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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Lenny Kravitz
Aired January 14, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight one of the coolest guys in rock 'n' roll.
Lenny Kravitz, rock, soul, funk. He's impossible to pin down. He's been breaking boundaries from the day he was born. Now Lenny Kravitz on his music, his life, his very loves.
LENNY KRAVITZ, SINGER/SONGWRITER: I just love women. They're incredible. They're -- I think they are God's most amazing creation.
MORGAN: Lenny Kravitz exclusively for the hour, plus a never-before- seen look at Lenny work on his new album.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Lenny Kravitz may just be the coolest guy in America. He's sold 35 million records. He's won four Grammys. Among his huge hits "Let Love Rule", "Are You Going to Go My Way," "American Woman." He's a man of numerous musical talents. He plays every instrument you can imagine. He's never slowed down. He's here now.
And you are just the epitome of cool, aren't you, Lenny? Just admit it. Let's get it out of the way.
KRAVITZ: I don't know.
MORGAN: The kind of guy that all we guys would like to be. The kind of guy that all our women would like us to be.
KRAVITZ: I think you're doing pretty well, Piers.
KRAVITZ: I think you're doing pretty well.
MORGAN: It's this huge presence.
KRAVITZ: I'll play second to you in cool today.
MORGAN: Well, that -- now you said it on the record. You've just done my street (INAUDIBLE). But to be serious, and I hope the answer is yes because it gives me some succor in this relationship we now have, is being so cool itself a terrible burden?
KRAVITZ: I truly don't think about it. I think -- I think that if you asked my daughter, you know, I wouldn't be so cool. MORGAN: I mean your daughter is cool because I watched her on "Californication."
KRAVITZ: She's extremely cool.
MORGAN: She's a cool --
KRAVITZ: -- beautiful, smart.
KRAVITZ: She's amazing. Yes.
MORGAN: How could she not be given the product of her parents, two of the coolest people?
KRAVITZ: OK, OK, I'll buy that one.
MORGAN: Coolness runs in the genes, doesn't it?
KRAVITZ: A little bit. A little bit.
MORGAN: So how do you attain coolness? How does someone like me who clearly -- all the many talents I probably don't have, coolness certainly isn't one of them.
KRAVITZ: Well, I suppose --
MORGAN: How do you effortlessly, without any effort, get to be cool?
KRAVITZ: What would make you cool is the fact that you don't try.
MORGAN: I'm trying too hard?
KRAVITZ: That's what's -- that's what's wonderful about people. When you're natural.
MORGAN: See, this is what I think. This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen and this is typical Lenny Kravitz. This is an album cover. A, it's in vinyl, which in itself is cool these days, right? Secondly, amazing picture on the front. And then I turn over, there is your life in these extraordinary pictures.
MORGAN: And I just haven't seen an album cover or inside cover anything quite like this. And yet, you know, for the theme that you have of this, "Black and White America," there it is. And there you are, Lenny Kravitz, the product of a black woman and a white man in America, raised in the upper east of New York. Your dad was Jewish. Your mom's Christian.
An almost unique perspective on life to grow up in America.
KRAVITZ: I had an amazing childhood. I talked to a lot of people who didn't like their childhoods. They would not go back. They found it to be sad and painful. I had the absolute opposite. I had a very rich childhood in the sense of experience.
MORGAN: Tell me about your parents. I mean your mom was a famous actress. Your dad was a television executive. Tell me about them.
KRAVITZ: My mother was born in Miami, Florida. Her father came from Inagua, in the Bahamas. She later moved to New York when the family moved to New York. She wanted to be an actress. And her father, my grandfather, was going to do whatever he had to do to give her the tools she needed.
My father was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father from Kiev, in the Ukraine. My father went to the military at a very, very young age. He was a Green Beret. He was a jungle expert. He -- you know, he was pretty scary when I was a child.
MORGAN: Yes. So tell me about the mixture of your mom and your dad then. Your dad is this tough, hard core Green Beret. Your mom, from what I've gleaned, a softer character?
MORGAN: Has a little bit more creative, artistic, giving that you side of it. But the combination, pretty fascinating for someone going into the entertainment business.
