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Interview with Oliver Stone; Mark Wahlberg Talks New Movie "Ted" and Going Back to School

Aired June 29, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, the always outspoken Oliver Stone gets a get prickly about some of my questions.


OLIVER STONE, DIRECTOR: Your English always do that. They don't ask this on American television.



MORGAN: He does talk about the war on drugs.


STONE: We have a huge problem. It's not going away.


MORGAN: And his new movie.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Names, history, stash houses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That ain't part of the deal, buddy boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is now. There's a lot of twists. It's a wild ride.


MORGAN: And the world of greed since he made "Wall Street."


STONE: The banks were doing what Gekko was doing in the '80s.


MORGAN: Plus, his unforgettable partying past.


MORGAN: What was the greatest part?

STONE: I've been to so many. I'm lucky, you know?


MORGAN: And Mark Wahlberg is back with his latest project.


MARK WAHLBERG, ACTOR: I've got to get to work. I don't know if I can drive.

CHARACTER: OK, I'll drive you. I feel fine.


MORGAN: As racy as ever.


MORGAN: I don't think you can say this on prime-time CNN. We're just going to have to have a sort of slew of bleeps.

WAHLBERG: Let me apologize.


MORGAN: Tonight, the one thing you never thought you'd see him go.


WAHLBERG: She said, you OK with talking about it? I said, sure.




MORGAN: Good evening.

A big story tonight, a big man in Hollywood, Oliver Stone, won his first Oscar more than 30 years ago with screenplay, "The Midnight Express." He's been putting out hits ever since including groundbreaking and controversial films like "Platoon," "Born on 4TH of July", "JFK" and "Wall Street."

His latest film is "Savages".

He's unapologetically opinionated. He has done everything -- movies, politics, life.

And I've got some tough questions for him and I'm pretty sure he'll have some tough answers.

Oliver Stone. STONE: Hello, Piers. How are you?

MORGAN: Welcome.


MORGAN: I'm very excited about this because I've been a huge fan of yours for a long time.

I don't normally say that because it's a very straight American thing to say that. We're British. We tend to hide or feelings. But I've watched almost every one of your movies and I love the provocative, undercurrent toward them.


MORGAN: And I love the fact that you in your own life are as provocative.

You don't really take prisoners, do you?

STONE: No. I try to be a politician. I tried to be a diplomatic. I try to do the -- I don't want to offend people and I certainly don't look for fights because you know what they end up in. It isn't pretty.

So, a way I'm interested in is, curious about the truth and I go for it and I don't want to run away from what I know. So, if someone says, you know, if you want to leave with a question, then you say, I can't run from the truth -- at least maybe I can phrase it better.

MORGAN: If you Google your name, almost everything that comes up on the first page involves the word controversial.

STONE: Not really but that is a little bit exaggerated.

MORGAN: A little bit.

STONE: I think there is a body of work that stands up.

You know, the movie -- the controversial thing comes up --

MORGAN: Do you mind that is really the point I'm making?

STONE: Yes, I do because it comes and goes, you know? It's like the weather. You know, it doesn't mean anything. It's the -long-term implications.

My work, I think is good and I think, you go back you look at that film, that second and third time, a few years later, you might have a -- say, well, you know, I don't know everybody got so upset about that silly thing because that was the headline but the truth is, there's a movie with it, dramatic core, great characters, it's fun.

MORGAN: I was fascinated by your early life, with your parents you sound extraordinarily charismatic people, very different, your father and mother. But, in that, you said about both of them, they're slightly mad, they're slightly crazy -- which clearly inherited, although you say you're calming down.

But you -- they were divorced early on, you've been divorced twice, you've likened the movies to a divorce process.


MORGAN: Is there a theme that you see in your life?

STONE: I never thought of that. That was very clever of you to go there. I mean, I'd rather, much rather talk about the beautiful Blake Lively for a --


MORGAN: We're going to come to the Beautiful Blake Lively.

I'm trying to get to what makes you sick of it.

STONE: My one life is a -- I haven't hidden it, I'm trying -- I've been -- you know, I've written about it and talked about it.

And my parents were extremely colorful people, dramatic, strong, father and mother strong and my mom is still alive today and probably watching.

So, you know, but it was a wonderful story and -- but it really did hurt because at 14 years old, then you go off to a boarding school -- as you're English, you know and you disappear and you don't -- and you lose because you're the only child, if the family does separate . And that is a drama and then it wasn't long before I was in Vietnam and the Merchant Marine and all these things.

So, no. I do miss the family life and I'm to trying to reconstitute one to some degree.

MORGAN: What is your relationship now with your mother now? She's in her 90s, right?

STONE: That's right.

MORGAN: And she's been like most mothers -- she's been your biggest fan and critic over the years?

STONE: She thinks so.


STONE: Put it this way, I have an interesting relationship, an ongoing one. It's contrary. There are many difficulties in -- as there are in -- you -- I'm sure you know what I'm talking about -- families are difficult.

MORGAN: Yes. What do you think you've got from your parents, both of them?

Let's accentuate the positives. What are the stuff that you really think, "Thank you, I got that streak from you."

STONE: The good stuff?


STONE: From mom, I got a great sense of love, emotion, affection, universal forgiveness.

