tv Charlie Rose PBS July 12, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> welcome to the program. i'm jeff glor of cbs news filling in for charlie rose. we begin tonight with the continuing coverage of the investigation into possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia. we talk to do shannon pettypiece of bloomberg news and ed o'keefe of "the washington post." >> we have not heard much from the president today. his twitter feed has kind of been eeriely quiet. he was a bit quiet yesterday as well. and sarah huckabee saunders spokesperson to the deputy press secretary put out a statement from the president, a very short brief statement calling his, complimenting his son and saying i admire his transparency. i typically would expect the president is not one who is shy,
obviously to lean into controversy when he's attacked, he fights back. of all people to be drug over the coals, his own son, his family is very important to him. >> we continue with charlie's conversation with the cast of the new production of george orwell's 1984. it is with reed birney, tom sturridge and olivia wilde. >> this is a play that speaks to our times and that's why it's really important we all experience it together. >> we conclude with the actor and comedian kumail nanjiani talked to charlie about the new film co-written by his wife, the big sick. >> why aren't you talking about religion and i was like i don't really know what to say bit. it's just like say that, say it's complicated and you don't know how you feel about it.
so that's what we put in the movie. >> the russia investigation, 1984 and kumail nanjiani when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> good evening. charlie is traveling. i'm jeff glor. we continue tonight with politics. earlier today donald trump, jr. released an e-mail exchange that suggests he went into a june 26
meeting with a kremlin connected lawyer knowing it was part of a russian government effort to aid his father's campaign. the president's eldest son agreed to meet with the attorney. natalia veselnitskaya after being told she had compromising information on hillary clinton. trump, jr. said nothing came of the meeting and released the e-mails to be totally transparent. this is a new twist in a month long investigation between a possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia. senator of oregon says these e-mails there is no longer a question of this foreign par to subvert american's democracy. joining me now from washington shannon pettypiece a correspondent for bloomberg news and ed o'keefe, a reporter for "the washington post" and a contributor to cbs news. welcome to both of you. ed, let me start with you. donald trump, jr. said he
released these e-mails so he could be totally transparent but it's only because the e-mails were about to be released by the newspaper. >> that's right. the "new york times" gotten these and told him they had them and so rushed them out. while we can appreciate his transparency putting it out there so we can all look at this what it begins to demonstrate now is the cleaner es links yet between the officials in the russian government trying to talk to the rule campaign about potentially damaging information about hillary clinton. in the words of mark warner earlier today all of these denials over the past year or so from trump officials, from the president himself from his sons that there was no attempt to talk russia about any of this are now cast aside by the proof that the president's son tweeted out today and shared with the world. even if nothing came from this or he put it out for everyone to see it seems like he was attempting to coordinate with
the russian government or russian officials who are trying to discredit hillary clinton. remember collusion itself is not the legal issue here. that's a political term. it's the potential for coordination between a foreign power and folks in this country regarding our presidential election that ultimately could become the issue. some legal experts spoke with the post and other outlets suggesting this is the kind of evidence that might suggest coordination between the trouble campaign and the russian government. >> shannon, if these e-mails are real and the administration says they are, there does seem to be quite a bit of interest on donald trump, jr.'s part in trying to find out whatever it was they were trying to provide. first it was a phone call and then he said okay let's meet. >> and that if they have damaging information on hillary clinton as the e-mails implayed, he wrote i love it. so not only actively soliciting it but eager to get information from the russian officials who
as these e-mails lay out this was not just coming from a woman who happened to be a lawyer in russia, the e-mails actually refer to her as a russian government attorney. the e-mails lay out that this was on behalf of the russian government efforts to assist president trump. so it knocks the legs out from under this stool where they've been prawning up an argument that says first of all, we never met with anyone from the russian government or affiliated with the government or acting on behalf of the russian government. and also this cry of a witch hunt that all of this talk about russia trying to assist the president's campaign was a with hunt. there's nothing there, something made up by the fakes news media. this shows that they actually knew as spelled out in this e-mail that the russian government was trying to help
