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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interviews With Nicole Kidman, Anthony Minghella, Ed Norton, Bill Medley, Kim Cattrall, John Hastings
Aired January 24, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: I can name the principle rivers in Europe, just don't ask me to name one stream in this county.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Nicole Kidman. How did this Australian beauty come to play a southern bell on location in Romania? And could her role in "Cold Mountain" win her a second Oscar.
Plus, Kim Cattrall of "Sex In The City." Now that she's bared all as the bed hopping Samantha Jones, what's next?
And Bill Medley, the surviving member of "The Righteous Brothers," with very candid comments about the cocaine related death about his singing partner, Bobby Hatfield.
All that and a lot more next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We have a great show for you tonight. And we begin with Nicole Kidman, who plays Ada Monroe in "Cold Mountain." She's nominated for a Golden Globe, and the Golden Globes will be tomorrow night, for best performance by an actress in a drama motion picture. She won last year's best actress Oscar for a brilliant performance in "The Hours."
And Anthony Minghella, the director and screenwriter for "Cold Mountain," nominated for a Golden Globe as well for best motion picture director and best motion picture screenplay. He won an Oscar, best director, for the brilliant film, "The English Patient."
We've got an Australian and a Britisher. Another Britisher is the co-star, right? Jude Law. And it's filmed in Romania. And it's about the American Civil War.
NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: Me?
KING: Now did you choose this?
ANTHONY MINGHELLA, DIRECTOR: Well, I mean, I chose the actors, obviously. And I chose to do this movie. I think that one of the great things about being in the film business is something Hollywood's done since it began. It's invited people in from all over the world.
You don't need your passport when you arrive here. You don't need your passport when you cast an actor. You don't cast an actor because of their nationality.
And you know Nicole has demonstrated for her whole career how she can play any kind of role at all and be completely convincing. And sometimes going in to an accent, going into another country, gives you an objectivity and a perspective on a film you might otherwise not have.
KING: Why did you take this role?
KIDMAN: Because it was -- I mean, the script was basically -- the screenplay was a perfect screenplay. And when you read it, you just say this is something that...
KING: In other words, it was automatic.
KING: You saw this and said yes?
KIDMAN: Oh, I met with Anthony and hoped that he would say yes to me.
KIDMAN: That was...
KING: All right. What was it about? What about it said yes?
KIDMAN: To me, I think it's the -- I mean, it's so many layers to the story, obviously. It was a novel to start with, and then...
KING: Great novel.
KIDMAN: Yes -- that I had read. But I wanted to make a film about a belief in a great love. And that's -- simply put, that was sort of surprising for...
KING: So this was first to you a love story?
KING: You bought the rights to the book, Anthony?
MINGHELLA: My company did, with Sydney Pollack, my partner.
KING: So you liked it right as soon as you read it?
MINGHELLA: I loved it.
KING: Did you see it in a movie right away?
MINGHELLA: Even before I finished it I knew I would do it. And that doesn't happen often to me.
KING: Because? MINGHELLA: Because it has everything. You know? It's got -- it's a war film, it's a love story, it's an odyssey. It's based on a fable.
It's based on a real story. There was a real man who did walk back to a real place called Cold Mountain. Cold Mountain is also a spiritual destination in Buddhist poetry.
It's got everything that a filmmaker wants. It's got the intimate and it's got the epic.
KING: Was Nicole your first choice?
MINGHELLA: As soon as I met her I knew I was desperate for her to be in the film. I had been looking...
KING: Now you tell her.
MINGHELLA: I had been looking at some of her work, because I wrote an article in "The New York Times" about her performance in "The Others." And I watched this film again and again and I realized that I was looking at probably the greatest actress working right now. And then it was easy for me to try and...
KIDMAN: Oh, I've got goose bumps. But I remember Anthony writing this piece in "The New York Times," and actually Harvey Weinstein saying, "Have you seen the piece that Anthony Minghella wrote?" And I said, "No." And they sent it through to me.
And I couldn't believe that somebody had sat down and dissected the film, and to the point -- and such an understanding of a female character in "The Others" which I -- which some people didn't get, but which he just intuitively...
KING: It was a great film. Great.
Do you like writing, too, as much as directing? You're a writer that directs.
MINGHELLA: First and foremost, I'm a writer. I always feel I'm a writer who is allowed to go make his own films.
KING: Is adapting hard?
MINGHELLA: Yes. I mean, when you've got a book like "Cold Mountain," which is the most brilliant piece of prose and literature...
KING: How do you film it?
MINGHELLA: How do you deal with it? How do you retell it in the course of one evening and -- you can read a film -- read a book at your leisure. You can sink yourself into it. It was perfect when you read it. Perfectly cast, perfectly presented. KING: Why Jude Law?
MINGHELLA: Well, I worked with him on "The Talented Mr. Ripley." I had an enormously good experience with him.
KING: Real good movie.
MINGHELLA: He's a tremendous actor. He can do anything. And I believed for a long time that he was a secret waiting to happen as a leading man. And I think this role, which required him to be both an action star, but also a romantic lead in the film -- and I think he demonstrated completely that he can do it.
KING: How well did you like him, Nicole? Come on, there were stories that you really liked him.
