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In Memory of Emilie Parker; NRA Sues New York State

Aired March 22, 2013 - 21:00   ET



PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, the extraordinary moment as two Sandy Hook parents came face-to-face with the father of killer, Adam Lanza.

ROBBIE PARKER, EMILIE'S FATHER: I wanted to speak to him as one father to another father.

MORGAN: Emilie Parker was 6 years old when she was murdered with 19 of her class mates. Now her father, Robbie Parker, joins me for an emotional interview.

PARKER: My daughter is beautiful and she is going to be great and she is going to continue to touch lives of countless numbers of people.

MORGAN: Plus, a former NRA operative gets personal.

RICHARD FELDMAN, FORMER NRA OPERATIVE: We saved the British people because the Americans had the guns.

MORGAN: What he thinks is the answer to reducing gun violence in America.

Also, where senators stand on the assault weapons ban? I'm demanding answers. And tonight, we are giving it to you.

And a man on a mission. Heartthrob and Hollywood star Gerard Butler taking on the bad guys, working closely with Navy SEALs to make it happen.

GERARD BUTLER, ACTOR: They are so dedicated and committed and passionate. It is amazing how their brains work.



MORGAN: Good evening.

There has been much debate about the gun violence destroying countless lives in America.

Tonight, we have new chilling graphic video, (INAUDIBLE) unfolding one shot at a time. Dramatic surveillance images captured a man opening fire in a group of other men in a store in Philadelphia with a semiautomatic hand gun. The gunman pushes the door open as the victims struggle to keep him outside, peppering them with bullets. Three of the men were wounded in the attack.

In a separate incident, teenaged boys age 17 and 14 were arrested today in connection with the shooting and killing of a 13-month-old baby and the wounding of the mother. The baby was in a stroller. All this plays out as lawmakers battle the gun control bill.

Senator Harry Reid, does he have the votes for a ban on assault weapons? So, where do the 100 senators stand on it? I'll update you with my results of the unofficial survey we conducted on the show into what every senator thinks. Twenty-one of them haven't responded even after more than three days of repeated requests.

And then there's this -- Yoko Ono tweeting a picture of John Lennon's blood-stained glasses. President Obama retweeted the image and this message, "More than a million people have been killed by guns in America. Mr. Lennon was killed in 1980."

The victims, of course, include the 20 children and six adults murdered in December in Newtown. Among them, 6-year-old Emilie Parker killed by Adam Lanza. An extraordinary meeting, Emilie's father Robbie Parker and his wife Alissa sat down with Adam Lanza's father.

Robbie joins me now.

Before we talk, Robbie, I want to replay a video you just released on your charitable fund Web site in memory of Emilie. It says more about the creative, charming, beautiful young girl that she was than any amount of words could do.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, Emilie, tell me what your favorite color is.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emilie says the hardest thing about being a kid is cooking by herself. And when Emilie grows up, she wants to be a cowgirl.


CROWD: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Emilie, happy birthday to you --


(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: I found that unbearably poignant to watch earlier as I did just now. I can't even imagine what it's like for you. Yet it's so powerful because as with all the children that lost their lives that day, Robbie, it just brings it home, what happened that day.

These were just young children in the bloom of their early life, snuffed out. The most extraordinary thing I've heard I think since what happened at Newtown is that you and your wife Alissa decided to go and talk to Adam Lanza, the shooter's father, Peter Lanza.

Tell me how that idea came about.

PARKER: It was actually kind of a mutual thing. We had heard through some people that Peter was extremely moved and was appreciative of some of the things that I had mentioned about his family, when I released my statement early on. And so the idea got brought up from his side and from our side if it would be a good idea to meet.

And so, it was just more of a mutual thing and the more I thought about it and spoke about it with each other, we felt it was the right thing to do.

MORGAN: It happened at the end of January, I believe. When you walked into the room and there is the father of this young man who took your daughter's life, what goes through your mind?

PARKER: One of the reasons I wanted to speak to him, I wanted to speak to him as a father, one father to another father. And I understand that despite the circumstances that he lost his son and that he needed to grieve that as well just as much as I needed to grieve my daughter. So I wanted to express those condolences to him and I felt like we were able to do that for each other.

