Return to Transcripts main page
PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Fears of Massacre in Misrata; Who was Behind Lockerbie?; Price of Crude Oil Soars; One-on-One with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Aired March 31, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, fears of a massacre in Libya and a top man in Moammar Gadhafi's regime. Could he be the mastermind behind the Lockerbie bombing? Will he face prosecution?
I'll ask President Bush's attorney general and a woman who lost her husband in Lockerbie.
And the price of turmoil. As the Arab world reels, oil goes sky high. What it means for you.
Then a revealing interview with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. And with the Rock, rules are made to be broken.
DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON, ACTOR, WRESTLER: I have the ability to rectify a situation by putting my fist across somebody's lips and putting my boot right up to their (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
MORGAN: A superstar Wrestlemania.
JOHNSON: You can always put your money on the Rock.
MORGAN: And now a superstar in Hollywood.
JOHNSON: Piers, tonight you're going to go one on one with the most electrifying man in all of Hollywood.
MORGAN: Tonight, what you don't know about Dwayne Johnson, and what he has in common with President Obama.
Then his way. A Hollywood legend who knows everyone who's anyone. But it's Jerry Weintraub's private life that might surprise you the most.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. NATO is in charge of strike missions in Libya tonight after the United States hands over command. Meanwhile, the Libyan rebels are begging for more airstrikes. Rebel forces in Misrata are under siege, and CNN's Fred Pleitgen was one of the very few Western journalists to get into that city. Tonight he reports via broadband from a boat delivering medical supplies and food to Misrata.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Piers, this boat is actually the one that we also used to get into Misrata. What it does is it transports medical aid and food supplies there to help of course the hospitals but also people who have had to flee their homes.
It's a very, very difficult thing to do because the port area in Misrata has been under fire from pro-Gadhafi forces, and there's even been a small boat assault on that port area. So it was quite a difficult thing to do. Now the scene in Misrata is really one of utter devastation.
We saw in the report how the opposition fighters were sort of going through that area. It's really hard to ascertain who is in control of certain areas. You walk through a street, you'll see an opposition checkpoint and then you walk just a couple of yards further on, and you'll start having gunfire ring out and bullets whiz by your head because that's an area that's being taken under fire by snipers from the pro-Gadhafi forces.
By and large, I would say that the opposition is in control of more of Misrata than the pro-Gadhafi forces are, although of course the pro-Gadhafi forces have much more sophisticated and much more heavy weaponry. We saw tanks being fired. We also saw artillery fire that hit the port area, also hit some residential areas, as well.
So it is a really bloody battle. And the humanitarian situation, of course, on the heels of that is a very, very devastating one. We went to one of the only functioning hospitals in Misrata. And it's clear that the -- the doctors there are absolutely overwhelmed by the situation.
And one of the things they told us is that normally when someone would get a gunshot wound or something, you could treat that wound. But now they say they simply don't have the time because they have so many casualties coming in that in many cases they'll have to amputate a leg or amputate an arm.
So the humanitarian situation clearly is one that's very difficult. And the lack of supplies is also something that weighs very heavily on top of all the other problems that the medical staff have. So this boat that we use to get into Misrata is one of the very few that is bringing medical supplies to the opposition there for them to be able to come to terms with all the problems that they have in treating these patients and with also coming to terms with the situation on the ground there -- Piers.
MORGAN: Fred Pleitgen, thank you.
Moammar Gadhafi's foreign minister Moussa Koussa is in London tonight after fleeing Libya. Now Scottish prosecutors say they want to question him about the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Was Koussa the mastermind behind that terror attack that killed 270 people.
Well, joining me now is Judge Michael Mukasey, attorney general of the United States under President George W. Bush.
Judge Mukasey, what is the legal position with this man as we stand today?
MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, if in fact he had anything to do with the bombing of 103, that is either by way of transmitting the order or giving the orders, then he could be tried by a Scottish court. He could be tried by a U.S. court, but only for destroying the airplane.
MORGAN: Scottish prosecutors, they've already asked to talk to him. At the moment he's down in London. Will they be given that chance, do you think?
MUKASEY: I think they'll be given the chance to talk to him. I can't -- particularly in view of the release of Megrahi, I think that people are fairly nervous about treating him with kid gloves. So I would think they would at least talk to him.
MORGAN: Because Moussa Koussa actually played an active role in getting Megrahi released. He was one of the key players.
MUKASEY: Right. But beyond that, obviously, if he's at all responsible for the act itself they'll want to talk to him. But he -- he's somebody who can provide an enormous amount of intelligence about -- obviously about Gadhafi. And so I would think that he is in the process of talking about his asylum application as we speak.
MORGAN: Well, it is a very tricky situation, isn't it? Because this guy has defected from Gadhafi, is incredibly useful to us. But we've not given him diplomatic immunity. And of course if we are able to link him to the Lockerbie bombing, then this raises very serious questions about what we do with him.
