Return to Transcripts main page


Bipartisan Cooperation by Two Governors; Dialing Down the Toxic Rhetoric; Keira Knightley's Latest Film, "Colette"; Mental Health Awareness; Colette; Rock Climbing and Free Solo. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired October 12, 2018 - 13:00:00   ET


[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here is what's coming up.

As midterms loom and the cross-party divide widen, two governors from different sides of the aisle are trying to dial down the toxic rhetoric. I

hear from Democrat John Hickenlooper and Republican Governor John Kasich, former presidential rival to Donald Trump, on their unlikely teamwork.

Then, British actress and Hollywood superstar, Keira Knightley, her latest movie on the revolutionary French writer, "Colette," strike a chord with

Knightley's campaign for women's rights.

Plus, scaling one of America's most iconic monoliths without a single piece of rope or harness. Our Hari Srinivasan talks to rock climber, Alex

Honnold, and the documentary filmmaker behind the remarkable new workfree solo.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Washington is awash with bitter partisanship as we know, from the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, to the

combative campaigns for November's midterm election. Congress has seen scandal, diatribes and insult replace somewhat, distant now, traditions of

decorum, dignity and debate.

Enter into this swamp a most unusual partnership, Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio and Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, an

elephant and a donkey, if you like, choosing to overcome often animalistic rituals of current politics. They warn that only a return to bipartisan

cooperation can lead to policy breakthrough.

The two governors join me to talk about the blueprint and the open letters they have crafted on issues from health care at home to international trade


Governors, welcome both of you to the program.

I have spoken to each one of you separately. But the whole point is that you're together and you are demonstrating your live demonstration of anti-

bitter partisanship. What is it that you are trying to do by your, you know, double act?

JOHN KASICH, OHIO GOVERNOR: Well, we're just hanging out together, you know, doing what people do like when they're normal. You know, it's kind

of natural thing that, you know, you kind of click with somebody, you get along with him and you work together on projects. This is not like some --

unless you want to give us the novel prize. OK. Maybe we'll take a novel prize. But other than that, it's not that big of deal.

It's just that we're friends and we can maneuver through things. And we don't have that many problems anyway. So, it's fine.

JOHN HICKENLOOPER, COLORADO GOVERNOR: I think that part of the -- of our relationship is that, as a Republican and a Democrat, we are able to find

compromises on some of the more difficult issues and I think that's a model. I mean, part of us, we're trying to create a model that we can say,

you know, health care, a big complex issue. But if a Republican governor or a Democratic governor who have to implement the Federal policies, if we

can find compromise, doesn't that suggest that Congress should be able to improve things and move forward?

AMANPOUR: Well, that's what we want to get to. So, you as governors have said quite interesting things right now. Governor Kasich, you said, you

know, "What's the problem? We can get along. We can get on with this." But senators in the Congress, the image of it is right behind you, have

been mired in this terrible toxic partisanship.

I mean, just recently, the Republican, Senator Flake said, "Tribalism is ruining us. This is no way for sane adults to act." Commentators are

saying there's a civil war in the Unites States between Democrats and Republicans and it shows up especially in Congress and obviously, in the

executive as well.

How do you provide an example to those people in the building behind you?

KASICH: I don't know if they're really paying attention. You know, in the big days when people could actually get along, and you remember,

Christiane, I was one of the negotiators with Pete Domenici to get the Federal budget balance. I mean, it was pretty simple to do. I mean, it

was a hard road but we got it done.

Being a governor now, you know, you have problems to solve. See, John and I don't operate in a zero-sum game here like if I get something he gets

nothing. I mean, we both benefit from the cooperation. Although, I don't think we even think of it that way in terms of what's the benefit. It's

just natural that he and I can figure out what are reasonable solutions to the challenging problems for our country.

Do I think these other folks -- I mean, we could do our job. Do I think they're like sitting there watching? No, I don't. I think they kind of

think they have it all figured out. But the zero-sum game mentality, whether it is in sports, whether it's in politics, whether it's in

religion, whether it's in business never serves anybody well.

And so, the idea is, everybody has to gain a little bit of something when they work together.


KASICH: That's why we work together and have better progress.

AMANPOUR: Right. But exactly, you raise this issue whereby the opposition is now the enemy not just somebody you disagree with on policy. So,

Governor Hickenlooper, you mentioned and we've mentioned that it is health care that has brought you, at first, together. President Trump published

and op-ed in USA today this week.

Basically, he said that Democrats, your party, would gut Medicare with their "Medicare for all proposal." Now, this has been debunked by fact

checkers and, you know, USA TODAY's been even criticized for running this op-ed.

But what is your reaction to it and how does an op-ed on this sort of very touchstone issue by the president affect American's understanding of even

what's at stake?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, I think President Trump has -- I mean, he is not constrained by facts or telling the truth and I think that is a problem and

it creates a lot of confusion in terms of what the American people think, certainly what they hear but also, I think it confuses them what they


The bottom line is, that governors are aware of the buck stops, right. The Federal government may make these national policies but we're the ones who

have to implement it, we have to make sure that we're taking their rules and regulations and trying to apply them as best we can.

And the key here is both John and I feel, I think strongly, that we didn't want to go backwards. We -- you can fight over whether you want a single

pair system or Medicare for all, you can fight over whether you -- you know, any of those different types of getting there, but we all want to

have more people covered. I think that's almost universal. Maybe not completely universal but almost universal.

So, what are the pathways by which we can get more people covered. And when we first got together, and President Trump had just gotten elected and

was going to completely eliminate the Affordable Care Act, both of didn't want to have to rollback our Medicaid covers, that covers for really the

last and the least in this country. And we wanted to find ways in the private marketplace to make it less expensive for all of our citizens, both

in Colorado and in Ohio.

That focus of we want to get this system to perform better, how can we compromise? Because we disagree on many things. If we're able to

compromise, why can't Congress compromise? I think that model is relevant today and I think we're still making progress today.