KIDMAN: I mean -- oh. No. Yes, there were many stories. But I think when you're doing a love story, there's always going to be stories.
I mean, that's -- and it's also part of the whole process in terms of the way in which people -- they love to watch a love story and believe that the two people are in love. So -- and then...
MINGHELLA: I think it's a testimony of how convincing you were in the movie.
KIDMAN: You either demystify it or you just let it...
KING: Did you have instant chemistry with him, though?
KIDMAN: I don't even understand what chemistry is.
KING: No one does.
KIDMAN: I mean, what is it? You know?
KING: Well, you know...
KIDMAN: Did I want to be in the film with him and did I think that the two of us could play these characters, and did I just absolutely sort of love working with him and everything? Absolutely. And would do it again in a second.
KING: When you do love scenes -- Marcello Mastroianni, the great Marcello Mastroianni, said the love scene is the least turn-on scene to do because there's all these technicians.
KIDMAN: I don't know if I agree with that.
KING: Oh. He said it's hard because you've got to always watch the camera angles and...
KIDMAN: It's hard. But at the same time, I think as an actor you have to be absorbed in something and you have to get lost in it. And you have to -- I mean, that's what you learn to do very early on, is to block everything out. So you start to -- I mean, when people look at me, when I'm actually doing a film, I don't really even notice other people off camera.
KIDMAN: No. I go into this...
KING: You're totally into it?
KIDMAN: It's like you're still present. You can still (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But you concentrate -- I can't even describe it. I think athletes might get it at certain times.
It's like a weird state of being. And I can't even describe it. But I think you've seen me in it, because people always say -- and so, therefore, it's the only way I know how to act. I mean, if I was aware all the time of everything...
KING: That's right. So you're totally in it. She's easy to direct?
MINGHELLA: Adorable. Completely adorable. But also challenging and intelligent. And she does one thing which I think is really interesting, is that she's both in the film and for the film, by which I mean that many -- there are many wonderful actors and actresses out there, many. And they submerge into their zone in the words that Nicole is describing, and that's it.
That's what they're there for. They show up to be part of the film in that way. What she's doing is both being that role, but also taking care of the whole movie.
She was always thinking about where we were, what adjustments we could make, because we had a really tough shoot. Incredibly difficult shoot.
KING: Why Romania?
MINGHELLA: Well, because it was the next best thing to shooting a movie where it was set. I mean, we worked for nearly six months in locating the movie in North Carolina where it was set. I scouted, I went with Charles Frazier, I went with the production designer.
And two things. One was the cost was astronomical. And people don't want to make these kinds of films. They're so expensive anyway, with such...
KING: Yet in Romania you...
MINGHELLA: And Romania is like a 19th century location. It's like time traveling.
MINGHELLA: And it was an extraordinary place.
KING: Did you like it there?
KIDMAN: Well, I like traveling. I'm a gypsy. That's sort of part of...
KING: Just got here from Sydney, right?
KIDMAN: Yes, but you -- I mean, I think when you choose to be an actor, part of you is saying, I choose to not have a home in a way. I choose to move.
KING: We'll be right back with Nicole Kidman and Anthony Minghella. And still to come, Kim Cattrall and Ed Norton will be with us tonight.
Right now, a scene from "Cold Mountain."
BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIDMAN: I found you this book to take with you, William Barchum (ph). And this, I'm not smiling in it. I don't know how to do that, how to smile.
JUDE LAW, ACTOR: Well, you're doing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIDMAN: I can talk about farming in Latin. I can -- I can read French. I know how to lace up a corset, god knows. I can name the principle rivers in Europe, just don't ask me to name 1 stream in this county.
I can embroider, but I can't (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I can arrange cut flowers, but I can't grow them.
RENE ZELLWEGER, ACTRESS: Why?
KIDMAN: Ruby, you can ask why about pretty much everything to do with me.
This fence is about the first thing that I've ever done that might produce an actual result.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, Nicole, what was Rene Zellweger like to work with?
KIDMAN: I was...
KING: She's funny.
KIDMAN: Yes, she's funny. She's a fireball. She sort of arrived, and you've never seen somebody with so much energy.
She'd pace around the set. I mean, it was the character she was playing, too. But she would pace around the set before we'd shoot and she'd be like yelling her lines out and she'd be (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KIDMAN: Remember? I loved watching her do it. And she's tiny, but she's so strong.
KING: She wanted to buy the rights to this, didn't she?
MINGHELLA: That's how I met her.
MINGHELLA: I met her. I was so intrigued by whoever -- the actress who wanted to buy the rights to this book that I thought I should have lunch with her.
KING: She was bidding against you?
MINGHELLA: She tried to get the rights. I didn't bid -- I might have...
KING: Because she wanted to play that role?
MINGHELLA: She wanted to play Ada.
KING: She wanted to play your role?
MINGHELLA: And I met her, and I had lunch with her. And I said, "You know, would you ever consider playing the other role?" And she said...
KIDMAN: I would have liked to have played Ruby.
MINGHELLA: She said, "I'd do anything. I really would."
KIDMAN: I think if you're an actress you can say, well -- you know, in the same way "The Hours" I wanted to play Julianne Moore's role.
KING: Did you?
