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Interview with Charlize Theron; Interview with Harvey Weinstein; Interview with Tatiana de Rosnay about Her Book Sarah's Key

Aired July 16, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, I sit down with one of those beautiful women in the world -- Charlize Theron.



MORGAN: Do you know how many times I've dreamt of having a taco with you over a few beers?



MORGAN: A glamour girl, one of "Esquire's' sexiest women alive. She's smart. She's sassy. And she can apparently tell a dirty joke and drink you under a table.


THERON: I was raised by a broad. And some of that rubbed off.


MORGAN: A girl who went from a farm in South Africa to Hollywood stardom, who won an Oscar, her brutally honest role as a serial killer. Tonight, you'll see her as you've probably rarely seen her before.



MORGAN: Wow, I didn't even know you fancied me. That's amazing.



MORGAN: Charlize Theron -- her life, her loves.

Also, tonight, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and the unforgettable true story behind his new movie.



MORGAN: Now let's start with the obvious question. How do you actually pronounce your name?

THERON: Charlize Theron.

MORGAN: That's the American way.

THERON: Yes. Yes. It's how -- it's what I felt would be easier for people.

MORGAN: What is the correct South African, dare I say it, African way of pronouncing this?

THERON: Charlize Theron.

MORGAN: I much prefer that. It's so much sexier. Say that again.

THERON: Charlize Theron.

MORGAN: Charlize Theron.

THERON: Charlize Theron.

MORGAN: You obviously were raised a South African and you presumably to L.A. with a broad South African accent. And you quite consciously went and taught yourself how to speak in an American accent, right?

THERON: Yes. I mean, look, it was kind of -- I was kind of pushed into a corner. I started going out on auditions and the feedback was always she's really great, but can she do it in an American accent?

My English was very poor, and I still you'll hear -- I'll make a lot of grammar mistakes. And I can't --

MORGAN: Do you speak African certainly?

THERON: Every day. And my mother lives two minutes away from me.

MORGAN: Can you speak African to her?

THERON: Oh, yes. It feels --

MORGAN: Let's have a burst. Come on. I love it if you speak African to me.



MORGAN: Wow, I didn't even know you fancied me. That's amazing.

That's incredible. So you speak it completely fluently?

THERON: Oh, I think more fluently than I speak English. Yes, definitely.

MORGAN: Well, Miss Theron. Woody Harrelson got me very excited about interviewing you.

THERON: Woody?

MORGAN: Yes. Because he told "W" magazine a couple of years ago, Charlize is not like a delicate girl. She's a classic broad in terms of being a beautiful woman, incredibly talented and also able to tell more vulgar jokes than you, and drink you under the table.

THERON: None of this --

MORGAN: Guilty as charged?

THERON: None of this -- there's no truth to it whatsoever.

MORGAN: There clearly is.


MORGAN: I can't imagine you being vulgar. You seem such a nice girl.

THERON: I'm not vulgar. I wouldn't say I'm vulgar. But I -- you know, I think I was raised by a broad and some of that rubbed off. And I'm really -- I'm very -- I'm grateful for that. I -- Will Smith one day said, what I like about you, Chuck, is that you're like from the White House to the ghetto. And I thought that was one of the best compliments that was ever given to me.

MORGAN: That's a great phrase.

THERON: Yes, I mean, you know, I don't think --

MORGAN: But he calls you Chuck?


MORGAN: It's getting ever more complicated.


MORGAN: You're going to have to restate your name now.

THERON: I know, seriously.

MORGAN: You can't have Americans call you Chuck.

THERON: No, no, no, no.

MORGAN: They'll call everybody Chuck if you give them half the chance.

THERON: Look, I loved working with Woody. And we actually did a film together that was a true story of this very important sexual class action -- class action sexual harassment case that took place in Minnesota and so it was really heavy material. And --

MORGAN: All your stuff is heavy. This is why I like you. You know, you could just play conventional pretty blonde stuff until, you know, you're 108. But actually you choose --

THERON: No, actually you can't do that until 108. That's why I chose this career, because I want --

MORGAN: Heading that way?

THERON: Because I want to actually work until I'm 108 and I don't think you can't have longevity if you just kind of fall back on one aspect of what you are.

MORGAN: I mean you always choose these challenging roles. I mean, they're always quite edgy, the ones that I've seen. They're always a little bit dangerous. I mean, you know, you take risks. I like that about you as an actress. There's never the safe one, is there?