And my dad, I would say, a sober, intelligence, a sense of looking at things and not falling into the fashion of the time but just thinking for yourself as much as possible.

MORGAN: Hard working, independent, passionate, creative and slightly crazy. This is of course what everyone who has ever worked with you says --

STONE: Oh, that's nice.

MORGAN: -- working for you is like and I think they mean all of them as positives.

STONE: I think that my relationship -- I haven't been around, I mean, I've been around for these 19 movies and I've collaborated with a lot of people by now and I've worked for the most part, 98 percent of them well.

And it's been a rich life and people brought enormous things to me because I've been open them, not closed.

MORGAN: Which of all the actors you've worked with has been the best?

STONE: Kevin Costner is as different from Anthony Hopkins as night to day, but they are both extraordinary to work with.

Tom Cruise is different from Colin Farrell, who is a night to day but I enjoyed both, enormously.

MORGAN: Charlie Sheen?

STONE: Charlie Sheen was a young man when I worked with him on two films. And on both of them, he was quite different, you know? But you saw -- I felt he was that dreamy quality in "Platoon" that I loved and when we got to "Wall Street", it became more cosmopolitan, definitely and --

MORGAN: When he sort of have his sort of his mad period, last year, I know you're no longer that close to him. But what did you feel, looking at this guy, who you'd worked so closely with before?

STONE: I lost track of Charlie in the mid-'80s, late '80s. So, you know --

MORGAN: I think he lost track of Charlie in the mid-'80s.

(LAUGHTER) STONE: But I did see him about four months ago, three months ago, on a reunion of PLATOON and he was delightful to everybody. He was -- he knew -- he remembered everything and we went into -- we laughed about some of the incidents in the forest.

MORGAN: Who could out party who? You or Charlie -- at your peak?

STONE: At that -- at my peak? We had fun in New York, I had to say. I mean, Charlie, though, but, no, Colin Farrell could out party all of us.

MORGAN: Really? This is what I've heard -- I've heard this about Colin Farrell.

STONE: In the old days, in the old days, you know?

MORGAN: I mean, taking --

STONE: Charlie, too.

MORGAN: All of you at your peak, who would be the greatest guest, you'd have to a party?

STONE: Robert Downey was pretty wild.


STONE: And so was, Julia Louis and Woody Harrelson. I mean, Tom Sizemore, there were some wild times with each other and that's --


STONE: They're fun. And you know what? It's great to party with them. They're most of them are fun. I mean they were good drunks.

MORGAN: Let's turn to "Savages." Let's watch a clip from "Savages" first.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People to the recession, boys. You should be grateful you still have a product people want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you don't mind if your envelope gets a little thinner, then?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh! You guys! You guys! You know, you -- you have a clean business, there's no problems, there ain't no Ben and Sean without Dennis. So my envelope stays the same.


MORGAN: It's a fascinating film. I watched it not knowing what to expect. I think some great acting in there and it's a great theme of these two kind of, you know, hippy character brothers. But they build this amazing marijuana plant and it's all quite -- it's the nice end of the drugs industry, isn't it?

And then they collide --

STONE: Right.

MORGAN: -- with the nasty end, which is the -

STONE: Right.

MORGAN: -- really vile, drug baron end -

STONE: Right.

MORGAN: -- and then it all goes horribly wrong. You've been no stranger to drugs and you've spoken very vocally about it. What was your purpose of making the movie? What did you hope to achieve by this?

All your movies have a purpose to them.

STONE: It's a pretty hard-edged, you know, it's like writing a book.

No, I think I made the movie because it was different, it was unpredictable. You used the word. You didn't know what was going to happen next.

There was a lot of twist. It's a wild ride.

And you don't -- you know, it's an improbable situation because we don't know anything about the present day contemporary marijuana industry. And in California, it's legal. So these growers are growing it, some illegally, they're selling it out of state but they are also selling it in state, which is legal.

And, of course, the cartel, at this -- in the hypothetical fiction wants to move in like, a Wal-Mart would move in on a niche business and take it over or partner with them and learn their techniques.

MORGAN: You've been to South America a lot and you've been very outspoken about the way that for instance, Calderon in Mexico has treated the drugs war.

What is the simplistic answer, do you think, to the global drugs problem?

STONE: It's not going to go away. This war on --

MORGAN: Right.

STONE: -- drugs got bigger since 1970, when Nixon declared it. It's gotten huge.

MORGAN: And it hasn't worked, has it?

STONE: And the U.S. -- and the Mexican economy would die without it because they need the money, it goes into their legitimate economy. It's bigger than tourism, it's bigger than oil. It's bigger than remissions from their Mexican immigrants, back to their country.

MORGAN: So, given that important --

STONE: It's huge --

MORGAN: -- to the economy --

STONE: -- in this country.


MORGAN: What do you do about all of that about? And given the importance to a country like Mexico's economy, through this black economy --


MORGAN: -- what do you do?

STONE: If you killed the -- if you declared -- if there were no war on drugs, the Mexican economy would have to -- would be radically -- would dry up. I don't know. Even the banks would dry up.

