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Interview with Mario Lopez; Interview with Common

Aired September 16, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, a Hollywood star takes on some tough issues.


MORGAN: You said that being on my show would make you look smarter. And that you would discuss politics and world affairs.

MARIO LOPEZ, HOST & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "H8R": I believe you said that. I might have concurred, but I believe you said that. I'm not one to argue with you.


MORGAN: Tonight, Mario Lopez on immigration and the truth about his love life.


LOPEZ: But that's a whole another segment of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.


MORGAN: Plus, FOX News took him on. Now he fires back. Common on the White House controversy.


COMMON, RAPPER: Anybody who knows Common, they know the positive energy that comes out in my lyrics.


MORGAN: And his good friend Serena Williams.


MORGAN: Just don't play with her with tennis, right?

COMMON: I wouldn't have a chance. I can beat her in everything else.


MORGAN: Also, the "Mad Men" star who drive fans crazy, Christina Hendricks.


CHRISTINA HENDRICKS, ACTRESS: There's something very naughty about the show and for some reason, it's sexy.




MORGAN: Hollywood star Mario Lopez has been there and done, from teen idol to "People" magazine's hottest bachelor, to "Dancing with the Stars," to anchoring "Extra."

And the multitalented Mario Lopez joins me now.

Multitalented indeed.

LOPEZ: Thank you.

MORGAN: I'm surprised you could spare the time to join me.

LOPEZ: Thank you. Well, I've had you on my show a couple times, always enjoyed it. So, thank you for having me.

MORGAN: Well, I want to play you a clip actually, which includes of our interview, because it leads me neatly to where we're going with this. So let's watch this.


LOPEZ: Have you seen the president, by the way?





What about growing up? Who was more boy crazy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This one is always boy crazy.



MORGAN: I think you'd be a great.

LOPEZ: So, now, I got an invite for beer for life and to be a guest on your show.

MORGAN: Yes. What more can a man give you?

LOPEZ: That's what I'm saying, Piers. That is awesome.


MORGAN: Now, what --

LOPEZ: You are of your word, sir. I am here.

MORGAN: Exactly.

LOPEZ: I'll take you on a beer.

MORGAN: You'll definitely get the beer. But what we cut out of that, rather, you wouldn't let us have, apparently, is what we went on to say, you said, that being on my show would make look smarter and that you would discuss politics and world affairs.

LOPEZ: I believe you said that. I might have concurred. But I believe you said, but I'm not one to argue with you.

MORGAN: You're on a CNN show, right?


MORGAN: This is not your normal habitat. Talk to me about serious stuff. What is the serious side of Mario like?

LOPEZ: Well, you know, I fancy myself a news guy. And I enjoy politics and I enjoy reading about them. I enjoy watching your show.

And, you know, I think the hot button issue that makes sense right now, especially that I can speak from is obviously immigration reform. And I think I'd like to say that not all Latinos are immigrants and not all immigrants are Latinos, OK? No one is talking about the influx of Canadians coming in here taking over the entertainment industry and what have you.

I think where the lines get a little blurred is that they make it more of a security issue, as opposed to an economic issue and not focusing on the economic realities and the impact they've on communities and rebuilding a lot of cities throughout middle America, where a lot of people think Latinos aren't at. And they've made quite a difference. So, you can't necessarily get millions of people and ask them to go back.

We're here. We have to figure it out. I know it is difficult. These opinions are all over the place. They're very passionate.

I think everyone can agree that the system is a little broken. We need to fix it.

MORGAN: Your parents were first generation immigrants.

LOPEZ: No -- yes, they were. My parents were immigrants. I'm first generation. Happy to say they came here the right way and they're hard working folks.

MORGAN: Tell me about them because you didn't have it easy at all. You were raise in the San Diego.

LOPEZ: I was raise in the San Diego. And everybody thinks of San Diego as beautiful, sunny, gorgeous, which it is, but I was raise in the south San Diego, Chula Vista, about two miles from the Tijuana border in Mexico. So they often called it Chula Juana.

And, you know, I love it. I still have a lot of family there, big family. My father, five brothers, five sisters. My mother, four brothers, four sisters. Everybody lives.

MORGAN: Your dad worked for the city.

LOPEZ: My dad worked for the city and my mom worked for the phone company. It wasn't exactly the most upscale neighborhood, and a lot of potential to get into trouble. I was a very hyper kid, so my mom's whole mentality and game plan was to keep me as busy as possible so I didn't have time.

