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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Frank Rich; Interview with the Cast of 'The Artist'
Aired February 6, 2012 - 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, is Mitt Romney a lock for the Republican nomination? Does President Obama deserve a second term? Has the Arab Spring gone bad?
I'll ask a man who's got plenty of opinion, Frank Rich.
Plus a missing mother and the tragic blast that destroyed her family. I'll talk to the grieving best friend who says this was her worst fear.
Also the cast of surprise Oscar contender, "The Artist."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't imagine it was going to be so big.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a long time, I didn't dare to make it.
JAMES CROMWELL, ACTOR: To thumb your nose at the Hollywood convention, I'm in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you forget within five minutes that it's a silent film.
MORGAN: The cast of "The Artist."
Plus the Super Bowl moment that can happen only in America.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. On the eve of yet another in a series of what already seems like endless Republican primaries, the big question comes down to this -- who has the right formula to keeping America great. Listen to what Mitt Romney said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, a patriot once said that a leader must lead, follow or get out of the way. We elected him to lead. He chose to follow, and now it's time for him to get out of the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: But could President Obama ride an improving economy to victory?
Plus tragedy in Washington state. Could anybody have stopped it?
Also the cast of a movie no one thought would ever get made. And the only-in-America Super Bowl that no one will ever forget.
But joining me now, a man who's got to be happy about a Giant Super Bowl win. And he's never a loss for words on the big questions, Frank Rich, writer-in-large for "New York" magazine.
Frank, you've got a beaming smile. I take it you enjoyed the Super Bowl yesterday?
FRANK RICH, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Yes, well, of course, I'm a Giants fan, being a New Yorker. But also it's just a fantastic game, it was really thrilling. I can't imagine -- well, maybe Patriots fans didn't find it so thrilling. But any objective observer would have to.
MORGAN: Yes, it was a thrilling thing to watch. I've never actually sat through an entire Super Bowl show. And apparently it got the highest ratings in history. But it's quite -- it's an amazingly patriotic affair, isn't it? From the chicken wings to the commercials, so everything. You put it all together, it's the real heartbeat of America.
RICH: Yes, sort of survey of American culture at any given moment. This year at least we were spared a wardrobe malfunction. But it's --
RICH: You know, American commercial enterprise. A sort of kind of patriotic fervor, pop culture, I mean, Madonna now is mainstream, that shows us how much America has gone in the past couple of decades. So it's a great barometer of a lot of things and just a tremendous amount of fun. I think more people watched it or almost as a many people watched it on Sunday as voted in the last election.
MORGAN: Yes, that's right.
RICH: Presidential election.
MORGAN: And -- yes, and the parallels, I guess, with the political situation are pretty straightforward in the sense that you've got to, I would say, relatively close competitors now, depends who you think is going to win the Republican race, but let's assume it's Mitt Romney up against Barack Obama, who knows that no president outside of FDR, I think, has ever been re-elected with unemployment over 8 percent.
Rather like the Giants and Patriots, it could go to the wire. Who do you think is going to win as things stand?
RICH: Well, if you want to keep using that analogy to a fairly well, of course, Obama is sort of a New Yorker because he did time at Columbia. And Romney, although he's trying to sort of run away from it, is associated with Boston and Massachusetts. So there you have the results.
I wouldn't want to predict. But I do think it's very much up for grabs. Obviously we're seeing some small and unpredicted signs of recovery, particularly in the job numbers. And the whole basis of Romney's candidacy really is that the economy is in the dumps so America is on the skids.
If that doesn't happen, I don't know what he's going to be able to run on against Obama. On the other hand, if we do have some kind of double-dip recession which no one is predicting at least right now, that would be probably fatal for the president.
MORGAN: Do you see any other of the Republican candidates seriously threatening Romney at this stage?
RICH: Yes. But a surrogate for President Obama. I don't think any of them can take the nomination from him. But they can do and are doing a lot of damage to the frontrunner, running up Romney's negatives, exposing every possible scandal at Bain that they can. And so they're great for the Democrats. But I don't think Santorum or Gingrich or Paul is going to get the nomination.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, that looks unlikely as things stand, however, if you believe all three of those named that they're going to be in this for the duration now, and you would argue with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, why wouldn't they? Not much to lose. If they do stay in there, you know, things can happen in politics. Things can happen in events and to candidates way beyond anyone's predictions. So if they all stick in there for the next three or four months, who knows how this may unravel.
RICH: Right. I mean, look, there's still, I think, in some quarters of the Republican Party that has never warmed to Romney for political and personal reasons. There are still some sort of fading dream of a brokered convention or some savior, you know, descending at the last minute during the summer.
I don't think it can really happen but technically, it can happen. What it shows is, Republicans don't really have a candidate in -- that's a sure thing in an election that they thought was a slam- dunk for them.
