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Encore Presentation: Interview With Director, Cast of 'Bobby'

Aired December 2, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, he was American royalty gunned down on to the road to the White House. And now, remembering the tragedy and triumph of an American legend. Bobby Kennedy, with eyewitnesses to his assassination and the cast of the buzzed-about new movie, "Bobby."
Sharon Stone, writer-director and star, Emilio Estevez, his father, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater and Harry Belafonte, who knew and worked with RFK and more, all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Extraordinary new movie is now open wide. It's called "Bobby" and it links the fictionalized story of nearly two dozen people to the 1968 assassination of then Senator Robert F. Kennedy. It unfolds at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and takes one day. Starts in the morning and then ultimately his assassination, late that same night.

"Bobby" was released in New York and L.A. earlier this month. Wide release yesterday, Thanksgiving Day. A lot of its stars are here -- and some people who were there that day. How did this come about? Emilio Estevez is the writer and director of "Bobby".

Is this your first film, major film?

EMILIO ESTEVEZ, WRITER-DIRECTOR, BOBBY: It's perhaps the first good one.

KING: I didn't know about the other ones?

ESTEVEZ: I know.

KING: How did it come about?

ESTEVEZ: Well, it began in the year 2000. And I was at a photo shoot for another film that I directed. And in between set-ups they asked if I wanted the tour of the hotel. And I said, sure. And they took us downstairs and through the kitchen, and then into the pantry.

And we stood at that place, where bobby Kennedy was shot. And it was as if we were standing on hallowed grounded. And my childhood came back to me. I remembered where I was the morning that Bobby was shot. I was staying at Ohio, at my grandmother's house. I remember waking up my father and telling him the news. They shot Bobby, they shot Bobby.

And I remember the following year, when we relocated from the East Coast, to L.A. It was the very first stop my father wanted to make, it was the Ambassador Hotel. I remember him walking us through that lobby. And I remember holding his hand and having talk about this is where it happened, this is the place where the music died.

KING: Did Harvey Weinstein come to you, or you to him?

ESTEVEZ: Harvey didn't get involved until April of this year. We had already made the film by then. We made it completely independent.

KING: Oh, wow. Christian, how did they enlist you?

CHRISTIAN SLATER, ACTOR, BOBBY: I was in London. I got a call from Emilio, like at 1:30 in the morning. Didn't know about the time change, yet it was fine. Told me about the subject matter and what the movie was about and some of the people that were involved. He mentioned Anthony Hopkins and Sharon Stone and Freddie Rodriguez. And I just basically said, where do I show up?

KING: Did you like the fact that you would play a disagreeable character?

SLATER: Well, I came back to Los Angeles, read the script. And you know, what I loved about script is that each character was very rich, very full and represented a certain part of the culture. My part was to represent that person who wouldn't necessarily have agreed with the ideas and principles and concepts that Bobby Kennedy would have stood for.

KING: Sharon Stone, you are the last person in the world one would cast as a manicurist in a hotel. You are not a manicurist. This is against type. Why did you take this?

SHARON STONE, ACTRESS, BOBBY: No. It's very rare when someone sends you a script and the script is this spectacular. That every part is so beautifully realized. And I love the character. She's so maternal and so rich and so beautifully written.

And, of course, I'm a very -- I'm an Irish girl from Pennsylvania, from a Democratic family and all of these events that happened, I was in the first grade when our president was killed. And that was enormously impactful on your family, on my life, on our nation. And then when Martin Luther King was killed and then Bobby Kennedy, it just seemed like this unbelievable awful train that never stopped.

KING: You liked the part, though?

STONE: I loved the part. I loved the script. I think Emilio is an extraordinary man and an extraordinary humanitarian and person and great director.

KING: He is.

ESTEVEZ: Thank you.

KING: Let's go to Harry Belafonte in New York. I guess you're the only one of the cast that knew Bobby, right, Harry?

HARRY BELAFONTE, ACTOR, BOBBY: Yes, which really denotes age more than anything else.

KING: Why did you take this part?

BELAFONTE: Everybody on this show I talked to, during the shooting of the move, they were either three or two, or one. Here I was sitting across the table negotiating with Bobby all these years. I really felt like an elder.

KING: Why did you take the part?

BELAFONTE: Because it was history being revisited and I think it's a history that America needs to be aware of and to be more in tune with. And the idea that the remarkable cast that Emilio assembled, and way in which the script approached the whole issue of the assassination. And the moment -- the moment of Bobby's life I thought was a very attractive piece of cinema.