I mean he should be really then tried for that atrocity which I would imagine will not be the biggest encouragement to other members of the Gadhafi regime to defect.
MUKASEY: Well, I think that there's something of a cost benefit analysis going on right now about how much he's worth to us as compared to how much we, that is the -- both the British and the Americans, want him prosecuted.
MORGAN: What's the position in relation to Gadhafi himself? Do you see any prospects that he could be brought to justice and tried under war crimes?
MUKASEY: It's -- any prospect? It's conceivable, sure. But he's taken the position that he isn't going to be taken alive. And presumably he'll make good on that or bad on it. As the case may be.
MORGAN: What do you make of what is happening in Libya right now just -- as an American and as a judge?
MUKASEY: As an American, obviously to the extent that somebody has it in mind to get rid of Gadhafi, that's all to the good. On the other hand, there have been reports that there are fighters in Pakistan and elsewhere who are just spoiling to get back there and set up an Islamist state. So it's a worrisome situation. MORGAN: Judge Mukasey, thank you very much for your time.
I now want to turn to Victoria Cummock who lost her husband in the bombing of PanAm Flight 103.
Victoria, thank you for joining me. We've spoken before about the situation. But obviously there's been this big significant development in relation to the defection by Moussa Koussa.
What was your reaction to this and what do you think should happen to him?
VICTORIA CUMMOCK, LOST HUSBAND IN BOMBING OF PANAM 103: My concern right now with Moussa Koussa is that it seems that, you know, the Scottish authorities want to talk to him. And frankly, as a Panama 103 family member, I have no confidence in the Scottish system.
And I really question why is the U.S. government not prosecuting this case? Why did they betray the 189 Americans and the majority -- the majority of which were the passengers on PanAm 103 and cross abdicate the prosecution of the two intelligence agents that were -- that stood trial years ago.
MORGAN: I mean I completely understand why you just want these people brought to justice as fast as possible. I would imagine from the administration's point of view it's a very difficult juggling act in terms of diplomacy because they have defected from Gadhafi, weakening Gadhafi's position. And they may be able to help in capturing him.
Would you ever see a position where you would trade immunity for people like Moussa Koussa in return for the capture of Gadhafi himself?
CUMMOCK: Well, Moussa Koussa should be given a really cushy cell somewhere, and I understand that he needs medical treatment, and that would be great, as well. But I really feel that it's important that our country, America, try to go after and prosecute those involved with the bombing of PanAm 103.
You know, they -- in the last case when Megrahi was convicted, they decided not to go and look anywhere else. They didn't figure out who ordered al-Megrahi to bomb the plane. Gadhafi never cooperated with that whole trial. And our country rewarded Gadhafi with billions of dollars worth of oil contracts instead.
MORGAN: Victoria Cummock, thank you.
The turmoil in Libya and across the Middle East has turned the price of oil soaring. Crude hit its highest level in 2 1/2 years today, at $106.72 a barrel. Here to explain what this all means for your money is Mohamed El-Erian. He's the CEO of PIMCO, the Pacific Investment Motion Company.
Mohamed, thank you for joining me. Oil prices are exploding. What is your take on this? MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CEO OF PIMCO: So they're exploding for two reasons. The immediate reason is supply, with what's happening in Libya, what's happening in the Middle East. The markets are pricing in an uncertainty premium because they're not sure that supplies are short.
And then there's the demand side which is every single day as more Chinese, more Indians get wealthy, they demand more. Think of someone going from a bicycle to a car. Suddenly the demand for oil goes up significantly. Put these two things together, and we have, as you said, high and volatile prices.
MORGAN: And there was a development today in Kuwait. What was that?
EL-ERIAN: What you had in Kuwait was the resignation of the government. So what you're seeing in the Middle East now is very differentiated. Some countries are responding by repression. That's what we've seen in Libya. That's what you've seen in Yemen.
Other countries are trying to get ahead of the movements. And they're trying to take action to preempt possible protests. And that's what we've seen in Kuwait. But we've also seen it in Jordan.
MORGAN: I mean we're seeing uprisings in almost every country now in the Middle East. Do you predict economic turmoil for quite -- some considerable time?
EL-ERIAN: I predict uncertainty for quite a bit of time. I predict that we are going to feel that impact in terms of high oil prices. So today alone has added 10 cents to every gallon of gas that you put in your car. So the transmission is pretty quick. So we're going to see that.
I'm not sure you're going to get massive turmoil. I think you're going to get much more differentiated outcomes.
MORGAN: You've also just come back from Japan. What were you doing there? And what did you find?