So, she had me in an activity every day. I was wrestling or karate or dancing, or whatever the case may be just to keep me busy.

MORGAN: What was the ethos your parents instilled in you? What were the values?

LOPEZ: I think it was just a strong work ethic. And they really focused on me doing the right thing, being Catholic, too, and playing the guilt card, which worked very well. It still does. As I've gotten order, I've tried to build more spiritual muscle.

MORGAN: Something to feel guilty about.


LOPEZ: Well, that's a whole another segment of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

But, yes, and so, just seeing my dad and my mom were both hard workers and sacrificed so much for my sister and I in creating a these opportunities --

MORGAN: Why did they want to come to America? The reason I'm asking you -- America is going through a real crisis of confidence right now about what the American Dream is in the modern age, what America should be. Is it still a great country?

Your parents obviously thought it was. That's why they came hear and raise ad family here.

What do you think attracted them to America?

LOPEZ: It's still the land of opportunity. And it's still the greatest country of the world. And we were the neighbor to the south, and just the opportunity to work hard. And I think that a lot of Latinos for the most part, they get a bad rap in the sense that -- I know statistics in the prisons, what have you, are what they are.

But at the same time, there are a lot of hard working people that just want to do that, just want to work hard and just want to provide for their family.

And I think my parents had the same mentality to come here. And provide, do the best for my sister and I and I thought they did a wonderful job. And I'm proud to say they're still together and proud to say we're very close.

MORGAN: What do they make of what happened to America?

LOPEZ: You know, it's funny. They still, not to diminish my -- their views or anything, but they pretty much live in their sort of own little bubble and world, and do not leave the community. You know what I mean? My grandmother who has been here now, maybe 40 years, doesn't speak a word of English. How can you be in a country 40, 50 years and not speak a word of the language?

MORGAN: Can she not even say, Mario, what have you done to your teeth?

LOPEZ: Brush them.


LOPEZ: That's about it. But thank you. I think she gives, she understands a lot more.

MORGAN: Why do you think -- you're a successful business guy. Never mind that you're on TV. You run a good business. You're hard working. You look after yourself and you've thrived on the back of the American Dream.

Why do you think America is struggling so much? How has it got into this huge financial hole? What do you think the answer is?

LOPEZ: You know, I think we have no one to blame, really, but ourselves. And you look at the real estate issue. And people got into a situation where they were borrowing more and living beyond their means.

We get into sort of like Vegas. You go and you start playing more than what you should be. And it is very hard to have that sort of discipline. And then when the interest rates started moving and things were changing, the reality hit that -- whoa! I don't have the money that I thought I really had. Then it became a real issue and a real problem. And that's how we got into it with creditors and the mortgage rates dropping yet again.

And now, with the whole debt ceiling issue, I mean, what do you do? Do you raise the roof yet again? Do you clear it out? I mean, the president has got his hands full.

MORGAN: Are you a fan of the president? LOPEZ: I am because I got to spend time with him. He was very gracious with his time on. A personal level, he was on my show. So, for that, I'm grateful.

MORGAN: He was on your show?

LOPEZ: He was on my show, believe it or not.


MORGAN: This is a travesty.

LOPEZ: He knows how to choose, Piers.

Again, he was very gracious with his time. I found him to be quite the gentleman. And he stayed on a lot longer than he needed to and I think he really listens when he's with you and he's present. You know, he inherited the situation he inherited. So, it was a tough up-hill battle from the beginning.

But I think 2012, ironically, Latinos are going to play a big role than not just being the largest bloc of voters.

MORGAN: Nationally important role.

LOPEZ: But the way the immigration reform is going to, you know, play out, it's sort of all over the place. But, you know, I think the hope is on the other side of the bill (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: Is America more or less racist for having had its first African-American, nonwhite president?

LOPEZ: I think you still have the same issues, to tell you the truth. I think the success of the movie, "The Help," you know what? That was only the latest '60s. That wasn't that long ago. And thing haven't really changed that way in the South.

And granted even President Obama when he was initially elected, he said, yes, I won but there were a lot of you that didn't vote for me. And for whatever reason, I'm going to try to win you over and what have you, going into the rhetoric.

But I think it's changed. I don't think it changed dramatically. But I think it's still the elephant in the room and played the big part --

MORGAN: What are your old friends maybe from the old neighborhood when you get back there?

LOPEZ: The same friends I got right now. My buddies who --

MORGAN: What do they feel about the state of their country? What are their biggest concerns in reality, do you think?