the trouble campaign. >> the president still says that he personally had nothing to do with any of this. >> that's right. and today praised his son's transparency and said otherwise i refer you to my son and to his counsel, his criminal defense lawyer he's hired. the son and others have said, he was not aware of this meeting or not involved in it even though it took place just one floor below his trump tower office. the fact that paul manafort, his campaign manager and jared kushner the son-in-law was involved, he may not have been directly involved but i think there will be a lot of questions whether any of those three ever mentioned to him that they were meeting with this woman or has met with her. and that's the extent of it then fine. but if there's evidence otherwise that he is encouraging it or had been contacted previously, certain then we're headed into rereal serious and w territory. >> shannon, what more are we learning about natalia
veselnitskaya and what she's doing now. >> well there's a lot of questions as far as what information she had and what she was actually doing there. i still don't think we have the answer to that and we really only gotten a snapshot i think into what's a bigger picture that we'll get more in an shots into. we don't necessarily know what took place in this meeting, what she said in the meeting. we have a statement from donald trump, jr. about his characterization of the meeting. his statements, though, have been you could say untruthful at worst or half truths at best over the past few days. being involved from one about an adoption program to one on hillary clinton and it was about the russian government bringing the opposition research on hillary clinton. so there's a credibility question around donald trump, jr.'s characterization of this
meeting. this attorney gave an interview where she said she didn't talk about the 2016 campaign at all. i think there's also credibility questions around her because she has these links and was even described in the e-mail as a russian government attorney. and then the other two people that we know of were in the meeting, paul manafort and jared kushner have not been saying anything about this. what they will be asked about this by congressional investigators and those meetings, you know, expected that they will be made public so they will have their chance to give their side of this meeting as well then. and then it's widely expected too that there will be questions about this by special counsel bob mueller. so another chance to find out more about what went on in this meeting. >> so ed how would that work then because trump, jr. says he's willing to fully cooperate. does that mean talking about mueller, does that mean testifying before the senate intelligence committee, what does that mean. >> it could mean both of those
things. obviously that's why he had to hire a lawyer to help figure this out. you would think if it becomes a central part of the special council investigation that he would meet with mueller and his team. and yes, given that we know the senate intelligence committee investigation especially is looking into russia's attempts to meddle with and influence the election, this seems to fall right in the middle of that. you saw members of the committee today suggest you've all been exposed to something we may or may not have been aware of and we'll obviously want to look into it more. it's important to point out just as quickly as these stories surface, don, jr. said i'm happy to talk to congressional investigators about it to help clear the air. so undoubtedly that will has not. whether it happens in public for all of us to watch or whether it happens behind closed doors, whether it happens here in washington or up in new york, all of that is left to the high priced attorneys that he has now hired and that is what they're there for is to sort all this out. >> shannon, so jared kushner has
reclarified what meetings he's taken or not taken or participated in? >> well, we don't know. again, we asked, i've asked two of his lawyers, his spokesperson for any sort of statement today. i have gotten nothing from them. one of my colleagues tried to reach out to him directly to get again his side of the story, whether he was involved in this. i think he is the one who has the most at stake here because he is the one in the administration who has a security clearance. he did, prior to this story coming out, his spokesperson did say that initially this meeting was left off of his security clearance application but he has recommitted that application with additional information. the question though is also out there, and members on the hill are asking this, should he still cause they know he met with a foreign government, he was
meeting with an agent of a foreign government to try and interfere in an election process. so that could raise questions there as far as whether he's someone that should receive a security clearance or not. >> ed, so what is, at this point, natalia veselnitskaya being referred to as? is she considered an agent of a foreign government? >> i don't think that's been clarified at this point. ly certainly denied it in this interview. she was working on their behalf or sent on behalf of the russian government so that much is not known or necessarily clarified yet. we know she's been speaking out against this program that's been put in place that basically sanctions russians who violate human rights which is something that the putin regime has not been supportive of and has been fighting and used revoking of adoptions as a way to punish the
