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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Close Friends of Powerball Winners; Interview with Penn State's Football Head Coach Bill O'Brien; 32 Days to Go; Interview with Sharon Osbourne; Interview with Robert Zemeckis
Aired November 30, 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, show them the money.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY HILL, POWERBALL WINNER: We're still stunned by what's happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: America's Powerball winners, now $293 million richer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: I called my husband, I said, I think I'm having a heart attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Can they ever be the same? Do they care? I'll talk to their closest friends.
Also, back on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can solve these problems.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: With 32 days to go, will you be paying higher taxes? My political all-stars weigh in on "Battleground America".
And against all odds, after Sandusky, Penn State's incredible comeback. My exclusive interview with the coach of the year.
A reunion with a dear old friend whose bark is as bad as her bite, Sharon Osbourne.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON OSBOURNE, "THE TALK" CO-HOST: I love you, Piers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Her incredible year of highs and lows and how she's rebuilding her life after facing a terrible health prognosis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OSBOURNE: I couldn't see myself going through chemo again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Good evening.
Whoever thinks the American dream is dead or dying should meet Mark and Cindy Hill. They're a Missouri couple who live a very ordinary life. At least that's what they were doing until Wednesday and a little thing called Powerball came along.
Sure, the odds were 1 in 175 million, but like everybody else in America -- pretty much everyone else -- they bought a ticket. Wouldn't you know it, they won -- sharing the jackpot with another lucky winner.
Today, the Hills are holding a check in their hands for a cool $293 million. And not surprisingly, they are in a state of shock. While we wait for them to absorb what's happened, I talked to two people who know them better than most.
Joining me now, Sondra and Walt Stubbs, good close friends of Powerball winners, Mark and Cindy Hill.
Welcome to you both.
SONDRA STUBBS, CLOSE FRIEND OF MISSIOURI POWERBALL WINNERS: Thank you.
WALT STUBBS, CLOSE FRIEND OF MISSOURI POWERBALL WINNERS: Thank you.
MORGAN: What an amazing story. Tell me about these friends of yours who have suddenly gone from, you know, regular struggling American family to fabulously rich.
W. STUBBS: Well, Mark and Cindy went to high school with us, and you know, just an amazing story, just great people. They -- salt of the earth. They bought the ticket and one day they were, you know, struggling like everybody else. And now, they're millionaires. So, you know, that's great thing happened to them.
MORGAN: Yes, what's amazing, Sandra, is that Mark was laid off in 2010 from work, Cindy then took time off work to care for the baby they adopted from China, and they were hoping to adopt another child, but finances were tight and so on. Now, of course, they can afford to do all this.
But they seem very decent, I say ordinary, I don't mean ordinary in any kind of negative way, I just mean regular Americans.
S. STUBBS: Yes. They are very grounded. They have strong bonds with their family. They really enjoy their family. And they will definitely take care of their family now.
MORGAN: Let's play a little clip, this is of Cindy, who bought the ticket, at the press conference earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: I didn't have my glasses and I was thinking is that the right numbers, is that the right numbers? And I was shaking and I called my husband, I said I think I'm having a heart attack, God blessed us with this.
And for some reason, he put it in our hands. I think to make sure that it goes to the right things. And -- but we were blessed before we ever won this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: How do you guys find out about this, Walt?
W. STUBBS: Since we're pretty familiar in the community, several people in the community started texting us about, oh, 9:00 that morning, and, you know, of course, there are no secrets in a small town. So everybody was pretty much calling around saying hey, he won, and Mark put it on his Facebook which I was totally amazed that he did that. But -- so everybody pretty much knew.
MORGAN: It's a lovely story. Dearborn in Missouri is a small place. As you say, everybody knows each other. Cindy and Mark have three grown-up sons, Jason, Cody and Jared and a 6-year-old adopted daughter, Jayden, from China. It really is a wonderful pre-holiday story, isn't it?
W. STUBBS: Yes. It is. I mean, it's just a blessing. They couldn't have had a better couple to get it because they will definitely take care of the family but they are also really involved in the community. So, you know, we're really happy for them.
MORGAN: You know -- I mean, do you know how they are going to spend the money, Sondra? Have they given any indication to you?
S. STUBBS: All they said today was that they were definitely going to take care of their family and their grandchildren and set up college funds for them, and then they had some charities they are really into the adoption and so I know that they were possibly thinking about getting another child, and making sure that the adoption community, you know, gets some of their money.
