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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Melissa Etheridge; Interview with Gina Gershon
Aired August 10, 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, a rock icon with a message for America. Superstar Melissa Etheridge passionate about her music.
MORGAN: -- and her opinions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA ETHERIDGE, ROCK ICON: I think it has done us more harm believing in the huge differences between left and right, Democrat and Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Also, Hollywood goddess Gina Gershon, from "Showgirls" to the secret of looking so young.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINA GERSHON, ACTRESS: Lots of virgin blood.
Just have a good life, have fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus, the Olympian you don't know about but you should. Matt Stutzman is armless archer. If you think his aim is amazing, wait until you hear his story.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
You only have to hear Melissa Etheridge once and you'll never forget her. That voice, "Come to my Window," "I'm the Only One," no else can sing those songs quite like she does. She's a two-time Grammy winner, Oscar winner. Also known for being outspoken on all kinds of issues close to her heart.
Melissa joins me now, welcome.
ETHERIDGE: Nice to be here.
MORGAN: You're a kind of fiery, emotional, soulful character, aren't you -- on and often stage?
ETHERIDGE: I'm just trying to live this interesting life we all have in front of us. Just making some choices.
MORGAN: When you look at your extraordinary life professional and personal, how do you feel now about where you've arrived, where you are right now?
ETHERIDGE: I think at this point, I'm 51 now, I've realized, oh, it's just a journey. You never get there. You never get it done. It's all about how you're doing it.
MORGAN: That is so true.
ETHERIDGE: I mean, really.
MORGAN: You're never actually going to arrive, are you?
MORGAN: This train never gets to a station.
ETHERIDGE: It does not. There is no there "there." And for myself who -- you know, I've achieved some of those markers that you think, oh, the Oscar, those things. And each time, I go, there's no there here. That's nice, that's great. But it's about how am I doing. And how's this journey.
MORGAN: What's been the best pit stop on your journey so far? What's been the moment if I could replay it for you, you'd relive?
MORGAN: Can't be children or the women in your life.
ETHERIDGE: No. I don't want to relive that.
MORGAN: Got to be something else.
ETHERIDGE: No, it's been great.
On stage with Bruce Springsteen.
MORGAN: Really? When was that?
ETHERIDGE: That was 1994 unplugged, MTV. They said, "Do you want to duet with anyone?" I said, "Well, I've always wanted to sing with Bruce." You know, who doesn't? And he said yes. He came in.
It was one of those, like, God, if I could stop time right now.
MORGAN: At that moment, as the door opens and out comes the Boss and it's unplugged. So, it's acoustic.
ETHERIDGE: So, it's him and I singing "Thunder Road."
MORGAN: Wow. Wow.
ETHERIDGE: Yes, wow. I wanted it to stop and it went on and I couldn't hold it, but I have the video.
MORGAN: Was it as good as you always hoped?
ETHERIDGE: Yes, looking back on it. In the moment, moments are funny. In the now, you have to learn to love when you're going through it. Looking back at it, oh, yes, absolutely.
MORGAN: I want to play a clip from come to my window and talk to you about love and romance after this. You write about it all the time. I'm going to grill you.
ETHERIDGE: Oh, no.
(MUSIC VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MORGAN: That to me is what -- that is American music at its best. That's the kind of music you want to get your little Chevy, get on the, you know, I don't know the Pacific Coast highway, get the shades on, ramp up the Etheridge, isn't it?
ETHERIDGE: Yes. I write songs for people who drive in cars. I really do.
MORGAN: You're right to do that, because most people spent a lot of time in cars, listening to music, wanting to feel something.
ETHERIDGE: That's what I want to help them get, from point A to point B.
MORGAN: Now one of my favorite questions I ask all guests -- I normally leave it until the end, when they're all warmed up, I get the feeling you won't need warming up.
ETHERIDGE: I'm pretty warm.
MORGAN: So I normally look at them in the eye and say, now come on, how many times have you been properly in love? You sing about love and heartbreak and agony and torment, the joys and the despair of love and romance. So come on. Come on, you great love writer singer you.
ETHERIDGE: Love, love. I'm in love with love.
MORGAN: How many times have you been properly in love?
ETHERIDGE: In terms of what? I thought I was in love.