MORGAN: Because his life in many ways has been ruined, too, by this, as so often is the case in these awful atrocities. At the same time, I know that your wife, I spoke to her earlier about this. She was very candid about this. She felt strongly although obviously it was nothing to do with him in terms of the shooting, parental responsibilities in all these cases have a part to play, however big or small, we may never know, but they have a part to play.

PARKER: The moment that you become a parent, you take on an extreme and very powerful responsibility in your life. And Alissa did have a very powerful experience for her that made it so that she wanted to reach out to him and just share a message of -- you are his father, you are the only one that's around now to be able to try and help bring some sort of understanding to this whole situation and she just wanted to make sure that he was empowered to be able to do what he needed to do, to do whatever he could do to bring that information forward.

And we came away with a better understanding of certain issues that we had questions about, and like I said, he was the person that could provide those answers for us. MORGAN: You don't want to talk about gun control for reasons I completely understand. I don't think it's appropriate anyway. Entirely down to each individual family that went through that, if they wish to be public on that issue or not. I said much about it and I will continue to but not with you.

The question I'm interested in as I think about this is following your meeting with Peter Lanza, of all the things that could have contributed to what happened that day, are you any nearer thinking what may have been the main factor? Do you think it was a mental health issue, an issue of ready availability to firearms, do you think it was violent video games? Did you get any kind of insight into what may have been the main trigger here?

PARKER: I don't think there is any one particular theme that spit out more than another. It's very hard for me as an outsider on their relationship to be able to understand what kind of inner dynamics they had within each other, between the shooter and his mother, between the shooter and his father, between the father and the mother. I don't know those things so I don't -- I can't say as far as none of that information was divulged to me.

MORGAN: Did he have any explanation that made any sense what had happened? Had he been able to work out in his head what had happened to his son?

PARKER: Not particularly, no. He is working on providing any information that he feels that's within his power. I think that he has some ideas and I think he wants to make sure that he gets any type of confirmation to any of those ideas, and then share those at the appropriate time.

MORGAN: Your courage and your family's courage and dignity has been spoken of very many times and quite rightly. Do you have it in your heart to forgive Adam Lanza for what he did or is that simply a step too far?

PARKER: It's definitely a kind of a step in this process. One thing that brings peace to Alissa and I is that we don't feel like we have to take on that kind of a burden as far as -- because we don't have a complete understanding of what was going on. We don't know what was going on within his own head. We don't understand where he was at and what type of accountability that he has.

He is definitely the sole person responsible for this. It was his decision and he followed through with his decision, and -- but that burden is lifted from us. I don't feel any sense of responsibility to have to say that I necessarily forgive him. He's in a place where the person, the power that has the ability to judge him will do so and will do so rightfully.

MORGAN: There was a story a week ago involving Senator Portman, a Republican senator whose son had come to him and said, "Dad, I'm gay," and as a result of that, his father had done a complete u-turn on gay marriage and gay rights. He was anti before but now he had the family experience, his own son, he changed his mind completely. Without getting into any detail of any of the gun control debate, do you think that particularly the politicians who it seems to many people are making decisions based around protecting their political lives, if you like, over their principle, do you think if any of them had had to go through what you and your family have gone through, what any of the families of Sandy Hook, you think they would make decisions like that in a different way?

PARKER: Speaking from my own experience, which is all I can do, is just say that whenever something happens in your life that you're faced to make that kind of hard decision, and it changes your outlook on the entire world, then it needs to make some kind of a change within you. So, when you're forced to look within yourself and ask yourself those hard questions, what I think or what I'm doing really the right course for me, you would be surprised at the answers you'll come out with after an experience like this.

MORGAN: Robbie, let's take a short break. When we come back, I want to talk to you more about Emilie's legacy.


MORGAN: I'm back now with Robbie Parker, the father of 6-year- old Emilie Parker who was killed at Sandy Hook.

Your wife, just from meeting her briefly today, seems an extraordinary woman, incredibly brave, clearly highly emotional still as you are for reasons that are obvious.

Do you feel lucky to have each other?

PARKER: I definitely feel lucky to have her. Sometimes I wonder if she feels the same way. I'm sure at some point she does.