THERON: Well, I don't think human beings are -- I think we're pretty complicated. And I do think there's a lack of -- a lack of interest and willingness to explore the kind of not so attractive side of what it is to be a woman, and the fact that we don't want to necessarily as a society celebrate the fact that we are complex and that we are -- you know, we're flawed.

And not all of us are perfect mothers. And not all of us are perfect wives. And, you know, we're complex. I felt that when "Monster" came to me, the thing that was very clear to me was that, it really read like something that De Niro would get or, you know, some great guy would get to play this very conflicted character. And very few times in my career have I been given that opportunity to kind of tackle some -- a female that represents the conflict that I think is really very evident in who we are.

MORGAN: What flaws do you have? If you don't mind me saying too obvious.

THERON: I don't have flaws, I'm speaking of other women.


THERON: No, no, no, I'm perfect.

MORGAN: Come on, let's get you on the therapist couch here.

THERON: Oh, dear God, what is this, an hour show?

MORGAN: Yes, we got plenty of time, seriously.


THERON: I think we need another few hours. Look, I am -- I'm just as flawed as the woman next to me. I really am. I think that the great thing about aging has been the acknowledgement of my flaws. And I think it's kind of -- it's given me a sense of peace. And so, so far, I'm really loving the aging process because that kind of wisdom of like really kind of understanding why you sometimes do the crap that you do or behave --

MORGAN: Do you really love the aging process?

THERON: So far, I said. I said so far.

MORGAN: Is that because it's obviously treating you quite well?

THERON: Look, I'm only 35. My God!


THERON: We're talking about this like I'm in my --

MORGAN: I didn't mention the aging process.

THERON: No, I'm only 35. And so I consider that pretty young.

MORGAN: You haven't actually spelled out any flaws yet.

THERON: OK. Well, if you have to, if you really want to cover this.

MORGAN: Well, you raised it.

THERON: I suffer from a bit of OCD.

MORGAN: I know about this. Closets have to be perfect.

THERON: Yes. I'm a bit -- I'm a bit compulsive. Yes. And that's not --

MORGAN: And you like -- you stay awake at night worrying that someone's closet is --

THERON: I have a thing about things that are hidden. Like I will -- yes, I have a hard time, especially when I'm, like, renting a house if I'm working on a film and I don't know what's in all the -- I have to know what's in all the -- this is so pathetic. I cannot believe we're talking about this.

MORGAN: This is great. You're sounding really weird. This is great.

So you get to these random houses, and what do you do?

THERON: I -- the first thing I do is I inspect every closet and drawer.

MORGAN: Fantastic.

THERON: And then I have to -- I have a -- like -- it's just my organization. I don't say -- this is just kind of how my head works, things that -- like I have to put things where I think they belong in a room or how you kind of have access to them. It's really pathetic. This is so bad.

Seriously, would you stop talking about it?

THERON: Really beginning to freak me out now.

THERON: I am single. I need to find a man.

MORGAN: This is not going to help.

THERON: This is not going to help.

MORGAN: There are guys going to say who is this weirdo?

THERON: Exactly.

MORGAN: Let's move on. Let's go back to "The Devil' Advocate" which is the movie that kind of spring-boarded you into the A-list. Let's have a little clip and watch this.


THERON: You know, you buy a couple of new suits and you're fine.

KEANU REEVES, ACTOR: It's a little more than that, Mary.

THERON: I have this whole place to fill and I know we've got all this money and it's supposed to be fun, but it's not. It's like a test. The whole thing is like one big test.


MORGAN: It's fascinating watching you because I know you don't like watching yourself, do you?

THERON: I've gotten a lot better. Since I've been producing, I've gotten a lot better with it. When I started, I had a really -- I hate my voice. I hate the way I sound. And I think that was always the part --

MORGAN: That's not your real voice, is it? That's the problem.

THERON: Yes, maybe, because it sounds very foreign. But since I've become a producer and I've had to kind of, you know, sit in editing rooms and sit for hours and watch footage be cut together, I think -- I think I've gotten better to kind of take myself out of it and really look at it as making a film. And you kind of take all that weight off just yourself, which has been really great for me as an actor.

MORGAN: I mean, you bring incredible intensity to this stuff. I mean scare the life out of me. I'm just watching it from a monitor. I mean, you -- you know, you're like a raging volcano in some of these parts.