MORGAN: That doesn't count.
ETHERIDGE: OK. Properly in love?
ETHERIDGE: I love the way you English say that -- (LAUGHTER)
ETHERIDGE: -- like there's anything proper about being in love.
I am for the first time properly in love, because I am now in love with myself. And that is the only way I can be properly in love with someone else.
MORGAN: So, before you felt that you'd been in love, but you haven't been able to give that person the whole you?
ETHERIDGE: Well, I -- myself was, I felt owed; they'll fill this up. If I have that person, I can fill this up.
And you can't. And they can't. We're living two different realities. Everyone is.
And so to think that something -- to think that adding someone to you is going to make you whole, you're in for a big drop.
So now, and understand it's about loving myself that's the only way I can be in a good relationship is to love myself, to work on myself, to be the best me for my children, for my partner. That's being in love. Then, you can offer love to someone else.
MORGAN: Have you cracked it, then? Have you cracked the Holy Grail of love now?
ETHERIDGE: Have I cracked the Holy Grail of love?
MORGAN: Terribly cheesy phrase, I know.
ETHERIDGE: It is. But I'm trying to --
MORGAN: You know what I mean.
ETHERIDGE: -- a good, you know, King Arthur reference back to you, and I can't quite. If I -- you know, Guinevere is out there. But you know, even then, it --
ETHERIDGE: Maybe. Again, it's a journey. It's -- there is no getting it done.
MORGAN: You see, my theory about singer-songwriters is that you basically have to go through all the misery to write great songs. All your best work -- and if I'm wrong, basically, the negative stuff isn't it? Because it's when you're the most searing, isn't it?
ETHERIDGE: Well, it depends on how you look at it . Even my most searing, you know, "I'm the Only One," it's still -- there's -- I've tried never to be, oh, you just killed me and I can't go on. I've tried to be, oh, that really makes me angry you're doing that, but I'm better, you know, nobody loves you like the way I do, you know, that --
MORGAN: Can you write good stuff if you're really happy?
MORGAN: Can you?
MORGAN: So, doesn't it become inevitably quite schmaltzy?
ETHERIDGE: Well, it depends what -- am I writing about being happy? No. I can be happy, yet understand that I still -- there's still a shadow side to me. There's still --
MORGAN: So from a purely professional point of view --
MORGAN: -- from the artistry of your songwriting, if I said, write, you can be in this kind of existential state of pure bliss for the next 30 years, or torment, which would produce the better music, the better songs?
ETHERIDGE: See, as you ask me that, this state of bliss you're talking about cannot exist without the other side, without the darker side.
MORGAN: Yes, but I have the power to give you just bliss or misery.
ETHERIDGE: But I don't want just bliss.
MORGAN: No, but you know what I'm getting at.
MORGAN: If I was able -
MORGAN: -- to bestow the power.
MORGAN: What would produce the better songs?
ETHERIDGE: The contrast of misery, of course, is going to -- the contrast, that -- it's the desire to be out of that, into the bliss.
MORGAN: Bob Dylan would have been absolutely hopeless if he hadn't been basically incredibly pissed off --
MORGAN: Yes. (LAUGHTER)
ETHERIDGE: Yes. I'd rather live nice. OK.
MORGAN: Let's turn to politics. I know you like your politics and you've been very vocal about this. It's been a big year for the gay and lesbian community in America. Are you happy with the speed of the advances in the rights that have now been bestowed down? Or are you still thinking, you know what, a lot of talk, not enough action?
ETHERIDGE: Having been on the journey of getting towards gay and lesbian rights, equality, understanding, diversity in America, 20 years ago, started the, you know, no, I was hoping in 10 years it would all be -- we'd all feel comfortable about it.
But this is -- this is deep-seated fear that comes, you know, religion and all kinds of things involved. So this change, this change of paradigm of understanding, love, relationship, family, society, takes time. Are we moving in that direction? Absolutely.
MORGAN: You grew up in Kansas. You get (INAUDIBLE). I know when I grew up, gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzy, faggot, dike, ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many thems back then, the blacks, the poor, you know, them.
MORGAN: Then there was the immigrants. Them. Now the them is me.
