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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Sigourney Weaver; Interview with Russell Brand; Interview with Chris Colfer
Aired July 28, 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 -- she's the secretary of state, a wife of the former president and she ran for the White House herself. But she's not Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say we do all survive two years of campaign help, where does that leave our family?
SIGOURNEY WEAVER, ACTRESS: Hopefully, in the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Sigourney Weaver doesn't just play a political animal on TV. She's got a few things to say about real-world politics, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEAVER: I think if you look at individual senators, like Patrick Leahy, or like Olympia Snowe, like Chuck Schumer, you know, you -- there's so many individuals that I admire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Also, the one thing you never thought "Glee's" Chris Colfer would do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS COLFER, ACTOR: Well, it was a promise I made myself when I was 10, and here I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus, Russell Brand on unpredictable, dangerous, outspoken and very, very funny.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSSELL BRAND, ACTOR: Shut up, Piers!
MORGAN: All right, that's enough, Brand. Off you go. We'll be right back. Get off.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: Russel Brand. Who knows what might happen.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Good evening.
Our big story tonight, imagine a world in which a first lady divorces her philandering commander-in-chief, runs for president herself, loses to a less experienced rival, then becomes the secretary of state. Ridiculous.
Well, not quite that ridiculous, but anyway, this is the world of this summer's political guilty pleasure, "Political Animals," and who better to play that secretary of state, Sigourney Weaver. She's made over 40 films, she's grossed -- this is quite extraordinary -- $4 billion worldwide.
She's played the toughest female character in movies, in the "Alien" films, not to mention another longsuffering first lady in the movie, "Dave." And Sigourney Weaver joins me now.
WEAVER: Thank you so much.
MORGAN: I've wanted to interview you for a long time.
WEAVER: Oh, I'm very flattered. I'm delighted to be here.
MORGAN: The $4 billion woman. That must make you feel great, doesn't it?
WEAVER: I actually didn't know. So I'm -- now I'll know how to greet myself in the morning.
MORGAN: This should be your number one thing, your calling card.
WEAVER: I'll have a T-shirt made.
MORGAN: Resume: $4 billion at the box office.
WEAVER: What more do you need to know?
MORGAN: Let's talk about politics, because this TV show that everyone's going crazy for, it's very realistic and clearly most people assume it's loosely based on Hillary Clinton's story. Do you agree with that? It -- was that deliberate in your -- back of your mind?
WEAVER: You know, I think if it had been Hillary's story, I probably wouldn't have done it, as much as I admire her. But I actually -- as soon as I started reading it, I was -- I was hooked. I was hooked on Elaine Barrish Hammond and her entire family.
I think it's inspired not only by Ms. Clinton but also by Madeleine Albright. You know, the idea that we've had three very capable women secretaries of state but we are not yet willing to entertain the notion of an actual woman president --
MORGAN: Why is that?
WEAVER: Well, that's one of the things our series is trying to find out. It's almost like when a woman actually says I believe I would be a good president, she's considered ambitious, which, in a woman, is unattractive. It's one of the things that comes up in our show, I think, in a very interesting way.
MORGAN: Do you think it will change? I mean, America is changing fast in all sorts of ways. You know, with gay marriage and all these issues, really gathering great momentum. Do you feel like the whole barrier to the concept of a female president may change very quickly?
WEAVER: Well, I suppose it could, but you sound more optimistic than I feel.
MORGAN: I am quite optimistic, actually. I think there's a lot of smart women around.
MORGAN: Hillary Clinton being a classic example of somebody that I could see being elected.
WEAVER: Oh, I agree. But the fact is that we have -- we are almost 51 percent of the population, and we have 16 percent of the representation. So the fact that women aren't even running for local office, although it's changing, it's a great shame, because I actually think women are very effective leaders, very practical.
We actually listen. We work together. We have a different approach to leading and participating -- and I think it's the kind of influence that would very good to have in Washington right now.
MORGAN: You have a fascinating background, because your father was an extraordinary character. He was Nelson Rockefeller's campaign manager long before he began creating some of the world's most famous television shows. Do you remember that period at all, his political life?
WEAVER: Well, I do. I do, because I was sent out into the street to campaign for Rocky myself against Nixon in the primary, when I was -- I think I was a teenager. And I wasn't really aware of too much going on. But I knew that -- I still am very aware that Rockefeller is the kind of Republican we don't really have any more, a sort of lefty Republican.
