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Heather McCartney Interviews Paul Newman

Aired April 17, 2004 - 21:00   ET


HEATHER MILLS MCCARTNEY, HOST: Tonight, Paul Newman. It's a rare, in-depth hour with a Hollywood legend, opening up and sharing his personal passions with me, Heather Mills McCartney, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Hi. I'm Heather Mills McCartney, filling in for Larry King. It's my great pleasure to welcome the multi-faceted, rarely interviewed Paul Newman.

Hi, Paul. Thanks for being here.

How come you're such a philanthropist?

PAUL NEWMAN, ACTOR: Come on. Well you start quickly, don't you?

MCCARTNEY: But you are. You're kind. You're generous. How come?

NEWMAN: Well, I think above all things I acknowledge luck. And I mean, if you think of that torrent of sperm out there...

And -- and ours was lucky to fall where it did. That's for starters. You can't pick your own parents, but you may be lucky enough to have parents that give you the gift of induction and deduction and certain intelligence, certain way you look. I mean, it's all -- So I -- I've been very lucky. And I -- I try to acknowledge that by giving back something to those to whom luck has been brutal.

MCCARTNEY: Is that what initiated you to start the Hole in the Wall Camps?

NEWMAN: Yes. Because you know kids, especially with life- threatening diseases don't have a lifetime to correct it.

MCCARTNEY: So you were very much into giving them some joy and laughter, not just put money into cures?

NEWMAN: Yes. And actually, what they're finding out, you know, is -- we have a slogan now, laughter is the best medicine.

MCCARTNEY: Have you had any children that have come to the Hole in the Wall Camp and sort of recovered unexpectedly, that you know of?

NEWMAN: Well, when we started the camp in 1988, let's say 70 percent of the leukemia patients, children who have childhood leukemia died. Now it's the other way around. Seventy percent survive. So that's good news.

We, I think, had the first camp that allowed children with HIV, and now with pediatric AIDS under control, especially in the United States, that whole session with HIV will disappear in about three years, I think.

MCCARTNEY: Did you find that...

NEWMAN: I have laryngitis, which is why I sound so...



MCCARTNEY: You never tried this one for a role?

Did you find that some parents who obviously, fear breeds ignorance when you had HIV kids on the camp? Did you find some people were afraid or did everyone understand that no, it's not contagious?

NEWMAN: The city council was much more concerned than the counselors or the staff were. We'd done our -- our research on it, so we were very confident. And we took -- we took some serious precautions.

MCCARTNEY: Did you find that some pharmaceutical companies are still trying to make too much money out of it? And there have been some very inexpensive drugs, but they're not always available for kids, especially in South Africa?

NEWMAN: I'm not familiar enough with that subject to really talk sensibly about it, but I do know that there are a lot of pharmaceutical companies who are donating drugs in underdeveloped countries. So...

MCCARTNEY: Yes. And then the Hole in the Wall Camps, you've got this new one opening up in California, the Painted Turtle. Do you want to tell us a bit about that?

NEWMAN: Well, the camps really started in the original charter for children with a life-threatening disease. But when we moved to Africa, we realized that it was not just life-threatening diseases but the conditions themselves are life threatening. So we had to change our charter to read children who are living under life-threatening conditions.

So the Painted Turtle will be opening, I think, in time for summer. It's a California camp. There will be another one opening in North Carolina.

MCCARTNEY: And you've got some in Europe, as well, haven't you? You've got one in Ireland, one in France?

NEWMAN: We have one in Ireland. We have one in the south of England. We have one in France. We have seven small little safari camps in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia.

We're about, I think, to take over an abandoned leper colony in South Africa. It's in the middle of 55,000 acres of wilderness.

MCCARTNEY: Wow. That's beautiful.

NEWMAN: And...

MCCARTNEY: Does it ever sink in that you've created this -- an amazing achievement? Does that ever -- Do you step back and really look at your achievements? Or do you just keep going each day?

NEWMAN: I had an idea that a lot of other people expounded on and it expanded. So I can take some credit for it.

But really I think one of the delights in my life is to go to these camps and see the staff members who, I think, are some of -- are the best part of America, who are -- who care -- who care for people who are less fortunate than they are. And they are some bunch of young people.