AMANPOUR: Well, it's really important because many, many political leaders identify health care as a key issue for American people as they go into the

upcoming election. So, to have you both on the same side, trying to get this done is an important marker for the people.

What about --

KASICH: Christiane.


KASICH: Here's the thing. There's just some principles that John and I agree upon. If you have a preexisting condition, you shouldn't be denied



KASICH: We believe that health care costs are too high. We both believe in the concept of paying for performance, pay for quality not for quantity.

We both believe that there are ways in which to deal with the rising cost of pharmaceuticals. You take all these things together to make the package

of Obama Care, you know, more affordable. There's a lot of things that we -- principles that we agree upon.

And so, if you just say, "OK. We have a problem. These are the principles. Let's go to work and fix them," it's not that complicated.

And that's why it's been pretty easy for us to work together.

What has to happen ultimately, Christiane, is that senators pushed by governors have to make sure they don't do something that is really

irresponsible. I mean, Medicare for all, that's ridiculous. That's not going to happen. We would be bankrupt. We're already heading towards

bankruptcy. We're not going to do that.

But what we all agree is that you just can't say that some people ought not to have health care coverage, because then they can't work, they go into

debt, their children pay a price. We think there are ways in which you can get that done with really reasonable approaches. But the whole health care

system has to move from a quantity base system to a quality base system. I think we -- and for people who are really hurting, they got to get what

they need.



AMANPOUR: So, I'm hearing you say that despite our differences, we should not throw the baby out with the bath water on this issue and presumably on

other issues as well.

I mean, Governor Kasich, you obviously were an opponent of President Trumps during the campaign, you were presidential candidate. The American first

rallying cry of this president has really been felt in the trade area. You've got the whole renegotiation of the NAFTA, you have this issue of

trade war, trade tariffs back and forth between the United States and China.

And just this week, the head of the IMF has warned that this is going to cast America's global growth or economic growth and that of China and then

that means the global economy.

So, what would you say to the president on this issue of trade, what would you both say, and how is it affecting people in your states?

KASICH: Well, first of all, I believe that trade has both an economic and a geopolitical side to it. Obviously, free trade means that you have

innovation, you have products that cost less. And we also know the geopolitical side. When the U.S. withdrew from the Pacific Trade Agreement

in the shadow of China, which has a value system different than others, it shadows those countries that really we're hoping the United States would be

in league with them and offer them support.

In addition to that, what I'm also very concerned about and very timely, is the fact that for some reason, we have been unwilling in the administration

level to condemn the actions of autocrats. And that's very dangerous. When autocrats, people who assume this power, think that they can do things

with impunity, you know, then it's a major, major problem.

You know, we see what's happening now, you know, in the developing story with Saudi Arabia. The United States needs to be a voice for higher

ideals. It has to be a voice for free trade, for free enterprise, for human rights, for freedom of speech, freedom of religion. These are the

things that make America so special.

And if it all becomes about what's in it for us, will pursue our agenda and you can pursue yours, we lose the teamwork that has been so vital in

keeping the peace for the last 70 years, and this has got to stop.

AMANPOUR: That's so interesting.

KASICH: We don't have profound -- wait a minute. We don't have profound consequences for the United States and its citizens and citizens in the

western world who share our ethic, not just today but in the days yet to come.

AMANPOUR: Well, exactly. But you're saying -- you just used the word teamwork in relation to propelling America's agenda forward, whether it's

on trade or whether it's on moral and other human right issues.

So, Governor Hickenlooper, if I could pick up with you on that issue of what to do about Saudi Arabia. Because from the United States'

perspective, from the senators now who have written a letter to President Trump asking him to hold the Saudis accountable and get the truth, what

should the president do? This is a major issue; a journalist may have been murdered by a major U.S. ally.

HICKENLOOPER: Again, we'll get the facts on this. I can't imagine that we won't eventually, with the world media looking at every turn, but we'll get

the facts. If Saudi Arabia did what many people are saying they did, they got to be held accountable.

And United States can't look the other way and have credibility, not even from a moral point of view. I mean, that would be first and foremost. But

from a trade or a partnership in international commerce, I mean, we've got to be the bellwether of doing what and supporting what's right and then

denouncing and acting against what is clearly criminal behavior.

KASICH: And what's interesting, a development here, Christiane, is the activity of Turkey. You know, I think the West has ignored Turkey for

about 10 years, a decade. No policy from us, no policy from anyone. And they're a critical nation that's between the East and the West. And

somehow -- and I know we have big problems (INAUDIBLE), he's another autocrat. But we have not been able to figure out how to develop a more

robust and better relationship.

And what is happening now is very interesting in terms of an opening for us to perhaps reengage, recognizing the downside of a guy like Earl Juan (ph)

who is an autocrat. Furthermore, the issue of teamwork matters so much. Because we have a thing called the WTO, the World Trade Organization.

China's activities are terrible but it would be much better if our allies, the countries that all stand to lose because of China ripping off our

technology, because of Chinese aggression economically, that in fact, we could work through the WTO to have the most effective way to get China back

in line. But doing it alone is not as effective as if we have a team.

AMANPOUR: Right. Now, let me ask you this, because you're talking in a roundabout way without so much saying that there is a fraying of the major

institutions and pillars of American democracy and some of these autocrats around the world are looking at that and feeling potentially that they can

get away with the assault on human rights and basic civil liberties as you have just been outlining.

Now, at home, in the United States, there is, as I pointed out, many people are saying there's a civil war going on between the two sides. And you

have both spent the last two years as much talking about civility and the need to restore civility as anything else.

So, I want to get your reaction, both of you, to an interview I did with Hillary Clinton this week and has caused a lot of fallout on this very

issue. This is what she said to me when I asked her about the need to restore and rebuilt civility in the American public sphere.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for,

what you care about. That's why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that's when civility can start again.

But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.