But I knew that I was marrying up and when she said yes to my offer, I knew that I had just become the luckiest man in the world.

MORGAN: She started a blog and I was reading it earlier. It's at times very moving, very sad, very heartwarming, inspiring, funny, all the range of emotions that clearly she and you have been going through with your family.

You still have these two beautiful young daughters who have been running around the set earlier and are beautiful, little mirror images of Emilie. It's really extraordinary to see them. It's only three months.

I mean, do you have a mechanism to cope?

PARKER: The best thing we have been able to come up with is when you go through something like this and there will be that many emotions, you mentioned a whole list of emotions, all of those can happen to you in a single day or one of those emotions can take over your life for weeks at a time. I think the most important thing to do is not hide away or try to push yourself away from those emotions. What you have to do is do something that's very uncomfortable for most people and that's just to open yourself up as wide as you can, so you can feel every emotion that comes, so that way you have a good understanding of what you're feeling and how to process it.

That particular blog post, that was something that we had been going through for a period of time and it was just important for us to know that she spoke of depression in that one, and that is definitely a stage of grief, and that period of our lives, we were able to take that emotion, process it and then we can let that go and move on to the next thing that comes our way.

MORGAN: You went on a dinosaur dig with your two little girls. I think you said earlier that it was one of the very rare happy moments you've had really since the awful events of December. Is that a sign that you might be able to have some kind of life going forward, that perhaps didn't seem possible a couple months ago?

PARKER: The morning after Emilie died, I was greeted by my other two daughters, I knew that I had a reason to continue in this life and I knew that they were my reason to get up that morning and to continue to be the best dad that I can be.

Today was a great day. I went to her preschool, we had this dinosaur dig day and it was just great to be around those kids and experience their joy and their happiness, and those are little glimmers of hope that I get in these things and my wife feels the same way.

Another thing that's helped is people that have come to us having gone through loss and grief and seeing them years ahead of us, and seeing how well they're doing. Those give you a sense of hope that one day, I can be something like that. I'm never going to be whole again but I can still be the best person I can be and be the best father I can be.

MORGAN: What can you say as a father and indeed, Alissa as a mother, to the two little ones about what happened to their big sister?

PARKER: I think it's very important to be open about it. And them being children, you just have to be very age-appropriate with that. Alissa and I's biggest goal is to go through this process in the most healthy way possible so that they have a good understanding of what to do and be the best example of how to get through this.

So when they look at us and we're crying, they know it's OK to cry. When they look at us looking at pictures of Emilie and we laugh because it brings back such a wonderful memory, they know it's OK to talk about Emilie and you don't have to talk about her always being sad or always being happy, that it's appropriate because she's such a part of our lives. And I think if we can be the best example for them, they'll have an understanding, and that will help them get through the process in a healthy manner as well.

MORGAN: How would you like her to be remembered? What do you want her legacy to be? PARKER: She embodied so much in her life. From the moment that I met her and she came into this world, I realized that I was blessed and that she inspired me to become a better person. And from that day, I changed my whole outlook on this world. That's what she did for me.

And I know that she has that power to do that for other people as well. That's the message I want to pass on, that my daughter is beautiful and she is going to be great and she is going to continue to touch the lives of countless numbers of people. And that's what I want to do as her father for her.

MORGAN: I wish you all the very best to both of you and your family. I really do.

PARKER: Thank you.

MORGAN: Nice to see you.

PARKER: Thank you.

MORGAN: And we'll be right back.


MORGAN: Terrifying scene as a door separates them from a gunman in a Philadelphia shooting caught on camera. The bullets hitting three of the victims, all very lucky to be alive tonight.

Now to Washington and the battle over banning assault weapons. Senator Harry Reid, he doesn't have the votes to pass the bill.

Well, we've asked all the senators if they support Senator Feinstein's proposed ban or not. And that was unofficial, but they give an interesting insight. We now have 30 senators who told us they are supportive of the bill, 42 have told us that they are opposed to it, 21 have given us no response. And seven senators have given us no position.

And as of the other night, I'm going to read out the additional names who are opposed to this and those who have given us no response, and those who have no position.

These are the senators we have added to a list of opposing any ban on assault weapons: Senators Barrasso, Blunt, Collins, Cornyn, Moran, Pryor, Tester, Thune.