MORGAN: And you know watching the way your career took off, you have that determination, that strength of character that I guess your dad had, you know, to not take no for an answer, to do things your way, to seize the moment, if you like.
KRAVITZ: Well, because of my father, and just to let you know, I mean, you know, I love my father dearly and at the end of his life we became closer than ever. But it wasn't always that way.
MORGAN: Well, your parents divorced.
KRAVITZ: Yes. When I was --
MORGAN: I mean how old were you when that happened?
KRAVITZ: I was 21.
MORGAN: Right. So I mean that's such a hard age actually, so you go through this amazing upbringing like you said.
KRAVITZ: Well, at that point you think, they've made it.
KRAVITZ: You know? But you know, things happen.
MORGAN: What effect did it have on you?
KRAVITZ: It had a very deep effect on me. A very deep effect on me. I was a mama's boy. I loved my mother. We were best friends, we were really, really close. And, you know, my father had his infidelities and so forth and they came out. They were quite deep, and I think she didn't know how to rebound from that.
MORGAN: The relationship kind of exploded because it wasn't like she had seen this coming. This was just like --
KRAVITZ: I think, I mean, to be truthful, I mean, I think, you know, she knew -- she knew the man. She knew who he was. Apparently when I was a child my mother would have to go retrieve him from other women's apartments.
KRAVITZ: With me in her arms, like ringing the bell.
MORGAN: With you in her arms?
KRAVITZ: Which always reminds me that scene from "Goodfellas."
MORGAN: Yes. I was going to say. I know that scene. Yes.
MORGAN: I was just thinking that.
KRAVITZ: But, you know, he had his demons. And I think that, you know, his father was the same. And I think he tried to escape that because on his deathbed all of this came out.
MORGAN: To you?
KRAVITZ: Yes. It was difficult but my mother always taught me that that's your father. Regardless of what he did to me, he's your father and you have to honor him. You have to love him. You have to respect him. She would always refer to the bible and say that it says, you know -- you know, honor thy mother and thy father. It doesn't say but or unless or if. It says honor them. And so that's what you have to do.
Her thing was always you do what you're supposed to do. Don't worry about everybody else. So I was taught to be that way. And so I -- and so, you know, I took care of him. I saw him. I loved him. But there was always a plate of glass between us.
MORGAN: An emotional barrier?
KRAVITZ: Yes. And it was -- it was difficult.
MORGAN: So when you had this time with him, when he knew he was dying, do you think because he realized he wasn't going to be around, this was the last chance to have that conversation with you?
KRAVITZ: I think he -- I think he honestly had a spiritual awakening because he -- you know, and I don't want to paint him as this, you know, horrible man. He was -- if I ever bumped into anybody that knew him, oh, your father, he's so lovely, he's so charming. He's wonderful. He was a wonderful man.
MORGAN: But there are many people in the industry who have this kind of emotional --
KRAVITZ: Well, that had a lot to do with it because part of what he admitted to me when he was dying was that he was brainwashed in the military. He said, you know, I was brainwashed. I thought I had to be this way and I was so young and I was trained to be this way. And he said that it always felt like there was a monkey on his back and he couldn't get it off.
MORGAN: What did he say to you when he finally opened up?
KRAVITZ: He made mistakes. He wished it wasn't the way it was. He wished he could have changed it. He didn't know how. And he just admitted it and it was beautiful. And from that moment on, I mean, he lived another maybe month. It was the best month of our lives and it made up for everything because it's one thing to have your father in front of you and see him and say, you know, hello, and hug him and kiss him.
But whenever I would be close with him it always felt a little strange. Like we'd hug and it would be like a little uncomfortable. And after that experience in the hospital when everything came out and he explained himself, I could actually lay in the bed with him, I could rub his head, you know, I could hold him, and it was beautiful.
MORGAN: What an amazing thing.
MORGAN: Was your mother still alive?
KRAVITZ: And you know -- no, she wasn't.
MORGAN: So she never --
KRAVITZ: My mother has been gone for 17 some odd years.