MORGAN: Right. And what did you make of Nixon? What did that do to your view of politics? WEAVER: My father told us a wonderful story. He had some show called, "Make Me Laugh," and he decided for the first show to do it on Capitol Hill with three different senators. And I guess the third guest -- and the concept of the show was they would have different comedians like Henny Youngman, you know, pitching jokes and trying to make these guys laugh.
So Nixon was the last one, and they pitched one joke at him, no response; second joke, no response. Finally, the third joke, there was a pause, and then Nixon laughed.
And at the cocktail party afterward, Nixon came up to my father and said, "You know, Pat, I didn't really need to laugh. But I thought I'd look better if I did."
WEAVER: And you know, that's -- it's --
MORGAN: That's a great impression, by the way.
WEAVER: -- well, I don't know about that. But anyway, I've never forgotten that story, and my father, who was a Republican, called Nixon Tricky Dick every single time he ever referred to him. So that made an impression on me.
MORGAN: Was your father quietly smug when Nixon came crashing down, that his instinct about him had been proven right?
WEAVER: Oh, no, I think he was heartbroken for the country. Yes. No, he -- you know, he didn't want to see a Republican be that stupid, especially Nixon, who was a brilliant man.
MORGAN: It would be great to say America learned its lesson, that politics cleaned up its act, et cetera, et cetera, but of course, you know, right now, you look at it, you see Washington paralyzed.
MORGAN: And you see the emergence of what to me is, as John McCain told me earlier this week, it is surely a recipe for scandalous disaster, the super PACs being encouraged by the Supreme Court now to go out, under freedom of speech, and basically try and buy elections. This can only end in tears.
WEAVER: Yes. No, I -- it doesn't make sense to me because it means you're -- you have the wealth to buy more freedom of speech than people who don't. So to me, it makes it such an unfair competition and means that these special interests will be much more represented than the will of the people.
And I think that that's -- the people need us to be attentive to them, and that's one reason why I love playing Elaine Barrish Hammond. She has -- she has a strong moral compass. She has a big heart. She's sort of not afraid to say what she thinks in any situation and --
MORGAN: Sounds rather familiar, Sigourney.
WEAVER: Well, I'm not at all like that. I wish -- I wish -- I admire Elaine.
MORGAN: Let's take a look at Elaine in action. Let's watch a clip from "Political Animals."
WEAVER: Where do we look?
MORGAN: You look up there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elaine, your husband himself sent me to Mexico to negotiate the release of those American citizens.
"ELAINE BARRISH": That was Mexico? And two college students smuggling a Volvo of pot? This is Iran, accusing innocent American journalists of being spies. These negotiations won't happen over margaritas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Great line. It's a great line you came out with about why you took the role. You said, "After eating salad for a couple of years, I was offered a big, juicy steak. I took out my fork and knife and I went, right, I'm going for it."
I love that. Is that how it felt? Because this is your big first big TV role.
WEAVER: It is. I think. I think it's the best role I've ever had.
You know, what's fascinating to me is you play this very eloquent, passionate woman, and who's so capable and then at the same time, you draw back the veil of their private life, and you're in the kitchen and living room and bedrooms of this family, and you know, as capable as she is, in the world, she's as powerless as all the rest of parents, you know, when it comes to her own family.
And you know, the family is -- you know, you fall in love with them. And I must say I'm part of a brilliant ensemble with Ellen Burstyn, Ciaran Hinds and Sebastian Stan, Carla Gugino plays this press person, who's out to get me or out to become friends with me, we don't know which, and Jimmy Wolk.
MORGAN: Do you have more sympathy for top politicians, having been through the process of making this series? I mean, do you feel more empathy with the pressures that go with that kind of job?
WEAVER: That's an interesting question. I don't think I do. No.
MORGAN: That's a good answer. WEAVER: I don't think I do, because I think it's very easy to get subverted into all the polling. I think that what we expect from politicians -- which we don't expect from shallow celebrities like myself -- is that they do speak truth to power, and that they are consistent and that they have, you know, they have a real commitment to the big picture as they see it.
And to see -- to see candidates changing their history and their point of view depending on who's paying for the ads or whatever, it's -- it does make one very cynical. When I was working on Capitol Hill as a student, I worked for a congressman.
And I was in charge of gun control. And I was actually even then quite, in spite of "Alien," et cetera, I was quite passionately pro- gun control. And this guy sent out two letters, one to people who were pro-gun control, a similar but different letter to people who were against gun control. And it really was so shocking to me. It still is.