EL-ERIAN: So I went there just to thank our colleagues who have been doing an amazing job in our Tokyo office, and nothing, Piers, prepared me. I was checking in London, just to give an example, and I was given a piece of paper saying that the plane would make an unscheduled stop in Korea.
And I said, why, and they said, because we change crew there. We don't want any of our crew to stay overnight in Tokyo.
EL-ERIAN: So I got there, and the airport is empty. And you get a strange feeling. And then just talking to people. Not just what they've been through. I've been to other places where there have been disasters. But the fact that there's this uncertainty.
And radiation is this invisible threat, and it's really impacting how people are thinking. There's a massive amount of uncertainty.
And of course, electricity blackouts. The airport had no heating there. So it really brought to me that this is not going to be like Kobe where it bounces back quickly.
MORGAN: I mean in terms of the global economic situation, we've already got this huge problem in the Middle East. Will everything that's happening in Japan, tragic though it's been, will that impact on the rest of the planet, do you think? Or in terms of economy, are they able to withstand it on their own?
EL-ERIAN: So in the short term, this is a headwind for everybody, because it disrupts demand, it disrupts supply chains. Over the long term we're going to see massive reconstruction. So as long as we can navigate the next few months, we'll be OK. But the next few months are going to be more difficult than they would have been otherwise.
MORGAN: Is your general advice to the American consumer tighten the belt a bit?
EL-ERIAN: It is. It's certainly not run up your credit cards.
MORGAN: Going to be a bumpy ride?
EL-ERIAN: It's going to be a bumpy ride.
MORGAN: Mohamed El-Erian, thank you very much indeed.
Next, my interview with Dwayne Johnson, the Rock, he's back, and I've got him.
MORGAN: If there's one thing you need to know about my next guest is don't bet against Dwayne Johnson, the man you may known as "The Rock," is a star in the ring, a star in Hollywood, a star -- just about a star everything, aren't you?
JOHNSON: A star everything, yes.
MORGAN: What I find fascinating about you -- I'm going to come to this more in the second part of the interview. But when you consider where you've come from to where you've now found yourself, there's only one way you've done that, and that's self-drive and determination.
What do you think that has come from?
JOHNSON: I would have to say -- I would have to say growing up and the examples that were set for me from my parents. You know, we struggle a lot. There was a lot of struggling going on. My dad was very successful on his own right. He was a professional wrestler so he was a local star at that time before the business of professional wrestling became global, if you will.
But there was a lot of struggle. And watching them struggle and watching them pull through it. And having that example. And also not only -- in addition to that example, I think consistently being told that whatever it is that you want to do, you've got to get after it. You got to get after it. There's no substitute for hard work. Hard work always pays. You know those types of mantras over time.
MORGAN: Did you ever imagine even in your most outrageous dreaming.
MORGAN: Did you ever imagine you'd reach the stage where you're a $10 million-a-movie star?
JOHNSON: No, I didn't. I just wanted to -- I wanted to entertain. When I was 8 years old, I thought I was a combination of these guys. I thought I was a combination of Chuck Norris, Richard Pryor, Harrison Ford, and Rocky Balboa and Harrison Ford from "Indiana Jones." So I was like all these guys in -- and Elvis Presley, too. At 8. All right?
MORGAN: Very lofty ambition.
JOHNSON: Yes. Exactly. So I knew at that time when I was 8 I wanted to be an entertainer, and I loved the idea of that and what it meant. And when I was 8, I saw "Indiana Jones" for the first time. And I loved that character. Like, wow, that guy was so heroic, and he kicked ass, and he --
MORGAN: You're more a Rocky Balboa.
MORGAN: Which is one of my favorite all-time movies.
JOHNSON: Yes. Me, too. Sure.
MORGAN: And I know Sly Stallone well, I've interviewed him many times.
MORGAN: And your story is more like his. Where you just -- you came from nothing, you didn't have anything, you didn't have a penny -- I say a penny, a dollar to rub between your fingers. You had nothing.
MORGAN: And yet like Rocky, you just had the kind of street smarts and the determination. And you say that's mainly from your parents, you think? JOHNSON: Well, I think a good portion it is, sure. Especially while you're growing up and those are your examples of, you know, what it's like to get beat down. What it's like to get -- just in terms of -- just in terms of the struggle, what it's like to be evicted out of your apartment. What it's like to have your car repossessed and watch your parents go through that is -- I think is defining as a kid.
And then for me, too, I knew that I wanted to -- I knew I wanted to be something, and it was important to me to be something. It was important to me that I didn't fail. But by the way, and if I did fail, at least -- what was also important was the lesson. And I didn't realize it until I got older.
Because you know when you're in it, you're in the grind, you don't really recognize those things when you're younger. But I could recognize it now and the importance of them now. And just in terms of the drive and the determination, a lot of it was experience, too. Get your ass kicked, get back up and put the gloves back on and you swing away.
