Larry King Live Weekend
Actresses Ellen DeGeneres, Anne Heche, and Sharon Stone Discuss HBO's Controversial 'If These Walls Could Talk 2'Aired March 4, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Good evening. Welcome to another edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
Big show coming on HBO premieres Sunday night. And they'll show it about 720 times for the rest of the year. It's called "If These Walls Could Talk 2." That means they did a I once.
Sharon Stone will be joining us in a little while. She's on the way over. With us now are Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. Anne directed and wrote one of the segments of this production, and Ellen of course co-stars with the other two.
And give me a little history, Ellen. How did this come about? You, Anne, Sharon, HBO.
ELLEN DEGENERES, ACTRESS & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2": Well, first of all, actually, HBO went to Anne first and asked her to write and direct a segment. And...
KING: They knew what they wanted to do, that it would be "These Walls Could Talk 2" and it would be about lesbianism.
DEGENERES: Yes. They knew that ahead of time. But they didn't say, "This is the subject matter." It was just a trilogy of lesbianism throughout different...
DEGENERES: ... yes. Well, not the entire history. But three different time periods.
So then they came to me shortly after that and said, "Do you want to be an executive producer on this?" thinking I'd be sitting at home with nothing to do, not realizing Anne was going to write it for me, which I didn't realize either.
So at the same time I jumped on as executive producer of the project for all three pieces, there are three shorts, three half- hours.
KING: That's the concept of the series, right? There will be three half-hour stories as they did in I? ANNE HECHE, ACTRESS & DIRECTOR, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2": Exactly. They all happen in the same house, but three different time periods.
KING: About controversial kinds of subjects.
DEGENERES: Well, the first one was about abortion. So everybody has very strong opinions about abortion one way or the other. And this is about lesbianism, which is also I guess controversial. It's not to us, but it is to other people.
KING: How did Sharon come aboard, Anne?
HECHE: Well, I had written it. I obviously had written it for Ellen and was trying to think of a partner that would be the same strength as Ellen and somebody who would be able to do something that complemented what her performance was, something that I wanted. And the relationship between the actresses needed to be strong. And both of them needed to be really strong women. So I just thought Sharon would be fabulous and I picked up the phone and called her on a whim and said, "Hey."
KING: And she said?
HECHE: "How do you feel about this?" She said, "Send me the script," and within three days said, "Yes, I'm on. Let's do it."
KING: There were three half-hour segments. And it's all in the same house, right?
KING: But different people living there, you're playing different people in each segment?
KING: Segment one is in the '60s?
HECHE: '61 starring Vanessa Redgrave. And it's about two women who are together, and one of them dies, and how that affects her life.
DEGENERES: Well, it's in '61 so she's closeted. So when her partner dies, it shows the heartbreak of not being able to grieve and express -- no one cares. They think it's just a roommate and...
KING: Are there other characters in all these stories, too, by the way...
DEGENERES: Sure. And...
KING: ... not just three character pieces? HECHE: Oh, yes.
DEGENERES: ... Right. And then in the middle piece, which is set in '70-something...
KING: Sharon is not in the first piece.
DEGENERES: No, no.
HECHE: No, neither is Ellen. But they have their separate pieces.
DEGENERES: Three separate half-hours. And the second one, Chloe Sevigny, who just got nominated for "Boys Don't Cry," which is...
KING: She's sensational.
DEGENERES: ... I mean, she's in it. Michelle Williams from "Dawson's Creek" is in it also, which is a brave move for her to play...
DEGENERES: ... the kind of character on "Dawson's Creek" and then go and play a lesbian. A lot of people would say don't do it.
KING: And what's the concept of section two?
DEGENERES: Feminism when it was first starting and women trying to just get equality, and how lesbians were kicked out of the feminist movement. They would not include their rights...
KING: Because they thought they were too far to one side.
DEGENERES: ... Right. They said, "Well, first we have to start with ours, and then we'll include you," which was interesting.
KING: And the 2000, which you wrote and are in...
HECHE: No, I'm not in it. Only Sharon and Ellen are in it.
KING: ... What's the concept in 2000?
HECHE: It's two women, two lesbians, who have been together for about five years, and they're now wanting to have a baby and what the process is that they go through. I wanted a universal theme. And that was one of the things I thought would reach out to everybody. And certainly, some of our crew members and so many stories we heard, we got a lot of crew because they had related their husband and wife team had gone through the same experience these two go through.
And it's a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with a sense of humor. It's a lighthearted romantic comedy. So it expands out, and it ends in a hopeful tone, which the first "If These Walls Could Talk," which was the one I was in, ended so tragically. And of course, we wanted to end with hope. KING: A lot of writing is autobiographical. Do the two of you want a child?
HECHE: We talked about it when we were going through it. I mean, I think I kind of became a little obsessed with it because I had to be. And I wanted to know. And I wanted to give the people who were going through this honor.
So I think we did get a little obsessed. And now we're (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
KING: I mean, do the two of you want a child?
DEGENERES: Well, after seeing a picture of your baby, yes.
HECHE: Yes, right.
DEGENERES: You know...
KING: You'd take him right now? Yes.
HECHE: Yes we would.
DEGENERES: If he looked like that, we would.
KING: How do lesbians adopt? How do they get a child...
KING: ... unless one of them sleeps with a man and gives birth?
DEGENERES: ... Well, you can adopt, like you just said. You can -- although some states...
KING: No researchers (ph)?
DEGENERES: ... you can't -- in some states you cannot adopt. But in some states you can adopt. And you could go to somebody that you know. You could go to a sperm bank. This is what our...
HECHE: The whole movie is about, yes.