MORGAN: But do you see principle anywhere on Capitol Hill these days? You look at anyone and think, that is the kind of -- I mean, again, I've interviewed Justice Scalia this week, who said that he sees nobody in modern politics to compare with the Founding Fathers, compare with the guys that created the Federalist Papers.
It was a fascinating moment for me that this guy had been Supreme Court justice for 25 years, clearly believes there's a malaise in ability and principle.
WEAVER: Yes. Well, I think there probably is a malaise in the actual, you know, the body politic. But I think if you look at individual senators, like Patrick Leahy or like Olympia Snowe, like Chuck Schumer, you know, you -- there's so many individuals that I admire.
I don't know why they can't seem to get things done, but I know that, for instance, Senator Snowe is retiring because she said it was just -- it's just too discouraging.
MORGAN: How do you -- how do you think President Obama's done?
WEAVER: Well, I think -- I thought it was very interesting last week that he said he's really concentrated on policy, because that makes sense to me, with his character. And one of the things that's come up with this show is to what extent any of these people are political animals.
And I have a feeling that, for instance, Clinton, Johnson, maybe Nixon, some of these people were real political animals. I don't think Obama is. So I think --
MORGAN: More a legal animal.
WEAVER: He's a policy wonk.
MORGAN: Yes. WEAVER: I think he's trying, you know, in a -- very sincerely to get the policy correct for people, to support people. And then it's a different kind of political animal that puts it through.
MORGAN: I think that's the best observation I've heard about it, because I keep asking politicians why there's paralysis. But actually that is probably why. You have to play the game in a smarter, more malleable way, possibly slightly less principled way, you know, dark deals done in corridors.
WEAVER: Well, I -- you know, and I think you can't take it personally. And I think that's why I would make a terrible politician. I think that you have to have a very thick skin, and I think that, you know, for instance, Hillary Clinton has done such a remarkable job as secretary of state. I admire her so much. Hope the show doesn't irritate her, because it really isn't about her.
But you know, you must be -- have to be so thick-skinned to stay objective and diplomatic in these situations. You know, I go down to Washington to talk to congressmen about the environment or in favor of the arts, et cetera. And sometimes people say things to you that, you know, you could get into a fistfight about.
And you, you know, you can't do that, obviously. That doesn't help matters. But I admire people who can manage to just, you know, continuously drive their message through without getting emotionally involved.
MORGAN: Let's take a break. Let's come back and talk avatars, aliens -- all these other little weird things you've been involved with.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "ALIENS")
"ELLEN RIPLEY": Get away from her, you bitch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Sigourney Weaver in her first Oscar nomination for the 1986 film, "Aliens," and she's back with me now.
What was it like -- I mean, "Aliens" was such a huge phenomenon at the time. Did you -- you almost came out with a great line, "I've always regretted having such a serious career, because I'm really more of an idiot."
WEAVER: It's true. I was always the class clown and I much prefer comedy. I actually can't believe I'm in a serious television series, although we do try to get in as many jokes as we can.
But I think, yes, I mean, Ripley is a -- listen, I can understand it, but she's, you know, not a barrel of laughs. And so I'm still waiting for my comedy career to take off.
MORGAN: Well, I liked you in "Working Girl," and that choice bit from "Working," it was one of my favorite films, actually. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WORKING GIRL")
"KATHARINE PARKER": And as such, we have a uniform, simple, elegant, impeccable. "Dress shabbily, they notice the dress. Dress impeccably, they notice the woman," Coco Chanel.
"TESS MCGILL": And how do I look?
"PARKER": You look terrific. You might want to rethink the jewelry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I love that movie. You got another Oscar nomination for that. And apart from Melanie Griffith's extraordinary hair in that movie, but that was a great -- that was a great comedy role, really, wasn't it?
WEAVER: It was. I was so lucky. I was -- and I got to work with the great Mike Nichols as well. So --
MORGAN: You then moved on, "Avatar," I went to see "Avatar" here in New York, actually. I did the whole 3D experience.
WEAVER: Oh, really?
And I hate those kind of (INAUDIBLE). I'll be honest with you, I never watch anything horror, science fiction, any of that because I was absolutely transfixed by the cinema -- what do you call it?
MORGAN: No, what it was, it wasn't even magic. It was like this incredible experience.
WEAVER: Immersive experience.
MORGAN: I like that, immersive, yes.
MORGAN: What was it like to make? Were you disconnected? Because I keep seeing clips of all you guys in sort of very pale rooms.