It wouldn't -- it doesn't -- it couldn't happen overnight. You'd have to move in a direction of, to decriminalize it, first of all, because in America we're suffering greatly. Not only do we have a huge DEA, with a huge budget, Homeland Security's involved.

We have -- you know, we've militarized the war and drugs. We've made enemies. We've made them into narco states, almost.

So as a result our prisons too, 50 percent of our prison system in America is victimless crimes. They -- people who have never hurt anybody, they are in for marijuana and various charges that have nothing to do with punishment. It's a medical issue.

And then I think we have to move to decriminalization and legalization.

MORGAN: Let's take a break. We'll come back to talk more "Savages" and also about politics, and maybe a dash of religion.

STONE: You mentioned the film --

MORGAN: I'm certainly on roll, I started with the film. I said "Savages" first, then I go to politics --





Greed terrifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Greed in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind.

And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.


MORGAN: Michael Douglas on Oliver Stone's 1977 film, "Wall Street." Douglas won the Best Actor Oscar of his role as the quintessential corporate raider Gordon Gekko.

Do you ever wish you hadn't done that particular scene, the greed is good scene?

STONE: No. I think it's -- I love it. It's powerful, it's -- the movie works and it still does. It set up what's going on in our capitalism right now.

MORGAN: Right. When you saw what unfold, the greed is good. I mean, a lot of people --

STONE: I couldn't believe it!

MORGAN: -- took it at face value, didn't they?

STONE: Couldn't believe it. No. Yes.

Well you know the movie -- one of the Vietnam movies too. I mean, it doesn't necessarily mean there's going to be a change in society for those successful.

What happened is of course, I couldn't believe it when I went back to do "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," 20, 30, 25 years later, it was -- that the numbers that are hundreds of millions of dollars were huge amounts back then, then became $1 billion and billions of dollars and these corporations were wheeling and dealing without any -- without the ownership issue -- has gotten.

The banks were doing what Gekko was doing in the '80s, the big banks. That's what happened. That's what's amazing. They became the Buccaneers.

MORGAN: Who stops them? Because I mean nobody --

STONE: The crash stopped them.

MORGAN: Yes, but nobody went to jail. No one's been held --


MORGAN: -- to account.

STONE: Nobody has stopped them.

MORGAN: Now they're talking the same bonuses --

STONE: There are some laws that have been enacted and I think they are important --

MORGAN: Are they effective?

STONE: Some are, yes. The Glass-Steagall law should be enacted and you know, Volcker Rule should be enacted. It depends how they enact it but definitely they would help.

But the problem is we are in another place.

Now, like in the war on drugs, it's the same thing. We've gotten it to such a huge amount that no one can quite figure out how to stop the hurricane.

MORGAN: When you see your country, $16 trillion in debt and everyone's squabbling over what most people say, is an insubstantial solution, what do you think?

STONE: Oh! I think that's pretty easy, headline, you know? $16 trillion in debt means nothing to me. What means something to me is the unemployment figure because a country such as the United States can't afford that.

What we need to do is to get people working and we need to spend money in a good positive productive infrastructure, not on stupid war on drugs or wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We need to make a war for our country's infrastructure and also education and climate control.

MORGAN: You've fought in Vietnam. You've been to South America and seen the drug cartels and actually you've had a long lunch with one of the barons himself.

And do you think it would help if more policy makers in America had experienced war?

STONE: I do. I think it would be -- I think the World War II generation, the Korean War, these people were in Congress, it makes a big difference because they know war and when you don't, you start to be like a -- you know, like a bit of a chicken hawk and a lot of these neoconservatives that have started these wars in the last 20 years, have no war record, except for Rumsfeld, he was only one. I mean, Cheney, Rove, Bush.

It's not an attractive portrait of people who can call for other people to suspend their lives.

And also -- well, the whole issue of Vietnam, you know, the whole -- Lyndon Johnson never raised taxes and Bush Jr. never raised taxes during the Iraq war. So, you know, the whole idea of how to fight a war is what's weird in this country.

We have to learn that it's a national -- if we go to war, it's a serious thing, it's a national --

MORGAN: Everyone's in it together.

STONE: Yes. But we don't call it war. We call it a mini event or something. We put it on TV and it's an advertisement or something.

MORGAN: What was it you learned about yourself, when you were in Vietnam?

STONE: Well, first of all I learned to survive.

Piers, that's the hardest thing of all, which is to say, get smart because most of the time we going into a situation, we're a bit dumb, we don't know exactly what it's like until it happens and when it happens you learn fast, it's on-the-job training.

So, let's say I've got 360 more visceral and more visual. I think I was a writer in my head. I think after the war, I was more of a cinematographer, a director. You know, I could see things that I hadn't seen before and I wanted to put things in visual terms as well.

MORGAN: "Savages" is about the drugs war, isn't it?

I think your theme about war, generally, throughout all of your movies, is incredibly important, actually?


MORGAN: As someone who watched them and enjoyed them and understood what you're trying to get at, I just think you talking about the reality of war --


MORGAN: -- makes a big difference.


MORGAN: You're one of the few who can actually --

STONE: I made three movies about it --

MORGAN: -- talk from experience.