DEGENERES: ... whole subject matter deals with. It's like do you go to somebody you know? Do you want to know the father of your child? Do you want to go to a sperm bank? How weird is that? You don't know what you're getting. And you adopt. It's so many different...
KING: You like writing?
HECHE: Oh, I love it. I love it, yes...
KING: We'll be right back...
HECHE: ... especially writing for her.
KING: ... We'll be right back with more of Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. Sharon Stone will be joining us.
"If These Walls Could Talk 2," it's an HBO special. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2")
DEGENERES: Profiles, I knew that. That's what they're called, because that's what the FBI keeps on convicts. We're going to get a felon for a donor.
SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: Person who applied to do this. Some serial killer who needs 20 bucks or some handsome genius with an IQ of a zinnia.
DEGENERES: What genius gives sperm?
STONE: What self-possessed person wants to jerk off in a cup for 20 bucks?
DEGENERES: How's it coming?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Right away since this is the current matter, it airs Sunday, an election is coming up Tuesday, and we have this widely discussed proposition in California that would recognize marriage as only between a man and a woman. Are you very involved in this battle?
HECHE: Yes, we're very against that. We're very against -- no on the -- Yes.
HECHE: No, no, no, no, no on ninth.
KING: What does it say?
DEGENERES: Well, here's the thing. First of all, we're not against no on ninth. We're for no on ninth because it's very confusing...
HECHE: Right, right.
DEGENERES: ... because it's yes on ninth that we're against.
KING: Proposition 21, right?
DEGENERES: 22. It's no on 22. And I think it's confusing. And they're appealing to a lot of people in a very misleading way saying that if you vote yes on 22, you are protecting marriage.
Now who wouldn't want to protect marriage? That's obvious. But what you do when you're saying yes on 22, you're saying that we will never, ever get the right to have the same legal rights as any other couple.
And I think people take it to an extreme saying it's supposed to be a union between a man and a woman. I think it's a union is what it is.
KING: But church groups are the ones doing most of the battling to see that it stays man and woman, right?
HECHE: Which is so ultimately confusing to me because what they're actually saying is, "We want to take away somebody's dream of being together." So for the entire future of this country, we're trying to say what our union is will never be recognized in any way.
HECHE: Legally. Now our relationship and union is about joy and love. And why so many people -- and this is where I have an issue with religion. And certainly it's not every religious person. They're saying, "Your love doesn't count. And we're going to try to make it very clear to you by continuing to forward these laws to say that your love doesn't matter."
Why is it any group or any individual trying to do that to anybody is confusing to me.
DEGENERES: Well, and the fact that they say, "Well, it says in the Bible it's between a man and a woman." Well, in the Bible, it was used to justify slavery. We have learned that we let go of certain things.
You also can't round the edges of your beard in the Bible. You can't -- there's so many things that you can't...
KING: The world is flat.
HECHE: Right. Right.
DEGENERES: Yes. Galileo was put away because he believed something different. I mean, it's just crazy how...
KING: But the union -- the main reason you fight for it is not just the recognition. You want the state to pay health benefits to...
HECHE: It's to have an equal right.
KING: ... I mean, private companies do it now. Time Warner does it. Disney does it. DEGENERES: Right. It's just not being treated as a second class citizen. That's all it is, is just how would you want to be treated? It's just because of our love that we're being condemned or...
KING: Do you want to marry?
KING: Is that one of the things you want to have the right to go down to City Hall as any two people, man and woman, could do?
HECHE: Absolutely. As anybody else is able to do. I mean, consciously we are married. She is my wife. I am her wife. But that we can't go and do what every other single individual in this country and in this world can do is ludicrous to us. It's a right. And until that right is allowed to us...
KING: As you well know, you've lived in this society long enough to know that the hardest thing to do is change. People have accepted a lot of change. I was in...
KING: ... South Africa. You talk about accepting change. They've accepted change...
KING: ... very quickly. It's hard, Ellen. It's hard for someone very focused, very nice, who cares about people and would favor the health benefits to say, "OK, do you take this woman to be your wife? Do you take this woman to be your wife?"
DEGENERES: Sure. It's different language. When you're not used to hearing a certain language, it's frightening to people.
DEGENERES: And I think that's what we're trying to do in these piece "If These Walls Could Talk" is to put a face to something that people fear. And when you fear something, you tend to either attack it or hate it, or don't even want to -- I mean, watch this piece.
When you watch Vanessa Redgrave lose the woman that she loves and what she goes through when she loses her home. We had to go to our attorney and get certain rights so that if something happened to Anne, I would be able to go and be with her because legally I don't have that right.
KING: The show on HBO "If These Walls Could Talk 2." Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. And we'll be joined by Sharon Stone as well. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2")
VANESSA REDGRAVE, ACTRESS: Is she all right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you find her? Are you any relation of hers, ma'am?
REDGRAVE: No, I'm a friend. I'm a very good friend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does she have any family?
REDGRAVE: Please would you tell me if something is wrong?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so sorry. Miss Henley (ph) passed away. We're so sorry, ma'am.
REDGRAVE: When did it happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 3:45 this morning.
REDGRAVE: Why didn't someone tell me? I was here. They saw me. I was waiting. I was there waiting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're so sorry.
KING: We're back with Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. It would have to be a guess. But why do you think people fear you? They fear a couple. It is fear. Why?
HECHE: It is -- I don't know -- Jane Anderson, who is the director of the first piece that Vanessa Redgrave is in said something so clearly to me the other day at a press junket. And she said, "Discrimination is a lack of familiarity." And I had never put in that one sentence that concisely.
And I think that's what it is. When you're not familiar with something, you fear it. When you don't understand it, you fear it. And part of what we're trying to do is bring a familiarity and so that there is not a fear.