THERON: A raging volcano who likes to clean.


MORGAN: The most weird type of raging volcano.

THERON: Look, that film, Taylor Hackford, the director of that film, cast me after several screen tests and auditions. And the studio didn't want me. The studio thought that I was too pretty. And Taylor really fought for me. He really fought for me. And he's very much an actor's director.

And I really kind of -- I have to thank him, because every moment on that set, I never felt like I was treated like, you know, a new actor or didn't know anything. He really kind of gave me a stage where I could be a raging maniac.

MORGAN: Do you know how much money you've taken at the box office in movies you've been in?

THERON: God, no.

MORGAN: $800 million from 26 movies.


MORGAN: That's not bad, is it?

THERON: That sounds good.

MORGAN: Nearly a billion dollars. You're the billion-dollar woman.


THERON: No, I don't -- I don't pay that much attention to that. I don't.

MORGAN: You don't care how much they make, these films?

THERON: I care. I want people to go and see my movies. I'm not -- I'm definitely one of those actors who --

MORGAN: If I could offer you a choice now, you can be a lead actress in a movie that's going to make $800 million in the next two months but it will be critically hammered, everyone will hate you in it but --

THERON: That wouldn't be the reason that I would choose it. It's not for me --

MORGAN: No, no, no. You can have one of two scenarios.


MORGAN: Or I could put you in a movie that is incredibly critically acclaimed in which you win awards for your acting, but it completely bombs at the box office. Which one would you prefer at this stage of your career? THERON: I guess I would take the one that makes the billion dollars, but the critics don't care for it because then I can go make seven of the ones that I love.


MORGAN: See, that's a fascinating answer. That's not what I thought you'd say, but that's an honest answer.

THERON: Yes, I mean, that's the business side of me. I understand how this industry works. And the -- what I will say in all honesty is that, you know, even though I understand how this machine is driven and how it works, I -- even in making the choices that I have on the bigger studio films, I feel really, really lucky that -- and I'm grateful that I have never really truly felt like I've done myself any -- I haven't compromised to the place where I feel uncomfortable.

I've chosen those big movies with still a belief that there's something creative there that I like in the story telling or whatever it was. So it's not a complete sellout.

MORGAN: No, I accept that.

We'll take a short break. And when we come back, I want to talk to you about South Africa where you grew up and about your mother who's been this heroic, constant figure in your life.

THERON: The broad.

MORGAN: The broad, the other broad.



THERON: See, the truth is, I'm a hooker, and I'm trying to clean my life up here, you know, go straight and Christian and all. So if there's anything that you can help me with --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see, you've been convicted of a felony.

THERON: Yes, but see that was because I was --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not going to even matter because the best you're going to get is factory work.

Hey, Todd, do we even have factory work?

THERON: I'm sorry. Look, I'm just trying to talk to you woman to woman truthfully, you know? Hey, hey, hey!


MORGAN: That was Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos in "Monster." Now that wasn't just heralded as a great movie. I read serious critics in America saying it was one of the greatest performances in the history of acting. An amazing thing to say about a young actress in your position then, but it was an astounding film. And so visceral role, that character.

I mean, when you look back on it now, obviously brilliant for you in your career -- but to actually play that role, what was the experience like?

THERON: That was the greatest gift I think I've ever been given in my career.

MORGAN: Really?

THERON: Yes, look, it's absolutely amazing to win an Academy Award. I'm not going to sit here and be jaded about it.

MORGAN: Did you watch the Oscars as a young girl?

THERON: I did, yes.

MORGAN: You remember the glamour of it.

THERON: Yes. Yes.

THERON: You remember watching these people winning and thinking it was all impossibly glamorous and exciting?

THERON: Yes, but the funny thing was that I would watch the Oscars and I would go to movies, I loved movies. I would go to movies but I didn't know -- I didn't know the celebrity aspect of it or I didn't -- I didn't know their names. Like I would just be like, oh, that's that guy in that movie with the dog. Like, you know, hat was my connection to it.

And I also had this very kind of -- my perspective was just I thought that Tom Hanks was like my neighbor in South Africa. He just happened to be an actor. Like I really didn't understand, you know, the reality of what that world was or anything.

MORGAN: What was the reality of life in South Africa for you? Pretty tough from everything I've read and heard from you.