MCCARTNEY: Some of the volunteers have actually said that it's totally changed their life for the better. And that's a great message to people who, you know, spend their whole life thinking about themselves, if you actually go out and do something for somebody else.

NEWMAN: We have staff -- staff people who change their majors in college. We've had doctors who've volunteer there who say, I will never be able to practice medicine the way I did before I came here. When I saw a kid coming through the door, he was the patient and now he's a kid.

MCCARTNEY: Especially the fact that you started the OK Corral, which is the infirmary, to make it fun and bring comfort to the kids and take the medicine to the kids when they're playing.

NEWMAN: Well, we try to take the steel and the glass out of the equation and...

MCCARTNEY: One young boy said that -- or his mother actually said, 11-year-old that was suffering from leukemia. And he was planning to come August 19, and he packed his bags since June. And she said he was just so excited not to be in hospital.

I mean, it's just incredible. You've done a fantastic thing.

We'll take a break now. We've only just scratched the surface. More with the ultimate giveback guy, Paul Newman, after this.


NEWMAN: You just won't learn will you? I used to come in here, I'd teach you stuff that maybe 5 guys in the whole world know, that most grifters couldn't do even if they knew it and all you want to do is run down a bullet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm asking a couple of days, that's all. I can stay clear that long.

NEWMAN: They'll probably miss you and hit me.




NEWMAN: Whenever I'm in the dumps, I come up here and it reaffirms everything that I think is really good and generous about this country. And to have some kid come up, who's been in the hospital for 6 months out of the year and say, this place, to come back, is what I live for, pretty potent stuff.


MCCARTNEY: We're back. Hi, I'm Heather Mills McCartney, filling in for Larry King, and I'm talking to Oscar winner Paul Newman.

One of my favorite lines in your film was, "Boy, I've got vision and the rest of the world needs bifocals."

Did you ever think at the time that that was really about you? It really was about you as a person? Because you have had great vision. You've done these incredible things. And you started Newman's Own and to donate all the after-tax profits to good causes. People don't do that.

NEWMAN: Well, as I say, I just acknowledged luck. I'm very aware of it in my life, and I'm astonished when I -- when I don't -- when I see people who have been very lucky who kind of own it without feeling any obligation.

MCCARTNEY: Most people know that, sadly, your son Scott died of, apparently, an alcohol and drug overdose. Did that inspire you to get involved in drugs awareness? Because I know you did a public service announcement to try and bring more awareness.

And do you think things have changed over the years? Or do you think it's got worse in the drug situation?

NEWMAN: I -- I've never been able to -- to talk very sensibly about that. But....

MCCARTNEY: Understandably.

NEWMAN: I don't know whether it's getting better or worse. I know it's getting worse in Afghanistan.

MCCARTNEY: I do a lot of work there.


MCCARTNEY: I do a lot of work there. That's the problem. You come in and you give freedom, but then all the poppy growers are back in Kuwait creating heroin again.

NEWMAN: That's because I think we left long before we were supposed to. And the warlords have pretty much taken over. Karzai is -- he's not a governor any more. He's kind of a mayor.

But the poppy production was down, oh, 90 percent of what it was. And then, of course, it's right back up to where it was before.

MCCARTNEY: And that seems to enter into -- to the western world. It's as if we are paying the price for interfering with another country's way of life.

But as far as some of the women that I've spoken with, they wanted the freedom of choice. So, you know, what do you do in that situation?

NEWMAN: Well, Afghanistan was one thing. Iraq was something else.

MCCARTNEY: What's your opinion on Iraq?

NEWMAN: I think -- I think if we had had the patience to wait a little while longer until there was a real -- another Security Council resolution, which would have drawn other countries into a real coalition, it would have absorbed part of the expenses.

But it's one thing for unilateral action, but that has its consequences, which is somebody's got to pick up the tab for it. It wasn't like 1990 when we had a coalition that really paid for the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. That was a real coalition, but now again, I think you're going to find the middle class picking up the tab for -- for this unilateralism. And that could have been avoided.

MCCARTNEY: Do you think we should have finished the job the first time around?

NEWMAN: I'm not equipped to answer that, I don't think.

MCCARTNEY: You once said you're an emotional Republican. What does that mean?

NEWMAN: I -- being an emotional Republican has to do with acting. I'm now a middle of the road anarchist, politically.