WEAVER: Well, we were in --
MORGAN: And then they put you into this.
WEAVER: -- you were in a big empty room and you were in a little black suit with ears and tails and a camera. But in fact, at that point the science fiction sort of paused, because we were really just actors finding the scene, and Jim Cameron had this round camera in which you could see what your character would look like 7 feet tall and blue.
And all he would do -- he's transformed the business so much that he would only have to capture one perfect master and then he could come back in without any of the actors there and through what the cameras had captured do all the coverage. So he'd only have to shoot one --
MORGAN: It's amazing.
WEAVER: It's amazing. And I hope that's contagious and regular films can figure out how to do that as well.
MORGAN: A genius.
WEAVER: I think he is a genius.
MORGAN: Talking of geniuses, your father, now he moved on from politics into television. He created the "Today" show.
WEAVER: He did.
MORGAN: And he created the -- what was the original "Tonight" show that became -- amazing --
MORGAN: -- badges of honor. He was running NBC at the time. Is this where you got the love of the business, do you think?
WEAVER: You know, I think I did. He loved -- he loved the business. He loved the people in the business. He especially loved comedy. He loved having, you know mixing Bertrand Russell with, you know, a chimpanzee or what have you.
And I think that it was a sort of tough business, you know. I think I grew up thinking it was a great business but also knowing I -- you know, my father never got discouraged. But he did try to start a fourth network twice.
He did pioneer the first cable television network and was put one of business illegally by the theater owners. We got a lot of death threats when I was about 12. So I could see that it was a rough business as well.
MORGAN: When you see the sort of Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame coming to reality now, almost anyone could be famous for any kind of vacuous reason, does it depress you? Does it bother you? Are you not really fazed by it? Do you -- does it diminish what used to be stars on pedestals?
WEAVER: Well, I think fame is the least valuable thing that a successful career gives you. I think it's actually the one, you know, not to complain, but it's the one downside, I think, of being successful.
What do I think we have missed is that in the early days, we had so many great theater actors, so many international actors working in Hollywood and there was much more of a live experience of theater.
And I think the public really adored actors, could appreciate what they did, their training. And you know, I think especially in Europe, for instance, someone who could tell a compelling story and keep everyone, you know, calm or keep everyone entertained, that's power and that's a talent.
And nowadays, I think it's so much about looking -- making it look easy that it's very hard for the public to tell that it is hard. Acting is really hard. It really is challenging. It takes years for a lot of us to get it right.
But how can they tell? You know, how could they possibly tell that this is -- that this is something noble, you know, and difficult to achieve?
MORGAN: Your mother was English, I discovered literally seconds before we went on the air, very exciting moment when I discovered it. Clearly, all your talent comes from English blood.
WEAVER: Well, and --
MORGAN: She went to RADA with Vivien Leigh, you said.
WEAVER: She did.
MORGAN: I find that fantastic story.
WEAVER: Yes, she -- they used to have to wear -- provide their own costumes at RADA and Vivien was already married to a very wealthy man in Mayfair. And so my mother's mother would send her these hideous costumes made by the village seamstress in Essex.
And so she would always beg Vivien to let her borrow the next act's costume, because it like one -- three different actresses in the year would play three different acts and the same character.
MORGAN: The only thing longer and more successful than your acting career has been your marriage.
MORGAN: To Jim Simpson, a filmmaker, 30 years you've been together. Is that right?
WEAVER: It's actually -- 28. So actually my career is longer.
MORGAN: Nearly 30.
MORGAN: You're in a business, you know, where divorce come and go like sort of Number 9 buses, how have you managed to avoid that pitfall?
WEAVER: Gosh, I don't really know. I think I was very lucky to find someone as -- I think he's a brilliant man. He's a theater director. So he understands what it -- what I'm doing, why I'm probably sometimes preoccupied by the work.
He's from Hawaii, so he's filled with aloha. He's very supportive. He's been a great father to our daughter. So, I mean, you know, I just got lucky and picked the right person, I think.
MORGAN: Sigourney Weaver, it's been a real pleasure. Thank you for coming in.
"Political Animals," Sunday nights at 10:00 on USA. It's a terrific show. Getting the applaud that it deserves. It's been a real delight to meet you.
WEAVER: For me, too.
MORGAN: Thank you.
Coming up, the always unpredictable Russell Brand, just wait until you see what he does tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Is it more fun being the cleaner-cut, well-behaved Russell? Or was it honestly more fun being the ne'er-do-well?