KIDMAN: Yes. Yes. It's funny. You sort of don't -- you see what you're given, and then you go, oh, but that looks more fun.
KING: You're both from other places. Do you know what America still remains fascinated with its Civil War?
MINGHELLA: It's... KING: There's always been books on it.
MINGHELLA: I think in some ways I've been naiive about the degree to which the wounds of the Civil War have not healed in this country. From a distance, perhaps, we're not quite so alert.
And I wrote a line very late on which said, "The land will not heal. The heart will not heal." And I didn't realize how prescient that was.
It's -- you know, I think when we were in the South -- we did shoot some of the movie in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia. It was clearer to me that there are still...
MINGHELLA: ... a certain amount of a sense of an unfinished business.
KING: That's the war that -- well, it took the most casualties, the most American casualties ever. And it's imbedded in us. It never goes away.
There's been some criticism, Nicole, that there were very few blacks in the movie. How do you respond?
KIDMAN: I mean, I don't think it is my place to respond to that. I didn't write the novel. And in terms of what it's dealing with, I mean we're not dealing with that part. We're dealing with a love story. That, for me...
KING: There was no place for it?
MINGHELLA: Well, I think it was a different thing, even. I mean, as Nicole says, the novel is about a particular group of people. And those people were poor white farmers in the mountains who had no slaves, who weren't fighting for slaves. They the were told that they were going to be threatened by a northern invasion. And that was a war of northern aggression is was called.
And so I was trying to tell that story, which is the story that the book is telling. Whereas the people who -- they were told they were going to war to fight for the right to end slaves. Why would they have gone?
You know, they were sent to war on a lie in a way. And so that felt to me like the angle, the political angle of the film that I needed to express properly.
KING: Do you adapt to accents easily, Nicole?
KIDMAN: I have because I'm Australian. And it's very rare that you get...
KING: Australian parts?
KIDMAN: Yes. So you learn that very early on.
KING: So what do you do? How do you do it? Do you get a coach?
KIDMAN: Well, you get -- yes. I mean, I have -- if I work in England, then I'll have an English coach. And if I work in America, then I'll have an American coach.
KING: And were you looking for -- because there are different southern accents.
KIDMAN: But this is very specific, this southern accent. Yes. It's very -- it's a Charleston accent, which has very specific sounds, which I actually adore. I loved doing it.
KING: Is it hard to keep it throughout?
KIDMAN: No. Once you -- it's musical, so if you approach it in a musical way, where you just hear it rather than looking at it phonetically or technically, if you just say, this is -- you listen, and then before you know it, it will come out.
KING: And you can turn -- in other words, you can go home and be yourself and then come in and take the accent the next day?
KIDMAN: Well, it's that, too. I mean...
KING: You go to dinner and you...
KIDMAN: Everything starts to blur. So I'm not quite sure. Suddenly, yes, my sounds will change. But I'm not aware that they're changing.
KING: What are you working on now, Anthony?
MINGHELLA: Being a person. It's taken me over four years to make this movie. I finished it at Christmas.
KING: Four years?
MINGHELLA: Yes. Over four years.
KING: The project, the writing...
MINGHELLA: From writing, researching, scouting, right until the end. I finished this before Christmas. So I'm trying to plug myself back in.
And also, Nicole's going to be in a movie that my partner, Sydney Pollack, is making. And I'm going to go to New York next week.
KING: What movie?
KIDMAN: "The Interpreter" it's called. And Sydney Pollack...
KING: Original screenplay?
KIDMAN: Yes. It's really...
KING: Sydney Pollack is your partner?
KIDMAN: And he produced "Cold Mountain." (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The family, I don't meet the family.
KING: That's nice. Keep it in house.
KING: Best of luck Sunday, tomorrow night. Good luck.
MINGHELLA: Nice to meet you. Thanks very much.
KIDMAN: Thank you.
KING: You don't need luck. Neither of you need luck.
Nicole Kidman and Anthony Minghella. He's the writer and director. She's the star of "Cold Mountain," nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award. They're both in that picture as well.
When we come back, Kim Cattrall joins us from "Sex and the City." Then Ed Norton.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you guys are having a good time.
KIM CATTRALL, ACTRESS: You bet, cancer is hilarious.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are all of you as fun as Samantha?
SARAH JESSICA PARKER, ACTRESS: We try.
CATTRALL: I'm her favorite patient.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any mouth sores, sweety?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great, just keep up the popscicles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Samantha, I have to say, you are amazing.
CATTRALL: I am. And if you love me in chemo, wait until you see me at Smith's movie premiere. I'm getting a hot dress, fantastic shoes. I'm going to kick cancer and that red carpet's ass. PARKER: Here, here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: She won it last year. She's nominated again this year, along with all the other stars of "Sex and the City." She's Kim Cattrall, who plays a major supporting role and, as we said, one -- is it tough to go up against all the others?
KIM CATTRALL, ACTRESS: Oh my god.
KING: Isn't that weird?
CATTRALL: Yes. It's so strange. I mean, it's so exciting, because we're all nominated. And I think that's so incredibly rare. But it's nerve-wracking.
KING: So how do you feel when they're opening the envelope? You want to be happy for them?
CATTRALL: You're so torn. You know? You want to win, but if you lose, it's OK. If one of them gets it -- I mean, it's very -- all these things are going through your head at the same time.
