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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Empire State Building Shooting; Armstrong: Banned for Life; Interview with Ron Johnson, CEO of JC Penney; Interview with Dax Shepherd, Kristen Bell
Aired August 24, 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: Good evening.
We start with breaking news, tonight, looking live at one of New York's most iconic landmarks, the Empire State Building, the scene of a deadly shooting in this morning's rush hour. A big story, the NYPD has released extraordinary surveillance video tonight, at the moment the gunman was shot.
I must warn you, it's very graphic. It might be disturbing to some viewers. But we're showing it to you because it clearly indicates the shooting suspect, Jeffrey Johnson, turning towards police officers and apparently pointing a gun at them. He is shot by the officers and falls to the ground. He died at the scene.
The mayhem began when Johnson allegedly shot and killed a co- worker, Steven Ercolino, outside the Empire State Building, eight people were wounded, several of whom may have been inadvertently hit in a crossfire over ricocheting bullets, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Joining me now exclusively, a man who was wounded in today's shooting, Robert Asika. He sells tickets to the Empire State Building for the tour and was on his way to work. Also, Rebecca Fox, an eyewitness.
Welcome to you both.
Very harrowing day. I know you've been through an extraordinary experience there.
Let me start with you, Robert. You were shot in the arm. Did you know what on earth was going on? You were off to your normal work at the Empire State Building. What happened?
ROBERT ASIKA, WOUNDED IN EMPIRE STATE SHOOTING: You know, actually, (INAUDIBLE) this morning, because when I woke up this morning, for some reason, something was telling me not to go to work, like something told me to call the company and tell them I couldn't come in. Usually when something bad is about to happen, I always have this feeling. You know, so I'm like well, I was off the day before. It was only eight hours anyway.
So, I got up. I got to the place. I clocked in. So the bus came and picked us up.
As soon as the bus dropped us like 15 minutes later you see people running. So, I'm saying to myself, "Why is everybody running?" And I'm not the type to follow crowds. I want to know the reason they were running.
So I turned around. So when I turned around, I saw this guy about 5'4", he suited up with a briefcase, he was coming towards my direction. I seen the cops come and follow him. I guess the cops were talking to him. Then he stopped. I guess he dropped the briefcase he was holding. And he took out the gun and he fired to one of the police officers.
MORGAN: You think he did fire? Because it hasn't been confirmed yet.
ASIKA: No, I seen him pull out the gun and I heard just one shot. After that, all you just kept hearing were shots. So, one of the police officers missed the target and hit me in the arm. That's when I fell, I was in pain and I was in shock.
MORGAN: We have got an image of you actually lying there, really -- I mean, what a thing to happen to you on your way to work. Ghastly experience.
Rebecca, you were watching all this. Obviously, you're a designer, a dancer in the city. The last thing you expected to see in your way to work.
REBECCA: What did you see?
REBECCA FOX, WITNESS: I was coming up from the Green Line. Normally I take the (INAUDIBLE) in the morning which would have put me at the corner where the shooting actually happened. I was getting my coffee. On 34th and Fifth and walk towards Fifth Avenue.
And I saw a bunch of people running. I thought there was actually a celebrity sighting. I never would have expected there would be a shooting. I had headphones so I couldn't hear anything. I took my headphones out. I talked to somebody and they said there was a shooting. So, I walked towards 34th and Fifth and I actually work across the street from the Empire State Building.
I saw a woman sitting on the ground, leaning up against the Empire State Building. And she had been shot in the foot. And then I looked halfway down the block, right where you enter the Empire State Building.
The supposed -- the gunman had been shot. I saw cops surrounding him. And they had turned him over, tried to flip him over. I saw his head move slightly up and then back down. So I thought he was still alive. But it turned out he had died later on.
Someone had told me he was actually in pursuit of another man by the Starbucks on 33rd going towards Sixth Avenue. I walked towards there and I saw coffee cups strewn over the ground where people had probably run for their lives. I smelled a lot of gasoline because I think one of the bullets hit a car in the area and I saw the guy shot on the ground.
MORGAN: Is it likely -- right. I mean, the general feeling seems to be now that probably all the injuries outside of the man who was himself killed were probably sustained from police fire. They were ricocheting bullets.
Would you think that's probably right?
ASIKA: Yes. I'm positive. Because, like, one of my co-workers that was hit, it was, like, say, about, four feet away from me, he was trying to come from my direction. So all of a sudden, he just dropped, like, to the ground, like, you could tell the bullet was coming from the police officer, because the way the guy was facing and the cops was actually facing us. So --
MORGAN: But if the police hadn't, of course, shot at him, he may well have started shooting anyway.