BRAND: It was all kind of crazy. I used to hang out with pimps and hookers and junkies and crooks. But the reality of that life, you know, you can snatch glistening pearls of amusement from it. But when that's your daily life, it's miserable. Otherwise I would still do it.
It's not a good way to live. There's no longevity in it. And ultimately, it's quite painful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's from my interview with Russell Brand last year. A lot's happened to him since then. A lot can happen tonight. You know never know with Russell Brand. That's why I like him. He's always so dangerously unpredictable. He joins me now for a prime-time exclusive interview.
Russell, welcome back.
BRAND: All right, mate.
MORGAN: How the devil are you?
BRAND: Do you know, I'm very, very happy today. I'm very happy to be on your show. I look different in that clip, huh?
MORGAN: You do. You've got your beard back. You look more Jesus like. Don't know if you like that comparison.
BRAND: Well, I mean, he was a pretty good guy. It's never going to be an insult.
MORGAN: Let me get one thing out of the way. Because I know you don't want to talk about this. And I certainly don't want to make it anymore painful than it has to be. You got divorced at the weekend. When I spoke to you last time, you were very happily married and you were talking as if this was going to be it.
How do you feel now that you're officially a single man again?
BRAND: Well, I think that the -- what happened in the weekend was just an administrative finality. So I don't think that makes very much difference.
Of course I still feel great feelings of compassion and warmth for Katy. But, like, I'm very -- I'm very happy with my life.
MORGAN: Yes, how is you life now? People write so much bilge about you. I always think that you are one of the guys who are probably one of the more misunderstood characters of public life, just from what I know about you.
How is your life in reality at the moment?
BRAND: Well, the limited amount of time I spend in reality I quite enjoy. I try to only visit it temporarily, as I believe it to be a construct.
As for this bilge, Piers Morgan, you're one of the primary architects of this citadel of nonsense. You contrive to build this cloud kingdom of lies and hullabaloo with your brilliant understanding of the narrative that people like to receive, about sensationalism and madness.
My life is, now, a very sort of simple kind of life. I meditate a lot. I do a lot of yoga.
I work really, really hard on my TV show for FX. I work hard on movies. I try and do nice things for other people every day. You have to work hard to do that, because otherwise you just slip into narcissism.
So like, you know, it's a pretty kind of -- I'm like a farmer that's product is a TV show instead of tomatoes. MORGAN: What do you think about fame and celebrity?
The reason I ask you, when I first interviewed you for "GQ Magazine," you were just heading over the precipice of stardom. And you were quite sort of excited about it all. You seemed very unfazed. It was your moment, your time.
Has cynicism crept in a little bit? Have you become, you know, a little less excited about the whole nature of fame and celebrity?
BRAND: Yes, I remember that interview very distinctly, Piers. It was one of the -- for me, it was something of a baptism of fire, my first skirmish with one of the first journalists of popular cultures -- of popular culture. Yes, that was you that tricked me into doing a number for how many women I had slept with.
I was at that point infatuated with fame, thought that it would solve all my inner problems. Now having been famous for a while, I recognize that there are benefits to it, but there are detrimental aspects to it as well.
I don't think that -- I think that celebrity and fame and glamour, they're literally about artifice. They're literally pointless. There's no value to them.
I mean, when you think sort of like the first people that that term, famous, would have been applied to, it would have been -- you know, I don't know, in a relatively modern sense, great figures like Lord Byron or Oscar Wilde and, going back a bit, Christ or Krishna, you know, figures of notoriety and greatness.
Now I heard a great analysis, but once our heroes were gods, the gods of Greek tragedy. Then they were the kings of Shakespearean writing.
And now we write just about anybody, just ordinary people that have nothing to ply. I don't want to condemn them, because aristocracy is just the celebration of people because of where they're born. And hereditary wealth is just, you know, sort of greatness bestowed upon people for no bloody reason.
But, one -- but celebrity is, in and of itself, pretty bloody pointless.
MORGAN: Anybody can be famous for doing almost anything. Is there a way to close this down? Is there something society should do to try and put a lid on this before we all go completely mad?
BRAND: Yes. We should focus on spiritual principles and focus on what's real. I think what we have to do is sort of say, well, there's going to be all this reality TV. There's going to be E! TV, Kardashian, MTV. It seems to exist.
