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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Gerard Butler; Interview with Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow
Aired October 9, 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, Gerard Butler, leading man, action hero, and Hollywood heartthrob.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: If you could choose one partner, who would it be?
GERARD BUTLER, ACTOR, MACHINE GUN PREACHER: I'm looking over, I see people going -- don't do it, don't do it.
MORGAN: Do it, there's nothing to lose here. She'll be flattered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The answer tonight.
And Deepak Chopra, Michael Jackson's long- time friend, what he thinks killed Michael.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEEPAK CHOPRA, MICHAEL JACKSON'S LONG-TIME FRIEND: He said, Deepak, are you familiar with this thing that takes you to the valley of death and then brings you back from it. He was talking about Propofol, the anesthetic that finally killed him. It took him to the valley of death and did not bring him back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Gerard Butler's career took off in his role in "300." He's played everything from leading man to action heroes to animated character. His latest is a searing performance in "Machine Gun Preacher" set in war-torn Sudan. And Gerard Butler joins me now.
Gerald or Gerry, I think you're preferred to be known, because Americans call you Gerard, which we can't have that. You're Irish descent, but you're Scottish basically, aren't you?
BUTLER: Yes. That's right.
MORGAN: In Scotland, they never say Gerard. BUTLER: No, they say Gerard (ph).
MORGAN: I think we should insist on this pronunciation.
Let's start with your physique, because you look, unfortunately -- you're looking great and great naked. But I want to show you, luckily, a picture from last year where you weren't in such a great made because all the women have been gone crazy. I prefer that Gerard on the left, you know why, it's more like me, so that men like me look to you in the shot on the left and thought fantastic.
And then to our utter horror you emerged from a soccer match in Britain on the right looking like that.
BUTLER: Kind of crazy movie.
MORGAN: Sort of a demented He-Man. How did you go from me to the one on the right?
BUTLER: Well, that was actually two years ago, by the way, that one. That came as a bit of a shock. What I do when I trained for "300," I'm very obsessive about how I train. So, I was doing six hours a day. I trained with two different trainers, a body building trainer.
MORGAN: Six hours a day?
BUTLER: Yes. Then I trained with the stunt guys for two hours at a time. And then when I -- when I was filming, I literally had somebody come down with the weights and I would pump before each shot. So, I got extremely big.
And in the same way when I'm not working, I found myself at times getting forcibly into Coca-Cola, dessert. I think that was at a time when I -- actually, that was me -- I saw those photos and that changed my life, actually.
MORGAN: Did it really?
BUTLER: Really, really did.
MORGAN: Tell me about that.
BUTLER: So I was, I was on holiday with a buddy down in Barbados and I just finished, I forget what movie it was, but I trained pretty heavily for that movie and was taking some time off, and I noticed I was eating more and more and kept thinking I should be careful. And then I was actually getting in the water and looked over and saw this boat in the distance and saw the -- you know -- MORGAN: You thought no!
BUTLER: Even I didn't realize how awful it was going to look or how big of a --
MORGAN: Can I remind you, your idea of awful is my idea of responsibly good naked, so you have to be careful with your language here.
BUTLER: For me, how awful for me, considering where I'd been, you know? And --
MORGAN: So you were properly upset by it.
BUTLER: In truth, it didn't look great, didn't kill me, you know? But it did lead me to be a little more cognizant of what I was eating.
MORGAN: When that second picture came out, which is an extraordinary image, what did you feel then? Was it the opposite? Was it a kind of sense of absolute euphoria?
BUTLER: No, because I look ridiculous. Look at the hair, look at the tongue. I look like a mad man.
MORGAN: No one is looking at your hair, seriously Gerry. It's the six-pack. Extraordinary.
I want to take you back to Scotland, because you grew up in Scotland, and you were supposed to be a lawyer, this was the plan. You were going to be a good, conscientious Scottish lawyer and you became a trainee lawyer, and then incredibly, you've became one of the probably only people in history to get fired as a training lawyer. I mean, that's pretty difficult.
BUTLER: I don't think it's ever happened before honestly.
MORGAN: You went to Edinburgh Festival, the famous arts and creative festival in Scotland and basically got wrecked, right?
BUTLER: This is a great start to an interview, here you are fat, and now let's talk about the time you were fired.
MORGAN: Is it any consolation, we'll come to the bit you get jailed in the L.A. County jail.