ASIKA: I don't think so because when he was coming, he was just holding the briefcase. The only reason why -- like for me, I felt like the reason he started shooting I guess is cause the cops was following him and he knew he was going to get caught.
MORGAN: He had just allegedly committed a murder, which he knew.
MORGAN: That was what they knew.
I'm going to just stay here for a moment. I'm going to bring in now Paul Ercolino. He's the brother of the man that the gunman killed. He joins me exclusively on the phone.
Mr. Ercolino, first of all, let me just express to you my sincerest and deepest sympathy on the loss of your brother. It's an awful thing you've had to endure for you and your family today. Tell me how you heard the news.
PAUL ERCOLINO, BROTHER WAS KILELD BY EMPIRE STATE GUNMAN (via telephone): Well, Piers, it was -- it started off as a beautiful morning. I'm taking my son up to college to put him into his dorm. And I got the phone call from my father that my brother had been shot outside -- by his offices. I didn't know right away if he was alive or if he had been killed and found out -- he had died from the gunshot wounds.
MORGAN: Did you or any of your family have any idea about the relationship between the man that killed your brother and your brother? Because they worked in the same department store. They had had some kind of falling out. And the shooter had -- he'd been laid off. Had been going back apparently to pick up various paychecks and so on.
And each time he'd gone back, the reports are saying there would be some kind of altercation with your brother. And then obviously it led to this appalling shooting. Did anybody at any stage -- did your brother ever say he had a problem with this guy?
ERCOLINO: No, my brother is -- you know, he's such a loving uncle to his nieces and nephews. When we're together in the family, we don't -- we keep the business things to ourselves. We don't talk about what's going on with our business and stuff. If something had happened, wasn't (INAUDIBLE) anybody in my family was --
MORGAN: What's your feeling today? I mean, There's been so many of these appalling gun atrocities in recent weeks. This is obviously a very different example. But, still, this man has used a firearm which we believe he was owning illegally in the city.
We think he bought it legally but he may not have had a permit to use it now. But he used this gun to allegedly murder your brother.
What do you feel about guns in America right now?
ERCOLINO: You know, I don't think this is a referendum on guns in America. This is (INAUDIBLE) This is something that happened that could have been a baseball bat. It could have been a knife. It could have been -- you never know when something like this happens.
I don't think it's a referendum on guns in America. Nothing could bring my brother back and I don't look at it -- I believe you have the right to carry a handgun legally if you have -- if he wasn't carrying it legally, obviously that's against the -- you know.
But nothing's going to bring my brother back.
MORGAN: Well, can only, again, express my deepest sympathies over what has happened to Steven today. It's just a terrible thing. I extend it to you and your family and all your friends.
It's not something that should be happening. Thank you for joining me.
ERCOLINO: No, it's not something that should happen to a loving person like that and he's going to be so missed by everybody. He was the light of so many lives.
MORGAN: I'm sure. That's what I'm hearing from a lot of his friends and family members. Paul, thank you for joining. I do appreciate you're taking the time on such a difficult day for you.
ERCOLINO: Thank you.
MORGAN: What does it take to keep us to be safe from this kind of gun violence? Can you do anything about it? Joining me now on the phone is a man who knows a lot about that, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NYC MAYOR (via telephone): How are you, Piers?
MORGAN: Fine. Just I think there's a very valid point there made by Paul Ercolino, the brother of the tragic victim Steven, saying it's not a time to debate referendum on guns. I totally accept that.
There also has been overnight in Chicago, 19 different shootings. Apparently, 13 in half an hour. And following what happened in Aurora, and with the Sikh temple, and so on and so on, the issue of guns is now becoming ever more prevalent --
MORGAN: -- through a number of different incidents. What do you think should be done if anything? I mean, maybe not as a direct result of this which appears to be a very disaffected man taking some kind of awful revenge on a guy who used to employ him. But what do you think generally should be done now?
Mayor Bloomberg's been very vociferous about demanding new types of gun control and so on. Clearly, in Chicago they have pretty tough gun control laws, but they're still getting these Wild West nights.
What do you think should happen?
GIULIANI: Well, you know, I think these -- the situations are not the right situations to pick to debate gun control, either this one or the one that took place a couple weeks ago. Or the situation in Norway a year ago where they have very strict gun control. They have no guns, 67 people were killed by a maniac.
When you have this kind of irrational killing, gun control, even the elimination guns, is not going to prevent a killing like this. We don't know why this man killed. I'm willing to assume it was an irrational reason, a deep-seated hatred that triggered something irrational in his mind.
