Return to Transcripts main page

CNN'S AMANPOUR

Interview With Stanley Tucci; Democrats Argue Trump Impeachment Case; Biden Foreign Policy. Aired 11-11:40a ET

Aired February 11, 2021 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00]

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.

Here's what's coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): A test of Biden's foreign policy, extricating the United States from the catastrophic Saudi war in Yemen. Discussion with

Yemen's Nobel Peace Prize winner and author Robert Worth.

Then: A picture is worth 1,000 words. Impeachment managers bring startling new evidence to Trump's Senate trial.

Also ahead:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're hungry, right?

STANLEY TUCCI, ACTOR: Starving.

AMANPOUR: A new series, after Stanley Tucci's grand tour of Italy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

President Joe Biden is plowing ahead with his foreign policy agenda against the backdrop in Washington of holding his predecessor accountable for a

breach of democracy. Biden is imposing sanctions on Myanmar's generals after their coup, and he's discussing human rights abuses in his first call

with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

The White House has already taken steps on the world's worst humanitarian disaster. And that is Yemen, announcing a suspension of arms sales to the

Saudi-led offensive there. The U.S. is also calling upon the Saudi kingdom to release political prisoners.

And, overnight, women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was indeed released after more than 1,000 days in a Saudi jail.

Now, for a closer look, I'm joined by the Yemeni journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman and by Robert Worth, a former Beirut bureau

chief for "The New York Times" who has written extensively about Saudi Arabia and the region.

Welcome, both of you, to the program.

Let me ask you first, Tawakkol, about what you make of Loujain's release, because her family is calling it a release without freedom, so to speak.

TAWAKKOL KARMAN, YEMENI JOURNALIST AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Yes, exactly. It is a release without freedom.

The Saudi regime released Loujain al-Hathloul, and, still, they put her in some kind of house arrest. She couldn't leave Saudi. She had -- she's under

the travel ban and her family. So, we can't say that she, Loujain, is free. No, Loujain is still under kind of arrest.

They should free her. They should lift the ban on her traveling and on her family also traveling. And, also, those people who committed arresting her

and torturing her should be held accountable. The same thing with all prisoners in Saudi, political prisoners and activist prisoners in Saudi. We

hope that they will get their freedom soon.

AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you, because you, yourself, obviously are a woman, a woman's rights activist, and she is herself the most prominent one

in Saudi Arabia.

This is what her family stated: "Any release that does not include an independent investigation of the charges, does not include lifting the

travel ban, does not include dropping the charges is not freedom. Therefore, we're far away from justice"

You have alluded to that, Tawakkol. But why do you think Saudi Arabia has taken this step at this time?

KARMAN: Saudi Arabia now under the pressure of Biden administration.

And I think Saudi and every dictator in the world will -- if America is serious on supporting human rights, if America is serious in supporting

democracy, they will rethink on using oppression against their citizen or against any other countries.

The current situation that happened, the current violence that happened by Saudi regime is because they got the green light from American

administration, previous American administration, also from the international community, when they attacked Yemen in their war in Yemen,

when they killed Jamal Khashoggi, when they arrested tens or hundreds of activists and scholar and political prisoners, when they committed war

crimes.

[11:05:09]

So, that was a result of green light of the international community, started with the United States.

And now with the new administration, and with the promises of Joe Biden and his administration that they will collaborate and they will ally with

people, with human rights defenders, with the democratic people around the world, I think they will bring a big solution for all the people around the

world, for all the conflict around the world, and they will stop the tyranny and terrorism and chaos and -- around the world, with supporting

democratic people.

AMANPOUR: OK, so let me put that to Bobby Worth, who has spent a career focusing on Saudi Arabia and the region.

Do you think that sounds like putting too much hope in the Biden administration? What do you think this administration will be able to do to

change Saudi behavior, to change what it's doing in Yemen? And take us back to -- it wasn't Trump that got U.S. into Yemen? It was actually -- it was

actually under President Obama.

ROBERT WORTH, AUTHOR, "A RAGE FOR ORDER": That's right.

And I think political will is a good thing. In that sense, I agree with Tawakkol. But I think it's going to be very, very difficult to change

what's happening in Yemen.

First of all, let me say the release of Loujain al-Hathloul is a wonderful thing. It's obviously a signal from the Saudis to the Biden administration,

an effort to placate them and to begin this process, which is all about -- the Saudis had embraced the Trump administration in a really, let's say,

public way.