MORGAN: This is the good stuff. This will start descending, trust me.
MORGAN: So, look, here you are, you're fired as a trainee lawyer. What does -- what does your mum say to you in that moment, the game plan has just dramatically changed.
BUTLER: She wasn't there at that moment, thank God. It was a room full of lawyers. If I could have had her there, mom has a word with them. Even then it would have been too late for her to get me out of that.
And it was actually a very sad moment for me at that point, because I don't come from a family of lawyers, it was a big deal that I was going to law school. And then my mom, you know, talking about Irish mothers, very proud, oh, my boy's going to be a lawyer. And then one week before qualifying, I had to call her and say I've just been fired. And then it was a -- it was a tough moment in my life. It was tough for her to hear that it just happened to her son.
And then in the next breath, she said, what are you going to do? And I said, well, I'm going to move to London. I know I have no money but I'm going to become an actor. I'm going to get my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) together. And I'm really going to kind of --
MORGAN: Was the problem -- which turned out to be a blessing in disguise -- was the problem before you got fired, you'd been to America for a year, I think, with some Irish mates and you actually live in Venice Beach, right, whole gang with you, and you basically drank yourselves into oblivion for a year, is it true?
BUTLER: This is so funny, who have you been talking to?
MORGAN: It's sort of been researched.
BUTLER: Yes. I was 21. I had taken a year -- no, I had taken a summer in America when I was younger, but this was the end of my honors law degree and I came over just for the summer. And then I decided I was going to take a Europe, because I knew when I got back things were going to get much more serious. In truth, it was covering up something a little darker, which I knew I was heading totally down the wrong track, that I wasn't doing what I wanted to do.
MORGAN: You had this thing inside you burning away, didn't you? This creative spot.
But before we get to the creative spot, I do want to know about the night in the L.A. County jail.
BUTLER: OK. Well, what happened --
MORGAN: Is the memory flooding back? You were actually shackled, right?
BUTLER: I was shackled, yes. What was it; I think it was I think it was drunk driving or something silly. I was kind of out of control in those days.
MORGAN: Was that a wake-up moment?
BUTLER: That was a wake up moment, yes, but in truth I had a few of them. I could write a book about moments like that. MORGAN: We all have moments like this, don't worry. I don't think you're not alone. You're not the first guy with Irish blood with a few drinks in his life.
But what I like about it is it leads up, so, you have this wake-up moment, and then you go back. You got another one when you don't get through the law thing, and so the whole sort of plan for you, which was going to be, I think, pretty dull, you were going to leave possibly, I think you said this, you were going to lead this life as a kind you know a small town lawyer in Scotland. It's not like that exciting.
BUTLER: What I realized was up until that point, I had that energy in me, but I didn't know what to do with it you know. It was, it was, the one thing it was not made for was a career as a lawyer. And then you imagine sitting in that office and feeling that pulse.
MORGAN: Do you ever wonder what may have happened if you passed your law degree, if you passed exams, if you'd become a lawyer?
BUTLER: Yes, I don't think I would have, I don't think I'd be alive today to be honest, and I don't say that lightly. I mean I was living my life in a very unhealthy way, and I needed to be told that it wasn't happening. I needed to be stopped, because otherwise I'd just have kept going thinking I could got away with it.
And then -- so, no, you know, one, I would not have been fulfilling my purpose, I wouldn't have been -- God knows where I would have ended up.
MORGAN: What was your mother's honest opinion when you fled to London away from this career as she mapped out, as you say, tough Catholic mom, and suddenly her boy is supposed to be this well-groomed lawyer, racing off to be an actor in London, what did she think?
BUTLER: I think she just threw up her hands and thought I've created a monster -- who knew?
MORGAN: When the monster thrived and succeeded and ever more succeeded, did her view change quite quickly? Did she realize as what you were supposed to be doing?
BUTLER: Yes, she did. And by the way, I'm not giving her fair credit. She wrote me the most beautiful letter actually when I went to London, and I didn't expect it, because you know my mother and I, we're very, very close, very intense relationship, and she wouldn't let me go on anything.
So, I expected her to be -- to be way more heavy handed with what had happened, and -- but she wrote me this letter then said, you know what, I just want you to know I support you in whatever you do, as long as it makes you happy, I'll be there for you.