It was a very poignant way of putting it. But do you feel that the them that is you and those who are, again, lesbian like you, are in a much better position now that you have a president prepared to go on television and say, "I support"?
ETHERIDGE: Absolutely. I do think that was a big tipping point in this movement, in the movement toward equality and the recognition of diversity. That it's very important to be able to say, oh, well, my president said he's for it. You know? It actually -- having it be enacted at a federal level, that's a ways off.
MORGAN: When you go back to Kansas, is it better there in reality? Is there more tolerance?
ETHERIDGE: Tolerance, you know, I don't even like to use the word tolerance.
MORGAN: What's the right word?
ETHERIDGE: Because it sounds like, you know, I'm doing something that you have to tolerate.
ETHERIDGE: Diversity -- recognizing that there is no us and them, that everybody -- you can divide us up any way between anything, sexually, color, religion, we're all different --
MORGAN: But you feel it's getting better, even in states like Kansas?
ETHERIDGE: Especially Kansas, because I came from the Kansas in the '60s, which was the middle of the civil rights movement. And Kansas was always that neutral, even in the Civil War, was that neutral state, where we're not South, we're not North. And they've held that.
They're just good, hardworking people that, you know, want to do unto others. And they understand what that means.
MORGAN: We're facing an election coming up in November. You have actually performed at the Democratic Conversation in 2008. And Barack Obama's facing one hell of a fight, many people assume, in November.
What do you think of his record in the last four years? And what do you think is the potential prospect of a Mitt Romney presidency?
ETHERIDGE: OK. My politics have evolved from -- very similar actually to the "us and them" we're talking about. I think it has done us more harm believing in the huge differences between left and right, Democrat and Republican, and that there definitely is differences socially.
Now I'm a little skeptical, having seen the last 20 years of Democrat and Republican. They're still moving the same multinational corporation agenda forward. So I have a -- I'm starting to go, wait a minute. I think there needs to be a little alternative. I'm starting to get really progressive here, whether it's Democrat or Republican.
So socially, of course, I would love to see the Democratic Party still control some of these issues that are moving forward. Physically, I think it's the same thing. I think.
MORGAN: It's quite depressing.
ETHERIDGE: I know.
MORGAN: You feel depressed even as you say that.
ETHERIDGE: Well, not depressed, but again, it feels like I'm -- actually feel what a lot of people are feeling. It's like I'm really tired of this us and them business. Republicans and Democrats and they're horrible things.
It only makes us -- when we all really want the same thing. We want lower taxes. We want better systems, better schools. We want strong businesses.
And to divide ourselves like this is just hurting us. And we've got to learn to get together on this or we're just -- we're sunk.
MORGAN: I could not agree more. Let's take a break. Come back, I want to talk to you about music, obviously.
I've been handed this exotic thing. It's very cool.
And also I want to talk to you about your extraordinary battle with cancer, the effect on your life seems very profound, that whole period in your life.
MORGAN: "Falling Up", the first single from Ms. Etheridge's new album, "Fourth Street Feeling."
Melissa's back with me now.
Tell me about this album, because you say, you know, I'm just reading a direct quote here, that "I believed in myself more on this album than I ever have before." It's your 14th album.
What -- is that linked to what you said to me, that basically you've learned to love yourself?
ETHERIDGE: Yes. It's my 12th album. And --
MORGAN: Oh, 12th. I do apologize. Twelfth, 14th --
ETHERIDGE: My fans would write to you if --
ETHERIDGE: Yes, this came from a place of, oh, I'm -- I had gone to England, where I hadn't been in, you know, 20 years in some of these places. And they were still listening to my music, loving my music.
And it -- I went, wait a minute, why am I getting down on myself? Why don't I believe in myself the way that my audience does, my fans do?
So I went in the studio, played all the guitars, had a blast, made songs that I wanted to play live and really didn't think about anything else.
MORGAN: I once interviewed Andrew Lloyd Webber. And he told me that he came up with the music to "Memory," I think it was, whilst buying tomatoes at his Spanish grocery store.
And I was like, is that really how this happened to you, musical geniuses? Do you get this? I mean, do you literally just in random places, suddenly hear some incredible melody -
ETHERIDGE: There's one right there.
MORGAN: But do you?