THERON: Tough, but look, I had an incredible childhood in South Africa. I grew up in a country with a lot of turmoil. And, look, I went through -- I lived in a country that went through probably one of the biggest historical changes in this -- in my lifetime. Now, with everything that's happening in North Africa and the Middle East, like it's probably the equivalent to that.

But, you know, when Apartheid was dropped in 1991 and in '94 with the first reelection, the first democratic election, like that was a -- that was a really huge thing.

And I think it was only around then when I was around 19, 20 that I really truly understood. You know before that I didn't know anything different. And that from traveling and really understanding where I came from, I understood how what we had gone through as a country and as a nation.

But living when I was raised in South Africa, I was raised somewhat isolated in a rural farm community. My parents had a road construction company. They built a lot of the roads in South Africa. And the farm was really just used for us to survive on, like food wise. We grew and ate everything off the land, but it was really to hold the machinery for the road construction company and also everybody that worked within the company lived on the farm with us.

I was an only child, so I was kind of raised with Zulus and Kozas and South Zutus and their children.

MORGAN: An amazing experience.

THERON: It really was. And I was only aware of what was really going on in South Africa through the fact that my parents were very much outspoken and -- about politics. And that was kind of an every night event. Having dinner and having my mom and my dad talk about the situation in South Africa and politics, and also really witnessing racism through some of my friends and that knowledge of Apartheid was very evident.

So I think I was blessed to have the childhood that I -- you know, you have to kind of look at the glass half empty or half full. I grew up in a beautiful country with a lot of problems. I was raised by two great parents, a great mother who made me very much aware of having a political awareness of where you come from and also of the world, that I feel like a lot of my friends in America don't necessarily have because they were raised in a country that's been very fortunate.

MORGAN: When I went to South Africa last summer and went around the Soweto township, which is an incredible thing to do. Millions of people living, and you would imagine -- because they're living in such poverty, that their spirit would be really low and depressed.

It couldn't have been more different.

THERON: They're the most -- yes.

MORGAN: The joy that I saw amongst these people who had nothing. And it was really, I think, from hope. They have been given hope by Nelson Mandela. And they'd also been taught not to complain by Nelson Mandela. If ever a man should have complained about what had happened to him it's Nelson Mandela.

And yet he came out of prison and went, we're not going to exact revenge. We're not going to have a bloody war.

THERON: Not an ounce of bitterness.

MORGAN: We're going to forgive and we're going to move on and we're going to be a country that unites. And that's exactly what's happened.

THERON: And a lot of politicians can say that, but it will have no effect. And he actually -- his cause and effect was brilliant. MORGAN: Have you met him?

THERON: Yes, yes.

MORGAN: When did you meet him?

THERON: The first time I met him, I had just won the Academy Award. That was the first time I met him.

MORGAN: And what did he say to you?

THERON: The nicest things that any icon or hero could possibly say to you, things that I'm so not deserving of. But yes, he was --

MORGAN: Like what?

THERON: Just, you know, giving me credit for being a South African and kind of putting South Africa on the map, which I didn't, but I'll take that any day from Nelson Mandela.

MORGAN: Yes, but it was a big deal for a South African to win an Oscar. Not many South Africans have won Oscars over the years.

THERON: None in that category. I don't think.

MORGAN: Any other?


MORGAN: Women?


MORGAN: Who else?

THERON: I don't know if they were women but I know another category South Africans have won.

MORGAN: I bet you're the only actress who's won best actress.

THERON: I think so, yes.

MORGAN: Quite something.

THERON: It's pretty special. Pretty special. Yes. For this farm girl, it's pretty special.

MORGAN: Pretty, I mean, extraordinary.

And I want to come after the next break to what I was going to get to but we got sidetracked, your mother, who is also, I think, probably you would say pretty special.

THERON: Yes. I'm grateful --

MORGAN: One of the reasons you're here. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back now with Charlize Theron.

Charlize, there was this cataclysmic thing that happened to you. And I don't want to rake over the coals. I know that you've moved on from this and you've come to terms with it, but you talked fondly of both your parents. And then one day, you're 15 years old, you come back home, and this awful scene erupts where your father comes back with his younger brother, they're both drunk, they're aggressive.

Your father has a gun -- as most people in South Africa did. And he actually starts shooting into a room where you are and your mother are. And your mother gets a gun and shoots him dead. I mean, I can't imagine a more dramatic, appalling thing to happen to parents that I would love in the way that you did.