KING: Are you sorry the show is ending?
CATTRALL: Oh, I am. It's very mixed. I'm very sad, but I'm also excited about the future.
KING: Why is it ending?
CATTRALL: Well, I think...
KING: It's so good. Why is it ending?
CATTRALL: Oh, thank you. I think we don't want to stay -- outstay our welcome. I think that the show is at such a high level right now, and I think we're a little nervous about repeating ourselves. But it was an executive decision. I didn't have anything to do with it.
KING: When they told you about what -- how did you get the part, by the way?
CATTRALL: Well, I actually turned the part down about three times.
KING: Because? Too racy?
CATTRALL: Well, I was a little scared. I had just turned 40 and I thought, I don't know if I can play this sexy woman. I don't know if I can put myself out there like that.
And when you sign on to do a series, you sign a contract for six years. And you never really know where the character is going to go. So I had extensive meetings with Darren Star and he assured me. After the third meeting I thought, OK, I believe this guy. But he assured me that the character would grow and develop. And she did, yes.
KING: But she was always of the four the wildest sexually, the most open. Certainly the most uninhibited.
CATTRALL: Yes, definitely. And the most courageous.
KING: Was that tough for you to play someone that -- I mean, wild, because you've got to be the butt for all the jokes.
CATTRALL: That naked, you mean? Well, I don't know, I'm sort of finding the story line now -- I'm much more naked there, where I have cancer, breast cancer. That emotional journey in some ways is much more frightening than exposing, you know, this free spirit that I have had an opportunity to play.
KING: Have you finished shooting?
CATTRALL: Five more days. Five more days.
KING: For how many more episodes, one?
CATTRALL: We shoot two episodes at the same time. So we're going to be working -- those last five days on the last two episodes.
KING: You mean you might work one scene from one episode today and another one this afternoon from another?
CATTRALL: Sometimes with two different directors. It's a crazy schedule.
KING: Why that way?
CATTRALL: Well, I think because of the locations in New York City. You know, we would do them all in one place. And both of those locations would be in those two separate episodes. So we'd kill one bird with one stone in the sense that we would go to the coffee shop and do all the coffee shop scenes.
KING: Why do you think that show made it? Because everybody -- most people love it. Some people hate it.
CATTRALL: Who hates it?
KING: No, no, no. There are some women who say, "I don't talk like that. We don't talk about those things."
CATTRALL: I'd like to meet those women.
KING: Most women you know do talk about it.
CATTRALL: Oh, absolutely. It's definitely my experience. I mean, that's the one thing I think that's wonderful about the show, is it's so truthful and it's from a woman's point of view. I think after the first season we realized we had to sort of, you know, develop the men's point of view a little bit as well.
KING: There are great male characters on that.
CATTRALL: Very strong male characters.
CATTRALL: Very strong.
KING: Bringing in Baryshnikov was not a bad idea.
CATTRALL: Oh, not a bad idea. He's very special.
KING: He is.
CATTRALL: I think the show has really hit a cord. I think that it made being single sexy, and being sexy a very empowering thing to be.
KING: How many years have you done it?
CATTRALL: Six years -- seven including the pilot.
CATTRALL: Yes. Seven years. I've never had a job so long. Well, you've had a longer job than I have.
KING: What are you going to do?
CATTRALL: Well, I started a production company. I think the fear for most actors after they do a long run in a television series is that no one will hire them again. So I thought, well, hey, if I become a producer at least I'll hire myself.
KING: Do you think you get typecast, people see you and think of you in that way?
CATTRALL: Oh, I think that would be easy to do. But I want to stick around a long time. And I think that, you know, I follow my instincts. I know what's right for me.
I don't have a manager, and that's one of the reasons I don't, because I think other people can read scripts, but I know what I want to do.
KING: Do you get offers?
CATTRALL: I get a lot of offers. A lot to do the Samantha character. That's why I bought the rights to something like "The Country Girl," which I think is a wonderful story.
KING: Great -- that's been done. It's a movie, a play.
CATTRALL: Yes. Grace Kelly did it. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on stage.
KING: It won a Pulitzer.
CATTRALL: It did, yes. Hey, I'm impressed.
KING: It won an Academy Award.
CATTRALL: That's right, Clifford Odets.
CATTRALL: Someone said to me once as a young actress, "If it's not on the page, baby, don't engage." And I think that that's...
KING: But what are you going to do with it -- on stage or on -- in the film?
CATTRALL: No. I have it in development at HBO Films with Colin Callendar. So it's my second producing thing. I'm also going to do a documentary called "Sexual Intelligence," also for HBO.
KING: Are you based in New York then?
CATTRALL: Yes, New York is my home, always will be.
KING: Is that -- do you come coastal a lot?
CATTRALL: I'm not really bi anything.
KING: We know that you're bi one thing, that's for sure.
CATTRALL: I love California. I love the weather. But my heart is in New York.
KING: You went through a divorce during all of this. Was that hard to -- you know, when it became public and seeing...
CATTRALL: Divorce is very hard, you know? Divorce is the end of a dream and it's the death of a relationship. It's very difficult.
But I think in some ways work really has always helped me get through those things. Work and my dear friends.