MORGAN: So she never knew that you had this --
MORGAN: -- amazing time with your father?
KRAVITZ: No. No.
MORGAN: How would she felt about that, do you think?
KRAVITZ: Wonderful. She loved him to the end.
MORGAN: Because she knew that side of him as well.
MORGAN: She knew he had it in him. KRAVITZ: Of course. And my life wouldn't be what it is without the two of them, without both sides. And I truly believe that God puts things in front of you the way they need to be. It was all wonderful. It was all wonderful. You know I don't look back on it with any kind of animosity or -- I don't have any ill feelings. It's the way it was supposed to be.
MORGAN: Incredible story.
Let's take a little break. Come back. I want to talk more about "Black and White America." You know, we have a black president in America. Do you think that America is more or less racist because of that?
KRAVITZ: Obama is black?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just because Helen says she has a maid twice a week --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twice a week is a cleaning woman. We're going to have a real maid with a uniform, one that fits my position. Remember, I worked my way from the bottom up to the top.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So does a gopher. Oh god, Tom, it feels so good to disagree with them again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's your mother in the classic TV series "The Jeffersons." Very interesting because in that she played half of a mixed race marriage.
KRAVITZ: What are the chances of that, right?
MORGAN: And she was in real life. I mean was that --
KRAVITZ: Yes. I remember when she auditioned, she was -- at the time she was in a play on Broadway called "The River Niger" with the Negro Ensemble Company, and she got this call from Norman Leer. I think he had seen the play and she flew out to California to audition. She auditioned. He loved her. And he was getting ready to hire her.
This is 1974. And so Norman Leer sat her down and said, look, I want to you play this part but, you know, are you going to be comfortable playing the wife of a white man? And she pulled out her wallet and had a picture of my dad and said, this is my husband. And he said, oh, great.
KRAVITZ: You've got the part.
MORGAN: An amazing thing. A very groundbreaking time.
KRAVITZ: And of course kids in school -- because my father was white, they assumed that that was my father.
KRAVITZ: (INAUDIBLE) was my father. Yes.
MORGAN: But what are your memories of that? I mean was it very controversial at the time in the sense, did it attract racists? Did they try and protest about it?
KRAVITZ: Most definitely. My mother used to get hate mails, she used to get death threats. People couldn't deal with it. That was the first interracial kiss on primetime television and it was quite controversial. To me, no. It was completely natural.
MORGAN: Because you'd seen her with your dad.
KRAVITZ: You know, I grew up in a house that, you know, I had no idea about racism or prejudice. You know. No idea.
MORGAN: Did you get picked on at all once the TV show took off?
KRAVITZ: Yes, but harmless. I mean kids used to call me, you know, zebra or panda or, you know, my mother was Mrs. Night and my father was Mr. Day. You know ridiculous things that kids, you know, say but it never bothered me.
MORGAN: Obviously since Barack Obama became president there's been a big debate, and I ask other guests this, about whether they feel instinctively America has gotten more or less racist as a country since the first black president. What do you think?
KRAVITZ: Well, it's funny because I -- you know, I've been in Europe touring a lot touring lately. And the first question they always ask, because of this album, "Black and White America," well, is racism over in America, and I think, what does that mean? I mean they think that, you know, it's over. Are things better? Are things, you know, great? Yes. You know.
It's nothing like it was 40 years ago. But we still have a long way to go. What I think is interesting and what prompted the song "Black and White America" is I had seen a documentary. I don't know the name of it, I don't know what it was, but there was this group of Americans saying that this was not their America. They were not happy with what America had become.
They wanted America to go back they way it was, say, 100 years ago. They had plans on assassinating the president, all this horrible stuff. And it's just amazing that, you know, there are people that are still like that. But there's kind of a tug of war going on. I mean in a lot of senses, because we've moved forward in so many ways that people that would like it to go back.
MORGAN: I mean, there's a line here which I got from the notes in the -- in the album. Martin Luther King had a vision and that's a fact. He died so we could see this was his mission. So don't look back. There is no division. Don't you understand?
In 1953 my father married a black woman. When he walked the street they were in danger. And then it goes on, very personal, very poignant.