MORGAN: Yes, but I guess the longer it goes on, it's not great for Romney. Because it does show that he's not that popular with his own party. And that in itself can be used as a negative to beat him with if he comes up against Barack Obama.
RICH: Well, absolutely. For much of the time, he's really only found fervent support, if it can be called fervent, among 25 percent of his own party, 75 percent of the party has been aligned against him, you know, vacillating about what candidate they may want but any non-Mitt.
It's gotten a little better for him. But not really. You don't feel there's any great enthusiasm for him among the Republican base. And if you don't have that, what do you have? It's not going to mean that he will steal Democrats or really arouse independents.
MORGAN: I want to play you a little clip from -- the already infamous cries-like Clint Eastwood commercial from the Super Bowl yesterday because it was, I think, pretty well bordering on political. Let's watch a bit of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do, the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yes, it's halftime America and our second half's about to begin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, I don't care what Chrysler says or Clint Eastwood, if you're Barack Obama watching the Super Bowl, as I'm sure he was with his family yesterday, and up pops Clint Eastwood, one of the biggest movie stars in the world, highlighting one of your big success stories in this financial crisis, the successful bailing out of the car industry, and saying we're halftime, America, well, the message is pretty clear, isn't it? Give the guy another half.
RICH: Yes, I mean, for instance, one thing about this ad that's just fascinating, is it has a "Morning in America" Reagan ad feel to it. It feels almost like a Reagan ad and yet you're exactly right. It's basically saying it was a good thing to bail out Detroit, and let's not forget that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee actually wrote an op-ed piece in the "New York Times," saying let Detroit fail. Let these companies go bankrupt.
And so you have Clint Eastwood who isn't at least normally a Republican and may well not have had any political motives, lending his incredible prestige and classic American voice and face to this Reaganesque message that's in favor essentially of Democratic policies during this recession.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean --
RICH: It's amazing.
MORGAN: I don't know who they're gong to try -- how they're going to try and pretend this is not a political ad? And if it is, it really ratchets up this whole Obama-Hollywood thing. Most of the Hollywood stars I've been talking to appear to have gone a bit lukewarm with Barack Obama. But you can't get better than Clint Eastwood, I don't think.
RICH: No, it's a different crowd, that Hollywood crowd is a different crowd. Eastwood is really not part of the Hollywood establishment in that way. And who does Romney have? He has Kid Rock. You have Kid Rock, Clint Eastwood. Not sure there's a contest there.
MORGAN: You wrote a piece recently for the "New York" magazine titled, "Who in God's Name is Mitt Romney"?
So let me ask you, who is Mitt Romney, do you think? What's the real man like?
RICH: You know, according to all accounts, including people who are essentially friendly to him, he is a very reserved guy, whose main passions are his family and his Mormon faith, in which he's been very active not just as a parishioner but as a leader and lay official.
He seems to like success a lot. He's made a lot of money but he doesn't seem to like spending money. He's known for being cheap. And he seems to be just sort of this somewhat robotic guy who is driven to succeed but it's not clear what he really stands for beyond he's Mr. Fix It and he's going to fix Mr. America. I think that's a problem. I think he comes across as hollow. He's not stupid, he's probably not a bad guy, but there's no there there on some level.
MORGAN: Yes, but I noticed that you said he had no cultural interests and no apparent passions. And he also has what I think could be a big weakness in a real campaign against Barack Obama, is this incessant flip-flopping because it really is there on his record on many big issues, he's done almost complete U-turns.
RICH: Well, yes. And his Republican opponents have made that clear and I'm sure the Obama campaign will make it much clearer. There just is a feeling that he doesn't have a core. He also doesn't have much to say. For instance, the piece that you played earlier of him speaking about the economy today, he -- and about the president getting out of the way, he's not a leader. These are just the same canned remarks that he's made from the beginning of the campaign.
He's not good extemporaneously, has trouble being interviewed by real journalists, and he often fills out speeches by reciting patriotic anthems, they're lyrics, so not a lot of content there, and I think he's going to -- he's going to have a problem in connecting with the American people.
MORGAN: Yes, interviewed him twice, but very early on, back in the early part of last year. And I liked him very much, and I met his wife, and she's very nice, too. And I thought we had pretty cordial relations in interviews. But we've got no one near him since. And what I heard was they were a little bit worried about some of the interrogatory style of the interview.
Now come off it. It wasn't that bad. But it shows me there's a real protective shield around him, which they are now very keen to preserve.
