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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Encore Presentation: Families of 9/11 Victims Praise 'United 93'
Aired April 30, 2006 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down the 93 runway. Four left, cleared for takeoff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger that.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: On September 11, 2001, the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 became heroes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was United 93. The controller heard screams.
KING: But is it too soon for Hollywood to tell their story? Tonight families of those brave men and women react to the release of the movie "United 93". And meet the actors that played their loved ones.
Plus we'll take you to the site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed and talk with two of the first responders to that tragic scene.
The show you won't forget is next on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: Good evening.
I saw "United 93" this morning. It is an incredible film. It is -- there's no way to describe it. It's incredible. It's upsetting. It's dramatic. It's -- it takes no point of view. It just tells you what happens. We're going to deal with it tonight on this program.
We welcome to our cameras and microphones in Washington, David Beamer. His son, Todd Beamer, was a passenger on Flight 93. Here in Los Angeles, Deena Burnett. Her husband, Thomas Burnett, was also a passenger. She's the author of the forthcoming book, "Fighting Back".
In Littleton, Colorado, is Sandy Dahl. Her husband, Captain Jason Dahl, was the pilot on United 93. By the way, she continues as a United Airlines flight attendant.
And also in Los Angeles is Alice Hoagland. Her son, Mark Bingham, was a passenger on Flight 93. It's a return visit to this program for Alice.
David, what did you think of the film?
DAVID BEAMER, FATHER OF 9/11 VICTIM: Larry, I thought the film was very, very well done. Paul Greengrass and his staff of researchers and the cast and crew set about to tell this story, a real story that really needs to be told, and their intent was to do it with authenticity and accuracy. And I know that we feel that they really got the story right. And for that, we are both grateful and relieved.
KING: Deena Burnett, your husband died on that plane. What do you think?
DEENA BURNETT, WIFE OF 9/11 VICTIM: I agree with David. I think that it was very well done. The acting was superb. The script was well written, and the camera work was -- made you feel as if you were really on the plane with the characters.
KING: Did it upset you?
BURNETT: You know, I went into the theater expecting to use a purse full of tissue that I had brought with me, and I went with my sister and two friends. And what I found is that my sister and I didn't shed a tear. And yet my two friends used all the tissue. They did all the crying.
And I think that the difference is for 4 1/2 years, I have lived every moment on that plane. I have thought about every sound, every word Tom said to me on the phone and every breath he took. And I have seen in my mind what happened on that plane over and over and over. And so to see it on the screen, there were no surprises.
KING: Sandy Dahl, your husband was the captain that day, Jason Dahl.
SANDY DAHL, WIFE OF 9/11 VICTIM: Yes.
KING: Very well played on the screen, I'm sure you'll agree. That characterization was terrific. You got to like him so much. What did you think of the film?
DAHL: I thought it was well done. I -- I am happy that they went ahead and recorded the history, as other movies have been recorded, the Holocaust and -- and Pearl Harbor. This is a story that needed to be told, and I'm very proud of the job that they did.
KING: What do you think of the actor's interpretation of your husband?
DAHL: I think it was very well cast. J.J. Johnson played my husband, and I would have picked him. It was -- it was well done.
KING: And finally, Alice Hoagland, your son, Mark Bingham, was a passenger on that flight. He called you, right?
ALICE HOAGLAND, MOTHER OF 9/11 VICTIM: Yes, he did. "Mom, this is Mark Bingham. I just want to tell you that I love you."
KING: That's in the movie.
KING: What did you think of the film?
HOAGLAND: I liked it quite a bit. I think Mr. Greengrass has done a commendable job. I think it was wonderful the way they were able to fuse the characters and bring the entire action to a really good crescendo. It makes you feel as though you're there in the aircraft experiencing the same things that the passengers are.
KING: Can you understand why some people are upset?
HOAGLAND: Yes. I think that Universal was very wise to show graphics in the trailer to give people some forewarning of what they should expect when they see this. The fact is that Flight 93 was all about graphic violence, and Mr. Greengrass pulled no punches when it came to showing just exactly what happened.