But underneath it all, we recognize it isn't working. It's not working for me as a participant. It's not working for the people that receive it. It's not working for the young people brought up on a diet of saccharin-covered pink glittering nonsense. Because we know there's somewhere within us we're entitled to truth and reality. We don't have the religious language anymore. We don't -- we have no relationship with mysticism. We have no narrative to relate us to the planet we live on.
So now we think this planet just exists to serve us. We're infatuated with our own individualism and our own entitlement. We've forgotten that were part of a much greater thing, that we're just very, very simple life forms living on a planet as its temporary custodians.
MORGAN: This is magnificent stuff, Russell Brand. I've whipped you into this frenzy, this orgasmic frenzy of linguistic fury.
I'm going to take a break. Stay primed. I'm going to unleash you on the American presidential race. May God help them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAND: Firstly, I'd like to say to both of you, I salute your work. And I want -- hello. I'm having trouble concentrating for a number of reasons. Four really obvious ones. This is like when I met Tom Cruise. I've seen all of your films.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Back with Russell Brand. I was enjoying the spiritualism of that clip there, Russell.
BRAND: As you can see, that was a very profound Zen piece of art that I was making there, with Sara Jay and Angelina Castro.
MORGAN: We're going to come to your new show in a moment. I want to talk to you about politics for a moment.
You said a couple of very interesting things about politics. You said, "I've never voted in my life. I'll never vote in my life. I don't agree with it. It's gestural politics."
Then you went on, "I believe democracy is a pointless spectacle where we choose between two indistinguishable political parties, neither of whom represent the people, but the interests of powerful business elites that run the world."
You said that at the MTV Movie Awards. A lot of people would agree with that.
BRAND: That's right.
MORGAN: A lot of people feel there's been such a blurring now that you really can't decide between the parties. What's the point of it all?
BRAND: There isn't one, I don't think. Sort of I don't know much about politics. But my mate Matt Stoller, who is on my FX show with me, he explained to me that since -- since Obama has been in power, the gap between rich and poor has exacerbated, increased.
I think that -- you know, people say whoever controls the Supreme Court, it makes a difference, and this kind of welfare, health care bill.
I'm not -- I'm not interested in these kind of minute political changes. I think we need a profound change to change our world, to save our world. So, you know, I'm massively disillusioned with the current bi-party political system, but not only in America. I'm not judging America, like it's the same in our country, Piers, and all. It's rhubarb.
MORGAN: Are you an American resident yet?
BRAND: No. There seems to be some administrative complications due to the nature of my conduct.
MORGAN: Is America refusing to accept you as one of its own then, Russell?
BRAND: I love the American people, all of them, every single individual. I have nothing but love. But remember I keep getting into fracas, don't I? I've got that temper and everything.
MORGAN: How is your temper at the moment?
BRAND: Pretty good, mostly. Do you know what? For the first time in my life, I spend more time meditating and doing yoga than I do having sex. That's only because I do a held of a lot of yoga.
MORGAN: Let's turn to your stand-up show. What is it about standup that you love? Because I know that really it's your first love, probably your great love.
BRAND: What this is, Piers, this show that I'm doing on FX, is an opportunity to look at the stories behind the news. When you read a story in the paper, you think whose agenda is this serving? And it's usually pretty funny. Like the way that they'll use, like, the nationality of a story's protagonist to take in a particular direction.
The other day there was a story in the paper, Italian doctor kicks son in face at Epcot Center. And I thought wow, that story's more acceptable because he's an Italian doctor.
If it is just said doctor kicks son in face at Epcot Center, I think that's brutal. But when it's an Italian doctor, they say, Mama Mia, by bloody son, kick him in the face.
And as I say, I think there are peculiar stereotypes and agendas served. So that's what -- in that sort of surprisingly eloquent political statement that you punched up on the screen earlier, our political leaders, our business leaders are working in allegiance to keep the majority of people repressed, docile, spell bound little consumers. And the media is an obvious participant in that because they have the same agenda as the aforementioned.
On my FX show, I like having a real laugh about that and trying to include a spiritual component, because I think the solutions to our contemporary problems are spiritual ones.
And that's why I was talking to the porn stars, Sara Jay and Angelina Castro. Angelina Castro, once you go Hispanic, don't panic -- which is a terrible, terrible rhyme.
MORGAN: That's a terrible line. I distance myself from it enormously. Let's just --
BRAND: It doesn't make sense, once you go Hispanic, don't panic. Once you go black, you don't go back, that makes sense -- although I have gone black and gone back and forth.
