people, senator tupter this week, a number of senators that have come out in favor of this agreement. >> rose: so you think it might not be necessary for the president to have to veto a resolution? >> that we don't know yet, but in any case, i think that the numbers are adding up on a daily basis and i think if you look at the people that have said they are leaning that way or have come out just plain in favor of the agreement, i think most people would predict that the numbers are there, even if we get to the point of a veto of a
disapproval a, that that would not be overridden. >> rose: what is it you think has made the difference for those you have talked to in the senate? is it as you suggested the testimony of nuclear experts or is it some sense that without this we are in a worse place? >> i think it is a few things. federal first of all, the nuclear experts and those 20 some nuclear physicists including a number of nobel laureates have come out and said look this is valid way to check up and have intrusive inspections of the iranian capabilities, the fact that 98 percent of the, done something with 98 percent of the uranium, all of these things add up, but i think the thing that really made a difference is people talked to experts during the last few weeks was the ambassadors from some of the other countries, a group of us sat down with all of them, actually, and they said look this is going to splinter the coalition. one of the strengths of the
sanctions have been that we have hung together and what will happen, most likely, would be that iran would just go on, they are a few months away from developing a nuclear weapon, they would just continue on their way, and then at the same time you would most likely see countries like russia and china start doing business with them, and so we have to look at the reality of the global situation. and of course everyone would have wanted to see something added to the agreement, but we have the agreement that we have, and the decision that each of us has to made make, and i have the utmost respect for people that have come down the other way, i think it is a difficult, difficult decision. but the decision that we have to make is, are we better off with this agreement in preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon or not? and i simply came down on the side of the fact that this does put the brakes on their program and we are better off with them not having the weapon. >> rose: is there any likelihood that? something will be attached to this agreement, some kind of side letter or something like that?
>> that's a really good question and i think there is discussions, i know i have talked to senator hardin, the ranking on foreign relations on this. there are discussions about at some point in the timing is key, more aid to israel for their security. other things, of course the sanctions are going to keep in place on terrorist activities, american sanctions on terrorist activities. there can be a reauthorization of that bill. there are other things that we can be doing and coordinating with our allies in taking better actions against isis and other terrorist groups, some supported by iran in that region. so i would not -- i would favor, actually, doing something either at the same time or immediately after the vote on the agreement. >> rose: how intense is the pressure? you know, you are seeing people talking to you on all sides, including a constituencies here in minnesota, at the end we had that time and that's why i was
so proud of corker, republican senator, a democrat in negotiating this review process. the way it went down, we have 60 days, and given that congress and i was such a strong supporter of these sanctions in bringing iran to the table, given that we have that very important role, i think having a methodical way that we review this agreement is really important and i think that is how people have come to their decisions. i can't tell you how many senators have been at these briefings, at these meetings. we had numerous meetings outside of the public hearing and briefings from experts all during those last few weeks and people are still on the phone talking to them, so i think that these decisions are coming down with a lot of input, and whether people come down for or against the agreement i think they are trying in good faith to learns learn the facts and make a good decision. >> rose: is it more controversial than the opening to cuba? >> well, i guess the public would be there to judge that.
i think if you just look at the american public, is more divided on the iranian agreement, whereas there are more in favor of opening the embassy in cuba and moving forward with kiewb. there of course are very different situations, one much more focused on a security issue and the other, in my mind, more focused on economics and of course human rights. >> rose: tell me about the opening of the embassy. >> well, that was a joyful moment and to see those three marines, jim and mike and larry come back after 50 years, after at least one of them had vowed to one day bring that flag and put a flag up again after having walked through an apingly crowd and courageously taking that flag down because that was their orders and to see them hand a flag over to the marines so they can raise it was something i will never forget with the sea in the background and some of the cuban officials there and secretary kerry, and then later
in the afternoon to be at the em bass door's residence which was full of life, both cubans and americans and cuban americans there and a piano player was just playing different songs, people were mingling and he started to play god bless america and spontaneously everyone started to sing along. and i am not a pollyanna about this but anyone who could have seen that scene would have gotten a few goose bumps and thought to themselves this probably didn't happen a lot over the last few decades. >> rose: one of the interesting things about this is the cuban reaction. what do you think their intent is with respect to this and what is it driven by? >> well, i think first of all, they are in an economic mess in cuba. we always -- a hot of americans went to visit there and i hope they can to see the beautiful buildings and the spirit of the people and those old cars, it is all kind of romantic but in the end we know there is nothing romantic about poverty, they