united states for passing it. but otherwise i think everyone's role in this is really still quite unknown. the fact that the credible lynn and this attorney would be denying what many believe may have happened, look, they've been denying certain things for the better part of a year now and it just was proven. one has to take what a lot of these russian officials say with great subsequentism if only because through the trickle of information that's being report out, a lot of it is being discovered. >> so rob gold stone in these e-mails is characterizing her as the representative of the russian government. >> right. and that's another interesting character that we still don't know the full story on, rob goldstone who is a publicist, who knew donald trump and donald trump, jr. through the miss america, i'm sorry the miss universe pageant in 2013 held in
moscow. his client was a singer whose father was a very influential businessman who also had connection with the russian government. so that's how we again get through this weird twisted cast of characters who leads us then to this russian attorney who want to meet with the promise of incriminating information on hillary clinton. >> so we have public sists, pop music and politicians. a lot of this is seen, i don't know, how much of this can be traced back to that pageant in 2013. >> it seems a lot is headed in that direction. do you remember earlier this year when it was proven to be false document that james comey had to take to the president elect and say somebody's been circulating this and has some
pretty salatiouc arguments against you. a lot of this may have to do with the universe pageant being held in russia and who he met or who he the family business was working with at the time and how ll of it now really seems to be coming into clear focus. and that's really why, people at home may be subsequent cull is this really a big deal. so what. the guy's son was taking meetings with people. any son who is working for his dad in this kind of capacity probably would but look this starts to really now fill in some details about this and starts to refute a lot of things that have been denied by trump or trump associates. and makes it much clearer now thaíñ calling his, complimenting his
son and saying i admire his transparency. i typically would expect the president is not one who is shy obviously to lean into controversy when he's attacked, he fights back. of all people to be being drug over the coals his own son, family is very important to him. and i think that this is, i've been trying to talk to people who have been close to him to find out if they've had a
conversation with him about it. i haven't talked to anybody yet who has spoken to him directly about how his feelings are in this and knowing how important for family and feeling attacked and being strongly advised not to say anything on twitter about it. this is a very difficult time he's going through right now. and he's had two days with no public events scheduled either. so we really haven't even seen him. >> ed talk to me if you would a little bit about donald trump, jr.'s involvement in the campaign of 2016. >> sure. he didn't hold a formal role unlike kushner who became a much more active advisor especially in the later stages of the campaign unlike landowski and manafort. he was different, he was employed to meet constituencies and help humanize his fathers just as e vanb and totalitarian regime.
play by robert eich and mcmillon running on broadway in the hudson theatre. the play was called intense in a way never seen on broadway, it's gut churning. joining me the stars of the play, tunnel sturridge, olivia wilde and reed birney. is this play relevant to the times we live in in 2017. >> and how. i remember when i read it in 8th grade it was science fiction and now it feels like documentary. the play was done four years ago in london in response to the edward snowden situation. that was the inspiration for adapting it. right after the election this year our producer scott ruby thought this was the perfect time to remind everybody about but the decision to do that was before trump was elected. >> to adopt it.
>> it was adopted originally in nottingham five years ago. what's so terrifying for me about his presence is that all of the language or at least 5% of it is taken from orwell's book published in 1949. none was change the or scripted in any way to the trump election. we divided it purely into that purpose. >> rose: does it have more relevance because it was written -- >> if it was a play about a dystopian universe we would accuse them of jumping on a band wagon. it was george orwell's words and he saw all of this in 19 49 is what is so terrifying.
>> rose: you've been speaking about coming to theatre. this is something you've want to do. >> yes. portunity to addition.eeme.m and i immediately pulled out of the movie i was supposed to shoot. even though i didn't have the part. my agents were horrified. you should try to get the part before you pull out. i said no. i'm going to do this. i know i'm going to do this. it just felt -- no. i just knew. i knew of the directors and i was excited the idea of working with them and the material is something that i was familiar enough with that i understood the role already. and i loved their adaptation and i said i just know what to do here. >> rose: at the dinner table when you were growing up. >> i felt so passionate about it from the beginning and it has felt like a way to manifest my daily rage in a convenience kind of way. >> rose: manifest your daily rage. >> yes, it's cathartic. >> rose: is this what theatre should be at best?