LOPEZ: The reality right now, the barber shop talk, if you will, everyone is concerned about jobs -- jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. The lack there of. We've got unemployment almost at 10 percent and it is really scary because -- you know, unfortunately, my father recently retired and stuff but he was a guy who could have been suffering the consequences of the economic climate right now.

I want to work as hard as I can not only to -- not just the rest of


LOPEZ: But to create opportunities for others, especially for Latinos because we're so underrepresented in this business.

MORGAN: But you have about 30,000 jobs yourself. Why don't you just give some of them to some of your mates? Come on.

LOPEZ: Well, I'm trying to hook it up and spread the love.

MORGAN: Let's go to a little break. When we come back, I want to talk about babies, marriage, and Chaz Bono.

And they're not necessarily connected. Or they might be. I don't know. We'll find out.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hate me for no good reason. You don't want to like you're not even giving me a chance.

UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: I just feel like you're telling (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to sway you, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like you're here to fix your image.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hate me for lies.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like no chance. You're making this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) impossible. I'm about to be done with this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really uncomfortable. I'm going to go this way.


MORGAN: That's Mario's new show, "H8R" on CW. You host and executive produced this. It's a great premise for the modern world because every celebrity who has any involvement with the Internet will know, the cult of the hater is now exploding, isn't it? There are millions of people around the world who can't believe they can directly abuse celebrities, through Twitter or Facebook, whatever it may be. And they lap it up. And your show sort of fits, you take celebrities to meet their haters, right?

LOPEZ: Yes. It creates this forum, the Internet does, for cowards, I think, because how tough do you have to be hanging out in your underwear on the couch, probably, bashing someone. I hate Piers Morgan. He is so pompous. He is this and that.

MORGAN: I never get any of that. I know you have probably.

LOPEZ: Yes. I often get that. So that's why I just give you a comparison

What if Piers came up and said, hey, what's your deal? You've never met me. You've never spent time with me. How would you like if it somebody picked on you?

And the initial reaction is priceless. And then we get an opportunity for them to spend a little time together and then to at that point assess if they still feel the same way. Because it is got to -- I mean, it's -- we're trying to have fun with it and obviously be funny, but at the same time, it's got a very anti-bullying sort of tone to it. It's not cool to hate. At the end of the day --

MORGAN: Have you been particularly hurt by the stuff you read about yourself?

LOPEZ: I've been bothered by the way it affects my family.

MORGAN: What's the worst stuff for you to deal with?

LOPEZ: Oh, nothing too terrible. Nothing too terrible. Nothing of late, thank goodness. You know, back in the day. Oh, always with women and this and that.

And I've heard everything from he's a womanizer to he's gay. This stuff, like pick one or the other. I want -- it's all over the place like that.

MORGAN: You could be both.

LOPEZ: I guess I could. I'm not, but I guess I could.


LOPEZ: Tonight on Piers Morgan --

MORGAN: I'm a womanizer and I'm gay.

LOPEZ: Yes, I'm selfish. I'm selfish that way.

MORGAN: Let's talk about your private life because private life has attracted more columns and headlines than probably anybody else I would consider --

LOPEZ: Oh, come on! MORGAN: You said this. And this may have been a terrible error. I can't make my mind up. You said I love talking about women but they're a constant study. And you're always learning.

LOPEZ: I don't know where that came from. At one point, I'm assuming, I used to host a show called "The Other Half" with Dick Clark. And it was like "The View" but with men. So topics -- women's topics seen through the eyes of men. So, we would, often, you know, say sort of those things.

MORGAN: What have you learned about women?


LOPEZ: I've learned that I don't know anything. I've learned to be patient. I've learned to accept that we're completely different and it is much easier to agree and move on, because we try to debate and argue. You're going to lose and it's pointless.

MORGAN: You become a sort of submissive doormat.

LOPEZ: No, no. That's not what I said. That is not what I said, Piers. That is not what I said.

I've learned to be more of a teammate than try to be the quarterback of the team, if you will, to use a sports analogy.


MORGAN: You've become a dad.

LOPEZ: Yes, I had. And, by the way, I didn't know you had three boys already.


LOPEZ: That is awesome. I need to catch up.

MORGAN: As a guilt ridden Catholic boy, you've been this lady, the mother of your child for three years now?


MORGAN: Are you going to make an honorable woman of her? Are you going to get married?

LOPEZ: It's coming. It's coming.