AMANPOUR: So, first to you, because she is from your party, she was your party (INAUDIBLE), Governor Hickenlooper. Is she right? Does Hillary

Clinton have a point and do you translate that as calling for uncivility? Well, how do you assess what she just said?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, certainly she reflects a growing sense of frustration and anger with Democrats and really not just Democrats, large numbers of

independent votes, a large number of Republicans where they feel that the present administration has attack rule by law, attack the courts, has

attacked and tried to diminish the free media cast out on any story that doesn't agree with what they want to be said on TV or in the media. I

think that kind of a frustration, at least, are the kind of incivility that Secretary Clinton was talking about.

Now, I don't agree that that's the only way. And I think that you always need to look at other approaches that can challenge -- if you've got a

bully in the schoolyard, you don't just go up and punch him back. Although, I will say sometimes that is -- as someone who was bullied when I

was a little kid, sometimes that's the only thing that work.

But often times you got to find a way to make them, their actions, the humorous part, the (INAUDIBLE) of other kid's jokes. And I think that in

terms of this administration, we can't just resort to anger and attacks and incivility that there's got to be a place there as well for, you know,

pointing out a different way of doing things that maybe -- a different approach.

You know, it's a funny thing, Abraham Lincoln said, "Do I not conquer my enemy when I make them my friend?" And again, I'm not saying you go out

and reach out to President Trump and try to make him your friend because clearly that hasn't been very successful from anyone, anyone's point of


But I think many Republicans who are torn between his approach and his incivility and the way he conducts himself, and yet, they are Republicans

and they have a (INAUDIBLE) in the White House. I think a lot of those people are vulnerable and ready to be, you know, persuaded that they can no

longer support a president who, again, is, as you say, fraying the very -- the bonds that hold democracy together.

AMANPOUR: Governor Kasich, do you agree with that? Do you agree?

KASICH: It's -- I -- that's why I like John so much. And -- but let me be stronger. I'm shocked that Hillary said this. I've known her for a long

time and I don't know -- maybe she got up on the wrong side of the bed, to say that we need to do -- what we need to do is just get out and fight, and

I know there was a Republican preacher who said, "We need to elect more street fighters and we need to win."

I mean, come on, Christiane, that's the zero-sum game that I'm going to vanquish my opponent, and that does not work. I mean, you just have to

take a deep breath and our tongues, you know, which have been described, I think, in scripture as more powerful than the (INAUDIBLE) a big ship. We

have to restrain ourselves and be patient because there's a long game we're playing.

And to say, "Well, we're just being mean until we take over then everything will be a nice." I think you've studies civil wars in the world and that

approach is, "Well, we're just going to be nasty until we win," that's not a solution. So, I bet Hillary would like to take that back.

AMANPOUR: Well, I ask you both because, actually, she's reflecting quite a lot of commentary right now. There are -- even in British newspapers, sort

of commentated to say, actually, the Democrats should be taking a page out of the Republican leader, Senator Mitch McConnell's book, where he is

played very cynical and savvy politics on just about every issue and has looked at the long game and they say, you know, stealing a Supreme Court

nominee from President Obama and, and, and.

And there's a book, a new book, by a professor at Roosevelt University that's called "It is Time to Fight Dirty," and he is talking, you know, for

the Democrats.

Again, Governor Hickenlooper, you've heard, you know, Governor Kasich's view on this, but is it time for the Democrats to take a page out of the

Republican's playbook?

HICKENLOOPER: Well, that's happening. I mean, so many Democrats are so angry and so frustrated that they can't -- they can no longer restrain

themselves. And I think that's what we're devolving to. I don't think it's the long-term solution. I think that it's -- a more successful

strategy, and perhaps you need both, that there's got to be an (INAUDIBLE) attacking and aggressive and venting that frustration to so many, and it's

not just Democrats.

I keep want to -- I want to repeatedly emphasize that it's independents, a number of Republicans feel just as angry, just as frustrated with the

behavior of the Republicans in Washington right now. But I think even as that attack and that aggression takes place, there's got to be a group of

Democrats that are providing solutions that are vision to the future that allows us to see, you know, how are we going to create the jobs, and make

that income gets distributed more fairly, how are we going to address issues around health care.

And as numbers of people live longer, we have more problems with Alzheimer's, how are we going to deal with all of these, you know, large

scale problems if we're still fighting each other over every little -- you know, every little issue that comes across the newspaper?

AMANPOUR: I'd like to just --

KASICH: Let me just say one more thing here. And that is, you know, Democrats focused on health care. If Democrats focused on border

separation, family separation at the border, they don't need to yell and scream, they just need to make their case. Yelling and screaming -- well,

look, I was on the stage with 16 people, you know, a number of whom were yelling and screaming. That only gets your anywhere at the end of the day.

AMANPOUR: Well, that yelling and screaming got the candidate to -- into the White House. I think you're referring to President Trump. So, let me

just ask you --

KASICH: Well, we'll see about -- also, with the law -- you know, if we live in the like what's tomorrow, but we need to start thinking about the

long-term implications for our country.


KASICH: Our own personal long-term futures about how we want to be judged once we depart this earth.

AMANPOUR: And I will wrap that up on precisely this note then. One of the greatest existential threat to us, to humankind is climate and the two

parties are notoriously at odds over how to deal with this. You've just seen yet another hurricane, a massive storm, you know, wipe out parts of

Florida. This is on and on and on, not just in the United States but we've seen it in Indonesia just this last week and elsewhere.

Can your model of trying to get executives to work together sensible and depoliticize such an issue like climate, can it work?

HICKENLOOPER: Absolutely. And if you look at justice in this past week, there was a news article about Exxon putting a million dollars in

supporting, you know, a carbon tax, it wouldn't be an additional tax but it would be used -- the money would be used to make sure that we address


If you look at some -- Walmart, one of the largest retailers on earth, if not the largest, and they are on a real steep course to be totally

sustainable. And they're even looking at -- you know, they are the largest grocery in the United States, if not the world, and they're talking about,

"How are we going to point where all of the produce, all of the meat that we purchase is grown sustainably, the animals are raised sustainably?"