STONE: Yes. I made three Vietnam movies. I love them all. They were, "Born on 4th July" and there was "Heaven and Earth," about the Vietnamese side of the equation. I also did "Salvador" about the Central American wars.

You know, people watched and they praise them and this and that, but you know, when we went to Iran and Afghanistan -- Iraq and Afghanistan, where was the memory, you know? It's a bizarre thing, the American ability to forget.

MORGAN: Let's take a break, come back and talk "Savages" and also probably the least savage person in the world, your wife, who may have you.

STONE: Everything but! You talk one clip of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) --



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so nice talking to you (INAUDIBLE) but let me remind you, that if I have to, I wouldn't have a problem cutting both their throats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh! You'll never get them together. I'm the only one who can do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on! And you're really bragging about that? There's something wrong with your love story baby!


MORGAN: That's Oliver Stone's latest movie "Savages." It's a story of a couple of pot growers who run afoul of the drug cartel.

It stars Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch and John Travolta.

It's a terrific movie. It's exciting, it's unpredictable. It moves at a great pace.

There's touches of all sorts of other movies and it. I -- a lot of sex, I got to say, lashing, to say -

STONE: That scene you showed is a crucial moment because the two women, very strong in the movie, Blake and Salma are having a bit of a -- and, you know, in the movie, Blake is living with two men --


STONE: -- who, she says, as a young California beach girl, southern California, she says, I love both men. And that's what Salma is calling into question.

This is an answer that you'll find in the end of the movie, where, you know, we deal with the issue of can people -- can three people live together equally.

MORGAN: What do you think?

STONE: I'm not going to give away ending but -- because that's a spoiler --

MORGAN: No, no! What do you think?

STONE: I think it's hard.

MORGAN: Impossible?

STONE: You've tried it lately, Piers?


MORGAN: But I've never been tempted by Blake Lively. If she suggested it to me, I may have to rethink things.

STONE: The book is very graphic on that issue.

MORGAN: It is very graphic.


MORGAN: What is your -- I mean, you found what seems to be true love.

STONE: It's nice of you to say that. How do you know?

MORGAN: Just from what you said about her! You talk in such a loving way about your third wife. She seems --

STONE: She's a lovely woman.

MORGAN: She seems a very extraordinary person.

STONE: Yes. She's a lovely woman and it's been almost, what, 15-some years, 16 years because my daughter is 16. So, we've been, you know, we're there for her.

It's a different kind of relationship for me. Yes, it's less stormy, it's calm. But she's also remains to me, absolutely beautiful, every day you -- I see her-- and it's great -- I feel good -- great. She's so gracious a person.

MORGAN: You have this great quote, you said, "She comes from another place of graciousness, transparency and selflessness, that's why I love her."

STONE: Yes. Sounds like Florence Nightingale but --


STONE: You know?

MORGAN: She comes from a totally different world.


MORGAN: A background of --

STONE: She's not in our reality though, no --


STONE: So, you see, I love the -- because of Vietnam and various times, I love Asia and I think -- I feel calm when I'm in Asia. So I feel that calmness coming from her.

MORGAN: Are you calmer, now? Or you always -- STONE: As a result perhaps of marriage, yes. I'm older too. You know, you go to slowdown. Your testosterone drops a bit.

MORGAN: I could never imagine you slowing down, really.

STONE: Thank you! It's kind of you!

It takes a lot of work to do, "Untold History" and "Savages" in the same year.

MORGAN: If you were describing yourself to somebody, who had never heard anything about you, what would be the honest description?

STONE: I'm equally astonished and disappointed by myself.

MORGAN: Why astonished?

STONE: Put it this way, I think this life is a mystery and it's also a hunt for the truth, a hunt for what works for you and you express yourself as you go, sometimes badly, sometimes well.

You got to take both -- there's no -- you take the good with the bad as my grandmother used to say.

MORGAN: Why disappointed?

STONE: In the same way because, gosh! There are things I wish I had done better!

MORGAN: Do you -- are you the kind of guy that regrets or do you -- are you able to just say --

STONE: Pretty much! Yes, I regret too much! I don't think that that's necessarily -- you learn from regret but if you repeat the emotion over and over, you are -- you're flagellating yourself with self-pity.

MORGAN: "Savages" is a movie that I think will inspire a lot of debate but above all it's a cracking thriller, isn't it? Is that how you would like to --

STONE: I think Hitchcock is the ultimate filmmaker in this instant. You know, the audience doesn't want the messages and the politics. They want a good time, you know? You know, I go to the movie because I want to have a good time.

So, I like to -- I've always tried to me movies, even if the controversial subject, as you say, like "JFK", but I try to make it fun to sit through.

MORGAN: But it seems to me that you seem slightly recoiled from the word controversial, as if it's a negative.

I never saw it as a negative with you. I've always thought that you've made these great films which inspired controversy and that's a good thing, to get people debating and talking and analyzing. STONE: Yes, but it shouldn't be about the messenger. That's what the -- you know, the old Greek parable, about they killed the messenger. Then it's silly because, you know, I'm -- every time I've made the movie, every time, it's been a different me that delivered a different one. So it's not the same person all the time, I change from every movie.

MORGAN: How would you like to be remembered?

STONE: What do you think? As a filmmaker.