I mean, my sense, I've been in America the last six or seven years, I don't know, is that what it did was highlight racism in a way that probably hadn't been since the '60s. It focused people's minds. And that in itself is not a bad thing even if it's painful in the short term.
KRAVITZ: No. Right.
MORGAN: It brings it all out.
KRAVITZ: Well, I thought that his speech on race when he talked about his upbringing, for me it was such a beautiful moment because there was a politician standing up there that understood exactly what I understood. Both sides equally. And that was a beautiful moment because I thought he really laid it out.
MORGAN: Do you know Obama?
KRAVITZ: I don't know him. I spoke to him once on the telephone.
MORGAN: I heard, and you can correct this if it's wrong. In that conversation the president said to you, I have a woman next to me who went to high school with you who says, tell Lenny Kravitz he's hotter now than he was in school.
KRAVITZ: You have it verbatim.
KRAVITZ: So I want to -- I want to know who you're talking to. That was exactly the conversation.
MORGAN: The president rang and filled me in. You know?
KRAVITZ: Yes. I figured.
MORGAN: So that was right?
MORGAN: Who was the woman? It wasn't Michelle, was it?
KRAVITZ: No, no, no. No. We didn't get to high school together. No, no, no.
MORGAN: Do you agree with that assessment? Do you think you're hotter now than you were at high school? And I called you cooler.
KRAVITZ: Again, this whole hot/cool thing, like, I really don't relate to it.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break while I cool down. When we come back, I want to talk to you about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
MORGAN: Enough of this political stuff. Let's get stuck in the real stuff.
MORGAN: Lenny Kravitz in the studio working on his latest album. It's a great album.
KRAVITZ: Thank you.
MORGAN: "Black and White America."
KRAVITZ: Thank you.
MORGAN: Really enjoyed listening to it. Let's talk about women. You have something that women like. And it's not just your musical ability.
KRAVITZ: And what is that, Piers?
MORGAN: I don't know. But even my wife as I left today, and very much she gave birth to our child just 10 days ago, and she interviewed (INAUDIBLE), she just said to me, if I was ever going to leave you, it would be for Lenny Kravitz.
KRAVITZ: Oh my god.
MORGAN: A pretty sobering moment. I have to tell you. It wasn't happy. Caused a little freeze on this morning over the cold plates.
MORGAN: But you have got this magnetic appeal to women. How do you feel?
KRAVITZ: How do I feel?
MORGAN: Don't try and be too modest.
KRAVITZ: No, no, no, I love women. And I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I grew up around a lot of strong women.
MORGAN: What did your mother tell you about women and how to treat them?
KRAVITZ: Well, to treat them with respect and so forth. Yes.
MORGAN: You're a single man at the moment. Is that -- is it changing, that situation? Is it near to changing? Have you got anyone?
KRAVITZ: I would -- I would like it to change. I think -- I think it's a good time for that to change now.
MORGAN: Just tell me about women. What is it you love about women?
KRAVITZ: I just love women. They're incredible. They're -- I think they are God's most amazing creation.
MORGAN: Are you easy to be with?
KRAVITZ: Am I easy to be with?
MORGAN: Because you seem so effortlessly charming. But most musicians are quite neurotic, difficult, and edgy because it's the nature of the beast.
KRAVITZ: I wouldn't say I'm the easiest person to deal with. I can be both. I can be very easy to deal with and I can be difficult depending on what's going on. Because my life is a bit crazy. You know, moving around, a different country every day, long tours. It's not easy to build something.
MORGAN: Very hard for relationships, I would have --
KRAVITZ: Extremely. Extremely.
MORGAN: Because you're never there.
KRAVITZ: I mean it's an occupational hazard. I mean it's difficult.
MORGAN: And do you worry that some of your father's behavioral pattern inevitably rubs off? I mean do you -- does that concern you?
KRAVITZ: Completely. I'm completely aware of that. And it's something that I have fought and that I consciously continue to fight and pretty much have worked my way through it. But it took a long time. And I'll share something with you that, you know, I don't like to say it but I think you'll understand.