have two currencies. they have 600,000 people that are entrepreneurs who are just wanting to participate in more of an economic system that works for their country. you have got 90 -- yo you have t 90 miles off our shore 11 million people that want to do business with us and my view is that the people of cuba, just like the people of america, are in front of our government, and it is time to lift the embargo, kerry is leading the bill, we we now have 22 cosponsors i have republicans on the bill, senator flake and senator -- have been leaders, senator leahy and all working together to move forward to first lift the travel ban, a separate bill i am on led by flake and leahy and then lift the embargo, both are very important for the economies of both countries. >> rose: tell me where you think lifting the embargo stands today. >> well, i think the common wisdom is the first move will be
to lift the travel ban. >> rose: right. >> because tens of millions of americans want to visit cuba but my position is, okay, i bet that will happen, but once that happens, if we wait too long, there is going to be investment from all over the world, that investment has been waiting to see if america moves, because once the american tourists come in, there will be such a demand and we want our tourists to be in, eating some american food and sleeping in american hotels, instead they will be sleeping in spanish hotels and eating german food as well as cuban food and i think our country, i saw the beautiful newport, in mariel that went up in you barks i think we want to bring some american goods to their shores so i would like to see both things happen at the same time or the embargo lifted shortly after. >> rose: peter kornbluh is joining me now at the table in new york city. so tell me aboutable it, you have worked hard for, this and you believe in this, tell me how you think cubans are viewing this, and i mean by that not the people of cuba, which will
benefit but the leadership of cuba. >> you know, the leadership has kind of a historical foundation of suspicion and distrust of the united states of america, fidel castro and the only comment he has really made about this whole effort has said, you know, we should have civil relations under the guise of international law but i distrust the americans even though historically as we point out in our book, back channel to cuba. >> rose: which you have talked about at this table. >> yes, historically fidel reached out to every new president since kennedy to say we are interested in better relations. but there is a distrust and there is a sense that perhaps this is a trojan horse, this kind of new embrace from the united states, and through the bridges of culture and economics and politics that will be built into this new relationship united states make still seek regime change and that's the tension between the cuban relationship and the united states government right now. >> rose: the game change? >> the fear that the united states will use these bridges of engagement to try and pursue the
same goals it has been pursuing all along. >> rose: there is also the belief that, you know, they felt the need to change. >> absolutely. >> rose: especially raul. >> for economic reasons and the validation of the revolution, in many ways the cubans and the castros have seen to see the central addition of the revolution. >> rose: what are they saying will not change? what are this he saying won't change? >> during the very first secret meeting between -- in 1961, he said we are willing to talk to you about anything, but our system of governance is not going to be on the table and even today, all the cuban leadership are saying exactly the same thing. >> rose: governance will not be on the table. >> that's right they won't negotiate away the socialist revolution they undertook and here the u.s. position is essentially, we are going to form lies economic relations and diplomatic relations and that may well have an impact on your political future, the cubans say it won't, the united states
government hopes that it will, and that is where we are today. i should say that even though there is some distrust among the older cuban leadership, i want to give the administration credit for going out of its way to, i think, assure the cuban people and the cuban government that regime change is something of the past for this administration. and that they just seek a normal relationship with cuba in which of course the cues continues to assert the same kind of superpower, you know, imperatives and philosophies and goals it has in the past. >> rose: senator what did you hear when you talked to cuban leaders about this, about the government? >> well, i think you hear various things depending on what level they are at, but for the most part, they want to lift this embargo, they want to start doing business. that's their major focus, when you talk to people, regular people on the streets, they want to buy american goods, but they also want to have things like internet, the fact that they have -- just a few dozen wifi
spots right now where you can even get cellphone service or access the internet is really outrageous in this day and age. there are countries that have a lot more problems with poverty that have access to the internet. and so the issue here is that the people, i think, and the government want to lift the embargo, and of course on our side we want to see some changes and while i think it was pointed out that the name of the game here, people aren't exactly pushing on regime change, i think we know that there could be some changes to the government eventually, that that could be a good thing, and we also know that this could result in human rights changes. the pope is coming there in the fall. they are really looking forward to that and talking a lot about that and you know he is going to bring a message of human rights change. >> and he is going to priya message saying the embargo is not blessed by the vatican -- >> lifting the embargo would be blessed by the pontiff himself. she going to be in you behalf he