I mean, once you get large corporations to recognize that they -- they're not going to have a successful business model unless we address climate

change. And I mean, address it in real-time, not 25 or 50 years away but begin changing our behavior now. If we don't get those companies, we're

going to have a hard time, you know, turning the ship of pollution and air -- you know, air quality.

And we've worked very hard in Colorado. We were able to get the oil and gas industry and the environmental community to sit down, you know, put

down their weapons for 12 months and figure out what would be appropriate methane regulations, how do we cut down on all these fugitive emissions,

methane getting into the atmosphere is 60 times worse than Co2 and yet no one was addressing it. But you have to sit down and get both sides to say,

"All right. This is a common threat to everyone. How do we move forward?"

And I think we're at a tipping point. And I think the storms in Florida, the -- just the incredible destruction we're seeing in climate all over the

world, the acidity in the oceans, all these things are getting people to do the tipping point where they're finally going to take action, from the

biggest companies down to the smallest.

AMANPOUR: Governor Kasich, do you agree with that?

KASICH: Yes. Of course, of course. Look, we have -- you know, he was somewhat methane, we've dealt with the methane problem in our state. We

promote renewables. And I've had a battle with some in the legislature to say, "Send me something that reduces the goals that we won on renewables

and Oviedo then, which I think I've already done and I (INAUDIBLE) again.

Yes. I think there's a way to get there. I think that we have to look at the issue of climate, we have to rely on a ground at which it's not win-

lose again, like we'll put all these things in and you lose all your jobs. I think there's a way to take action quickly, immediately, that can have

profound benefits for the environment, including improving the health of people.


KASICH: As Arnold Schwarzenegger says, you know, "Stop worrying about what's going to happen 20 years, let's talk about the damage it's being

done to people's -- to people themselves because of the degradation of the environment." So, yes, I think it's possible to get there and we just have

to keep cool heads about it and recognize -- look, I read about the destruction of the coral reefs.

Here's what it gets down to for me, Christiane. The lord created the environment, we're supposed to take care of it not worship it and we're not

doing a good job in taking care of it. But more and more enlightened people and companies are saying this is something we must do.

HICKENLOOPER: I agree with him.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's a wonderful way to end. Both of you, thank you very much. I'm sure there are many, many people watching this program

across the United States who applaud your sense of bipartisanship and try to take the bitterness and, as you say, the enmity out of politics.

Governor Kasich, Governor Hickenlooper, thank you for joining me.


KASICH: Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: So, as U.S. governors and lawmakers in Congress grapple with the prevailing forces of opposition and dogma, we turn to a French ghostwriter

struggling to overcome the gender constraints of society in the late 19th century.

Keira Knightley's new movie "Colette" is based on the true story of one of France's most innovative novelist. And her struggle for recognition and

creative independence from her husband who is a successful Parisian writer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madam, an honor.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, ACTRESS: Pleasure to meet you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, (INAUDIBLE) school is heading for her third printing.

KNIGHTLEY: Excellent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe (INAUDIBLE) in part in your schooldays.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes. I think I had little something to contribute.


AMANPOUR: A little something to contribute. Keira Knightley herself is no stranger to fighting for women's right, regularly campaigning for greater

equality as well as recently opening up about her own mental health struggles after receiving international fame at such a young age.

The star of "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Atonement" and more told me what made her choose "Colette" as her latest role.

Keira Knightley, welcome to the program.

KNIGHTLEY: Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: So, of all the films you've done, this is a bit of a departure, a little bit of a departure. Why "Colette"?

KNIGHTLEY: Why not? You know, I mean, I get sent the script and I didn't really know much about her. I have read Cheri and the last of Cheri. So,

I knew a little bit about her work.

AMANPOUR: This is one of her famous books.

KNIGHTLEY: Which was one of her famous books and a brilliant book. And if anyone hasn't read it, they should. But I didn't know anything about her

life story and I certainly didn't know about what this film is about, which is her first marriage to a man called Willy who took credit for her first

four novels.


KNIGHTLEY: Yes. So, I just read it and though, "Whoa. This is fascinating." And I think it's interesting, you know, when you have a

period piece but it's talking about gender politics, it's talking about sexual politics and it's talking about everything that we're very much

talking about today. So, it felt very current.

AMANPOUR: Did you know all of -- was all this happening -- I mean, there are long leaves to making these films.


AMANPOUR: When you chose the script and when you started filming, was all of this #MeToo and this --

KNIGHTLEY: No. It was before #MeToo. So, it was -- I think we filmed the year before that happened. But, you know, I think Wash Westmoreland, the

director of this, he's been trying to get film made for 15 years. So -- and nobody was interested.

And I think -- you know, I think -- I remember suddenly feminism was allowed to be talked about again, you probably remember too, maybe 10 years

ago. You know, so I don't it's an accident that culturally we could get money for stories like this and then something like #MeToo was also

happening at the same time.

AMANPOUR: So, tell me a little bit, you say it's about her marriage. She married this guy Willy who was a writer. She was his ghostwriter, so to


KNIGHTLEY: Yes. I mean, what's fascinating about them, and again, I didn't know anything about this before doing the film, but Willy was one of

the biggest writers of the day. I mean, the Beeler Park, he was absolutely seen as a complete star. And he had a factory of writers that would write

for him. So, he started as criticism. And then, he, you know, needed to go to so many things and wanted to write novels and wanted to do other

things that he basically got this factory of writers. And she was one of the factory of writers. But her books happened to be the ones that were

such monumental successes.

AMANPOUR: And she started to outshine him?

KNIGHTLEY: She definitely started to outshine him. I mean, I think, you know, at the beginning he was definitely her editor and encouraged her and

possibly sort of molded her in a way. But then, her voice got stronger and stronger and stronger. And eventually, she said, "Look, I want a co-

credit." Because they were big stars. They were very much a celebrity couple, and she said, "I want co-credit," and he wouldn't give it to her.

And I think that was probably the moment that she just went, "No."

AMANPOUR: And we've got a clip, so I'm going to play it.

KNIGHTLEY: Very good.