MORGAN: What does she make of what's happened to you? BUTLER: And - she loves it, she loves it, you know?
It gives her a chance to do her performing thing, oh, my boy, you know?
BUTLER: And she claims she doesn't, but whatever she goes, did you know Gerard Butler? That's my son.
BUTLER: She'll find a way. She'll find a way to get that into any conversation.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break. When we come back, I want to get into this movie of yours which is an absolute tour de force. I saw Whoopi Goldberg describing it. She said to her audience on "The View" -- do yourself a favor and go see it. And I second that.
We're going to discuss that after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTLER: Hey, get up, let's go. Get a move on, get up. Hey, come on, get up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing?
BUTLER: Let's go, get up. They aren't sleeping out here. Tell them, they are coming inside. Come on, get up. Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sam. Sam. There are too many. We can't help them all.
BUTLER: Well, I can take these ones here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That from Gerard Butler's latest movie, "Machine Gun Preacher." This is serious, intense. It's visceral, it's raw, it's everything you would want in a powerful movie.
You're all over this. You know, you're a star in it, you produced it. This is the labor of love for you. Why? Why this?
BUTLER: It's the way you introduced the movie is the very same reason I wanted to do it. When I read the script and I thought this is such a remarkable story you know of one man's jury just to enter the unknown where he really took on the world.
You know, I loved all the themes in it, religion, you know, just had a powerful belief in God, fighting one's own demons. And then this situation in Africa which sought few people not really, really know what's going on and what continues to go on.
MORGAN: Very quickly, sum up what the film's about.
BUTLER: So, I play a man called Sam Childers who was a drug addict -- you know, violent man who lived in Pennsylvania, who finally got his life together, found God. Went down to do some missionary work in Africa where he witnessed just atrocities in Sudan and it changed his life.
And he ended up, one, becoming a preacher, but two, fighting to build an orphanage, taken these orphan kids and to also, he started fighting the rebel forces who were kidnapping these children to bring them back into the orphanage. So, he's got a Bible in the one hand and a machine gun in the other, while still trying to have a family back in Pennsylvania and run a church that he build there. So -- and still dealing with his own demons, because he -- you know, he's a dark soul.
MORGAN: It's a God-fearing bad boy sees the light, parallels?
MORGAN: As you were filming, were you thinking -- I mean very different story line, but you know?
BUTLER: I think sometimes you read a script and you don't know why, you just think I connect with this, you know.
And, then, it's almost embarrassing to say it out loud that I would feel parallels with that, because, of course, what he's achieved is so much more than me. I didn't do in a start fighting in a war. But at the same time, I felt a lot of parallels, and then the parallels you try and force those parallels on to the character as well. But yes, a bad boy who then found his purpose in life.
MORGAN: It's a cliche question, but did it make you reassess yourself, your sense of what's important in life?
BUTLER: Absolutely. When you see these kids, and they have nothing and they abide by a very simple way of living, and yet -- you know, and they truly have nothing, and yet they look at you and it's just about you. It's only you and what, you know, who you are. There's nothing gets in between that, and you think what do I really need -- what do I really need except some simple believes and some friendships.
And so, without a doubt. And it also reaffirms your faith in humanity as to where we could be -- where we could be even with nothing.
MORGAN: Did it reaffirm your faith in God? I mean, you were raised a Catholic. Are you a strong Catholic? Are you very religious?
BUTLER: I'm -- I was brought up a Catholic. I'm not a practicing Catholic. I'd say I'm more spiritual.
I do believe in God. I kind of believe we all apply it to ourselves on an individual basis, you know? And we try our best. But this movie, without a doubt -- I mean, one thing that I've experienced in my life with the changes that I've had and changes that I've witnessed in other people is where when you are backed and have this belief in a God, you know, what you can manifest with that, where you can go with that.
And this is a perfect example. I've had it in my life as well where I've seen just -- whether it was myself, the joy that I've had and happiness in my life when I'm in a moment where I'm truly connected with something higher.
And this is a perfect example here of a man who -- just the power and intensity of his belief in a God.
MORGAN: Let's watch -- watch another clip from the movie here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTLER: They burnt it down. Nothing left.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you?
BUTLER: I'm away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a test, Sam.
BUTLER: I can't do it no more, Lynn. It's over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sam?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you hear me?