The senators who have given us no response whatsoever, despite repeated calls over three days -- Bennett, Cantwell, Chambliss, Corker, Fischer, Heinrich, Heller, Johnson, Kirk, McCaskill, McConnell, Merkley, Paul, Portman, Scott, Sessions, Shaheen, Toomey, Udall and the other Udall, Vitter.

And those who have given us no position with their explanations, which are ridiculous. Nelson, undecided. Wyden, did not respond. Warner, no comment. Reid, Harry Reid, the leader, doesn't want to participate. Of course, he doesn't. Hagan has not declared her position. Baldwin hasn't declared a position. And Kaine hasn't declared a position.

Quite extraordinary, isn't it? You're a senator of the United States and it's about an assault weapons ban which could save Americans' lives and you can't declare a position or you haven't got a comment. Or you can't bring yourself to even respond to us.

Shame on you, senators. I'm going to keep asking you until I get answers.

Anyway, as our renewed effort tonight to make gun dealers and manufacturers liable if because of their fault someone is injured but they're protected thanks to a gun shield bill passed by Congress in 2005.

California Congressman Adam Schiff is hoping to reverse that with a new proposal. He joins me now.

Richard Feldman is former NRA operative, and now president of the Independent Firearms Owners association.

Welcome to you both.

Let's start with Richard Feldman, former NRA operative.

You were a lobbyist for the NRA. You know Wayne LaPierre well and how they work as an organization. I think today we hear the NRA suing New York state over the new gun control law, actually taking legal action to try to prevent them bringing in laws which make New York state safer from gun violence.

What is your reaction to that?

RICHARD FELDMAN, FORMER NRA OPERATIVE: Well, Piers, in this country, laws have to abide by the constitution of the state that they're enacted in as well as under the federal Constitution. And if one has a cause of action, the place to settle those concerns are in the courts. That's not just our system. That's the British system as well. I'm sure you're aware of that.

That's why we settle those debates in the courts and not out on the street.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Piers, you know, there's a terrible irony that the NRA is going after the state of New York for passing gun laws. They want to use the courts to try to protect themselves at the same time they push this law to immunize them from being held accountable by others.

MORGAN: Exactly.

SCHIFF: They want to use the court to protect themselves but they don't want the consumers, they don't want the public, they don't want cities to be able to use the courts to hold negligent dealers and sellers responsible. MORGAN: Mr. Feldman, you go on about freedom. It's the great word that the NRA tosses around as an excuse for doing all this. And I'd say NRA leaderships.

FELDMAN: We Americans talk about freedom quite a bit.

MORGAN: But you don't have to be quite so jingoistic, do you? Or do you?

FELDMAN: Well, I would hope the British folks talk about it as much. After all, we learned about so many of these freedoms from the British people. Indeed, when you go on as you have over the last few months beating up on the American people and our love of the firearm issue, thank God we had guns because twice in the last hundred years, we saved the British people because the Americans had the guns, to come to your aid and your help when you needed ours. And we were there.

If we didn't have the guns, who would you have turned to?

MORGAN: Wow. Thank God for you. Where was Winston Churchill when all this was going on?

FELDMAN: Just say thank you. It would be enough for the American people.

MORGAN: Mr. Feldman, you are obviously trying to be deliberately offensive. You are exactly how I imagined an NRA lobbyist to be.

FELDMAN: I'm trying to speak the truth.

MORGAN: You're not speaking the truth.

FELDMAN: You may not like it.

MORGAN: You are making vacuous, jingoistic points.

FELDMAN: That's OK. We're a free society.

MORGAN: Let's talk about this freedom. Let's talk about this freedom.

How many existing gun control laws are there in America, do you know?

FELDMAN: I've heard about 20,000.

MORGAN: Uh-hmm.

SCHIFF: What about the --

MORGAN: And do you know how many weapons, individual types of weapons, guns, would still be available to the American people if every single one of Senator Feinstein's proposals were brought into law? Do you know how many?

FELDMAN: Now, Piers --

MORGAN: Do you know how many?

FELDMAN: Here's the point. When I was at the White House with the vice president --

MORGAN: Do you know an answer or not?