And partly, I think that's it. I don't get it. I don't get some things too. I don't hate the things that I don't get. I just don't get them.
KING: Because one of the male fantasy kicks is watching women make love. So that's a fantasy...
KING: ... for many men. So why should they be shocked at the reality of it?
HECHE: Well, there is this...
KING: Or fearful of...
HECHE: ... I don't think there is fearful of that because I think there is a justification when the fantasy is two women, the ultimate fantasy is "and they need me too."
KING: Ah, yes. When they don't need me...
HECHE: And when the fantasy is removed when they don't need me...
DEGENERES: I think what it really boils down to is you assume if women are lesbians, then they hate men. And that couldn't be further from the truth...
DEGENERES: ... That's not why you're a lesbian. You don't hate men. And I think that sometimes men get threatened. Or women get threatened, "Well, what if they hit on me? What if they," and that's pretty egotistical to think that we just go after anybody of the same sex.
KING: When the wild critics of -- the Pat Robertsons, to use the classic example, or the Jerry Falwell who will try to do something about it by meeting with you, when they say the simple term -- and many people would not -- it's unnatural. It's just not natural.
DEGENERES: To them.
KING: Yes. How do you respond to it, because it had to feel when you first felt feelings unnatural to you because you're growing up in this same society, right? When a boy feels attracted to a woman in this society don't feel unnatural, it feels normal.
HECHE: That's because that's embedded in all of our brains when we're growing up.
KING: Yes, but it was embedded in you too.
DEGENERES: No, I didn't. I was unclear about the feelings because it wasn't what I had been fed, this conditioning like the advertisements of a man and a woman laughing, holding hands, smoking a cigarette, eating a Certs. Hey, I should get money for that.
DEGENERES: But you know, you don't have all this stuff that says it's OK. You're conditioned to see a man and a woman. So you think -- but it didn't feel unnatural to me at all.
KING: Did not.
DEGENERES: So it's not...
DEGENERES: ... It's not unnatural to me. To Pat Robertson, it is. To me, some of the things he does is unnatural. I don't know how you can call yourself a spiritual, religious man and be so judgmental.
I think that's really interesting to me that this whole thing started from Jesus being loving and teaching love and acceptance and tolerance and non-judgment.
KING: But you don't buy it when they say, "We love the person, hate the act."
DEGENERES: I don't buy it at all.
HECHE: I don't buy it either. The most natural thing in the world is falling in love with somebody. I mean, to me, I didn't think for one second about gender.
KING: But you grew up, you were heterosexual, you thought you were heterosexual...
KING: ... Until you met Ellen, you had not had a lesbian relationship before.
KING: So when you had the feeling, did it feel unnatural?
HECHE: Well, no. And that was the thing that I think everybody had a problem with me when I whatever, as I say, came in, didn't come out, came into my love, it was the most natural thing in the world and exciting, and wonderful, and fabulous. And I didn't...
KING: But weren't you surprised at yourself? Did you look in the mirror and say, "What's going on?" You'd been with men, right?
HECHE: Yes. But I didn't have any -- it didn't make me go, "Oh, gee, this is..."
HECHE: ... "This is unnatural for me to..."
KING: Something's wrong. You never thought "something is wrong with me."
HECHE: It actually righted me. For me, it was the most natural thing. Like, oh, wow, this is that thing when anybody says you're going to fall in love, and you'll know it when you do. And that was that for me. So that was the most natural thing in the world. It became strange in the consequences of it.
KING: Because we have stories now of women in their fifties discovering this.
KING: People married with three kids discovering this.
DEGENERES: Yes. Right. And it's because they're -- I have to really qualify what Anne just said because she's the most evolved person I've ever met. She's my little Buddha. I mean, she is this evolved, amazing being.
I didn't have that easy of a time. I was dating men and dating women...
DEGENERES: ... I was going back and forth. And it was still, I was considered bisexual. I was saying, "I still like men. This is just this girl."
KING: When you dated a man, how did you feel?
DEGENERES: I liked -- I have always liked men. I mean, I was boy crazy growing up. I was obsessed with boys and men.
KING: You weren't a tomboy then?
DEGENERES: I was a tomboy. But I still liked men. But when it came to sexuality, I was the only virgin in high school. I didn't have the desire to be with a man sexually.
KING: Did you wonder about that?
DEGENERES: No, I just thought I was a good girl, you know. I mean, I was like, hey, I was proud of myself that I was a virgin and everybody else was -- and then when I finally did sleep with a guy, I just had that Peggy Lee song in my head, "Is That All There Is?" I mean...
KING: Really, you had that feeling?
DEGENERES: ... Yes. I actually had the song, which was really...
KING: Really? Really? You thought, yes.
DEGENERES: ... bothersome to have that Peggy Lee song while you're trying to make love. But anyway, so, it was not a natural thing for me. But when I was with a woman, it was.
But it took me a long time because, I mean, Anne is just an amazing...
KING: All right, when you were with men, it felt natural to you, didn't it?
HECHE: Oh, sure. Absolutely.
KING: Did you love a man?
HECHE: Oh, yes. Sure. I was in relationships where I loved the man that I was with very much. Absolutely. It didn't feel like this was the -- it never felt...
HECHE: ... complete to me. It never felt like...
KING: But you never felt "is that all there is?"
HECHE: ... No. And as for the unnaturalness, I was raised with a very religious upbringing. It should have been as unnatural to me sleeping with a man before I was married as it would be me being with a woman. I mean, there were so many rules and things that were laid out that were the rights and wrongs of how to be in a relationship.
So you know, that was unnatural in an argument between my mother and me too about moving in with a man before I was married to him. There are a lot of things that were laid down for me.