MCCARTNEY: And you plan on creating any anarchy in the near future?

NEWMAN: Who knows?

MCCARTNEY: Are you going to vote Bush or Kerry or neither?

NEWMAN: I've been a life-long Democrat. I don't make any apologies for that. I don't want to get into a specific -- I mean, if you really want to sit down and have a political discussion, we can do that. MCCARTNEY: Over a beer?

NEWMAN: That would be nice.

MCCARTNEY: Do you still drink beer?

NEWMAN: I'm down to about six six-packs a day now.

MCCARTNEY: Oh, my God.

You gave up hard booze awhile ago. Why did you stop drinking booze?

NEWMAN: I found it probably got in my way a little bit. And I need to do things a little bit more gracefully. When you're young, with something like that. But I just outgrew it.

MCCARTNEY: What's your favorite film that's you're most proud of?

NEWMAN: I was asked that this morning, and I replied the way I always reply: you have 77 children and somebody says, "Who was your favorite?" That would be pretty hard to answer the question, even if you knew the answer.

But -- that's one of the reasons why I like racing. It's because it's -- the clarity of a winner is down to 1,000th of a second. To say that one performance is better than another performance is a very subjective thing.

MCCARTNEY: But surely when you win, you're going to think that was a better race than when you lost. Or not...

NEWMAN: I know, but that's not subjective. That's really objective.

And if you -- if you look at any given role and say, "What kind of help did you get? What was the script like? Who were your acting partners? How much did -- did you have to expend? What did you have to investigate? How much did you have to expose?" All of those factors are different in every case.

And it also varies for the other people that you're supposedly competing with. What help did they get? How good was the script? Who did they have to help them in the cast?

So you try to make, and to be considered one of the group is quite an honor. But then to pick out one and say that that was your best performance, I think you also ought to ask why. And that, of course, is the question that is never asked.

MCCARTNEY: We'll take a break now, and maybe we'll talk after the break about which character, maybe, you related to as a person, yourself. Think about that.

Still lots to talk about with Paul Newman after the break. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


What! I made money!

NEWMAN: You lost money. The town is dead for you. Now what the hell are you doing. I not speak your native language? What is the matter?

CRUZ: You give me this stick OK, and then you tell me to lay low. I mean, the dang thing, I lay it down, it just jumps up at me, man.

NEWMAN: You don't deserve this stick!



MCCARTNEY: We're back with actor, activist and racecar driver Paul Newman.

Now your first race, was it 1972? In a Lotus Elan? Were you inspired to race from the film "Winnings"? Is that how you got involved with it? Or is that just coincidental?

NEWMAN: Well, I -- John and I did a film about two years before that, about racecar driving. But my schedule was so packed. And I never really could take the time out to get a license. But I started in 1972, and I've had some success with it.

MCCARTNEY: Just a little bit. Aren't you in the "Guinness World Record" for being the oldest guy, 70, to win a race?

NEWMAN: To get underneath the racecar and lift it up with your feet. No, I -- I -- someone said it was -- I don't know if it's still active, but I had to win a professionally sanctioned race, yes.

MCCARTNEY: I heard that that was the case.

And how did you get involved with Haas? How did that collaboration -- Carl Haas -- how did that come together?

NEWMAN: Well, before I had -- was involved with Broken Wheel road racing, I had had a CanAm team, which was another series. And it expired.

And Carl Haas called me, and -- and we had not been exactly friendly during the CanAm days, because he provided my cars for the CanAm series late and overweight. But that was another discussion.

But he said, "How'd you like to start a championship car?"

And I said, "Well..."

And he said, "What if Mario Andretti was the driver?"


NEWMAN: I said, "Where would you like to meet and when?"

And we've been very, very good partners for...

MCCARTNEY: So you've forgiven him for the overweight cars?

NEWMAN: Oh, I forgave him that a long time ago.

MCCARTNEY: Do you change cars? I mean, for people who don't know much about racing, you know, is it a specific type of race, a type of car that you -- when you race, do you stick to the same car or you change your cars or...?

NEWMAN: Well, I like to separate my racing, which is on a much lower level than champ car racing. There are Open Wheel cars that have -- that can stick to the ceiling at 150 mph.

There's been a lot of -- two separate groups. And a great scheduling. And there's the champ car racing, and then there's the IRL.