FELDMAN: -- back in January, if you focus on the gun, you miss the opportunity to zero in on the problem, which is never the gun per se, but always in whose hands are the guns.

MORGAN: How many people -- how many people --

FELDMAN: When you ask the question that way --

MORGAN: Mr. Feldman, I've heard this guff long enough. It's not the gun, it's the people, right? You quoted Britain earlier --

FELDMAN: Well, truth is truth.

MORGAN: -- you quoted my country in a derogatory way earlier. Let me quote it back at you. We have about 40 gun murders a year in Britain. You know why? We don't have any guns. We have a tiny, tiny fraction of guns.

FELDMAN: I know you don't have any guns. That's my point.

MORGAN: That's why we have no gun murders, Mr. Feldman.

SCHIFF: Mr. Feldman, when you're talking about freedom, the freedom to have and bear guns, what about the freedom of people to send their kids to school without being shot? What about the freedom of those children to get an education without being shot? Why are we ignoring the freedom of American people to go about their lives and not be the victims of extraordinary gun violence?

And I have to say, you know, this continual argument that we hear that if we just had more guns, we'd be safer. We have got 300 million guns in this country. If that were the measure of safety --

FELDMAN: It's not the number of guns.

SCHIFF: Well, at some point it is the measure of guns. Because if you look at how many guns we have per capita, we lead the world in per capita guns, we also lead the world in per capita gun violence. There is a correlation here. And frankly, I think we ought to be fighting just as vigorously for the freedom to live our lives unmolested, uninjured by gun violence, as fiercely protecting the right of people to have guns.

MORGAN: Hear, hear. I totally agree.

FELDMAN: When you're in danger, you don't want an unarmed security guard to show up an hour later. You want the tactical police department to show up right then and there. SCHIFF: What I don't want -- I don't want someone showing up to my children's school with an assault weapon. And when the police are called in, I don't want the police outgunned by someone with an assault weapon. I would like, frankly, the police to be better armed than the civilians out on the street or bad guys that get ahold of military style weapons, with extended clips that are only good for one thing. And that is killing people very rapidly.

Why do you need an extended clip? Do you hunt with an extended clip? Does anyone hunt with an assault weapon with an extended clip? Is that what you would use for protection in your home? It's crazy. It's crazy. There's no Second Amendment right to an assault weapon or flame thrower or a tank or an F-16. There's nothing that precludes us from putting responsible restrictions. It doesn't interfere with sport or hunting or the ability to protect your family.

What it may mean is it may mean a few fewer kids get killed at their elementary school or people that go to the local movie theater to watch a movie can actually survive and leave the theater intact. To me, that's worth it.

FELDMAN: Congressman, your failure to zero in on the problem is the problem in this country. You want to talk around the problem. You want to use language that sounds like the problem. But the relationship between gun control and crime control is very tenuous at best.

We all want to keep guns out of the hands of those who misuse them. If we focus our efforts in Washington --

SCHIFF: For the people that were waiting in line, for the constituents that were waiting in line to see my colleague, Gabby Giffords, if that killer -- if that killer didn't have an extended clip, some of those kids, some of those people who were in line would have survived.

MORGAN: Congressman, thank you very much indeed. Mr. Feldman, thank you very much.

Next, rough, tough and getting tons of attention. Gerard Butler stops by to talk about life on and off the big screen. Get ready for some surprises, coming up next.



GERARD BUTLER, ACTOR: Madman. You're a madman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earth and water.

BUTLER: You'll find plenty of both down there.


MORGAN: Gerard Butler can do it all, from action hero in "300" to heartthrob in "Phantom of the Opera." Now he's back with a thriller that I can tell you will keep you right on the edge of your seat. It's almost unimaginable, the White House under siege, the president held hostage by a terrorist mastermind. Fortunately it's just a movie.

Gerard Butler stars in "Olympus Has Fallen." And he joins me now. Gerard, welcome back.

BUTLER: Hey, how are you?

MORGAN: I want to talk about your body, as I always do when you come in to be interviewed by me, because you look ripped in this movie. I watched it this afternoon. You are ripped.