And, of course, talking to Emilio, personally, and what he had to say about it convinced me that it was something I very much wanted to be a part of. And then I heard from Anthony Hopkins, which was the clincher.

KING: That's the clincher. Martin Sheen, Emilio's father, is Galway, Ireland.

Are you working on a film, Martin, or just visiting?

MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR, BOBBY: No, neither. I'm actually -- Ireland's oldest freshman. I enrolled for one semester at the National University of Ireland here in Galway. And I'm just about to complete the -- that semester.

KING: You're a weird guy.


SHEEN: I know.

KING: But you're a weird guy.

SHEEN: Well, I never went to -- you know, I never went to college before. And I thought when the "West Wing" came to an end, I said that's the time I'm going to do it. And the university actually beat me to the punch. They offered me an honorary degree and I came over here last spring and received it. And when the president, Aigei (ph), asked me what I was going to do now? I said I have enough degrees I think I need an education. Will you let me study here? He said, sure, come on. I've been here since August.

KING: What was it like, Marty, to be directed by your son?

SHEEN: Well, it wasn't the first time. And I hope it won't be the last time. But it's always a very deeply gratifying and personal experience. I adore that young man and I couldn't be prouder. I would follow him anywhere.

KING: Sharon, how good is Emilio? No, you know -- I mean, platitudes aside.

STONE: He is -- I've worked with some of the greats, as you know. I have to say he's immeasurably talented director.

ESTEVEZ: Thank you.

STONE: When you see a film when you have so many great and seasoned actors, all giving parallel, good performances, it's when you have a great director, he's a great director. Just a great, great, great director.

KING: What's it like directing your father?

ESTEVEZ: It's an honor. These are actors, all of them, who came and worked for free, for what's called scale plus ten. So --

KING: Really?

ESTEVEZ: The budget of this film was so small. I mean, these are actors who normally get more in salary than what we had to make the film for.

STONE: We usually get more for dinner.


ESTEVEZ: So -- so they said yes to me. They said yes to the spirit of Bobby Kennedy. And they said yes for free.

KING: Did you shoot in the hotel, Christian?

SLATER: Yeah. It was an amazing set to pull up to. You arrived on the day and there were dump trucks and bulldozers and dirt piles. You can see them pushing all the stuff, all the history out the window as they were tearing the place down around us. We actually breathed in the history of the place.

KING: When we come back, Rosey Grier, the football great who was one of Bobby Kennedy's bodyguards on that fateful night. He joins our all-star panel with his thoughts on the real life event and the movie version.


SEN. ROBERT F. KENNEDY: Jefferson once said about the United States, we were the last best hope of mankind. That's what the I want the United States to be. This is a generous and compassionate country. That's what I want the country to stand for, not violence, not lawlessness, not disorder, but compassion and love and peace. That's what this country should stand for and that's what I intend to do if I'm elected president.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then, as he, with his wife, Ethel, was leaving the podium through a kitchen exit --


Robert F. Kennedy, 43 years old, died the next day.


KING: We're back. The movie is "Bobby." Sharon Stone, Harry Belafonte, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Christian Slater joins us is Reverend Rosey Grier; a friend of Robert Kennedy's, and an eyewitness to the assassination.

Have you seen the movie yet?


KING: Twice?


KING: What did you think?

GRIER: Well, I watched it and I was trying to get the pieces together and there was each segment, where there was like an individual piece, that all came together. It was a puzzle. I had to go with it in order to find it. It really impacted me when it all came together in the end. It was really dynamite. I had to hold myself together, because it was that -- that powerful.

KING: Did you expect someone to play you?

GRIER: No. I didn't -- I didn't know anything. I just went with the movie. I know what the incident was about, so I just went with it because I wanted the picture to be so people could understand what really happened. And hear the voice of the man and it really, really was powerful.

KING: For the younger people in our audience, who may not know, Rosey Grier was there and when Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby, someone is heard yelling get the gun, Rosey, who was that?

GRIER: I don't know. I think it was Jesse Unrow (ph).

KING: Get the gun. And you got the gun, right?

GRIER: Yeah, because George Plimpton was trying to get the gun our of Sirhan's hand and he couldn't take it. And so I just wrapped my hand and twisted it out.

KING: Where were you? Were you behind Bobby?

GRIER: No, I was with Ethel. I was assigned to take care of Ethel that night because she was pregnant. When we were supposed to go off to the right in the end, but someone came up and Bobby and Paul Straight jumped off the back of the stage, and everyone was out of position.