And this isn't the kind of case that's going to be prevented by gun control. And what happens sometimes when people seize on gun control as the answer to this is they're trying to escape a deeper more painful question which is human behavior. Human beings held responsible for their misdeeds, for the crimes they commit.
Now, when I was mayor, when I started as mayor of New York City, New York City was averaging 1,900, 2,000 murders a year. When I left, it was down to 600. Now it's down to 500.
Chicago had the same gun control laws we had. And Chicago had per capita, all during that period to today, three times more murders than we had. And I thought it was our sensible policing. The kind of policing we did, the Comstat system, the broken windows theory. I think that's what really reduced the violence in New York City, which focused on human behavior.
We did try to take guns away from people who didn't have them legally. And here's the man that apparently had a gun illegally. He shouldn't have a gun. MORGAN: Well, it's a desperately sad story. Again, my sympathies to him and his family and to all the victims. Thank you to you, too, for coming in.
Rudy, if I could shift gears to the Republican convention that's coming up.
MORGAN: Mitt Romney got into a bit of hot water today. I'll play you the joke he did about birther. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born at Henry Ford Hospital. I was born at Harper Hospital. No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know this is the place that we were born and raised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Be honest, Rudy, do you think that was a little below the belt?
GUILIANI: No, but I think it was not the most tasteful joke. I don't think -- I think it's not very serious. I think it's kind of -- I mean, I think President Obama has joked around about his birth certificate. It's one thing for President Obama to joke around about it. It's another thing for us to do it.
Probably if Mitt had a chance to think through that, he wouldn't have said it quite that way. I think it's a big deal. I think, unfortunately, the last three weeks, it's been -- you know, one gaffe after another that we're focusing on, instead of the fact that our economy is in shambles.
You know, this is like Nero fiddling while Rome is burning. And the president is going around just attacking Romney all the time and not talking about what he would do to fix our economy.
And that's what they should be debating. What they should be debating is why the economy is in such bad shape. Why president wasn't able to fix it the first two years he was in office when he had a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. Those are the kind of things I like to hear about. Not maybe a mistake Mitt Romney makes or a mistake that Joe Biden makes or a mistake that some crazy congressman this guy running for the Senate -- I mean, his comment was probably the most idiotic of all.
PINKSY: Are you excited about the convention, Rudy, or are you slightly apprehensive?
GUILIANI: Oh, well, I'm only apprehensive because of the storm. Not because -- I think it's going to be a great convention. I'm really looking forward to Chris Christie's speech. I was the first Republican from outside of the state of New Jersey to support Chris. So I consider him a good friend and somebody whose career I watched right from the very, very beginning. From the first day he announced right in front of Jon Corzine's house which will give you the idea the kind of guy he is. Right in your face and telling you the way it is.
It's going to be an interesting -- it's going to be a very interesting keynote speech. I think this is a chance for Paul Ryan to really introduce himself to the American people. I think so far, he's been better than expected. I think it's a good chance for Mitt Romney to explain himself in a personal way to the American people.
So, I'm looking forward to that. I hope this hurricane doesn't prevent too much of it from going on.
MORGAN: Well, hurricane permitting, I will see you down there. Rudy, thank you for joining me.
GUILIANI: I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully, we'll all be able to get there and we'll be able to get back.
MORGAN: Yes. Well, listen, thank you for joining me. I appreciate it.
GUILIANI: Thank you.
MORGAN: Thank you.
And thanks again to you, to Robert and to Rebecca. An awful day for you. I hope you go home and get some rest.
MORGAN: Coming up next, banned for life. Lance Armstrong pays the price for doping allegations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: Every time we chose to just sit back and let it pass, we've sort of reached the point where we really can't tolerate any more and we're sick and tired of these allegations and we're going to do everything we can to fight them. They're absolutely untrue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Lance Armstrong speaking back in 2004. Now he's gone from the greatest Tour de France winner of all time, an inspiration to millions, to an athlete banned for life from the sport of cycling.
Joining me to explain how a one-time hero fell so far is "USA Today" sports columnist Christine Brennan.
Christine, welcome back to the show.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, USA TODAY: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: A quite extraordinary development in this saga of Lance Armstrong.
Were you as shocked as everybody else seems to have been when he threw the towel in?
BRENNAN: Yes, he gave up. I mean, the ultimate battler in sports just quits. I don't know if I was completely shocked because he'd been saying this all along, that he was fed up and sick and tired. But the thought that he would -- as you say, wave the white flag of surrender knowing that that meant he was lose the Tour de France titles, be banned for life and forever be labeled a cheater at least officially. You know, he's got his fan base.
But I -- it tells you I think he was very concerned about what the testimony would have been in arbitration if he had faced that. So he decided to go to the court of public opinion instead.