MORGAN: Walt, did you buy tickets yourselves for this Powerball?
W. STUBBS: We did. We did. We were watching but you know what, if we can't win, we're happy that they're the ones that won.
S. STUBBS: Yes.
MORGAN: You see, if I bought a ticket and my best mates won, a little part of me would be like oh, God, why not me?
W. STUBBS: You know what? I think that it's important. Mark and Cindy are great people. I think that they will do a good job taking care of this money and they're just special people. So, you know, sorry, we didn't win but glad they did.
S. STUBBS: Very glad.
MORGAN: What's going to happen to Mark's job now with all this?
S. STUBBS: He's not going back to work. And Cindy --
MORGAN: I'll bet he isn't.
S. STUBBS: Cindy isn't going to an interview.
S. STUBBS: Cindy had an interview scheduled for today and she did not go to that, either.
MORGAN: No, I would imagine work is the last thing on their minds. But it's a great story. I'm very thrilled for your friends. The mere fact you're also happy for them says it all. They are obviously lovely people and exactly the kind of people you hope win something like the Powerball.
So thank you for joining me. Please pass on my very sincere congratulations to them. And if they want to come on this show and talk about it, I'd love to see them.
W. STUBBS: All right. We'll let them know.
S. STUBBS: Thank you.
W. STUBBS: Thanks.
MORGAN: Now to another long shot winner. The year of enormous scandal and shame for Penn State and its football team -- tonight, an extraordinary story of hope and healing. Against the odds, the Nittany Lions and its head coach, Bill O'Brien, led to an incredible 8-4 season. That's not all. He was just named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
And Coach Bill O'Brien joins me now for an exclusive interview.
Coach O'Brien, welcome to you.
BILL O'BRIEN, PENN STATE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Hey, piers, how are you doing? Thanks for having me on tonight. MORGAN: You've had this extraordinary run which really nobody was expecting. It started obviously amid extremely difficult circumstances. When you took over from the legendary Joe Paterno with all the shame and scandal that had befallen Penn State -- be honest with me, what was really going through your mind?
O'BRIEN: Well, I knew that it was going to be a difficult challenge and so the first thing I tried to do was put together a great coaching staff and I think that's what we've done here. And, then obviously, we spent a lot of time with the players and we talked to the players about moving forward and what this university was all about, which was a great chance to get a fantastic education and play good football.
And so, you know, we weren't here then. So we knew that this was a chance for us as a new football coaching staff to help these kids and help this athletic department and this university move forward.
MORGAN: To put it in perspective, let's remind people of the sanctions that were laid down after the scandal. A $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, all wins dating back to '98 vacated, a scholarships cut for four years.
Now, on the back of that, 15 players left, 31 fourth and fifth year seniors stayed. How did you persuade the ones who stayed to stay? Because clearly, it wasn't going to be to their footballing advantage necessarily.
O'BRIEN: Right. It was -- you know, it was in the summertime when the sanctions came out and right away, we had a team meeting that day, and we talked about a lot of different things. But we talked about the commitment that they had made to each other and the commitment that they had made to the football program and to the university, and that there was still the education here and the ability to receive a world renowned degree. That wasn't changing.
They were going to be able to play football in front of 100,000 fans. That wasn't changing. And they knew at the end of the day that they were going to be able to play a lot of football in a great conference on TV and so that was something that they knew in their minds was not changed.
And so, at the end of the day, we had a lot of guys that chose to stay with us. We had a series of team meetings after that leading up to training camp and we had a fantastic senior class that helped keep it all together.
MORGAN: You lost the first two games of the season. I would imagine your heart was right in your mouth at that point. But since then, incredible statistics -- eight for four overall season, six for two Big Ten record. You were named the Big Ten coach of the year by the media and fellow coaches.
You were the first Penn State first year coach to win eight games in 126 years of the program, and many of the players received Big Ten honors as well -- a quite incredible array of honors given where you started from.
O'BRIEN: Well, I think it was a difficult beginning. The guys were learning a new system on offense and defense, and still a lot of the things that we were doing football-wise here were different than what they had done in the past and there were growing pains early in the season.
I think the guys were frustrated because we all knew that we had the makings of a good football team. And I will never forget the Monday after the Virginia game where we came back to work, our guys really practiced hard that day. And we knew then as a coaching staff we had a resilient bunch of guys that were eventually not going to be denied to win some games.