And I think it's -- it created a sense among Democrats in Congress that, even more than before -- I mean, let's face it, Saudi already had a bad

image, particularly, let's say, among the Democrats. But I think Saudi, especially after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, entered this realm of being

almost part of a sort of evil -- axis of evil.

There was a real sense that this government, that the kingdom was doing terrible things, which, obviously, they are in Yemen. But I think what that

did is, it set up false expectations. It's not going to be easy to fix these problems.

First of all, there's the question of MBS', Mohammed bin Salman's image, because we know that he ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That's going

to be tricky and difficult.

Second of all, what's happening in Yemen is a long war. It began as a civil war. Then it became an international war. I think it's a very good thing,

as Tawakkol said, that the Biden administration has signaled political will, and, in fact, sent an envoy, Tim Lenderking, a veteran diplomat, to

be part of this process. That's all very good.

But the Saudis already want to get out of Yemen. They have been wanting to get out of Yemen for a long time. The question is how to do it. And, there,

you have to talk about their adversaries, the Houthis, who control most of Yemen, and are a very difficult, fanatical, mercurial group.

AMANPOUR: OK, well, let me ask you that question, then, because you have been studying this.

How do you get the Saudis extricated from Yemen if they want to? How do you? What -- as you have just pointed out, there are so many players. And

Tawakkol knows this because she's been on the ground, obviously, so many players. It's a proxy war, amongst many other things there.

How do you get -- how do you end it?

WORTH: Well, the Biden administration has already taken some good steps.

I mean, they're reversing the Trump administration's last-minute declaration that the Houthis were a terrorist group. That only made it more

difficult to conduct diplomacy. And diplomacy is the name of the game here.

But the U.N., under Martin Griffiths, has been engaged in this diplomatic process to try to end the war. It's been very, very difficult with little

progress.

The Houthis -- I think it's important to give a bit of context here. In fact, I met Tawakkol.

Tawakkol, I don't know if you remember this, but we met for the first time in June 2008 in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, at the sentencing of a

journalist whose alleged crime was having written in support of -- or written about the Houthis, which then were this group in the far remote

northwest of the country that nobody really understood.

And even today, there's something of a mystery about what the Houthis want. They are, as I said, a fanatical group. They have been very inconsistent.

And when you deal with them, they send out people to speak to diplomats and so forth.

I mean, I have -- I have met with Houthi officials in the Yemeni capital and even up in the Northwest in Saada. But the people that I meet with are

not the people making the decisions. And, very often, there's a real difference between the two.

I mean, one of the things you can point to and the difficult thing dealing with the Houthis, there's a huge oil tanker that's been for years on

Yemen's Red Sea coast. And there's an urgent need to make sure that it doesn't spill. It's got enormous amounts of oil that could become just an

absolute environmental catastrophe.

[11:10:16]

Well, the Houthis these have been unwilling to guarantee the safety of U.N.'s efforts to fix that. So, these are not easy people to talk to.

AMANPOUR: So, let me ask Tawakkol, because, as you say, you both have been so intimately involved in different angles of this story.

So, regarding the Houthis and how to get them to change their behavior, Tawakkol, you have written last month in "The Washington Post": "The Biden

administration should also exert maximum pressure on the Houthis to retreat from their coup and to return to what was previously agreed by the Yemenis

at the National Dialogue Conference, and, on Iran, to stop its interference in Yemen and stop supplying the Houthis with machines of destruction and

death."

So, do you think, Tawakkol, that it is as simple or as direct a route to get Iran to stop the Houthis?

KARMAN: Look, Christiane, first, you should know that the problem with Houthis is an internal matter of Yemenis.

And we started to solve it through the national dialogue after the peaceful revolution, after our first step victory against the dictator Ali Abdullah

Saleh, when we forced him to resign.

With the inter -- the national dialogue with the militia, with Houthi, and with all Yemeni parts, we did great, great progress. But the problem came

when the outsiders interfere in Yemeni issue, when Saudi, Emirates and Iran supported parties. Iran supported the Houthi militia. And Houthi and Saudi

and Emirates waged their war against Yemen.

So, the exactly problem here in Yemen is first is the proxy war, is the first is the practicing the hegemony and guardianship from Saudi and

Emirates. If we want to force Houthis to be committed to their commitment in the national dialogue, or to stay with Yemenis in national dialogue --

in another national dialogue that we call for.

And I know that Yemenis can solve their problems if Saudi and Emirates stop their war in Yemen, if they stop their guardianship of Yemen, if they stop

their supporting other militias in Yemen.