MORGAN: To all the fans in uproar, I've been on Twitter, and give you my view. To me, he's obviously I think throwing the towel in because he was a cheat.
But there are many people still defending him, saying, look, he never failed a drugs test and this is a complete stitch up. What do you say to that? What's the informed reaction?
BRENNAN: Marion Jones never failed a drug test and she is known as one of the great cheaters of our time.
Ben Johnson who of course, was caught in 1988 in Seoul and really kicked off the steroids era, Piers. Ben Johnson passed all kinds of drug tests in the '80s before he was caught that one time.
Frankly, now, they call them non-analytical positives. And there are more and more, dozens of them. They're catching athletes with documents, with testimony, the way they would, say, in a trial.
So it's nice of Lance to try to say that and pull the wool over everybody's eyes. But the reality is, in this part, in this time, in 2012, you can definitely get away with it by not -- by cheating and by being obviously able to pass drug tests. And that is no indication anymore, sad to say, because the bad chemists are way ahead of the good chemists. No indication you're not cheating if you pass drug tests.
MORGAN: Do you think, Christine, there's any doubt Lance Armstrong was a cheat?
BRENNAN: Well, I'm a journalist. There always has to be some doubt because how can we know for sure. But the evidence is monumental here. And why would Lance run away from it and not face this arbitration. That's what he was going to have here. He was headed to arbitration. Dozens of athletes do this, Piers. He would have been able to pick one of the arbitrators. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency would have picked another arbitrator. Those two arbitrators would have picked a third.
This was not a kangaroo court. This was not a rush to judgment. It would have been a very fair look at what the evidence was.
So my informed decision after covering this for many years is to say yes, it sounds like he is one of the great cheaters of our era. That's very sad because of what he means to the cancer community.
MORGAN: Yes. You know, you can't take away the fact that he's raised whatever it is, $500 million, for cancer charities. That's very laudable.
The problem is that Lance Armstrong has had this reputation of being one of the good guys of sport. And I'm afraid today that's al been shattered. He will go down as a cheat.
And that's a shame for him. But it's a bigger shame for sport and for the fans who believed in him.
Christine, thank you for joining me tonight.
BRENNAN: Piers, thank you very much.
MORGAN: When we come back, made in America. Can the man who built the Apple Store save another American institution?
MORGAN: B news for Apple today. California jury says Apple should get more than $1 billion in damages after finding that Samsung was guilty of willful violations of Apple's patents in the creation of its own mobile products.
My next guest is one of Apple's great unsung heroes, Ron Johnson, built the Apple Store from the ground up, making an instant heat with customers. He's now a CEO of JCPenney, a job that many view as even tougher, as he tries to reinvent that iconic institution.
MORGAN: Ron Johnson joins me now. Welcome.
RON JOHNSON, CEO, JCPENNEY: Great to be here.
MORGAN: You don't do things by halves, do you?
JOHNSON: No, I love big challenges.
MORGAN: The reason I wanted you here, on the eve the first of the two conventions was you're the turn-around guy. You're the guy that Steve Jobs entrusted to create the Apple Store vision and make it hugely successful. You've now gone to JCPenney -- another huge challenge. And we'll come to that in a moment.
I want you to run America, Incorporated for me. I want you to take what you've learned about business and tell me what you're looking for from these leaders over the next two weeks.
JOHNSON: Well, I think leaders have to tackle the big challenges. Our country has some big ones. We got a great heritage to rely on. But, clearly, the government deficit in jobs are extraordinary challenges for our country. And we got to take them on.
And over the last four years, I think the consumer has done a great job restoring his or her balance sheet. Companies are flush with cash. They've done the hard work.
We need our government to come together and start to solve these long-term challenges.
MORGAN: Do you think either Romney or Obama has been courageous enough with their plan for the economy?
JOHNSON: I think it's too early to know, quite frankly. The devil's always in the details. You got to figure out, in my opinion, who's going to do the most for the middle class. Who's going to help them thrive?
This country's always thrived when the middle class succeeds. And that's who's struggling now. We need to create new jobs. We need to restore balance sheets. We need to get more money into people's pockets. And they'll respond.
But someone's got to get in the details to make sure that happens.
MORGAN: It also needs I think big business leaders to take I think what I would call calculated gambles that would cost money in the short term that may pay, longer term, bigger dividends. The classic example is your old firm Apple.
I got a bug bear about this for a while. Apple is now the most valuable company in the history of America. What I don't like is the fact they have still 10 times as many workers in China, for example, as they do in their own country.