RICH: Absolutely. They've kept him away from a lot of the Sunday morning shows, including often FOX. He does FOX even reluctantly and had a lot of trouble with one notorious FOX interview, and that's his team, as it were. He's not used to being questioned. He's someone who's lived in a bubble partially created by privilege and wealth, but also by his own choosing. In this very good book that's come out, "The Real Romney," by two "Boston Globe" reporters, a very fair-minded book, they keep talking over and over again about people saying he's like behind a mask. They just can't -- they don't know who the guy is. They don't hate him, they don't dislike him. But they don't know who he is or what he stands for.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break, Frank. Come back and talk foreign policy, whether America is now being reshaped permanently. And the rise of the twitter verse and social media.
MORGAN: Back with my special guest, Frank Rich.
Frank, two phenomenons really have happened in the last 12 months. One has been the Arab Spring. And we're seeing that cascading on now into Syria. But also the rise of social media like never before. I mean apparently the Super Bowl, for example, during Madonna's performance had 8,000 tweets per second around the world commenting on this. There's been nothing quite like it ever.
I think it -- it broke all records through the whole game for the Twitter verse, if you like. And what do you think of these two phenomenons? I mean they are linked in a sense. A lot of the Arab Spring uprisings were sort of created by young people coming together through social media.
RICH: Yes, I was a little skeptical about it at first but I think that social media obviously is playing an enormous role throughout the world and of course a huge role in a country like America, where there's not a, you know, totalitarian regime cracking down on it as there are -- are there is -- as is the case in some Arab countries.
Just in the case of the Super Bowl, for instance, the traffic was up by I think several hundred percent over the last Super Bowl, which is extraordinary. And of course we saw with the Planned Parenthood- Komen Foundation fracas of last week, what a role it can play in conveying social media -- playing and conveying public outrage and professional outrage, really very quickly, much faster than print or television or any of the old media.
MORGAN: Yes, I don't know about you, but almost every single person I know in the media or entertainment or law or any of these bodies is now on Twitter or Facebook or usually both. And communicating with each other in that way. I mean I book guests through twitter. I get al my news through twitter. I have arguments with people through Twitter, I give my opinion through twitter. It's almost like it's taken over my life. I'm not the only one. And I see from other people's Twitter feed that it's -- it is becoming an ever creeping presence in people's lives.
RICH: Yes, I'm a little bit more of a old foggy, I think than you are about it, and then I'm on Twitter but I try to keep it to a minimum because I don't want it to take over my life. But as a news source, for instance, it is amazing, because no matter what Web site you turn to, CNN, top news organization, none can quite keep track what you're seeing if you're following a lot of people including journalists and newsmakers and getting the conversation and often the news before it hits the establishment media.
That said, sometimes it can be wrong, people's deaths have been announced prematurely and -- political endorsements have been announced incorrectly. So you have to, like, anything else like this, , view it with trust but verify. But it's fascinating and it obviously can have a huge effect on political change and political tumult.
MORGAN: Well, well, it's be remise of me not to mention that you're at frankrichNY.
RICH: I am.
MORGAN: I'm @piersmorgan. So bombard us with your views. I'm sure they'll be pouring in now as we're talking. .
RICH: I'm sure.
MORGAN: Let's turn to American -- let's turn to America's foreign policy for a moment. Because it's an incredible year for that, and I would argue a pretty good year the last 12 months for Barack Obama in the sense that if he'd started out the year, and said we're going to take out bin Laden, we're going to get rid of Gadhafi, Mubarak will go in Egypt, you know, you're going to pull the troops out of Iraq as you promised, they'll be solely coming out of Afghanistan as well.
You would sitting there, and think, wow. I'll take that. And yet there is a sense of unease, about the whole Middle East, and the reason is what we're seeing in Syria, is can it be contained, you know, and Egypt. How much of what's going on there, can it be controlled? Should it be controlled? What do you think as an overview about America's foreign policy going forward?
RICH: Well, I think that Obama has been a very good steward and done all the things you said and managed the Libya situation, which he took a lot of heat from both the left and the right, quite well. The situation in Syria, the situation in Iran and Israel, volatile so volatile that obviously we need someone who's prudent and is not going to be irrational in any way.
And I think Obama has conveyed that kind of prudence and he's worked with now two secretaries of defense and secretary of state whom he more than made his peace with, Hillary Clinton, a former political rival, to manage pretty much, according to America's interest without going off half-cocked in any way. I think, though, the problem he has to deal with, particularly if Syria heats up or the Israel-Iran situation heats up further, is the American public is disengaged from foreign policy.
They had enough of the Iraq war which he has steered us out of, as he promised. They're not focused at all on the continuing war in Afghanistan. It doesn't even register as a concern in the polls. And so any American president including Obama is going to have problems if America has to get engaged in a serious way because people don't want to spend the blood or the treasure anymore. They are exhausted by the Iraq war, whose results still remain dubious even now.