But we're basically road racers, and street racers. And a few ovals. And -- and -- the first race that we will have at Long Beach.


NEWMAN: On Sunday. We expect to have 125,000 people at the race and probably over 200,000 people between qualifying on Friday and some support races.

The first race that IRL had at homestead -- to my understanding, they too -- had two very reliable reports. One said they had 28,000. But -- but with only 8,000 paying customers and 20,000 free tickets. And then I had another story said there were 18,000 people there. But 4,000 those who were paying customers. The rest were freebies.

So we have a terrific fan base in champ car. And...

MCCARTNEY: I went to Savistone (ph) once in England with some -- have you been there?

NEWMAN: Your character in "Hud," I didn't like him. You were great acting him, but why are people so in love with that character? He was a mean guy.

NEWMAN: Because he had all the external graces.

MCCARTNEY: External graces?

NEWMAN: He had all the external graces. He was thin and muscular and drank well and was great with the ladies and had a sense of humor, had a sense of boldness. He was simply rotten at the core. MCCARTNEY: He wasn't my cup of tea. I liked John Joseph Vincent in "Fort Apache the Bronx." I loved that character. That's my kind of guy, especially the way he kept delivering babies and saving people's lives that were jumping off buildings. And then there was a great scene were you were doing all these sort of crazy faces to save this guy from hurting somebody on the streets.

That was one of my favorite films.

NEWMAN: Thanks.

MCCARTNEY: That was very good.

Now "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" must have been a favorite, because you took the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp name from "Butch Cassidy," and Robert Redford took Sundance Festival. So was that the first time you united as a working partnership with Robert?

NEWMAN: First time we had a film together, yes.

MCCARTNEY: And what do you think of him?

NEWMAN: He's a kick in the rear. Funny, really distant sometimes, sometimes hard to fathom.

MCCARTNEY: He said you're...

NEWMAN: Great sense of the environment.


NEWMAN: And -- and the sacredness of it. And has his passions, too.

MCCARTNEY: He said you have the attention span of a bolt of lightning. How do you feel about that?

NEWMAN: Well, I will -- I will cuff him heavily about the head and shoulders next time I see him.

MCCARTNEY: I can't believe that's true, because how can you -- maybe he means you've got your thumb in so many pies that you can do all these things.

NEWMAN: I have no idea.

MCCARTNEY: You must have a feminie quality, because women are normally better at multitasking.

NEWMAN: I'll accept that.

MCCARTNEY: Talking about that, can you cook?

NEWMAN: I cook. I cook. I have a very limited repertoire, but the stuff that I cook is very good.

MCCARTNEY: And is Joanne a good cook?

NEWMAN: Joanne gave me, as a Christmas present, two meals a week and we're working on it.

MCCARTNEY: So were you always the cook through your life? Or do you get a lot of take-aways?

NEWMAN: Joanne did a lot more cooking when the kids were young, and she did a lot more cooking for the whole family and everything.

As the kids left the house, that left me. Maybe she just, as you said, had the attention span of a thunderbolt. But she's back to cooking now, and of course, she always was a terrific cook when she cooked.

MCCARTNEY: Great. Well, let's take a break now and speak more.

Time for a commercial break, but stick around for more with the legendary man himself, Paul Newman. See you in a bit.


NEWMAN: I'll jump first.


NEWMAN: Then you jump first.

REDFORD: No, I said.

NEWMAN: What's the matter with you?

REDFORD: I can't swim!

NEWMAN: (LAUGHTER) Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.




NEWMAN: Did that ever happen to you, that all of a sudden you can't miss? I dreamed about this game, fat man. I dreamed about this game every night on the road. 5 ball.

This is my table man. I own it.


MCCARTNEY: Welcome back everyone. Hi, I'm Heather Mills McCartney, filling in for Larry King. I'm doing a rare interview with Paul Newman.

In the film "The Hustler," were you really a great pool player? Did you practice? Or was that just great editing?

NEWMAN: I had to be a pretty good pool player, not a great pool player. But...

MCCARTNEY: Better than Jackie Gleason?

NEWMAN: Jackie Gleason and I played four games during the course of the film. I beat him three games out of four. The three games were for a dollar. The fourth game was for $200. So he was looking right down my...