And we ended up beating Navy that week and we got on a little bit of a roll which was good, and we ended up, you know, 8-4 like you said. And it was -- it was a good start to this new era of Penn State football.
MORGAN: And how have you dealt with the obvious which is the difficulty I guess in rebuilding trust with fans, with parents in particular, of boys now playing at Penn State after the appalling crimes of Jerry Sandusky? How have you dealt with that, how have you talked to your players about that and indeed, to the parents? How have you reassured everybody that there's a whole new world now at Penn State and they don't have to worry about it?
O'BRIEN: Well, I believe that we have great communication with our players, number one. We talk to our players all the time. We have good communication with the parents of our players.
I think they feel good about the direction of the football program. One of the things that we've done here, Piers, I believe, is we've helped move the community forward. You know, there's many things that we do in the community that help the State College community.
But, probably, number one is as we move forward is going to make sure we do our part to put an end to child abuse. We work with the PCAR, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, and that's something that is a partnership that will continue as long as I'm here.
And so I think our guys are a little bit wise beyond their years. They understand the reason that we're in the position that we're in because of the sanctions that came down. They know why those sanctions came down, and it's a little bit more than football to these guys. They understand that. They're going to do their part in the community and that's what we're trying to do, in addition to going to class and playing good football.
MORGAN: And what are your thoughts personally towards Joe Paterno and indeed, towards Jerry Sandusky?
O'BRIEN: Well, you know, I'll start with Coach Paterno. You know, obviously you look at the body of work and the body of work that he had here as the football coach was tremendous. He graduated 90 percent of his players and he won a lot of football games here.
I think that, you know, I'm not -- I'm just a football coach. So I'm not here to judge anybody's legacy. All I will tell you is that it's my job to move this football program forward and one of the reasons and one of the ways that we move it forward is by making sure that we graduate our players and that we play good football on Saturdays.
And as far as Jerry Sandusky goes, you know, he's in jail and he's paying for his crimes and, you know, we've moved forward as a university and we're looking forward to the future.
MORGAN: Well, you certainly have moved forward, Coach O'Brien. It's been an astonishing transformation. I congratulate you personally on the achievements you've had and wish you continued good success. Thank you for joining me.
O'BRIEN: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Coming next, battleground America and the fight over your looming tax bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1st. I'm assuming that doesn't sound too good to you. That's sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas. That's a Scrooge Christmas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama in a factory outside Philadelphia today, pushing his financial plan. Make no mistake, it's all about your tax bills and if Washington can make a deal before you start paying more.
With me now for "Battleground America" is Democratic strategist Marjorie Clifton and Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus.
Welcome to you both, ladies.
CHERI JACOBUS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you.
MARJORIE CLIFTON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
MORGAN: Listening to John Boehner today and the president, it's pretty clear there's no deal anywhere near being settled here. And I don't know about you, I'm just getting really bored with it. Why don't they just get round a table and get it done?
Let me start with you, Cheri.
JACOBUS: Right. I think that the president going to Pennsylvania to the Tinkertoy plant on a campaign stop essentially is probably not going to go over as well as he thinks it does, particularly since we thought we were done with that for a while. We just went through it a few weeks ago. Thought campaign stops were over and he inflicts this on us again.
The American people expect him to sit down with the Republicans in Congress and work this out.
Now, a year ago or so, last year, he agreed to $800 billion in tax hikes. That's kind of where the number was. He comes back with twice that and when he gets obviously a no from Republicans, you don't double it and say that's OK. He immediately goes out on the campaign trail.
So he does need to come back to Washington. And you're right, they need to sit down. That's what the American people expect them to do.
MORGAN: Marjorie Clifton, I mean, the bottom line is, though, he's just been re-elected, he's the winner. The Republicans were vanquished and I suspect President Obama thinks, you know what? I'm going to be calling the shots here.
CLIFTON: Yes. Well, there is still a month left. We've got to have something to talk about for the rest of the month, right?
I mean, you have to kind of look at this as sort of a poker game. You know, everybody's going to sort of try to barter for as best a deal as they can get and know they are going to have to make concessions along the way.
And so, what he did is he went for it. He said look, I'm going to do $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, only $400 billion in cuts. He conveniently did not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid which poll as the most popular programs and things that Americans actually want.
And -- I mean, if you look at it, 60 percent of Americans actually support the idea of raising taxes and that of course goes beyond those that just voted for him. So he's going with what are the popular issues that I know I can get Americans around me and I'm going to put Republicans in a really tight spot where they're going to have to either say, look, we're going to make cuts to programs that we know that you like and frankly, they know that it's going to be bad for Republicans if a deal doesn't get done.