DOMINIC WEST, ACTOR: Finally, we have a success and then you implied that I'm not the true author of it.

KNIGHTLEY: No, I didn't.

WEST: We're holding dynamite here. We created something really powerful and if it goes off at the wrong time they could blow our bloody heads off.


COLETTE: Olendorf is your publisher, Willy.

WILLY: Yeah, Schwab also said something.

COLETTE: Schwab is part of the factory.

WILLY: People love to talk. They trace it to your face and then the moment you turn around, there's knives in your back. I understand the

mentality here. You don't.

COLETTE: No, I understand it enough to write a book to take to Paris.


AMANPOUR: This clip shows that the relationship was one of a bit of envy in the end.

KNIGHTLY: Yes, absolutely. I mean I think it's always going to be, isn't it? You know, particularly if you know that you're famous and seen as a

genius based on somebody else's work. I think that there must have been just a desperation to silence her, there must have been a desperation to

say, you know, "Just keep quiet and keep down and please stay in the country and just don't tell anybody."

You know, he was -- again, he was a big celebrity. So even after this and after she divorced him, after everybody did know that she wrote the book,

you know, 3000 people turned up to his funeral. So over the day, he was a huge star. That stardom is based on something that actually your wife has

done and obviously, there's a fear and he definitely tried to silence her.

AMANPOUR: You do a lot of period dramas, right?


AMANPOUR: You take on a lot of period pieces.


AMANPOUR: Whether it's -- I guess it's Pirates.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes. That was I think probably like my first one, I think. Yes. I mean obviously, the genre is slightly different. The Pirates is

sort of action adventure. And then the other ones have been sort of more solidly within dramas.

AMANPOUR: Like Jane Austen.

KNIGHTLEY: Like Jane Austen. Romance, is that drama or is that -


KNIGHTLEY: Whatever, you know. And then some, you know, quite strange ones like Dangerous Method. That was sort of about the birth cycle

analysis which was quite off the wall, a David Cronenberg film, period still. But, you know, I mean I think it's always interesting because I've

always seen them as being very different films. And yet, when I talk about them, people go, "Oh, another period film." I don't think they're the


AMANPOUR: But you do make a point of why you did them and why the scripts were attractive. You said that a lot of the modern films that you were

offered, a lot of the scripts were just too violent for you.

KNIGHTLEY: Well, I think that it was that I didn't feel that the female character was well-rounded enough to warrant the violence perhaps against

her. And I think that violence is interesting. It's part of our society.

I think art should absolutely deal with that and deal with its course and deal with its roots but I want it to be done in quite a serious way. I

don't just want to be the pretty woman that has horrific acts done to her because that isn't interesting for me. So I think like in the modern day

pieces that I was offered, very often that would -- it would be within that realm and that's not something that I feel comfortable doing.

Again, that's just me. That was what I was offered. Obviously, other people are being offered different things. You know, it's always battled

the supportive wife. And I thought, you know, I'm quite opposed to the home. I don't need to play that at work as well.

AMANPOUR: You're married. You've got a kid. Let's talk about (INAUDIBLE) second.


AMANPOUR: Go back to Bend It Like Beckham which was just a fabulous role and a great film. What happened to you afterwards? Because you've written

about having had a breakdown by the time you were 22. I think you filmed this when you were 16. The pressure of everybody after you, the pretty

girl, the paparazzi.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes. I mean I think -- you know, I think fame is a very strange thing at any age but I think at that age, I want to say

particularly for young women but not particularly, maybe for boys as well, you're still becoming. You know, you're not who you are going to be. And

I think when you're suddenly famous at the age when you're still trying to figure things out, that can be very complex when you're suddenly in this

limelight where things are so extreme.

You know, people love you and they hate you and they think you're terrible and you'll always be terrible. You're amazing and you're always going to

be. And being buffeted by those storms at that age, I found very very very difficult. Also, it was a time of extreme paparazzi so there was never a

day when I wasn't being followed by 20 guys, you know, which was a kind of 24/7 stalking, really.

And, OK, they were being paid for it but actually, you know, I've been -- I've had various stalking situations and I've had various paparazzi

situations. And it feels the same, regardless of, you know, what the intention is behind it. And, you know, so yes, by the time I got to 22, I

think the pressure of all of those things was just -- it just got too much.

AMANPOUR: And you sort of took time off. I think went traveling for about a year.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes, this is where I'm super lucky. I mean I -- you know, I had the money to be able to get help which is huge. And I also had a

career where I could step away and I could step back to. And I'd already earned enough money that I didn't have to work for that.

I didn't know it was just going to be -- or it would have been longer but it happened to be just over a year, I think. So I was very lucky from that

standpoint but also very lucky my family is amazing. I have a completely solid thing behind me which makes a huge difference when something like

that happens.

And I think particularly in England at the moment, we've obviously got a mental health crisis and the funding is so low on all of those things, that

unless you have money, it's really a postcode luxury. And I sort of -- I - - that really terrifies me for so many people out there because [13:35:00] I think the reality of our world is that you can have times in your life

where things are going to make you crack up. And the less the help is there, then I don't know how people are meant to get through that.

And I was super lucky that I could go, "OK, I need this help. I can get this help. I want this help and I could afford to do that." But it

terrifies me that people are in that situation and they can't afford it.

AMANPOUR: And we're -- as you're speaking Mental Health Week, but this week we've had mental health day and as you say there's a lot of focus on

the lack of funds and lack of resources. We've seen footballers come out and talk about their crises. We've seen, you know, Olympians and tennis

champs. Like this week, Serena Williams, Mike Phelps, and the others. And they say that even today, they have to come out and say that it's OK to

talk about it, it's OK to get help.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes. But I think culturally, you know, I think we're only just at that point where it is OK to say that and that you don't feel that

there's going to be this major backlash. And you don't feel that it could potentially harm your career because people don't think that you're stable

enough. Of course, you're stable enough. You just had this moment at this particular time. And again, for all of these people, I think they were all

probably fortunate enough that they could afford the help that they needed.