KING: Because work is a great escape if what you're doing is escaping, right?
CATTRALL: Yes, it is. But I didn't want to escape this time. I wanted to go through it. I wanted to feel everything that I was going to feel and then get through it, instead of like, I'll deal with it tomorrow, because that's a big lump under the rug and it just gets higher and higher and higher. So I wanted to deal with it. But Samantha also helped me with that.
KING: How well do the four of you get along? CATTRALL: I think that we've always gotten along. I remember the first time we sat down and read the script together at a read- through and there was that chemistry in the air. And we've always had that chemistry.
I mean, one of the actresses, Kristin Davis, said it once. She said, "You know, we're good actresses, but we're not that good." So -- in a sense that we had a respect and we had a rapport and we had a support system that's on the set, that's on the red carpet, that will always exist. When I run into Cynthia or Sarah, you know, outside of the show, there's always -- I'm always happy to see them.
KING: Now is it Sarah's show?
CATTRALL: I don't know. I've always thought of it as all our show.
KING: I mean, is she the producer? Is she...
CATTRALL: Yes, she's a producer on the show.
KING: I meant as that, not that she's the star.
CATTRALL: Well, she is the star of the show. I mean -- and she's also producing it, and had a lot to do with the look of the show and the feel of the show. But I think that all of us in the end have influenced it from the writers, to the crewmembers. So many things are going on in our lives, suddenly, you know, they're reflected in a script or two.
But that's what makes it truthful. That's what makes it real.
KING: Are you nervous about the Globes?
CATTRALL: No, I'm excited. I really am.
KING: You like the whole scene, the red carpet, the dress?
CATTRALL: You know, I love being in an atmosphere of people who love what they do. And that's what that evening is about.
KING: Great seeing you.
CATTRALL: Great seeing you.
KING: Good luck.
CATTRALL: Thank you.
KING: Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha on "Sex and the City." She won it last year, and is nominated again tomorrow night.
Ed Norton when we come back.
Don't go away.
KING: Edward Norton is one of our finest actors. He's not here tonight to talk about acting. We're going to spend some moments talking about the Enterprise Foundation. He's the first time ever Future's Award. He won that from the Environmental Media Association.
And he's here to announce tonight that he is giving $1.1 million to the Enterprise Foundation for its five-year, $125 million Building Communities of Opportunity fund-raising campaign. What's this all about?
EDWARD NORTON, ACTOR: Well, it's a combination of interests of mine. I've been very involved in the affordable housing issue for many years. Because my grandfather, who you knew, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KING: One of the great builders in America.
NORTON: Yes, was one of the great urban thinkers and...
KING: Built a city.
NORTON: Yes, he did. And I spent -- he spent the last 30 years of his life devoted to the issue of affordable housing in America. And I got very involved in that. And I'm on the board of the Enterprise Foundation, which is the largest non-profit developer of low-income housing in America.
And then concurrently, I was very interested in environmental issues. And specifically in kind of the alternative energy.
NORTON: Yes, possibilities that technology has started to bring to bear on the environmental problems. And in thinking about those two things together, I started -- I had this idea that low-income families could really benefit from solar technology in terms of reducing their costs. Their electricity bills.
KING: How do you hook them together?
NORTON: Well it was funny, because I got solar on my house here in Los Angeles. I have these -- my brother and I looked into it. And I decided -- and I was so impressed with what the technology -- what the level that technology has reached. The efficiency of it, the affordability of it. That I called up -- I did a lot of research, and I ended up being really impressed with the company BP Solar's technology, their panels and their systems.
KING: Our producer's husband, Todd Foley (ph), works with BP on this enterprise.
NORTON: OK, so there you go. It's all in the family. So I went to BP Solar, and I basically said -- I proposed to them that in an effort to kind of bring different forces to bear on all these issues, that if we create a program whereby it's celebrities, or public figures of any sort, purchase a solar system for their homes, that BP would donate a matching system to a low-income family and eliminate their electricity bills forever.
And so amazingly they went for it. They've been phenomenal, BP.
KING: How many people are doing it now?
NORTON: Well we've got Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman are doing it. Pierce Brosnan is signing up for 2004. And I got a list somewhere.
KING: So if I wanted to do this...
NORTON: Well, I'd send you an invitation, Larry. That's why we're here.
KING: OK, what do I do?
NORTON: Well, the great thing is that we set it all up. We have this company called Advanced Solar in Los Angeles that's helping us out. It doesn't have to be in Los Angeles, by the way. But we've sent out a lot of letters to people such as yourself, and the mayor of L.A., and actors, and musicians, and athletes. Shaquille O'Neal is looking at it because he is very interested in affordable housing.
But it's very, very simple. And we get these solar panels installed on people's houses. They purchase the system themselves. And then BP donates a system to a family through the Enterprise Foundation. And that family -- essentially, it eliminates their electricity bill.
KING: So it's like going to South Central or other areas?
NORTON: Yes, like the family -- when I bought my system and BP donated a system to a family, the Andrews (ph) family. This woman, Avette Andrews (ph), has four kids, lives in South Central...
KING: What does it take to solar panel a house?
NORTON: It takes about two days.
