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Sanjay Gupta Talks to Michelle Pfeiffer

Aired June 4, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Good evening. The eyes of the world are in London. Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. It's pomp, pageantry, and a celebration never seen anywhere like this on earth. I'll be back later with a preview of tomorrow's big event. Here's my colleague Sanjay Gupta standing in for me back in the studio.


My guest tonight has been nominated for three Oscars and starred in some of America's all-time favorite movies. You know them well. She was the first person as well to be appear on the cover of "People" magazine's "Most Beautiful People" issue.

It's no surprise that she's made that list a record number of times since then. Michelle Pfeiffer. She joins me now to talk about movies, marriage and how good health allows her to have it all.

You know, I remember that 'People" magazine cover. It was the first one.

MICHELLE PFEIFFER, ACTRESS: I didn't know it was the first one.

GUPTA: It was the first one. Yes.


GUPTA: That's interesting. So at the time, do you remember when they asked you to do this? Or how did that all come about?

PFEIFFER: Well, I probably thought it was kind of silly at the time. And I --

GUPTA: There it is. I hope you can see it.

PFEIFFER: Oh, look at me.


PFEIFFER: And I probably, you know, was embarrassed by the whole thing and I had a movie coming out. And so you know.

GUPTA: Is it -- I mean people must bring it up. Is it a hard thing to, you know, live up to all these years later?

PFEIFFER: The older you get, yes.


PFEIFFER: I mean you're definitely more scrutinized for sure. And I think probably the aging process is harder to give into. You know, when you end up on magazines like that.

GUPTA: You look absolutely fantastic.


GUPTA: I don't want to --

PFEIFFER: Thank you.

GUPTA: -- to be overly a fan here. But you look -- you look really good.

PFEIFFER: Thank you. You're very sweet.

GUPTA: I want to play a clip of one of my favorite movies of all time in part because it had you. But it's just -- it's one of these movies. Take a quick look at this.


PFEIFFER: How dare you talk to me like that. What makes you so much better than me? What do you do? You deal drugs? And you kill people? Oh, that's wonderful. Real contribution to human history.

AL PACINO, ACTOR: Go ahead. So tell everybody. Come on.

PFEIFFER: You want a kid?


PFEIFFER: What kind of a father do you think you could be?


GUPTA: You -- it's very -- you were actually looking away during. Is it hard for you to watch?


GUPTA: Do you watch your own movies?

PFEIFFER: Usually once.

GUPTA: Is that right?


GUPTA: So after -- I think --

PFEIFFER: Just so I know what everyone is talking about, and -- GUPTA: That's --

PFEIFFER: Whether or not I should do any press.


GUPTA: Is that right?


GUPTA: You decide after you've watched the movie.

PFEIFFER: Pretty much that's it, yes.

GUPTA: Is it fair to say that movie in some ways put you on the map? I mean that's how it was described.

PFEIFFER: Well, it sort of altered the course of the map that I was on, I guess. I would say that probably "Grease 2" put me on the map. That was a different map. And I think -- I think, you know, obviously doing "Scarface" and starring opposite Al Pacino, gave me, you know, people took me a little more seriously a tiny bit.

GUPTA: I love the movie.

PFEIFFER: Thank you.

GUPTA: Tell me about the screen test with Al Pacino. I understand there's a funny story about that.

PFEIFFER: Yes. I made him bleed.


GUPTA: You made him bleed. Literally we're talking about.

PFEIFFER: Yes. I -- it was a grueling auditioning process and I won't bore you with the details of that. But -- and they had actually dismissed me at some point and said it's not going to work for you. And then they called me months later and said they wanted to test me. And I thought, I don't want to do this again. Anyway, so I did it. And it was the scene you just showed. And you know, I just -- it was just one of those things where it just sort of happened. And cut. And there was blood everywhere.

GUPTA: There was an ashtray, I understand --

PFEIFFER: And they were coming over and they were looking and they were checking me. They couldn't find any cuts. And then they looked over at Al and it was him. And so I had broken dishes and obviously some glass had flown his way. And I was oh, my god. I'm so sorry.

GUPTA: You just cut Al Pacino.

PFEIFFER: I cut Al Pacino. GUPTA: And you got the part.

PFEIFFER: Anyway, I think it actually endeared me to him. I think actually he liked me after that.

GUPTA: Yes. Dominick Dunn had this to say after the performance. He said that you were on the verge of stardom and he said you were hot. That's how Dominick Dunn described it.

You know, I'm always curious. Did you feel hot? I mean, how does one feel when something like that's written about them?

PFEIFFER: Did I feel hot? No. Actually, I was hungry. I was playing a coke addict and I couldn't eat. And by the end of it the -- and it went long. You know it was supposed to be probably a four- month shoot and it stretched out to six months. And I was really hungry by the end of it. So no, I probably didn't feel --

GUPTA: You just --

PFEIFFER: I wasn't feeling hot. I was feeling hungry.