AMANPOUR: And I was really fascinated to hear about how when you came back, at some point you had to be on the red carpet.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes. It was actually -- it was during.

AMANPOUR: During. And you did something amazing to get yourself through it.

KNIGHTLEY: I did hypnotherapy. Yes. And I don't -- that whole period of my life is I don't remember it in a kind of linear fashion so I didn't

quite remember exactly how many times I went. I don't know what it was. But yes, I had to get hypnotherapy to be able to stand in the red carpet,

the BAFTAs. Because I was up for a BAFTA. And there's pictures of just her I think. But yes, I remember it very very very clearly just thinking I

just got to get through this. Otherwise, there's going to be more pressure on my head.

AMANPOUR: So roll forward or fast forward to where we are today. Did you have fun making Collette?

KNIGHTLEY: Loved it. I mean, you know, I think when I think back on sort of me at 16 or 1, the parts that I wanted to play, it would have been this.

This is kind of a dream role in so many ways. And just I think because as much of it, there is very serious message behind it. There's that kind of

female empowerment sort of thing. It's very fun.

And as much as the relationship between Willy and Collette was one that she definitely needed to leave. It's a very -- it's a fun -- they were

magnetic pair, you know. And I think that sort of -- I don't know. Just that time of being able to kind of create those two kind of people, the

people that you want to be at a party with. You know you kind of needed to get that sense from them and it was great.

AMANPOUR: And how much fun was Pirates? I mean it looks fun for all of us to watch but what was it like to film?

KNIGHTLEY: Again, I was very much in a time in my life where I don't know that even if I had -- I don't know that I was in a place where I could find

the fun. I did find the first one fun. The first one I was 17. There was no pressure on me. There was no pressure on it. You know, everyone

thought, "Well, this probably won't work because it's such a way as a concept." But I think by the time I did the second two, you know, I was

not in a place to be able to find much fun in that.

AMANPOUR: Well, since then, as I said you've been married, you have a child, and you are quite a sort of -- you're an active campaigner for

women's rights. Will you say that?

KNIGHTLEY: How lovely. Let's go for that. Yes.

AMANPOUR: You don't mind me saying that?

KNIGHTLEY: No, I don't mind you saying that.

AMANPOUR: You don't mind me saying you're a feminist?

KNIGHTLEY: I'm definitely a feminist. I just wish that I was a little more active. I feel like I'm a part-time active person.

AMANPOUR: Well, maybe but I mean you certainly talk good public game. I don't mean --

KNIGHTLEY: That's good. I think that's what I can do.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And you've contributed to actually quite --

KNIGHTLEY: I'm terrible organizing things though. I realize I haven't gone to meetings. I get all nervous. That is not my strength but you know


AMANPOUR: I'll just organize.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes, exactly.

AMANPOUR: And you can speak. And when people like you speak, it often, you know, has a very impactful landing. Feminists Don't Wear Pink and

Other Lies. First, I want to ask you why you think when it popped up, this is the series of essays that you've also attributed to. Richard Curtis,

the great director, his daughter Scarlett --

KNIGHTLEY: The great Scarlett.

AMANPOUR: -- who started this. Yes, exactly.

KNIGHTLEY: Yes, she's wonderful. Yes.

AMANPOUR: Why do you think when you just said something simple like feminist like fashion, feminists wear pink, feminists wear makeup, why did

Philip Green ban that from Topshop? What was so controversial about that?

KNIGHTLEY: I guess Topshop really mustn't like pink and white.

AMANPOUR: Yes, that's sort of what --

KNIGHTLEY: Well, apparently, and that's what they've said. They just didn't like the style of it.

AMANPOUR: It's very bizarre.

KNIGHTLEY: It's very very bizarre.

AMANPOUR: But then they came out and they came out and supported, you know, the message.

KNIGHTLEY: You know I think it's kind of frightening when you've got somebody like Philip Green who does something like that. And basically,

it's saying, "Yes, I want to dress you and I want you to look pretty but no, I don't want to hear what your voice says."

AMANPOUR: Because this is actually important now, the way certain famous people show whether it's motherhood or childbirth or whatever it is. And

you contrast it with how Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was brought out to face the dreaded paps right after the birth of her child which is

just a day after you gave birth.


AMANPOUR: And you say she was [13:40:00] out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on, the face the world wants to see.

Don't show, don't tell, stand there with your girl, and be shot by a pack of male photographers.

KNIGHTLEY: What do you think that means?

AMANPOUR: I want to know what you think it means. Nobody cares what I think.

KNIGHTLEY: No. But I'm interested because I thought it was very clear.

AMANPOUR: It is clear but I'm interested -

KNIGHTLEY: I think that it was a moment of absolute empathy between one female body that had just gone through the physical and emotional marathon

to labor to another female body, and I don't care who she is, another female body who has just gone through the same thing. And I think, in that

moment really, I understood that what our culture was telling all of us to do, her in a very extreme way, but all of us to do was to hide our truth.

And it made me -- and it imprinted on my mind because it really made that message clear.

AMANPOUR: You have a daughter.


AMANPOUR: So obviously, this is really important for your daughter, --


AMANPOUR: -- for the next generation. You also write in the middle of the Me Too moment, do you think things are getting better in relation to all

these things you're talking about?

KNIGHTLEY: I think that we have to continue the conversation. I do not think it is going to be easy. You know, I think that you release a book

like Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies and somebody like Philip Green pulled it down. And you release an essay like that about the female

experience and certainly, the outlets try and turn it into one woman belittling another which is it's in fact exactly the opposite, exactly the

opposite. And I think that shows just how far we've got to go.

AMANPOUR: And back to Collette which is a very loud and prominent woman's voice, you know, close to a hundred years ago, right?


AMANPOUR: What do you want women and men, boys and girls to take away from your role and from the film in general?

KNIGHTLEY: I think women I want to feel a sense of empowerment. I felt so powerful playing her. I really did. And because it's a journey about

somebody who discovers themselves. And maybe there's a minute or two where she's not quite there. And maybe there's a minute or two where she's

hiding behind a big male figure.