When my parents split, my mother sat me down with my father and basically said, you know, your father is going to leave. This is what happened. Blah, blah, blah. I already knew but she wanted to have this conversation with the three of us. And then she looked at him and said -- after she'd explained the whole scenario and he was getting ready to leave, his bags were at the door, and she looked at him and said, what do you have to say to your son? And he walked up to me and he looked me in my eye and he said, you'll do it, too, and he walked out.
KRAVITZ: And that's quite deep.
MORGAN: How old were you? Twenty-one?
KRAVITZ: And I was a young 21. I was a young 21. I don't think I realized what that moment did until so many years later.
MORGAN: What did it do, do you think?
KRAVITZ: It put something in me. It was just bizarre. I think -- I think -- I think the reason that he said that was because his father had done exactly the same thing. And he -- you know, he had ill feelings towards his father because of what he did to his mother. So I think that he just thought that this was just the way it was going to be.
MORGAN: And was he right?
KRAVITZ: Was he right?
MORGAN: Was there a moment for you when you did something and you thought, my father was right?
KRAVITZ: Oh, yes. There were times where I did not behave properly. There were times where I was not respectful. There were times where I was just out on a limb. But I did let him know that it was -- it was really detrimental.
MORGAN: You've been out with some of the most famous women in the world, allegedly.
MORGAN: Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Natalie Imbruglia, I mean, the list is long and illustrious. For all it's cracked up to be? Famous sex symbols?
KRAVITZ: People are people. I mean everyone on your list, by the way, I did not go out with, but --
MORGAN: Total disappointing. Now come on.
KRAVITZ: No. But you know if you're walking down the street with somebody and they get a picture and it comes out in the paper, then you know, you're going out with them. But, yes, there have been -- there have been many and they have been wonderful experiences.
MORGAN: You are 47 now.
MORGAN: I'm 46.
KRAVITZ: You have to call me sir.
MORGAN: Well, you look about 10 years younger than me. I feel things (INAUDIBLE).
MORGAN: But do you dream, you know, wistfully of getting married, having more children, that kind of conventional thing?
KRAVITZ: I do. I do.
MORGAN: That your mother certainly dreamed of.
KRAVITZ: I do. And I wanted it for -- for some years, but I wasn't ready. And now I'm ready. Now I'm ready.
MORGAN: I'm told if I ask you who the great love of your life has been, you would say Lisa Bonet.
KRAVITZ: Most definitely.
MORGAN: The mother of your child.
KRAVITZ: Most definitely. That was a magical experience.
MORGAN: She is an incredibly beautiful woman, very smart. I'm a big, big fan of hers. But what went wrong there?
KRAVITZ: : Young.
MORGAN: Too young?
KRAVITZ: Young. A lot going on. Zoe was born. I got a record deal. I went on tour. It was all at the same time. We were young. But the beautiful thing is that now we're best friends. She's like my sister. And I love the man she's with.
I love her new children. We're all together. And it's great. But that was a very magical time.
MORGAN: And how do you feel about your daughter now going into the business, and very successfully? She's a great actress.
KRAVITZ: Thank you, thank you.
MORGAN: Are you happy or are you concerned?
KRAVITZ: I'm not concerned at all.
MORGAN: It's her great benefits to you.
KRAVITZ: I'm concerned about her, but I'm not concerned about her being in the business.
MORGAN: But you are a classic example of somebody who has had such a fabulously successful career. And yet you can see the detriment of being a famous sex symbol and all the other stuff that goes with big success in this kind of business. It's not easy, is it?
KRAVITZ: No, it's not easy. But I think she is very grounded. At times, I believe she is more grounded than I am. She is definitely smarter than I am in a lot of cases.
CAVUTO: Are you a good dad, do you think?
KRAVITZ: As my mother said, self-praise is no recommendation. But you can ask Zoe. But I -- I've enjoyed every moment of it. We're best friends. So I think that speaks for itself.
MORGAN: If I was interviewing Zoe about you, how do you think she would describe you.
KRAVITZ: I think she would say I'm extremely funny and goofy, and the opposite of everything you have said today about being cool and all that.