So, with Houthis, we can -- yes, we can force Houthis either with peace or with other mechanisms, which is -- I am, as a Nobel Peace Prize, I am

committed to the nonviolence.

But with the interfere from outsiders, from Iran, from Saudi, from Emirates...

AMANPOUR: OK.

KARMAN: ... it's really, really complicated.

So, the solution is that Biden should be serious on that matter. He should be serious on that matter.

AMANPOUR: OK.

KARMAN: It is not just stopping the war, stopping the bombs that came from Saudi Arabia to Yemen. No, it's more than that.

They have to stop their hegemony and guardianship and their direct and indirect -- even militia with Houthi, they don't have just the support from

Iran, by the way. They have indirect support from Saudi. And that is another big story. We can explain it.

So, yes, with Houthis, we can make dialogue.

AMANPOUR: OK.

KARMAN: And we are Yemenis. We can solve our problems.

And Houthis -- you said, Christiane, about lifting Houthis as a terrorist group from Biden administration. Houthis committed a very horrible, a very

terrorist action against Yemen. They destroyed Yemen, as well as Saudi and Emirates.

And Biden has to do a...

AMANPOUR: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

KARMAN: ... on them and on Iran, and don't make it as bargaining chips, bargaining chips with Iran. This is very important.

AMANPOUR: OK. OK.

Let me put this -- I don't have a huge amount of time, so let me put this to Bobby, because what she's saying, as you heard, is that all of the

external powers need to be brought to the table to stop this war on Yemen.

Bobby, you have written a lot about MBS, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia. You wrote this last article, the latest article on what you called

sort of -- I think you called it the delusion of utopia. In any event, he's building some city somewhere that's meant to be a utopia.

I guess the big confusion for everybody is, can you separate Saudi Arabia from MBS? Where do you think his mind-set is? Is he the kind of person that

Biden can engage to just get out of this war and come to some sort of peace agreement around this war?

[11:15:04]

WORTH: Well, there are many troubling things about MBS, I mean, from the murder of Khashoggi, to what he's doing with these cities in the desert,

which seem to be, potentially, a waste of enormous amounts of money that Saudi Arabia needs, now that oil prices are so much lower.

But I think, with respect to Yemen, I think, there, MBS does know that he's got to get out. It's a ruinous war. The Saudis are not getting anything out

of it. And, in fact, the contributions of Iran to the Houthis have gotten larger over the course of this war. In other words, the war that was

started to stop Iran from being a thorn in their side has had the opposite effect.

But I think, for the Saudis, there are all kinds of difficulties in doing that. The command-and-control is -- of the Saudi military is so incredibly

dysfunctional. It's just a broken tool.

And I think, when you talk about solving this war, it's one thing to say let's have everybody withdraw. But, remember, there was also renew -- there

was renewed new diplomacy between the United States and Iran have a nuclear program. It may well be hard to separate that from what's going on in

Yemen.

The Saudis now see Yemen as a way to inflict pain on Saudi Arabia, which is, of course, an ally of the United States. So, it's two issues that have

become...

AMANPOUR: You mean the Iranians see Yemen...

WORTH: The Iranians see Yemen, I think, now as a way to inflict pain on Saudi Arabia, and thereby, to some extent...

AMANPOUR: Got it.

WORTH: ... on the United States.

So, these two tracks, Yemen and Iran, are just -- are harder to separate now and make it more difficult.

AMANPOUR: Mm-hmm.

Well, Yemen is just stuck in between these big power proxies. And it will be really important to see whether this administration can exert any

influence to bring, as we described it, the world's worst humanitarian crisis to an end.

I think, Tawakkol, 80 percent of your people depend on humanitarian aid right now.

We will be continuing to follow this.

Tawakkol Karman, Bobby Worth, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

Now, in Washington, impeachment managers have been releasing new security cam video from inside Congress on that day, January 6, showing just how

close Trump's extremist supporters got to lawmakers. Is it impacting the Republican Senate jurors?

President Joe Biden says it might be.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I watched some this morning.

I think the Senate has a very important job to complete. And I think -- my guess is, some minds may have been changed, but I don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So, joining me now on this case is Asha Rangappa. She is a former FBI special agent, and she teaches national security law at Yale

University.

Welcome to the program.

Let me just ask you to react to the president, what he -- what we just played, that he think maybe some of this that's being shown to the so-

called Senate jurors might be having an effect. What is your gut feeling about that?

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I hope so.