MORGAN: I would say -- I mean, yes, I mean, if it's -- you can jazz up it a bit, can't you?

STONE: No! There's -- you know that's --

MORGAN: You could write your own tombstone.

STONE: It's a pantheon of certain filmmakers as may be 50, you know 60, that have just -- have continued to deliver through time. And those people are very rare and I'm just very happy to be one of -

MORGAN: That's simple descriptive word, filmmaker, would be enough for you?

STONE: Dramatist, if you want or, you know, but that sums it up.

MORGAN: Nothing personal?

STONE: He was a good citizen, I hope! You know, I never participated in public office. I can't say I was a model citizen, but I followed the debate as best as I could and I tried to make as much of the -- contributed as much as I could.

MORGAN: Well, there are few people in the movie business, whose work I've enjoyed more than yours.

Oliver, I've wanted to interview you for a long time, you've not disappointed. And the movie "Savages" is slated on July the 6th. I wish you all the very best with it. It's a cracking thriller!

STONE: Thank you.

MORGAN: Really enjoyed it.

STONE: Very sweet of you.

MORGAN: Nice to see you.

STONE: Nice to see you.

MORGAN: Coming up, Mark Wahlberg of his very naughty, new movie.



MORGAN: Mark Wahlberg fought his way off the mean streets of Boston to a successful music and acting career. Though these days, he's more of a business man, producer and working to become a high school graduate. His new film "Ted" is about a man and his teddy bear. This is not the kind of teddy bear you want to take your kids to.

Joining me now, one of Hollywood's hardest working guys, Mark Wahlberg. Welcome back.

MARK WAHLBERG, ACTOR: How are you, sir?

MORGAN: This teddy bear.

WAHLBERG: He's a naughty fella.

MORGAN: On the face of it, it seems so sweet, you and this little cuddly bear. He's the most disgusting bear in history.

WAHLBERG: You know, my kids just do not understand why they cannot finally see one of daddy's movies. They're driving through L.A. and they're all over all the buses, the poster of me and the bear laughing hysterically. They're like, dad, it's you and a teddy bear. Why can't we see it.

Then I take them to school, and some of their upper classmen are like, oh, we can't wait to see "Ted." Looks awesome. They're really upset about it.

MORGAN: What do you say? You got four kids. Finally daddy, who's made a lot of edgy movies, makes a movie about a little cuddly bear. How do you break their little hearts and say they can't go?

WAHLBERG: I told them that the bear has a potty mouth. There are parts of it that I would sneak and allow them to see, but my wife would be very upset with me.

MORGAN: There's a brilliant scene. I won't give too much away, but there's a scene where the teddy bear, Ted, pulls this girl, who's a checkout girl in a store. And you decide you're going to try to guess the name of this girl. Let's watch this clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's a cashier.

WAHLBERG: No way, that's awesome. What's her name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White trash name. Guess.




WAHLBERG: Brittany.


WAHLBERG: Candace.

Speed round, I'm going to rattle off some names. When I hit it, buzz it, OK. You got me? All right, Brandy, Heather, Channing, Browna, Anna, Sabrina, Melody, Dakota, Sierra, Tera, Tara, Samantha, Rudy, Tammy, Laura, Chaline, Chantelle, Courtney, Misty, Jenny, Mindy, Kelsey, Shawna, Joey, Christa, Cassandra, Nicky, Demma, Lou, Becky.


WAHLBERG: Wait, was it any one of those names with a "Lynn" after it?


WAHLBERG: I got you.




MORGAN: Now, there are a few things about that scene. One is there are so many trashy girl's names in this country, aren't there? Secondly, Seth MacFarland, who's the genius behind this movie, he says you got this in one take. You came in, you didn't need any cue cards, no prompting. You just came in and went -- is that true?

WAHLBERG: Yes. Well, you're supposed to know your lines. But it was the most difficult piece of dialogue to memorize, because there's nothing to connect it to. It's just 57 random names. I never thought it would make it in the movie. The big reason was, if I just said it, it would take two or three minutes. So I asked him. I said, can we do it like a game show formula where I try to rattle them off as fast as possible to get them out in a timely fashion, so it will actually make it in the movie?

When I did it, he just absolutely loved it. We did a couple more takes after that, but I think he ended up using the first take.

MORGAN: Did you get it right every time?


MORGAN: OK, how?

WAHLBERG: A lot of practice. You know, I spent eight weeks before I even start shooting reading the script out loud. So I always know all my lines before we get to the set. That was by far the most hard -- that was the hardest piece of dialogue to memorize. MORGAN: It's extraordinary art to be able to do that. It's also incredible dedication. Last time you were on the show, I got great feedback to the back story that you bring before you even get to making movies. But the one thing I came away from was that you had -- in changing your life around, the work ethic that you brought to everything you now do is incredibly impressive.

Nothing tells it better than this. Seth MacFarland said about what you did, that single scene, "he's the single most prepared human being. It's astonishing. There's not much he can't do. He's extraordinarily versatile. It's always surprising, such a humble guy. He's not showy about it."

You're not. You're not like, oh, look at me, I can do this. It's an amazing thing that you can do that kind of thing in one hit. It shows proper dedication.