KING: We'll take a break and come back and ask if they really think programs like this "If These Walls Could Talk" help, or are they preaching to the choir. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEGENERES: It's our anniversary on Oscar night.
DEGENERES: So that's more important to us. So happy anniversary to us. That's all we care about. Let's talk about us for a while.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, ladies. Have a great night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. Do you think the program "If These Walls," programs like this, do you think they're just watched by people who are sympathetic? Or do you think those who differ -- think from you differently watch and learn? What do you think?
DEGENERES: I don't know.
KING: You know. DEGENERES: I hope so. I mean, I watch a lot of heterosexual love stories that I think are beautiful movies and beautiful stories. And just because I am gay doesn't say, "Oh, I can't relate to that as a man and a woman. What's that about?" So I hope...
KING: But do you think it can help change people, Anne, people who might be thinking the other way? We've evolved some way. Television must have had something to do with it. Film must have had something to do with it.
HECHE: Sure. The intent is not to change -- again, the intent is to bring familiarity. And what that familiarity means to me is when we start to understand that we're all based in the same human emotion.
We have the same emotion as any other couple. And that to me is what some of the people who have seen it have come to me and said like, "I get it. I'm starting to get it. You love the same way I love. You argue the same way I argue."
And there are in the fear place I think a whole lot of questions where people think, "But I'm not like that. I can't relate to that whatsoever." The way we relate is through our emotions.
So this couple, and the couple that I made a movie about, have the same emotion as any other straight couple. And that's the most I can hope for people to understand.
KING: With all these strides, Ellen, have we tapped in at all to why I'm heterosexual and you're not. Do we know why?
DEGENERES: No. And I don't think...
KING: It's a gene?
DEGENERES: ... Does it matter? I mean...
HECHE: Yes, right.
KING: Well, it matters because there's a great argument. Is it choice? Can what you do affect -- if you were teachers, can you affect young girls to be interested in lesbianism who might not want to be? That's one of the arguments of the other side.
DEGENERES: Sure. But if you're teaching...
KING: That you affect people.
DEGENERES: ... If you're teaching math, I don't know how that's going to influence somebody. What's that got to do with anything?
I don't think teachers talk about their home life. And so that's a kind of crazy argument. And there are more -- well, I don't even want to get into that.
KING: We don't have an answer as to why you are the way you are. We don't know that. It's like not knowing why we like bananas, and you don't like -- I like them and you don't.
DEGENERES: I actually do like them.
KING: I like them too, but my son hates them.
DEGENERES: Good. See, we're exactly the same.
KING: But we don't know why my little baby hates them.
HECHE: Right. But the intent is never -- I mean, one of the things that you say, the intent is never to recruit anybody. We just want to have our own -- enjoy...
KING: Well, the other side thinks you are -- they think there is some sort of vast army conspiracy here.
HECHE: Yes, but that is a bunch of malarkey. Yes, that's ridiculous.
KING: For everybody to be gay, which of course would stop the planet from growing.
DEGENERES: That's not going to happen. I mean, it's just -- it's insane to think that, I mean, why would we want that? I mean, why can't we celebrate all of our differences, our diversity? Why can't we embrace that? It's like how you are saying how you grew up in Brooklyn, having a melting pot of different types of people...
KING: Yes, we do.
DEGENERES: ... That's what the world is. I don't think God makes mistakes. We're all -- why are there white people and black people and brown people? What's the difference? You know, we're all just human beings. And why does it matter who I love and who you love?
It's my business. And it should be celebrated that we found love at all.
DEGENERES: Love is the most important thing that you can find in your life. And if you have it, then good for you.
DEGENERES: I think for me it was genetic. I do think it's genetic. I think I feel it. And I look back and I was clearly, clearly -- that's...
KING: Let me get a break. And we'll be back with more. Back with Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche. The film is "If These Walls Could Talk 2" premiering on HBO.
I'm Larry King. Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE with Ellen DeGeneres, the executive producer of "If These Walls Could Talk 2." It co-stars Sharon Stone and Anne Heche, who directed and wrote the segment dealing with the year 2000 and a gay couple and how they might try to have a child in various ways.
KING: Ellen did mention to me during the break that she was very upset, as is Anne, about "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" that program that was kind of weird and the subsequent results have been weird. Why does that -- it upsets you both as a lesbian and as a human being?
HECHE: Well, more than anything as a woman.
HECHE: Just that women would line up to sell themselves.
DEGENERES: They line up, it's like a beauty pageant. It doesn't matter what he looks like. This guy could be a complete dog. And he could be this horrible human being...
HECHE: Which we found out he is.
DEGENERES: ... with no morals and no -- we don't know that. But you know, whatever.
HECHE: He hit his ex-girlfriend, that's all.
DEGENERES: No, that's a legend. Don't say things...
HECHE: No, no, no, that's true. KING: Watch this, a fight.
DEGENERES: I just don't want to...
DEGENERES: ... We don't know that about him. We've heard that.
HECHE: OK. Whatever.
KING: OK, but the whole concept was why don't these people who protest about gay marriages protest about this insult to marriage?
HECHE: Exactly. DEGENERES: Yes, this is an insult to marriage. If you're going to say marriage is the sanctity that you should cherish and that it should be about love, not just a man and a woman, but love, then boycott and protest that show. And I didn't see one person speaking out about that show.
DEGENERES: And again, it's like you can be a murderer. You can be a rapist. You can get married from prison. As long as it's a man and a woman, it doesn't matter what you've done and what your character is.
KING: By the way, you know that guy, right?
DEGENERES: Yes, I did know that guy.
DEGENERES: That's not why -- I'm not defending him.
KING: ... Because he was a comic. You were a comic. You both did stand-up, right?