is going to i a am i am sure a talk tenant the morality of tell bar go and economic right of cubans and then come to the united states and i am sure going to bring that message here as well. i think he -- >> rose: and to the united the d nations. >> and i think he is going to increase the pressure and support for lifting the embargo and let me just say something else, pave the way in some respects for president obama him elf to go to cuba, to visit the island as the first sitting president, since the revolution to go to cuba, and that will consolidate these changes in policy. >> rose: i would assume that would have some appeal to president obama, wouldn't you, senator? >> well i am sure he would like to go there and i think as they have said very clearly, ben rhodes have said, others, they are waiting for the right moment, and i don't think they think that moment has quite arrived. >> rose: what has to happen with respect to getting sufficient support to end, first the travel ban and then the
embargo which is the larger, more complicated issue? >> well, i know you have had on your show before, senator rubio. >> rose: yes. >> who is opposed as well as senator menendez and a number of those in the house, and so that is an issue, both those senators sit on the foreign relations committee, but the banking committee is where the embargo will be considered, senator menendez sits on that committee and there is also a number of others that may be opposed. but i will say, just talking to, amount nearly all of the senators about this, as i work on gaining support for my bill, yes, i have 22 people, but there are dozens more than would vote for it. we have a test vote in appropriations on the travel ban, that passed in the senate appropriations i think it is a little different story in the senate than the house. you have more republicans in the senate percentage wise who are willing to be favorable to opening up cuba. i think you have a lot of midwestern republicans and those that see the potential for agriculture that are interested
in opening up cuba. so it is a different story so i am not -- i don't think it is going to happen overnight, but it is gaining and gaining and gaining, i literally add a senator every single week into so if it is gaining and gaining an gaining when will it happen? >> again we don't know if it was one year or two years, obviously i think it is going to be a major discussion in the presidential debate once it gets to the stages, yes, of two primary candidates, but i think that will be helpful, because you look at where the people are, the american people want to visit cuba, they want to open up relations with cuba, cuban americans are split on this, it is not as one-sided as pep think. and i think all of that is going to contribute to a change, and i just wish i could give you the exact date, i wish it was september, but i think we know it is going to take a little longer than that. >> rose:. >> that's really what has changed is cuban americans have changed? >> well, president obama did a very interesting thing, he wanted to go incrementally on
this when he was first president he was under great pressure to change the policy and he allowed cuban americans from florida and wherever in the united states to travel freely to cuba, the rest of us still can't travel freely to america but cuban americans can, and tens of thousands -- >> rose: journalists --. >> tens of thousands of people went, and visited their family and they started giving money to their family and helping their families, in this new economic process of reform in cuba and they became vested in a change in the policy, and that's why you see the polls in florida have changed significantly in, and florida is to long ear swing state on the whole issue of u.s. policy towards cuba. >> rose: but a powerful political state and, in a presidential election? >> yes, but hillary clinton very interestingly decided she can get money from florida on a position of rifting the embargo and she went out of her way to give a whole speech in florida about the need to lifting the embargo, presenting some of the arguments you just heard hear on your show. >> rose: let's as super it is
lifted and everything can go and do business. >> what is the future of this relationship between a country that is 90 miles off our shore? senator? >> well, first of all, i think as we all know it is not going to be easy stuff, they still have two curbs. currencies. they still have archaic economic system, so i think one of the reasons you see caution on our side, in terms of wanting to open these embassies so we have a practical, functional embassy where businesses are interested can talk to people, american citizens who lose their passport have a place to go. i think all of that is going to be important, but part of it is because the economic system is such a mess. so i think once those things happen and i want to stress i don't think they are going to happen right away. you start having countries that do business with each other and one effect that i have learned talking to business people and american businesses, which mean to me american workers, that do work in sout south america, is t
this is always put up to them as a bear we are to doing business in all of south america, because of our relationship with cuba. so i also think you can see some positive repercussions there for american goods, things that are made in america to be shipped and sold to other countries in south america as a result of this relationship. >> rose: it is fair to say that almost all of south america wanted the united states to do this?. >> all of south america was pressing, the leadership of all latin america, canada, spain as well have been pressing the obama administration for, you know, all of the time that the president obama has been in office, and they are absolutely elated, this helps their domestic politics considerably and helps the international and regional situation, but picking up on this point of where we go from here, you know, cuba and the united states have a lot of differences and a lot of disagreements and some are reflected on the, so much sharp nature of the exchange between secretary kerry and foreign minister rodriguez last friday, but we have a new framework now, a new framework under which we