I don't want to go over the details, but in terms of the impact it had on your life, how would you describe what happened afterwards? How much of it is down to what happened, if anything?

THERON: Look, I don't know. It's a great -- it was the great tragedy of my life. But I think that what follows is, I think, what, you know, normally follows when you go through something like a great loss or a shock. You know, I'm not the first person and I won't be the last person on this earth to experience something like that.

Unfortunately, a lot of people experience that kind of violence. Is that you have to kind of find where you want yourself to be and how you want people to see you in this world. And I was blessed to have a parent that kind of guided me towards very healthy time period of mourning, of going through the confusion, going through the shock, going through the anger, going through all of the emotional things that you do when you -- when something like this happens to you.

But really kind of guided me towards not being a victim and not going through my life feeling victimized. You know, I'm incredibly saddened by that night and saddened by the event. My mother -- you know --

MORGAN: Do you get nightmares from it?

THERON: Do you still have nightmares, flashbacks? Does it haunt you?

THERON: No, it doesn't haunt me. No, it doesn't haunt me at all. I'm completely at peace.

MORGAN: Your mother did an extraordinary thing. She sent you off with her blessing. She said get away from here. Whatever happens to me, I don't want you part of this. I want you to get away and have a career, and you did.

THERON: My mother is amazing. And I know all daughters or children will say this, but that sounds very biased, but my mother is a very -- she's very unique.

MORGAN: She saved your life when you were 2 years old. You fell into a swimming pool, I think, and she dived in fully clothed.


MORGAN: And pulled you out. And she saved your life again when you were 15.

THERON: She saved my life many other times, too.

MORGAN: Tell me about her.

THERON: She -- you know what's incredible, she hates this. You know, my mom is a very, very private person, so she hates when I talk about her. But I will do this just to -- because, you know, we always just tend to talk about that night. And I think it is good for people to understand that my mother has this incredible ability to -- she has a resilience about her that I've never come across in any other human being.

She has this incredible ability to truly understand and appreciate the value of life. And I'm not just saying it because of that experience, she had it before when I was growing up -- not just because she went through an event where, you know, you kind of have to kind of look at every single day, as -- that it could be your last because these things do happen.

But I'm not saying it in that sense. I'm saying from the time that I was a little girl, my mother had this appreciation, she celebrates life. And the interesting thing is, that she -- I don't understand where she got the tools to be the mother that she is, because she did not have a mother who was good to her. And so I'm -- I am -- I want to just -- I always feel like I want to praise her and kind of like sing her praises in some way, because I feel that it's wrong that that's the only kind of event that people always talk about.

MORGAN: I mean, the most remarkable thing that you can probably show people is your mother's strength in that time of terrible crisis for both of you and for the family. Look where you are now.

THERON: I think in my Oscar speech I tried to say this, and I think I kind of lost it by then. But I tried to say that there were no words to describe how grateful -- how much I love her, but how grateful I am because of the things that she sacrificed for me in order to do all of this. And she was completely alone. She was living on a farm by herself, which is one of the most dangerous things that you can do in South Africa. And that went on for years, you know. But she encouraged me to go and chase a better life for myself. And I think, you know, another parent could have very easily said, no.

MORGAN: Obviously the strength of character you get from your mother, the independence and the talent no doubt. But there must been things you got from your father.

THERON: He was a fun guy. You know, he was a fun guy. You know, he liked to laugh. I remember him laughing a lot. God, yes, I mean, look, I'm sure I'm -- I'm positive I'm from both of them, but I'm very -- I feel very similar to my mother. Very, very similar to my mother. MORGAN: We're going to take another break. We're going to come back and talk to you about what you've given back to South Africa now since you've been here, which has been an extraordinary thing that you've achieved though, I think.


MORGAN: Back with Charlize Theron, the Charlize Theron Africa outreach project is committed to reducing problems of HIV and AIDS and sexual violence back in South Africa where you come from. Twelve 12 years you have been doing this, and you have had some real success and achievement. Tell me about that.

THERON: Well, we launched this program in 2007, but I started working with the anti-rape -- the rape crisis center in South Africa 12 years ago. When somebody told me, well, at that time we were the rape capital of the world. There you see, it's considered that now. But rape is still a really big issue in South Africa. And what happens when you start talking about the rape crisis in South Africa, you start understand that there is a bigger problem because you are dealing with a country that is highly infected with HIV and AIDS.