MORGAN: Rocky, like I said.
MORGAN: I want to play you a clip from your famous "SNL" appearance. And there's a reason why I want to play this. So let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And my friend, I'm starting to think you may not be up to it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god. What happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened was you made Barack Obama angry. And when you make Barack Obama angry, he turns into the Rock Obama.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I loved that sketch. But the parallels --
JOHNSON: Thank you. Thank you. I had a lot of fun.
MORGAN: But the parallels are quite interesting. I mean you're both from Hawaii, you and the president. Both come from pretty modest beginnings.
MORGAN: Both got 9-year-old daughters.
JOHNSON: Sure. MORGAN: I mean you're not quite in the White House yet, but you know, there's still time. When you look at what's happened with Barack Obama, do you see parallels with your life?
JOHNSON: Well, the -- certainly the ones that you just mentioned, sure, and plus I think, you know, growing up in Hawaii -- Hawaii's a very warm and proud place to grow up. And, you know, certainly -- you know, Barack will always talk about that.
So I think that the best thing about Barack is his ability to be open, his ability to be flexible. His ability also to make sure that things are being done in a very precise way with somewhat of an iron fist.
And I love that. And you know the skit there with "Saturday Night Live" and coming up with that is the idea of what would happen, obviously, if Barack Obama got really angry? You know who would he throw out through the window of the White House?
But very proud of our president.
MORGAN: Have you met him?
JOHNSON: I've talked to the phone with him. Me and my family have had the opportunity to go to the White House. We spent some time with the first lady and their daughters --
MORGAN: What did you talk on the phone with the president? What was that about?
JOHNSON: Oh, many private things, Piers.
JOHNSON: No, not at all.
JOHNSON: No, at that time we were talking about -- it was just a connection. Hey, how you doing, I support you. At that time he was running --
MORGAN: Wait. Wait. Wait. Rewind. Rewind. You can't just lob in, "I chat to the president on the phone," without explaining how you came to talk to him on the phone.
JOHNSON: Piers, I'm the Rock. Understand? No.
MORGAN: Actually, that's true. I thought you're going to hit me there.
JOHNSON: It was -- it was when he was running for president that time. And he was out campaigning. And it was a -- it was just a quick call, a quick check-in call. And -- MORGAN: Have you ever been tempted into politics? You've watched Jesse Ventura, you watch Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know, people who have come from not dissimilar backgrounds, entertainment as you. You ever think maybe I'll have a go?
JOHNSON: Sure -- you know, I thought about it. But I think, you know, my idea of impacting, you know, the world would just be through entertainment. For me, at this point now through entertaining the audiences worldwide, that's my way. What the ultimate goal is to impact. I want to make impact in a lot of ways.
MORGAN: If you were president, hypothetically.
MORGAN: What would you do?
JOHNSON: Well, in what way?
MORGAN: Ultimate power, you're the president of the United States of America. What are the things that would really be passionate to you?
JOHNSON: I would be passionate about taking care of our troops and protecting our troops. Passionate about education. Passionate about protecting our great country. Very passionate about that.
MORGAN: When you see --
JOHNSON: I'd be a damn good-looking president. And humble.
MORGAN: You've actually got a smile not dissimilar to President Obama's. Has anyone said that before?
JOHNSON: They have.
MORGAN: It must be the Hawaii smile.
JOHNSON: I think it is. It's in the water.
MORGAN: Because definitely -- you can both turn it on.
JOHNSON: It's in the water, the salt water.
MORGAN: How do you think -- how do you think he's doing?
JOHNSON: I think he's doing a great job, and I'm very, very proud of him. I think that -- you know, he's the president of the United States with all the incredible responsibilities that you have. He came in at the time of office where it's a very challenging time, which we all know. But I think he's done a great job.
And you know, it's a very -- obviously as you know as we all know, it's a very polarizing position. People are going to love you, people are going to hate you. I think that he's been steadfast, and he -- again, just -- always very smart and intelligent, well thought out, very flexible and very open.
But also making sure that it's important, understanding the power of communication. And there's great power in that, and you can find great success in that and you could make a lot of incredible things happen. You can make and move mountains with that. And I think he's doing, again, a great job.
MORGAN: When we come back, we're going to talk -- put your arm up for a minute.
JOHNSON: All right. Wow. You're strong. Fine. Where are you going to take me to lunch?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: But I want to take this moment in the middle of this ring to tell you why I'm back. It's not because of the money. It's not to promote a movie. I am back in the middle this ring because of you.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: It's a clip of the Rock at work in the ring. And I'm back now, my guest, Dwayne Johnson.
When you see that -- I mean you're back now hosting Wrestlemania. But everyone is asking one question, are you ever going to get back and start wrestling again?
JOHNSON: I'm open to it.
MORGAN: You are?