So, a lot's still happening behind the scenes and what we're hearing publicly is a lot of posturing in that poker game happening.
MORGAN: Yes. I mean, Cheri, the problems of Republicans it seems to me is they've had this completely intransigent position driven by Grover Norquist, that thou shalt not raise taxes.
MORGAN: But all the polls say two-thirds of Americans are quite happy for the wealthier to pay more taxes in America. I think they should just get on with it and suck it up. JACOBUS: Well, it was a relatively close election but the president did win and he has to own this. We also know that "The Washington Post" said this, and if you just close some of these loopholes and deductions on the folks instead of just raising their tax rates outright, you can come up with close to that $80 billion that they did agree on, you know, last year. You get to about $750 billion.
But to come in with a $1.6 trillion as your starting point, I can't believe it's serious. I don't blame the leadership, McConnell apparently burst out -- Senator McConnell burst out laughing. I don't blame him because it's absolutely ridiculous to come back from last year with twice the amount.
So, it's not a serious offer and I think it's in bad form for the president to go out on this campaign stop. He needs to sit down and work with Republicans.
We understand that the president won and the House is still in Republican hands. Both sides need to understand that.
But the president did not -- it wasn't a landslide. He did win. He's also got to own this.
But it seems to me and I think this is going to seem -- more American people are going to start seeing this, too, he doesn't really want to come to a deal. He doesn't want to show leadership and gets this done. It seems he wants to rub Republicans' face in this and kind of, you know, stick the sieve in their back a little bit and that's not going to go over well.
People expect him to do his job. This is an opportunity for leadership. He should take it, quite frankly.
CLIFTON: I would say that --
MORGAN: It wasn't a landslide but it was a fair beating. To give you some idea just how bad Mitt Romney lost, look at this picture of him. This is apparently Mitt Romney at a McDonald's on the same day that he had lunch with the president, actually having a McFlurry. That is how bad things have got.
JACOBUS: I don't think it's bad.
MORGAN: You are trying to convince me, Cheri, it wasn't a terrible beating. Look at the man.
JACOBUS: It's painful. It was painful but it wasn't like the Reagan/Mondale, that kind of situation.
That's a great picture of Mitt Romney. I don't think -- he's probably got, the money the guy has, he goes to McDonald's. Sometimes that's why rich people are rich. They don't waste their money.
MORGAN: I know he likes McDonald's, actually.
When I interviewed him in London in the summer, it was literally an hour after he had come out with all these criticism of the Olympics and how badly it was all being organized by the British and, of course, the British took very badly to his comments.
And Mitt Romney arrived at the location for our interview and all he said to me was I need a McDonald's and I need it fast.
JACOBUS: Sometimes you just need your McDonald's.
MORGAN: I think he needs these things as a comfort blanket before tricky meetings.
JACOBUS: We all do. That's right. That's right.
MORGAN: Thank you both very much indeed for joining me.
JACOBUS: Thank you.
CLIFTON: Yes, no problem.
MORGAN: Coming up next, my emotional interview with a very good old friend who has got a little nip to her bite -- Sharon Osbourne on her life-changing year.
MORGAN: Our relationship with Sharon Osbourne has always been -- well, let's just say a little complicated. We spent a lot of time together on stage and off. We were both judges on "America's Got Talent" for four very, very long years. A lot has changed since then.
Joining me now exclusively is Sharon Osbourne, co-host of CBS's "The Talk," and a woman that despite everything, I love dearly.
How are you?
OSBOURNE: I love you more, by the way, and I'm fine. And it was five years we worked together.
MORGAN: Was it really?
OSBOURNE: Five years.
MORGAN: It was fun, though, wasn't it?
OSBOURNE: We had a blast, didn't we?
MORGAN: You do look great, I have got to say.
OSBOURNE: Thank you.
MORGAN: And yet despite this, you have been through this horrific experience. You had a double mastectomy. Tell me -- tell me what happened, because the last I saw you, you were blooming in good health.
OSBOURNE: I was. It -- OK. What happened was, and I had this last January, but I just kept quiet about it, because it was -- it was elective surgery. I decided I wanted to do this, because the year before, I had a test called the genome test.
You remember, genome got in touch with Ozzy and said, we want to test you because we have on idea why you're still alive with everything you've gone through. And if you can imagine, a DNA but like a million times more complex than that, that's what the genome test is.