BUTLER: Yes, I can hear you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Them kids have had their whole lives burnt to the ground and worse, how many of them do you see giving up?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: When you finish scenes like that, how do you unwind after, can you or does it hang with you for a long time?
BUTLER: It hangs with you for awhile, and with this movie, there was very much a cumulative effect, because you know from day one you find yourself playing more and more of these scenes where you're either having some kind of breakdown via your drugs or family pressures. And then, of course, in Africa, where it just -- you know it went to such, such huge proportions of depression and despair that after awhile it became -- this movie was definitely a journey and a lot of darkness for me. And --
MORGAN: Do you feel slightly mentally scarred --
BUTLER: Yes. MORGAN: -- by what you had to see?
BUTLER: Yes, I do. I -- yes, I was amazed that I struggled with it like I did. I mean, I was -- I definitely had an emotional reaction to it, and I would during the movie. You know, sometimes, I'd sit there and I would start crying. I would just find myself in a really -- reminded me of places that I'd been in my darker days when I was younger, when I thought life couldn't get much worse really.
MORGAN: There's a remarkably powerful kind of moral divide issue that's raised by Sam and real-life Sam asking an audience one question. I'll read it to you.
"I want to ask everyone -- if your child or your family member was abducted today, if a madman came in, a terrorist came in and abducted your family or child, and if I said to you, I can bring your child home, does it matter how I bring him home?"
I mean, fascinating question. Have you asked yourself that question?
MORGAN: What would be the answer?
BUTLER: I mean, I would give anybody free power to do whatever they wanted to if it was a family member of mine, and I myself would do it. And, you know, and I think if somebody were to take a family member of mine, there's nothing I wouldn't do to get them back.
And there have been all kinds of debates, and I love that -- I love that this movie brings this up, this controversy is you know what really can you put wrong against wrong, violence against violence, you know, and who does he think he is to decide he's the arbiter of all this.
But, yes, as you say, this is an insane situation, and really anybody -- there isn't anyone who could say anything good about them and, I mean, in what they do. They have no political agenda. They just go in a villages and --
MORGAN: They have no morality.
BUTLER: No morality. They kill everybody. They perform ritualize killings, they rape, they sexually enslave the women. They turn all the children into child soldiers.
MORGAN: Well, it's a remarkably powerful and important film. I hope everyone goes to see it, because it really does telling an extraordinary story.
Going to lighten the load a bit, come back and talk to you about thing that may bring a smile to your face, I think, because it normally does: women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If ever again I meet him, he's mine or I am his.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Another one of the four films you've got coming up, Shakespeare's "Coriolanus" directed by Ralph Fiennes, a fellow Brit. I suppose that kind of brooding magnificent look, the bedded brooding beast is what drives women mad about you, Gerard Butler, which is, of course, also what sickens the rest of us in the male race who don't have that affect on women.
So, when did you realize this kind of look that you have was going to turn women wild?
BUTLER: I don't know if I ever worked that out. I always thought that bearded guys were less attractive to the female population, you know, I just liked it. I always loved having a beard, it feels -- it gives you a very kind of strong look, and it's worked for a lot of my characters.
But I always imagined women go eww, this little beard, feels weird when you kiss me or when you try to kiss me, especially when I never met you before.
MORGAN: You've been linked with just about every sexy woman in Hollywood. From Jennifer Aniston, to Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Beal and so on.
BUTLER: Reese Witherspoon, well, that's a new one.
MORGAN: I think she was (INAUDIBLE). You probably met at least some of them.
BUTLER: Reese Witherspoon, I've never met Reese Witherspoon.
MORGAN: The great thing of all of this is it was a brilliant cover for what you really up to. I mean, you've managed to have two quite long relationships in the last five years without anybody knowing. Because they're all chasing Jennifer Aniston asking about you when I don't think you've ever been near Jennifer Aniston, not in that sense.
BUTLER: No. No. It just -- exactly. Every day, I read something about somebody different, and even Reese Witherspoon, like I actually don't think I've ever met Reese Witherspoon.
BUTLER: OK, there's a new one. So I think I can say that maybe four percent of those reports I read are anywhere close to correct.
MORGAN: Do you care that much? I mean, you're a single guy, you're not married. You play heartthrobs in quite a few of these rolls. I mean, these all just a brand extension, isn't it, all these kinds of stuff?