GUPTA: Just the self-esteem of somebody who, you know, you're in the movies, obviously a lot of people are getting to know you now. Dominick Dunn is writing these sorts of things about you. What's going on in your own mind? How are you dealing with all this at that time?

PFEIFFER: I think it was a lot for me. I think it was overwhelming at the time. I don't think I fully understood what was happening. And I was away and actually I, of course, didn't like my performance because I never do. And I did get good reviews. And I remember seeing Al after that, saying to Al, Al, I don't get it. You know? And he's like oh.


GUPTA: That was his comment.

PFEIFFER: Yes. It was kind of like, I don't either.

GUPTA: Deal with it.


GUPTA: This is Hollywood, I guess.


GUPTA: Are there performances that you've had -- I know you've said there's performances where you thought you were quite great and the critics didn't think so and vice versa.

PFEIFFER: Yes. Yes. I always get it wrong. Yes. I -- see, I don't -- I like scenes. I like sort of, you know, scenes within a film. I don't think I ever really like one whole performance. I -- some performances make me cringe less than others. That's about as good as it gets.


PFEIFFER: I just can't watch myself. And I'm not alone. I think there are a lot of performers that way.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, it's interesting. You literally turned away as we were playing that --


PFEIFFER: Yes, I mean, and that movie in -- you know, as I was young. You know, and I just feel like --

GUPTA: Right. Right.

PFEIFFER: I'm just screeching in the scene and I just can't bear to listen to it.

GUPTA: I want to take another look at a clip here from "Fabulous Baker Boys."

PFEIFFER: What are you going to torture me with now?

GUPTA: No, no, look. I -- you know, and I don't mean to torture you. But "Fabulous Baker Boys," you sang.


GUPTA: And it was -- people remember this movie. Let's take a quick look at it.

In that film Roger Ebert compared you to Marilyn Monroe.

PFEIFFER: He did? I didn't read any of this.

GUPTA: Is that right? That's another thing. You don't --

PFEIFFER: Either that or I just don't remember it.

GUPTA: You don't read reviews and you only watch your movies once.

PFEIFFER: I read some. I read a couple that come my way. And then after one or two really scathing ones, I stop.

GUPTA: Is that --

PFEIFFER: Because they're never all good. You know?

GUPTA: Right. Right.

PFEIFFER: I mean there are some good ones and some bad ones. And you know if you -- if you believe the good ones you have to believe the bad ones, too. So --

GUPTA: It's tough. Is it something that weighs on you at all? Or do you -- I mean how much of your time you spent thinking --

PFEIFFER: Not so much.

GUPTA: There were several roles that you reportedly turned down. I have a list here. The lead in "Pretty Woman," went to Julia Roberts, who got an Oscar nomination. Lead in "Silence of the Lambs," went to Jodie Foster. Won the Oscar. Sharon Stone's role in "Basic Instinct." Susan Sarandon's role in "Thelma and Louise." Those were all offered to you.

PFEIFFER: Correct.

GUPTA: Any regrets about not taking those?

PFEIFFER: No. Not that I wouldn't have liked to have been in them. Because I would have. They're all fantastic parts and great films. But, you know, sometimes you choose not to do something not because you don't want to do it. I mean there are sort of extenuating circumstances that, you know, there are other bigger priorities, other priorities at the time.

There might be another film that you'd been attached to for a long time that you'd been trying to get made.

GUPTA: Right.

PFEIFFER: And it's finally getting made. And so it's, you know, it's -- it isn't usually because you don't -- you simply don't want to do it.

GUPTA: At that point were you worried about being typecast or pigeon holed in any way?

PFEIFFER: Early on I probably was, but -- I mean that changed pretty quickly. I think really by the time I did "Scarface" and then probably, you know, "Married to the Mob," which -- you know, it was pretty early on I stopped worrying about that.

GUPTA: You know, another movie "Up Close and Personal." I want to show a clip and I'm wondering if I can get just -- and I know you hate watching your own movies. But if I could get just a one word sort of reaction when you watch something like this. That --


GUPTA: Is that OK?


GUPTA: Take a quick look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get ready to roll it up.

PFEIFFER: -- is that a pilgrimage to El Norte that began in Barranquilla, Columbia, spelled death today for Raul Sota and Domingo Katz.

This is Tally Atwater on Miami Beach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Girl's got chops.


PFEIFFER: All I can think about is how handsome Robert Redford is.


GUPTA: Robert Redford, handsome.

PFEIFFER: Handsome.

GUPTA: You were pretty great in that. I mean part of the reason that we played was because there's journalists in this building who have part their careers or started because they watched that movie and they decided they wanted to be a journalist.



PFEIFFER: That's nice.

GUPTA: Yes. It's pretty remarkable. Something else I -- my wife and I just celebrated our eighth year wedding anniversary. So when we come back after the break, I want to talk to you about 19 years of marriage in Hollywood. It's a pretty remarkable thing. Maybe even get some tips.