NORTON: Yes, it's so simple and painless. And it's totally maintenance-free. It's an amazing technology. It's just -- you're literally converting sunlight energy into directly into alternating currents that comes in to your house through the meter.
And actually now in a lot of states like California in a lot of the states like California, the meter rolls backwards. You're still connected to the grid. People have this idea that solar is like...
KING: You don't get any...
NORTON: Yes, or that the lights will be dim. But nowadays, it's much more sophisticated than that. You're still connected to the city grid. But you are just getting credited for the power that your system is producing.
KING: You still get it when it's cloudy?
NORTON: Yes, absolutely. And if you use more than you're making on your roof, you just get it from the city and you pay for it. But it's amazing to me.
KING: Why isn't this widespread? Why is it...?
NORTON: Well, that's part of also, apart from this specific issue of getting the technology to families that can really benefit from it. To me it's just -- this is an idea that definitely needs to ripple out. Because you fly into L.A., it's flat roofs baking in the sun. And we need a more progressive alternate energy power...
KING: Well any person, a celebrity, or mayor, or political figure who has this done, BP matches it and it goes into a house of a deserving low-income person?
NORTON: That's right. Yes, it's as simple as that.
KING: How do people contact -- is this the number?
NORTON: You can look it up on Bpsolar.com under the solar neighbors program.
NORTON: The Enterprise Foundation, which -- I made this financial commitment to them just apart from the solar, because I think that the affordable -- you know, the issue of low-income Americans has really been I think, abandoned in recent times to a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) degree.
NORTON: Yes, I think people like you and me are getting tax cuts, and hard working, not only low-income, but middle-income families are really struggling to achieve the basic necessities of life, even a home.
And so I made that commitment because to me, that's -- it's one of the more pressing and least publicized issues.
KING: And where do we look up the Enterprise Foundation?
NORTON: They are on EnterpriseFoundation.org.
KING: You can go to the Internet, either one?
NORTON: Either one, and we're calling on -- we're inviting all kinds of people. You -- Governor Schwarzenegger, we want Governor Schwarzenegger to do it, because I know he's very supportive of alternative energy stuff.
NORTON: And we want to bring him in. And get -- I should say too, the critical thing, Mayor Hahn, in Los Angeles has been incredibly supportive of both low-income and solar issues. But we need -- there's a very important moment coming up, where both the city and the state are going to have to decide whether they are going to continue to subsidize the tax breaks, and the local program incentives that allow these solar programs to make financial sense right now.
And that's something I think we're all really crossing our fingers that in these lean times that the state and the city don't back away from.
KING: Well, I will tell you publicly, I'm going to get in this.
NORTON: Thank you. All right, that's exactly the kind of leadership that we're...
KING: We'll talk. You let me know what I need to do.
NORTON: All right, we'll do it.
KING: Thank you, Edward.
NORTON: Thank you. No, really, I appreciate the time.
KING: Next time we'll talk about a lot of things, all right? Edward Norton, one of the great talents. And again, that's Bp.com?
KING: Bpsolar.com, or the EnterpriseFoundation.org.
NORTON: You're the best, Larry, thank you. I appreciate it.
KING: Edward Norton, who tonight gives $1.1 million gift to the Enterprise Foundation. We'll be right back. Don't go away.
KING: It's a pleasure to welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE John Hastings. Health editor of "Reader's Digest," and co-author of the new book "Change One: Lose Weight Simply, safely, and Forever. No Fads, no Risks, no Craziness." How do you do that?
JOHN HASTINGS, HEALTH EDITOR, READERS DIGEST: Well, we just -- we tried to split the difference out there. You see all the extremes coming at you with the high protein diets, and the high carbohydrate diets. And "Change One" really tries to stay down the center. We really try to work in foods that people enjoy.
And the biggest thing is, and where the name comes from, is that we just take one step at a time. What that means really is that you start with your breakfast. That first week, when you begin this program -- I was always sort of puzzled because so many programs, you change your entire way of eating over night. Suddenly you throw out everything in your kitchen. And you are eating differently.
And that didn't seem like a very realistic way to have a lasting change.
HASTINGS: Yes. The idea is you start with just your breakfast. And that first week you just start eating breakfast. If you weren't it eating before, if you were eating breakfast, you try to really focus on portion control. Portion sizes, and working some -- we give some suggestions, but we really want you to eat foods that you enjoy.
And then once you've got that down after that first week, you go on to the second week, you can do breakfast, but then you go on to lunch. And again, you are really focusing...
KING: So you don't do a revolution in one day.
HASTINGS: No, you start slowly. And the other advantage of that, the third week is snacks, and the fourth week is dinner. And then the rest, there's 12 weeks to the program. And then we work on other aspects of your diet.
KING: You are not a doctor.
HASTINGS: That's correct.
KING: Who did you work with?
HASTINGS: We worked with Midi Herman (ph), who's a nutritionist. And then we also brought in a staff of highly respected doctors. John Perez (ph) down at Baylor College of Medicine. Gary Foster (ph) who's actually done a lot of research on Atkins.
KING: Do you take a stand on a thing like Atkins, or the South Beach diet, or what are your feelings about low carbs, high carbs, high protein, low protein?
HASTINGS: Well, there's some good news I think for the folks who have been doing Atkins. Some of the studies are showing that it isn't as dangerous as doctors once thought. I don't think it's a realistic way to eat for a long period of time. And that's really where we were coming with "Change One".