BUTLER: I don't know. You know Piers, I go and -- I sometimes think when people will start to judge you and form an opinion of you, and often these rumors come out and I think even the people who promulgate those rumors think, they are a joke. They start to do it tongue in check.
But when this is happening every day, you think -- I mean, look at the work I did in "Machine Gun Preacher," and "Coriolanus." I also work really hard as an actor. And then, as long as that doesn't get in the way of people's judgment of you as in you don't take your craft seriously, because I do take my craft very seriously, and if it's a brand extension, that's great, because some people say hey, it's no big deal.
It doesn't get to me at times, at times it feels it gets ridiculous, but you know what? There will come a day when that stops and I probably be back here and saying, you know, let me on the show again.
MORGAN: You're always welcome. Don't worry about that. It's taken you long enough to get you on to start with.
MORGAN: You're turning 42 soon. I hate to remind you of this. For a long time I guess you probably reveled in the single playboy kind of reputation. But is there -- is there a turning point for that when people start to say what's up with you, then?
BUTLER: Yes. It happened a couple of years ago. It is so interesting you say that because I did -- I used to answer a lot of questions which was, you know, look, you're a Hollywood leading man. You're single. You have your whole life ahead of you.
And one day, it was like, you're a Hollywood single man. You're getting on a bit. Have you ever thought of settling down?
And then, very recently, it's been like, your almost 42, what are you playing now?
MORGAN: What are you going to do about it? Does your mother want to see her little boy settle down?
MORGAN: Get married, have little Gerards running around?
BUTLER: I don't think she wants little Gerards. Just the name alone. Not another one!
MORGNA: I think you should have a lot of Gerards.
BUTLER: I'm like this. You know, actually, more Gerards might be a good thing.
MORGAN: Have you worked out what your dream woman would be, from all the experience you've had playing the field, have you actually worked out in your head what kind of characteristics and looks the one needs to have?
BUTLER: I mean, I could give you something, and then walk out of here and see a woman that's absolute opposite and go -- oh, wow, because I don't think there's a definite type. My type would most likely be taller with dark skinned and darker hair. Hey.
MORGAN: We're getting there. Yes. What kind of personality?
BUTLER: I love vivacious, but I love a good heart. I love somebody who's really sweet and you know --
MORGAN: Good humor attract for you?
BUTLER: And fun. There has to be vivacious and fun. And there's just -- you know, a woman has to be sexy. They have to be sexy.
MORGAN: What do you mean, sexy, it's not necessarily looking beautiful.
BUTLER: It's something you can't define. You know I think it's just a feeling that they give and maybe one woman is sexy to me that's not sexy to somebody else. But there's just some women that you're with and they make you feel excited, you know, and frisky, and just sensual. I love sensuality in a woman.
MORGAN: If you could be trapped with one famous woman on a desert island, kind of hypothetically, not for real.
MORGAN: If you could choose one partner for a desert island, if I was going to send you there for a year, who would it be?
BUTLER: Oh, God, I'm looking over. I see people going, don't do it, don't do it.
MORGAN: Do it. There's nothing to lose here. She'll be flattered.
BUTLER: Maybe like Monica Bellucci.
MORGAN: Good call. That's a good call. That's not going to be a long year. That's going to fly by.
MORGAN: You might have to make it two years.
Gerard, it's been a pleasure, seriously. And it's a fantastic movie. It's out this weekend, "Machine Gun Preacher." All the very best with it. Thank you very much.
BUTLER: Thank you. Thank you.
MORGAN: Deepak Chopra is a doctor, a spiritual teacher and a bestselling author. He was also a long-time close friend of Michael Jackson's.
And Deepak joins me now.
Deepak, I want to read you back what you said the day after Michael Jackson died. It was very profoundly moving.
You wrote, "I hope the word joyous is the one that will rise in the ashes and shine as he once did. Michael Jackson will be remembered, most likely, as a shattered icon, a pop genius who wound up a mutant of fame. For 20 years, I observed every aspect. And as easy as it was to love Michael and to want to protect him, his sudden death yesterday seemed almost fated."
What did you mean by that?
DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR, "WAR OF THE WORLDVIEWS": You know, once I talked to Michael -- we used to discuss big issues, including life and death. And he said to me once, "I'd rather die like Elvis Presley than Marlon Brando."
I said, what do you mean by that? He said, you know, I'm not going to go out with a whimper, but with a bang. And in many ways, he had a death instinct, just as he had a life instinct.