JOHNSON: Very open to it. Sure. And I've always been open to it. I -- you know, when I left wrestling seven years ago, at that time two things happened. I accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish in wrestling. And I also wanted to become -- I also wanted to become a good actor.
And that was important to me. And to have the ability to work in all different genres. And in order to do that I felt I needed to concentrate solely and commit myself to acting.
MORGAN: You have a 9-year-old daughter.
MORGAN: Who is obviously the great love of your life at the moment.
JOHNSON: Very much so. Yes.
MORGAN: You have a remarkably good relationship with your ex- wife, which is unusual in show business.
MORGAN: How have you managed that? How have you managed to stay such good friends? You still work together, right?
JOHNSON: We do. She's my manager, she has a management company. She's done extraordinarily well just on her own professionally. When we realized that we weren't meeting the expectation of marriage and that things were falling apart --
MORGAN: So that was an interesting phrase. I read that a lot at the time.
MORGAN: What was your expectation of marriage?
JOHNSON: My expectation -- my expectation of marriage, you know, I don't quite know what my expectation of marriage was back then. I'd made a lot of mistakes, and I didn't have the ability or wherewithal, I think, or the capacity to stop for a moment and say, god, I'm really screwing up. Can we just stop for a moment and let's talk about this?
So I can't tell you what it was then. I can tell you today that I value a relationship. Like when I love you, I can really love you, whether it's my ex-wife, my girlfriend, and my little girl, or my friends, my guys, my buddies, whatever it is. I value that relationship. I can value relationships today.
So getting back to my ex and how we work together, as we went through all that and went through divorce and we all know our close friends and family have gone through divorce, and there's a period where we went through a lot of sludge, but you got through it. And I was very fortunate that I had her -- who had the wherewithal to say, OK, we're going to go through this, and it's terrible.
But there's somewhere on the other side, if we -- there's somewhere on the other side of this that we're going to become better. She's happily in a relationship, I'm happy in a relationship, too. And -- but it's so incredibly loving and seamless what we have. And the best part about it is the example we're setting for our little girl.
MORGAN: Who's the lucky girl in your life now then?
JOHNSON: I can't tell you that. Piers, I got to keep it private. I got to keep it private.
MORGAN: You've done this very successfully. And I was trolling, trying to find evidence of endless starlet -- JOHNSON: Why are you -- just call me and ask me. Like President Obama, just call me.
MORGAN: Yes, exactly. But you seem to have been able to protect that side your life very skillfully.
JOHNSON: It's important to me.
MORGAN: Why -- why is it important? How have you managed to achieve that?
JOHNSON: Well, privacy's important to me and it's important -- you know, my relationships -- the relationships I have, whether it -- regardless of who it is, whether it's my girlfriend, ex-wife's little girl friends, whatever it is, it -- it's always been important to me to be private and live privately.
How do I manage to achieve that? Easy. I live far out, outside of Hollywood. I have a farm on the East Coast that we like to go to and get away. Don't go to restaurants that I know paparazzi are going to be at. I don't go out.
A good night for me would just be at my house. I built the property that I felt if I never wanted to leave it, I wouldn't have to. So I have everything there and I love it.
So a good night for me is just hanging out with friends, we'll have a drink -- Don Julio Tequila, if you want to get me a gift, since I came on your show. And -- and friends and have a great bite and really keep things simple core. Simple core is a phrase we always use.
MORGAN: Could you get remarried, do you think? Or has it put you off for life going through a bad divorce?
JOHNSON: No, not at all. You know, the -- I love relationships. And again, I honor the relationships that I'm in today. So sure, I would be open to it.
And I learned that too some time ago, is be open and be flexible. You know that, you know?
MORGAN: Of course. We're taking our last break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about movies.
MORGAN: And also what your new goals are, because you claim you have these four goals that you achieved.
JOHNSON: Sure. Can't wait.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: Like that? Wow. Got you. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was Dwayne Johnson playing a gay cowboy in "Be Cool." That was a great role.
JOHNSON: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: I love that role. And it was brilliant for you because it was so leftfield.
MORGAN: You could have taken just route one action movie and people would have expected that. But the choice of that role --
JOHNSON: Thank you.
MORGAN: -- was genius, wasn't it?
JOHNSON: Well, to say -- it was genius. Yes, thank you. I think it's extraordinarily genius. Let's be honest.
Yes, well, you know, just staying in action, that's no fun. It's no fun, you don't grow. I had a great time shooting that movie. That's where I got to know John Travolta really well. Wonderful human being.
And play a great character, by the way, that was -- that was so opposite of what people had expected me to play. A gay cowboy wants to make it in Hollywood and has this -- and has a love and affinity to singing country music love songs written by a woman singing to a man.
For example, I sang Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man." Your favorite song, Piers.