And so they did Ozzy, they did me, and it came back that I carry -- I not only had the cancer gene, but the breast cancer gene. And Ozzy had the colon cancer.
And I just couldn't -- I couldn't deal with it. I was like --
MORGAN: Having been through cancer once, what did you feel in that-- because you've had, as we'll come to a little later, a very traumatic year already in many ways with Jack and other things.
How did you feel when you got this back and thought, here we go again?
OSBOURNE: I couldn't see myself going through chemo again. That was really-- it's not the operation for it, it's not any of that. It's the chemo that really gets you.
And I just thought, I just thought, I don't want to do it, and if I can avoid it, then I will. And I don't want to keep going to be tested every six months, to have a mammogram.
And I had implants anyway, so I had really big --
MORGAN: I remember.
OSBOURNE: Oh, yes, I flashed you.
OSBOURNE: That's right.
MORGAN: You may remember, I woke up on the "America's Got Talent" private plane flying from Chicago to Los Angeles to find your naked breasts in all their glory right in my face.
MORGAN: Being photographed by Nick Cannon and Howie Mandel.
OSBOURNE: That's right, that's right.
MORGAN: Not the way I like to wake up. OSBOURNE: Well, I thought it was a nice way to wake you up and say, put your seatbelt on, dear, we're landing.
OSBOURNE: But anyway, Nick still got the pictures, by the way.
MORGAN: I know he has. It jumps off me. My career is going to end the moment they appear.
OSBOURNE: And mine.
So anyway, I had, you know, those fun bags as Ozzy calls them put in. And one of them had leaked very badly, so my breasts were odd sized. I'd got the cancer gene, and I thought, this is ridiculous.
So I went in and they just took -- and -- everything away and reconstructed.
MORGAN: To be a woman going through that, to most women, it would be like the ultimate nightmare. I read this interview you gave, where I first I heard about it was "Hello" magazine dropped, and there was this amazing interview, incredibly honest, as always. But I was really struck by even someone as tough as you waking up the next day and you've had this operation, which every woman would dread. How did you feel?
OSBOURNE: Yeah, I did. I fell really relieved. I felt no more squishing my -- in that mammogram, because they hurt, and especially with the fun bags. So it was like just relieved. That's the way I felt. And I did it the way I did it because I didn't want to worry friends and family. I just didn't -- I didn't want a big to-do about it.
MORGAN: I will put the other side to this. There is a survey that said that 90 percent of women who have the double mastectomy because they're worried about cancer recurring probably do so unnecessarily, in the sense that statistically actually it's unlikely. My reaction to that survey was well, it's fine if you're in the 90 percent, not so good if you're in the 10 percent.
Is that what went through your mind, that even if there's one percent chance, you don't want to take it?
OSBOURNE: No, because I never -- I never believe those surveys, anyway, because they're always wrong. They're always done by insurance companies that don't want to pay out to have it done. It's like, you know, they say oh, you only have a mammogram if you're over 40. Well, I know so many girls in their 20s and 30s that have had breast cancer. They say the same with colon cancer. You only have the test if you're 50.
Well, you know what, I was going through treatment with a girl of 19 who died of it. So that's all rubbish. I was lucky enough to be able to make the decision. And I was blessed and lucky. And you know, for me, the odds weren't really on my side, with age and, you know, my history. So I'm like I don't want to roll the dice on this one.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break, Sharon, come back and talk about Jack. Because Jack came on the show, very moving interview, actually, which I know you watched. Let's talk about how he's doing next. Just got married.
OSBOURNE: He did.
MORGAN: The Osbournes have had more than their share of ups and downs lately. Back with me now, the family matriarch, the mother hen, as I like to call her, Sharon Osbourne. Jack recently went through his own health scare which I know was very upsetting to you. You called me and you were in floods of tears a few weeks before it all came out. I knew because this is your boy. You are the mother hen. You're the lioness. This is one of your pride.
Let's see what Jack said to me when he came on the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What is the family attitude to this? How have your mom and dad been?
JACK OSBOURNE, SON OF SHARON OSBOURNE: You know, I think my mom and dad took the news far worse than I did. They were instantly I think in a very kind of parental kind of way thought is it our fault, what could we have done, you know, things like that. And really -- they have a tendency to do that a lot about everything.
MORGAN: Your mom is an emotional woman.