>> yes. >> rose: relevant, explanatory. >> also involving of the audience state of the art form in which the artist and the audience are together in a room. and this is a play that speaks to our times and therefore it's really important that we will experience it together. and it's caused a lot of very intense reactions. >> rose: but is it different within the audience at the same time. >> yes, completely. what scares me about this is sometimes the need for conconveniences. i don't need to clap at the same time, i don't need to laugh at the same time this is a dang just idea. this is a democratic response of people feeling differently about similar ideas. some are afraid, some are energized, some walk out, some laugh. it's incredibly democratic reaction from all kinds of backgrounds. >> rose: maybe before i get ahead of my myself, we talked t
authoritarianism but talk about the characters. >> the characters are, it's set in 198 4, written in 1949. it was out of party workers. a grunt for lack of a better word. and he comes, wakes up seemingly. suddenly is aware in a way he never had been before about where he is and what's going on. >> did julia have anything to do with that? >> well, he meets julia who works in the fiction department and she helps with his awakening and they become radicalized, self radicalized. >> rose: they first fall in love. >> they do but six is outlawed. by falling in love they've already broken the law. then i play o'brien who could be on their side or could not be on their side and they trust me and
it's part of the great mystery of 1984. is julia and spy or not a spy is bryan a spay or not a spy. it's seasoned to the great paranoia we're all experiencing now. >> rose: was there any trepidation to do this at all if the a's is no about all the controversy of julius cesar. >> what's especially nice it's not specifically about trump it's just a cautionary tail about what can happen. it's not quite in your face as perhaps julius cesar might have been. >> droppic. >> yes. well i will say our play is wildly theatrical. one of the things about the play despite its politics or proffer case is like nothing you've ever seen in play before. >> rose: how did you settle
on the look of your character. >> it was an n idea -- people under a fascist regime that's what we tried to find, unsettling audience not quite know where they are. >> rose: why does julia think she can trust him. >> she sees in his eyes that he is different and she understands that there's something kind of extraordinary about him and brave about him. now whether or not she takes advantage of that and is a spy and ends up dragging him to his death is up for debate but he's certainly unlike anyone else. once they meet and once they do
sleep together for the first time and interact for the first time she knows she's fallen in love with him and there's something deeply moving about him and his dedication to the cause. he radicalizes her further than she ever was. deeply risky, yes. >> rose: then there's the torture. >> what can i tell you. there is torture. there's torture in the book. there's torture in the play. i think theme torture performed live on stage is different than reading about it. >> rose: how is it different? >> i think the audience, it's inescapable and as we talked about, you cannot make torture palatable, the idea of showing the torture is to wake the audience up to what goes on. and we torture and everybody tortures and i think it's just an idea to most of us.