So we were all rushing to catch up and the camera almost hit Ethel, and I was protecting her. And that's when shots rang out, and I ran forward. And there were people grappling with Sirhan.

KING: Did you see Bobby on the ground?

GRIER: Yeah. I saw two people down. I didn't see all the other people that was shot. I just saw those two people. I stepped over that to get to the problem, Sirhan, they were struggling with him.

KING: Harry, where were you that night?

BELAFONTE: I was at home watching the results of the California primary. Waiting, as a matter of fact, to go hook up with Bobby in the Midwest where he was headed from California.

KING: And Martin, you were in Ohio?

SHEEN: We were in a little community called North Benton, Ohio. We were visiting Janet's mother there. And we had gone to a drive-in movie the night before. Yeah, and we thought, well, he's got it in hand and we'll go to sleep now. And Emilio woke us up in the morning. He had heard the news.

KING: Sharon, is it kind of -- I don't know what the word is, to be around Rosey? I mean, here's a man who was --.

STONE: It's incredibly emotional for me.

KING: a major part of history.

STONE: It just -- all that I can think of in this moment is that I really hope that the innocence and the truth and the purity of the movie -- and the synchronicity of you sitting here will allow people to feel in their hearts the desire for peace and the desire for leadership and desire for real integrity in their humanity.

KING: Why didn't you include the Rosey part in the movie?

ESTEVEZ: Well, we always knew that we were going to use the actual footage from the end of the film, for the speech and the ballroom. And we knew that we would incorporate that. So to cast actors to play these iconic figures I thought was a daunting task. I mean, there have been several actors that have played Bobby, and quite well, my father being one of them in 1973 "Missiles Of October." But we felt that were going, we always knew we were going to blend what we created with the archival footage.

KING: So, no one would play Rosey?

ESTEVEZ: Exactly. Yeah.

KING: So, you didn't include the part of someone yelling get the gun?

ESTEVEZ: Well, actually you can hear -- and I believe it may be Sandy Van Oaker (ph), who is screaming get the gun, get the gun.

KING: I didn't hear it in the film. Maybe I just missed it.

ESTEVEZ: The audio is in there. We included it.

KING: Oh, it is in the film.

GRIER: It was there.

KING: What was it like, Christian, when you saw the movie?

SLATER: The first time I saw it was at the Venice Film Festival, and I couldn't believe it. I kept looking over my shoulder, my friend said this is unbelievable. Whether I was in the movie or not, the performances are incredible, it kept coming over me in waves. Like Rosey was saying, it just -- when it culminated in the way that it did, felt ignited, and politically ignited, and just so grateful to Emilio for shedding light on who Bobby Kennedy was.

KING: It's a terrific movie. And whenever you see a terrific movie you always wonder how anyone cannot like it. Sharon, how do you react to some of those critics who have said -- who have dismissed it?

STONE: You know, I stopped reading reviews about 10 years ago. I once went to -- I snuck in the back to see a movie when the critics were there watching it. And they were screaming and yelling and having a great time. And the next day they destroyed the movie in the press.

I realized, at that time, that sometimes critics want to be more important than the truth. And so I stopped reading reviews, good ones or bad ones, because I think if you believe the good ones you have to believe the bad ones. If you believe the bad ones you have to -- and it doesn't mean anything.

KING: Sting you, Emilio?

ESTEVEZ: Well, I didn't make this film, and I don't think any of us did, to please the critics. We made it for the people. This is a movie where the people have spoken and there have been numerous standing ovations by the people in screening rooms across the country where there are no critics present.

STONE: And in other countries.

ESTEVEZ: And in other countries, as well.

KING: I saw it at a private screening. I guess there were about 20; rhythmic applause when it finished. You don't see that at private screenings much.


KING: I watched a private screening once of a comedy and a critic who laughed through the whole thing and said it wasn't funny the next day. We'll be right back. The movie is "Bobby." It's now everywhere. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell is this, Virginia?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, from the looks of it, a very fine single-malt Scotch, Tim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought we had an agreement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven't had a drink all day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have been sleeping all day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tim, there is a time and a place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Believe it or not, Virginia, people do eat food every now and again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take your judgment and check it at the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're introducing Senator Kennedy in the Embassy Ballroom. Try and stay sober enough to not embarrass us in front of the next president.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us loved him, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him, some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were, and say why not.


KING: We're back with our cast from "Bobby."

Martin Sheen, what's it like to be in an ensemble movie where you're one of many stories being told?