MORGAN: Yes, and I guess most Americans right now are much more concerned about jobs and their homes than they are about anything on the foreign stage, aren't they? I mean I think that if they try and play against Obama, that he's weak on foreign policy, A, I don't think it's really true, given the boldness he has shown in many parts of the region, but also, I think it's the wrong issue. I mean this election will be fought and won or lost on jobs and the economy, won't it?
RICH: Absolutely. I mean, look, McCain, you know, Mr. Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran, and an actual war hero, got nowhere in 2008 on foreign policy against the backdrop of a rapidly declining economy. And now you have Republicans who aren't even as effective spokesmen for sort of neoconservative policies that McCain was. In the case of Paul, an out-and-out isolationist.
And I think it's a bunch of bluster and I think Americans tuned it out and I don't think the election is going to be decided on it and I don't they really even have their act together. All they can say is, over and over again, Obama is Jimmy Carter. Or at least not Jimmy Carter. And the guy that took out bin Laden is going to be hard to portray as Jimmy Carter in terms of foreign policy.
MORGAN: And final question, Frank, I men do you think that if Barack Obama wins the election, that if he gets to that point, he will be a better president in the second term than he's been in the first term?
RICH: Yes, I do. I think, first of all, he's capable of learning. And I feel, even in the past few months, we've seen him step up, particularly on the jobs issue, which sort of was shunted aside, shockingly in my view and self-destructively for a couple of years by this administration. I think that already, we're seeing him better seasoned than if he goes through a fight and wins again, I think he'll have learned a lot.
I think he has already from his defeats as well as his successes. So it might be an exciting term. It might liberate him. Although, of course, traditionally, the first term -- the second term isn't -- doesn't turn out great. But let's hope in his case he doesn't get hubristic, if he gets a second term and self-destruct like some of his predecessors.
MORGAN: Frank, as always, a great pleasure. Thank you.
RICH: Thanks for having me.
MORGAN: We're happy if you come back on scene.
RICH: I'd be delighted.
MORGAN: Take care.
RICH: Thank you, Piers. You, too.
MORGAN: Coming up next, a tragedy in Washington state, a best friend who says the murder suicide that left two young boys dead is her worst nightmare come true.
MORGAN: The mystery of a mother's disappearance may never be solved after a massive explosion and fire that killed a husband and two young sons yesterday. Police believed that Josh Powell intentionally killed himself in the blast along with 5-year-old Braden and 7-year-old Charlie. The boys just arrived at the house in Washington state with a social worker for supervised visit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED TROYER, PIERCE COUNTRY, WASHINGTON, SHERIFF'S SPOKESMAN: All three bodies were found together in the middle of the house. This is something we believe that was done intentionally and done with malice and done with the specific goal in mind to get the result that occurred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Powell is a suspect in the 2009 disappearance of his wife Susan but was never charged. And he lost in a custody battle with his wife's parents and has been ordered to submit to psychological evaluation after child pornography was found in the home he shared with his father.
Police said they found 10 gallons of gas in the house, too, and they say Josh Powell sent e-mails to his pastor and others with instructions on how to handle his affairs.
Sunday's tragedy confirmed the worst day that Susan Powell's best friend. And Kiirsi Hellewell joins me now.
Casey, thank you so much for joining me. It must be an awful time for anyone connected with this family. What was your reaction when you heard about what had happened?
KIIRSI HELLEWELL, SUSAN POWELL'S BEST FRIEND: I just hoped that it was an awful rumor. I hoped it wasn't true. When they told me that they found the bodies of two children, I just started screaming and crying.
MORGAN: Have you ever had any doubt that Josh Powell was responsible for Susan's death?
HELLEWELL: I had no doubt whatsoever but I don't believe he acted alone.
MORGAN: You think there's somebody else out there that was an accomplice?
HELLEWELL: I do, because I know Josh and I know that he likes to make big grandiose plans and talk big but it always takes somebody else pushing him to carry things out.
MORGAN: If you believe what we're hearing today, he sent a number of e-mails to people warning of some kind of cataclysmic end to all of this. And how do you feel about the fact that these boys, through a court ruling, had to be returned to him, given his obviously very confused state of mind?
HELLEWELL: I'm upset and I'm angry. I don't think that they should have gone back to him until he completed the latest evaluations and polygraph that ordered. And I think that the visitation should have been taken place in a safe and secure location, not at his house.
MORGAN: Yes, it does seem absolutely outrageous that he can be sending all these e-mails to people warning of some apocalyptic ending, and these boys are just thrust back into his clutches. Tell me about the relationship he had with Susan before she went missing. Were they volatile together? Or was there any sign that something awful would happen?
HELLEWELL: When they first moved to Utah about five years before she disappeared, they were pretty affectionate, they were still a kind of -- in the newlywed stage. But within a year or two he started to pull away from her. He started to talk more and more to his father, Steve Powell, on the phone and to get more antagonist stick and controlling towards Susan?