KING: But David Beamer, it's never gratuitous, is it?
BEAMER: No, it's not, Larry. It's not sensationalized. I really believe this project documents, for history, the reality of the day. And it's good for this generation and the generations to come to really see what our first counterattack in this new war, in our homeland, looked like and what the passengers and crew did to launch that counterattack, which by the way, was successful.
And so although the movie is hard to watch, because it's violet and we know the end of the story, I also believe that it's -- it should be watched because we can all be inspired by this counterattack and what -- what our loved ones did.
KING: It almost -- I guess they did underplay the way your son said, "Let's roll." It was just part of many statements by a lot of people at the time.
BEAMER: Here again, I think that's realistic. This was a -- this was a counterattack. The team had figured out what it is they were going to do. And it would not have been helpful to that counterattack to shout to the enemy that "Now, we're coming to get you." So I think it's realistic.
KING: You must be aware, Deena, that your husband and those passengers saved the capitol of the United States?
BURNETT: Yes, I am.
KING: That's where that plane was going.
BURNETT: I am aware of that. And I -- it's one of the things that has really comforted me in the past 4 1/2 years, knowing that, while my husband died and those on Flight 93 died, there were many more people saved because their lives were taken.
KING: Sandy, have you been to Shanksville? DAHL: I have. I have been there several times. We went on Jason's birthday, and then I spoke at the first memorial anniversary of 9/11.
And I couldn't believe what I was seeing on television, being a flight attendant. I couldn't believe that there was nothing left. It was just a hole. I expected to see airplane parts and almost wondered if that was just where the fuel burned.
KING: You remain a United Airlines flight attendant, though, right?
DAHL: Yes, I do. I'm not afraid of airplanes. I'm just afraid of terrorists.
KING: OK. We're going to take a break and come back. The guests will remain, but they'll be back in different portions. We'll have different guests throughout the program.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. "United 93" opened wide today. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two planes. Two planes hit the World Trade Center.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In New York, the World Trade Center, two planes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two planes hit the World Trade Center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two planes hit the World Trade Center. Tell the stewardesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: United 93 is now recordless (ph). No auto, no transponder and now headed eastbound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me know what the hell is going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six miles southwest of the White House, Boston center is tracking a primary moving fast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Read me this again. Give me this again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, we have a DSI (ph) aircraft southwest -- southwest of Washington headed straight down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have another flight coming up south.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a plane headed toward the capitol. Yes, I need to know about the ROE. Can we engage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to give me a 30 mile circle around Reagan National. Right now, get me every track on every aircraft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we have any communication with the president at all?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You learn a lot about flight controllers in this movie, by the way. And that's Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.
David Beamer remains with us in Washington, D.C. And now also in Washington is David Alan Basche. He portrays Todd Beamer, David's son, in the movie. And Lisa Jefferson. She was the Verizon air phone supervisor who spoke and prayed with Todd Beamer. She's the co-author of a forthcoming book about her experience. The book is titled simply "Called", and there you see its cover.
First, David, Beamer, how well did David Basche do?
BEAMER: Larry, Todd's mom and I both think that he did a very fine job, really and truly. And he's also a delightful guy and a human being, and I'm just happy he's sitting right here next to me in Washington, D.C., tonight. And I would say that even if he weren't.
KING: David Alan Basche, was this tough to do?
DAVID ALAN BASCHE, ACTOR: It was, Larry. It was -- certainly, the most challenging, most difficult, most disturbing and also the most disturbing and yet also the most fulfilling and the most rewarding thing I've ever had occasion to do as an actor.
KING: How long did it take to shoot those scenes, all the scenes on the plane?
BASCHE: I think we -- some of the actors were there a little bit longer than others. But I -- I think I was shooting outside of London for about two months, a little more than two months.
KING: Is that where it was shot?
BASCHE: It was shot at Pinewood Studios, just -- just north of London, and they brought in that 757. And they cut it up and brought it in there and put it back together and put us on it, and said go.