SHEEN: Well, the way that Emilio wove the fictional characters together with the reality of -- the assassination, I thought was extraordinary. And I remember I read the script while I was over in New York on "The Departed", a year ago last summer. And I really kind of forgot about what was to come. And then you're two-thirds of the way through the script and suddenly the doorman says, welcome to the Ambassador, Senator Kennedy. And I -- I put the script down and I wept uncontrollably, because I knew what was coming. And up until then, you're not prepared for it.

It just -- I think what he's done is really remarkable because he has -- he has drawn a whole bunch of different stories of very unimportant people, and he's clashed them all together. And he shows in the end how random violence is so horrible. And that is just doesn't stop at any one person, whether they're famous or not famous.

KING: And brilliant part is --

SHEEN: That's really -- yeah, that's one of the great parts of the film, the randomness and the horror of violence.

KING: You know what's coming and yet it was at random. Very well said.

SHEEN: Yeah, exactly.

KING: Harry Belafonte, what was it like -- what was it like to work with our friend Anthony?

BELAFONTE: Well, that in itself was its own reward, and a great gift. I like Anthony very much.

But I'd like to make a comment on this film, if I may, Larry. When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, a dark curtain began to descend on America's sense of hope and America's sense of belief and the future. That was a period in which great hope had been sparked in the hearts and minds of American people, with Dr. King and John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy and all that was going on.


KENNEDY: Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are, and what direction we want to move in?


BELAFONTE: When Bobby was assassinated, the curtain began to descend and we began to drift. We lost our moral compass. And what I think Emilio has achieved in this film, at a time when it's very critical for our nation to be reminded, is in this film America gets an opportunity to see themselves. Not only reflected in the ordinary behavior of the characters that Emilio has created, but in the reality of what went on in the period. And when you look at this film you'll really know with tremendous clarity what's missing in our political language, and our political discourse in America today.

If we had a Bobby Kennedy, anyone that espoused what he did, I think people would feel a great sense of hope. KING: Well said. Emilio, was there a real singer in the lounge that night?

ESTEVEZ: There was.

KING: That Demi Moore played, the alcoholic? Who?

ESTEVEZ: Rosemary Clooney was there.

KING: Wow.

ESTEVEZ: And this character that Demi plays is not based on Rosemary.

KING: Rosie didn't drink?

ESTEVEZ: No, no.

KING: But there was a singer in the lounge?


KING: That was an act?

ESTEVEZ: Oh, it was the Everly Brothers that were actually performing that night. But Rosemary Clooney was there. She was a great supporter of Bobby. And --

KING: I forgot that was the night that Don Driesdale (ph) did 53 consecutive


KING: Was it difficult to shoot, Christian?

SLATER: Difficult to shoot? Well, I think with everybody's schedules.

KING: That's why mean. All these stars, all doing other movies, I would guess.

SLATER: Yeah, everybody was doing other things. It was the kind of movie that you -- whenever they called you to the set you show up, get your clothes on. Whether they use you on that day or not, it's fine. Yeah, just show up and be ready so when he called you were going to be there.

KING: Did you have to find time, Sharon? Were you flying -- were you doing one thing and flying to another?

STONE: You know what, we were all so thrilled, so honored, to so humbled to be a part of this thing, it was just -- you did whatever it took to get over there, to do it, to just squeeze it in. We were a little bit, you know, sliding in. And doing it without the -- there weren't rehearsals. We were really trying to get them in one take.

KING: There weren't rehearsals?

ESTEVEZ: No, there was no rehearsal for this. It was very guerrilla style film making. We were -- seat of our pants.

STONE: That was why it was great.

KING: How long did it take to shoot?

ESTEVEZ: Thirty-seven days.

BELAFONTE: I would like to say something Larry.

KING: When we come back -- hold it, Harry. When we come back, the woman who was there the night that RFK was killed and inspired Emilio to write and direct this amazing movie. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People won't care about you as much when you get older.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at you. You look terrific.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. Well, you know how they call women cupcake? Don't they ever call you Twinkie?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right. And I guarantee you no one will ever call you Twinkie, because we don't have the same shelf life as a Twinkie.




ROBERT F. KENNEDY: I am announcing today my candidacy for the presidency of the United States. I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man, but to propose new policy. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done and I feel that I am obliged to do all that I can.


KING: We're with some of the cast from the new film "Bobby." A terrific movie. Harvey Weinstein is the -- I guess he's producer now, right?

ESTEVEZ: Right. It's his studio.

KING: His studio. Movie was shot independently. Sharon Stone is with us, Harry Belafonte, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez who wrote and directed it, Christian Slater and Reverend Rosey Grier who was there.