MORGAN: And there was this bizarre twist where the father-in-law began to make all these claims about Susan being flirtatious with him and so on.
What did you think when you heard all that?
HELLEWELL: I already knew it all because Susan had already told me many times over the years all about the fact that her father tried to hit on her, that he was obsessed with her, and that he was in love with her, that she couldn't stand him and that they moved to Utah to get away with him -- get away from him. So, I knew that what he was saying was not true.
MORGAN: Yes, her father-in-law, I should just point out there.
Tell, me I guess the obvious question now is: will we ever know what happened to Susan? Do you think we ever will?
HELLEWELL: I do think so. I believe that there is a good likelihood that Josh did not act alone, that more people know about this and maybe some people who knew things were keeping quiet for fear of Josh or maybe fear of his father, maybe they will come forward and talk.
MORGAN: These two boys were snuffed out, and in not even the prime of their lives, just young kids. I've got three sons myself. I can't imagine anything more horrendous to have happened.
What is the mood in the community?
HELLEWELL: Everyone is in shock. So many of us feel numb, like we can't even believe this is true. It feels like a nightmare. It feels like the first day that Susan disappeared. I felt like life was over then and like it's over now. We're just all in shock and we're all grieving together.
MORGAN: And what kind of woman was Susan? You knew her very, very well.
HELLEWELL: Susan was an amazing person. She is so friendly, so out-going. She had a really bubbly, kind of mischievous personality. She's the kind of person that would just walk up to a stranger and stick her hand out and say, hi, I'm Susan, what's your name? Within five minutes, you would feel like you knew her together.
She loved to do things for other people. She loved to spend time with friends and she loved her boys more than anything in the world.
MORGAN: And your husband, I believe, knew Josh Powell. What's been his reaction to this shocking turn of events?
HELLEWELL: He and Josh were pretty good friends up until about a year or two before Susan disappeared. But Josh started getting so weird and strange he pretty much alienated everybody, so my husband just can't believe that Josh would do such terrible things like everyone else. But all the same, he knew Josh and he knew what kind of crazy things he was capable of. So, in a way, it's not surprising.
MORGAN: I know that the boys' grandparents, who had to release him, the boys, by law, back to Josh Powell's custody must be feeling absolutely dreadful about what's happened. Have you had any contact with the family?
HELLEWELL: I called Susan's father yesterday after a reporter told me what had happened or rumors what had happened. And I asked him, "Is this true?" And he said, "I don't know, I just got told myself. I'm on my way to the scene."
And then he called me back about 20 minutes later, and he said, "It's true. I just talked to the sheriff, it's true." And he said that he had not had time to sit down and grieve yet. And he said his one consolation is Susan has been reunited with her boys now.
MORGAN: It's a horrible consolation, isn't it? And I can only offer our condolences to you as friend, to all the family on what is just a despicable story. Thank you very much indeed for joining me, Kiirsi Hellewell. I wish all of you the very best.
HELLEWELL: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, a surprise Oscar contender, the stars of "The Artist" speak out on their silent film.
MORGAN: "The Artist" is the movie of the moment, with 10 Academy Award nominations and wins at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, Producers Guild, Directors Guild and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
And everything you've heard about this silent film is true.
And I'm joined by the leading lady, Berenice Bejo.
BERENICE BEJO, ACTRESS: Very good.
MORGAN: Is that right?
BEJO: Yes. Very good.
MORGAN: You are a Parisian?
MORGAN: From France?
MORGAN: And you're suddenly the hottest property in movies.
How are you feeling?
BEJO: I'm feeling quite good. Thank you.
MORGAN: I'll bet you are.
Is Hollywood stampeding to your door?
BEJO: No. I mean, I -- you know, people recognize me. I have scripts and auditions and I meet great people. So, I'm very grateful to, you know, to Michel to have me -- taking me to this movie.
MORGAN: You're the female lead in the hottest movie in Hollywood.
It doesn't get bigger, does it?
BEJO: You know, I'm -- I'm OK. Nobody is bothering me. Everybody is very kind and very polite. And I don't, it's -- you know, I don't feel like my whole life has changed since the --
MORGAN: Have you prepared an Oscar winning speech?
BEJO: Not yet.
MORGAN: Be honest. I'll bet when you were younger --
BEJO: I didn't prepare it.
MORGAN: Have you ever stood in front of a mirror as a little girl and done --
MORGAN: -- I would like to thank --
MORGAN: -- my mother -- BEJO: But I know -- I know if, you know, if I had, if I could be on stage, I know, you know, I would love to thank Michel, my parents and, of course, all the cast and -- and my agent and those people that are very, very close to me and with this project, of course. I would love to be able --
MORGAN: And whoever taught you English, because your English is fantastic.