I mean, South Africa, the epidemic in South Africa is the worst in any other country in the world. The number of premature deaths caused by HIV/AIDS has increased in the last decade from 39 percent to 75 percent. We are only one percent of the population, but we're 17 percent of people living with AIDS and HIV in the world. So, when you start hearing things like that, for me, obviously, I'm South African, so it made sense for me, but I think that if I wasn't a South African and I heard those numbers, I would...

MORGAN: What is the main reason do you think that it is so bad in South Africa, and what can be done to tackle it properly do you think?

THERON: I think it is a lack of education. I really do. I really believe that and this program has really made me aware of that. I think we take for granted people knowing how to prevent HIV and AIDS. You know, there is a lot of time and resources and money being poured into immediate care for people who are already positive. And I think that is very important, but there's some -- we have a real problem with governments and donators not truly understanding the importance of prevention care. And I think that, you know, to end this vicious cycle, we have to seriously start looking at prevention care, and it is all about education. I mean, when we launched this program in 2007, we started -- when we started the sex educational part of it, you know, culturally it is not accepted to kind of talk about these things, it is taboo.

And to start with some kind of a conversation with teenagers about sex just wasn't impossible. And we would get these real amazing beautiful African mamas who would like represented a mother figure to them, who made it OK to talk about sex and condoms and prevention. And also, explore, you know, kind of to broaden the horizons of just making it about HIV and AIDS kind of finding these things that are integrated to that which is, you know, how you behave with a woman, and how you value a woman in your community, and what is sex and what is love and hygiene and all of these things. We started realizing that once they realized it was OK, they didn't know anything. They didn't have the tools or the knowledge.

MORGAN: These t-shirts I have here, lively little numbers. Tell me about these.

THERON: Well, they are amazing. This great group of people at give and take partnered up with us, incredible people and I'm so grateful to them. Fifty percent of all proceeds of these t-shirts go to Africa outreach.

MORGAN: How do you get them?

THERON: You can go to our Web site,, and you can buy them there.

MORGAN: And directly help?

THERON: Yes, directly -- look, here is the thing. When I started this, you kind of go in very naively thinking that, you know, you can do a lot with very little, but the truth is that you do need good access to donors and to money. And I feel like people especially in this country want to help and do with the help so much. And it is just a question of kind of letting them know how to reach out.

MORGAN: What is the single biggest problem that the young in South Africa just don't really want to use condoms or even know much about them, is that the problem?

THERON: It is knowledge. I think they want to use them, and we have a survey, we did a survey on our program and 70 percent of all of our children who have access to condoms use them. So, and again, I feel that -- I feel that we forget the importance of knowledge, of just purely -- when we started this program I had a 16-year-old boy tell me that he was not going to be HIV positive. And I said, good. Why? And he said, because I have a condom and I wash it and I use it. And so, it is little things like that that you wonder how many lives you can save if you tell -- how many children you tell, teenagers who are sexually active that you cannot reuse a condom, something as small as that.

You know, we have great data on what anti-retroviral drugs have done in Africa. We don't have great data on what prevention care has done and can do. You know, it is something that is going to take maybe a whole generation to figure out. I think that is why we have a problem with donors and a government supporting these kinds of program, because prevention care just kind of doesn't feel as necessary or as important as somebody who already is infected. And in saying all of this, I'm not taking away the importance of that, but I do feel that we can't just focus on one and neglect the other. And it is proven when you look at the statistics.

MORGAN: It's been a pleasure to meet you.

THERON: It's been really nice to meet you.

MORGAN: Thank you so much.

THERON: Thank you very much. Thank you.

MORGAN: Coming up next, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on the shocking true story behind his newest film.


MORGAN: The new movie "Sarah's Key" is a shocking story. One of the darkest secrets in the history of world.

Joining me now the man behind the movie, Harvey Weinstein and Tatiana de Rosnay, the author of the book that inspired the film. Tatiana, let me start with you. It's an extraordinary book. It's an extraordinary film, it exposes as I said there, one of the great dark secrets of the world. And particularly one of France's darkest secrets. Tell me the genesis for how you came up with this, because I hear that it was incredibly difficult to even get this book published.