KING: Lisa Jefferson, you have not -- am I right, you have not seen the movie as yet?
LISA JEFFERSON, VERIZON OPERATOR: No, Larry, I have not seen the movie "United 93".
KING: Do you intend to?
JEFFERSON: Yes, I do. I plan on seeing the movie. But I can say, without seeing the movie, that I am glad that the movie was made, that the public should not forget the heroes of Flight 93. And I do understand that some people may not want to see the movie. For those who will choose to see it, I hope it brings some additional understanding and healing to them.
KING: David Beamer, how about those who say it's too soon?
BEAMER: Well, Larry, it's -- it's too soon for us to become complacent. It's too soon for us to forget the enemy that attacked us on that day and certainly not too soon to capture in an authentic and accurate way exactly what happened.
So I really encourage everyone to see it, to be reminded, not because we want to revisit the pain, but it can help us always remember the threat that continues, the enemy that's still there and to celebrate our first victory.
KING: David Basche, I guess while you're playing this, it must go through your head, you can almost -- can you imagine what it must have been like for them?
BASCHE: Well, Larry, we went through quite an ordeal on that plane, just as actors, emotionally and physically. And it certainly has changed me. And I imagine that all of my cast mates would agree with that.
And I think, of course, that's just a very, very small glimpse of what it must have been like on that plane. But I think the fact that they were able to find the courage within themselves to take any kind of action is just extraordinary.
KING: Lisa, you'll never forget that phone call, of course. How long were you on the phone with Todd?
JEFFERSON: I was on the phone with Todd for approximately 15 minutes. That's something that I would never forget: the screams, the terror, the horror, the men -- I heard men crying. It's something that just went through me, I will never forget that day. I was actually in therapy after a while about hearing those voices. And this being the five-year anniversary, I'm starting to hear them again with all the movies and things coming out. But it was a very emotional time for me.
When I picked up the phone, it was like talking to a regular customer that we've had. And by the time I hung up the phone, Todd was one of my best friends. We had a bond. And I told him I would stay on the phone with him until the end, and I did.
KING: And you knew they were going to die, didn't you?
JEFFERSON: I had a feeling in my heart that that was possibility, but we never discussed it. The only thing we talked about was them landing the plane safely. And once the plane crashed, I took it very hard, because I just couldn't accept it.
KING: And David Basche, when you play a role like this, I mean, what do you do next?
BASCHE: A light comedy, I think. You know, I'm just so absolutely thrilled and really honored to be a part of the whole project. I think it's just what Paul set out to do, and I'm just so honored to do it. And I hope I'll have something like this sometime again in my career. But I'm not sure.
KING: You ought to be. Thank you, David Alan Basche and Lisa Jefferson. Thanks for joining us.
The movie opens today; it opened today.
David Beamer remains with us. More guests coming, a lot of panel members, as we devote our full attention tonight to this tragedy brought brilliantly to film. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASCHE: If I don't get out of this alive, will you please promise me that you'll call my family? Thank you. Just tell them I love them. Tell my wife and my boys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been an explosion at the Pentagon. Just tell them that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's an explosion at the Pentagon. An explosion at the Pentagon. Not a fire, explosion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to do something. They're not going to land this plane. They're not going to take us back to the airport. What other option do we have?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to die, we're going to die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of us. We have to do something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see how low we are?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's what that whole movie is like, including in the control tower.
Deena Burnett returns. Her husband, Thomas, died on that flight. She's the author of the forthcoming book "Fighting Back". And sitting next to her is Christian Clemenson, who portrays Thomas Burnett in the film.
Alice Hoagland remains with us. Her son, Mark Bingham, was a passenger, and Mark Bingham is portrayed in "United 93" by Cheyenne Jackson.
OK, let's start first with Deena. How well did Christian do?
BURNETT: He did a great job. He really did. I was so surprised that he really captured Tom's authoritative personality. Some of his expressions were right on target, to the point that it kind of took me aback a few times.