MCCARTNEY: So he hustled you?

NEWMAN: Oh yes. He was hustling me. He was looking down my throat the whole time.

And the thing that was marvelous, he had such patience. He just -- because everybody in the crew is standing around watching these games going on. He had the patience to lose the first three to sucker me in for the last one.

MCCARTNEY: Didn't you learn that from the script, though?

NEWMAN: Well...

MCCARTNEY: Wasn't that one of your...

NEWMAN: A script is a script. Real life is real life.

And after -- the funny thing, after the film was over, everybody, if you would go into a bar with a bunch of guys and they had a pool table, you'd always get some guy coming up and saying, "You've got to play. Shoot a game of pool with me."

And I said, "I really don't play."

And they'd say, "Come on. Come on, we'll play a little game."

I'd say, "I'm really sorry. I don't want to play."

They'd say, "Come on. We'll play for something. What would you like to play for?"

And I said, "How about your house?"

MCCARTNEY: And then they'd back right off.

NEWMAN: That's right. I never had to play again.

MCCARTNEY: Peter Ustinov says that your true destiny lies behind the camera. Do you feel that you were more comfortable as a director than an actor?

NEWMAN: I was very comfortable with actors. I don't know that I was very comfortable with a camera. But I think the best -- one of the best movie experiences I had was working with Joanne on... MCCARTNEY: "Rachel, Rachel."

NEWMAN: "Rachel, Rachel." Good film.

MCCARTNEY: There was a contract, a clause in your contract at the time, apparently, with Warner Brothers where you had to somehow, to get out of it, buy yourself out. How did you manage to do that? You had so many films left to do, and you wanted to go and work with 20th Century Fox.

NEWMAN: That's a long, complicated story. And just suffice it to say that -- that they arranged for me at a figure that I thought I'd never be able to pay off in 10 years. And I think I paid it off in nine and a half months or something, through three movies.


MCCARTNEY: Which was amazing.

NEWMAN: It gave me a real opportunity to be on my own, which is good.

MCCARTNEY: And then, the kind and generous guy that you are really showed when there -- there was a clause called pay and play, where they'd set up a film but if they didn't find the right co-star, actress, to play with you, you would get paid. And you turned down a lot of money and said, "If I didn't make the film, I don't want you to pay me."

But then when you came to make "Rachel, Rachel," you found it really hard to get funding. Do you think they were a bit stingy there? You let them off all this money and when you needed $300 thousand to make "Rachel Rachel."

NEWMAN: Actually, it was 700 thousand.

MCCARTNEY: In the end. Yes.

NEWMAN: You and I both worked for nothing I think. Well, for scale, but it was worth it and ultimately it was rewarding.

MCCARTNEY: She actually said that -- no disrespect to all the other directors -- but you were her favorite director to work with.

NEWMAN: What else could she say? She has to live in the house, you know.

MCCARTNEY: She's a pretty straight-talking lady, by the sounds of it. Were you very proud of her when she one the Oscar for "Three Faces Eve"?

NEWMAN: Oh yes, that was very early on. It was her second film.

MCCARTNEY: Yes. Now, you waited a long time to get your Oscar. Did you not resent that? Every time you hope for an Oscar and it doesn't come through. I mean, isn't that a pain in the butt? NEWMAN: Listen, I also burned my tuxedo when I was 70 and that's...

MCCARTNEY: Why'd you do that?

NEWMAN: Well, because I think I had worn my tuxedo enough for all ordinary purposes. I don't collect honors out of arrogance anymore, but simply because I've been honored enough for all ordinary purposes. And that's all I have to say on the topic.

MCCARTNEY: When people give you awards or offer you awards, do you ever sort of say "Look, I've got enough," and suggest anybody else?

NEWMAN: Never occurred to me.

MCCARTNEY: That's what I do.

NEWMAN: You do?

MCCARTNEY: I know it sounds terrible. Yes, when I get offered awards. It's not when you become complacent, just when I got to 22, which is my favorite number I said, you know, I know this girl, she's a really unsung heroine, why don't you give it to her? It would make her life...

NEWMAN: What a good idea.

MCCARTNEY: That's what you should start doing.


MCCARTNEY: Say "You know what? Give it to such-and-such.

Now you work with a young man that I know, Jude Law on the "Road to Perdition." What did you think of him?