MORGAN: It is?

LOPEZ: Yes. The baby, there she is, how precious. Gia Francesca.

MORGAN: Very beautiful.

LOPEZ: Yes, she is awesome. Things just happened a little out of order and sometimes they happen that way sometimes. Not to bore with you the details. But she is like our little miracle baby because my girl had some medical issues that we didn't know she was going to be able to conceive or not. And we sort of left in it God's hands and it came to be right away. So, now, you know, working backwards a little bit. But yes, ultimately to answer your question.

MORGAN: You have been married once.

LOPEZ: Yes. That was a run-through.

MORGAN: For two weeks you got married.


MORGAN: I don't want to pry but how did that happen? How did you get married for two weeks?

LOPEZ: I was not mature enough and I didn't have the guts really, probably, to do the right thing. And it was a snow ball effect and I got caught up and let her -- I didn't really know quite how to handle it.

Now looking back, that was 10 years ago, a completely different man. I really believe it is really about you where you're at as an individual at that time and the maturity level. And I think the timing in my life -- it was just about that time.

MORGAN: Do you think you've met the one now?

LOPEZ: Those sort of things become redundant and yes, I have. She's -- I'm very lucky. I'm the lucky one. I'm the blessed one.

MORGAN: Do you have it with you to be with the same woman now for the next 40, 50 years? Can you imagine that?

LOPEZ: Do I have it in me?

MORGAN: Yes, Mario Lopez. Mario, do you think you have it in you?

LOPEZ: That's pretty good.

MORGAN: Mario the lothario, do you think you have it in you?

LOPEZ: Oh, God!


LOPEZ: By the way, you're feeding into those, the rumors. The Internet wasn't as rampant back in the day so that's how the gossip spread.

MORGAN: Let me be fair to you. Give me a percentage of the rumors that were true. Don't go into the rumors. What percentage of all the rumors were true?

LOPEZ: Ten percent?

MORGAN: That's about 4,000 women.

LOPEZ: But here's the thing, I do feel that a man should have his run, if you will. Because I think that at that --

MORGAN: Yours was like the Forrest Gump.

LOPEZ: That's a good one, right? A marathoner.

I think once you have your returning you kind of, you know, sort of been there, done that, it becomes redundant, you long for other things. And I love for what you have. I want a family. I want a bunch of kids.

With my luck, I'm going to have all girls. That's fine.

MORGAN: I reckon you will. You will.

You've been tipped to replace Regis Philbin. Is that the kind of job you would love to have?

LOPEZ: I'm honored by those rumors. And I love Regis personally and professionally and it is one of those situations, you're following a TV legend. And it's scary and it's exciting. And you just, you have mixed bag of emotions going on. And I filled in a few times for him. I get along with Kelly great and like to share that.

I like being a host. I like people. And I like hosting with her. I'm hosting barbecues or game night at my house or whether it's a national television show.

MORGAN: Are you in discussions for the job?

LOPEZ: Well, I mean, you know -- I've, like in, I filled in before. I hope to fill in again. And we'll see. But I'm honored that, you know, I'm even talked about.

MORGAN: So you're in discussions.


MORGAN: I want to talk to you about "Dancing with the Stars," because you came second on that show and were brilliant, obviously, to add to the list of things.

LOPEZ: Did you see me?

MORGAN: Yes, of course I did.

LOPEZ: Really?

MORGAN: Out of the 27 reasons I want to hate you, is because you're a great dancer. I want to ask you is about Chaz Bono who I had on the show. And I loved the guy. I thought he was incredibly brave.

LOPEZ: I saw that.

MORGAN: Yes, it was a great interview. I really warmed to him. And I think he's one of the most courageous guests I've had. To see him being pilloried simply for entering "Dancing with the Stars" in the way that he has and Cher having to defend him and so on -- I found it pretty offensive, actually, that even now, there are enough bigots out there who just want to hate the guy because of what he's been through.

What do you think as a former contestant and someone in the world of entertainment?

LOPEZ: I, too, had the opportunity to interview him and talk to him and found him to be a really nice guy and very down to earth. And I think he knew that what he was getting into. And he knew there was going to come with a heavy dose of criticism. And I think he is showing that he is tough and he can handle it. And he's been sort of firing back on Twitter and --

MORGAN: You've done a show called "H8R." There are haters out there swamping the Internet right now about Chaz Bono. What would your message be to those people?