ETHERIDGE: Yes, you can. And sometimes it's quite annoying, and you have to say, later, please come back to me later, and little, like the iPhone is great to put something down. It does -- it's the -- I think Bob Dylan once said there's a whole stream of consciousness that you grab onto something at the moment. And if you don't get it, it goes onto somebody else.
And I do believe that artists just know how to reach into there and be -- open that channel and bring that in. And part of the craft of it is knowing, OK. I'm at the store; I can't do this now. But I'm going to set some time aside and be able to pull it and do it when you --
MORGAN: What is the longest period you've ever had, where you literally couldn't write a song, of any quality at all?
ETHERIDGE: Wow, well, I started writing when I was 10.
MORGAN: Do you get long blank periods, though?
ETHERIDGE: No, I don't. I give myself periods where I don't try to write, especially -- like right now. I'm in a not-writing period.
Songs will come to me and I'll jot stuff down, but I don't have to write. And I never have really held it in a way, going, I have to write. And I'm not writing at all and never gotten that way. I just believe that it'll be there when --
MORGAN: You famously battled breast cancer. You came through. It was in 2004 you were diagnosed. Your father had died of cancer before. You said afterwards, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Why did you feel that?
ETHERIDGE: I was being a good grownup. I was working very hard. I was trying to be thin. I was eating power bars every day and drinking lattes and --
MORGAN: Disgusting, aren't they? Power bars. Seriously.
ETHERIDGE: And it's not food. It's not.
And so by my body breaking down and forcing me to be still, that was the biggest thing, to actually just be -- I'd never been still -- been working since I was 12. And be still and let the whole world pass me by and actually give me time to contemplate my life, my spirit, my health, what is my health? What is this cancer? And then getting back up after the treatment, saying, oh. I'm going to walk now, remembering what it was like, like that. And start my life in a balanced health, everything I eat, everything I feel, everything I think. That's health.
MORGAN: You've publicly supported California's Proposition 19 in favor of medical marijuana. You said at the time, "I don't want to look like a criminal to my children any more. I want them to know there's a choice that you make as a responsible adult."
If, God forbid, you were struck again by cancer, it came back or whatever, would you take marijuana?
ETHERIDGE: Oh, yes. Absolutely. I actually -- I'm a card- holding medicinal marijuana registered person in California. And I use it as medicine to help the gastrointestinal issues I have after chemotherapy.
At the time when I was going through chemotherapy, I used it as medicine to help me sleep, to relieve pain. It -- there are not just cannabis. There are many plant medicines that are available to us that have a lot of stigma around them that I hope, in the future, our medical community can look at, because I would absolutely go to those alternatives first before I went back to Western medicine.
MORGAN: You're currently on tour, hitting 27 cities in the next three months. The new album, "4th Street Feeling," we're talking about, is available September the 4th. What is next in the empire building of Melissa Etheridge? What do you want to be in five years' time?
ETHERIDGE: I want to still be creating. I would love to create more for stage. I want to --
MORGAN: Do you have one great ambition? I mean, Broadway show or --
ETHERIDGE: Yes, I do. I do have an ambition for a Broadway show. I'm actually working on one right now. A couple of these songs come from the project that I'm working on.
I would love to write for more films. I just love creating and I -- touring. I love what I do. I just want to keep doing it.
MORGAN: Well, the most important thing to me is you keep writing music for me and my car.
ETHERIDGE: And your car.
MORGAN: Melissa, it's been a real pleasure.
ETHERIDGE: Thank you so much.
MORGAN: Nice to meet you. Best of luck with the album.
ETHERIDGE: Thank you. MORGAN: Your tenth, as I now discover.
MORGAN: It will be 12th soon. Don't worry.
Coming up, an actress with a big cult following. The woman I've been dying to meet, the lovely Gina Gershon.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
PINSKY: Gina Gershon, in the 1995 cult classic "Showgirls." She played sultry seductress for more than 25 years, including movies, TV and Broadway shows and no sign of slowing down.
Her new movie is "Killer Jokes," in the theaters now.
And joining me, and looking as amazing as ever. Welcome, Gina.
GINA GERSHON, ACTRESS: Thank you.
MORGAN: I had to start the interview with that clip. I know that you are groaning and moaning, you have not that one again but it's just so iconic. For men my age, that was the clip.