MORGAN: Really? What's the last memorably goofy thing you've done? I'll pin Zoe down and said how goofy does your dad get?
KRAVITZ: You'll have to ask her. I'm ridiculous.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break. Come back, I want to talk about the move you made as a family from New York, Upper East Side, to Beverly Hills, to L.A. It's a big move to make when you're young.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aren't you that guy from the Black-Eyed Peas? You guys helped the Packers win the Superbowl. You know what I'm talking about? When you and Fergie were up there doing the dances.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like some cookies, Lenny Kravitz? It has walnuts and butterscotch chips.
KRAVITZ: I hate walnuts!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So that's the goofy stuff. I'd forgotten. That was FunnyOrDie.com. Absolutely hilarious. You've always laughed at yourself.
KRAVITZ: Of course.
MORGAN: Is that a key to survival in this ridiculous business. KRAVITZ: You have to laugh, baby.
MORGAN: Your family came to Hollywood when you were how old?
MORGAN: Eleven. So a big difference from New York.
KRAVITZ: It was culture shock.
MORGAN: Completely different place.
MORGAN: Different people, different culture, everything. What was it like for you?
KRAVITZ: I remember the first day it was quite strange. You know, I'm coming from New York City. I'm 11. At 11 years of age, you're quite independent in New York. I'm taking the train. I'm taking the bus. I'm hanging out with my friends. We're running the streets, you know.
And you know everybody in the neighborhood. Flew to L.A. We moved to Santa Monica. That was the first place we lived. I remember the first morning waking up and walking outside and there was nobody. There was nobody on the street. There was nobody walking.
I didn't understand. I was like, where is everybody? Your parents had to drive you somewhere. You couldn't just jump on the subway. It was really, really strange. Everybody thought I spoke funny. I had a New York accent then.
MORGAN: The one thing you have that many famous people these days do not have is you have got a lot of talent, genuine talent, not just the singing. But on the first album, "Let Love Rule," you played many of the instruments on that. So you have got a huge, natural musical ability.
Who are the most naturally gifted artists you've encountered in your lifetime?
KRAVITZ: So many. I mean, starting with Duke Ellington, who I knew as a child, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, who I knew and worked with, Prince, Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Marvin Gay. I mean, I can go on and on and on. Nina Samone. I mean, you know --
MORGAN: What do they have that makes them a star? Because you can be a great artist without being a star.
KRAVITZ: That's true.
MORGAN: What's the extra dimension that turned those people --
KRAVITZ: It's that thing. MORGAN: What is it?
KRAVITZ: You can't really name it.
MORGAN: Can you describe it?
KRAVITZ: It's just that thing, something special. That spark.
MORGAN: When did you realize you had it, the whole package, the ability to take the talent and the artistry and be a star? What was the moment for you?
KRAVITZ: I don't know if I've ever come to that point.
MORGAN: Well, 35 million albums isn't bad.
KRAVITZ: I'm very hard on myself.
MORGAN: You don't think you're a star?
KRAVITZ: I'm -- somehow I'm always still that kid who was trying to get the record deal. Very strange.
MORGAN: Is that insecurity or is it hard work?
KRAVITZ: I think I put myself up -- I put myself up against the greatest people, these people that I mentioned, these people that influenced me that are amazing. That's what I'm weighing myself against. So I think that I'm beginning to get there. And I think my best work is yet to come.
MORGAN: Let's take another break. I want to talk about what is the single most fascinating thing about you. You went to school with Slash from Guns 'n Roses.
KRAVITZ: Yes, I did.
MORGAN: Who is a fascinating guy. Let's talk about him after the break. You and --
MORGAN: Your new song "Push" off Lenny Kravitz's ninth studio album, "Black and White America." Lenny is back with me now. So you and Slash, Saw Henry Hudson, Stockholm (ph) in the north of England, went to school together in L.A.
KRAVITZ: Yes, we did. We went to Beverly Hills High.
MORGAN: Not far from the studio. KRAVITZ: Right.
MORGAN: What was he like?
KRAVITZ: He was very much like he is now.