He was -- Piers, he was in this world, but he was not of this world.
MORGAN: You described him in that quote after he died as a mutant of fame. You've met lots of famous people over the years. Is this a common thing, do you think, that he just went through on a much bigger scale than most people? Is fame in itself an addictive drug?
CHOPRA: Fame in itself is an addictive drug. And also, fame creates an image which you cannot live up to. And then at some point, the image is defiled and everyone gets enraged, when, in fact, they created the image that was not conforming to reality. No image ever conforms to reality.
MORGAN: The key thing with Michael Jackson, as we're seeing from the trial and the circumstances around his death and everything else, was his dependence towards the end of his life on various drugs. What did you know about his drug consumption?
CHOPRA: Well, Michael only called me when he was totally sober and was off drugs. He did mention almost eight years ago to me -- he said, Deepak, are you familiar with this thing that takes you to the valley of death and then brings you back from it.
And at that time, I had no idea what he was talking about, but obviously he was talking about Propofol, the anesthetic that finally killed him. It took him to the valley of death and did not bring him back.
Michael was a controlled substance addict. He could stay off and then he could be on again. And I think during the period that he was rehearsing, there were periods when he was totally fine. He was practicing. He had a lot of strength. He had a lot of vigor, a lot of freshness.
He left a message on my phone two days before he passed on. And he was very excited, both about the tour, about a new song that he was writing about the environment called "Breathe." And he said, call me back, and I'm really excited.
So he didn't expect to die. I can tell you that that must have been what it ultimately was -- an accident. Dr. Conrad didn't intend to kill him. He used a drug that should not have been used outside an operating room. He miscalculated the dose. There were probably other things in Michael's system.
It was a tragedy.
MORGAN: I want to come to Propofol and Dr. Murray after the break.
First of all, I want to take you back to 1984 and the Pepsi commercial accident that Michael endured, when he suffered some pretty horrendous burning in this. Many people close to Michael Jackson have said since that the damage that was done to him then led to a lot of his dependency on painkillers, on sleeping tablets, and so on, that it really did, in many ways, ruin his life.
What's your understanding about the repercussions of what we're watching here on screen?
CHOPRA: It's a common story, Piers. One has a very severe injury, traumatic injury, that leads to a lot of pain. And then one gets narcotics.
And if one has an addictive personality, which may be partly genetic, then one gets dependent. The key here is for a doctor to be aware of this and to be very careful in prescribing drugs.
I think Michael's addiction was initiated by, and then perpetuated by careless doctors.
MORGAN: Did he ever talk to you about the Pepsi accident? Because it was much worse than people realized. He was severely burned.
CHOPRA: Yes, he did talk to me about that many times. He talked to me about the excruciating pain. And when I mentioned to him the potential problems of drug addiction, he would say, you don't understand. You don't understand how deeply I feel this pain.
When I used to question him -- perhaps not correctly -- I used to say, a lot of your pain is emotional, because he was a tortured soul right from his childhood. And there were emotional components to his pain. But I did not question the physical aspect of his pain either.
MORGAN: Was he a very innocent man, Michael Jackson? I mean, towards the end, he was -- even as he approached 50, he seemed to have a very child-like side to him himself. But is that realistic or I mean, can somebody who's such a successful businessman and entertainer really be child- like? Or was it a bit of an act?
CHOPRA: Well, in a sense, we're all multiple personalities. He was child-like. He was innocent. And when he was innocent and child- like, he was a genius, a performer, genius musician, genius songwriter, genius composer.
He was also, on the other hand, very versatile in his knowledge of classical musicians like Beethoven and Mozart. And he was very familiar with the history of musical thought and even intellectual thought and even scientific thought. So, there was a lot of facets to Michael.
He was a very sharp businessman. I saw him mostly when we were in a playful mood. And I never discussed business with him.
Once in a while, he would bring up something about how everybody was trying to take advantage of him. But other than that, I never got into that aspect of his life.
MORGAN: I want to take a short break, Deepak. When we come back, I want to get down to what happened on the night that Michael Jackson died, what your view is of the medical behavior that night of Dr. Conrad Murray, from your expert opinion.
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MORGAN: From the documentary "This Is It." That was Michael Jackson's last rehearsal, filmed just before his death.
Back with me now is Deepak Chopra.