TATIANA DE ROSNAY, AUTHOR, SARAH'S KEY: Yes, that's true. It took me two years ago publishing it. It was rejected about 20 times. This is a story of an American journalist called Julia Jarmond, married to a Frenchman living in France. And she's going to be investigating for her magazine the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup, Rafle du Vel' d'Hiv which is one of the darkest symbols of French (INAUDIBLE). And while she's doing that, she will be unveiling a terrible family secret which links her French in-laws to a little girl called Sarah. So, the two stories come together through this family secret. That's how I wrote it.

MORGAN: And in a nut shell, the scandal is that a lot of Parisians were collaborating with the Nazis in the early '40s and basically shopping Jews to the Nazis.

ROSNAY: The scandal or the taboo rather is the fact that the French police collaborated so heavily with the Nazis and this was hidden for such a long time in my country. Proof of this is, is I was not taught about this in school when I was growing up in France in the late '70s and early '80s. It is now taught in school to young students. But for long, this sort of silence shrouding this terrible event.

MORGAN: You finished and go publish in France and then it came to America which is a smash hit. I mean, you've sold over five million copies of this book worldwide. Showing that even though it's a taboo subject, the fascination and interest is huge. Harvey, if I could bring you in here. What was it about the story here which grabbed your attention?

HARVEY WEINSTEIN, "THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY": Well, I loved Tatiana's book and, you know, this is a story that is particularly relevant to me. I had lost relatives in Autriche (ph) and it's a story that I never get tired of hearing about. There are always new facets to it. It's done as journalist investigating almost a detective story, almost a thriller. And it always gets me rowed up when people say, oh, another one of those movies, you know. Well, why not? This is something that's so fascinating and something that we should never forget. MORGAN: I want to show a clip now from the movie, and then we'll discuss this afterwards.



UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: In the 16th and 17th of July '42 they arrested 13,000 Jews. Mostly women and children. They took 8,000 of them, put help in the village in inhuman condition.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Imagine the superdome in New Orleans, only a million times worse.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: A million times worse. And then they send them to the camps.


MORGAN: All right. Tatiana, Harvey is right. I mean, there's always a sniping that comes up, and there's another holocaust movie. But certainly from my point of view, how can there ever be enough movies about that atrocity. What do you hope the movie will achieve? I mean, the book has had a huge impact but the movie takes it to a different level, would you think.

ROSNAY: First of all, I want to say that the movie is very faithful to my book. Gilles Paquet-Brenner who is the young director, he did a wonderful job sticking to my book. And I was so relieved that I didn't find that my Sarah and my Julia had changed. Secondly, I want to say that I think a movie of that importance is another way to be able to tell young generations about what happened. Using the vehicle of emotions, this is a very emotional movie. As it was and it is an emotional book but it's also sticking to fact. This is exactly how it happened. So, people can learn from it. And I think as Harvey said, we need to remember this and we need to explain to younger generations what happened so that it doesn't happen again.

MORGAN: How has it gone down in France? I would imagine there's a split view, people who are very pleased that you've exposed this and others are so ashamed and embarrassed by it. They wished she'd never up to Jamal (ph).

ROSNAY: Well, it's done very well in France as well. The movie came out in October last year. And it was a big success there, too. And this book is still selling very well. And actually, it's being read by now in schools by young students and I often met them, I often go with those survivors to schools to talk to students. I think that's very important to be doing that.

MORGAN: Harvey, you've obviously made a lot of important movies in your time. But where does this rank for you personally?

WEINSTEIN: It really ranks with me strongly because the subject matter is so personal. But again, I hate those critics who keep saying stuff like that. You know, it's like haven't we had enough, you know, super hero movies. I can think of haven't we had enough dumb raunchy comedies. I can think of a lot more, you know, horrendous categories that I'd like to see not on celluloid that are waste of celluloid as far as I'm concerned. This is a good epic story and a story that educates, but it entertains at the same time. It is a real thrilling movie that one of the movies that I'm most proud.

MORGAN: And Kristin Scott Thomas plays the star of the film, the American writer who lives in Paris. Why go for her, Harvey? What was the thinking?

WEINSTEIN: I think Kristin Scott Thomas, you know, who I first worked with on "The English Patient" is, you know, one of the smartest, best actresses. We've had a long association. I was one of the producers on "The Seagull" on Broadway. She's magnificent. I think this is our, you know, we've done four or five movies together. And you know, she brings the truth to the movie. She brings the validity to the movie and she's a woman who's lived in Paris, as well. So she has all of it. It's when you see her, you see the truth and you feel the pain, the suffering and also the humidity and optimism that she brings to the movie. It's a very optimistic movie.