PFEIFFER: Who are you? Who's the man behind the bat? Maybe you can help me find the woman behind the cat. No. That's not you. There you are.


GUPTA: For "Batman," you learned martial arts and kick boxing for the role, my understanding is. You also became a whip master. You learned how to wheel the whip. And you had that cat suit which was quite a task, my understanding is, to put on every day. What'd you have to do?

PFEIFFER: The whole thing was quite a task. It's literally, they sort of put me down this assembly line. And you know the makeup was extensive and the sort of mask kind of smashed my face. And then the suit became -- they had to sort of powder me down and put the suit on and then it would become vacuum packed. And then they cover me in silicone. And then I had these claws that caught -- would get caught on everything. Had these shoes that -- I mean, it was really treacherous.

GUPTA: And how long does a process like that take?

PFEIFFER: It took -- I don't know. Maybe three hours or something.



GUPTA: It's quite a suit. It's became quite an iconic image.

PFEIFFER: Yes, it did.

GUPTA: Just the next year you went on a blind date and you've been married to David E. Kelley for 19 years. And David and I are working on a project together. It was just, you and I have gotten to know each other which as been terrific. But 19 years as I mentioned. Rebecca and I have been married eight years now. In Hollywood, 19 years seems like a long time.

I mean is there --

PFEIFFER: In the world 19 years seems like a long time.

GUPTA: In the world. I mean what do you think makes it work? A lot of people, you know, look at you and David and wonder that. What -- is there a key, a rule?

PFEIFFER: Well, I think we're really compatible and just different enough to keep it interesting. We respect each other a lot. And we have, you know, our morals are really in sync. And we sort of prioritize work and family in the same way. And, you know, I just think that -- and I think ultimately we just, you know, really, really respect each other.

GUPTA: You know it's that mutual respect. I think I read a lot of books about this, a lot before I got married. But I think it's that genuine mutual respect that I think is probably the biggest key. And I -- you know, I've spent a little bit of time with both of you now. And you guys have a lot of fun together.


GUPTA: You're constantly picking on each other, a lot of it. And he's sending me e-mails, and I think after my documentary he said oh, great, Michelle is now making me eat, you know, fill in the blank.


GUPTA: You guys have a lot of fun. You've also chosen not to live in Hollywood.


GUPTA: You live in Northern California. PFEIFFER: Yes.

GUPTA: You're private folks.

PFEIFFER: Yes, we are. We are. I mean I miss a lot about being here. My family is here in Los Angeles. And I miss -- you know, I miss, I have a shorthand here. I've lived here for so long that a lot of friends here. And you know I just know where to get everything. And I know --

GUPTA: Right.

PFEIFFER: But it's been really nice.

GUPTA: It's very nice. It's been very nice. You adopted Claudia Rose. David told me this whole story. I wrote some of the details down. But it was before you and David got married. And then you --

PFEIFFER: Did you use him as research?

GUPTA: I did. Yes.


GUPTA: I'm a journalist. I got to do what I did.


GUPTA: But you know this was 1993, right, when you did this?


GUPTA: A single mom at that point, unmarried. And nowadays it seems quite common. You hear about this happening quite a bit 20 years later. But at the time it was a more radical, if you will, idea. I mean was it a hard decision for you to adopt, you know, unmarried?

PFEIFFER: No, not at all. I mean there was a point where I said to myself, you know, this could get complicated. You know, with relationships and men. And they could maybe, you know, have issues with this. And then I realized, I thought well, this is going to separate the boy from the men rather quickly, and actually it'd be a blessing. Save me a lot of time.

And it did.

GUPTA: (INAUDIBLE) the gauntlet. A lot of it.

PFEIFFER: No, and just -- and I met David right away.


PFEIFFER: And I remember telling him, thinking, OK, well. And he was like, OK. And he, you know, he actually I think fell in love with her before he sort of knew that he was in love with me.

GUPTA: Is that right?


GUPTA: That's a quite a thing to say.

PFEIFFER: Yes. I think it's true, actually. I think he was maybe still a little unsure about me. I mean I think he likes me, you know.

GUPTA: How could anyone be unsure about Michelle Pfeiffer?

PFEIFFER: I mean, I think he was attracted to me.

GUPTA: Right.

PFEIFFER: And he was happy that he was -- but, you know, in terms of, was he ready to make that sort of commitment when she came along? Probably not quite ready to do that.

GUPTA: And this next thing I did not get from David, I'll just prep this by saying that, but you got pregnant with your son John Henry on your wedding night.

PFEIFFER: Who'd you get that from?

GUPTA: Again, we have our sources.

PFEIFFER: Well, I think as, you know, one can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure, I'm pretty sure that it was.


GUPTA: And John is --

PFEIFFER: That's what I tell everybody.


GUPTA: Turn off your TV.

PFEIFFER: That's what the children think.