DEGENERES: He was a -- I was like -- I had heard about the show. I didn't watch the show. I was not one of the 23 million. But I've gotten a tape since then.
But I was watching one of these entertainment shows. And I was like, "Oh, my God. I know him. I actually worked with him on the stand-up circuit." And I don't really remember him.
KING: Why do you think so many people watched it, Anne? Why were they fascinated with all these women wanting to marry someone just because they have money?
HECHE: You know, there is a fantasy of the American dream. And somehow, that's been skewed into thinking that it's...
HECHE: ... getting money. Yes...
HECHE: ... the princess and the king. But our king now instead of being a human being and about a personality and who that -- what exists, what makes that person special, it's become about money. And it's just so disgusting to me.
And on the opposite hand, it's become about women who can parade themselves and look beautiful like they're a trinket on an arm. So I don't know who it's more embarrassing for, the man or the women who were involved in this that he would allow himself to just marry somebody who looks good from the outside, and that she would allow herself to marry somebody because he's got money. KING: Probably a lot of those people would disagree with you on proposition 22.
KING: That marriage is fine. Your marriage is wrong, but that marriage is good.
HECHE: Right. But we can't go and get married even though we've been in love for three years. And that's completely not acceptable. But that's fine.
KING: We're going to take a break. Sharon Stone has arrived. And she'll join us in our remaining segments as well along with Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche of "If These Walls Could Talk 2."
Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2")
STONE: How'd it go?
DEGENERES: By the way, do you know that the Lakers is a basketball team?
STONE: What did I say?
DEGENERES: You said football.
STONE: I did?
DEGENERES: Mmm-hm. You did.
STONE: Whatever. How am I supposed to keep that all straight?
DEGENERES: I'm just saying if we have a boy, you might want to know these things.
STONE: Why? If we have a boy, you'll know these things. So why should I have to know these things? I mean, and by the by, we could have a girl who is more interested in sports than a boy. And I still wouldn't be able to tell the difference. So there you have it.
DEGENERES: You are?
DEGENERES: Right now?
DEGENERES: Oh, my God. Grab the profiles! (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We've been having quite a discussion with Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche of "If These Walls Could Talk 2." And we are now joined by the third person involved in this multi-drama, Sharon Stone, who appears in the segment called "2000," which was written by Anne Heche.
Thanks for coming, Sharon.
KING: And for bringing me, I know these are suspenders. I'll open them later. And go ahead, get it over with.
STONE: OK. OK.
STONE: It's a little ritual that we have.
DEGENERES: ... those things at all.
KING: Why did you do this?
STONE: Well, when Anne called me and said she had written something she wanted to direct, I thought, "I bet that's good because she's a smart, talented, funny, interesting, compelling, truthful person." So I said, "I really want to read that."
And when I read it and it was a romantic comedy that was very well done, and I knew that I could co-star opposite someone who was really facile with comedy and that I would be able to learn from Ellen, I thought this is terrific. So I decided to do it.
And then when I read the material and saw that it had great social value, I thought it would be...
KING: Because it's about a lesbian couple trying to have a child.
STONE: ... It is. But I think ultimately that it is a universal story. I know we had people -- I don't know if you talked about we had people come up to us on the set and say, "This is our story too." And I've had people talk...
KING: Is that the way you played it? Did you play it like gay, or did you just play it as someone?
HECHE: Now what does that mean?
(LAUGHTER) KING: How do you play gay?
HECHE: How do you play gay?
STONE: Well, see, this is...
KING: I don't know. How do you play?
STONE: ... It's actually a good question because when I got it, that's what I said...
KING: I wouldn't know how to play gay. I don't know what that feeling is.
STONE: Me too. I said, "I'm not sure. Do I do something different. How do I behave? What should I do?" And so I spent a lot of time talking to Ellen about that.
And we, together with Anne's great supervision, wrote our story of how we met and what happened. And so we built a character.
What I learned through the experience is you love who you love. It's like you know how you love someone, they're more handsome to you than they are to anybody else.
STONE: They're funnier. They're greater...
KING: You don't see them the same way.
STONE: ... You see them differently. You don't see is this a guy, is this a girl? You see this is the person I love.
HECHE: Thank you.
KING: Ellen, was that tough to explain to the actress who is not gay?
DEGENERES: No, because, I mean, Sharon is a really smart girl. You don't have to explain anything to Sharon. I mean, I think at first there were fears of how do I -- do I do anything differently, mainly in the love scene...
KING: Yes, do you feel different?
STONE: They made me cut my nails.
DEGENERES: ... Yes.
HECHE: Right. Right.
KING: Is there a love scene?
DEGENERES: There is a love scene. And that's mainly what Sharon was worried about. As far as just the relationship, that was an easy thing. But the love scene was, "Do I have to do something different?"
STONE: Technically, what do I do? Is there a way that you...
KING: Are you a man or a woman...
STONE: ... move into sexual -- well, you know...
KING: ... Is there?
STONE: ... You know what I come to realize from this experience that when you are making love to someone that you love, there's a union where you become the other person and they become you.
KING: Not male-female.
STONE: It's a oneness. And I saw that oneness really clearly that that's what love -- I've got to say for me it opened my mind about really what love is. It made me see Phil differently. It made me see him maybe with more tenderness.
KING: Playing the scene with her...
HECHE: She played the scene. I shot the scene.
KING: ... All right, Ellen, you played it. You wrote it. You played the scene.
KING: How well did she do?
DEGENERES: She did excellent. I think that...
KING: Was she a good gay person?
KING: I don't know how to ask this. It's kind of weird.
STONE: No, I understand that.
DEGENERES: She was an excellent gay person. And if we were recruiting, we'd be trying to get her.