MORGAN: Well, you're actually -- your new movie is "Fast Five," hitting the theaters on April 29. It's the fifth installment of the "Fast and Furious" franchise. Let's take a little look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is all this really necessary to apprehend two men?
JOHNSON: One's a former federal officer, spent five years in deep cover. The other one's a professional criminal, escaped prison twice. We find the, we take them as a team and we bring them back.
And above all else, we don't ever, ever let them get into cars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What I love about your career in movies is that in 2002, you starred in the "Scorpion King." And you got the title in the Guinness Book of World Records of the highest salary by a debut starring role actor. And it was five million -- 5.5 million dollars. JOHNSON: Sure.
MORGAN: That is still the record. It's nearly 10 years later.
JOHNSON: I know.
MORGAN: No one's beaten you.
JOHNSON: That's so cool.
MORGAN: And the reason I know this is I've got the certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for you. You remain the highest salary in a debut starring role ever.
JOHNSON: Ah, very cool, very cool.
MORGAN: So that's from us.
JOHNSON: Thank you, my friend. I appreciate that.
MORGAN: But that was quite a remarkable thing.
Reading your life story, going back into the years where real deprivation -- I was quite shocked. You know, you were living off your mate getting you chicken nuggets from, you know, wherever he was working every night, you know.
And your parents had no money. You witnessed a lot of bad stuff just through lack of money. I remember the sense comes through of it really hurting you to watch your parents really struggling. And you came up with these goals at the time, four goals. Can you remember them?
JOHNSON: I do.
MORGAN: What were they?
JOHNSON: I do. One was to graduate from college. I was the first one in my family to go to college. I wanted to graduate. That was a big deal. I wanted to marry Dany at that time, who's now my ex- wife and my manager. We were together.
I wanted to buy my parents a home. They had never lived in a house before. We had grown up in apartments.
And the last one was I wanted to -- I wanted to fix my grandmother's situation. My grandmother at that time was homeless. And, you know, she had been the matriarch of the family.
MORGAN: And you did all these things.
JOHNSON: I was very fortunate. It was a blessing that I was able to do --
MORGAN: So right now, you're in the Guinness Book of World Records. You've got all the money you could ever possibly wish for. You're making these huge movies.
Obviously, different goals now. But what would they be? If I was to pin you down and say, right, come on, Dwayne, what are the goals -- what are the next four goals in your life?
JOHNSON: Why you got to pin me down, my friend? No cowboys.
MORGAN: There's no damage of me physically pinning you down, relax.
JOHNSON: Let's see. To be a great daddy and a great example. That's important to me. You know, I've struggled with the relationship that I had with my dad, you know. As I got a little older, realized just how important being a great dad is.
And my dad, now our relationship is coming together nicely.
MORGAN: He could never tell you he loved you before. Has he told you that he loves you now?
JOHNSON: He has, yes. A big fan. As a matter of fact, he will take responsibility for me being a here, because I taught him everything he knows. His favorite quote is, I taught him everything he knows, but I didn't teach him everything I know.
MORGAN: So, you -- being a good dad's one. What else would you put in there?
JOHNSON: Being a good dad is one. Continue to impact the world in a positive way -- in my way through, whether it be making good movies in all different genres or --
MORGAN: Like to win an Oscar?
JOHNSON: I would love to, sure.
MORGAN: Practiced your speech?
JOHNSON: Sure, I would love to.
MORGAN: You must have prepared a speech.
JOHNSON: Oh, right now? Of course, I did. Yes, sure. Start off with thanking the good Lord.
MORGAN: How does it end? Everyone always saves the best name to last. Who would be the last person you'd thank in your Oscar speech? Who's the one person you believe -- if you had to choose one -- you owe most to?
JOHNSON: My mom. I would thank my mom. Yes, what a woman. Gone through so much, was the rock of the family, held it together for such a long time. Ultimately, wound up divorcing my dad. And just -- and just wanted a good life.
Just wanted a good life for me. Just wanted something special for her son. So, when I saw them struggling when I was young, 14, 15, 16 years old, I wanted to change that so badly.
And you know, for me, my way of changing it was I could do something with my hands. I could build my body. I could go to work. I could do something with my hands.
So now, as we come full circle, able to provide for my parents but, you know, my mom in particular though. I mean, what a -- what a woman. Diagnosed with Stage 3-B lung cancer two years ago and kicked its ass and she's here today.
And now it's interesting when you go through that -- and I'm sure you know people who've been stricken with cancer -- and you come out the other side, everything means so much more. Every conversation means so much more. Every text message means so much more. Every little thing means so much more.
So I would start with the good Lord in the Oscar speech and end with my mom.
MORGAN: That's where you'll end. Dwayne, thank you so much.
JOHNSON: Yes. Pleasure, my friend. I really enjoyed it.