MORGAN: You actually look quite similar.
KRAVITZ: Yes, we could be family.
MORGAN: You could be brothers.
MORGAN: You do. He has the same sort of nose rings and the same kind of stubble. And he's cool, too.
KRAVITZ: He's a very -- he's a beautiful person. What you see is what you get. He's honest. He's loving.
MORGAN: Two immediate questions spring to mind.
MORGAN: Who has more tattoos?
KRAVITZ: I don't know. I don't know what he's got now. Maybe we're about the same.
MORGAN: You have a whopping Jesus Christ on your back, right?
KRAVITZ: Not actually, the words. And then I have Japanese tattoos and all kinds of things.
MORGAN: How many have you got?
KRAVITZ: I don't know. I don't even count.
MORGAN: He's loaded. I've seen some of them.
KRAVITZ: Have you?
MORGAN: Not all of them.
And the other thing, I suppose, is that you memorably said you've gone 20 years on marijuana. So who has taken more drugs, you or Slash?
KRAVITZ: I don't know. That would be some stiff competition. I don't know.
MORGAN: Does it help the creative process? Sergeant Pepper was made entirely on LSD, one of the greatest albums of all times.
KRAVITZ: Of course.
MORGAN: Is it -- is the drugs process that so many musicians go through, is it tangibly better for creative music making?
KRAVITZ: I suppose at the time I thought it was. What I realized later was that I was just sort of protecting myself. I would just smoke weed all day and all night. I would wake up, yawn, and light the joint.
MORGAN: Just do it all day long.
KRAVITZ: All day long. In fact, even at one point, I had a guy on staff whose job was to roll joints.
MORGAN: All day long?
KRAVITZ: All day long. All day long.
MORGAN: Lenny Kravitz's joint roller.
KRAVITZ: All day long.
MORGAN: What a great job.
KRAVITZ: And he got to get high, too. So -- but -- and then I would go to bed and put the joint out and fall asleep. It was all day long.
MORGAN: And what does that do to you over time?
KRAVITZ: Well, it just basically puts this wall of fuzz around you. But I realized that, you know, I was trying to protect myself from something. And I was keeping things out. And then when I stopped, real life, all of a sudden, was so psychedelic and so -- I don't even know. It was weird for a long while, because I hadn't felt that.
MORGAN: Are you pretty clean these days?
KRAVITZ: Oh, yeah, yeah.
MORGAN: Do you ever go recklessly partying?
KRAVITZ: Not really. Not really. I have good fun. Good fun.
MORGAN: You're into French Bordeaux.
MORGAN: Wine. This is my favorite stuff.
KRAVITZ: All right.
MORGAN: You're a bit of a connoisseur.
KRAVITZ: When you come to Paris, we'll go in the cellar.
MORGAN: Now we're talking. What have you got in there?
KRAVITZ: I have some stuff.
MORGAN: Any Litore (ph)?
KRAVITZ: Of course.
KRAVITZ: Of course.
MORGAN: Wow, really?
KRAVITZ: Of course.
MORGAN: I'm coming to your place in Paris. Let's take another break and come back with the final segment. I want to talk to you about the other strand to your career. You have a new movie coming out. Not content with being sickening hot and cool and a great singer and musician, you make movies.
God, I hate you.
KRAVITZ: Thank you.
MORGAN: Thank God you've got the wine. Otherwise, it would be a total wipe out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRAVITZ: I am a male nurse. I am Nurse John McFadden.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you married?
KRAVITZ: No. I got to go. I got to go. That's all right. That's all right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey. Can I get a kiss, too.
KRAVITZ: Good afternoon, ladies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By Nurse John.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Lenny Kravitz in 2009's "Precious." A very powerful movie that, wasn't it?
KRAVITZ: That was a beautiful experience.
MORGAN: searingly powerful. Do you like the process of making movies, because I would imagine for someone from the world of music, it's a -- it must be very laborious.
MORGAN: Well, it is. In the sense I just did "Hunger Games" and I was in North Carolina for a month. And you know, with music, you get on stage. You do it. You're in the studio. You do it. And it was a lot of waiting in the trailer, you know?