can have a dialogue without the overarching hostility, without the pressure from the united states over shadowing cuba, and under this new framework the united states have already set up a commission to discuss what kerry calls the easy issues that include counter narcotics, collaboration, setting up direct mail, you know, we still can't even extend a simple letter to cuba at this stage, migration issues and disaster management, to what kerry calls the tough ies, hard issues like compensating for expropriating properties, the regime change programs are being run under uaisd as democracy programs and the basic guantanamo which of course is sovereign cuban property and cuba wants it back, those will all be discussed there is no kind of deadline for terminating that discussion and hopefully there will be a trust and kind of a collaboration and a positive relationship that is built up now that takes us a long way towards resolution of those issues. >> rose: senator, where is the
president on guantanamo? >> well, i know he still wants to close it down and he has been working on that, and as you know, through the years, working on getting some of the prisoners that he felt could be transferred to other countries, transferred, and right now, i think there are still some issues with congress with that, and as far as i know, it is still a priority for him. >> rose: there is priority and also legacy, you think he views both cuba and the iran deal as part of his foreign policy legacy? you know, i think presidents, any president wants the collected works of what they have done, but i think the cuba issue is something that people have been working on out there in the trenches like senator flake for years and years, and, yes, this could be part of obama's legacy, but i think it is part of our country's legacy. it is something that needed to be changed after 50 years, and i really don't view it just simply
as something that president obama wants to put up there as some kind of trophy. this is something that people know. he has been willing to talk about it and to have the courage to talk about it, but i it is something our country needs to do and when you saw the three marines sitting there at that ceremony and you thought about the fact they add that courage to walk through an angry crowd and take down our flag and now they sat there as we raised it again. this is something about our country, and not just one president. >> rose: how do you and senator flake differ at all on cuba? >> i think on cuba we are really quite similar. he has, of course, lead on the travel ban it is what i introduced a few years before and then the embargo and i think we both agree the travel ban gets lifted first, i feel really strongly as i mentioned we will have severe economic consequences for us and lost opportunities if we don't also lift the embargo because right
now, i think people wouldn't believe this but if you send an american, we have sent a ship over there with some american goods on it the, the way the embargo works they can't come back to dock in america for 180 days. you can only use cash to finance transactions. the president has made it a little easier but you can only use cash. you have to get a license for any kind of exports, it is different than any other countriecountryin the world. >> rose: as you noticed, you and senator flake have different, have similarities on cuba, but a dramatic differences on the iran nuclear issue and he wanted to come very much to be a part of this conversation and we had a scheduling conflict as we tried to work this out, and i hope he will come later this week to talk about it and express his views, both on cuba as well as on the iran nuclear deal, but i thank you so much for taking time out of a busy schedule, it is good to see you from minnesota as well. >> thank you very much. it is great to be on. >> rose: peter, the last word to you, you are optimistic that
this will take its natural course through full relations? >> i think as the bumpy road but i think both countries are absolutely committed to moving forward and it is in the national interests for us to put this dark and sinister past of u.s. cuban relations behind us and move to a much more positive future. >> rose: why are the negotiations different this time so much different than you wrote amount. >> president obama created a different situation, there is a leadership change in cuba, citizens here in the united states pol poling is different, cuban americans feel differently about it, cuba wants this, the united states wants, this you have second term democrat and frankly you have obama's courage to appoint two top aids to move this forward, and i don't think we have seen the last of his work on you barks i predict we will sit at this table talking about his trip to cuba next. >> rose: i look forward to that as well. thank you very much. >> all right, thank you,
charlie. >> rose: grandma's new film from writer director 0 paul weitz, lily tomlin stars as el rea, a miss an tropic photo et .. it is the first role of this kind for tomlin in almost three decades, the "hollywood reporter" calls grandma a sublime match of performer and role. sheer the trailer for grandma. >> i need some help, grandma. >> okay. >> i need $600, 630. >> for what? >> i am pregnant. >> who is he? stan? >> no. he is kind of my boyfriend. >> why didn't wow use a condom? for humanity's sake get a vasectomy. >> who is this. >> my grandma. >> i cut my credit cards up into little pieces and made a wind chime out of them. >> why would you do that? >> why -- >> i need some cash. i need $500. >> you must not have a lot of friends. >> you need me and i am broke. >> you want a tattoo.
>> that i can do. listen, grandma you better watch it, though. >> give us the money. >> get out of my home. >> you ungrateful -- >> i liked your boyfriend, he is special, really chair mastic. >> you need to be able to say screw you sometimes .. >> you didn't screw you to that little creep back there. >> i am sorry, but i am going to have to ask you to leave. >> you are disturbing the customers. >> which customers are we disturb something. >> oh, them? ozzie and harriet? >> and you don't have to say trip coffee that, sat redundancy, oh, look. oh, my god, it drips. >> i am scared. >> i was scared of your mom since she was five years old, any idiot can see you need to supervise them, right? >> are you saying i am any idiot? >> what is the -- >> what? >> i guess i am an idiot. >> yes, you are. >> screw you, grandma. >> not bad.