GERSHON: This says more about you than that's how you decided to start the show, out of all the shows but hey, it's, you know, whatever.
MORGAN: You must be proud of them, are you?
GERSHON: I actually haven't seen that for a long time. I was watching it, it's kind of difficult to watch.
MORGAN: Difficult to film I should think, isn't it?
GERSHON: Oh that scene was easy. I was just laying in a bed in a hospital. Didn't have to wear much makeup, that was an easy day. I quite enjoyed it.
MORGAN: It's nearly 20 years since that film. Unbelievably. You don't look a day older.
GERSHON: Oh, well, thank you.
MORGAN: What is the secret?
GERSHON: What is the secret?
MORGAN: To eternity vitality? GERSHON: Lots of virgin blood.
No. I don't know. I feel, you know, I think just have a good life, have fun, fairly healthy, I guess. But I think having fun and not taking yourself so seriously, not taking that age thing too seriously either.
MORGAN: What's it like for women in the movies now compared to when you started, do you think? I've heard many sides of this coin.
GERSHON: Well, I don't really know because I was a lot younger when I started so I don't have the same issues, you know, as now when I'm older.
You know, I remember a long time ago Sharon Stone of all people at her 40th birthday party, she was asking me how old I was. I said -- she goes, you've got to start lying about your age. And I said, why? She said, because, you know, starting at 40, you're not going to get as many scripts. I just thought she was insane.
And I actually think there is a little bit of ageism that goes on, on that level which I mean, there's two conversations. There's that, which -- you know, to me you watch something like "Benjamin Button" and to me it's like you can play it from 15 to 102. It's called makeup and lighting. As long as you can bring it, it's great.
MORGAN: Do you think women get a harder rap than men? Do you think men can be a lot older and still get hot parts and that women get deliberately sidelined at a certain age?
GERSHON: Well, what do you think? I think so.
MORGAN: I could be in a movie tomorrow. I find it baffling. I look at someone like you. Why wouldn't you? It would be fascinating if you have found that too.
GERSHON: Well, I personally haven't found it yet. Although I notice that if I haven't, you know, met people and they say -- they look at the age or they say, oh, she's too old or she's too young. Even when I was younger, I had to -- I mean starting with "Showgirls," I lied about my age for that, saying I was older, because I thought oh no, they're not going to cast me because I'm not quite old enough.
So I felt the need to lie. It was interesting, when I did "the Insider," I kind of learned the lesson. Michael Mann, he wanted me to do the part of, you know, the head of CBS legal. And when he said, I'd love you to do this, I kept thinking, I'm not old enough. She's got to be mid-40s. You're not going to believe me. I'm too young.
He's looking at me like I'm some sort of jerk. He's like, there's makeup and there's lighting and we can age you up. I was thinking, of course they can. Like, why am I falling under the same category of the people that I loathe, you know.
MORGAN: The other most extraordinary thing about you is you've never got married. GERSHON: Why is that extraordinary?
MORGAN: It just seems such a tragic waste for somebody.
GERSHON: You're assuming I haven't been having a good time.
MORGAN: No. I assume you've been having a fantastic time. No man's ever snared you. Never hooked you in.
GERSHON: That's not true. It just -- I could be snared. But I just haven't chosen be to be married.
MORGAN: How have you avoided it?
GERSHON: I can see you're married, right? .
MORGAN: I am, second time.
GERSHON: Really? How's it going?
MORGAN: Very well. You're not interviewing me unfortunately.
GERSHON: Oh, sorry.
MORGAN: Have you come close.
GERSHON: Have I -- yeah, I have come close. I was living with someone for many years. And I felt as if I were married. And I probably would have married that person. But then things fell apart. And it's come up a couple other times but I didn't feel like it was the person I wanted to make that final statement with.
MORGAN: Do you think you ever will?
GERSHON: I don't know. Maybe.
MORGAN: Do you dream of a fairy tale white wedding one day?
GERSHON: No, I never have. That seems like a nightmare to me, honestly, the wedding, with like a zillion people. It seems -- I have an anxiety attack just having a big party at my house.
GERSHON: That would be really difficult.
MORGAN: I always imagined you'd be this incredibly confident person.