Remember that the senators are supposed to be approaching with an open mind. And I think, if they're doing that the House managers are making an

incredibly compelling case for both causation and intent, which are the two things that they really need to prove about President Trump's role in that

insurrection.

On top of that, a lot of that video is incredibly emotional. These are people who actually experienced it. The senators are watching this at the

crime scene, and they themselves were the victims.

So, I think that, in a normal world, they would be affected by it and potentially open to changing their mind. But this is not a normal trial.

And they may have other concerns that influence their decision.

AMANPOUR: Yes.

Well, Senator Lindsey Graham has already weighed in, and this is what he said on FOX News last night:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): The not-guilty vote is growing after today. I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House managers

offensive and absurd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: So, that's his mantra.

Do you, though, think that people like Lindsey Graham are out of step with the majority of the American public? Because you have seen the latest

polls. And by quite a -- it's a -- it is a majority, but it's a narrow majority.

The majority, according to CBS, says that 56 percent want and vote to convict Trump, and 44 would acquit. Apparently, it's a much bigger majority

when you ask them, do they think Trump had anything to do with January 6?

[11:20:03]

But do the senators risk being completely out of step with their constituents?

RANGAPPA: Yes, I think they do.

And I think you're making an incredibly important point, Christiane, which is that the purpose of this impeachment trial isn't just to convince the

senators who are acting as a jury. It is also to tell the story about what happened to the American people and to create a historical record of that

narrative and set a precedent to put on paper that this action was an impeachable offense, and also to set the precedent that a former president

can be tried.

So, this is serving a lot of other purposes, beyond just the vote that the senators are going to ultimately come out with. Remember also that these

senators, some of them participated in elements of narrative that the House managers are presenting. Many of them also echoed the big lie about the

election or helped to plan speeches and helped -- and participated in these rallies that Trump had put together in the months leading up to it, and

even on the day of.

So, I think that what Lindsey Graham says is not as important as this being placed on the historical record.

AMANPOUR: So, that's very important, as you say, placing it on the historical record.

And, also, how surprised were you, after all the video you have seen and we have all seen since January 6, by the latest CCTV stuff or security camera

stuff from inside Congress that was presented in the latest session, to see Mike Pence, Senator Romney, Chuck Schumer and the others actually

physically being hustled out of danger, and to see in this video how close these senators who are now presiding came to this fanatical mob.

And you could also see how heroic Officer Goodman was in trying to divert the mob from the senators and draw incoming to himself, so to speak.

RANGAPPA: Yes, that's a real key piece of the evidence that the House managers are presenting, which is the true harm that was caused by this.

It wasn't just vandalizing the Capitol or disrupting a proceeding. These people were actually out to physically harm our members of Congress. And

our members of Congress and the vice president were within minutes of potentially being physically injured.

Who -- and who knows what could have happened. I mean, we're very, very lucky that the casualties were, frankly, as low as they were that day. So,

what I think the House managers have done very well with the video is present a story that they're telling, even in the absence of being able to

call witnesses.

And the star witness, by the way, Christiane, is President Trump himself. We see him repeatedly juxtaposed with the scenes, with the comments that

these insurrectionists were making, and how what he was saying, what he was tweeting was being reflected in their actions and their words and what they

intended to do when they were at the Capitol.

AMANPOUR: And just to point out, there is a latest group of these kind of Trump groups, these conspiracy groups, the leader of whom is saying that

she waited specifically for what she called a directive from their commander in chief, the president, before taking part in this Capitol

invasion.

So, there are more and more people who are actually saying that, that they took their message from the president's words and actions himself and

themselves.

So, I want to ask you. You said the most important witness is Trump. Well, his lawyer is going to start laying out their case tomorrow. And this is

what he has said about the free speech argument that they're trying to make.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID SCHOEN, IMPEACHMENT ATTORNEY FOR DONALD TRUMP: It's just a silly argument. It's not tied to Donald Trump or his speech whatsoever.

So, what they doing now a bit is going, but, well, you see, it's not just that speech. He's been inciting people, inflaming people.

No, he's been trying -- rousing the American public to drain the swamp, whatever they call it on his side, to make a difference in this country.

That's what political speech is about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Is that a compelling legal argument?

RANGAPPA: No, that's -- that legal argument does not go anywhere, as a legal matter.

[11:25:00]

The president of the United States, as a public official, is accountable for what he says. You can kind of make the analogy to employment law.

If, in the course of your professional duties, you engage in particular kinds of speech, for example, hate speech or violent speech, you can be

fired for it, and you don't have a free speech argument.