GUPTA: That's funny. That's funny. Your daughter is now in college. I saw a picture of her recently. She is absolutely stunning.

PFEIFFER: Actually she's here. The cat is out of the bag.

GUPTA: She's here.

PFEIFFER: Sorry, what? Yes, she's here.

GUPTA: Your son is applying to college.

PFEIFFER: Next year.

GUPTA: So you are going to be an empty nester.


GUPTA: I mean is that -- is that scary for you? Is it liberating? What is --

PFEIFFER: It is scary for me. It's really scary for me. I've really gotten a lot out of, you know, having kids. And parenting. And, I mean, I mean you sort of never really stop parenting, but it changes, you know. And I -- it just really, it just really changes everything, you know?


PFEIFFER: In a very -- in a way I didn't expect.

GUPTA: I have three daughters. And I think -- I think about that all the time. Just, you know, a life at some point where they're not in the home. So get some sense of what you're going through.

As you know, David and I are working on a TV project together which leads me to ask, would you ever work on a TV project of his?

PFEIFFER: He asked me to ask you about how you feel about those TV people ruining your book?


GUPTA: Is that what he said? TV people ruining the book? You know, TV is interesting because you do have to take shortcuts in television which --

PFEIFFER: My TV is getting good.

GUPTA: You've done books.

PFEIFFER: I'm telling you, the good work is happening in TV.

GUPTA: It's amazing.

PFEIFFER: It's really changing --

GUPTA: You look at the scripted dramas and they are --

PFEIFFER: It's really exciting.

GUPTA: Incredibly high caliber.


GUPTA: Would you work with your husband?

PFEIFFER: I would be so lucky to have him be writing for me. It's -- I actually say that to him when we watch his show. I turn to him, I say, do these actors know how lucky they are to be -- to have these words?

I just feel like I cherish our marriage so much and I've seen -- I've seen a lot of relationships in the past kind of be -- people who had been together for years and then they work together and it's over. And you're like what happened? And I feel like -- it's like, I don't know, a church and state for me. I sort of don't want to mix the two.


PFEIFFER: We've been, you know, I just sort of don't want to jinx it. Doesn't mean that we won't at some point.

GUPTA: And it was interesting. When we sat down and talked, you guys didn't talk about work at all. I mean I remember we were talking about current events, we were talking about diets, we were talking about health.

PFEIFFER: We don't talk about work that much.

GUPTA: You just don't.

PFEIFFER: People tell me what he's doing. It's a little irritating actually. But --


GUPTA: I know. He's always busy.

PFEIFFER: And sometimes I'm like, can you read this for me, and he just -- you know, he'll put it off and he'll put it off.

GUPTA: He's a busy guy. He's got a lot going on.

Coming up, Michelle, I do want to talk about something that we've talked about before but it's just aging on the big screen. And also, you know, just how to stay healthy, how to stay looking younger as well.


GUPTA: So it's from "Grease 2," obviously came out about 30 years ago exactly. Did you know that? It's almost 30 years ago now.


GUPTA: What -- how would you compare Michelle Pfeiffer today to that woman 30 years ago? What's different about you?

PFEIFFER: Really different. I was married to someone else. And a really lovely man. But, you know, I was young. I was so young. And I think I'm -- I mean, I'm definitely stronger, more independent, and not so afraid to speak up. And you know, I'm healthier actually than I was then.


PFEIFFER: I mean I smoked two to three packs a day.

GUPTA: I heard -- I heard that, and I was shocked by that.

PFEIFFER: I mean my diet was horrible. I never exercised.

GUPTA: Is that true?


PFEIFFER: I -- yes.

GUPTA: Because people would say immediately then, were you one of -- I mean you didn't exercise. Were you one of those naturally thin -- because you've always looked like you've been in fantastic shape. I mean were you working at it? How did you --



PFEIFFER: No. I didn't eat.

GUPTA: Just --

PFEIFFER: No, I smoked cigarettes, I drank -- I lived literally on Coke, Coca-Cola, not cocaine.

GUPTA: Right.

PFEIFFER: And you know, cigarettes and every now and then I probably ate a bagel or something. I don't know, but you know, I didn't --

GUPTA: Just didn't eat.

PFEIFFER: I just didn't -- yes. And I quit smoking in my early 30s.

GUPTA: How did you quit? Because --

PFEIFFER: I quit cold turkey.

GUPTA: Really?

PFEIFFER: You know, I did some acupuncture. I don't know if it actually helped me at all. But I had tried obviously -- I mean, I quit a number of times for actually years at a time before that. But the last time was in my early 30s.

GUPTA: When you look at that person now, again, I'm noting that you're having a hard time watching yourself sometimes, just these clips. But now, I mean, do you like the way you look on camera? Is it something you think about?

PFEIFFER: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It depends on how well I'm lit. (LAUGHTER)

GUPTA: Fantastic lighting in here.