MORGAN: Yes, it's been a pleasure.
JOHNSON: Yes, sure.
MORGAN: That was Dwayne Johnson, the Rock. And coming up, a man who knows everyone who's anyone in Hollywood and almost certainly this guy as well, Jerry Weintraub.
MORGAN: My next guest is the power behind the scenes in Hollywood. He's the mogul who made some of the biggest blockbusters in years. And now he's a star of a new HBO documentary called "His Way" based on the book "When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead." And Jerry Weintraub joins me now.
Well, don't stop talking right now, Jerry. I want to have a good show.
WEINTRAUB: I won't stop. I promise, I won't stop. You'll have to stop me.
MORGAN: The documentary is -- it's fascinating. It's fabulous. I was trying to think of the best way to explain you and your story to the viewers. And we found a clip which I think says it all from the documentary. I want to play this straight away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry Weintraub is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry Weintraub is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry Weintraub is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerry Weintraub is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a puncher.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He never gets down and quits. He's that guy. He's the cliched guy that fights harder.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a rare bird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a lot of things to a lot of different people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's Ringling Brothers. He's Barnum and Bailey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's Houdini.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forrest Gump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't buy him dinner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He knows how to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) with somebody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tough as nails, but he has like a mushy, marshmallow center.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's one of the great personal commercials I've ever seen, Jerry. Maybe I should buy that. If I was to ask you, Jerry Weintraub is -- what would you say?
WEINTRAUB: I'm on Piers Morgan today.
MORGAN: But how would you describe yourself?
WEINTRAUB: You know, it's hard for me to describe myself. That's why I did not -- you can't produce your own documentary. And people ask me, where did all this come from and how long did it take to write the book? And how long did it take to do it?
It took 73 years. I'm 73 years old. I've lived a very full and charmed life. I'm a lucky guy. I came from wonderful parents, a wonderful background. And I love every day of my life. I got lucky. I'm not at Mutual of Omaha typing out insurance policies.
MORGAN: I mean, it's called "His Way."
MORGAN: One of your early great friends was Frank Sinatra who obviously sang "My Way" so memorably. WEINTRAUB: Yes.
MORGAN: What was he like -- Sinatra?
WEINTRAUB: He was a great guy. He was -- when I first met Frank, he called me -- he called me and he -- I had been working with Elvis at the time. And he wanted me to take him out of retirement. Take him on the road and put him in big arenas. He had not played big arenas. He had played small places.
And I -- well, small, 5,000, 6,000 seats -- I took him to 20,000 seats.
So he called me and asked me to do that. And the first show we did together was at Carnegie Hall. And I really didn't know -- I knew him, but I didn't know him well. His name was Francis Albert Sinatra. And I was standing at the curtain in Carnegie Hall at show time.
It was black tie. And I was peeking out of the curtain to see the people come in. I love to watch the people come in. I love to sell tickets, sell t-shirts. I'll sell you anything you want.
And I looked -- just looked through the curtain and I felt a tap on my shoulder. And I turned around and it was Sinatra. And he said to me, it's 8:00, the show says 8:00 -- the tickets say 8:00. I said, but there's nobody in the theater. They didn't get in. It's a New York crowd. They come late.
WEINTRAUB: Well, what are we going to do without an audience? He said, they'll be in their seats as soon as they hear the music and -- boom, he went out there. The audience came running in. They sat down and it was a great show.
MORGAN: You see, that's fascinating because what that shows me is why Sinatra became one of the greatest stars, because he had that kind of steely determination, confidence, professionalism.
You know, what do you think? Of all these people you've -- you've worked with all of them. You know, your best friends we've seen on the clip just now and you worked with Elvis and Frank and everybody else. What do you think separates the good from the great when it comes to stars?
WEINTRAUB: I think they're -- well, Sinatra knew how to tell a story in song. He could -- that's where I learned how to make movies, was his songs. But he -- and he knew character and he knew how to take an audience from here, up here, back here and then back again.
MORGAN: Is it the same in movies? Is it the same thing?
WEINTRAUB: Sure, it is.
MORGAN: Grabbing an audience.
WEINTRAUB: Yes, you've got to catch them, you've got to hook them and then you've got to keep them. And you keep going and then got to take them -- give them a little rest and then take them back out.
MORGAN: Well, you're obviously --
WEINTRAUB: Frank --
MORGAN: We lost Elizabeth Taylor recently. You must have known her well.
WEINTRAUB: Very well.
MORGAN: You sad to see her go?
WEINTRAUB: Yes. Well -- yes, I was very, very sad to see her go, but I was very sad about how sick she was toward the end, and how much she suffered. She obviously suffered a lot. And she had illnesses all through her life.