KING: Christian, did anyone tell you about Tom?
CHRISTIAN CLEMENSON, ACTOR: Sure. We had pages of information about all of our characters, a lot of details. I knew what phrases he liked to use. I knew how he would behave on the plane. I know what he would wear on a plane. We had tons of information.
KING: What was it like to do that?
CLEMENSON: It's -- it's a little bit. It's a bit of a burden. I mean, you feel a great obligation to get it right.
KING: And Alice, how well did Cheyenne do as Mark?
HOAGLAND: I think Cheyenne was Mark Bingham. He really captured his personality right down to the use of some very colorful four- letter language which I wouldn't have approved of at home, of course. Under the circumstances, it seemed appropriate.
KING: What was it like to play him?
CHEYENNE JACKSON, ACTOR: I felt such a responsibility. I was worried about mythologizing him. You know, you hear so much about people. I wanted him to be a human being. But everything I read about him seemed to be true. He was bigger than life. He was 6'4". He was big physically and spiritually and socially, especially. And there was -- I felt a huge responsibility, so I did everything I could to make him come to life.
HOAGLAND: You really did.
KING: On the plane, Christian, when we see turbulence and we see a lot of turbulence when they were fighting up in front. How did they do that? Were you in turbulence?
CLEMENSON: We did. The director gave us nothing to imagine. It was all there. The set itself was built so that it moved the way the actual flight did. We had the information from the 9/11 Commission about what the plane did during flight. The plane moves in the movie exactly the way the movie -- the plane did during the flight.
KING: Were you scared ever? CLEMENSON: Yes. I mean, every day we had to face something that was really beyond anything we'd ever done on another movie. But at the end of the day, we all had the luxury of walking off the set.
KING: Anybody get hurt, Christian?
CLEMENSON: Every day. Yes.
JACKSON: Yes, there was a lot of -- I jammed my finger. We bruised ribs, lots and lots of ice. There was one segment where Christian and I were in the -- you know, towards the end, it was a real cockpit. It wasn't a set, and so we had real things just gouging the top of our heads, bleeding on the sides.
Those last scenes, you can barely make it out in the final film. But the way the set moved, there's blood coming down my face, and it was real blood. It was not fake blood.
KING: Did they, what, build a 757. It was a real 757 that was taken apart and put meticulously back together, exactly like it was. I thought I'd have to imagine a lot more. I thought there would be parts of the door off and a camera right here.
JACKSON: It was completely full. You could push a button and the stewardess would come. I mean, your light lit up. It was -- it was not a lot of acting involved, as far as I'm concerned.
KING: Did United cooperate? Does anyone know?
CLEMENSON: My understanding is they did not. I mean...
KING: You see a lot of their logo.
CLEMENSON: you really do. It's a news story, so we tell the truth. But I don't believe that they cooperated.
KING: Did you ever get frightened watching it, Alice?
HOAGLAND: yes, it's not easy to watch. It's tough. It's tough to see the last moments of my son's life. It's also beautiful to see how Tom Burnett, and Jeremy Glick, Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Louis Nacke, Alan Beaven, Richard Guadagno and the others on board the flight were able to pull it together and grab that victory out of a really ugly situation.
KING: Something very unusual, Deena. You never hear names mentioned because of course, these were all strangers.
BURNETT: That's right.
KING: Nobody's calling Mark, Phil.
KING: They don't know each other. You don't know the names of the people. BURNETT: That's right. When you go to see the movie, unless you really know the story well, they're just nameless faces. There are no boarding passes with names on them. They don't identify themselves to one another on the plane.
And I had a difficult time picking out the different characters even though I know them very well and I know the story very well. I had no trouble recognizing Tom, but other people I did.
KING: How well did you get along, Cheyenne, with the actors that played the terrorists? That had to be tough.
JACKSON: It was. They were completely separate from us. They were kept separate until we filmed the hijacking.
JACKSON: They -- they stayed at a different hotel. They worked out at a different gym. All of the -- all of the improvising we did, we did with stunt doubles. And so we didn't -- they really wanted to create a sense of tension between us.