Deepak, when you see Michael there -- there are conflicting reports here. If you watch the documentary, as I did, he looks pretty healthy. He looks fit. He looks like he's raring to go.
Talk to Jermaine Jackson and the members of his family and they will say, there are lots of outtakes that never made the final edit in this movie where he looks completely different, where he looks exhausted. He looks frail. He looks fragile.
What was your understanding of his physical condition through this period? CHOPRA: Well, Piers, I wasn't there at those rehearsals. I talked to some of the people later, the producers, that -- they said he was pretty strong. He was pretty vigorous. Those periods of rehearsal are quite long and exhausting to anyone. But a person who's about 50 years of age, that's pretty good.
I also talked, at some point, to his -- the nanny who took care of his children. And she said he was a really strong person.
Now, I can't comment on what the family's saying. But in my interactions with him on the phone, he was very enthusiastic. His voice sounded good. I didn't think he thought he was in a state where he was going to die at all.
MORGAN: I mean, it seemed to me -- I saw him perform in concert in the '90s. He looked a hell of a lot skinnier and thinner just before the "This Is It" tour. I had tickets to his first night. I was going to go and see him in London. But he looked a lot, lot smaller physically than he had been previously the previous time I had seen him.
So did you notice that with him? Was he -- Jermaine says he'd never been that thin.
CHOPRA: Yes, well, he -- first of all, he was getting older. So that comes with age, and -- to some extent. Secondly, I think it must have had something to do with the drugs and water retention, and the drugs as well. So he had gained weight. And he was, obviously, not in the same shape when you saw him many years before.
MORGAN: Tell me, Deepak, I want to get to the nitty-gritty of this trial, really, which is -- which is Propofol and the right of a doctor to administer Propofol, where you're allowed to do it, where you're not. You are an endocrinologist. Conrad Murray is a cardiologist.
Are either of you legally allowed to administer Propofol in a private house?
CHOPRA: I don't think so, and neither a cardiologist or an endocrinologist should administer. I don't know what the legalities are. Only an anesthesiologist should administer that drug. It should be done in a hospital, preferably in an operating room.
And you should have a ventilator and a tube to intubate the patient, just in case they stop breathing.
Because that's what the drug does. You know, ultimately, it involves the centers in the brain that are responsible for breathing. And if you overshoot your dose, there's no coming back. And it should not, therefore, have been used. And you know, several vials were brought. Enormous amount of supply was there. And it was all being administered at home.
So that is for certain, it should not have been administered outside of a hospital. MORGAN: You believe, I think, that Michael could have been saved. What sort of struck me is that a lot of people around him that cared about him clearly knew about his terrible dependence on these drugs.
Why did no one perform a kind of intervention and just try and get him off this stuff?
CHOPRA: There were a couple of interventions to no avail. And the people who called the interventions were then never in his life after that. So, you know, Michael made those choices too.
But, you know, it's a complex thing. You know, addiction is a very complex thing. There's no one person you can point the finger at here.
If anything, you can say the Pepsi accident was the tipping -- you know, was the initiating point. And right then, people would -- had to be careful. After that, history took its course.
MORGAN: I want to come back after the break, Deepak, and change the subject, if I may. I want to bring in your co-author, Leonard Mlodinow. You've written this fascinating book in which the pair of you go toe-to-toe, "War of the Worldviews, Science V. Spirituality." So I want to come back and talk God, the Big Bang, the meaning of life, the whole shebang.
MORGAN: Deepak Chopra's latest book is a collaboration with physicist Leonard Mlodinow. It's called "War of the Worldviews." And Leonard Mlodinow joins us now.
Let me start with you, Mr. Mlodinow. Talk me through the concept for this book. The idea seems to me that you and Deepak basically go toe to toe, head-to-head, and fight fire with fire over spirituality v. science. Is that the tenet of this book?
LEONARD MLODINOW, AUTHOR, "WAR OF THE WORLDVIEWS": Yes, that's the basic idea. For me, the book was really two things. One was a chance to explain to people really how science works and what's the scientific method. And the other one was really a natural outgrowth of my book "The Grand Design," that I wrote with Stephen Hawking, where we talk wrote about the universe and where it came from.
So, we talk about that in this book, both sides, my point of view and Deepak's. Then we talk about life and where life came from and what it means to be alive. And then we go deeper and talk about what it means to be human and the human brain.