BUTLER: Well, I mean, one, I had to do that for the movie. But also, after you gave me such a hard time when I came on the show for the first time, that was it. My head was --

MORGAN: We're not mentioning your chunky past. I promised I wouldn't do that. But to get in shape for this, it's an amazing thriller. I just kept watching you thinking, God damn, that guy's been working out.

BUTLER: Yeah. No, I mean, I -- I mean, I produced this movie as well and it was very -- it was very important to me. So I got to the gym three months before. And when I started working with Antoine, our director, he was like, OK, dude, you need to be big, you need to be cut, you need to look pretty imposing, because that's who this guy is. You want to feel, if you're taking on an army of terrorists, that you can handle yourself.

MORGAN: Let's take a clip from the movie.


BUTLER: We have a man roaming the hallways with enough explosives to take out an army. Looks like the doors and windows are rigged with C-4 explosives. Who knows what other tricks they have up their sleeve. Any team coming in is going to be ringing the front doorbell pretty loud.

They shut the power down. Lights off and I assume they closed the air vents.


MORGAN: You played this Secret Service agent. You were on the president's personal detail. I won't reveal what happens. But there's a pretty cataclysmic event at the start of the movie that means you are no longer on the president's detail. And there's a redemption in the movie. I won't reveal quite how that ends, either.

But did you like that story line, of the redemption, this incredibly capable, slightly tormented agent?

BUTLER: Yes. To me, it's the perfect story, in a way. It's the mythical journey of the hero, you know, somebody who has to face his inner demons while taking on a huge challenge. And yeah, if he goes into that situation and he's in this besieged White House and he has to systematically hunt down these terrorists and find his way to the president and his son, who is also in there, you know, then, I mean, you want to be in a good space to do that.

MORGAN: Your character is a former Navy SEAL. And you worked closely with some SEALs to get inside their heads for this. What was that like?

BUTLER: Well, they're amazing individuals. You know, in a way, it's sad. We deal with for entertainment and excitement and adrenaline, a day that there was -- this was -- to be honest, it's 100 percent failure, this day. This is a day when security was breached. But every day that it's not is 100 percent success. And it's because of the work of these men and women.

And when you spend time with them, you realize why that is. They are so dedicated and committed and passionate. And it is amazing how their brains work. So you spend a lot of time with them, you learn to think that way. Because once he gets in there, it's literally I got to assess the enemy, I got to establish lines of communication, I got to find ammo.

And that's the fascinating part of the process. But what really got me was what's going on in their eyes. It's like you said earlier, it's great to see the good guys beat the bad guys. When they talk about bad guys, one of these guys slashed down here on his throat, he almost died. Another one had been shot in here, almost died, both times engaging the enemy.

And when you talk to them and they start talking about the bad guys, they see them as somebody who would hurt themselves, the people they protect, their country, there is a violence in there. It's almost like a glee. That was really fascinating. I tried to use that in there as well, because I think there's definitely, as he moves through the White House and ruthlessly and efficiently dispatches the terrorists, there's also an element of payback.

MORGAN: What your character has, I would imagine, most SEALs, has this extraordinary self-confidence, that even when heavily outnumbered and outgunned, he really does believe he can defeat the enemy.

BUTLER: I mean, they can never come with any idea of defeat. They are the best of the best. And they know that. And they have to act that way. You know, they would never give up. So he -- that -- that was another interesting dynamic to play, was that I am up against it. I called my wife at one point and I really think this is good- bye, even though I'm like hey, how's it going. But at the end of the day, he has to be going 100 percent confidence that he is going to get down to that bunker, get the president and help the advisors on the outside bring in the government forces.

MORGAN: It's a very patriotic streak in the movie as well. I've been told that some of the previews -- a lot of the previews, people have been getting up and cheering as an audience, as the White House is basically reclaimed by your character.

BUTLER: Not even -- the whole way through the movie, they have been gasping and shouting at the screen right from the start. And there's a lot of gallows humor in there. These Secret Service guys are funny. And they're the funniest at the most dire moments. So there's -- it is amazing the energy that's been going on in these screenings. I've never seen anything like it.

MORGAN: Before we bring out some of your colleagues, I just want to show you a picture. This is with you the Oscar winning director, Paul Haggis. The obvious question is, what on Earth are you two up to?