KING: How about, Christian, where they say cut, or you go and have a sandwich. Did you talk to them?
CLEMENSON: For two weeks, I couldn't speak to them. I think I held out the longest.
KING: That's acting for you.
KING: They must have been nice guys.
CLEMENSON: They were. They were all nice, gentle, sweet guys, but it was a difficult situation. It was difficult to change between reality and acting.
KING: I guess we can assume, Alice, that the one hijacker that was hesitant...
KING: They might have got the Capitol because they went farther west than the other -- the other hijackers wanted to go.
HOAGLAND: That's right. Flight 93 was different from the other two flights, in that it took off later, the hijacking started up later in the flight. And for that reason, the passengers, especially Tom, getting information from Deena, we were able to know more about what was going on and grasp the situation and realized the flight was going to be used as a weapon.
KING: Let me take a break. We'll come back. We'll come back and talk with two gentlemen, two officials in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the plane went down. And then we'll come back with our four here and three others, come bringing them all back for a full panel.
But we'll go to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, right after this. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, I'm not going to take any more chances. We've got stuff flying around. We have no control over it. And I don't want a board full of these planes hitting every building on the East Coast. This is a national emergency. Everyone lands regardless of destination.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's going to cost us billions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just do it!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the international flights coming in? They're already in the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't want any more international flights crossing the border. They have to go back where they came from. Nobody's coming into the country from now on. Everyone, shut off the East Coast. Shut off all the international from Europe. Shut off South America. Shut off the West Coast. Nothing over the top either.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asia?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut down the air space.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Takes all. Land them all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a moment. Think about this. We're going to put -- we're going to shut down the entire country right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. Listen, we're at war with someone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are discussing the film, "United 93," which opened today. Joining us now, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on site where the crash occurred, is Kevin Huzsek. Kevin is a paramedic, Somerset area ambulance area. He was dispatched to the scene within minutes of the flight and remained on site for nine hours.
And with him is Sergeant Anthony Deluca Pennsylvania State Police stationed commander troop T Somerset, fourth state trooper to arrive at the flight 93 crash site. Neither gentlemen has seen the film, both intend to see the film.
Kevin, what happened with you that day? What do you remember about the call and going to the site?
KEVIN HUZSEK, PARAMEDIC WHO ARRIVED AT CRASH SITE WITHIN MINUTES OF CRASH: Well, actually, we had been working on our ambulance outside, and within minutes of the crash actually being dispatched, we immediately left our station en route to the scene. Of course, when we arrived on scene, it was a little chaotic at first. There had been a lot of people within the crash site, residents, bystanders, seeing the plane go down.
However, we immediately got those people out of the site for safety reasons. I remember just actually pulling up on scene and seeing smoke, a large aircraft tire burning off around the crater. And at that time it had to have been a large aircraft that was actually down.
First instinct that we had thought about, we thought no survivors, but we actually did go down to the crash site and do a search, just to be on the safe side but obviously, nothing was found.
KING: Kevin, was it in a crater?
HUZSEK: Actually, right there, it was a crater, where the plane actually went down, but the plane parts were pretty much scattered throughout a large area, down through the trees and also where the jet fuel burned. There was burned out trees and still smoldering. I guess when the fuel was actually burned off, there was only small spot fires throughout the area.
KING: Sergeant Deluca, where were you? What happened to you that day?
SGT. ANTHONY DELUCA, PA STATE POLICE, 4TH TROOPER TO ARRIVE AT CRASH SCENE: Larry, I was at my station on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. And I was in there, and I got a phone call reference to the first plane going into the World Trade Center. I went to my next office next door and my boss in there, Lieutenant Schmidt (ph) and I said let's watch TV real quick, there's a plane that went into the trade center.
When we saw the second plane go into the trade center, began to notify our troops that something was the matter. We had planes going into the World Trade Center. Probably around 10 minutes later, another plane went into the Pentagon at which time I had most of them back on station.