DEGENERES: But we're not. No, and it -- but I just want to say something about the male-female thing. I think there's a male and female energy that all of us have within us. Some people have more male energy. Some people have more female.
And when you're making love, that switches around. And it moves around depending on what's going on and if you have this full...
STONE: And day to day I think it changes.
DEGENERES: ... Yes. But especially in that time, it's like there's a lot of different things going on.
KING: This helps us a lot in understanding. One of the ways we've progressed, don't you think Anne, is by understanding each other? If I can understand what you feel...
KING: ... I'm going to commensurate more when I understand.
HECHE: And that's why I love the question of how it was being gay...
STONE: Can I ask you a question?
HECHE: ... what do you do to change to be gay?
STONE: When you first decided to start your relationship with Ellen, did you have those questions? Am I going to know how to do this?
HECHE: There was one -- it's so funny because -- can I tell this story?
KING: Go ahead, tell it.
DEGENERES: I don't know...
KING: Ellen's got to leave us. This would be a good way to exit.
HECHE: We were -- I was immediately, immediately connected with Ellen to the point where I knew that we would be together for the rest of our lives. And that in itself was strange to people, including Ellen, not understanding at all where that was coming from.
Anyway, so we were talking. And we spoke the entire night. And finally, I said, "You know, I just want to say to you I've never been with a woman. And I think we'll be fine with every other arena. But my worry is that I won't be able to satisfy you because you've been with women before." And it was a true concern of mine.
I too was under the impression that there was something different to do. Our first kiss kind of took that concern away. But it did, because I came to that. I came to, you know, "Oh, I am kissing her." We didn't have, there was not at all a feeling of -- well, what did you turn to me and say...
HECHE: ... I don't think we have to worry about compatibility.
KING: ... instrument I don't have, it just, you know, what do I, didn't you have those feelings?
DEGENERES: You mean like a violin? What kind of instrument are you talking about?
KING: The male instrument.
DEGENERES: Well, that's something that's obviously...
KING: That was (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
DEGENERES: ... You know, I think love is a chemical thing. And there are a lot of people...
KING: You know what you know.
DEGENERES: ... Yes. I mean, listen, there's -- love comes in many different forms. And it can be expressed in different ways.
STONE: I have to say that I'm not gay. But I was more compatible in my love scene with Ellen than I have been in some other love scenes...
KING: With men.
STONE: ... that I've had to do with men when I just didn't have a natural...
KING: Now every guy who's ever played a love scene with you is now deflated.
STONE: ... Well, which one, is it me?
KING: That's right.
STONE: No -- but you know what? Because some people you don't have as much of a comfort. We have a comfort, a friendship that made it easier for us to be.
KING: Ellen has to leave us now.
DEGENERES: I'm leaving. KING: I don't want to (UNINTELLIGIBLE), but she has an appointment at CBS now. She has to go. And Anne and Sharon will remain.
Thank you, you're a gutsy lady.
DEGENERES: Thank you.
KING: OK, Ellen goes. And we have two more segments coming with Sharon Stone and Anne Heche.
The film is "If These Walls Could Talk 2" coming up on HBO. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2")
STONE: Do you think it's selfish wanting to bring a child into this world?
DEGENERES: What do you mean?
STONE: I mean, aside from all the craziness and the violence, if it's our child, it's going to get teased. And it's going to have to defend us.
DEGENERES: Maybe. But kids get teased. All kids get teased. That's just part of childhood, isn't it? And hopefully, by the time our kid is old enough to know what discrimination is, the world will have changed a bit.
STONE: If it doesn't?
DEGENERES: And if it doesn't is an interesting question, because it always has. I mean, come on. All I want to do is love you, just keep loving you and love our kid, and just have a kid witness our love. And it's all from love. How can that be wrong?
STONE: You're going to be a great mom.
DEGENERES: I hope so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Ellen DeGeneres had to leave. Remaining with us Sharon Stone and Anne Heche of "If These Walls Could Talk 2."
KING: I was just telling Anne that I've never been kissed by a man, except Brando. Brando kissed me on the lips.
STONE: That's something.
HECHE: How was it? KING: I can't stop thinking about him.
KING: It's a strange feeling. Was it strange to kiss a woman?
STONE: You know, it was sweet, I have to say...
STONE: ... You know, for me, men have a stronger, like a more aggressive feeling. Now that's what turns me on. Do you know what I mean?
STONE: Is the...
HECHE: I mean, I can be so aggressive.
STONE: But you're taken.
KING: Ellen's gone, you're coming on...
STONE: But the softness, the softness just that there's no beard...
HECHE: Yes, that...
STONE: ... that there's a softness. It's a sweet thing.
HECHE: Well, I think...
KING: You, having experienced both, is there a big difference?
HECHE: Well, I do not miss a beard, no. I do not miss the...
KING: You don't miss anything.
HECHE: ... making out and how red my face became.
KING: Do you miss anything about the male?
HECHE: No I don't.
KING: You don't.
HECHE: I don't at all. I mean, Ellen is to me the embodiment of both male and female. I think that's why our energies connected so quickly and so easily because I've always felt in my being that I'm both male and female, maybe a little more -- maybe a little more balanced out than most. I've just felt like I had a lot of male energy in me.
So we connected so quickly because of that. And I don't feel like -- there is masculine in our lovemaking. There is feminine in our lovemaking. I think that's one of the things that people think, that it's only sweet. And I know exactly what you're saying, and you're absolutely right...
STONE: Well, because of course, ours is, you know, you don't really have sex when you're doing a love scene.
STONE: So -- Yes, so...
KING: Marcello Mastriani (ph) said the least turn ons of all things are doing a love scene.
STONE: Well, yes. Yes, because everybody is around and it's...