LOPEZ: Well, just in general, again, that hate is not good and you should sort of take the time to sort of get educated on the topic, the person, what he's been through, and you took a giant leap forward to commit to doing something like "Dancing with the Stars" -- knowing that he is a smart guy, knowing all that would come with it.

So, I wish him nothing but the best. I wish him luck. And I know he's going to work hard.

Another reason he told me that he was looking forward to it, he wanted to lose weight. So good for him to try to get in better shape, so do something for his health, which is important in his life and I'm very proud him, because it's a top priority in my life, being on the president's council of physical fitness and also the fitness ambassador for the Boys and Girls Club of America.

So, I'm glad to see on that note he is doing well.

MORGAN: Well, I've tried to hate you. There are so many reason to hate, the looks, the dancing, the women, everything. But I can't.

It's been a pleasure.

LOPEZ: All right.

MORGAN: Mario, thank you very much. Very good to see you.

LOPEZ: Thank you. You too.

MORGAN: That's Mario Lopez.

Coming up, on the south side of Chicago to the White House, rap poet Common.



MORGAN: That's from a White House poetry event earlier this year, an even that spark some controversy around my next guest. He's a rapper Common, author of "One Day I Will All Make Sense" and he joins me now.

Common, welcome.

COMMON: How are you, Piers?

MORGAN: Good, thank you. And I'm glad to have you have on.

Interesting title to this book, "One Day It Will All Make Sense." What will make sense?

COMMON: Hopefully, life will make sense one day. And --

MORGAN: Do you have any confidence of that?

COMMON: I do believe that some things will happen. They will make sense.

But we'll never make sense of everything. Never. I don't believe that will happen for anyone on this earth will we know everything.

MORGAN: That White House appearance, as you know, sparked a lot of fury at the time. What was your take looking back on it?

COMMON: Originally I laughed at it. I was like, are you serious? Like you are saying this all about me? Then I realized they really didn't know who I was. They just, it was misinformation.

MORGAN: I mean, the controversy came because you had written lyrics which some people said supported people who had been involved in gun crime and so on.

Did they just not understand what you were writing about? Did they not really understand the culture that you were talking about?

COMMON: Yes. Well, as a writer, an artist, you know, we are the voice for a lot of people. A lot of injustice that exists in the world and that exists in America. I decided to speak up, I read a book of a former Black Panther, a woman who was actually a civil activist. And I just felt that she was done unjustly. I decided to speak up about it. And that's what they said that I was a supporter of cop killers and things like that.

But I believe that she was an innocent woman. So, I just decided to write about it. And I think that a lot of people served unjustly in this country and we as artists should be able to speak up and use our voices. MORGAN: But your opinion is not that all cops are bad. I mean, you've been quite vocal supporting the police.

COMMON: Yes, not at all. I mean, I have friends that are policemen. I, you know, support police -- I support justice, you know? Police enforce justice, so I support that.

And if I see something going on, like police brutality, that's wrong, I have to speak up on it because I have a microphone, Piers. And it's like for me, for people to be able to hear that message, sometime we as artists have to take that chance and take that courage to speak up.

MORGAN: Tell me about President Obama because, obviously, he could have withdrawn the invitation under all the pressure. He didn't. He stood by the invitation and you played at the White House. What did he say about it all?

COMMON: I mean, he just thanked me for attending and I thanked him for inviting me. And it was -- it actually turned out to be one of the most monumental times in my life as performing. I just -- I had the chills on the stage, looking at the president and the First Lady in the room with their distinguished guests. I was like, man, this is a really important time. I just feel honored to be there.

MORGAN: You got a bit of flak from Fox News. My competitor in this time slot, Sean Hannity, called you vile, which is not necessarily a negative coming from him. But anyway, what did you make of it?

COMMON: I definitely knew that he would definitely then do -- they didn't do the research on Common. Because anybody that knows Common, they know the positive energy that comes out of my lyrics. They know the songs about love, about consciousness.

Like I said, at one point I kind of laughed at it. I wasn't hurt in a way that like, oh, why did they say this about me? Because we understand that politics is politics. The truth always comes to light. And I think people get to know who I am through my book, through my acting, through my artistry.

MORGAN: A lot of African-American guests I've had on recently have expressed disappointment in President Obama. They don't believe he's fulfilled the incredible hope that they thought he was going to deliver to the country. What's your view on how he's performing?