to actually see it performed. and it's a play. we do it eight times a week so everybody's okay but the suggestion of it is deeply and rightly so. >> rose: how does reed justify it. >> it's an awesome part. that's all i needed to know. i'm very proud to be a part of it for its timing and for the theatricality of it. we can use our geniuses and it's thrilling to be in their company. and it's a very good story to tell right now. >> rose: because? >> well i think because it could happen. >> rose: you think we're in society or a government that's sliding toward authoritarianism. >> i think when we have people on the news talk about
alternative facts and kelly an connelly, orwell writes words matter facts matter. so when comey says words matter, james comey, it's very close. we are there. >> rose: when you lose truth you lose until everything. >> the whole point of taking words away and diminishing language is so that people have constructive conversations that can create idealistic revolutions. that is a deep deep danger. at the moment you don't know what is real, how can i tell you what to think. >> i think you don't even know where you are if you don't have truth. >> these a pervasive paranoid that society takes on that allows for the loss of all of our values. i mean what surveillance has done to us and what we're
willing to sacrifice. sciert is -- security is a big part of it too, a phobia, distrust of fellow man is true about the play but every night is very upsetting. >> rose: privacy. >> privacy. the idea of they're watching us -- >> rose: they're watching all the time. >> yes, and we're watching each other. the amazing thing orwell was writing about the telescreen which was a complete the science fiction of the time as reed said, now we carry a telescreen around at all times. >> rose: where we are. >> recording us at all times, of course. and that's something i imagine what orwell would say if he could see us now. i think he would be surprised about how right he was. >> rose: is it all that you hoped it would be? >> and more. >> i am in awe of theatre actors
and the incredible strength and perseverance and the endurance that's necessary to carry on a show. the experience of gathering and rehearsing this play was so powerful because we were able to connect about what this really was about, the point of doing it, the reason it has to be told now. and every night it feels like we're gathering to work through those same issues. it's extraordinary to stand in front of people and see them connecting to this story and to meet them afterwards and see so many young people seeing theatre for the first time. >> rose: what do they say to you, if they were able to see you after the performance. >> they say they are chicken -- shaken by it. they are disturbed by it. they feel thrilled by it but shaken. >> i think it's a kind of period
conversational piece. he's galvanized by love by a brilliant woman. and despite the people who were brutalizing his friends and family. >> rose: -- doesn't it. >> -- mixed media el element oe show. three of the scenes take place in a set behind the stage and they are simulcast live on a huge screen above the stage. i think that is sort of new for broadway and people are finding that. >> we are greatful for having had an emotional experience in the they are. i think lots of times broadway as fun it is -- they kind of sit back and washes over them and it's kind of fun and then you go out to dinner. to actually feel something in the theatre in a deep profound way is very unusual. and people are so happy too. >> rose: you guys were injured in this, weren't you?
>> yes. we explored lots of different ways of expressing this love. when you don't know what intimacy is, when you don't know what tenderness is, you have to approach things differently. the first time when the two come together i think is an unusual experience. it's violent. >> and physical. >> as we talked about torture, it was really important to us for the audience to believe early on that we were really going through things. we really respected each other. she hits me in the face as hard as she can t we went after each other. >> people aren't used to seeing that. >> you get to torture in the even where actually we're not in any way, we use the oddive imagination. we don't show them everything. we suggest it early on we're
going to go through a real thing. at the end when they are presented would i things they don't see they potentially see it's really happening. that's what was really important to us. >> rose: you said to me or you said to someone you never consider yourself a real actor until you've done theatre. >> yes. >> rose: do you feel like a real actor now. >> i feel i've earned my keep. there's something claiming the title of an actor you feel you need to earn and i think this experience let's me say okay, i'm comfortable. >> somebody who thinks she hasn't done a lot of plays, she is a natural. >> rose: let me quote you. it came to me after the election. i needed a way of manifesting my dale e outrage. i wanted to talk beyond my own choir. the great thing about broadway it's seen by so many different groups of people types of people. the great point of this play is we have to get beyond group think and start thinking for
ourselves. >> absolutely. we have been seen by all different types of audiences. certainly we've been reviewed by every type of publication and we got a great review in breitbart which is kind of weird for me. how strange that a play that i'm feeling from a specific perspective is being perceived in a very different way through a different prism. i think that's really unusual. i found that to be the most fascinating thing. i knew the book was cooperated in a text on both sides of the aisle but it's fascinating a piece of material that's well written and well produced is seen a totally different ways. >> rose: are they actual people. >> that's one of the great debates upon the play. i have my own feelings. i think it's important that the audience come not knowing what