KING: The camera, the positioning.
STONE: ... So you don't really get to what is a real flow of sexual energy.
KING: No, but you still had a kiss.
STONE: We still had a kiss. And we were still naked. And we...
HECHE: Oh, yes.
KING: Do you think we learn from these things? Do you think it helps people to progress as a society to watch this show?
STONE: I think that anything that allows us to see the person next to us with compassion and understanding is helpful and important. I think that a lot of people see the person next to them with an eye to consume. What can I get, instead of what can I know, and what can I understand, and how can I help?
I think anything that allows us to open our hearts and know, really know, each other helps us know ourselves and be more. So I think it is helpful. I think not just our episode. But we start with Vanessa Redgrave, who is of course the greatest living actress.
KING: You think so?
STONE: I think so. And what we see in her work and what we learn is it's incredible. And it's more than we're going to learn from my work because she knows more. She has more life...
KING: She's lived more.
STONE: ... She gives more. So we start with that.
HECHE: OK, wait, wait, wait. I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.
KING: Sharon's a great actress.
HECHE: Amazing actress.
KING: Her looks get in the way.
STONE: You know...
KING: Don't you think? I mean...
HECHE: No, I don't think her looks get in the way...
KING: Well, people don't give her the credit she deserves because she is -- Tyrone Power (ph) had it on the male side.
STONE: Oh, enough already. But you know how Jessica Tandy (ph) became more and more and more as she grew later into her acting in her life? We just know more about our humanity. And the more you know as an artist, the more seamless and fine tuned your work becomes, the greater the body of knowledge.
I hope that when I am Vanessa Redgrave's age that I can become the same caliber of actor. That's what I'm working for day to day.
But I bring that up just because she starts our show. She starts our trilogy that opens our heart in such a deep and profound way. Then we move into young people facing this. We move into Chloe Sevigny and Michelle Williams and the joy of the first blush of real love and the thrill and exuberance of that.
And then we move into these people who are 40, 40-something, who want to have a baby, and are settled into a long-term relationship. So I think we learn through the ages and the different phases. We've all had...
STONE: ... young love. We move into wanting to have a family. We move into looking at what it means to lose our partner.
HECHE: And that's why I'm saying it's all equal. That's my point too. There isn't -- because you gave of another language. You gave of the language of a couple that's been together, and then...
STONE: That's what I told myself at the premiere. When I saw Vanessa Redgrave, I thought, "I have to go now." And then I went, "No, no, we all have our thing that we give."
HECHE: No, no, yes, yes.
HECHE: And it is all equal and beautiful.
KING: Did you say to yourself when you had this feeling for Ellen, "What's happening to me?"
KING: Not at all.
HECHE: And I have to clarify all of this by saying I understand it's a unique situation.
KING: Of course.
HECHE: And now I've learned so much. Obviously, I hope I continue to learn and grow my whole life. But in three years in understanding what most people go through and the journey that they take in order to come to the place where they can openly say, "I love. And who I love is a person who is of the same sex."
And that journey is very difficult for people. And I embrace and...
STONE: I think it's difficult for straight people to get to the point where they can say, "I love. And this is who I love."
HECHE: Absolutely. Absolutely.
KING: It's hard.
STONE: Yes, it's our biggest lesson...
STONE: ... It's getting out of when we're born it's all about us.
KING: Did you learn a lot from doing this?
STONE: I learned a lot about doing it -- from doing it. I also learned a lot from being around Anne because the reason that it's unique -- I hope I don't embarrass you with this. But Anne is very special. She's like a little Buddha. This woman lives...
KING: That's the same thing Ellen said.
STONE: ... She lives without prejudice, without bias. She can understand and accept everything in others and in herself.
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments with... (CROSSTALK)
KING: ... See this? I got suspicious.
STONE: You got jealous is what happened.
KING: OK, you cut that out.
KING: We'll be right back with our remaining minutes. There's something to be said for other way.
KING: We'll be back with Sharon Stone and Anne Heche of "If These Walls Could Talk 2."
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she leave a will or anything saying that she wanted to give the house to you?
REDGRAVE: No, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Well, I have no problem with you staying here. Maybe we can work out some kind of rental situation.
REDGRAVE: Oh, but Abby (ph) and I already paid off the mortgage. I really shouldn't have to pay rent all over again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you see, Uncle Sam is going to slap me with a big inheritance tax on this place. And I can't just let it sit here and eat a hole in my pocket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Several years back when Sharon Stone and I first met, it was kind of -- well, some kind of -- never mind.
KING: She gives me suspenders. And now she gives me these.
STONE: Look at the ladies.
HECHE: The ladies are great.
KING: What is the significance of this, because they always have a significance.
STONE: They're little naked ladies with bubbles. I thought happy naked ladies was probably right for this show.
HECHE: Which also could have been the title of the third segment, just "Happy Naked Ladies."
STONE: Happy naked ladies.
KING: By the way, Sharon and Shawn (ph) are friends. And Phil and I get along. And we've had dinner together, the four of us. So don't jump at rumors.
STONE: We're two happy couples, I do have to say.
KING: Two happy couples, yes.
HECHE: Well, congratulations on that.
STONE: Isn't that good?
HECHE: Yes, that's all good.
KING: What's next for you?
HECHE: I'm shooting a documentary of Ellen on the road. She's coming back to stand-up for the first time in six years. So we will be on the road for nine weeks on a bus.
KING: So you're going to go around. And you won't be doing a movie?
HECHE: I won't be acting in a movie, no. But I did act in two movies this year. So I feel like I've kind of done that side of my creativity, and I'm ready to do another movie...
STONE: I'm certainly hoping she's going to direct again soon...
STONE: ... with me in it.