J. OSBOURNE: She is.
MORGAN: For good and bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: See, there you go again. Very difficult for you, that, wasn't it? I remember you were really beside yourself because you couldn't believe. And you have been through so much, the Osbournes, so well documented, all the stuff you've had to go through, your cancer, Ozzy nearly dying and so on. Now you're hit with Jack getting this horrible disease in his 20s. Did you fear the worst when you first heard? Because you know enough about the disease to make any kind of considered opinion.
OSBOURNE: I was hit badly because of Jack's age and because Jack, when he became clean and sober -- it's 10 years ago now -- he turned to climbing mountains, jumping out of helicopters, bungee jumping, doing all the most outrageous things. And he lived for that. It made him feel great. It set him goals in life that he would achieve.
And the thought of him not being able to live the life that he wanted to was devastating to me at 26. I was -- and then you think maybe I did something when I was pregnant because nobody knows how you get it. Nobody knows. So you know, I kept going over everything with myself and doubting myself. And it just -- it's an awful thing.
MORGAN: He had a little baby and he also got married in Hawaii on October 7th. There's some lovely pictures from the wedding here. Looked an amazing event.
OSBOURNE: It was lovely. I cried for two days. That's all I did. Look at me. I'm crying there. There's little Pearl. I'm crying there. That's all I did.
MORGAN: He's a lovely guy, Jack.
OSBOURNE: Look at me.
MORGAN: I know. You never stop booing the whole time, did you?
MORGAN: Ozzy looks almost genteel these days. What has happened to the wild man? Smart, hair slicked back.
OSBOURNE: Didn't he look lovely? Look.
MORGAN: He's not trying to bite the baby, is he?
OSBOURNE: She's trying to bite him.
MORGAN: That must have been a very special day, though, after all that you have been through with Jack, to be able to be there on his wedding day.
OSBOURNE: All that he had been through that year was amazing. And it was just a time -- you know, you say your wedding is the most important day. And to the day I die, I will only have amazing feelings and thoughts of that day.
MORGAN: Let's turn to perhaps not such good thoughts, "America's Got Talent." So I left to come here and do this show and thought leaving it in good hands. And it all went to hell in a hand cart.
OSBOURNE: What happened? What happened?
MORGAN: -- clearly missing me, you clearly missing me.
OSBOURNE: Excuse me, Piers, when you were there, we debuted at 16.5 million. You leave, we're at 10.
MORGAN: What went wrong?
OSBOURNE: I do not know. I do not know. I think that I didn't see the point of moving to New York. I didn't see what that does. I don't think a viewer at home that watches that show goes, they really don't care whether it's filmed in Philadelphia or Los Angeles or New York. What does it matter to them? They are at home watching the TV.
MORGAN: It was moved because of Howard Stern, obviously, because he does a radio show there. A lot was pinned on Howard. I got the feeling watching Howard, who I absolutely love --
OSBOURNE: I adore him.
MORGAN: -- an amazing talent, but I just got the feeling he was a bit uncomfortable not being able to be the real Howard Stern because of the nature of a family show like "America's Got Talent." Did you feel that?
OSBOURNE: I thought he handled himself really well, because we know him as the Howard Stern of radio. And he's a big old softy. He's a big old softy. In commercial breaks, I would ask him all filthy dirty sexual questions. And he would look at me and go why are you talking to me like this. Because this is what you do to me when I'm on your radio show.
So I would ask him all these awful sexual questions. He's fabulous. I don't know. I don't know whether we all did have that chemistry that was broken and so the show went --
MORGAN: You had a big falling-out with NBC, mainly because Jack was going to do some shows with them, then they pulled the plug and you felt strongly about that. Lot of speculation about it. What was the truth?
OSBOURNE: They did offer Jack the job. Why would he be in hand of a contract? The contract wasn't signed, but also, you know that you go and do a job and you sign the contract halfway through. I worked for this year for NBC for two months without signing a contract. That comes after.
He was in hand of a contract. Two days before he was due to start, they called and said it was too much of a responsibility, Jack was to much, so no. But the thing was, I can understand what they were saying. It was the way that they did it. It was just the way they did it.
And then they offered him well, what do you want, money? We'll pay you. No, he doesn't want money. He wants his dignity. He wants his pride. He could do this.
But then, as it happens, the way the show turned out, it had a curse on it. The show did terrible. People didn't like it. It was so, you know --
OSBOURNE: Karma. You know, the karma truck was parked outside NBC that week. So had nothing to do with me.