PFEIFFER: It depends on my makeup and all kinds of things.

GUPTA: You're -- my -- you're 54 years old, and you've talked about. And people on my staff have asked and wondered, have you had any work done and how do you feel about that? People getting plastic surgery.

PFEIFFER: I mean, I think that -- I'm not saying that I won't at some point. I think it's harder and harder the older you get to say never. Especially being in the public eye. I also don't think I don't really -- I don't think it really -- it doesn't really matter. You know? I think if people want to go do something here or there, who cares? You know? If it makes them feel a bit better about themselves.

What I object to is too much and really bad plastic surgery. You know, when I think it becomes a distraction and when people don't look like themselves anymore.

GUPTA: So a little bit whether it be plastic surgery or fillers or Botox.



PFEIFFER: As long as they're not hurting themselves, I guess. You know? And as long as it doesn't overtake them. And, you know, I guess. I mean, who cares, right?

GUPTA: Right. Right. Well, I'm just curious. And I honestly don't know. Because I think in Hollywood there's this huge -- there's this --

PFEIFFER: I mean as long as the face still moves and can show expression.

GUPTA: Which isn't always the case. I've seen some --

PFEIFFER: Which isn't always the case.


GUPTA: Is there a double standard for men and women? I mean --

PFEIFFER: Men are doing it, too, Sanjay. Come on.

GUPTA: Men are doing it, too. OK.

PFEIFFER: Yes. Oh, yes.


GUPTA: But women have it harder, I would imagine. I mean just, the double standard that you hear about is it real?

PFEIFFER: It is. Definitely women have it harder for sure. But I think increasingly men are because we're such an age obsessed society. You know, youth obsessed society. And in terms of the work place and we're living longer and we want to work longer. And you know, sometimes it doesn't -- it doesn't matter if you're still at the top of your game or you're fit and you look great for your age.

GUPTA: Right.

PFEIFFER: And you still have a lot to contribute. You know, it's there's somebody younger and newer and fresher.

GUPTA: I just wonder --

PFEIFFER: And I think there's a lot of pressure, you know, to --

GUPTA: We certainly hear about that even in TV news which is obviously different than being a movie star. But as a woman in her 50s, I mean is -- how -- is it -- how hard is it? You seem like you're very busy. I mean you're making a lot of movies --

PFEIFFER: I'm very busy. And it's really hard. I mean -- and I've got through periods where, you know, I don't take care of myself as well as I'd like to.

GUPTA: Is that right?

PFEIFFER: I mean, I'm still -- I mean, I'm never really a glutton, you know, I mean -- I mean, in terms of relative to maybe some other people, you know...

GUPTA: What happens -- I mean, would you gain weight? I mean...

PFEIFFER: I would be -- yes, if I'm left to my own devices, yes. I'm a foodie. I love food.

GUPTA: Right. Right.

PFEIFFER: I love food. I really, truth be known, hate to exercise. But I do it. I do it religiously. I feel better after. I feel better physically. I feel better mentally. I mean, literally physically, not just in terms of having more energy. My body starts to hurt if I don't exercise. It's, like, you know...

GUPTA: You crave it.

PFEIFFER: You can feel your joints get a little rusty, you know? So I -- you know, and I eat really well. And -- you know, and when I'm working, I'm really, really. strict.

GUPTA: You know, it's interesting. I was looking at some of your more recent movies, and your leading men have been sometimes -- you know, half your age -- Rupert Friend, 30, Ashton Kutcher, 34, Zac, 25 -- I mean...

PFEIFFER: See, it's the yin and yang, Sanjay. You see, when I started out...


PFEIFFER: ... they were twice my age.

GUPTA: Oh, right! Because (INAUDIBLE) Sean Connery...

PFEIFFER: And what happens is there's no sort of middle ground. It's, like, all of a sudden, it switches.


PFEIFFER: And they're half your age.

GUPTA: How is that? I mean, you hear -- I mean, Zac Efron was just glowing to be able to do this movie with you and...

PFEIFFER: Isn't he cute? He's so cute.

GUPTA: He's a good-looking guy.

PFEIFFER: He's adorable.

GUPTA: But I mean, do you enjoy that? I mean...

PFEIFFER: I mean, you know, it's good for the ego, I guess.


PFEIFFER: I mean, I'm not complaining. I'll take it.

GUPTA: Right. Right. And there was that -- there was that -- and he was -- he was especially delighted with the last scene in the movie where he got to kiss you.

PFEIFFER: Yes. I think he was delighted about that, I think.

GUPTA: You know, I -- all this sort of makes me come full circle in terms of, you know, the things that have guided your life in terms of your diet now, and especially being a vegan, which I think a lot of people don't know about you.

I want to talk about that, and also how a president in this documentary was in part why you drastically changed your diet.