We really wanted to find something that would help people not only just make a temporary change and lose some weight, but really find a new way to approach food.
KING: Why -- you've been writing about this for a long time. Why is the hardest thing keeping it off?
HASTINGS: I think it's just because a lot of these programs, you start it, your eating artificially. You're approaching food differently then you would normally. And once you go off that program, it's to easy to fall back into bad habits.
So with "Change One", we really focus on you working in the foods you enjoy. Just eating them in reasonable sizes. And we use everyday portion controls.
KING: That's a big part of it.
HASTINGS: Sort of references like baseball, golf balls; I would use a checkbook, and a deck of cards. People have heard some of these things. And everybody knows what those look like.
KING: Exercise included?
HASTINGS: Exercise, from the first week we start recommending it. And definitely by the end, we say you have to do it. Because it's really a keeper for keeping the weight off.
KING: And you don't eat anything you don't like? In other words, you don't have to eat something that -- I hate this, but I have to eat it.
HASTINGS: No gruel, I promise.
KING: But there are things you can't eat anymore though.
HASTINGS: We try to work all things in in sensible size portions. You can't have a whole cheesecake, that's for sure. But we can -- you can have a slice, a reasonable size slice. We really want to make sure people feel they don't have to deprive themselves. That they can eat the foods they enjoy.
KING: Do you know why we've become so obese in this country?
HASTINGS: Yes -- well I have guesses. And they are coming from a lot of informed people. But I do believe that one of the fundamental things is that portion sizes have just really grown. They are just growing exponentially with super-sizing at fast food restaurants, to every restaurant.
This is a very I think American trait. We'll go to a restaurant, and if they give us large portions, even if the food is just OK, we're thrilled. We'll tell everybody about it. Because I got a lot of food.
KING: Wow, you should see that piece of roast beef.
HASTINGS: Exactly. You know the buffet style of eating.
KING: So we get conditioned.
HASTINGS: Yes, we get conditioned. And one of the things the studies do show conclusively is that we'll eat what's in front of us. If you put a lot of food in front of us, we'll eat it all.
KING: There's no forbidden food on this diet though, right? There's no food that you say absolutely you can't eat.
HASTINGS: No, we're not going...
KING: You can have a slice of pizza.
HASTINGS: Well yes, in fact, pizza is one of our mainstays. I mean, I think pizza is a food if it's eaten in the right amount.
KING: You don't rule out bread then?
HASTINGS: No, not at all.
KING: Which Atkins ruled out.
HASTINGS: Rules out bread. We really definitely steer people towards a high fiber bread, something that -- straight white bread is not all that good for you. It doesn't have a lot of nutrition, and it's not going to fill you up. So we really sort of encourage people to eat intelligently.
KING: What do you think of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and the Dean Ornishes and the other side?
HASTINGS: Ornish came out of a really interesting study where he was actually able to reverse some blockage in the artery. It was fascinating work. And I think it's very valuable. The research that he's done there -- I think it's a tough thing to maintain again. I just don't know that people can -- it's very low on fat. And you lose a lot of flavor with that fat.
KING: I believe it's a group. Diet books are the biggest sellers. Obviously, we want to change. I mean obviously we're desperate. You go to the bookstore, and you buy the diet books, the "South Beach Diet" is the number one book in the world.
HASTINGS: It is, very popular.
KING: And one would think that "Change One," do you treat this as a self-help go through it?
KING: "Change One," in other words, you could read this book once a week.
HASTINGS: Yes. That's the idea. That you are going to live with this book for 12 weeks. Also we have a web site for people who want to live with it for longer. It goes out a year. It's Changeone.com, and the idea is that you just -- like having that one small change -- it's an easy thing to bite off so to speak.
And yet by doing it every once a week, you are sort of refreshing your mind. Reminding yourself that you can stay on this program.
KING: Great idea. Week one, breakfast. Then lunch, snacks, dinner, dining out, weekends and holidays, fixing the kitchen, how am I doing, stress release, staying active, keeping on track. And then change one for life. Thank you so much. Welcome back.
HASTINGS: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Our guest has been John Hastings, health editor of "Reader's Digest." This is the breakthrough 12 week eating plan. "Change One". Lose weight simply, safely, and forever. We'll close it out with Bill Medley next, don't go away.
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KING: Great duo. The Righteous Brothers, the surviving Righteous Brother is Bill Medley. He's with us here in Los Angeles. The other -- not brothers, right?
BILL MEDLEY, RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS: Not brother, not very righteous either.
KING: Bobby Hatfield died on November 5. He was only 63 years old. How did you hear about it, Bill?
MEDLEY: We were on tour. And it was our first -- the first night of the engagement. And we were waiting on Bobby to go over to the theater.
KING: Where? What city?
MEDLEY: It was in Michigan. Kalamazoo.
KING: Western Michigan University.
MEDLEY: Yes, exactly. And we couldn't get him out of the room. And we finally broke in, and he was passed away in bed.
KING: Had to be a total shock. Was he sick?
MEDLEY: Yes. I mean he had heart disease. But he was one of these guys who wouldn't go to the doctor. He just wouldn't do it. His arteries were -- two of them were 75 percent blocked, one was 95 percent blocked. And it was just a time bomb.