What is stopping them doing what Howard Schultz in Starbucks articulated to me as moral capitalism, bringing back a large portion, really large portion, say 20 percent of their jobs in China, putting them back into America --
MORGAN: -- and taking a little wager that the American will reward them for that patriotic hit on their balance sheet by going out and buying more products?
JOHNSON: Yes, I think it's an interesting idea. MORGAN: Could it work? Everyone tells me in the business world, you don't know what you're talking about. They're never going to do that.
JOHNSON: It's like everything. Every journey begins with the first step. Even if Apple could find a way to move some production back to the U.S., I think Americans would applaud that.
MORGAN: JC Penney is a fascinating case. Before I get to that, I also want to go back to when you were put in charge of the Apple Stores. Because I think what you did there is very relevant to what you're doing now. Different products, same philosophy.
The philosophy being -- you had obviously the chance to start from scratch with Apple. But in many ways you're doing that with JC Penney anyway. When you were given the task by Steve Jobs of creating the Apple Store, what was the philosophy that you really wanted to create?
JOHNSON: Well, you know, when we launched the Apple Store, Steve knew that for Apple to win, it was going to win on innovation. Innovation was the core to everything Apple did, from the products it created to the software it wrote to the store experience.
But to really win on innovation, you have to be able to connect firsthand with customers and share that with them. He knew we needed our own stores. So we had to develop a retail model built around the customer. And how you have great employees who can teach people about how these products will change their life.
We're doing the same thing at JC Penney now. We're moving from trying to sell stuff to people to help Americans look and live better every day. That's a big mission. I can get up in the morning and figure out how the to do that.
Like for back to school, we thought, you know, it's great to give kids a great outfit, but we want to make a great impression on that first day of school. We've given every kid in America a free haircut.
MORGAN: Give me an example of something if you've been going to JC Penney for years you're not going to see anymore in your JC Penney as an illustration of the kind of thing you don't want to have anymore.
JOHNSON: Perfect example, what's the most popular product in America? It's a pair of jeans, Levi. Well just on August 1st, we rolled out a whole new way to buy a pair of jeans. We actually have denim bars in the store where you can look at every style. We have denim experts, like a Mac Genius at the Apple store, who can really help you get the right fit, get the right finish.
MORGAN: What is the kind of product you've brought in that wasn't there before perhaps, that typifies the kind of thing you want to go to? And I don't just mean the haircuts. I mean something where you thought, you know what, we need more of this kind of thing. JOHNSON: Yes, well, I think a lot of those are still coming. Next Spring, for example, we're bringing in a whole new assortment for the whole area. Right? We have Michael Gray, who will bring his Good Design. Jonathan Adler, who's really got a great wit, will bring really decorative, fun products for the home.
We went to England. As you know, Terrence Conran (ph) is kind of the father of home in England, you know, from restaurants to products.
MORGAN: And he has great stores.
JOHNSON: Great stores. He's bringing his furniture here. And so we'll have all this great furniture designed by Terrence Conran. These are new ideas for people. That's what they're looking for.
MORGAN: All your staff will be using -- drum roll -- iPads.
JOHNSON: IPods. Next year, but this is an example. It goes back to the job thing.
MORGAN: IPods or iPads.
JOHNSON: Well, iPads and iPods. But they'll have an iPod in their pocket that they can check you out with. But it goes back to how we create great jobs.
MORGAN: Like they have in the Apple stores.
JOHNSON: Just like the Apple Stores. Nordstrom's is doing it today. But ultimately it creates a better job. Today, we have people stuck behind a cash wrap, which is really old. Nobody pays cash. Call it a cash wrap. We're going to get them away from there because we're going to give them an iPod. Then they can be out helping someone look and live better in the departments.
They can become experts at the products we carry. That's going to allow us to pay them better. So we're using technology to change their job, to improve our customer service and ultimately create a better experience for the employee. It's all these little things that add up.
MORGAN: Ron, thank you very much for coming in.
JOHNSON: Thank you. My pleasure.
MORGAN: Good to see you.
Next, Hollywood's cutest couple, Dax Shepherd and Kristen Bell, their lives on and off screen.
MORGAN: Making a show business relationship work isn't always easy. Unless of course you're Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell. They are two of Hollywood's busiest actors. They've been together nearly five years, from TV to the big screen. This power couple has shown -- this is a load of guff. Let's just cut to the quick here. You two are still together.
DAX SHEPARD, ACTOR: No, use more superlatives.
MORGAN: I was running out of stuff to say about you. The amazing thing about you is you've been together five years. You work in Hollywood. You're both actors, therefore clearly extremely narcissistic --
SHEPARD: Narcissistic, self-involved.