we believe. >> rose: you'd rather not know what you think. >> yes. because towards the end of the play, we very much invite the audience into the production. we put them on the spot. and i think it's important that for us all to be the same, for us actors to not be pushing anything on them. kind of the political relevance of this play comes because the audience bring it into the room with them. we don't carry it. we don't present it. there's no trump in our play. the audience bring it in. >> rose: they bring the trumpism. >> yes. that's why it's their play. that's what's amazing about theatre, you can take ownership of it as an audience. >> when they hear o'brien's line, the individual was dead. i hope it makes them question whether they take advantage of their individuality whether they believe the individual is dead whether they want to allow that
to happen. they won't look up from their screen to see what's actually happening and it's our own failings we recognize as being a part of that. by being less literal we've actually broadened the ability of the material to actually hit home. >> rose: you're looking for your values that speak to you at the same time. you're wading into water not knowing where it will end. >> right. >> we'll let the audience have their experience. >> most people who read the book hasn't read the appendix which orwell was adamant about including. and the awe -- appendix is written from the future looking back in this text and maybe the parties had fallen or maybe not. and in our show, that allows for using pieces of the text people
haven't ever read most people have ever read. orwell uses the declaration of independence which is very hard to translate into news speak which i think is something that's surprising. people thought we added that to the film. >> rose: it was the -- >> at the same time one thing we haven't mentioned is the genius of the co-creators. >> rose: tell me why they're geniuses. >> because they are great theatre makers. there's a kind of notion, for me any of like a family sitting around the table and talking. it's sort of, you know, you get three hours, that's the experience. they used every school, every ounce of originality you can get into a stage production and used it with mixed media. we have like incredible sound
design. the play is 101 minutes long and it's fast and terrifying and theatrical using all the great powers and magic about art forms. >> and very new stuff too. a lot of stuff you don't see in broadway. sometimes you see it in musical things popping up but never in plays. rob is only 30 and >> rose: kumail nanjiani is a stand up comedian, actor and written. the new film the big sick that he wrote with his wife is a semi ought biographer of the telling of the beginning of their relationship when emily is placed in a medically induced
comma they were forced to divulge his relationship to their parents. he wants to arrange the marriage with a pakistani woman. the film is a winning heart serial and story of culture clash. with that here is the trail. >> this is fun. >> wait. we haven't had time -- >> i'm not that time of girl. i only have sex once on the first date. >> what's your name. >> after dating this girl, she's like -- >> a white girl. >> okay, we hate terrorists. >> i one who that could be. >> i'm guessing it's a young single pakistani woman. >> it is out there.
>> are you judging pakistani models. >> you know how we have arranged marriage in our culture. >> in which we end up together. >> we put her under a medically induced coma. >> you should call her family. >> thank you. >> i think i'm just going to wait anyway. >> you guys broke up. >> i'm not sure why you're here. >> wait a second. >> is that lady still looking at me? >> so 9/11 i only had a conversation with people. >> you never talked to people about 9/11. >> you can't rhyme it.
you're trying to find a word that nobody could rhyme, okay. >> stonehenge. >> i think its screwed up with your daughter. >> yeah. >> let me give you some advice kumail. love isn't easy. that's why they call it love. >> i don't really get that. >> i thought i could just something small could come out. >> rose: the big sick i'm pleased to have kumail nanjiani at this table for the first time. let me do a little biography. you came to iowa, your parents did. >> no, i came alone to iowa. yes, from pakistani. i came for college and stayed. i did the four years of college
and then moved to chicago, yes. >> rose: wanting all the time to be an entertainer. >> no, it wasn't until my last year of college that i started feeling this, you know, i was studying computer science and i was starting philosophy. one i wasn't good at and one i couldn't make any money at. so i was like, i don't know what. >> rose: sounds like a problem. >> it is, you know. good philosophy. i know i didn't want to be a professor or anything. and computer science, you know i felt like i missed some class like a year or two and i never caught up. i just didn't make sense. >> rose: i heard it's great for romance. >> it is. >> rose: you have a theory of life. >> my last year it's like i don't know what i want to do. i sort of really fell in love withstand up comedy at that point. so i was like all right i'll take this. see if this takes me anywhere. >> rose: it certainly took you somewhere. were you good from the
beginning. >> doing stand up? >> rose: yes. >> i was good the first time. >> rose: you really hit well the first time. >> the first time i did it at college in a coffee shop on campus with all my friends there. it was like 200 people. >> rose: that's a hardy audience. >> they were so supportive, they were so excited. it was truly one of the best sets i've had to this day. i remember walking up stage and being like i could do letter. it took me 12 years to do letterman. but the first time it was really g i don't know how people could continue on if your first time isn't good. the first time was good. the second time was good. not as good but good. i didn't have my first really bad time. i was about three or four months into it in chicago when i had my first like bad sound stage. >> rose: larry david told me. he had long -- he wasn't good the first time second time thursday time fourth time and finally started doing else. >> yes. he was very good at it.