A short while later, we received information that a plane just went down in Shanksville, but they didn't say if it was a commercial airline or just a plane. Myself and my boss at that time Lieutenant Schmidt responded to the scene. We were met here. There was Trooper James Broderick, (ph) Trooper Grove (ph) and Trooper Pat Stewart (ph) were already on scene.
We assisted to get into the command. We came in off the lower end. There are some homes in the wooded area, just near the crater, there were some burning tires there. was some debris. And the first thing we realized it was a commercial airline when there was three seats from a commercial airline.
KING: Did you -- go ahead. I'm sorry.
DELUCA: And beyond the seats, I pulled out one of the cards that showed what type of plane it was, and we found out it was Boeing 757. And the other seat had a "United Magazine," so we knew we had a commercial airline.
When I did some surveillance in the wooded area to look for any survivors at one time I found a flight diary of Lorraine Bay. It was blowing in the wind. I picked the papers up that was around there and placed it back in there. At that time, I realize there was human tragedy in this accident.
KING: Did you associate, Sergeant Deluca -- that crash, did you immediately associate it with the World Trade Center and Pentagon?
DELUCA: After we found out that it was a commercial airliner, we began to think, yes, we did have a possible terrorist airplane.
KING: How do deal, Kevin, with something like that emotionally?
HUZSEK: I feel that everybody deals with things differently. I know that upon that day in question, I have a job to do. You pretty much have to put those emotions aside and do what you have to do, and continue on with the work.
After we felt that there were no survivors, we pretty much went into a different state of mind and just more or less to regroup and actually to assist with the federal workers or any kind of personnel that was on scene, to keep them safe and out of a actual biohazard area at that time.
KING: And that memorial site you're at, Sergeant Deluca, describe it for us. Is it all complete now?
DELUCA: No, Mr. King, it's not complete yet. Governor Ed Rendell has earmarked $10 million through the legislation that will be getting approved to complete or assist in completing the memorial. Pennsylvania has taken a step forward to make sure the individuals that were heroes in this crash and that basically they saved lives in D.C. And they gave their life up for this country. And Governor Ed Rendell is dedicated to making sure that this memorial is completed.
KING: I thank you both very much and I salute you. From Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Kevin Huzsek, paramedic, Sergeant Anthony Deluca, Pennsylvania State Police, part of a continuing saga, a story that will never end.
When we come back, our complete panel will be all together, our actors from the film, our relatives and your phone calls as well. Don't go away.
KING: We're discussing the film "United 93," a film I saw today, an incredible movie. And now our complete panel is assembled. We will be including your phone calls.
In Washington is David Beamer. His son, Todd Beamer, was a passenger on flight 93. Back in Los Angeles, Deena Burnett, her husband, Thomas Burnett, was a passenger on that flight, and she's the author of the forthcoming book "Fighting Back."
Also here in Los Angeles is Christian Clemenson. Christian portrays Thomas Burnett in that film. In Littleton, Colorado, is Sandy Dahl. Her husband was Captain Jason Dahl was the pilot of United 93. She continues as a United Airlines flight attendant. In "United 93" her husband is portrayed by J.J. Johnson, who is a commercial airline pilot.
Back in Los Angeles Alice Hoagland. Her son Mark Bingham was a passenger on that flight. And with us as well is Cheyenne Jackson, who portrays Mark Bingham in this historic movie.
We are going to go to your calls. Chesapeake, Virginia, hello.
CALLER: Hello Larry. Thank you so much for having me on.
CALLER: I just have one question for you.
CALLER: Where is the profits going for this movie? I feel like actors are going to make millions off an American tragedy. Where are the profits going?
KING: Well, actors aren't going to make -- I don't think they were paid millions. I know, what is it 10 percent of the first weekend profits?
JACKSON: Ten percent of this weekend is going to go to the memorial fund.
KING: Ten percent? Go ahead.
BEAMER: This is Beamer. Can I comment on that question?
KING: Go ahead.