WAHLBERG: Well, it's your job, you know? I've worked with many actors who have been paid a lot of money. They show up and they don't know their lines.

MORGAN: Any names?

WAHLBERG: Yeah, plenty. I'll tell you when we stop. But it's frustrating to me because, you know, you're getting paid a lot of money. We have this amazing job. Just show up and be prepared. You know? Just worked with Russell Crowe and the guy is such a pro. I mean, we had pages and pages of monologue. The guy just every single time.

MORGAN: Who are the best prepared? I wouldn't expect you to dish the dirt on the under prepared. Who are the ones you look at and go, that's where I want to be?

WAHLBERG: Russell Crowe is extremely prepared. You know, Robert Duvall is, you know, the consummate professional.

MORGAN: "Ted" is another departure for you I guess in the range of movies you're doing. Do you like that versatility?

WAHLBERG: Absolutely. I try to find something completely different to surprise audiences, to challenge myself. But nothing too out there, you know. You won't see me doing any English period pieces, although I'm starting --

MORGAN: I could see you in "Downtown Abbey." Can you do that accent?

WAHLBERG: Of course.

MORGAN: Be a "Downtown Abbey" butler for a moment.

WAHLBERG: No, no, I like the dirty slang, the proper (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Miserable (EXPLETIVE DELETED) all that.

MORGAN: I don't thing you can say this on prime-time CNN. We'll just have to have a sort of slew of bleeps. WAHLBERG: Let me apologize.

MORGAN: Your mother watches this.

WAHLBERG: Well, she's not going to need to now. Sorry, mom. Love you. But I -- you know, I would actually love the opportunity, but at the right time. I would literally go there, live there, and try to become it. I don't want to half-ass anything. I said another bad word.

MORGAN: You've turned into Ted.

WAHLBERG: Ted is a bad influence.

MORGAN: -- unruly bear.

WAHLBERG: He is a bad influence. At least I haven't started, you know, smoking pot but he's -- it's bad.

MORGAN: The movie business is a rough-tough business. What I was struck by in recent interviews, you've made it very clear, you see yourself now as foremost a businessman. Everything comes away from that. Explain that to me in more detail.

WAHLBERG: I've always been business oriented. You know, I love acting. It's my first love. I want to build a business where I can also be at home a lot more, spent a lot more time with my wife and children. And, you know, I was never the kind of actor who was, you know, just sat home and waited for all the great scripts to come to me first. They usually were sent in to other people.

So I just got proactive. Go out there, find material, start to develop stuff. I started finding that I have a lot of interests outside of the entertainment --

MORGAN: I would imagine the most exciting thing for your kids is the rumors of a basketball movie with Justin Bieber.

WAHLBERG: The boys are into the idea. My daughter has moved on from Justin Bieber. She's still only eight. I think it's the whole Selina Gomez thing. She won't -- she won't admit it, but I think that's what it is.

MORGAN: A love rival.

WAHLBERG: Yes. But I think he's a really talented guy. I think he would be great in a movie. The picture that we're talking about doing is kind of like "Color of Money" with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise, reluctant men playing basketball and hustling people in the streets.

MORGAN: Is he -- I know you're good at basketball. One of your close friends who has played with you for years says he's never beaten you. When you get on the court, you're like an animal.

WAHLBERG: Yes, I get pretty crazy out there. But he can play, yes. That's where we got the idea. We saw him playing on TV, that clip.

MORGAN: Would you be the mentor?

WAHLBERG: Yes, unfortunately, yes.

MORGAN: You're that age, you see. You're now the old guy.

WAHLBERG: Yes. To transition from a younger actor to an older actor and still getting some choice roles, studio movies, it's a big accomplishment.

MORGAN: The other extraordinary thing you've done is you've gone back to school. Let's take break and come back and talk school work. See how you've been getting on with your homework.

WAHLBERG: No tests, please. No pop quiz.



MORGAN: When you look back over this amazing career you've had, with all the twists and turns, if I had the power to let you relive one moment again, what would you choose?

WAHLBERG: I would probably choose not quitting school because that's when everything started to go downhill. That's when the drugs and the violence and all that stuff started to happen.


MORGAN: So you quit school at 13. As you said the last time we spoke, you wish you hadn't done it. That was the big regret. You've done something about this. You've gone back and doing an online diploma.

WAHLBERG: Just starting, yeah. I was talking to my mother today. She had heard -- she actually read it in the newspaper that I was starting to enter my studies. She told me she got her diploma when she was 55.

MORGAN: Really.

WAHLBERG: It's hanging up on her wall in her house. And it's one of her proudest moments.

MORGAN: What did she say about you doing it?

WAHLBERG: She's very proud me. But she says it's not going to be as easy as I think. I know that, because I look at my daughter's third grade homework. I'm like, ask mommy that question.

MORGAN: The kids must find this fascinating.

WAHLBERG: They don't know. They don't know that I didn't finish school. I never wanted to be faced with that question either. Daddy, you didn't do it, so why do I need to? Now that I can do it online, it's fantastic. I've got a tutor. I'll be doing it while I'm on set, in between takes. I'll be studying. Hopefully I can get through pretty quickly. MORGAN: You do the full range of subjects.