BUTLER: That is me trying to get a job.


MORGAN: This was actually for charity, right?

BUTLER: It was for charity. That was -- we worked together for -- I don't know if I mentioned this last time I was on, but a charity called Artists For Peace and Justice.

MORGAN: Yeah, you did.

BUTLER: We are building a school down in Haiti. So he put his lips forward and I couldn't resist.

MORGAN: As a Scott, not the first time you have kissed a Haggis, right?


BUTLER: That's great.

MORGAN: Let's take a break while you recover from that outlandish comment. When we come back, we are going to bring out your leading lady who you call "beautiful, charming and razor sharp," and the man you describe as more badass than your character. Here they come. Beauty and the beast, clearly.




ANGELA BASSETT, ACTRESS: Banning was one of our best agents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, I have to say, this Banning, is this the same guy that was removed from the president's detail after the accident --

BASSETT: Right. Right. Right.

(CROSS TALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we know we can trust this?

BASSETT: Banning is ex-special forces, Ranger battalion. He will move mountains or die trying. I know him.


MORGAN: A tense moment from "Olympus has Fallen." Back with me now is Gerard Butler. His co-star Angela Bassett has joined us. Also joining us is director Antoine Fuqua.

How are you now all?

ANTOINE FUQUA, DIRECTOR: Great. How are you?

MORGAN: Great movie.

FUQUA: Thank you, sir.

MORGAN: Great action-packed escapism from start to finish. Just what I needed on a wet Tuesday afternoon, as it was, when I watched it. Angela, what's it like working with this guy? In the movie, your character is director of the CIA and installs all her trust in Gerard Butler. Something I would say is a perilous path for a woman to do.

BASSETT: Yeah. I would agree with you. I go in there and I claim to be the woman for the job. Thank you very much. But it was great. I think we shot it pretty much in order. The first scene -- the first scene was the first day.

BUTLER: Yeah, that's right.

MORGAN: There has never been a female director of the CIA. Some would argue after all the problems that General Petraeus had and others, that it may be time. Watching you, I could see you actually doing it.

BUTLER: After watching her performance, you say she should be the next director.

FUQUA: Just knowing Angela, absolutely. She's tough enough, smart enough. Why not?

MORGAN: What did you feel about that? Did you think it would be good to have more women in the top roles of government?

BASSETT: I think absolutely. One of our co-stars actually is running for office soon, isn't she? Ashley.

MORGAN: That's right. As a senator, yes. Are you --

BASSETT: Am I? No, by no means. Absolutely not. No. No. No. Too black and white, right and wrong. I'm not too much in the gray area.

MORGAN: Antoine, it's undeniably a very violent film. It has a lot of explosions, a lot of guns going off on both sides. It's the kind of gun violence that I completely would endorse. It's a president being protected by his Secret Service detail against an invading terrorist army. I couldn't think of a more compelling reason.

As you know, we have done a lot of gun debates on this show in light of what's been going on with gun violence in America. And some are saying, look, you know, Hollywood has to take responsibility. They can't just hide behind this is all fantasy or we're just reflecting real life?

Do you feel there's any real link? Because the argument against it is that there are many countries in the world that see the same films that have almost no gun violence, Britain being one of them.

FUQUA: Right. No, I do believe we all have to take responsibility, especially Hollywood when we make movies. And it has to be in the right context that you're using these weapons. You know, guns are made to hurt people. You know, they are machines of destruction. So we have to be responsible for that.

MORGAN: Is the line that gets crossed -- is when it appears to be the glamorizing of gun violence, where the bad guys win, and it just -- it's the wrong kind of image, if you like. It makes it looks like it's manly, it's powerful to have a gun and you may get away with whatever you want to get away with?

FUQUA: Absolutely. You know, when bad guys are using guns and you glamorize that and it's just supposed to be cool, that's not OK. The Secret Service hopefully don't have to pull their weapons. Their whole job is prevention. The whole idea of having those weapons is so they don't have to use them. The whole idea of having a nuclear weapon is so that you don't have to use it.

It's prevention. So absolutely.

MORGAN: Angela, you have twin seven-year-olds.