HECHE: Me too.
STONE: This is a very talented director.
KING: Yes, all right, how good a director?
STONE: Really a good director. I've worked with a lot of the great directors.
KING: Sure have.
STONE: And I've worked with a lot of new directors because I've been very interested in the independent film arena. And I have to say I've never seen a first-time director with this kind of dear love, focus, humor. I mean, she made it easy. And we shot this show in, what, eight days.
HECHE: Eight days. Yes.
STONE: And that we got it in eight days is a testament.
KING: Well, that must be unusual for a filmmaker.
HECHE: It's incredible.
STONE: For me, it was I hadn't...
KING: Eight days is a warm-up.
STONE: ... Yes, running through scenes.
HECHE: Yes, eight days is trying to get to know each other really. But obviously, we all got along really great. So...
KING: Did you all feel you were coming down doing television?
STONE: Oh, no.
STONE: No, no. Also...
KING: Because it's the lesser medium?
STONE: ... No, I -- and not to be -- I mean, I just think HBO is a different kind of television.
KING: It sure is.
STONE: It's really a cut above. It's a different thing. The production values are extraordinary. And the people that man that studio really know what they're doing.
HECHE: It's incredible.
STONE: And they don't just support while you're making it. They take you all the way through to the getting it out there.
STONE: And with this particular piece, I think for me, I wanted to do it where people could see it in their living room where they didn't have to sit next to other people and feel self-conscious, where they could say they didn't see it if they wanted to. HECHE: I think that's one of the most important things about having done it on HBO because I think because of the subject matter, people aren't sure what they're going to get. There is some hesitation and maybe fear around it. So because of the intimacy of the home, more people will see this on HBO than they ever would have had we done it in the theaters.
STONE: We're also hoping for the salacious viewer who just wants to see a naked lesbian love scene.
HECHE: That's fine. Come, and you'll get more than that.
KING: You're going to see you and Ellen naked.
KING: On this show on Sunday.
STONE: Yes. Yes. We look darn good...
HECHE: You're always so nice about promoting that.
STONE: ... We look darn good.
HECHE: Yes, you do.
KING: You just wish that millions of people...
KING: ... I'm against that amendment. But I think I'll look in.
HECHE: I think I'll look in, which is fine.
STONE: Which is great.
HECHE: Come as that viewer. You'll learn too.
KING: You think the public has accepted you two as a couple more now?
HECHE: Without a doubt.
KING: I mean, you go everywhere and hold hands...
HECHE: I mean, even if they're just bored with it, that's fine.
KING: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
HECHE: You know, I mean, really...
KING: Oh, them again.
HECHE: Them again, which is a prayer for us. KING: Louis Prima (ph) and Keelie Smith (ph) are coming in the door, right?
HECHE: Pardon me?
KING: Louis Prima (ph) and Keelie Smith (ph), it's like an old...
KING: ... they were on years ago.
HECHE: Exactly. Yes, I don't know who the heck you're talking about...
KING: They were a famous musical couple.
STONE: Did you see the original "Jungle Book"?
STONE: Oh, you need to. He was the ticket.
KING: Yes, it was...
HECHE: Well, I'm sure they're amazing.
KING: They're bringing them back again.
HECHE: But did they do that like, "OK, enough of that." I mean, that was our wish I think.
KING: What's your next movie?
STONE: "Beautiful Joe."
KING: That's the name of the movie?
KING: Who's in it with you?
STONE: Billy Connely (ph), who is so wonderful...
STONE: ... so fun.
HECHE: I didn't know you had signed on to do a new movie.
STONE: I already did it. I already did it. It's just...
HECHE: I thought we were friends.
STONE: He's so...
KING: Did you kiss him too?
STONE: ... He's so great. We have a kiss.
KING: Boy, you really get around.
STONE: I do. I do. You know what? I got this, my dad's name was Joe. And when I got a script called "Beautiful Joe," I thought I'd better take a look at this.
I got it. Well, remember, my dad was sick and in the hospital. I got the script when my dad was in the hospital. And I thought, OK, I probably need to look at this. And then I thought, OK, I'll probably do it. Then they didn't have financing. It's an independent movie.
And it sort of went away for almost a year. And then I was in the Pittsburgh airport on the way home to see my mom and dad and I got a call saying, "We got financing for "Beautiful Joe."" And I thought, well, this is kind of, I'd better look at this.
And I just think Billy Connely (ph) is just tremendous.
KING: And you, no movie beyond the DeGeneres tour?
HECHE: Well, I'm writing one right now. But I also have two movies coming out as an actress, one called "Ogee Rose (ph)" with Jeff Goldbloom (ph) and one called "One Kill" with Sam Shepherd (ph). So they'll be coming out in the fall. And then hopefully I'll be shooting another film in the fall too.
KING: I thank you very much. Anne, it's always great seeing you.
HECHE: Thank you. Thanks so much, Larry.
KING: Sharon, have your way with me. Shawn (ph), it's only kidding.
HECHE: Oh, my goodness. I can't watch.
STONE: You have to try it.
KING: Want to try it? Good.
STONE: It's a big thrill.
HECHE: I don't know if I can do this.
KING: Try it once. Ellen's not here.
HECHE: But you're a man. You're a man.
KING: Ellen's not here.
KING: It's all over. Wouldn't that be wild if I broke them up tonight? It would be weird.
KING: Sharon Stone, earlier Ellen DeGeneres, Anne Heche, "If These Walls Could Talk 2" Sunday and a lot of times on HBO through the month.
Great seeing you again, Fluffy (ph). Thanks for joining us. Good night.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S TOPICS AND GUESTS|
CLICK HERE FOR CNN PROGRAM SCHEDULES
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.