BEJO: Yes, well, you know, I had a -- a boyfriend from New Zealand. And he -- he used to -- we used to live here and he didn't speak a word of French. So I had to speak with him and I --
MORGAN: Well, here's the way it twists with you, because the viewers you haven't seen -- and this is the story -- your husband, who is the director.
But what happens when a film becomes this huge, massive hit and you're all starting to think you may win an Oscar?
BEJO: No. I don't think it's about winning or losing, really. I mean we are French and --
MORGAN: You want to win, though, right?
BEJO: I really want to win, of course.
BEJO: But if I don't win, I hope I'll win, maybe, you know, best movie or if Jean (ph) or Michel win, I mean I feel part of the movie. It's not just about me, it's about everybody.
MORGAN: But when you first heard from Michel, I've got a great idea, I'm going to put you in a silent film -- be honest, what was your reaction?
BEJO: I have to be honest, I said, great. I really love this man. I think he is an amazing person as a director and as a human being. He's very smart, a lot of humor.
And he got a lot of taste. And to, you know, to have the idea of doing a black and white silent movie, I knew he was going to do something beautiful.
I couldn't imagine it was going to be so big, but I knew it was something I was going to be proud of.
MORGAN: You've sort of taken everybody back on this little fantasy trip.
BEJO: It's just going back to the very beginning of what we love about movies. It's just about the story. It's a man and a woman, they fall in love, and how are they going to manage to love each other and to see each other. And it's just about Hollywood and everybody's beautiful and it's about truth, about faith, about, you know, honor and, I don't know, it's -- it just talks about something very simple and it touches your heart just right in the middle.
MORGAN: It did, like a little arrow --
MORGAN: -- darting into me.
MORGAN: Now, on the subject of love, one of my favorite questions I ask most of my guests -- and it's very appropriate in your case -- is how many times have you been properly in love in your life?
BEJO: Uhmm --
MORGAN: Properly? Like?
MORGAN: Let's just use your analogy, when the arrow goes into the heart.
BEJO: Yes. Well, just -- I think just once to --
MORGAN: To Michel?
MORGAN: The love of your life?
BEJO: He's definitely the man of my life, yes. Yes.
MORGAN: What makes him so special?
BEJO: He's very smart and he doesn't take him seriously and that's all I love about him.
MORGAN: And he's a great director. That's all I know about him.
BEJO: And he's a great director, a great dad, a great husband, a great friend. He is a great man.
MORGAN: And before I bring your husband out, what would he least want me to ask him --
BEJO: What --
MORGAN: -- or that his --
BEJO: -- about the dog, I think.
MORGAN: The dog? BEJO: Yes.
BEJO: He doesn't really -- he's not a huge fan of dogs.
MORGAN: So you make him have this dog that he just doesn't like?
BEJO: I mean, he loves the dog in the movie and he loves the character of the dog. But then he, you know, he doesn't enjoy walking my dog in the -- you know, at night.
MORGAN: So you've put this poor guy through hell?
BEJO: Yes, poor guy.
MORGAN: I'm going to -- I'm going to ask him about it, the evil side of his wife.
MORGAN: But we're going to bring out some of your fellow cast members --
MORGAN: -- and your husband.
MORGAN: This could get quite interesting. That's after the break.
MORGAN: I'm back now with Berenice Bejo from "The Artist."
And joining us, her writer and director husband, Michel Hazanavicius.
MORGAN: OK. I've got it. James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller.
Welcome to you all.
Particularly Michel, because you have got three Oscar nominations.
MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS, DIRECTOR: Um-hmm.
MORGAN: Your wife only has the one.
MORGAN: This is going to be a big moment for the household, isn't it?
HAZANAVICIUS: Yes, that makes four. I would be very happy if she wins, really. I would love her --
MORGAN: Well, she's fabulous in the movie, but this is a part you created for her.
HAZANAVICIUS: Yes. I deserve it more than she does.
MORGAN: Yes. That's really what I'm getting at.
MORGAN: Tell me this, I mean, Berenice says it wasn't a gamble for her, because I think she trusted you here.
But when you first had the concept for a silent movie, there must be a part of you that thinks this could be the biggest turkey in the history of Hollywood, right?
MORGAN: This is -- it could be. I mean, you must all think that.
MORGAN: But -- but you, particularly. Your neck is right on the chopping board.
HAZANAVICIUS: For a long time, I didn't dare to make it, because I wanted to make it for a long time. And finally, I convinced myself that it was doable and I -- because I thought it would be a good movie.
MORGAN: And, James, I mean it's a bit of a comedown for you, because you've played the president of the United States, you've played the queen of England's husband and now you're playing a chauffeur. I mean, this is a bit of a downward grade here, isn't it?