NEWMAN: He's terrific.

MCCARTNEY: He's terrific isn't he?

NEWMAN: Got a lot of guts. He really hangs it out there and I have great respect for that.

MCCARTNEY: You give him some good family advice? He's been quoted as saying you said when your stuck between you're working on a film for long periods of time and then he's got four kids, he feels he should be home with the kids, and you said you didn't feel that it affected your children, so...

NEWMAN: Oh, I think it did a lot. I don't remember saying that.

MCCARTNEY: You think it did affect the kids? Do you think it's a hard thing to balance? Joanne's quoted as saying that she never felt like she was the best mother or the best actress because she felt torn. Is that normal? NEWMAN: I would think so. I think probably harder on a mother than -- I don't know, why do I say that? I would do things a lot differently now than I did when I was a father the first time.

MCCARTNEY: So don't you think then you're the best person to give advice to people?

NEWMAN: No, I'm not in the advice business.

MCCARTNEY: When you first saw Joanne, was it love at first site or did you fall in love on picnic?

NEWMAN: Oh boy. I'm uncomfortable talking about stuff like that.

MCCARTNEY: But you definitely fell in love. You've been married 46 years. Can you not give us any tips on that? I've only been going two.

NEWMAN: No, I have no advice to give on that either.

MCCARTNEY: No? Maybe I'll ask you again after we take a break.

We need to take a break but Paul and I will be back in a couple of minutes; stick around.



NEWMAN: This is the life we chose, the life we lead. And there is only 1 guarentee, none of us will see heaven.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Michael could.

NEWMAN: Then do everything you can to see that that happens. Leave, I'm beggin you. It's the only way.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard when you have a disability, because when you're around regular people they don't have any other problems. You feel embarrassed, but here it doesn't matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People didn't accept me for who I was. And being at this camp, nobody judges me wrong and nobody made fun of me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to think that nobody had leukemia. I got this rare case that nobody would, like, really care about. But once I came here, I realised that there are other people going through my pain and suffering and I didn't feel alone anymore.


MCCARTNEY: Welcome back. Paul Newman's our special guest on this edition of Larry King Live. Newman's Own.

When you started it off. Is that what set up the Hole in the Wall Gang camps? Did you use the money to set them up, and does is it still solely support it or do you find funding elsewhere?

NEWMAN: Well, we started the food company as a joke back in 1982 and it started making profits from the first year. And also, the thing that I like about the business is it doesn't take itself very seriously. That's half the delight of it. And the royalties that I get from the business and the profits after charity I can give away. And a lot of that goes to the Hole in the Wall Gang camps. It's a misconception that these camps somehow are...

MCCARTNEY: Solely funded.

NEWMAN: ...solely funded by me, which I couldn't do even if I was --but we get -- I helped get a lot of the camps started. If they have sustainability problems, I help them with some things like that.

The new camps that are going up overseas and all over the world now, if you can believe it, we give seed money to and send people over to do diligence and help them create acceptable boards and the association tries to be helpful with medical practices that been very successful with, programs that we've been successful with, programs that we haven't been successful with and...

MCCARTNEY: So you pass on the information so that other people can learn from what you've done?

NEWMAN: Oh yes.

MCCARTNEY: We want to go to the island one, because we thought one (UNINTELLIGIBLE) California you can get easy access to celebrities to come there, that Ireland, it's pretty close to us, we got married there, so we'd love to go. It's in a castle there, is it?

NEWMAN: Well, yes. And the manor house, which is a 15th century manor house and so forth, you went to see it kind of just as a courtesy because the Irish government had asked us if we were interested. So when I went in back of it and I saw these 19th century neo-Gothic stables that they put up 2, incredible rectangles...


NEWMAN: ...I just could see nothing but children on horses and Medieval things going on. And the Irish certainly took the bit in their mouth and ran with it, because they've done an extraordinary and wonderful job in creating a real haven there.

MCCARTNEY: If Newman's Own, on funding, if they give the seed money, how did they get funding, through corporate...

NEWMAN: Through corporate donors, foundations, individuals; it comes from all over, all different kinds of sources.

MCCARTNEY: Do you get to visit any of them much?

NEWMAN: I got to Barretstown last year and the French camp last year, and this year I'll get to Barretstown again, and the French camp and probably the one in Israel and possibly Jordan, and I don't know that we'll get to South Africa.