But she takes hold of her life and she steps out from behind the shadow of that man and she yells. And I found that wonderful, you know. But I think

that should be wonderful for men too because equality hurts both men and women. It doesn't just hurt women.

And I think as far as the sexual harassment that we've seen, what I want to do culturally is show women in all of their glory not simply show one facet

of femininity but to try and explore us as whole beings. Because I think that that's the only way that we can get respect. And so we have a lot of

work to do but hopefully, we'll be allowed to do it.

AMANPOUR: Keira Knightley, thank you very much.

KNIGHTLEY: Thank you very much. Thanks.

AMANPOUR: So let's shift now from the welcome feistiness of Keira Knightley and the world of cinema to documentary. I have to warn you

though, if anyone has a fear of heights, you may want to take a deep breath right now.

This all inspiring sight is El Capitan in Yosemite National Park which is nestled amid California and Sierra Nevada. And he there is Alex Honnold, a

professional rock climber. The first person ever to scale the rock mass entirely by himself without even a rope or any safety gear. Imagine that.

The remarkable story is now a documentary called Free Solo. And it's co- directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Alex and Elizabeth sat down with our Hari Sreenivasan.

HARI SREENIVASAN, CONTRIBUTOR: So first of all, Alex, I think anybody watching this film is going to ask the question why no ropes. I understand

that you practice with ropes but why take on a 3,000-foot granite wall with no safety net?

ALEX HONNOLD, FREE SOLO CLIMBER: I mean it's kind of a complicated question but basically it's just a subset of I guess special kind of

challenge, a unique experience that you kind of have to seek out in that way.

SREENIVASAN: How do you train for something like this? I mean it took you almost four hours which is literally a marathon for most human beings and

you're talking about almost flat rock faces for hours at a time to keep your concentration going. So that's kind of a physical training question

and a mental training question.

HONNOLD: Yes. I mean I think I've pretty much split it up. So there's the physical side of it which you can prepare just by climbing a route over

and over with a rope and breaking it into pieces and memorizing the specific pieces and just sort of working on it. The psychological

component is sort of the more open-ended, you know, I mean yes, it's hard to know when you feel already, when you feel confident.

A lot of it has to do with just how you feel, like this all confidence and that kind of stems from how physically prepared you are and how fit you

feel. I mean they all -- it both goes hand in hand but, you know, ultimately [13:45:00] they kind of have to come together at the same time

and for a perfect execution.

SREENIVASAN: When you're filming this, Chai, there's a very real possibility -- and you've discussed this in the film that something goes

horribly wrong and you're watching, not just a great climber, but who has become a friend to you in one of his last moments. I mean how do you

grapple with that as a filmmaker?

ELIZABETH CHAI VASARHELYI, CO-DIRECTOR, FREE SOLO: Well, that was the central question while we were making the film. And while it was a

possibility, we never -- you know, we were rooting on Alex to be great and be just fine. But yes, from the very beginning, we had to -- like my

directing partner and I had to grapple with that question that could we -- it was more like if we entered this to the cameras, are we going to affect

his climbing and is he more likely to fall because we're there than if he were alone.

And from that point, you know, yes, probably. We can definitely could be an interference. But, you know, Jimmy Chin who is my directing partner had

this conversation with Jon Krakauer. And Jon, you know, laid it out pretty simply. He said, "One, is Alex going to free solo anyway?" Yes.

"Is this something worth filming?" And absolutely, it was going to be one of the greatest human achievements ever. Like it was an incredible story.

And "Are you guys the best to do it?" And that's probably the case too. Just, you know, Jimmy has been filming and directing in the vertical world

for 20 years.

SREENIVASAN: There's a clip from the film is the boulder problem. It's the section that you're practicing. This is not the actual climb when

you're doing it. But you kind of lay this out and what you're thinking about it and what you have to do. Let's take a look.


HONNOLD: And then reach out left to a big sloping. From there, either karate kick or double diner to an edge on the opposite wall. In some ways,

it makes more sense to do the big two-handed jump because you're jumping to a good edge so there's actually something to catch. But the idea of

jumping without a rope seems completely outrageous. If you miss it, that's bad.


SREENIVASAN: Alex, that's not a hold. You're talking about that's the hardest hold. I mean you're literally pushing your thumb into a rock and

then doing something magical here. Who - it's a hold.

HONNOLD: But that's like the hardest part. I mean really it's counter pressure. I mean the foothold you're on is sort of reasonable so you're

driving up a foot and you're using that little tiny upside down thing for balance to hold you into the wall. But I mean yes, that's like the hard


SREENIVASAN: How long did it take to practice and practice and practice that until you felt confident enough?

HONNOLD: I mean I spent a year and a half sort of rehearsing that sections. You know, I had days where I'd hiked to some of El Cap and

rappel down just to that part of the wall and then do it 10 or 12 times in a row and then rappel the rest of it to the ground. And then, you know,

basically repeat that day in and day out until I felt comfortable.

VASARHELYI: Boulder problems are great example of how we compromised or worked on how to film this where for Alex, it was not so much the issue of

whether or not he dies. And clearly, he doesn't want to die but the idea of dying in front of his friends was complicated. So our compromise -- and

clearly we needed the boulder problem for the film you know.

I mean let's just -- I mean it's interesting. It's an interesting question, to begin with. So we needed the boulder problem for the film so

the compromise was using remote control cameras. So there wasn't a human there but there were cameras.

HONNOLD: Yes. And actually, it wasn't a matter of just dying in front of friends. It's also just knowing how stressed they would be watching and

how distressed I would feel knowing that they're stressed. I just didn't want that near, that reflection of whatever they might be feeling because I

knew that when I got to the boulder problem, I'll have to sit for a moment and compose myself and tighten my shoes and sort of get ready.