JAMES CROMWELL, ACTOR: No, actually, it's the completion of a circle, because the first film I ever did was "Murder By Death" and I played a chauffeur.
CROMWELL: So I didn't need to do any studying at all.
(LAUGHTER) CROMWELL: I had already played the part. It was simple.
MORGAN: But you've played some great roles, you did some great -- I love "The Queen," in particular. It's one of my favorite films.
But for you, when you heard about this, again, and it comes down to reputation, really, as a -- as a very, very successful actor, does part of you go, a silent movie? Should I be doing this?
Do you turn to your agent and manager and go, am I going crazy here?
CROMWELL: No, because, actually, when you hear what it is, a silent movie, black and white, an unknown director, to us, two unknown French actors and you say, well, that sounds like a stupid idea. And then you say, wait a minute, they're actually making the film and they're making it here. I know -- we all know how difficult it is in this town to get anything done.
There are established directors who can't make black and white films here because the studio says no one will go to see a black and white film.
So although it's stupid, it's really intriguing. And if you're an a kind -- iconoclast and a little bit of a rebel to thumb your nose at the Hollywood convention and say, we can do this and it's going to be great, I'm in.
MORGAN: And if someone like Harvey Weinstein is involved. And he's a risk-taker, but he also totally gets the medium of film.
CROMWELL: The wonderful thing is not only is he expert at selling a film, but he sold this film very early in a rough cut and bought this film just like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
CROMWELL: Called up his company and said, I've brought a film.
Oh, really? What is it?
Go and -- go and look at it. It's silent, black and white. They thought he was nuts.
But he saw something, so he has great taste, as well.
MORGAN: Well, he saw the magic, didn't he?
CROMWELL: Yes, sure he did.
MORGAN: Like he did with "The King's Speech?"
MORGAN: The same thing.
PENELOPE ANN MILLER, ACTRESS: But without an audience. I mean he'd seen it without the reaction --
MILLER: -- of Cannes. So to me, that's pretty brilliant.
MORGAN: And for you, Penelope, I mean, you were one of the biggest it girls of the it girl phenomenon.
PENELOPE ANN MILLER, ACTRESS: And now it's Berenice's turn.
MORGAN: Well, exactly. You can give her some grim warnings, I should think. But then -- but you then went off and had a family and stuff.
MORGAN: And, in a way, you didn't -- obviously, you're story doesn't mirror the lead role in the movie. But there's a little touch of that, where you were massive, you went off and it would come down.
MILLER: Just like George Valentine in the film.
MORGAN: Well, a little bit.
MILLER: I had my --
MORGAN: But, obviously, he's slightly more epic in the downfall.
MORGAN: But for you, when you saw that narrative, how did it make you feel?
MILLER: I mean, certainly, yes, I could relate to it a bit. You know, mainly it was as that I, you know, in -- in our relationship, it's sort of a love that's died. And we're having a rift. And, you know, a young starlet comes along, the beautiful Berenice. And, you know, so I could relate to the whole story.
I mean, the beauty about this movie is that it's, you know, a simple, beautiful love story. And we've all had love and we've lost it. And we've had success and we've had failure.
And so, to me, it's -- it's a story that I think everybody can relate to. And then, the beauty of it is that love can bring us back and give us hope again. And people walk out of the theater uplifted and feeling joyful and hopeful.
MORGAN: Well, people actually cried at a silent film.
MILLER: The fact that you can feel so much with no dialogue and that the audience can have an experience -- I mean, you -- I think you forget within five minutes that it's a silent film.
MILLER: You're just caught up in the story.
BEJO: I think it touches you in an emotional way and not an intellectual way. You know, you -- because you can't hear any dialogue --
BEJO: -- every scene that is tell -- I mean, all the story is just told by images. So it'd just touch you very simply.
HAZANAVICIUS: They go out thinking, I survived a French, black and white, silent movie.
MORGAN: You never thought you'd survive.
HAZANAVICIUS: Yes. And I liked it. Yes.
MILLER: I think there's this --
MORGAN: French actors, French director, French movie and it's silent. Why would you watch that? And yet it works.
CROMWELL: It works.
MORGAN: But here's -- oh, go on.
MILLER: No, I was just going, I think the surprise factor, I think the fact -- the fact that people are committing to something they're very reticent and reluctant to commit to and they come out of it so shocked and surprised.
MORGAN: That's why people like it, I think.
But I'm going to ask you, Michel, this is a very serious allegation that came from your wife before the break.
MORGAN: The fact that you chose a -- a dog, this lovely dog in the movie, and you give everyone the impression that, you know, you're this dog-loving director and everyone falls in love with this dog. But apparently, at home, with your wife's dog, you hate the dog.
HAZANAVICIUS: No, I don't.