GUPTA: After getting the stents to open up that blocked artery in 2010, former president Clinton says he decided to make changes in his diet. This time around, he decided to get much more strict, and radical even in his approach -- no more meat, no more eggs, no more dairy, almost no oil. The mantra is, Eat nothing that has a mother or a face.


GUPTA: You know, so that's a clip from my documentary, "The Last Heart Attack," which I know you watched. And I was really excited to do it because it was this idea that through what we know now and the diet that we want, we can not only prevent disease but we can actually reverse it, as well.

I've talked to you since then. You said, in particular, the story about Bill Clinton really resonated with you.

PFEIFFER: Well, the entire documentary did. I was finishing up working on, I think it was "Dark Shadows," and I was watching CNN and "The Last Heart Attack" came on. And you know, I'm watching it, and really, and Clinton comes on and he starts -- and you know, Clinton is a foodie. We all know he's a foodie.

GUPTA: Right. Yes. Famous for that.

PFEIFFER: Yes. And smart. So I'm thinking, OK, Bill Clinton loves food, so there must be something to it that's making him stick to it. And also, he's smart, so he's not going to, you know, do something unless he really thinks there's some science behind it.

And then I got the book on how to prevent heart disease from Ethelstein (ph) and I read it. And I just felt like...

GUPTA: That's great.

PFEIFFER: ... there was science behind it, you know? And you know, it was sort of irrefutable. I mean, it was sort of like there -- I couldn't not listen to it. And I -- you know, and I -- think that -- you know, my father died from cancer. And you know, the older you get, the -- you know, there's a lot of disease around you.

GUPTA: Right.

PFEIFFER: You know, and you see people struggling with chronic disease. You see people dying with terminal illnesses. And if -- you know, if in any way -- and you know, science is always changing, you know? I mean, but if in any way this is true, then you kind of have to listen to it.

GUPTA: And it's within your own power. But it's not easy. I mean, when we had had lunch, we had a vegan lunch which was fantastic. But I think most people think vegan -- they think there's just no way. How is it for you? How hard is it?

PFEIFFER: Well, I actually really love the vegan diet because I love carbs.

GUPTA: Oh, is that right? OK. PFEIFFER: Yes, I -- and I don't really -- I've never really -- I've never really loved animal protein, I mean, in terms of animal meat. I ate it because I thought it was good for me, you know, and I thought I needed to eat the protein and vegetables to stay lean.

Really, it was all about vanity, really, honestly. And the older I've gotten -- it, of course, is still about vanity, but it's really become more and more -- primarily, it's switched a little bit, you know? Vanity's right under there, but I have to say that it's a close second with wanting to, you know, live long and...

GUPTA: Has it made a difference? I mean, do you know that you're healthier now as a result of being a vegan? Do you get your blood work checked and...

PFEIFFER: I actually -- sounding like such an old fart now. I did get my blood work done.

GUPTA: I'm a doctor! I can ask these questions.


PFEIFFER: I am an old fart! Yes, Doctor.


PFEIFFER: I -- I had unusually high cholesterol...

GUPTA: Is that right?

PFEIFFER: ... for somebody who ate well and exercised well and did all the right things. But it wasn't enough to sort of where I -- I mean, maybe some doctors would have put me on medication, but I have a thing about medication, so I didn't.

GUPTA: Right, right, right.

PFEIFFER: So I go on this diet, and I'm curious now because of his claims. Two months later, I check my cholesterol, it has gone down 83 points.

GUPTA: Is that right? Wow.

PFEIFFER: Eighty-three points.

GUPTA: I am delighted to hear that.


GUPTA: You're going to live forever.

PFEIFFER: Stunning, right?

GUPTA: It's really remarkable.

PFEIFFER: Yes, I was pretty excited. GUPTA: and I think I know the answer to this question. How does your family -- about the vegan diet? I mean, does David or your...

PFEIFFER: David's been pretty good. David tries.


GUPTA: That was, like, one step short of patting him on the head.

PFEIFFER: And he's actually trying even harder now. But you know, he really -- he loves his desserts. That's his thing.

GUPTA: Right.

PFEIFFER: He really doesn't miss anything other than he loves...

GUPTA: He loves ice cream.

PFEIFFER: ... the sugar part of it.

GUPTA: There was a-0 there's a story just this past week, as you know, about sugar and sugary drinks in New York and banning large -- sort of large product sales.

PFEIFFER: Yes, I heard something about that.

GUPTA: I mean, do you have any thoughts about that? So this is the idea that sugar is also, you know, part of the problem here, when looking at our country as a whole. And let's just ban, as Mayor Bloomberg has done in New York -- he's saying large product sales of that -- what do you think of that?

PFEIFFER: Well, the thing is, you know -- look, I'm not an expert on any of this. But from the little bit that I've read and that I know, you know, it's, like, there's no free ticket. I mean, it's, like, everything you put in your mouth, there's an effect.