GERSHON: I'm confident with certain things. But big parties -- if I were ever to get married, honestly it would be me and my guy on an island somewhere and that's it. I don't think I would have -- my mother would probably kill me, but I don't know. It kind of freaks me out a little bit.
MORGAN: You are with somebody at the moment, right? GERSHON: I am, yeah.
MORGAN: I've been reading about it in the papers, avidly obviously.
GERSHON: You have? Oh, nice.
MORGAN: How's that going?
GERSHON: It's going great. I'm very happy.
MORGAN: No wedding bells.
GERSHON: Not yet.
MORGAN: This could be the one.
GERSHON: This could be the one. You never know. Right now, hey don't -- what's the word, don't -- glue it if it's not broken or knock it if it's --
MORGAN: It's one of those.
GERSHON: One of those sayings.
MORGAN: How many times would you say you have been properly in love in your life?
GERSHON: Define properly.
MORGAN: I suppose it can be defined any way you think it is. The type when --
GERSHON: Like really in love, like when I was younger I fell in love like every other day.
MORGAN: No, like proper.
GERSHON: Probably twice before. And now I'm on a third. Maybe once before and now I'm on a third. I don't know. I'd have to really think about it.
MORGAN: So many men watching this just thinking she looks incredible.
GERSHON: Uh-huh. That's nice.
MORGAN: How do you feel about that? Do you like being the object of male attention in that way?
GERSHON: Well, it's better than looking and saying, she looks like (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I mean, like I'd rather, you know --
MORGAN: You also -- slightly confusing for them because you're also one of the most famous gay icons, following that scene I showed earlier. You, Cher and Bette Midler. GERSHON: Really?
GERSHON: Listen, if that's the company I'm in, I'm very pleased about that. I'm very proud of my gay icon status.
MORGAN: So you should be. Let's take a break. I want to come back and talk Sarah Palin, your hysterical Funny or Die video and also "Killer Joe" and Matthew McConaughey, who is one of my favorite actors.
GERSHON: Isn't he great in the movie.
MORGAN: He's just a really nice guy.
GERSHON: He's a nice guy. He's amazing in the movie.
MORGAN: And just got married.
GERSHON: A lovely girl to a lovely girl. She's fantastic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERSHON: Don't you talk to that girl or else you're liable to blow this whole thing real good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What am I supposed to say?
GERSHON: Tell her the story. For God's sake, why do you have to make everything so difficult?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What story?
MORGAN: The situation. Tell her why Joe's coming over tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How am I supposed to --
MORGAN: She don't know what's expected of her. She might disappoint him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm riding her over to the thrifty, ain't I?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Gina Gershon and Thomas Hayden Church in "Killer Joe." Gina's back with me now. It's a great movie this. I love Matthew McConaughey. So cards on the table at the start. Is he as nice to work with as I imagine he is?
GERSHON: He -- first of all, he's so fantastic in this movie. I've never seen him better. And you know, we have pretty intense crazy scenes together. So he was lovely to work with. We really didn't speak to one another during the shoot.
MORGAN: Why? This is like keeping the tension alive.
GERSHON: Yeah, when you se the movie, you'll understand. We just had a kind of a really gnarly intense scene at the end. I think we just kind of kept a respectable, you know, professional distance from each other until we had to come together.
And it was funny because we didn't have a lot of time to shoot. I think it was a very intense shoot. So we were all kind of focused. I saw him one night out at a bar. We were in New Orleans. You know, I didn't have any makeup on. I didn't have my look that I was going for. I was like, hey. He's looking at me like, hello. I'm like, hi, Matthew; it's me. He's like, oh, my God.
We really hadn't kind of, you know, talked just as normal people. But he's lovely.
MORGAN: I want to play one of my favorite Funny or Die clips ever. This is you taking on Sarah Palin. It's the ending I particularly draw people's attention to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERSHON: Hello, America. I'm Governor Sarah Palin. Lately, there have been a lot of wild rumors about me and I'd like to set the record straight. I think global warming is P.S., polar bear (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Every day, I open my door in Anchorage and it is freezing. End of experiment.
Now, if you'll excuse me. I've got some hunting to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: You see, I would vote for you if that was your campaign promo ad. If it came on and said, Gina Gershon, vote now, I would go and vote for you.