KRAVITZ: But you know, it was -- it was great. When you're doing the scenes, it felt -- it felt really good. Most of my scenes were with Jennifer Lawrence, who is wonderful.
MORGAN: Tell me about "Hunger Games."
KRAVITZ: Well, obviously it's a trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins. You know, it's about this other world and -- where they take the kids that live in all of these districts that are left to an arena, which is like, you know, a world, forests and so forth. And they fight until one is left. And I play a character called Cinna (ph), who is the stylist.
MORGAN: Of all of the things that you've experienced in your extraordinary career and life, if I could give you five minutes to replay one of them again, what would it be? What's been the most magical? Forget women or children or births of a child. Obviously, that's different. But what's the career moment where if you had the chance, you'd relive it?
KRAVITZ: The career moment. Wow. You know, I -- I've had so many where I had to pinch myself.
MORGAN: What was the biggest pinch?
KRAVITZ: Being -- probably producing Michael Jackson. And there's been a lot of great ones, but that was something extraordinary.
MORGAN: What made it so extraordinary?
KRAVITZ: Well, the fact that, you know, I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't seen the Jackson Five when I was six years old. That was the first concert that I had ever been to. My father took me to Madison Square Garden to see them. And it changed everything.
The universe was a different place the next day. I was completely blown away by the music, the talent, the whole experience. And here I am in the studio. I had written a song for Michael. And he's standing there, telling me to be very hard on him, I want to do this exactly the way you see it, so stop me every time it's not the way you want it and so forth.
And we're just getting into it. We're working together. And we ended up spending, you know, a week together in the studio. It was just unbelievable.
MORGAN: What kind after man was he? For real.
KRAVITZ: I thought that he, first of all, was just a beautiful being. Extremely professional, a perfectionist. Still having the passion all those years later, you know? He would stay, work all day and night, come back the next day, all day and night. He hadn't lost that. A great father. He was amazing with his children. I spent time with the kids. We were all in the studio. Zoe would come and we would all hang out together. He was a very good father. And he was funny. Very funny.
MORGAN: Great sense of humor.
KRAVITZ: We laughed all the time. And he could eat more than you think.
MORGAN: Really? He had all of the energy to burn off, all of the dancing.
MORGAN: Incredible talent. The greatest I've ever seen.
KRAVITZ: The greatest ever. I would agree with that.
MORGAN: How did you feel when you heard what happened to him? And there's sort of mixed thoughts from people that knew him well, that there was a kind of inevitability in the way his life was going, and that actually for somebody like Michael Jackson -- I don't want this to sound callus -- but actually not getting old may have been something that wouldn't have been his worst nightmare.
KRAVITZ: It was interesting. I heard you speaking to Jane Fonda about that. She had spoken about that. I mean, I was obviously devastated. I was blown away. I found out on stage in Scotland, as I was coming off and getting ready to go back on for an encore. And they told me and I had to go back out.
I mean, I -- it's -- it's extremely sad. I mean, I -- I was really looking forward to seeing him come back and do those shows, even though I knew, like, wow, 50 shows, that's -- that's really serious.
MORGAN: I mean, is his legacy going to be that, of our lifetime -- because you get the older generation saying Sammy Davis pretty well the greatest entertainer of that era, whatever. Do you think of our lifetime, Michael Jackson was the best?
KRAVITZ: Of course. You can't touch it.
MORGAN: The greatest naturally gifted, as you said earlier?
MORGAN: Entertainer of them all?
KRAVITZ: Yes, completely. I think people -- people think about Michael Jackson and his solo career, which was obviously phenomenal. But the deepest genius I saw him in was when he was a child. I think that he was -- he was a child and he sang with the same talent and soul and intensity of an Aretha Franklin or a James Brown or any great vocalist. MORGAN: Extraordinary. Lenny, you're also an extraordinary talent. It's been a great pleasure meeting you. It really has. I really enjoys it. I look forward to taking you up on the Chateaux Litore.
KRAVITZ: All right, man.
MORGAN: Thank you very much. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.