MORGAN: And you're holding hands as if you're still in love with each other.
KRISTEN BELL, ACTRESS: We're very good actors.
SHEPARD: I'm gay and she's a lesbian. That should go without saying.
SHEPARD: Let's start with that little tidbit.
MORGAN: You're radiating this heat of love and lust for each other. It's quite touching.
BELL: We just got lucky.
SHEPARD: We are just love addicted for one another and we're going to roll with it.
BELL: Thankfully we both have it. So co-dependency -- if you can find someone as co-dependent as you, game on.
MORGAN: Now how many failures did you have to go through first?
SHEPARD: You had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, as I recall.
BELL: Thousands even.
SHEPARD: Like a meeting of the U.N. too. Just every type of person you could imagine.
BELL: I went through everyone. I really wanted to play the game.
SHEPARD: You sure did. You played it well. Some would say you played it out, that game. You broke it.
MORGAN: You're starring in a movie together, which I find even more extraordinary. Having just appeared in my own movie, "The Campaign" -- I had one line. It's a great line. I deliver it really well.
BELL: No doubt.
MORGAN: But the whole shenanigans around a movie, and here you are. Tell me about this movie.
SHEPARD: I'll tell you, for us, it made it a lot easier because this is a movie we made by ourselves.
MORGAN: It's called "Hit and Run." You originated this.
SHEPARD: Yes, I play a guy in witness protection who's head over heels in love with Kristen's character. She gets this great job opportunity. I decide to leave witness protection to take her to L.A. And then all hell breaks loose. Bradley Cooper, who I testified against, he's on our tail. Tom Arnold, who is the marshal assigned to us, he's on our tail.
BELL: All our friends basically.
SHEPARD: It's a raucous --
BELL: But I think why we got through it is because Dax wrote it. He co-directed it. We starred it in together. But we had no studio involved. This was completely independent.
SHEPARD: It was our cars. My mom did craft service. It was -- my little sister has a role. Every one of our friends --
BELL: It was Dax's vision.
MORGAN: So then you have complete control over it.
BELL: That's what it was. So there was no sacrifice in oh make that more -- make that broader or -- it's everything Dax thinks is funny.
SHEPARD: There's a lot of un-P.C. stuff that would have never got through a studio.
MORGAN: And there are including love scenes between the pair of you.
MORGAN: Awkward to do that on camera, or are you two just such shameless exhibitionists that it just came naturally?
SHEPARD: When we're not on set, we're often in a park just putting it all out there.
BELL: Yes, yes, yes. We really like to give it.
SHEPARD: If you're in the L.A. area, you're likely to bump into us at a park.
BELL: We think people love seeing other people French kiss, so we just go for it.
MORGAN: I think that's true.
SHEPARD: We do feel that way. A lot of people have some weird aversion to PDA. We don't have that. I was raised by a single mother who -- the entertainment -- we were poor. The entertainment was snuggling in bed on Saturdays. I have carried that into my adult life.
BELL: We're very affectionate. And we're not ashamed of that. We're very pro-snuggling. We're very pro-touching. If we want to hold hands, we're going to hold hands.
MORGAN: I can see that.
SHEPARD: We sometimes have sex as well, Piers.
MORGAN: Let's take a little look at this movie, because I'm already overheating here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: Charlie, it doesn't matter who violated him, OK. It could have been any number of people. It doesn't matter their race, OK. It could have been Latino. Could have been Tongan. It could have been Persian.
SHEPARD: It was Filipino! Solve your dilemma!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: "Hit and Run." created by these two. You star in it. You do love scenes in it.
SHEPARD: Did all of our own stunts. No joke, 100 percent of our own stunt driving. It's a car chase movie. We jumped other cars in my off-road race car.
BELL: Dax wanted to be creative and write a really, really funny movie. We wanted to hire all our friends, because we wanted to work with them.
MORGAN: What I liked about it was the film tackles this relationship of this couple who have a past.
MORGAN: And you have a bit of a past. You were a bit of a naughty boy, weren't you? Let's be honest.
SHEPARD: Well, yeah. I'm now sober for eight years. I didn't get sober as a hobby. It was more of a necessity. So yeah, I have, you know, a very checkered past. That was -- MORGAN: Drugs, bit of aggression, few things.
SHEPARD: You bet, right, bar fights --
BELL: So much aggression, the way --
SHEPARD: No, I'm not a blow hard.
BELL: But drugs for sure.
MORGAN: Did you know about this when you met?
BELL: Not when we first met, no. I met him and he was my prince charming. Then a few months in, this is sort of what challenged us a little bit and created some trust issues, was, you know, you start to find out flaws about your partner a few months in. If you're really, really drawn to them, you don't know necessarily how to react to that.