MCCARTNEY: Wow. If you're a parent with a critically ill child and you would just love your child to go to one of the camps, how would people go about that?

NEWMAN: They just have to apply.

MCCARTNEY: So you've got a Web site?

NEWMAN: Oh yes.

MCCARTNEY: We could look up, so we'll put that on there.

NEWMAN: When we opened our first camp in 1988, and we had a lot of help from a lot of very charitable, philanthropic people and sat out there on the road waiting for the massive assault from children to fill the place and it was less than half full...

MCCARTNEY: Well how was that?

NEWMAN: Because I thought we'd be born with credentials.

MCCARTNEY: It's good that you weren't.

NEWMAN: Well, as it turned out, it was a blessing. If we'd been full we probably would have made a lot more mistakes. So at least we had a kind of shakedown crew. I can't tell you what it's like to feel that you put this whole thing together and somehow you didn't realize that the parents wouldn't trust you until they really had confirmation that you knew what you were doing and that you had a validity and...

MCCARTNEY: And now you've got this great history where you've got so many campers, volunteers, one wheelchair user said "I feel like I've got legs," and that's amazing.

NEWMAN: We had a father who tells a story that he picked up his kid at the end of the session and he was driving out the door and pulled out in the highway and his kid said, "You know, I'm really glad that I have cancer so I can come here every year.


NEWMAN: I mean, stories like that will just...

MCCARTNEY: It makes you appreciate every finite second that we have left on this planet.

We're going to take a break. Still more to come with the politically outspoken Paul Newman, not quite. But first, a quick commercial break.


UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: One thing I love about camp is the community in the dining hall, where everybody, all these people come together. They sing and cheer and yell and scream, and everybody is just one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just like a major escape, is what it is. It's like, just a certain amount of days where you can live your life the way you want to. It's just no limits and no holding you back.




NEWMAN: I wish you'd stop being so good to me captain (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Butch, you haven't talked that way to me, you never, never!

What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach.


MCCARTNEY: Hi, again, I'm Heather Mills McCartney filling in for Larry King tonight, and I've got just a few more minutes to spend with movie idol Paul Newman.

Your daughter now got involved in Newman's Own. How come she didn't get into acting?

NEWMAN: She was in several of the family films, actually.

MCCARTNEY: But she didn't continue.

NEWMAN: She went to acting classes and came away and said that she thought she had no gift for it and when Newman's own got started, of course, by that time she was into the environment and into organics and she said "I'd like to start the organic arm of Newman's Own."

MCCARTNEY: Does that do as well as the original Newman's Own?

NEWMAN: Well, it was kind of a subsidiary, it was run that way, and at some point we decided that it really should be all hers, so it's her company now.

MCCARTNEY: She very environmentally conscious?

NEWMAN: Oh, man, don't pick a fight with her.

MCCARTNEY: I won't, I love it. NEWMAN: She makes a -- she's extremely knowledgeable. She's extremely knowledgeable about that and she's really knowledgeable about her products and...

MCCARTNEY: So you're very proud of her?

NEWMAN: Yes. She -- you know, they started off with snack foods, pretzels and cookies and stuff and now they're into cereals and dog food and it's all organic and the company is just cooking.

MCCARTNEY: That's great. That's wonderful. What about the other kids. Any of those acting?

NEWMAN: Not an actor in the bunch.

MCCARTNEY: Wow, are you glad about that? Do you wish there was?

NEWMAN: Oh listen, they should do what they want to do, I'm not -- I don't have any ownership in them.

MCCARTNEY: Would you think you'll ever work with Joanne again doing a film?

NEWMAN: I've been considering the shape of my memory.

MCCARTNEY: But behind the camera you could take your time.

NEWMAN: Yes. You bet. I'm looking for it every day.

MCCARTNEY: If you get great script, you could direct something.

NEWMAN: I hope so.

MCCARTNEY: What was it like working with Tom Hanks?

NEWMAN: He's in a class all by himself. And very deceptive, I might add.

MCCARTNEY: In what way?

NEWMAN: Well, he's very, at least in this role, he is very understated, and it was really -- you had to be in close to see what was going on underneath that veil of monsterism

MCCARTNEY: Is he a method actor?