And so Trump -- it would be the same as if he were advocating in favor of our adversaries or perhaps using racial slurs. I mean, if he were engaging

in speech that were destructive and not reflective of his office, he can be held liable for it. This isn't a criminal trial. He's not going to be sent

to jail.

And so the threshold for whether his -- I think the threshold here is causality. It's not that he can say whatever he wants. It's that, is what

he said, did he cause foreseeable harm? Did he intend that harm?

And I think that, in terms of making that link, the House managers are doing a great job. And I will add that they have pointed out that, even

after this violence occurred, Trump did not use his position and his authority to stop it from continuing, despite repeated pleas to do so.

His lawyers have an uphill battle. I think their free speech argument is the best they can do. But it's not -- it doesn't hold water, as a legal

matter.

AMANPOUR: It's really fascinating.

Asha Rangappa, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.

And, to our viewers, I just want to read something that a former Republican congressman said in terms of, whose side was Trump on?

"The obvious truth that is still so difficult to say out loud is that, on January 6, when our government was under attack by domestic terrorists, the

president of the United States was on the side of the terrorists."

This is from a former Republican congressman.

But now we are going to make a sharp turn to la dolce vita with the award- winning actor Stanley Tucci. He's best known for his standout roles in films like "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Hunger Games."

Now, inspired by his Italian heritage, he's turning his gaze to the home country, exploring it via its most famous global export, which is food.

Here's a taste from his new six-part series "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "STANLEY TUCCI: SEARCHING FOR ITALY")

TUCCI: The maestro was making a pizza for me.

Oh, my God.

That's one of the best martinis I have ever had in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't believe in God, you believe in tortellini. It's like a religious.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Advertising, right?

Well, the first episode takes place in Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

And I caught up with Stanley Tucci just as he had finished filming to talk about eating his way across a country brimming with history and culture and

during a pandemic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: So, Stanley Tucci, welcome. It's good to see you.

The truth is that we're both in London. We would have done this face to face, in a normal manner, had we not been deep in who knows what tier of

lockdown.

How did you actually accommodate the filming to the crisis that we're in right now?

TUCCI: Well, it was interesting. The first four episodes was shot prior to -- prior to the first lockdown.

The second -- the second phase of it was shot afterward. So, there were certain rules in place that, of course, we stuck to. But it wasn't easy.

And it's not -- it's -- obviously, as we all know, it's not as -- life is not as enjoyable with a mask on and when you can't hug somebody.

AMANPOUR: Look, how did this come about? How did you decide to join this project?

TUCCI: Well, CNN came to me and asked if I had any ideas for a show, and I had a few different ideas. I was very surprised that they had come,

honestly. Why are you coming to me?

But I did have some ideas for a show. And this was the third idea that I threw out to them. And I could see in their eyes that once -- once you say,

I'd like to do a show on Italian regional cooking and the forces that created the recipes and the dishes and all that, you see everyone go, oh,

yes, oh, yes, we will do it. Yes, we would love to do that, love to do that.

AMANPOUR: Stanley, I need to ask you, because this is actually CNN's first venture into this kind of programming since we lost our beloved Anthony

Bourdain.

TUCCI: Yes, I know.

AMANPOUR: And I want to know whether that weighed on you. What were you thinking of as you took this on?

TUCCI: I was thinking -- and I knew Anthony a bit. And I loved his show. But this is a distinctly different show.

To me, I had to be truthful to what I wanted to achieve, which was to really just focus on Italy and focus on the diversity of dishes in all of

those regions.

[11:30:00]

When people think of it Italy they think often that it is always sunny, people are eating pasta and everybody is happy all the time and they're

drinking wine and limoncello. Now, part of that is true, that is a part of Italy but that is hardly all of Italy. Italy is so incredibly diverse,

simply because of where it's situated geographically. If we think about it, it goes from the Alps all the way down to Lampedusa, which is 70 miles off

the coast of Africa and where so many immigrants come in.

AMANPOUR: Well, Naples, the Naples/Amalfi Coast episode, obviously encapsulates all of that. The migrant story, the -- you know, the different

and diverse story of Italy, the pandemics of historical times. Talk to me about the deep-frying episode.

TUCCI: Yes, it's the beginnings of pizza. And of course, pizza is -- it was just one of the reasons I think we -- one of the reasons we wanted to

go to Naples is because it's where pizza began. And pizza is probably the most loved food in the world. The thing that is so interesting is that

people -- pizza began with people frying dough in this incredibly poor overcrowded city with very unsanitary conditions. They started cooking

dough in hot, hot oil. And maybe they put a little pepper on it or maybe a little meat on it or something, whatever they had. And this was a way of

killing all the germs and still giving yourself something to sustain yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCCI: Fernanda, you've changed my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You'll get fat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: And you are pretty surprised. Is it the Marzano tomatoes which are very, very famous and you found the farm?