GERSHON: That was when Sarah Palin first came on the scene. Remember, they had those pictures of her in the bikini. And Adam Mckay who is a fantastic writer -- this was actually before Tina Fey so geniously portrayed her. He was like, we're going to do Sarah Palin, come over tomorrow and we're going to shoot it before it gets out there.
We ended up doing like four of them. The last one was insane.
MORGAN: Did she ever respond?
MORGAN: You never met her? GERSHON: No, sadly.
MORGAN: Are you political much? Do you take much of an interesting in it?
GERSHON: You know, probably not as much as I should. Although when it gets closer to the actual voting, then I start to focus in on things. I certainly have opinions. But I feel like I'm not as -- I could be a lot more informed.
MORGAN: Are you an Obama woman?
GERSHON: Am I an Obama woman? I certainly voted for him.
MORGAN: Would you again?
GERSHON: At this -- if -- at this very moment, I would. I don't think -- you know, Mitt Romney's not really floating my boat too much. I feel like in the next few months, I'm going to focus in on it a lot more. I try not to -- I think it's too important. You can't just read little snippets. I think you have to really focus in. You have to watch the debates.
You have to really make up your own mind. And I feel like as it gets closer, I'm going to put more and more time into it. I've been a little crazed, so I haven't been paying as much attention as I would have. I'm kind of embarrassed saying so here.
GERSHON: Just because I feel like I should be more -- a little bit more informed at this moment. But, listen, I think -- I don't know. I think -- I mean --
MORGAN: What's the one thing -- if you were president tomorrow, gave you that power, what's the one thing that gets your goat? What's the one thing you'd change for America to make it better?
GERSHON: I would try to simplify everything. You kind of eliminate the middle man and you kind of just -- it's like almost like the good old-fashioned handshake and much more grassroots. I do like that approach. I think everything has gotten so complicated.
I mean, look it, it's not like we're in the best state, you know, that we could be. We should be able to live peacefully and everyone should get along and I just think there's so much --
MORGAN: Fortunately, there's just the perfect book coming out which can help them. It's your book and it's called -- this is the title, "In Search of Cleo, How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind."
GERSHON: Right. See, when I run for president, that was my platform. So I thought, I'd better start now. This is what I'm going to focus on. I thought that would get me elected.
MORGAN: I think it sounds like a fantastic book. I look forward to reading it.
GERSHON: It's all about what people do in order to find true love, which is way up your alley.
MORGAN: It is right up my alley.
GERSHON: I know, I could tell.
MORGAN: My path to true love came when I first watched "Showgirls." It's been a great pleasure to have finally met you, Gina.
GERSHON: Thank you.
MORGAN: Come back anytime. I actually mean that. "Killer Joe" is in theaters now.
Coming up, always on target, the inspirational story of the man called the armless archer.
MORGAN: Now to a man who gives the phrase Pride of America a whole new meaning. Matt Stutzman is competing in London this summer against thousands of athletes from around the world. He's not just a champion archer, he's a champion archer who has no arms. He's competing in the London 2012 Paralympic games. His story's extraordinary. And Matt joins me now.
It is an extraordinary story, Matt. I'm so glad you've come in to tell me about this, because you were born with no arms. You were given up for adoption at the age of four months. Here you are now representing America in the Paralympics. How did this happen?
MATT STUTZMAN, PARALYMPIAN/ARCHER: Well, I believe I have a gift of shooting archery. At a young age, I got my first bow because I wanted to mimic my dad. My dad had a bow. I'm like, I want to shoot a bow like him. Except he had hands, so I had to figure out how to shoot with my feet. But that's what drew me to archery, is the fact that it was, you know, sophisticated and it was something that I had to really work towards, basically like a challenge.
So I see my dad using it. I was, like, I want one of those. That's kind of like how the archery got started.
MORGAN: What is extraordinary is that you use your feet to do this. Yet, you can compete at the very highest level. I think to just understand what this means, we should see you in action. We set up an archery course in the studio a in the studio. And this is what happened.