>> what is your involvement? >> i am program mother and i am your mother. >> yes. but what are you doing here? >> i am going to be there because this is my grand daughter. >> .. >> she is already pregnant. >> grandma! >> >> rose: joining me now the film's writer director paul weitz and the star lily tomlin, i am glad to have you here. >> thank you. >> rose: this came together because you worked together before. >> yes. lily made tina fey's mother in a film called the mission, and i was really struck both on the screen and off by, i am not surprising how funny lily is but how smart and edgy and how much she defines this concept of youth, and youth obsession. so when i started writing this script, i heard her voice in my head and i didn't tell her i was doing it, i was writing something for her, because i was worried she would say, oh,
please don't. so -- >> i wouldn't have. >> rose: i didn't think so. >> no. >> rose: tell me who she is, because many have written for you an opportunity to pore 0 in all of the things you have done all of your life into one role. >> well, she is a lesbian poet. >> rose: right. >> she had some renown early in her career. >> rose: so far we have three for three. >> well, i don't feel like i am a poet, i would like to be. >> rose: well, you are. >> all right. and she -- and she is just up against, you know, surviving, aging,. >> rose: yeah. >> her relationship with her daughter, which is not, which has not gone well. >> and this is about her relationship with her granddaughter. >> yes, right, and her daughter too somewhat, i mean, the three generations all sort of -- there is a glimmer of hope they are all going to create a family, be a family for sure. and you see what kind of friends she had. she has elizabeth pena is a friend.
>> rose: yes. >> bless her. and. >> rose: the poor lover -- >> yes, her ex-husband. >> rose: her ex-husband, yes. >> and laverne cox is an old friend. >> rose: yes. marsha. >> marsha, the daughter. >> rose: and it is about relationships, in some way a political discussion about abortion? >> yes. >> rose:. >> but it is really it seems to me a character, i mean, grandma is a character. >> no question. i really liked the idea that this granddaughter who is 18 has such a powerful grandmother and mother that all of the air is sucked out of the room and completely oblivious to women's history and also needs to be taught by her grandmother how to stand up for herself and that the grandmother on her part is sort of helping her granddaughter, is able to move on from some of hermes anthroby and deal in a positive things all the things she has gone through in the last couple of years .. >> where are you? i have watched you last year at the kennedy honors, i watched and
looked up and there was this sort of wonderful film tribute to you. it seems things have gone quite well. >> this year has been a rich year, it has been. >> rose: you and jane together? >> yes. >> rose: for netflix. >> right, right. jane fonda. >> rose: how do you explain it? i mean is, it sometimes comes? waves or what? >> i don't know, i think some of sit the aging of the population, people are turning their attention more to older characters, older culture types, that certainly the effect of "grace & frankie". >> rose: question. >> yes with jane fonda on netflix, and i mean, just paul and i getting together to do a mission, me having just a secondary supporting role, but -- >> rose: yes. >> and i like the film so much, i liked about a boy and then his mother is susan coner which knocked me out. >> rose: you to know what he said about it? you a read every
scene because he wants to spend as much time with you as he can. >> well, that's what he said. >> it is a good excuse, for sure. >> rose: we are talking about you, and writing this. you created her, you created her with lily in mind. >> i did. it was sort of an idea i had in the back of my head for years and years, and there was no point to it until i actually went, as a film maker you can be a bit of a benevolent control freak but when the film comes out you have no control, so when mission came out to have a little bit possess feeling of control i went to this cafe where i like to write sometimes and i started writing there in a oat book long hand and i heard lily's voice and i made it -- it was like lighting a fuse to it, so it was very -- it wouldn't exist without lily and i completely catered it to her. and it was, what really struck me on the set of mission, is she
had to actually -- there was a scene where she had to fix a bicycle and while we were shooting it she was literally fixing a bike and besides being funny she is incredibly dedicated and there was something else going on there, which is some sort of thing that i feel like i had seen in her work -- >> rose: the craft of comedy -- >> yes, dedicated, yes, to the character. and i feel like when i watched nashville for the first time that really stuck in my head and as much as anything else that lily has done. >> rose: what influence did he have, the director of nashville? >> bob altman? >> yes. >> well, he was profoundly influential, in my career, he gave me my first movie role and then he produced late show, which bob benton directed, and. >> rose: i recently saw a documentary about him and i thought it was amazing in terms of the independence. >> and he was here at this table many times. >> i am sure, yes. >> but it was the fierce independent democrats he had but
nashville being the movie it was, a guy coming along like that can have a real impact. >> well, he did, how lucky for me to be the first movie, and i was -- i was just coming off of laugh in, really, most people thought of me as ernestine. >> and i met -- >> rose: what did you think of -- >> well, i am not sure. i think he thought of me as -- when he needed a sympathetic character like the woman in shortcuts. >> rose: right. >> -- who runs the boy down, he wanted somebody that the audience would still be empathetic towards, and even while briefing the boy, and that is what i heard him say one time, or scotty or someone said it to me. and i don't know what he saw. because when i did nashville i thought well i could have done seven or eight of these roles, the people started filtering in. >> rose: you didn't set out to be a comedian. you set out, you were going to study medicine or something like that.