if i hadn't done well that first time i don't think i would have done it a second time. >> rose: here's the interesting thing. a lot of comedians at this table have loved comedy and are good at it but what i want to do is make movies. >> that's right. because for me it's true because i grew up watching movies more than stand up. i didn't really watch stand up until i was about 20 years old. >> rose: exhibit a for me is jordan peele. >> i love movies. i mean i loved horror and sci-fi movies and comedies. it's tough to get to make movies. it's easier to do stand up. >> rose: it costs a lot of money. >> you just sign up. >> rose: you got to find
somebody to give you that. >> yes, it's tough. withstand up, you can go put your name on a list at a bar, go up and already do it. you're a comedian. you could decide to be a comedian and be a comedy one in six hours. you want to be a filmmaker you have to convince a lot of people. >> rose: find some actors and find people to back you and find a director and an editor and then get a script. >> there's a lot more skill involved in film making. withstand up you can kind of figure it out as you go. >> rose: having said all of that, so many people who are good at stand up, take jerry seinfeld they want to go back. you can be as rich and successful as he is. where is he any? he's doing these projects but he's also doing stand up. >> yes. he's in our movie and still doing stand up. >> rose: i don't think letterman made much stand up
after television. >> but -- does it all the time. >> rose: he would do it when the tonight show was at the top with him. fly in las vegas and do it. >> he was doing like 300 shows a year while he was doing the tonight show. that's a lot. >> rose: who was your hero. >> jerry seinfeld. i loved jerry seinfeld and woody allen stand up from the 70's. i think some of that stuff happening now would be considered ground breaking because it was so different and weird. i was a big fan. >> rose: pacing and typing was so good. >> and it was so specific. he seemed so confident and i know his persona he said he's not confident. he's nerdy. but he would tell these stories that are idiosyncratic and strange. eight minute long stories where
a minute in, if this doesn't work i have seven more awful minutes coming up. but he did it. i really admire that. >> rose: at did judd -- >> he taught me to trust myself because it can be very easy to dog yourself and think maybe i shouldn't be doing this or doing that. also said that you can in a movie, you can express whatever you want to express and you don't have to figure it out or tie it up in any way. in the movie for a long time i was writing the script i wouldn't write anything about religion at all. i was very religious and judd said why weren't you talking about religion and i was like i don't really know what to say about it. just say that. just say it's complicated and you don't know how you feel
about it. so that's what we put in the movie. his whole philosophy is just show people struggle. you don't have to show them overcoming those struggles. you don't have to show them understanding those struggles. you just have to show people having those struggles. >> rose: that's the theory we have here. is writing for comedy writing for stand up different than writing the cent for a movie? or is it a series of one liners strung together. >> no it's very different but stand up there's kind of no word. i could do a joke that's a minute long and that's it. and that's how long it's supposed to be. i can write a story that's eight minutes long and that's all it has to be. with the movie and it's also very easy for me to write stand up for myself because i know my voice.