ROSNAY: Maybe in my own, and I'm sure Harvey will agree with me is the young girl who plays Sarah, and she's an amazing actress. This is one of her first big roles. She's 10 years old. And when I met her for the first time on the set and she came up to me and she said, I'm your Sarah, and she was. This was all of a sudden there in front of me, the little girl that I had imagined and that I had brought to life in my book and there she was. And she is, you will see, a wonderful actress and so poignant.

MORGAN: It's not often that writers are that enthusiastic about the movie version. Normally Hollywood gets its grip and ruins everything.

ROSNAY: No. But I have a special message for my readers. I know that I have 3 million readers in America and I want to tell you guys that if you love this book, don't be afraid, go see it. Because if I the author have come all the way from Paris, France to tell you this, then you can believe me, go see this movie. You will love it.

MORGAN: Well, they deserved to be extremely wealthy. It's a powerful story. It had to be exposed. And I congratulate for doing that. Thank you very much for coming on.

ROSNAY: Merci Beaucoup.

MORGAN: Merci Beaucoup.

ROSNAY: Merci.

MORGAN: And Harvey, when does the film get released here in America?

WEINSTEIN: Movie opens next Friday.

MORGAN: Harvey, you'll stick around for a little chat after the break about your other new project, which involves Margaret Thatcher and Meryl Streep, two names you didn't hear too often together. WEINSTEIN: Looking forward to it.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That hat has got to go and the pearls. But the main thing is your voice. It's too high and it has no authority.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I may be persuaded to surrender the hat. The pearls, however, are absolutely non-negotiable. That's the tone if we want to strike.


MORGAN: It's the first exclusive clip from Harvey Weinstein's forthcoming movie on Margaret Thatcher "The Iron Lady." And Harvey with me now. Harvey, what could another fascinating movie project which is the first proper film about Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister called "The Iron Lady," which was her nickname for so many years. Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher. Tell me about the film.

WEINSTEIN: Well, I think that plays Margaret Thatcher is not the word. Conjures Margaret Thatcher, transforms Margaret Thatcher. It's truly, you know, I'm blessed this year to have Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and you will see a surprise performance by this woman Andrea Riseborough as Wallis Simpson in Madonna's movie that she directed. But Margaret Thatcher would probably be the last subject matter that I ever thought I would be involved with, and yet, it was incredibly fascinating the journey of Margaret Thatcher.

MORGAN: I mean, did you ever meet Margaret Thatcher?

WEINSTEIN: I never did, but as a liberal.

MORGAN: I met her a few times.

WEINSTEIN: As a liberal democrat, you know, I certainly spent many years detesting her.

MORGAN: Well, yes, I wasn't too far removed from that. And I met her a few times. And she used to take her bony fingers and they were quite long and bony and actually poke them hard into my chest. I mean, she really was the real deal. I mean, it was like meeting a sort of female Mike Tyson.

WEINSTEIN: Well, you know Piers, when you look back at some of those decisions, she had some of the toughest in British history. And you might not have agreed with the diplomacy, shall we say, but my God, when you look back in retrospect, those decisions turned out to be some of the best decisions ever made for the benefit of England.

MORGAN: Yes. I mean, the great thing about Margaret Thatcher, whichever side of the political divide you were on, and you know, she's now in her 80s and sadly is pretty frail these days. So, we don't get to hear from her very often. But, you know, I was always a huge fan of her personally as a leader. You know, whatever you thought of her decision making, she took decisions and she stuck to them. And that I think is often the greatest characteristic of any leader, isn't it?

WEINSTEIN: She put her principles first. And you see this quite clearly in this movie. And you know, it's really fun to watch Meryl do Margaret Thatcher transform into Margaret Thatcher and to play it across, you know, 30, 40 years of her history. It's spectacular. Some of this is just, you know, spectacular.

MORGAN: How are your liberal friends going to react, Harvey, when you seem to be the one man who rehabilitates the Thatcher image for the world?

WEINSTEIN: I'm going to be run out of all my social circles, Piers. You know, I'm going to have nothing where to go.


MORGAN: Thank you very much for joining me today.

WEINSTEIN: Thank you, Piers, a pleasure. All my best.

MORGAN: Take care. Thank you, Harvey Weinstein.