MORGAN: You and Simon Cowell have had a love/hate relationship over the years. But there are some rumors that you may go back perhaps to one of his other shows, "X Factor."
OSBOURNE: Do you know what he's like? He's such a tart, Simon. He is. He's like a big brother. You love your brother, but sometimes you don't like him very much, do you? So we're like this at each other. We take jabs at each other all the time.
But I tell you something, like you, whenever you're in trouble, Simon is right there, as you are. So I can't say a bad thing about him.
MORGAN: Which of the other talent shows do you watch? Do you like any of them?
OSBOURNE: I watch them all. I love to see what's going on because I'm addicted to TV.
MORGAN: Who is the worst judge on television at the moment?
OSBOURNE: Oh, dear. Oh, that's awful.
MORGAN: I prefer that to the best one. The best one's an American question. The British question is who's the worst.
OSBOURNE: Oh, dear. Probably -- I know he's going to kill me and he's the head of Ozzy's record company. And I shouldn't say this, but probably L.A. Reed. I think he's boring.
MORGAN: You just ruined Ozzy's record deal.
OSBOURNE: I know. I know, but he's doing -- it's like L.A., get back to the bloody record company and sell some records and stop being a silly judge. That's all I have to say. I mean, he's got all the credibility, everything, but stop trying to be Mr. Show Biz and get back to run Sony. Really.
MORGAN: We haven't talked about the talk. The talk is terrific and you are terrific on it on CBS every weekday. Am I allowed back soon?
OSBOURNE: I would love you to come back.
MORGAN: I'm available.
OSBOURNE: When are you in New York next?
MORGAN: Next week.
OSBOURNE: Oh, good. Well then, you can come on our show. We're in New York.
MORGAN: Excellent. I shall see you in the Big Apple.
OSBOURNE: I love you. Would you like another picture?
MORGAN: Do you know what, I just had my tea.
OSBOURNE: OK. Forget it.
MORGAN: Sharon, it's lovely to see you.
OSBOURNE: I love you, Piers.
MORGAN: Sharon Osbourne, one of my favorites.
Coming next, one of my favorite directors. Robert Zemeckis joins me to talk about his Hollywood career and his incredible new film, "Flight," with a brilliant cameo from yours truly.
MORGAN: Director Robert Zemeckis is an Oscar winner and the man behind some of Hollywood's biggest ever hits. He may be in line for another award for his latest movie "Flight," starring Denzel Washington. He joins me now.
ROBERT ZEMECKIS, DIRECTOR: Good to be here.
MORGAN: We will come to why you're my favorite director in a moment. But let's talk, first of all, about "Flight," because it's a thrilling movie starring one of the great actors I think of this generation, Denzel Washington. The reason it's so thrilling, it contains just this incredible plane crash scene, the likes of which no one has ever seen on the big screen before. Let's take a little look and discuss this afterwards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENZEL WASHINGTON, ACTOR: Speed brake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speed brake.
WASHINGTON: Margaret, power! Gear up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: It goes on and on. It's like 20 minutes long, the plane crash scene. And it is thrilling cinema. Was it that -- was it the concept of being able to create this incredible scene that really attracted you to the movie?
ZEMECKIS: Well, actually, you know, having this plane crash in the movie was a detriment to my possible decision, because I had done a plane crash in "Castaway" with Tom Hanks. My representatives and my partners were thinking, well, you're going to do another plane crash. But what really attracted me to the piece was Denzel's character. It was such a brilliantly written screenplay and great character that to not do the plane crash just because I'd done another one would have been not a very smart thing to do.
So the challenge was to do the plane crash even better than in the last film.
MORGAN: And the theme of the movie is very much around Denzel's character, who is a hero pilot. But it turns out he has an addiction, substance problem. It makes it a very complex, quite unpredictable movie actually. Right to the end, you're not quite sure how this is all going to play out. You need an actor of his kind of brilliance, don't you?
MORGAN: Tell me about work with Denzel Washington.
ZEMECKIS: You need an actor who obviously is a magnificent actor. Denzel is one of the best that has ever lived. And you need someone who has got charm, gravitas, a certain amount of swagger. And Denzel brought all that to the part.
So, you know, what he did so brilliantly in the movie is he keeps the audience off balance. They aren't quite sure where they are falling off in the sort of morality of his situation.
MORGAN: Does he deserve an Oscar, do you think?
ZEMECKIS: Oh, absolutely.
MORGAN: You would say that.