MORGAN: And I know this because I interviewed your husband recently, who was in fine form. And he is a great actor, himself. Your twins are seven. How would you feel if your son wants to start play when he gets to his early teens these war games, video games and stuff like that? How do you feel as a parent?

BASSETT: He wants to now and I try to hold it at bay. He wants to play with the DS. And I bought it, but it's in the closet. He keeps asking for it. I try to -- I talk to him a lot, probably too much.

FUQUA: It's never too much.

BUTLER: You said you had to tie him a couple times as well.

BASSETT: Or tie him down, legs, arms. MORGAN: Now, when you get a script and it has you, leading lady, Gerard Butler, leading man, do you just romp through it looking for the love scenes.


MORGAN: Is that what every actress now looks for? Where are they? Where is it?

BASSETT: You've got to admit, we do.

BUTLER: They find it and they take it out.


MORGAN: He's a bit of a heartthrob, isn't it?

BASSETT: Yeah, he is, and a very nice guy. Very nice.

MORGAN: You directed Denzel Washington in "Training Day." When you look at Gerard in an action movie like this, my gut feeling is he's at his absolute best in this kind of film. It plays to his strength. What do you think?

FUQUA: A hundred percent. Gerry has the classic movie star actor presence, everything about him. He's intense. He's powerful. I think he's a great actor. Gerry, I can see him going to the Oscars one day.

MORGAN: Particularly, Daniel Craig has indicated he won't be doing Bond I think after the next one. There will be a vacancy. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

FUQUA: I can't think of anybody better.

BUTLER: I think you would make a great Bond, Antoine.

FUQUA: That's what I was talking about.

MORGAN: : Would you accept it, Gerard, if you were offered Bond? Would any actor turn that down?

BUTLER: Oh, yeah.

MORGAN: A billion dollar franchise?

BUTLER: I think so. I think so. I mean, I don't really like that question. But all I can say is I love Bond. And I think the problem is Sean Connery did it and I thought nobody could beat that. But Daniel Craig has got pretty close. They're hard acts to follow.


BUTLER: I love doing my own Bond. You know, my "300" is my Bond or "Olympus Has Fallen."

MORGAN: To many people, the Scottish accent, Sean Connery --

BUTLER: What Scottish accent?

MORGAN: You've still got a refuge of it. There's enough there to work with.

BUTLER: Yes. No, I could bring it back. The name is Bond; James Bond.

MORGAN: Judging by this performance, you're overqualified for Bond. You kill too many people. But it's a great movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a great escapism. It doesn't pretend do be anything. It's just go and immerse yourself in the world of Gerard Butler, savior of president attacked by a bunch of marauding terrorists from Korea.

It was -- I commend it to everybody. The movie is called "Olympus Has Fallen." And you called it, I think very accurately, it's "Die Hard at the White House." I like that. I like that description. It's exactly what it is.

Good luck with the movie. Thoroughly enjoyed it. And nice of you all to come in.


BUTLER: That was great.

MORGAN: And we'll be right back.



DOC HENDLEY, CNN HERO: Here in the U.S., it's hard for us to understand the water crisis because we have it right at our fingertips. There's some countries where it takes many women and children four and five hours every single day just to get water. And it's absolutely filthy. It's making their children sick. When you see that firsthand, you can't help but be changed from that.

My name is Doc Hendley. I used to be a bartender and now I bring clean water to the world.

The water is not going to be making you feel sick to your stomach anymore.

CNN Heroes changed everything. Before, we were able to reach four different countries. Now, we're in 15 different countries. Syria is our latest one.

In Syria, every single day people are leaving their homes, fleeing to the border areas. In these camps, the living conditions -- they're terrible. They don't have access to even the basic essentials. Right now, we're actively working in two camps in the northwestern region of Syria. I was able to bring about 350 water filters just a couple months ago. Syria is the very first location that we're actually using these filters. They filter up to 250 gallons of water every single day for 10 years.

We have a partnership with an organization called Stop Hunger Now. We'll be sending a container with about 250,000 meals and another thousand water filters. This will just be the first of many shipments, hopefully. There's no way to describe the feeling when you see how a family have crystal clear, clean water for the first time.

A lot of people think what can we do? But you can make a difference in one family's life. That's a huge thing.