SHEPARD: I would just be dropping stories on her as if I were in, you know --
BELL: And he worked through it. So he was like, oh, by the way, when I XYZ -- and I grew up in a very conservative household, and very much --
SHEPARD: Catholic high school.
BELL: Catholic high school as a goody goody. And I never experimented with drugs. And I don't have that past.
SHEPARD: In our retirement, we're both going to go.
BELL: We're going to go hard.
SHEPARD: Once we switch from driving a car to golf carts, all bets are off.
BELL: Yeah, yeah, the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) will hit the fan. But it's not -- it's not -- I want to be clear. It's not just that he was the bad boy and I was the good girl. Like I wrestled as many --
SHEPARD: You were --
BELL: -- in a very Catholic upbringing, is that there is black and white. And people are evil or they're good. And that's just not the truth, what I've learned as an adult. I sort of wanted to demonize it, well, how could you be that person? When, really, people are fallible and they make mistakes and some people have substance abuse problems. And that's a diagnosis. That's not --
MORGAN: Especially in this town. We're in L.A. And it's littered with the carcasses of people who -- especially entertainers, that fall the wrong way of this kind of stuff. How did you, in the end, get the self-determination to get yourself out of it?
SHEPARD: Well, my only obsession that was stronger than that was working. I'm probably more addicted to that than any other thing. So I would get sober for movies. And then in between those movies, I would go and find myself in some dangerous situations.
So I got sober for this movie I did eight years ago. And luckily after that movie ended, I just -- I had some moment where I was able to go, I don't want to keep doing this. I probably won't survive another few breaks between movies.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break and come back and talk politics. You're both little live wires I suspect with plenty of views.
SHEPARD: Let's put our feet in our mouth when we return.
MORGAN: Let's get your movie ruined before --
SHEPARD: Let's alienate half of America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEPARD: What are you talking about? I am five years older than you.
BELL: How do I know that? I have seen no documentation of that. For all I know, you're 45.
SHEPARD: Listen to me, I am 35 years old.
BELL: You're 45 years old.
SHEPARD: Don't grab my hair. It's thin. I don't like when you pull my hair.
BELL: Then let go of my wrist.
SHEPARD: On three.
BELL: Three, two, one.
SHEPARD: OK, don't grab my hair again, OK? It makes me --
BELL: Then don't hold me down. It's my only way to defend --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell in their new film "Hit and Run."
SHEPARD: Exposing a thin hair insecurity.
MORGAN: Never mind that, it's like watching some sort of weird home video that. The cameras weren't even there.
SHEPARD: It's as if they were not there.
BELL: That's what you dream of as an actor.
MORGAN: You've been engaged two years now.
MORGAN: I'm told you've been waiting --
SHEPARD: Roll out the hot water. Here we go.
MORGAN: Is this true, that you waited for same sex marriage to be endorsed before you took the plunge yourselves?
SHEPARD: In California specifically.
BELL: -- are waiting, yes. We have not signed any paperwork. I wear a ring very proudly. I don't feel as though Dax will love me more when he signs his name to a piece of paper that --
MORGAN: almost impossible, I would have thought.
BELL: -- filed in California.
SHEPARD: To love her more? Yeah, it would be.
MORGAN: What would it take to -- for you to be --
BELL: For California to get its head out of its (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SHEPARD: Well, I would have phrased it differently.
BELL: That's the truth. I think that --
SHEPARD: There's a state IRS for -- that could investigate our state income tax. So now you've called them out, and embarrassed them and shamed them on a very popular show.
BELL: We believe that if anyone wants to love and commit to another person, they should have the right to do it.
MORGAN: Let's turn to the election in November.
MORGAN: Are you on the same page, you too? Are you both, I'm guessing, Obama supporters?
BELL: Yeah, we're liberals. MORGAN: What does the prospect of a Romney presidency do to you?
SHEPARD: Will it --
BELL: Fear, just fear.
SHEPARD: I've got to be careful here.
MORGAN: Don't be careful.
SHEPARD: You know, you've got a guy who ran Bain Capital in the fashion that he did, that guy fixing our economy doesn't sound like a great proposition to me, considering many of these companies he ran up a slew of debt and then cashed out. I don't know how that will work as a policy.
BELL: I also don't want someone in office who thinks paying at least 13 percent in taxes is a lot.
MORGAN: Call me naive, but when he said I've paid at least 13 percent, I'm like but I've been paying 50 percent.
BELL: Proudly, proudly. Because I do -- I'm sorry, I do believe that if you make more money, you should pay higher taxes. I have no problem saying that.