MORGAN: And you despise taking it for a walk, she said. HAZANAVICIUS: No I don't hate --
MORGAN: Is this true? Are you a secret dog loather?
HAZANAVICIUS: I can say she's a liar.
HAZANAVICIUS: No. So I --
MORGAN: Now it's getting juicy.
HAZANAVICIUS: So, OK. Let's say I'm -- no, I don't hate dogs. What I'm not -- I'm not a huge fan to pick up his charming little dog poop --
HAZANAVICIUS: -- when we -- when I have to work with him in the middle of the night. That's the only thing.
MORGAN: I understand.
HAZANAVICIUS: But it -- and also, the dog we have, her dog --
BEJO: He's a very smart dog.
HAZANAVICIUS: It may be smart, but it's not really charming like the one --
MORGAN: So he's a really offensive dog, as well?
HAZANAVICIUS: I mean, he's -- he's a big black no -- no especially elegant with a --
HAZANAVICIUS: -- and he has a tail that does this, doing all day, whatever is --
MORGAN: Now that -- now that you're on a roll, Michel --
BEJO: He can't -- he can't be perfect.
MORGAN: Well -- well, now that I've managed to spice things up between you --
(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: -- what about me asking you the same question I asked your wife, which is how many times have you been properly in love?
HAZANAVICIUS: No, oh.
MORGAN: Now, I won't believe that, Michel.
BEJO: He probably just loves the Oscar.
MORGAN: You're a Frenchman. Come on.
HAZANAVICIUS: I -- I -- I --
BEJO: He can't answer.
MORGAN: I thought all Frenchmen --
HAZANAVICIUS: She's --
MORGAN: -- fall in love about every week, don't they?
HAZANAVICIUS: She's really the -- the -- the -- the lead actress of my -- of my life.
MORGAN: She's a pretty amazing lady, I've got to say, Michel.
HAZANAVICIUS: No, no, she -- she's the one --
MORGAN: Helps bring up four kids, a dog and you, right?
HAZANAVICIUS: Four kids and two dogs --
MORGAN: And she's a beautiful actress.
MORGAN: Let me finish, James, by asking you -- and just to put it in context for you, would you do another silent movie now that you've seen the way this has gone? Is it -- is it, in realism, going to actually produce a new birth to silent films or not?
CROMWELL: I wouldn't think so.
CROMWELL: But I would do another silent film if Michel directed it.
CROMWELL: Yes, because this silent film works because of his vision and his conception and his artistry, his mastery, his humanity. That's what -- that's what animates this film, not the fact that it's silent.
MORGAN: You couldn't buy that, could you?
HAZANAVICIUS: Have you met my agent?
MORGAN: Hey, he wants to be in the next movie, don't worry. He knows where his bread is buttered, right?
But it's a -- it's a terrific film. I love the fact that it's so unusual, so surprising. I think everyone who watches it will fall in love with it.
Thank you all very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
MORGAN: I seriously loved the film and best of luck. I -- I think it should win the Oscar. It would be -- it would be terrific.
BEJO: Thank you.
HAZANAVICIUS: Thanks. You're very kind. Thank you.
When we come back, tonight's "Only in America".
MORGAN: Now, it's time for tonight's "Only in America."
As an adopted son of New York, I'm obviously basking in the glow of the Giants' thrilling win.
But as a cricket fan, I've spent the last few years trying to defend my favorite sport to Americans who think it's way too complicated, allow me just to observe this. OK, we may have our googlies, leg breaks, (INAUDIBLE) and indeed our silly mid offs. And yes, cricket matches can last five days and still nobody wins. That's when it's not raining.
But at least we don't ever have a team winning our most important national sporting contest while trying not to score. Has there ever been a craziest spectacle than Giant star Ahmad Bradshaw tempting to run down the clock but ending up falling backwards into the end zone and accidentally scoring the winning touchdown for the Giants? And Americans think cricket is ridiculous? Though to be fair, supermodel Gisele Bundchen married to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady thinks winning a Super Bowl is the easiest thing in the world. Take a look at this video from TheInsider.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GISELE BUNDCHEN, SUPERMODEL: He didn't even catch the ball when he was supposed to catch the ball. My husband can not (EXPLETIVE DELETED) throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now, this may well mean Gisele was the sorest loser in Super Bowl history. But let's be honest, she's got a point, hasn't she? How can he throw and catch at the same time?
As to my own favorite memory of the big day has to be the shocking revelation of my old foe Madonna and I have finally found common ground. Neither of us have sung live at the Super Bowl.
Tomorrow, CNN's coverage of the "mini-Tuesday" contests in Colorado and Minnesota and Missouri begin at 7:00 Eastern. That's followed by our politics wrap-up on a special midnight edition of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT live.
And that's all for us tonight. "A.C. 360" starts now.