COMMON: I tend to differed with believing that he didn't fulfill the hope. Because I believe the president has been not only a symbol of hope but an activist for hope. And I really just think that he is trying to do the best job he can do. I'm still a 110 percent supporter of the president. And I will continue to be.

MORGAN: When you go back to the streets of Chicago, that you and he both know so well, what sense do you get from the kids on the streets? The ones who weren't able to escape perhaps the gangs and so on that you did successfully. What is the real struggle that they're going through now? What is the one thing you think that really needs to be fixed that hasn't been fixed?

COMMON: I believe that if we can instill in them self-love -- because obviously if we give a child some hope through education and through fulfilling their dreams, then they will like keep their eyes on the prize. Even if they stray off, they'll never take it to the extent of wanting to kill someone.

MORGAN: I want to take a short break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about the woman in your life who shaped you. And she believes the first ten years of anyone's life are the years where you really frame someone's character. That's your mother.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bad times, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I got your message, man. Thanks for hollering at me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, man. You'd do the same thing for me if I was going through the storm. You good?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm good, I'm good. If I wasn't good, I wouldn't be here.


MORGAN: That's Common showing off his acting chops in the movie "Just Right." He rejoins me now.

Common, I want to read you a quote from your book, which is from your mother. She called you Rashid, which is your original name. "I didn't want Rashid kept away from the streets. By the time he started getting exposed to things, he had a foundation. I believe a child's foundation is built between birth and 10 or 11. By then, a child should know right from wrong. Did I go out and say I want him involved in street things? No. But in Chicago, the streets come to you."

I guess the point that she was making, quite forcefully, is that by the time inevitably you hit the streets as a man of 11 or 12, a young man, that if you've had the right values instilled in you, you are less likely to go down a bad direction. But is it as simple as that?

COMMON: I definitely believe that builds a great foundation. If you are given the right values and morals, you will, at some point throughout your life, make some bad choices. Every child has to live, so we will make those mistakes. That's our own personal journey. But it is great to have like a spiritual foundation, a belief in God, a belief in family, a belief in community and just respect for one another. So it does help.

MORGAN: It was great for you that you had your mother. And the same applies to people that you've worked with, Kanye West and, who came on the show and talked very eloquently about his mother and the role that she played. What if you don't have any real parent? What if you've just been dealt a bad card in life?

What do you say to those people who just see a gang as the only place to find anyone that cares about them?

COMMON: Well, yeah, I would say to anyone who feels that through a gang is where they can find love -- you have to look at the results of people who join gangs. Most of them come from hurt places, places of pain. I easily could have gotten caught in the streets, even though I had my mother and stepfather raising me, my father there.

It was easy to go to the street life. But I wanted something. I had a goal in my life that I wanted to know that people would say, hey, Common lived -- Rashid lived on this Earth and contributed some great things, gave love to people and showed love.

And that's what I think kids have to do. They have to find something that they're passionate about and they can dream about and just stay focused on that. And find what you can to support.

MORGAN: If I told you could only do one thing the rest of your life, you could write poetry, you could write make or you could make films, which one would you take?

COMMON: Making films. I love the whole aspect of making films. Acting is just so fulfilling to me as an artist and as a person. I learn so much as an actor. Like just recently, I was working on the AMC project called "Hell on Wheels." And it takes place in 1865. So I had to study and really learn about that time period and what a black person -- how a black person lived during that time and the experiences they had.

MORGAN: How do you find the fame game? You've been linked with some very attractive, famous women in your time, for which I congratulate you. But how do you deal with all that, all the attention you get?

COMMON: I try to put things in perspective. I know that what I do is definitely a gift from God. And I'm grateful for the opportunity that people listen to my music or they see films that I'm in.

MORGAN: I mean, without wishing to intrude at all, Common, you weren't responsible for Serena Williams' temper tantrum the other day on the court, right?

COMMON: No. I had nothing to do with that. Though I will say that Serena Williams is just a beautiful person. And what you see out on the court is just a passionate, incredible competitor. And emotions -- when you put that much work into what you do, we all have emotions. I mean, you should see me sometimes coming home from a bad day of filming or something didn't happen right in the studio. It just pulls at your soul because you give so much to what you love. That's all that was about. And she is a beautiful woman.

MORGAN: She is. I met her actually at a party recently. She's one of the nicest people I've met in a long time.

COMMON: Yeah. She has a great personality. She is a nice girl. People see that fire. Before I met her, I've seen that fire on the court and thought she would just be a fire ball. She has that strength, but she also has a soft, beautiful side to her. And I think that's what makes Serena Williams.