I knew that the whole time I'd be getting ready, my friend or whoever would be hanging there would be super, super stress because they would know like

this is the moment. And I just didn't want to feel that kind of pressure too, you know. Basically, I was like nobody should be there. The remote

cameras were perfect compromise because that way, it's great for the film but I didn't feel anything.

SREENIVASAN: Chai, there's also going to be people who were asking and looking at this guy and saying, "How is his brain different than ours?"

And there's a fascinating section of the film where you actually went into a fMRI scanner with him. Tell us a little bit about that.

VASARHELYI: So a journalist was writing an article about Alex. They wanted to look at Alex and it was a great opportunity for the film. And,

you know, I think as you see in the film like there's this -- it takes more stimulation to trigger Alex's blood than it does for the control subject.

But my takeaway was that it was just extreme fear, like fear of therapy, that he's been putting himself there for 10 years. And yes, it made him

less tired. It's not that he doesn't feel fear, he definitely feels fear.

[13:50:00] HONNOLD: Yes. If you've been desensitized over time. I mean that was my takeaway from the whole experience as well is that you know, I

was like good thing they're structurally at work so just requires a little more and that's because I've been desensitized or 10 years of practice.

SREENIVASAN: So are you less scared? I mean when -- what is the threshold where you get scared? On this climb, did you get scared?

HONNOLD: Not so much but I've been preparing for a year and a half. I mean, you know, I get scared if I think that I'm going to fall and die.

And so had I been unprepared up there and felt like my feet are going to slip and fall, I mean I would have been just as scared as anybody. You

know, perhaps more prepared to deal with it is because I've spent so much time up there. But, yes, I mean I don't want to die any more than anybody


SREENIVASAN: So how do you get over that? If there's a point where -- even though you've done your preparations and you get to some point where

it feels a little tricky, what is the process in your own mind to get yourself calm again?

HONNOLD: So I've had that experience on plenty of other (INAUDIBLE), not so much on El Cap because El Cap, I prepared so much. But on other times,

yes, you get to very serious situations and you just have to sort of take a deep breath, compose yourself and just, you know, pull it together and


SREENIVASAN: There's a conversation that we're able to witness in the audience inside your van. It's a very personal conversation where your

girlfriend is asking you basically like, "Do you take me into your equation?"


CASSANDRA MCCANDLESS: Would putting me into the equation actually ever change anything? Would you actually make decisions differently?

HONNOLD: If I had some kind of obligation to maximize my lifespan, then like yes, obviously I'd have to give up soloing.

MCCANDLESS: With me asking you, do you see that as an obligation though?

HONNOLD: No, no.


SREENIVASAN: As I was watching and I think a thousand other people are watching are like, "You're going to lose the girl. You know, this is the

wrong answer."

HONNOLD: Yes. I mean I can't really lie. And so I don't know. I mean this -- you know, I think that answer would maybe change over time. At

that point, we had a conversation we've been dating maybe a year and I've been dreaming about free soloing El Cap or Seven at that point. And so I

mean it was the most all-encompassing dream of my life. And, you know, I was dating this wonderful woman but you're like, "Oh, it's been a year, you

know." I mean it's not the same weight as this big life dream that I've been carrying for so long.

SREENIVASAN: You remember the first thing you wanted to climb?

HONNOLD: Oh, I'm sure it's not my crib and then the door fence in the house and then the trees in the backyard.

VASARHELYI: The roof is what I always heard about.

HONNOLD: Yes, that was early on too. But yes, I climb the buildings around my house, like some schools and churches and things. And just --

and then went climbing gym and I started actually climbing for real.

SREENIVASAN: And what made you stick with it? Why did you -- I mean --

HONNOLD: It's so awesome. Have you not climbed? It's so fun.

SREENIVASAN: Is there something that -- I mean if it's a climbing gym or someplace, I can see if you're out there outdoor somewhere, this is

spectacular, whatever. But what -- before this interview, you went to work out. I mean this is what you do.

HONNOLD: Well, if you call it I went and played at the climbing gym, then that is way more fun. I mean, yes, that is working out. But basically, at

the heart of it, I love the movement. I love swimming around. I love, you know, kicking my fear on and getting enough things and the problem-solving.

It's just it's fun.

SREENIVASAN: The audience, they have -- it's almost like a feeling in your gut when you're scared of you -- watching you fall or watching you close to

something. When you're watching this, you know, how do you feel about the climbing versus the love story that's also playing out in front of the


HONNOLD: I mean when I'm watching the film, the climbing, I'm reliving some of the best days of my life. I mean the actual climb like that's one

of the best days my life and it's all laid out. It's beautiful. It's, you know like that's awesome. It's almost like a journal every day for me.

Watching my relationship laid out is a little bit more difficult.

SREENIVASAN: That's harder for you to watch?

HONNOLD: Oh, yes, for sure. Yes, because I say so many things and I'm like, oh, I probably should have been a little bit kinder or said that a

little bit more gently. Yes. Because when I watch all that, I'm like Sanni is such a great woman and I'm not that nice, you know. But yes, it's

hard to watch.

SREENIVASAN: It just opened in theaters. It's doing really well. Why do you think it resonates to people who have no interest in rock climbing?

I'll ask you this as well.

VASARHELYI: One, we're just incredibly grateful that people are going to see the movie. And I think it's something different for everybody. I

think that it's just an incredible story about something that is you can't even imagine and it's supposed to be seen on a big screen because you're

right there next to him. I think that the love story is quite compelling and allows us as non-climbers to have access to what Alex is feeling.

And part of me wonders if it's also about seeing someone who has an audacious dream and actually, you know, achieves it. He does something,

which I think in this moment in time, we're not seeing very much of that.

SREENIVASAN: Alex Honnold, Chai Vasarhelyi, thanks so much for joining us.

HONNOLD: Yes. Thanks.

VASARHELYI: Thanks for having us.

AMANPOUR: Better Alex Honnold than me. What an astonishing feat.

Do join us again next week. But for now, that is it for our program.

Thanks for watching. And remember, you can always listen to our podcast. See us online at And follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Goodbye from London.