ZEMECKIS: I would say that, but I'm saying that -- but it's such a brilliant performance. I was -- I mean, every day when I was standing behind the camera watching him work, his choices were just astounding.
MORGAN: You are 61 years old, looking very good, if you don't mind me saying, Robert. You directed 16 movies that have grossed nearly four billion dollars worldwide. Do you ever stop and think about that?
ZEMECKIS: You know, I don't think about it that often. You know, I guess it's because I -- you know, I just -- I never have made a movie thinking about the money. I've only ever made a movie thinking about, you know, can I make this a good movie. And the money has come with -- you know, as frosting on the cake, so to speak.
MORGAN: You said that -- a great quote. I'm really tired of making these huge, over 100 million dollar movies where they literally mean life and death for a studio. Everyone is hysterical. This was actually quite a relatively lower budget movie.
ZEMECKIS: This is the lowest budget movie in today's dollars that I made since I made by second film "Used Cars."
MORGAN: It was about 30 million?
ZEMECKIS: Thirty one million, yes.
MORGAN: And it's grossed what so far?
ZEMECKIS: Well, about 77, 78 million.
MORGAN: How do you quantify in the modern game of movies a real success?
ZEMECKIS: For me, my -- I have done this my entire career. If the film makes one dollar profit, I'm happy because then the film exists and nobody got hurt and that's my job. But that's the way I've always looked at it.
MORGAN: Who is, to you, a great actor or actress, other than Denzel? What does it take to be really top draw?
ZEMECKIS: Well, I think -- well, I've worked with a lot of great actors, I mean magnificent actors. I've worked with Tom Hanks three times. He's as great as they get. I've worked with Meryl Streep. I've worked with Ray Winstone. I mean, I've been very fortunate in my career. I've worked with tremendous, tremendous actors.
I think, you know, what it takes to be a great actor is the ability to just understand whatever that -- wherever that magical thing that they are able to do to know what the character is feeling, and then to be able to evoke that somehow through what it is that they do.
MORGAN: Now there is another option, of course, for best actor at the Oscars. I want to play you a little clip to show the viewers what I mean here, because it's going to be neck and neck with Denzel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: -- a real American hero. Is that your reading of it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Yep, absolutely. Denzel, I hear is pretty worried about this.
ZEMECKIS: I tell you.
MORGAN: The phrase scene stealer has been used.
ZEMECKIS: I tell you, when we were shooting that scene, he's saying, I don't know. I don't know if I like this guy in the scene with me here. He's going to steal all my thunder.
MORGAN: Robert, it's a terrific film. It was great to play a tiny part in it.
ZEMECKIS: Pleasure to have you.
MORGAN: You're going to be having a lot of fun at the Oscars, I think. Great to see you.
ZEMECKIS: Good to see you. Thank you.
MORGAN: We'll be right back.
MORGAN: This Sunday night is "CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute," our annual broadcast of the top ten heroes of the year. It's recognition that can help our honorees do more to help others. Builder Dan Walrath, a hero from 2010, is one example. He's teaming up with musician Kid Rock to get injured vets into new homes for free.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Retired builder Dan Walrath has donated nearly 50 custom homes to returning wounded veterans. It is work for which he was honored at the "2010 CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute," where he first teamed up with rock icon and Michigan native Kid Rock.
DAN WALRATH, CNN HERO: I had the pleasure of Bobby introducing me that night. We kept in touch and talked about doing a home together. He said he'd like to sponsor one. So here we are making this happen today.
KID ROCK, SINGER: My philosophy is always help your neighbor first. We try to find people who really want to better themselves who got a great attitude.
COOPER: After more than 70 surgeries, Sergeant Daven Dumar (ph), who lost his leg in an IED explosion, continues treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he married his wife Dana last year.
The couple is planning to return to Michigan to take their first steps as husband and wife.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We both definitely want to move back here. So it will be nice and close to family.
COOPER: Little do they know what Walrath and Kid Rock have in store for their homecoming.
KID ROCK: First of all, welcome home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
KID ROCK: Thank you for your service. You got a brand new home coming right across the street. Fully furnished top to bottom.
Thank you for your service. God bless.
(APPLAUSE) KID ROCK: This is something really special just to be a part of it and be able to work together with Dan to make it happen for someone like Sergeant Dumar, who is so deserving. What we're doing here, this can be done in every community.
WALRATH: We can change all the lives of these wounded warriors. The responsibility falls on us. And we owe it to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.