BEAMER: I believe that the motivation that Paul Greengrass and company, Universal, and the actors and everyone else was honorable in terms of telling this story that needed to be told and to get it right. I also think that there's no reason or objective to do something like this in a great way and expect to lose money.
I think it's certainly appropriate and welcomed that Universal is going to donate 10 percent of this opening weekend's gross to the memorial project. That's good. And I also think and frankly hope that this story, since it's so well done, since it is a part of our history, I hope that it is enormously successful at the box office. I hope that this production and this movie makes a lot of profit. In fact, it might encourage others to do similar kinds of work for those reasons. You know, a lot of things come out in terms of productions and movies and what not that frankly, I don't think had the same kind of values or the worth that this production does. And there's never a human cry about the profitability of those. So it's capitalism at work.
DAHL: Larry, may I comment as well?
KING: Yes, go ahead, Sandy.
DAHL: I just want -- I want the caller to know, that family members all worked on this movie to make it as accurate as possible, and the family members are not profiting in any way. That is not why we're promoting this movie.
KING: Do you know what the movie costs?
CLEMENSON: Fifteen million dollars, very, very inexpensive for a movie.
KING: And if you want -- oh, very -- more information about plans for the flight 93 national memorial and how to donate to it go to www.honorflight93.org.
San Diego, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry, this is Debra. Thanks for taking my call.
CALLER: My question is this. Do you think because of the transportation department taking evasive action that they did, do you think that they stopped other airplanes from flying in the air and making them land on different -- or making them land to the closest airlines, do you think that it diverted it from causing more damage around the country?
KING: Do you think the way they diverted all the planes, Alice?
HOAGLAND: Yes, I really had to admire what Ben Sliney did. His first day on the job as operations manager at the FAA, and he was the only one of that entire group at NORAD and at the FAA that really was able to grab the bull by the horns and say, I want all the planes down. And I really do think that helped to save lives.
KING: The incredible thing is he played himself.
HOAGLAND: Yes. He was pretty good at it. He said he had been doing it for 60 years.
KING: What an actor. How do you rate him as an actor, Cheyenne?
JACKSON: He was great.
HOAGLAND: I thought he was good.
JACKSON: He was awesome.
KING: Is he still on the job?
JACKSON: I don't know. I think he's taking calls from agents.
KING: You didn't get to work with him, right?
JACKSON: No. I didn't. Our stuff was shot separately.
KING: What did you think when you saw it all put together?
JACKSON: Oh, amazing.
CLEMENSON: I mean, I was just happy to be part of a great movie.
KING: Beech Grove, Indiana, hello.
CALLER: Yes, thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: I just wanted to make a comment to Mr. Beamer. I was so impressed with Lisa Beamer and the way that she portrayed the wife of someone who was in this situation, and I remember all of the times and so forth of her with her little boys.
But the thing that impressed me most was when she just not very long at all after this all happened, she very publicly went on the same flight that crashed.
KING: Well, what's your question, dear?
CALLER: My question is how is Lisa and those beautiful children?
KING: Could have gotten right to it. How's she doing, David?
BEAMER: Lisa and the kids are doing just fine. And of course we're pleased and thankful for that, and she continues to be a blessing to our clan, so thanks for asking, everybody's a-OK.
KING: Right back with more. Don't go away.
KING: Cheyenne Jackson was telling us that you are now a nervous flyer.
JACKSON: Yes, I never was before. I always was a great flyer. And I think that's just one of the effects, I think, of being a part of this.
KING: In fact, they put you in seat 4b coming home from London and that was Mark's seat? JACKSON: Yes, it was my first First Class flight. I was so excited, and then they handed me the seat and it said 4D. And that is where I had sat for two months.
KING: Are you nervous, Christian?
CLEMENSON: I used to be. I was a terrible flyer before doing the movie. But afterwards not at all. I think that is one of the lessons of the passengers on flight 93, we have to be empowered. You know, if something happens on a flight that I am on, there is no way someone is going to get to the cockpit.
KING: Boston, hello.