Bull's eye. Pretty amazing. That was just 30 feet. In the Olympics, you go to 70 meters, in the Paralympic Games. You are one of the best in the world at doing this. You have only been doing this for two or three years properly? STUTZMAN: Yes. Like I told you earlier about having a bow when I was 16, it disappeared from my truck and I didn't have enough money to buy another one. So two and a half year ago, I finally got some money around to afford to get another bow. And I started shooting again. And I learned what it meant to work hard at something. And that's when I found out about the Paralympics and that was what I set my goals on.
MORGAN: Astonishing dedication to get to the level you have so quickly, just using your feet. What do your competitors -- when they come up against you, what do they think of this? The guy who fires arrows with no arms.
STUTZMAN: I would like to say that they think I'm a good competitor. But they are probably thinking why is that guy sitting down and shooting with his feet? We have to stay in here all day. He gets -- no. Hopefully I think they think that I'm just trying to compete like they are and be the best at archery.
MORGAN: You are not only the best. You hold the world record for the world's longest shot, 230 yards, in October last year. We have some footage of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STUTZMAN: My dream is to break the world record. That dream will come true today.
I am confident because in all the practicing I have been doing, I have been hitting my target on a regular basis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What's amazing is it took you four shots. But that wasn't the Paralympic world record. That was the world record, set by an able-bodied archer. I know shouldn't sound astonished, but I am. You are an astonishing guy. You've got this remarkable spirit and determination. Where do you get that from?
STUTZMAN: It is instilled in me from my parents. My parents really pushed me to be the best that I can be, no matter what I do. I feel like I learned that from them.
MORGAN: What are does it mean to be representing America in the Paralympic Games?
STUTZMAN: I'm just smiling, because it's such an honor and a privilege to be able to do that. When you are little, at least for me, I always dreamed about playing Army or wanting to serve the country. I can't do enough push ups or my arms are not quite -- so the fact that I get to do and represent America in the sport that I love is kind of my way of saying thank you back.
MORGAN: Knowing you, the little I do having met you, but knowing your story, I would imagine it's gold or nothing for you. Isn't it?
STUTZMAN: That's the plan.
MORGAN: You don't like coming in second, do you?
It's gold -- I am going to do my best. I know if I do my best, there is a good chance of the gold coming home with me.
MORGAN: It would be an amazing end to an incredible story. You have a beautiful family, three children. What do they make of their dad?
STUTZMAN: My oldest is Carter. He thinks that I live in an airplane because we always go to the airport to fly to a shoot and stuff. But they don't quite grasp the situation on how big this whole thing is right now. They just know that I'm going to London and they want to go with.
MORGAN: Well, you're going to a great city. It is going to be a very exciting time for you. the Paralympic archery competition will be held at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London, from August 30th to the 5th of September.
I wish you all the best, Matt. I really do. I wanted to get you in just to say that you are one of the most inspiring stories I've had throughout all the coverage of the Olympics, the Paralympics and so on..
It's an amazing story. I wish you all the very best. Bring back gold to America.
STUTZMAN: I appreciate it. Thank you so much.
MORGAN: Good to see you. We'll be right back after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SISTER TESA FITZGERALD, CNN HERO: Across our nation, there are thousands of mothers behind bars. I have never met a woman inside that said gee, I am going to go out and I'm going to really mess up again.
What is the lesson you learned?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to ever come back.
FITZGERALD: The depth of her guilt for what she has done to this child is unbelievable. They want to do everything to make it right. But they are always unsure whether it's really going to work.
I'm Sister Tesa Fitzgerald. And I work with incarcerated mothers to keep their families together and to rebuild their lives. When women come out of prison, they are so vulnerable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have any money and a job. Feels like there is no way out.
FITZGERALD: A home is the heart of what is going to make their life possible.
Good to see you! How are you? You are back home!
We give them a lot of love, a lot of support. Around her is a community who has seen growth and change.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once you forgive yourself, trust me, it's going to be all right.
FITZGERALD: Overtime, broken bonds have been mended. And there can now be a wholeness to their life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's Kelly from the mentoring program.
I was a crackhead. I gave birth while I was still incarcerated. I just didn't know how I was going to change my life.
Sister Tesa didn't just save me. She saved my entire family. She made me proud of who I am today.
FITZGERALD: It's everyone's right to live the best that they can. When I start seeing that take place in the women I work with and I love --
I'm very proud of you.
-- that makes it all worthwhile.