And it's -- somebody's got to start really, you know, paying attention and sort of taking control of the situation. And just the fact that people are talking about it, just the fact that whether or not they ultimately end up banning it or not -- I don't know that they can really do that. But the fact that, you know, people are going to sort of now -- who wouldn't have paid attention before, are going to kind of sit up and go, Well, why would he want to do that?

GUPTA: Right. Right.

PFEIFFER: Is it really that bad for me? And maybe they're going to start reading more about it and taking it a little more seriously.

GUPTA: Some people have said, you know, sugar is toxic. But that's a conversation that we can have another time. Any tips on anyone who -- anyone that wants to start a vegan diet now watching you? PFEIFFER: Well, I would say what I did was I just said, OK, I'm just going to do -- I'm going to give myself eight weeks and I'm going to just -- I'm not going to commit to this for a lifetime because it's -- it's -- psychologically, it's huge for people to wrap their minds -- and just to see.

I'm going to see how I feel. I'm going to see -- I'm going to test my blood again, see if there's anything, and giving it that long, you sort of get over the hump of it kind of being difficult in the beginning, and yet you give yourself a long enough period of time to really start to feel differently and -- you know, and sort of see the benefits.

GUPTA: You got to call ahead at restaurants.

PFEIFFER: You got to call ahead at restaurants.

GUPTA: You got to deal with the eye rolls from your friends and your husband.

PFEIFFER: Yes. Yes. And your children.

GUPTA: And your children.


GUPTA: But you make it work.

PFEIFFER: But it also -- you know, it makes room for really interesting conversations now because they take me on, you know?

GUPTA: They challenge you a little bit.


GUPTA: It's an absolute delight to sit down and talk to you.

PFEIFFER: Thanks. Thank you.

GUPTA: I love this. I love my job because I get to do things like this.

PFEIFFER: You like that?

GUPTA: It's the first time I've done this...

PFEIFFER: Your first celebrity.

GUPTA: And you don't do -- you don't do many TV interviews, so I really appreciate you sitting down with us.

PFEIFFER: It's my pleasure.

GUPTA: Thank you. Michelle Pfeiffer. Really enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

Coming up, Piers is in London, as you may know, with a preview of tomorrow night's big Jubilee festivities.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: I'm here in London for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth. We'll have all the must-see moments tomorrow morning beginning at 9:00 Eastern live on CNN worldwide.

And joining me now for a preview, two people who know a great deal about what's going on behind the scenes. Katie Nicholl is the royal editor and diary (ph) editor for "The Mail on Sunday." India Hicks is the second cousin to the Prince of Wales and is 678th in line to the throne. Not long to wait for India. She was one of Princess Diana's five bridesmaids, and her mother was a bridesmaid to Queen Elizabeth.

Thank you both for joining me. It's going to be a big day tomorrow. Katie Nicholl, talk me through what we can expect.

KATIE NICHOLL, ROYAL EDITOR, "THE MAIL ON SUNDAY": Well, you can expect more pomp and pageantry. That's exactly what you're going to get. The morning celebrations will kick off with a service of thanksgiving. I suppose that will be the most serious and perhaps the most poignant part of the celebrations for her majesty the queen because this is a woman who takes her faith very, very seriously. She'll be accompanied by the senior members of the royal family.

And after the service, there's going to be a wonderful carriage procession. Of course, we had a taste of that for the royal wedding. And this time, we'll see the queen and the duke of Edinburgh in the state landau. They will go from Westminster back to Buckingham Palace.

And we're going to be treated to the spectacle that we couldn't have after the pageant. We're going to have a fly-past, and of course, that famous balcony appearance, a chance to really just say once more to the queen, Thank you, ma'am.

MORGAN: Let's bring in India. Now, you have been part of these ceremonies. As Princess Diana's bridesmaid and other royal events, you've been on the balcony, in the carriages, all this kind of stuff we're going to see tomorrow. Talk me through what it feels like to be part of this.

INDIA HICKS, PRINCESS DIANA'S BRIDESMAID: An enormous sense of pride, obviously. But when I was in that carriage as a bridesmaid for Princess Diana, I was a lot younger and unaware of quite the magnitude of the event. I mean, clearly over a billion people were watching.

But it was only afterwards I thought, I went down the mall in a horse-drawn carriage.


HICKS: It's not often one gets to say that in a lifetime. But I remember being very conscious of being in the carriage. And one of the little girls I was with was allergic to horses and just had tears streaming down her face.

And I kept worrying about the horses, much more than the crowd yelling and screaming. And my mother had said to me, Wave, darling, wave. And I kept thinking, being terribly self-conscious, trying to wave at the crowd, How do you wave? I mean, one feels rather ridiculous.

And I keep thinking, I wonder how Kate feels at the moment, suddenly learning how to do that wave, where you feel awkward.

MORGAN: We've had this extraordinary long weekend, a great bank holiday for everyone in Britain, everyone enjoying it all. We had the derby, the big horse race on Saturday the queen attended. Then we had the incredible flotilla on Sunday, with all the boats, the pop concert obviously tonight.