It's too bad that she went at her age. She could have gone to 90 or 100. It would have been much better. Like George Burns -- I made George Burns's 80th birthday party and they wouldn't insure him for "Oh God." And then he lived to 100.
MORGAN: If you -- if you were casting a dream movie, who would your leading man and woman be? It could be anybody you've ever worked with.
WEINTRAUB: Well, Clooney is always on my list or -- and Cary Grant, but I kind of --
MORGAN: They're quite similar.
WEINTRAUB: They're kind of alike.
MORGAN: I always think George is the new Cary Grant.
WEINTRAUB: He's sort of. He's a great host and he's a great guy, a very, very handsome man.
MORGAN: And who's the woman?
WEINTRAUB: The women love him.
MORGAN: Who's the woman?
WEINTRAUB: I think right now of all the ladies, depending on the kind of role it is, Angie -- Angelina Jolie is brilliant. I love Meryl Streep. She can do anything. I love Annett Bening. I think she could do anything. --
MORGAN: She's a great actress.
WEINTRAUB: A great actress -- great actress.
MORGAN: Well, when we come back I want to talk to you about your life and, in particular, you're rather complicated private life, Jerry, which you seem to be juggling very successfully.
WEINTRAUB: I don't think it's complicated.
MORGAN: I'm back with my special guest, Jerry Weintraub. Jerry, we were talking in the break there and you had forgotten somebody who you wanted to mention as a potential leading lady candidate for the dream movie.
WEINTRAUB: Well, she's been my leading lady, and that's Julia Roberts. She can do anything and she can be my leading lady anytime.
MORGAN: And who would you pick to play you in a movie?
WEINTRAUB: Will Smith.
MORGAN: Would you? I nearly fell for that.
WEINTRAUB: I told Will Smith that I was going to be asked that question and I was going to answer it. He said, great, that's great.
MORGAN: Now I want to turn to your -- you don't think this is complicated, but I think it's complicated or bordering on genius. And this is your -- your domestic situation. You're still married to your wife of 46 years, Jane Morgan.
And yet you live with your girlfriend of 20 years, Susie Ekins. How have you pulled this off, Jerry?
WEINTRAUB: Well, I haven't pulled it off. Everybody thinks I have. And everybody in Hollywood asks me this question -- how can I do this? How can I -- how did you do it? And I say, it just happened and it happened this way.
Jane had lived in Europe. She had a different set of circumstances than everybody else. She felt different about marital relationships. She told me early on in our marriage, if you meet somebody else that you want to be with, just please come and tell me and we'll figure it out.
But don't -- don't hurt me. Don't hurt the kids. And I said, we got a deal. No problem.
So when I fell in love with Susie and I -- at first it was just a working relationship. She worked with me. She, you know, produces all my films. It was a working relationship and we -- a very casual one. And as time went on, things changed.
And Jane and I grew apart -- not -- our marriage didn't fall apart -- just -- our relationship was still there. I still love her. I talk to her five times a day. She has whatever she wants, but I fell in love with Susie.
And I went to Jane and I said, Jane, I've fallen in love with another woman. And she said, I know. And I know who it is and I like her. She's really nice. And I think -- this is OK. We'll figure it out.
I said, do you want a divorce? You can half of everything which is substantial? I said you can half of everything, take it, go on your way and I'll go on my way. She said, Jerry, there's no reason for a divorce because unless Susie needs to be married immediately, there's no reason for a divorce because you have a big estate.
You want to sit in front of lawyers and argue -- have the war of the roses? I don't want to do that. She said, it's a waste of time. They're going to get millions of dollars from you and it's crazy.
MORGAN: Well, you're the envy of Hollywood, Jerry.
And the big question I keep asking is, has he got any plans -- this latterlies (ph) pleasure of your life to expand the hiring.
WEINTRAUB: No, no, no, no. I've been offered, but I have not. The fact is, you know, that I am -- I am the envy of Hollywood, but I'm also the envy of Omaha, Nebraska, and Macon, Georgia. You know, it's a pretty wild thing.
But the fact is that these two women did this. I didn't do it. They get the credit.
MORGAN: Well, you picked very good women, haven't you?
MORGAN: That's the trick, isn't it?
WEINTRAUB: I've been lucky twice. Most guys don't get lucky once. I got lucky twice.
MORGAN: See, everybody thinks Charlie Sheen is the big trailblazer by having these two goddesses, but you were doing this 20 years ago.
WEINTRAUB: Yes, well I have tiger blood.
MORGAN: You are definitely --
MORGAN: Winning. Jerry, there's no better way out than that. You are winning and it's been a pleasure to meet you.
WEINTRAUB: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
MORGAN: Take care.
WEINTRAUB: I appreciate it. MORGAN: That was the wonderfully entertaining Jerry Weintraub. We now go to the equally entertaining Anderson Cooper at "AC 360."