>> well, yes, that's because i didn't think i would have a job. >> and you fell in love immediately with comedy. >> i put shows on since i was a small child, and -- but i just thought it was something we did for play, even though i did sell tickets. >> rose: when you look back on this really remarkable career, i mean, what are the big regrets and what are the big satisfactions for you? >> well, i think -- well this movie certainly has been a satisfying experience. >> rose: because of the director? because of the cpa's of characters? because of -- >> because of the director to begin withing. >> rose: yes. >> and then the people that he was able to draw to the film, they are just wonderful. >> rose: how did you do that? i mean, lily is a magnet in part. >> yes, lily is a magnet, for someone like laverne cox, that lily admires as a an argument fr and, actor and social figure to work with lily and to work on something like this which is a little different, completely in her wheelhouse, but i actually -- what i felt was that it was
so important or this one to be done properly. when i was saying i was maybe jobbing about you needing to take a moment if this is the right thing to do, i have el have thought about how important it was to get this one right an how unlucky i was, how lucky i was to sit with lily and. >> rose: and she helped you with the script. >> oh, yes. you know, from analyzing -- >> rose: i tend to believe her it was nine naturally. >> not from my perspective. and other people i just have their phone number. this is is the tenth film i directed -- >> rose: phone them in on a big budget? >> yes, not with a big budget. the funny thing is, i think at some point people actually have a better time doing lower budget stuff because it is more corrected to what drove them to acting in the first place, whether it be hardin or -- and so they are really excited to do something that is purely for the love of it. >> rose: let me talk a i bit
about brace situate and, grace and frankie. that was whose idea. >> that was marah's idea, she came to jane and i together and they presented the idea to us and we -- jane and i wanted to do something about older women anyway. >> rose: yes. >> -- that would be sort of meaningful. >> rose: going back to the movie or -- >> no. just going -- no, going back to the fact we are both of a certain age, and -- >> rose: you handled that magnificently, as you know. everybody tells you that. >> i am so delighted. i am very happy. >> rose: you are handling it and so is jane and speak about it with great candor. >> yes. well, we wanted it to be about how dismissed people of our age are, how just negligent, how negligible we are, we are not sexual creatures anymore, we are not -- we are not viable in the workforce. we are not -- >> rose: except the two of you have such talent that you can --
you are viable in the workforce. >> well, yes, but we are not supposed to be ourselves. >> rose: yes. but in other words, you are -- >> i mean, jane and i, prior to this, this project of grace and frankie and by the way jane loves grandma too. we went to sundance and saw it together. >> rose: are you great friends? you and jane? >> yeah, i think, if nothing else in terms of the years, the years have bound us as really good, close friends. and by the nature of our natures. >> rose: the nature of our natures? what are the nature of your natures? >> that we like to work. >> rose: that you both are workaholics? or you just like to work? that's what you do? >> yeah. we were commiserating she had a small part in a movie and if i get a part, it is usually a fairly, you know, a supporting role, and we were saying how it costs us money to do these
roles, because we -- well, we have to provide our own housing many times, we have to travel or -- >> rose: it didn't used to be that way, did it? >> no. and what paul says about doing small independent movies, it is so true. >> rose: that's what you love -- >> it is so much more fun. i haven't done that many. i have done sort of independent movies but not really low-budget. you know, this movie was done for under 600 and done in 19 days. >> rose: this movie was done for under 600? >> not 600 million. yes. >> rose: under $600,000? >> it sounds like we were rush organize compromising. >> #02: not at all. >> it is about two broke people so it is actually appropriate to do it that way, and you do see that acting is irreducible and sometimes a larger budget gets in the way of what actors are trying to do. >> rose: let's talk about sam elliot who i love. >> he was fantastic.