MORGAN: Just don't play her at tennis, right?

COMMON: I wouldn't have a chance. But I can beat her in everything else.

MORGAN: Common, it's been a pleasure. And your book is a fascinating read. "One Day It Will All Make Sense." I don't share your confidence that it ever will, actually. Life to me is always incomprehensible.

But we may as well try and find out. So thank you for joining me.

COMMON: Thank you so much for having me on. God bless you.

MORGAN: My pleasure.

Coming up, the woman who drives "Madmen" fans crazy, Christina Hendricks.


MORGAN: Christina Hendricks is officially the sexiest woman alive, according to "Esquire Magazine." She is also the star of "Madmen," and two new movies, "I Don't Know How She Does It" and "Drive." I'm delighted to say that she joins me now. Christina, how are you?

CHRISTINA HENDRICKS, ACTRESS: I'm well. Thank you. How are you?

MORGAN: Do you wake up every day looking in the mirror thinking, you're the sexiest woman alive?

HENDRICKS: No, sir. I do not. That's not the first thing I think in the morning.

MORGAN: What do you think? Come on. When you look in the mirror, when Christina Hendricks looks in the mirror --

HENDRICKS: I think ugh, what do I have to do today? MORGAN: I loved that "Esquire" interview, because it had so many lovely nuggets in it. Not least of which was you don't like being called beautiful, because you sort of think it is boring and tired. You would rather be called radiant, enchanting, smoldering, intoxicating, charming, or even fetching.

HENDRICKS: Listen, I have no problems with being called beautiful, first of all. I think the question was probably proposed to me in a very different way. And I just said, you know, my husband happens to use really wonderful adjectives and it is very, very flattering and it's very nice.

MORGAN: Well, some of these are British. Thing like fetching. I don't hear any American man say that to a woman. It must have come from your dad. This is the British gene in you.

HENDRICKS: My father never said fetching. I've got -- my husband is a real sort of classic, old-fashioned kind of guy. And he is an artist. So he is a little more creative.

MORGAN: Is he as ridiculously romantic as he seems?

HENDRICKS: He is. He is. I don't want to put him on the spot. Now he is going to go around town and feel like he has to talk about all his romantic things he does. But he really is. He is wonderful.

MORGAN: How does he deal with the fact that there are million and millions, if not billions of men around the world now who are coveting his wife?

HENDRICKS: That's very sweet of you to say. I -- he laughs and says I told you all this years ago. He's like I said it first.

MORGAN: I want to play a little clip from "Madmen," obviously, and then we'll come back and discuss your work in that remarkable show.

HENDRICKS: Thank you.


HENDRICKS: Well, I was just made director of agency operations. A title, no money, of course. And if they poured champagne, it must have been while I was pushing the mail cart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A pretty face come along and everything goes out the window.

HENDRICKS: Well, I learned a long time ago to not get all my satisfaction from this job.



MORGAN: Here's the dilemma, I would imagine. Just reading interviews that you've given before, is that you are an incredibly talented actress. I would say 90 percent of all the attention that's given to you goes around how you look. You sort of complain but you accept it, goes with the territory. But do you feel that it slightly belies your acting ability. Does it annoy you?

HENDRICKS: People have been very positive and complimentary, which is really nice. But I'm an artist. And I'm excited about the projects that I'm working on. And I'm excited about "Madmen" and these movies. So I would rather talk about what I'm working on, you know?

MORGAN: I mean, I love all the glamour of femininity in "Madmen," but obviously it is pretty sexist as well, isn't it? The women don't get treated that way by most of the men. There's a kind of slight dilemma there, isn't it?

HENDRICKS: Yes. I think that's one thing that is really interesting about the show, is there's something very naughty about the show. And for some reason, it is sexy. People are confused by that and why they're feeling that way.

And I think one thing that people love about the show from the very beginning is that it really gets people asking questions and sitting around and saying, this wasn't that long ago. Have we really changed? Do I feel that different in the office place?

That's why people really like the show week to week, too. And I know that a lot of people have "Madmen" viewing parties too, because I think it causes conversations afterwards.

MORGAN: Do you think things have moved on? Do you think we are in a much better place now?


MORGAN: Or do you think that kind of overt, male dominated regime still exists?

HENDRICKS: I think that we are in a much better place now. I think there is a lot to still change. But I do believe that in 2011, we have made great strides, and that women feel much more comfortable in the workplace and at home.