CALLER: Yes, good evening. Thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: I just wanted to say, it might feel strange coming from a stranger, but just letting the families know that my heart, thoughts and prayers are with you. My question is to the families, do you feel as much support now as you did right after the tragedy?
BURNETT: Yes, I do. I still receive letters and phone calls and e-mails from people, especially around the anniversary of September 11. But I feel tremendous support from the community and the nation, and, yes, thank you for that.
HOAGLAND: Well, it's really helped the family of Mark Bingham to receive all this outpouring of affection and support, right up to the present day. Yes, it helps us a great deal.
DAHL: Absolutely. I get e-mails and calls, and it seems that people still are making quilts and thinking of us, especially around the anniversary time. I get boxes and boxes of things that people have made, rosary beads. And I keep everything.
KING: And David?
BEAMER: Absolutely, Larry. The prayers and the concern and the questions about everybody's well-being are felt and appreciated. I would just like to add that one of the things that this production and this movie helps to remind us all about is don't ever miss an opportunity to make a good memory, to tell a loved one you love them and give them a hug every chance you get.
KING: Well said.
Austin, Texas. Hello. CALLER: Yes, my question is to the actors. Has this experience affected any of you to the point of either having nightmares or to seek counseling?
JACKSON: Well, I see counseling, but that's for other things.
KING: That's another show.
JACKSON: No, I do. It's starting to get better now, but while I was filming this I slept for probably two hours a night. I mean, it's not something that you can let go at night and rightfully so. I mean, we had to go to places where you just didn't want to go, but these people lived that. And it's what we had to do.
KING: And what about you, Christian?
CLEMENSON: Again, the opposite for me. I was left with a great sense of gratitude. I could get off that set every day, I could back to my hotel room and I could go to sleep, and I slept well.
KING: You were lucky.
CLEMENSON: Very, very lucky.
KING: Because you could have been on that plane.
CLEMENSON: Yes, any of us could have been on that plane.
KING: We'll be right back with some more moments. "United 93" is now playing everywhere. Don't go away.
KING: Alice, you're fighting to get the actual audiotapes, right?
HOAGLAND: Yes. Deena and Hamilton Peterson and I -- and I suspect quite a few other flight 93 family members -- would really hope that Judge Brinkema of the Zacarias Moussaoui trial will see fit to release not just the transcript, as she has already done, but also the actual audio sound recording.
KING: Why do you want to go through that pain?
HOAGLAND: Well, we would be willing to have an excised or a reenacted -- is the right word? -- version if there are some family members that object to it. But the truth is that CVR for all its poor quality, for all the thundering sound of the wind rushing over the wings still captures the essence of what happened on board flight 93.
And you can hear Tom Burnett's voice. You can hear Mark Bingham's voice. You can hear all those guys in the cockpit and in the cockpit. And you can hear the blood scream of that terrorist getting, shall we say, incapacitated -- Hamilton used a stronger word -- right outside the cockpit door. It is something that America ought to be able to hear as well as read about.
KING: David Beamer, do you want it released?
BEAMER: Larry, I, personally, know what happened. And I have enough information really about the day that it is enough for me right now.
KING: And what about you Deena?
BURNETT: I think that listening to the audio tape as opposed to look at the transcript, Americans would really get a better sense of how the spirit of America was displayed that day.
KING: You are looking at Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Have you guys been there a few times?
HOAGLAND: Several times, yes.
KING: Is it hard to do?
HOAGLAND: Yes. It is a remarkable place. I stood out there in the dark one time, and the full moon rose. And a star bolted out of the east. It was really...
KING: Christian, do you ever want to go there?
CLEMENSON: I do want to go. I know some day I will. I mean, I feel tied to it in an odd way.
JACKSON: Absolutely. I plan on it.
KING: That has been terrific.
Sandy Dahl, thank you very much. David Beamer, thank you Deena and Christian Clemenson, Alice Hoagland and Cheyenne Jackson, all part of an extraordinary movie, "United 93," now playing everywhere from Universal.
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