>> rose: the scene between the two of you is amazing. >> it is painful seeing you, because it makes me feel old. >> oh. i like being old. young people are stupid. >> we sure were. >> we sure were stupid. >> so can you loan me the money? >> sure. >> >> i want something in return, though. >> what? what do you want? >> a kiss. >> ha! you mean like a peck? >> no. like a kiss. a real kiss. >> and then you will loan me the money? >> yeah. >> okay. well, let's get it over with. >> rose: i mean the chemistry, the passion -- >> well, sam will be the first
one to say if it is not on the page, it is not on the stage, and somehow that scene was just miraculous. >> rose: but it seems seemed like you two -- often it can be on the page but doesn't make it to the stage. >> well that is true. >> rose: an actor can always get there, you hire actors and you know because they will take it and make it better. >> i said if it is not on the page it is not on the stage. >> rose: that's true but if it is on the page -- >> it is not necessarily on the stage. >> rose: i am asking, was there something special beyond the text here? or not? >> well, i mean, i liked sam so much. >> rose: is there an iconoclasm, is in some sense of -- >> it is just the complexity of the subject. >> rose: yes. >> and that is what i think the movie addresses so well, as a sort of sub scene, you know, weaving through. you tell it. >> i think sam is so good and it is really exciting to see
somebody doing something exciting. it is interesting you talk about icon graphy, because he has that, that is interesting if you go to another place with it and really to me, a lot of what that scene is about is people think of time as a straight line, and this is two people who are very close, when they were 21 years old and who have resentments and it is a comedic scene but they have this aloof that brings them back to what happened when they were in their early 20s. >> rose: take a look at this, let's go to clip number 2. this is lily talking to her granddaughter about her career as a writer in residence. >> why is she a writer in residence? >> oh, she calls may sellout because that's how i used to make a living. you go to private college where they have the money, you do a few readings and teach a few seminar and you leave because you don't have tenure. >> but how is that selling out? >> because i wasn't suffering for my art. but i had a can kid. i used to take your mom along with me when she was little.
a lot of time in cars we spent, your mother and i. >> well, at least mommy -- my friends just pretty much each, call each other bitch and slut. >> oh that is just ignorant. who are these friends of yours? >> you think i am a slut? >> no. no. >> and i don't want wow using that word again. >> what is that? >> oh, that is how the car sounds. >> rose: it is your car. >> yeah. >> now, no wonder i it is a $600,000 car you bring your own costume and cars. >> because, i am going to go look at a car today and he said what for, for her, and i said i have an old car. it is a terrifying car to drive. with the brakes, you have to
pump away ahead of time, i bought the car in 75 and drove it for a long time after that. >> rose: and then? >> and then i drove a new car with anti-lock brakes, that i should put the other car out to pasture. >> rose: the kennedy honors, what did that mean to you? >> well -- >> rose: it's about time? >> no. i never -- i didn't expect to win it. in fact, the letter from george was laying on my desk for a week. >> rose: you got letters that you don't answer right away or don't even open? >> i thought he was inviting know the hon does every year. and jane called me up, i was in the make-up room. >> rose: are you serious now? >> yes, "grace & frankie" she said did you see that letter from george stevens? i said yeah he is inviting us to come to the honors this year. we will have to decide as we get closer. and she said, no, he wants to honor you, and i said no he doesn't. i thought because i had gotten
-- not i am name dropping because i got in mark twain, you know, i thought they give certain people a mark twain, and other people the kennedy honors and i never wondered when those big tickets like that. >> why not? >> because i don't feel like i am that old. >> rose: but they are not all old. >> they are not old at all. i noticed that. >> rose: yeah. >> i noticed that as i looked around. >> rose: do you feel better? >> no. i didn't think -- yes. i feel better. >> rose: there is no question that you deserved it, you didn't for a moment say, when i look at what i have done that i don't deserve to be here on stage with these people? >> well, i did want to trade seats with tom hanks. >> rose: because you wanted to sit next to -- >> obama. >> rose: obama. would you have given him a piece of your mind? >> no. no. we have had enough of people's pieces of minds. >> rose: feminism, feminism
mindset is part of this. >> no question, which i think at this point, i think if you are having to be male you better take classes -- you are going to run across a few women in your lifetime. >> rose: exactly. >> >> rose: that makes sense. >> yes. i went to all boy schools which is not a hotbed of feminism in terms of upbringing, but -- and i have come a long way. and it was really exciting. that is how the story panned out and sam is a forceful presence in the movie, sam elliot, but it is a female driven movie. >> rose: of course it is. i mean, and it is the relationships so much. >> no question. and the idea that i will lily's character, while completely punk rock and vibrant has lived through 50 years of feminist history was interesting to me. >> rose: it has been a good year though, has it not? >> for me it has been an exceptional year. >> rose: i know that professionally but in a sense we