WAHLBERG: Yes. I got a lot of credits. They're going to give me a lot of credits in English because of my real-life experience. But the principal at my old school contacted me. She said, hey, we have this new program and you can do it online. I said, I'm in. She said, are you OK with talking about it? I said sure. I would try to encourage as many people as possible to --

MORGAN: What have you found you're good at and not so good at?

WAHLBERG: I'm very good at math. I'm very good at --

MORGAN: Counting money, isn't it?

WAHLBERG: Yes. I'm very good at English. Science is the worst and social studies. So I have no key -- I know nothing about science. So I'm going to start from scratch there.

MORGAN: Your mother must find it extraordinary, what's happened to you, doesn't she?


MORGAN: People talk about journey in a very trite way sometimes, I think. Everyone has a journey. I don't think I've seen many movie stars who have had quite the journey that you've had to get to where you are today.

WAHLBERG: Yes. She still puts me in my place though. We had a pitch meeting last week in New York. We were going to do a show about Wahlbergers with her and my brother. She took the train up because she doesn't like to fly. Nobody was there to pick her up from the train station. So she had to walk from the train station to the A&E offices. And she was pissed. Yelled at me in front of everybody.

I was like, I would have gotten you a helicopter, limousine. I've would have flown you in on a jet. Of course I'll take care of you. Nobody told me you were coming. You're supposed to know. You're supposed to -- I said, this is the show right here. You can yell at me over the phone.

MORGAN: You're living the life of the "Entourage" character. I loved "Entourage." We discussed this last time. After we discussed it, people said to me, friends of mine, do you actually have movie star friends. Is that a myth or is that a reality? These guys, like Leo Dicaprio that you grew up with, an actor and so on. Are these friends of yours?

WAHLBERG: Yeah, we're friendly. If we see each other, we'll hang out, shoot the breeze and catch up with what's been going on. I don't really stay in contact with anybody, you know. I've got some of my close friends that I still work with from Boston or, you know, over the years. But I don't really have people that I -- you know, they come over my house. I used to. When I was younger, Leo and all those guys would come over to my house every weekend and play basketball. Leo and Toby and their whole crew, Kevin Connolly and a lot of those guys would come over and play basketball. Now it's, you know, if I'm not working, I'm with my kids.

MORGAN: The party guys just got really fed up, because you suddenly became an adult.


MORGAN: They weren't factoring this into the relationship. You were the lead party guy.

WAHLBERG: I was one of them, yes.

MORGAN: You were the it's Friday, we're going to Vegas guys.

WAHLBERG: Oh, it's Tuesday, we're going. We're just recovering from a Monday night outing.

MORGAN: Was there a moment, a cathartic moment, where you just woke up and went, I'm done with that?

WAHLBERG: Certainly. When I met my wife -- my now wife, we started getting serious. Obviously when I was going to have a child, it was like, you can't be a child having a child. It's very much like "Ted." When my wife and I met, I was living with five of my friends in an apartment. She was like, you know, I love you and I like your friend, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to be coming over to your apartment when there's five guys on the couch. I had to change.

MORGAN: Did you have a red devil on your shoulder that whispers in your ear occasionally?


MORGAN: No temptation to suddenly go crazy again?


MORGAN: That again shows self-control.

WAHLBERG: I went crazy the other day. My kids and I shot our paint ball gun in the back. My two boys. That's as crazy as it gets.

MORGAN: That gives you enough?


MORGAN: That gives you the high you used to get from running with the gang --

WAHLBERG: I've given so much, you know, I would be a fool to risk -- do anything to jeopardize what I have.

MORGAN: Is it because you know where you came from?

WAHLBERG: Of course. I could easily end up back there. And I think I would be respected if I went back there. But, you know, I want to keep moving forward. I'm as hungry and determined as I've ever been to succeed.

MORGAN: What do you think of the political situation? You've got an election coming in November? Are you an Obama man, a Romney man? Where are you sitting?

WAHLBERG: I'm going to go down and pull the lever, you know. I've obviously been very supportive of President Obama and will continue to be.

MORGAN: There's a sense that Hollywood feels disappointed generally with him.

WAHLBERG: Yes, but, you know, he's -- he's making up some ground. He's been spending a lot of time there. He just had a dinner at Clooney's house.

MORGAN: Were you there?

WAHLBERG: No, I was not.

MORGAN: Not invited?

WAHLBERG: No, I was. Just didn't go. I was home having dinner with my kids.

MORGAN: You even turned down dinner with the president and George Clooney?

WAHLBERG: You know, you can cut a check and go. You could have gone. But no, I think -- I have been always concerned with causes that are really close to me, inner city youth, at-risk youth, things like that, trying to create opportunities for kids. I have been doing a lot of work with the sheriff in L.A. I just got on the board of the Sheriff's Youth Foundation. Lee Back (ph) is an incredible guy.

To find these kind of law enforcement agencies that are actually really trying to help kids and prevent them from going to prison, as opposed to just locking them up and putting them into the system and throwing away the key basically.

MORGAN: Take another short break and come back and talk quickly about "Boogie Nights" and your body. A lot of women want to know how you get those abs. I want to know how you get those abs.