But once you go Hispanic, don't panic, doesn't really make sense. Because like, oh, no, I've gone Hispanic -- don't panic. I wasn't panicking. Well, don't. So, it's an odd rhyme.
But Angelina Castro I believe is Hispanic, and she thought of it. So it's up to her.
MORGAN: Where is the line with you and comedy? The reason I asked is Ricky Gervais, our fellow Brits, has been in an ongoing Twitter war with his followers about whether there should be any lines drawn in the comedic sand, whether there is anything that should be off limits.
What do you think?
BRAND: Woody Allen said, no, didn't he? Woody Allen said, as long as it's funny, then it's fine. Like Ricky lives his life by that principle.
I also think if something is funny -- when we're with our mates, all of us we, we'll laugh at anything, disgusting stuff. But I suppose when you're on the tele, it seems there's different obligations.
Me, I would laugh at pretty much anything. Occasionally when I hear something that hurts my feelings, then I think that's pay back for times I have said something that's mean.
I don't like to say anything that's personally offensive. I try and stop doing that. I try not to be mean. I suppose I try and think -- we've al got little sexy Jiminy Cricket in our minds saying, don't do that, Pinocchio, you fool. Just try and listen to your conscience and give a little whistle.
MORGAN: Russell, it's been great to catch up with you. You look a fine feisty in form. I like the beard back. It gives you a certain gravitas.
BRAND: Thanks. Thank you for noticing my gravitas, Piers. Thank you for promoting my show, because I want people to watch it because I think it's a genuine opportunity to change the way people think. MORGAN: Well, if you want to change the way you think, tune to "Brand X" with Russell Brand, airs every Thursday at 11:00 p.m. on FX. I will be tuning in avidly, as always.
BRAND: Shut up, Piers.
MORGAN: All right, that's enough, Brand. Off you go. We'll be right back. Get off.
BRAND: Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLFER: I know the exact career that I want.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is it, Munchkin?
COLFER: I want to be editor of "The New Yorker" and the youngest freelance journalist to be published in "The New York Times," "L.A. Times" and "The Chicago Tribune."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
COLFER: I've got to get into Northwestern.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never heard of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to be on anti-depressant. But you were on ADD medication as a kid.
COLFER: I thought I was really calm and mature for my age.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nope, you were drugged. I hid it in your food.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Chris Colfer's new films "Struck by Lightning." You know, him as "Glee's" Kurt Hummel. He's won a Golden Globe and been nominated twice for an Emmy for that role. But at 22, he's not resting on his laurels.
Somehow, he's found time to write, produce, and star in that new film and also write a children's novel called "The Land of Stories, the Wishing Well" -- as "Wishing Spell," sorry, Chris.
So joining me again. Welcome back.
COLFER: Thank you.
MORGAN: Now tell me about this.
COLFER: Yes. MORGAN: "The Wishing Spell," why have you written a fairy tale book?
COLFER: Well, it was a promise that I made to myself when I was 10. I came up with the story then, and desperately wanted to be a part of the kids' lit world. And found an opportunity with success at other places. And here I am.
MORGAN: What's the point of it? Tell me the narrative?
COLFER: Well, the plot is it's about two kids going to the fairy tale world through a magic story book. The point of why I wrote it is because when I was a younger kid, I had a rough childhood. I was in the hospital for a while when I was younger. I have a scar on my neck to prove it. My younger sister was in the hospital. It was kind of rough for me growing up.
And I would use fairy tales as a way just to kind of escape from hardships. And as a kid, I wanted to write a story, so other kids out there would have a way to escape themselves.
MORGAN: Yes, but we talked before about the bullying that you suffered and all that kind of stuff. Obviously, you've made a massive success of yourself. On the back of that, you now get a lot of other kids writing to you.
MORGAN: Certainly gay teenagers write to you who --
MORGAN: -- know what you've been through and admire you for the way you've come through it. So you now have this huge responsibility. How do you deal with that?
COLFER: I don't know. I think I'm still figuring that out. It is responsibility. And I hope that I'm doing it well. And I mean, there's nothing like getting a letter from those kids. And most of them are written in secret, because they're stuck in places that don't accept them, but --
MORGAN: What do you say to them?
COLFER: Well, I don't know if there's anything I could say to them. I think the best thing I could do is just show them an example of -- I don't know, something that they -- a version of something that they could be if they aspired to it.
MORGAN: And what would you say to yourself as a 14 year old boy now, if you had the chance?