KING: How long were you together?
MEDLEY: This would have been our 42nd year. Which is pretty good for a duo. I mean we were separated a couple of times, but duos are tough to keep together.
KING: How did non-brothers pick a name like Righteous Brothers?
MEDLEY: We were the Paramours (ph), there was five of us, and black guys would come in to see us. And Bobby and I sounded pretty black as kids. And righteous like, those are great suspenders, those are righteous, they like me as a friend, they call you, you know, a brother.
So at one time, guys would yell out "that's righteous, brother." So we just wished they yelled out Beatles, but they didn't.
KING: A preliminary autopsy said he had advanced coronary disease, and a heart attack was sighted on the death certificate. Then we found news of cocaine induced heart failure. What do you make of that?
MEDLEY: I just don't know. I don't know what to think about it. Nobody knew about it.
KING: You never knew...
MEDLEY: No, no. Maybe 20, 25 years ago. The band didn't know. Nobody knew. When I heard this news it was amazing to me.
KING: There had to be rumors though that you used it. I mean if one guy traveling together used it, he would know about it.
MEDLEY: Sure. Exactly. Well our lives were pretty much...
KING: You weren't friends?
MEDLEY: Oh yes, very good friends, but we knew well enough to -- that we tried to keep it all on stage. And he has his family. I had my family. So we weren't -- we didn't socialize together a lot when we were home, and on the road.
We did like three months in Vegas. And I have a home in Vegas. I live in Newport Beach, but I have a home -- so I just get off stage and go home. And I know it sounds absurd, but I -- and I knew he wasn't on stage.
KING: Never, yes.
MEDLEY: Because we used to do a lot of comedy. And I just knew that he was -- you know.
KING: So you never saw or hinted it.
KING: I mean you must think back a lot and say should I --
MEDLEY: Yes, I'll tell you that you know, when we would walk off stage, he would be exhausted, you can imagine with the arteries being -- Just exhausted. And then you know, about 15 minutes later, he would -- the first chance he's get he would sit down in a chair because he was just wiped out. But we thought it was his back. Because he had back trouble.
And then about 15 minutes later he would be able to come out of his room. So I... KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
MEDLEY: Yes, and after -- I just thought after I heard the news that maybe -- sounds stupid, but maybe he was just medicating himself to get -- up.
KING: Good idea, it's probably true.
KING: Did you know he had heart trouble?
MEDLEY: No. Nobody knew.
KING: You didn't even know that?
MEDLEY: No. He didn't know.
KING: He never had angioplasty. He never went to a doctor.
MEDLEY: He never went to a doctor. And if we would have known, obviously, we would have...
KING: Was he a smoker?
MEDLEY: Yes. Drank a little, smoked, didn't exercise.
KING: Was his weight OK?
MEDLEY: His weight was OK. He was a little -- no his weight was good. And he ate like crazy. He ate three or four times a day easily. You know which isn't, you know...
KING: What's it like to lose someone? Like a marriage ending right?
MEDLEY: It's a marriage. Forty-two years of -- I loved him. And I miss him. And now I'm going to go out and do Bill Medley's celebration to music of the Righteous Brothers.
KING: Singing solo?
MEDLEY: Yes. We had like 500,000 hits on our web site. And most of them said I hope he'll continue. So I'm going to go do that as long as there is...
KING: And how are they booking it? What's it going to say?
MEDLEY: Bill Medley celebrates the music of the Righteous Brothers. And we have Bobby on tape. We just did a live album so he can still do the harmonies with me.
KING: Can you do things like Natalie Cole did with Nat?
KING: Put it up on screen and sing with him?
MEDLEY: Sing with him. Yes, we'll do some video, and I'll talk about...
KING: Have you done it yet?
MEDLEY: No, I haven't. No, actually the 12th, we're in Bossier City, and then the 13th and 14th we're in Bay St. Louis.
KING: Bossier City, Louisiana.
MEDLEY: Yes, Louisiana.
KING: You still say "we," right?
KING: It will always be "we," right?
MEDLEY: Yes, absolutely. Yes, it's real hard to lose somebody like that. Because we've been through so many amazing experiences together. And there's just this incredible bond. I'm sure Dean Martin and Jerry Louis -- I mean I've seen...
KING: Anything (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Part of you is gone.
KING: Do you think it's going to be hard to work?
MEDLEY: Yes, I've done a lot of stuff on my own, but doing the Righteous Brothers show on my own, it could be.
KING: Good luck, Bill.
MEDLEY: Thank you. Great to see you. You look wonderful.
KING: You do too. Bill Medley, you'll be seeing him on tour, the Righteous Brothers live on.
Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, I'll be right back, don't go away.
KING: Hope you enjoyed tonights edition of LARRY KING LIVE, really lively, fast paced and a lot of interesting and diverse topics, which is what I love the most.
Tomorrow night, we'll repeat an hour with Ryan Seacrest, the young man who is just hurtling, Ryan Seacrest, tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. Thanks for joining us, stayed tuned for CNN, 24 hours a day. The most trusted name in news. Good night.
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Norton, Bill Medley, Kim Cattrall, John Hastings>