NEWMAN: I don't think so. He's lucky with his instincts.

MCCARTNEY: And my nephew-in-law says I have to ask you, "Did you really eat 38 boiled eggs?"

NEWMAN: Never even swallowed an egg?

MCCARTNEY: But isn't method acting about actually doing the real thing?

NEWMAN: Not if you have to swallow eggs.

MCCARTNEY: Not a big egg fan.

NEWMAN: Well, actually, Henry Fonda, when I was in a film with him he -- when we started the film, actually, he had a big eating scene to do, and they'd say cut and he, could stuff. He would stuff a whole dinner into the side of his mouth without swallowing anything until they said cut and he would "ptui!" so he taught me how to do that.

MCCARTNEY: Are you still a prankster? You were very renowned for playing some jokes on.

NEWMAN: That was my younger, more stupid...

MCCARTNEY: Was it Robert Redford that brought you and a run-down Porsche or was it the other way around...

NEWMAN: No, no. Redford gave me a Porsche for my birthday, except that it had been hit sideways or the front had hit the other -- it had hit a trunk, and there was no engine in it. And the only way it got into my driveway was some truck had to dump it off the end of a hook and with a note saying "Happy Birthday."

So I had the whole thing compacted and put in a wooden box and he had a summer place in Westwood that summer and I got the name through the real estate agent, got his alarm number and the key to the house and had four of us bring this Porsche into his vestibule and just drop it there with a bolder note. But of course, he won.


NEWMAN: He never admitted that it was in his vestibule.

NEWMAN: But I learned something about practical jokes. I played one on George Roy Hill once and it was -- it scared him and scared a lot of people actually, and this was during "Slap Shot," and there were a couple of days when he wasn't speaking, and finally at the end of it when there was a -- we had kind of a confrontation. He said, "at the core of every practical joke there's an element of maliciousness."


NEWMAN: "Because you're trying to make somebody look stupid or you're trying to take advantage of them." So I've cut down on my practical jokes to people who I really don't like.

MCCARTNEY: Oh God. So you feel like you've grown up a bit now?

NEWMAN: No, I've just suppressed it.

MCCARTNEY: When you did the film "Winning" you said when asked if you would ever do a competitive race you said "I'm 45 years-old, I'm not as hot as I used to be." But now you're 79. Have you got hot then? Is that how you can race now? NEWMAN: Well, I think I'll keep racing until that point where I really embarrass myself.

MCCARTNEY: And you've talked about retirement and retiring from things but not being able to, but why's that? And what would you do if you retired?

NEWMAN: Well, I'm closer to retirement now than I've ever been. I don't know, it's just retiring from one facet of life and starting another one.

MCCARTNEY: Any ideas...

NEWMAN: I've got a lot of stuff waiting out there for me.

MCCARTNEY: So you'll never really be retired. Because everyone who says that they're retiring, they kind of sort of seize up.

NEWMAN: You can't retire from life.

MCCARTNEY: No. So any plans for the future apart from this race you've got going on Sunday?

NEWMAN: I'm just trying to get through the day.

MCCARTNEY: And still enjoying it?

NEWMAN: Yes, Long Beach is our first race of the season. We have a terrific crowd of people coming and they're real hard core road-racing, open-wheeled racing fans and loyal and we're going to- we've got some technical things which I will explain to you in great detail if you'd like.

MCCARTNEY: And I know in your early days you never liked to be called a sex symbol or told how handsome you are but I can say it now you're 79, you've got to be used to it by now. But you still look great. Can you take that with a "Thank you, Heather"? Or do you still not accept that you're a very handsome man?

NEWMAN: Is that what you think of me?

MCCARTNEY: I think you're very handsome. I don't just think you're handsome, I think by now that you're 79 and you're still looking great, you should accept that.

NEWMAN: Oh thank you.

MCCARTNEY: You've proved yourself in every other way. I really, really want to thank you for being my guest tonight on LARRY KING LIVE and we'll talk some more. And hopefully you can show me around the tracks Sunday.

NEWMAN: I will indeed.

MCCARTNEY: Take care.

NEWMAN: I promise.

MCCARTNEY: Thank you.

Thanks to Paul Newman for an intriguing hour. Larry will be back tomorrow. Stay tuned for more news on CNN.


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