saw same-sex marriage in the supreme court. >> of course, of course it is remarkable. i never thought i would live to see it, frankly. >> and how is feminism doing, your judgment? >> well,. >> rose: the idea of respect for women, you know, for example, at the academy awards. >> yes. >> rose: we had. >> patricia arquette broke out. >> rose: exactly. and you saw people in the audience and all the cut aways saying yes cam. >> yes. well that is obvious -- >> rose: well, it is true. >> but, still, you know, i mean, there is some are you resurgence behind the era again, and jane and i -- jane fonda and i and jane wagner too, jane fonda and i, jane fonda particularly is involved in advancing that. and, you know, passing the era once and for all. >> rose: there is also abortion here. >> yes. >> rose: about a woman having an abortion and all the conversation that brings up. >> yes, i think it is very easy. i am in films that are purely
human stories, films that inspired me is kramer vs. kramer and the graduate which are clearly talking about things happening from society but from the picture perspective of characters you care about and that just happened to me when the script occurred to me that was a situation that that 18-year-old was in, is that she was ten weeks preg than and was trying to figure out and navigate a decision about that. >> rose: thank god she had a grandmother. >> yes. yes. to help her, and there is nothing made light of in the film. the first thing lily says to her have you thought about this because this is something you will think about every day for the rest of your life and i won't say what happens in the movie, but it is a thread, running through the movie. >> rose: what is the relationship between el and her daughter? >> contentious. >> rose: yes. >> and marsha gay plays it so well, just so amusingly funny, everything. i mean, thank god for vi, my
partner was probably much more -- much softer, much more available to marsha gay when she was a child. her name is judy. >> rose: right. >> oddly enough, my granddaughter's name is stage and my name is el and my daughter, i name my daughter judy. >> judy garland. >> rose: let's take one more clip. this is marsha gates hardin playing the role of el's daughter. >> who is it? is it a creep? >> just yes, really, you know what? but we are not a couple anymore. if we ever really were one. i told you, he was a loser. did i not tell you he was a flatout loser? >> yes, you told me, okay? and you were right. >> i was right. >> yep. >> okay. you don't have any money because you spent all of your money on shoes and other garbage. >> okay, you know what, but you confiscated my credit card which is like totally unfair. >> wait it cost me $2,000 to
have the garage door fixed, brake, gas, brake, gas. >> so i am assuming that you went to her for money but she didn't have any money either so of course you came to me. am i right? >> just a few steps inbetween, you are right. uh-huh. and what about all of those condoms i got you? huh? >> i used them. >> oh, you and the rodent?. >> yes. >> well you know what? you can get more. i didn't hand make them, i didn't -- >> okay, i know, you don't have to yell at me. >> this isn't yelling i will show you yelling. >> it is the right -- >> really -- >> the fix is in. in this case, because i mean, as great as marsha hardin while she a force, forceful actress really has a wonderful comic timing. and -- >> rose: but you i have said this is more drama than comedy? >> yes. i literally -- >> rose: drama driven by characters. >> i like things where you can't
quite tell the difference. >> rose: do you collaborate with your brother? >> yeah, we did a number of films together, including about a boy and american -- is the first one he we did and we watched each other's cuts and we have done a number where -- >> rose: but there was a story somewhere that have you looking at this japanese film with all of the -- >> have have been, we have been adapt ago film like father like son. >> rose: which is about? >> it is about a situation where two families learn that their children have been switched at birth, it sounds popular esque. >> rose: i am sure it will not. have you done everything you have wanted to do? have you made the films you wanted to make? i asked early about regrets and satisfactions about all of this, because you have done drama, you have done
comedy, you have done one woman performances. you have done television. you are still doing television. >> stand-up. >> rose: you have done stand-up. >> kind of a stand-up. >> rose: more of a seven comedian. >> yes, i am. >> rose: right. >> i guess what i would like is -- i would like not to have been given so much credit for jane's work, jane wagner. >> rose: you would have liked for her to get as much credit as she deserved. >> right. exactly. >> rose: you can do something about that. >> i have tied. ian we have tried, really, it is ingrained in people that they see me, they want to believe that the words come out of my mouth, and my brain. immediately. they think i make it up as i do it sometimes. >> which is hardly true. >> rose: grandma opens on friday. great to see you. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: his father was on this program. >> oh, do you have a tape? >> rose: we do. >> oh. >> rose: it was -- he was a
designer and a handsome guy. >> as it was meaningful to be here today. it is a thrill and thank you. >> oh, great. >> rose: thank you, lily. >> thank you. >> rose: for more about this program and early episodes visit us online at pbs.org and captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
a kqed television production. >> it's sort of like old fisherman's wharf. it reminds me of old san francisco. >> and you'd be a little bit like jean valjean, with the teeth, whatever. >> and worth the calories, the cholesterol, and the heart attack you might have. >> it's like an adventure, you know? you gotta put on your miner's helmet. >> it reminds me of oatmeal with a touch of wet dog. >> i did. inhaled it. >> p