And then tomorrow, we have the real pomp and pageantry that people expect with these events. Which of all these do you think the queen will be most excited by, Katie?

NICHOLL: Well, I think she was probably most excited by the pageant just because in her lifetime, as in ours, she would never have seen anything quite like that. And despite the weather and it being a washout, it really was the most amazing scene on the river. So a first for the queen, which in 60 years, if it's a first for her, then it's pretty wonderful.

MORGAN: Yes, pretty...

NICHOLL: And I expect the thanksgiving service on Tuesday will be very important to her. As I said, she is an incredibly religious woman. Her faith is very important to her. And that ceremony will be taken very, very seriously.

MORGAN: I think -- people said after Princess Diana so tragically died so young that it could be the beginning of the end of the monarchy, that the magic had gone out, the lights had gone out, if you like, because she was then the biggest royal star that we'd ever seen.

And yet I sense a real resurgence and I felt it very keenly on Sunday, with the flotilla, watching the way the public came out in such big numbers with all the flags again. It felt like there was a real excitement, I'm sure part driven not just by the queen but by William and his wonderful bride now, Kate, who everyone loves, Harry and the others.

What do you think?

HICKS: I think absolutely. The monarchy has modernized, and certainly the fame and the excitement and the celebrity status of William and Kate has reinvigorated the monarchy.

But I do not think we can contest that it is her majesty that has held us. She is the glue to it, she's the backbone. She's in our DNA. Sixty years of being essentially a celebrity is very, very hard to achieve and maintain. And my God, has she done it!

MORGAN: And Katie, I mean, the reason she's probably achieved it better than most is that -- we're both journalists. She hasn't given an interview in 60 years.

NICHOLL: It's remarkable, isn't it.


NICHOLL: You know, for a woman that is so familiar to us, we see her on our coinage, we see her on the stand, she is just such an icon, and yet actually, we do know so little about the private woman behind the public persona.

MORGAN: I remember the queen mother had this great line, Never complain, never explain, never be heard speaking in public.


NICHOLL: It's a mantra that the queen has followed literally to the syllable. She's never given too much away, and I think that sense of mystique, coupled with majesty, is her unique winning format.

HICKS: Well, it's -- this is a great debate because, of course, what we're seeing with Kate and William is that they are accessible because they do give interviews, because we do have a (INAUDIBLE) idea of who they are and that she was a girl from the High Street and that we can relate to them. So it's again this balance.

MORGAN: It's a balancing act.

HICKS: It's going to be extraordinary to see how this moves forward. And obviously, as we've seen, the Prince of Wales now is giving more interviews. I saw him in "GQ." I mean, can you imagine?


HICKS: President Obama there, he's the man of the people, too. You know, we -- it is a balance, the modernization of the monarchy.

MORGAN: It's very much for the queen -- I mean, it's all about changing. It's about adapting. And she does it slowly and deliberately and with much thought because she's realized, I think, that her power comes from constancy and stability. She's always here and she's always a stable leader for our country, isn't she.

NICHOLL: And amid all the flaps, as well as politics, everything that changes in the world, she is the one constant. She is the one unmovable thing.

HICKS: And she's very aware that she is not appointed, she is anointed.

MORGAN: Well, it's going to be a great day tomorrow, the culmination of four days of celebrations. India, Kate, thank you both very much. Next, we'll go back to Sanjay in the studio for tonight's "Only7 in America." Put down your cell phones. Doctor's orders!


GUPTA: As you know, Piers ends each night with "Only in America." It's his look at life in the United States. And tonight, I found a story, I think, worthy of the segment, one that's topical, and for me medical.

First a few questions, and I may sound like one of those TV ads you often see, but I'm a doctor, so bear with me. Do you spend a lot of time using your mobile phone? Do you constantly check for calls, texts or e-mails? Do you ever think you've received a message, but you actually didn't?

If so, you could be suffering from what's known as phantom vibration syndrome. It's when you believe your phone is vibrating with a new alert when it's actually not. Now, this isn't a freak occurrence. I'm talking to the majority of you out there. One study says 70 percent of those who use a mobile phone suffer from it.

And it gets worse. Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Odds are, you can blame your addiction to your phone or your computer, as well, for that. These devices actually keep your brain stimulated even as your body is trying to shut down.

Checking your Twitter feed excessively -- and I'm talking to you, @piersmorgan -- can be to blame for your restless night's sleep.

So for the tech-obsessed Americans out there, including recent transplants from Britain, avoid phantom vibrations and sleep better by just giving your phone a rest. Your brain will thank you for it.

And don't forget Piers Morgan and Brooke Baldwin will anchor CNN's coverage of Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee. That's tomorrow morning starting at 9:00 Eastern. And if you miss any of it, you can see all the highlights tomorrow at 9:00 PM on a special PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

That's all for us. "AC360" starts now.