COLFER: Well, I think at first, those quotes don't say it. I think that would be first and foremost.
But I don't know. I mean, I think I would just say hang in there. Hang in there. And keep -- and even though people are making fun of you, keep doing what you're doing because it'll pay off some day.
MORGAN: Since we last met again, the whole gay marriage debate has moved on incredibly fast. New York has joined many other states now in legalizing gay marriage. You were very helpful, with George Clooney, and others in the Prop 8 plays about legalizing same sex marriage.
What do you feel about the way America has moved and the president's endorsement?
COLFER: Oh, I think that was an amazing endorsement. And I'm very happy that we're living in a time where progress is being made. But I think people really -- who are so upset and they're so hurt over it, that I think people need -- just need to realize that there is a silver lining in sight. It's going to take some time to get there, but we will.
MORGAN: President Obama is facing election in November. What are your thoughts? A lot of Hollywood people are disappointed in him, threatening to term their backs. Are you standing firmly by your president?
COLFER: I'm 22 and an actor. You're asking my political advice?
MORGAN: You can vote.
COLFER: My -- I can vote, you're right, right.
MORGAN: Are you very political?
COLFER: I was in high school. Yes, I was actually a big speech and debate champion in high school. I was very political, but I have since kin do taken my foot out of that pond.
MORGAN: Is it too dangerous to be a young, handsome "Glee" star pontificating about politics?
COLFER: No, I just think it's annoying. I just -- I mean, I just -- I don't want to be one of those young actors that tries to join a bandwagon, because all the other cool kids are. I'd rather have my, you know, my own, which is my own opinions are pretty much the same of who I'm talking about.
But, you know, I'm an actor. I don't want to -- I don't want people to watch me in a movie or a TV show and be like, oh, I know who you voted for. I'd rather watch the movie.
MORGAN: Let's turn to "Glee." What's going on with "Glee?"
COLFER: That's a good question. I don't know. I haven't been back yet, so we'll see. We haven't started season 4 yet, but I'm in season 4.
MORGAN: So definitely coming back?
COLFER: Yes, definitely. MORGAN: You weren't just dropping some terrible bombshell?
COLFER: No, no, no, no.
MORGAN: You're not going to remove the glee from "Glee" for millions of young viewers?
COLFER: No, maybe a letter or two, but this time -- no.
MORGAN: Well, was that a movies -- I remember talking to you last time about, you know, you were worried about the workload. You are working, aren't you? Writing books? You're making movies. You're doing another season of "Glee."
Are you getting enough fun in your life? Are you having a good time with all this or?
COLFER: I just like progress. I could always have more of it. But no, I mean, I think right now, I'm in a crucial spot, where I just -- I've always had ant syndrome, you know, to write a grasshopper and ant. You know, I just want to make sure my house is stable for winter.
MORGAN: What's ant syndrome?
COLFER: OK, so the grasshopper and the ant, right? The ant, you know, spent all day making a house for winter. The grasshopper was playing. And then winter came and the grasshopper died. And the ant survived.
MORGAN: And the moral of that is?
COLFER: You know, don't dilly dally. Get stuff done.
MORGAN: So why is the grasshopper in all this?
MORGAN: Look, best of luck with everything. Come back again.
COLFER: Thank you.
MORGAN: It's always good to see you.
COLFER: Of course, thank you so much.
MORGAN: Take care, Chris.
JO CRAWFORD, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: When I was 13, my dad was very violent and attempted to murder my mom.
It wasn't until I was 55 that I came to work in a shelter and met a woman who had fled Chicago with two young children. She had no documentation. She did not legally exist. She said can you help me? I need $40 to get all of the documentation. It is totally forbidden but I gave her the two $20 bills and I thought I just changed three lives with $40.
I actually had no idea I had changed my life as well.
My name is Jo Crawford and I ask women survivors of domestic violence to dream their best life and I give them the means to accomplish the first step.
This is what you want and this is what you deserve.
The women are all out of a relationship for at least six months. They have to be free of alcohol and drugs and they have got to have a dream.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go back to school to do social services to be a social worker.
CRAWFORD: It's not a gift. She agrees to pay forward to three other survivors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to be helping three ladies get their GED. Thank you!
CRAWFORD: These women need to know that they deserve their dream and have the power to create it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got so much help which enabled me to buy a sewing machine and that made me realize I should be a person who not only receive help but also gives help.
CRAWFORD: I am so proud of you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You too.
CRAWFORD: One woman can make a difference, but women working can change the world.