But you know, there are some human natures that just exist.

MORGAN: There certainly are. We're going to come back after the break, Christina, and we're going to talk about not one of your new movies, but two new movies opening. And I want to talk to you about those when we come back.




HENDRICKS: How does he sign his e-mails?


HENDRICKS: Jack. Best? Yours? Thinking of you?


HENDRICKS: Is it XO? It's XO, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you stop cross-examining me? This isn't one of your depositions.


MORGAN: "Madmen" star Christina Hendricks has two films opening tonight. You just saw her in "I Don't Know How She Does It" with Sarah Jessica Parker. Tell me about this one, Christina. What is this all about?

HENDRICKS: This movie is based on Allison Pearson's (ph) book "I Don't Know How She Does It." It is really a movie about women trying to do it all, trying to be the best mother that she can be, the best wife she can be, be a successful career woman, and how you manage that, and sort of different women dealing with it in different ways. And --

MORGAN: What's your conclusion?

HENDRICKS: Um, I -- my conclusion after talking to so many women who have seen the film is that everyone's take is different. And yet, everyone can respond to these situations. Even if you don't have children, just juggling everything in daily life -- and also, men have an interesting reaction to it as well, because all these questions are raised, how can a woman do it? How can a woman do it?

Some of these men are like, hey, I do it, too. So it's cool that everyone identifies to these stories, you know?

MORGAN: You must be tempted to see a little patter of mini- Hendricks' feet, aren't you?

HENDRICKS: Not right now I'm not.

MORGAN: Do you think you can juggle all your extraordinary work load at the moment with a little one? Does that concern you?

HENDRICKS: I really look at working mothers, all mothers, to be honest, in awe. I'm in awe. It is such an incredible amount of work. My best friend has a beautiful little girl. And I watch her raise her and I'm astounded. I honestly don't know if I feel like could I do it. I feel like I would be very intimidated.

MORGAN: Now, your other film is called "Drive." This is where the word "awe" will come back in, because every woman will be in awe of you. Because you're with Ryan Gosling, the hottest guy in Hollywood right now. Let's watch a clip from this and enrage everyone.


RYAN GOSLING, ACTOR: If he saw you take the money, and he saw you get in the car, then why didn't he say anything?

HENDRICKS: I have no idea.


MORGAN: Looks pretty smoldering that one, Christina.

HENDRICKS: He looks menacing, doesn't he? I'm crazy about this movie. Of course, Ryan's amazing in everything that he does. And it was so great to work with him. And the director, Nicholas Weiningreffen (ph), I think is extraordinary. And it's a really different kind of film.

I think people are going to be surprised. It has a lot of energy, a lot of style to it. It is dark. It is really great.

MORGAN: Well, I'm looking forward to watching both of those. Of course, you're Emmy nominated best supporting actress this Sunday. How are you feeling about that, lucky?

HENDRICKS: I don't know. I don't know. You know, it's going to be a really special evening for me. I'm taking my husband as my date. But I'm also -- I have been working as an ambassador with Latisse and the Make a Wish Foundation. And one of the children from the Make a Wish Foundation is going to be my second date for the evening.

It was his wish to attend the Emmys. So that's going to be really exciting for me and trying to get more people to donate to the Make a Wish Foundation and grant more wishes through Latisse and the Latisse Wishes Challenge. So that is going to be a really special evening.

MORGAN: That is really nice. Have you made a speech yet? Do you know who you are going to thank? And thank Donald Draper for all his terrible behavior?

HENDRICKS: I love your optimism right now. I don't have a speech.

MORGAN: I would give it to you tomorrow. You're the star of "Madmen." grossly under-awarded so far, in my view.

HENDRICKS: That's very, very sweet of you. It is an extraordinary group of women and actresses. So, you know, they always say it's just great to be nominated, but it really, really is.

MORGAN: Well, look, Christina, I wish you all the very best on Sunday. I will be watching.

HENDRICKS: Thank you.

MORGAN: If you do win, I will celebrate with a glass of scotch, which I know your guide to men --

HENDRICKS: Have one anyway, have one anyway.

MORGAN: -- can't be mixed with anything. It has to be just straight, right?

HENDRICKS: That's right. That's right. On the rocks.

MORGAN: Straight scotch on me if you win. If you lose, you can pay.

HENDRICKS: That's a deal.

MORGAN: Christina, thank you so much.

HENDRICKS: Thank you.

MORGAN: That was Christina Hendricks. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts right now.