And then, at Deepak's insistence, we treated the issue of God and what is the meaning of God. And is God -- is there a God? That's a little bit of a stretch for a scientists because science doesn't really deal with God. But I managed to say a few things.
MORGAN: Yes. I mean, that's my obvious question, do any scientists believe in God? Any of the top ones? MLODINOW: Oh, yes, many scientists believe in God. One of my teachers when I was a graduate student was one of the discoverers of the laser, got a Nobel Prize and he was a devout Christian. Many scientists believe in God.
MORGAN: My main question for you then before I go to Deepak is, if scientists believe in God, where does that leave you when you don't think there is a God but you believe in all this science for having got us here in the first place? Isn't there a contradiction there?
MLODINOW: Well, first of all, I don't say that I don't believe in god. And --
MORGAN: Do you?
MLODINOW: I don't think people are that interested -- I don't think people are really that interested in my personal views. But --
MORGAN: I am fascinated. You've written a book about it. Come on. Do you believe in God or not?
MLODINOW: OK. Well, first of all, let me say, the book I wrote about is what science has to say on the issue. It wasn't a --
MORGAN: Never mind all that. This is not the Spanish Inquisition. Do you believe in God?
MLODINOW: I believe in a kind of God. I think all scientists, in a way, believe in a certain God, in a certain order of nature.
Look, in physics, all can you do is predict the consequences of physical laws. And then people made a big deal because in "The Grand Design," we said that the universe could come from nothing.
But people -- what they forget is that physics is always based on laws. There's always laws of psychics. And so, you know, if you want to go in that direction, you should ask, like Deepak does, where do those laws come from?
MORGAN: Let me go to Deepak. Let me go to Deepak.
Deepak, my sense from all this, you're more of a believer. You're more into the God is this super being. And therefore has powers beyond our comprehension, which in my view, as a believer, makes it all a lot easier because my problem with all these scientific experts is that it's all very well until you get to the point of nothingness.
What is nothing? Where did nothing come from? And what was there before nothing?
And they can never answer me. So, I prefer to have the power, if you like, of a superpower who knows all the answer, who just has a better comprehension than I do. What do you think? CHOPRA: Well, it's the eternal mystery. But I'll just quote Leonard in the book. In the book, Leonard specifically says that science cannot and will not say that God is an illusion, which is a total contradiction to what Richard Dawkins says, because Richard Dawkins explicitly says that God is a delusion.
Leonard also says in the book, science cannot answer why there are physical laws or why the universe obeys physical laws. You know, while Leonard asserts randomness to the universe, he cannot explain how randomness gives rise to precise physical laws.
Where do these laws come from?
Leonard also said in the book, very clearly, that science does not address the meaning of life.
Now, I say you to -- that's what being human is all about. You know, I want to know who am I? Where did I come from? Do I have a soul? Does God exist? What happens to me after I die?
MORGAN: We could be here all day with this. I love this stuff. By the way, it's a great book.
MLODINOW: Next time, let's be here longer.
MORGAN: Where do you think you go when you die, Leonard?
MLODINOW: I think when, you know, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. That's what I think.
MORGAN: That's it. That's the end of Leonard?
MLODINOW: You know, I would love to think that it's not. Trust me, I really would, just as you would. And I just somehow don't let that -- that desire doesn't sway me.
My belief is that there is nothing more than -- I mean, it's beautiful that my atoms can bring this consciousness and this person who I am and all these feelings that I have. And it's wonderful that they formed that. But I don't believe there is anything beyond that that will --
MORGAN: OK. So a grim end for you, Leonard.
CHOPRA: I think we go back to the infinite consciousness where we emerged from. I think an individual person is a fashion of behavior of a universal consciousness. And that is constantly transforming and changing. You are not the same person that you were when you were a baby. That baby is dead.
You are not the same person that you were a teenager. That's gone, too. So, you keep on your eternal journey of transformation. And you have to shift your identity from that of a person to a more cosmic perspective.
And I do think we have a cosmic identity. We are a drop in the ocean of divine consciousness. And we recycle from there.
MORGAN: Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow, thank you both very much for a fascinating debate.
The book is a great read, "War of the Worldviews." I commend it to everyone who wants to have a huge argument with almost everyone they know.
MLODINOW: Thank you.
CHOPRA: Thank you.