MORGAN: What do you think of America right now?
SHEPARD: In what respect?
MORGAN: Any respect you like. What do you think of your country?
SHEPARD: I'll tell you, I read in "Vanity Fair" how Putin dealt with some of his adversaries in Russia. And at the end of that article, I said, you know, for our flaws and blemishes, we're still an amazing, wonderful country. And we have rights that most people could only envy.
So it's a wonderful, wonderful place. Are we not flawed like any human being is flawed? No one's great across the world. There's always room for improvement. I think there are other countries that do other things slightly better than us. And I think when a country demonstrates that they can do something better or tackle a problem better, we should look at that and model after that.
That's something that shouldn't be feared and get xenophobic about. Did you think I was going to be this smart? Be honest?
MORGAN: I didn't. I heard pretty disturbing reports to the contrary.
SHEPARD: Yes. They're pervasive.
BELL: I wish America wasn't so polarized. It scarce me the polarization that I see on a daily basis, even just on the Internet. I wish that optimism and real optimism would seep into people's minds a little bit more, because there's this -- people -- they call it optimism, but it's really just out of fear and it's really to defeat someone else.
MORGAN: I think it's false optimism based on the very harsh time that people have had in the last few years. But I think America collectively needs to get its confidence back. My problem with both the political parties at the moment is they're so busy squabbling with each other, tearing into each other, that actually the overall impression of this is that everything has gone to hell in a handbag.
BELL: We're not enemies. America is not an enemy of America. And that's what no one, for some reason, is talking about. It's just everybody is fighting all the time.
SHEPARD: You want to probably mention I would do this, but to quote a Tweet by Tom Arnold, I think he nailed it the best; "five percent of the right is insane, five percent of the left is insane. And their voices are so loud, we really think that's the position of the left and right." And it's not. It's not how Americans feel.
Ninety percent of us agree on 90 percent of this stuff. It is not as polarized as we're acting. And it's just those loud members of Congress who are screaming from the top of the roofs that make us feel that way. It's not.
I talk to people everywhere. And it's not that polarized.
MORGAN: Well said.
SHEPARD: Thank you.
Tom Arnold really said it.
MORGAN: A man of great oratory. Good to see you.
BELL: Good to see you.
MORGAN: "Hit and Run" is out now in all good theaters and probably a few bad ones too. And a cracking romp it is, as well. Nice to meet you both.
SHEPARD: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN IMERMAN, CNN HERO: All of a sudden, it was like bam. It was like someone took a syringe and stabbed me directly in my left testicle. At 26, I was diagnosed with cancer, so I had to go right into chemo. In the hospital, I saw these people by themselves, the fear.
My goal was to get in there and motivate patients so that they wanted to jump out of their chemo bed. They literally start swinging at the --
My name is Johnny Imerman. I'm a two time testicular cancer survivor. And I created an organization to make sure that people that are diagnosed with cancer are able to reach a survivor.
UNIDENTIFIED: Be strong and listen to your body. It will tell you what you need to do.
IMERMAN: It started with just a few survivors sharing information one to one with somebody diagnosed with the exact same cancer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a 29 year old, healthy young adult, cancer is not a part of our language. I'm really happy that I have this community that Johnny has built.
IMERMAN: We have helped people in over 60 countries. We have matched over 8,000 total since inception.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terry has been like my guardian angel. Any time I call her, she's right there.
IMERMAN: It's a brotherhood and a sisterhood and that's for sure.
We help people at all ages, care givers, spouses. We'll help the parents get hooked up with other parents. And we just get a ton of young adults who share stories. We listen. We learn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was 30 years old when I was diagnosed. I wanted to make it until my son is at least five and I'm still here today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the kind of information that you need to hear from someone who's been through it. There's really no other way.
IMERMAN: I don't really count the days since cancer, because every day is a good day. Like you're happy you got out of bed this morning. Life is amazing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Next week, I'll be in Tampa for the Republican convention. I'll sit down with some of the biggest names in the GOP. On Monday, the man who is arguably the most outspoken of them all, Donald Trump. He'll have some very hush hush plans for a convention appearance that he promises will be, his words, really amazing. I'm sure it will be. I'll see if I can get him to spill the beans on Monday.
On Tuesday, Bush and Rice back together again. No, not that bush, but Jeb Bush and Condoleezza Rice. The former president's brother teams up with the former secretary of state.
And on Wednesday, it's tough talking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in what will be his first interview following his convention keynote speech. And on Thursday, I'll talk to the one man who knows exactly what it's like to go against Barack Obama in an election. John McCain joins me along with his wife Cindy.
That's all next week.