when you're writing a movie you're writing all these other characters so you have to figure out how to write in their voices. not just that you have to figure out all their points of view that every point in the movie everybody's perspective is clear and defined. and they sound like themselves and they're doing what they would do. then you also have to show in some way some journey for some of those characters. you have to show them struggling and you have to show some strange in their struggles. so all that stuff is tricky. if i do stand up i can veer off a story and come back to it and as long as it's funny it doesn't matter. with a movie you really kind of have to be pretty focused on the story. >> rose: is it harder to write for a female character than it is say for yourself. >> yes. because i don't have the perspective of being a female. it was really great that i wrote it with my wife, emily gordon.
the if she really, she's very smart -- >> rose: she wrote all the female characters. >> yes. i mean she really brought lot to it. like she was the one who was like i don't think a woman would do this. i don't think it would be like this. no self respecting woman would do this. it's very easy. so many movies are made by a bunch of dudes you know guessing what a woman would do. here's a trick, get a woman in there. talk to them. they'll help you get the character exactly down. and then zoe cause is an who plays emily in the movie and holly hunter who plays emily's mom in the movie were also very very helpful making sure the female characters of the movie felt real. >> rose: do you already have an idea for another movie. >> no, i don't. i'm barely getting done with this one.
>> rose: really. >> we come out really soon and it's been, the good thing with judd has been he really puts you in charge of the process. like he oversees it but you can be involved if you want to be. all throughout the editing, we were in the editing -- >> rose: you're learning on the job here. >> yes, you really are learning on the job. but do you know what you realize, i've watched so many movies but there's patterns and language of movies that are part of your neural pathways. even if you haven't thought about them, part of you understands them. so you can watch a movie and it ask be why doesn't that make sense. why is that weird. because they crossed the line. people are looking the wrong way. i feel most people have an understanding of that language. when you're editing you suddenly realize a lot more than you think you do. especially i love that. >> rose: i was going to say, did you love it, you took the words out of my out. >> you pause a little bit longer and suddenly something funny. you take air out, suddenly
something funny. somebody is saying something and you're like i don't believe them and you just add 10 seconds to them thinking before they say it and suddenly you believe them. it's really brilliant. and working where it's seeing people like holly hunter, seeing all her texts and watching how she works. it's really good but it's a totally different performance. it's really really exciting. >> rose: when you're describing editing it rea minds when i was very young in journalism. they say when you write a stand up or close for a story often it's best to take off whatever the last sentence was. >> that's great. that's really great advice. that really is because if you're doing a movie, doing what my acting teacher taught me. she's like you want to, everything should be like you got to play like dump lings. it should be the dumpling you
want and it keeps you going to the next scene. writing in this movie like in stand up you do a big laugh at the end. at the end of every scene i was doing a big laugh and the director said it shouldn't be like that. every scene should feel incomplete until the end of the movie. every scene should end slightly before you want it to end. >> rose: i want to show this one scene, you and emily have been talking about the character played by zoe kazan. here it is. >> wait wait. >> we haven't even had sex again yet. >> i'm just not that kind of girl. i only have six once on the first date. like a hand job. >> i don't get that. >> you don't get that because you're laying in front of me. >> what is happening, what are you doing. >> i'm teasing under this -- >> i'm seeing everything. do you remember we were just having sex. >> yes.
thank you very much. i was like go home and i hope ... >> rose: where do you think your core skill is? what is your core competence in all this? is it the words, is it script? >> i think -- >> rose: you certainly can add actor to this. >> i always considered myself primarily a writer when i first was doing stand up. i was like i'm a writer. the easiest way to get my writing out there is to go on stage and show my writing to people. it was the most efficient way to get my writing out there. i think, what's my core skill? i don't know. yeah. i just like to sort of, i'm kind
of a overthinker. i think about everything way too much. so the advantage is i overthink when someone says something to me i'm like why did they say that, are they being nice, do they want me to leave, i should leave. do you know what, i'm going to stay just to spite them. i'm going to say, so liable it all moves like that. so that can translate to stand up. and it can translate to other situations where you can sort of think different angles pretty quickly. >> rose: it's great to have you here. >> thank you. >> rose: the big sick. thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and early episodes visit us on-line at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org