TUCCI: Yes, San Marzano tomato is the ideal tomato. We find them in grocery stores everywhere. It says on the can, San Marzano tomato. Well, as

it turns out, there's like 150 acres or something like that. There's a very small plots of land that grow San Marzano tomatoes. There is no way -- and

an investigation was done by "The New York Times," there's no way that all of these cans and jars are San Marzano tomato around the world are actually

from San Marzano. It's a complete scam. So, it's a very, very small amount that really are.

AMANPOUR: Who knew there would be a, I don't know, scam or a black market in tomato tomatoes around the world.

TUCCI: T here's really -- yes. There was one -- there was also a scam and black market in prosciutto, which we focus on in one episode, too. I mean,

it was -- because it's a $2 billion business --

AMANPOUR: OK.

TUCCI: -- in Italy.

AMANPOUR: That's incredible.

TUCCI: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Just going back to a little bit of the history, which I have to say, for me, anyway, I just loved it. The beginning, you're walking through

the cobble streets in the old town. And Elisabeta shows you this sort of almost like martyrdom stations in the walls that are hollowed out of the

walls with people's pictures and votive candles and flowers.

TUCCI: Yes. It's interesting. We talk about at the beginning of the show that there are two things that are really important in Neapolitan culture,

but I think particularly in southern Italian culture, which is food and death. And we -- and these are little sort of shrines, I guess, to people

who have passed away. And some of them are political figures or famous figures. There's a shot of Maradona because Maradona was the (INAUDIBLE) --

AMANPOUR: Yes, I saw that.

TUCCI: -- of the Naples' soccer team. But then, also just loved ones, people who passed away. And they're all over. And you have to remember,

too, that, you know, these people are living in the shadow of this volcano that is still very, very active. And we see what happened, if you go to

Pompeii or Herculaneum, you see what happened, and can easily happen again.

AMANPOUR: Right. Actually, you do find homeless and migrants who are pitching up their own camps under the highways. There's this area called

Scampia that was built for low-income families, low-income housing but it never quite worked.

TUCCI: I said I really want to show where Italy is now today and how they have had to deal with so much immigration. And in some ways, they've dealt

with it very well and in some ways, they haven't dealt with it very well. But also, the fact that regardless of whether they're immigrants or not,

that Italy is a very, very poor country in so many ways to this day.

[11:35:00]

And I think the immigrants have, in some way, shone a light on that. The camp, I suppose, where they live was incredibly well constructed and neat

and tidy and their kid goes to school and they kind of live these amazing lives, but under the radar. They are constantly being harassed by people,

of course, but one of the things they've done with some people who are Neapolitan is open up a co-op of sorts that -- a restaurant where they use

their recipes and the recipes of Neapolitans, and they've created this incredible restaurant and a school for children.

AMANPOUR: Yes.

TUCCI: So, it's this social experiment that is working like a charm. And people are employed. People are making money and people are putting all of

their knowledge and their goodness to very positive end.

AMANPOUR: I must say, I was so glad that you highlighted that because, you know, it does show in this era that we live in of the demonization of

immigrants and migrants and people who flee violence in their own homes how much good can come out of it if they are put to work.

How did this compare with, you know, being an actor? What sort of different muscles did you have to use for this?

TUCCI: That was hard sometimes to -- it's the opposite of acting. As an actor, you will wait around on set forever and then you might work like an

hour a day. With something like this, you are constantly moving. You're in a location for one day then you're moving someplace else the next day. So,

you're never really settling in. And the days can end up being quite long.

I think the other thing is, and it may sound funny, but you're eating and drinking all the time. So, then what do you do at the end of the day? You

know what I mean? So, by the end you --

AMANPOUR: Drop into a sugar coma.

TUCCI: I don't know. By the end of the day, you go, I never, ever want to eat Italian food again.

AMANPOUR: Except you have a whole six episodes in which you have to eat your way through Italy.

TUCCI: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Anyway, Stanley Tucci, thank you. Thank you very much.

TUCCI: Thank you so much.

AMANPOUR: And the first episode of "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" airs on CNN this Sunday on at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific time.

That is it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media. And coming up next is special coverage of the Trump

impeachment trial. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:40:00]

END