KEN NEDIMYER, CNN HERO: I grew up diving in the Florida Keys and it was just the most magical place. The corral reefs were so pretty, and I decided that is what I wanted to do for a living, is dive on coral reefs.

In an area where there's live coral, there's always more fish. The reefs provide protection for coastal areas and recreational opportunities for millions off people.

I was diving for 40 years and over time, I saw those coral reefs start to die. Coral reefs worldwide are in decline. If coral reefs died completely, coastal communities would be bankrupt, tourism would be virtually gone. A billion people in the world would be impacted. I started thinking, how can we fix this problem?

My name is Ken Nedimyer. I grow, protect and restore coral reefs.

We've developed a system that is simple and something that we can train others to do.

We start with a piece of coral this big. We hang it on a tree. And after about a year or two, it becomes this big. Then we cut the branches off and we do it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ken's coral nursery is one of the largest in the wider Caribbean. It's 10 times larger than the others that are in existence.

NEDIMYER: In 2003, we originally planted six corals here. But now there's over 3,000 growing in this area alone.

Before I felt helpless watching it die. Now I think that there is hope. It is not too late. Everybody can help. I see all of those corals and all of those fish. It is like this whole reef is coming back to life. And making a difference is exciting.




WAHLBERG: When I close my eyes, I see this thing, this big sign. And my name is in like bright blue neon lights with a purple outline. This name is so bright and so sharp that the sign, it just blows up because the name is so powerful.

It says Dirk Diggler.

BURT REYNOLDS, ACTOR: I think heaven has sent you here, Dirk Diggler.


WAHLBERG: Not many people can say they had a Jacuzzi with Burt Reynolds.

MORGAN: I was going to say.

WAHLBERG: Well, probably a lot of woman. MORGAN: I actually watched that movie again the other day. I love that movie. It is a great film. Burt Reynolds is fantastic, but you as Dirk Diggler -- it's no wonder it was a breakout performance. It was such a great role, wasn't it?

WAHLBERG: I was nervous about it. But it was just too good to pass up, you know. To play -- you know, I always got to play the tough guy up to that point. And to play vulnerable and innocent, and it was a challenge, but I just couldn't pass it up.

MORGAN: When you are in the Jacuzzi, semi-naked with Burt Reynolds, fun or awkward?

WAHLBERG: A bit awkward. A bit awkward, you know. But what an amazing performance he gave. I wish he would have won the Academy Award award.

MORGAN: Yes. Is he a good guy?

WAHLBERG: He's a great guy, yeah. I think he wasn't really comfortable with the film. And that was well known throughout the media that -- and through Hollywood and with the Academy. So by the time he started trying to turn it around to campaign for the award, it was a little too late.

MORGAN: Women who watched last time, disappointingly from my point of view, saw the difference between our two torsos as being quite alarming, given that -- how old you are --


MORGAN: So I'm not that much older, but obviously look a lot older judging by the reaction I got. They want to know how you keep in shape.

WAHLBERG: You know, I love to workout and exercise. I started working out and exercising when I was really young, especially when you're a 17-year-old kid and you're getting ready to go to the big house, try to be as big and strong as possible, even though I was 5'2, 110 pounds when I went there.

MORGAN: And now have now got the big house in Hollywood. Everyone tells me you've got like this incredible house.

WAHLBERG: You should come and check it out.

MORGAN: I would love to. I haven't had the call.

WAHLBERG: Well, you have the open invite right now. I have just -- I have always wanted to exercise and eat right. And now with roles, whether I am preparing for a role, I did -- when I did "Broken City," I was here last time, I was 165 pounds. I just did the Michael Bay movie, I got up to 205.

MORGAN: Wow, 60 pounds heavier.

WAHLBERG: Forty pounds. MORGAN: Sorry, give it to me again?

WAHLBERG: One sixty five to 205, 45. I'll be your accountant.

MORGAN: Maybe I should go back to school like you.

WAHLBERG: I will handle your money. Don't worry. I always wanted to stay fit. And that was a big reason why I wanted to start Marked. I have always wanted to be in the health and wellness business, and encourage people, especially in inner cities.

You know, New York and L.A., a lot of people exercise. A lot of people are intimidated about exercise as well, you know.

MORGAN: This is Marked. Tell me about that. It is a pre-workout igniter.

WAHLBERG: This is the stuff that will actually give you the energy to get off of the couch and go do a great workout. This is protein. We also have ready made drinks in bars. So if you can't exercise, you can still get a good healthy amount of protein. When I approached the guys at GNC, I said, look, I have to have access to the best scientists, get the best formulas and the best stuff out there. I don't want any banned substances. I want kids in high school. I want mothers to be able to use it.

I want people to be able to get in shape and to live a healthy life.

MORGAN: Good to see you again, Mark.

WAHLBERG: Thank you, buddy. Thanks for having me.

MORGAN: I loved "Ted." It comes out the weekend, right?


MORGAN: Fantastic movie, very, very funny. Not for the little ones, but it is hysterical. Mark Wahlberg, always a pleasure.

WAHLBERG: Thank you, buddy.

MORGAN: I'll be pumping out with his protein later.

WAHLBERG: We're going to send you a bunch more stuff too.

MORGAN: I need it. These guns are ready. They're ready to go to work.