We're now joined by Diane Huber. She was at the Ambassador Hotel the night that Robert Kennedy was shot. She helped inspire Emilio in writing or making this movie.

She was actually the basis for the character that Lindsay Lohan plays in "Bobby," a young woman who was ready to marry a classmate to save him from being sent to Vietnam. Let's take a look at one of Lindsey's screens before we talk to Diane. Watch.


ELIJAH WOOD, ACTOR: I can't help feeling that I'm taking something away from you, something sacred. I mean, you only get married once, like our parents. It's not frivolous. It's not disposable.

LINDSEY LOHAN, ACTRESS: I'm OK with it in my heart and in my head. And you're not taking anything away from me. This is my choice, William.

WOOD: Christ, Diane, I created a rift between you and your father.

LOHAN: My father has a problem with you, not with me.

WOOD: That makes me feel better.

LOHAN: He's a stubborn man.

WOOD: Well, look on the bright side you would be getting 135 bucks a month until the annulment.

LOHAN: What if I don't want an annulment? What if I don't want an annulment?


KING: All right. Diane Huber, what were you doing there that they day?

DIANE HUBER: I had worked on Bobby's campaign.

KING: Volunteer.

HUBER: Yes, a volunteer. I started when I was 20. We started in March and worked right up to June. And I was fortunate enough that my friend that had worked on the campaign also, her mother and father said, we have a surprise, we're going to take you girls down to the Ambassador so you can actually see Bobby in person. We were thrilled.

KING: Where were you -- were you in the audience? Were you in the group listening to the speech?

HUBER: Yes, I was in the group, in the audience, listening to the speech. KING: Was that all fictionalized, the thing with the boy?

HUBER: Well, no, it was loosely based. I did marry someone actually that I didn't know to keep him from going to Vietnam.

KING: Well, that's fair enough. Where were you when he was shot?

HUBER: Well, when he was actually shot I was actually leaving the ballroom at the time.

KING: Did you know about it right then, though?

HUBER: No. Actually we were so into talking about the next step to canvas the areas that we were canvassing to get him to the California primary, the next step was now we got to get him elected, what are we going to do? We were, you know, joyous.

KING: How did you hear about it?

HUBER: When we got home her father turned on the TV and we all cried. I went in, threw up. And I felt like the rug had been pulled out not only from me but from the nation.

KING: How did you hear about Diane?

ESTEVEZ: Well, I was middle of having a horrible bought of writer's block. And on the advice of my brother, Charlie, I changed my environment. I wasn't happening -- I wasn't getting any inspiration from where I was writing from, which was home. And so he said, you should change your environment and get out on the road and go and finish this, because at the time I had only written 30 pages.

So, the next morning I did just that. I loaded up the computer and the 5x7 cards and all the research material and I started to drive north. And I ended up in a small town called Pismo Beach, which is about 150 miles north of Los Angeles.

And I -- and this is in the middle of summer. So there was no vacancy, no vacancy. And finally I found a place that have some -- that said vacancy, and I pulled in, went to the registration desk and Diane was there and she recognized me and we had a little dialogue.

KING: Were you working there Diane?

HUBER: Actually I had only -- I was only working three nights a week five hours a night. It just happened that he hit the night I was working.

KING: She says to me -- she says well, what the heck are you doing here in Pismo Beach? I said, well, I'm writing a script about the day Bobby was shot. And she said, I was there.

KING: Are you still married to that guy?

HUBER: No. Actually I had only met him the one day. We went to Los Angeles, got married. And two-and-a-half years later he came to the drugstore where I was working and handed me the annulment papers. I signed it. So I saw him twice in my life. But it was probably the most successful marriage I've ever had.

KING: Did you see the film?

HUBER: Oh, yes. I have.

KING: What did you think of the movie?

HUBER: I think it's fabulous. I can't say enough of it. I hope everybody in my generation goes to see it because I think that it's time that we go back and we remember where we were. I think it's real important for the younger generation that doesn't know about Bobby to go see it because I feel like the parallels that are coming about from back in 1968.

KING: How does it make you feel, Sharon? You've been very emotional to be around this.

STONE: It is just so overwhelming. And -- I am so proud of Emilio. And I don't want that to sound condescending in any way, but I'm so incredibly proud of you for having this beautiful dream and following it through. And it's just such an honor to meet you and that you work together so closely to make this and to meet you. And I feel so -- just so pleased to be a part of this group that worked so hard to make this movie that we love so much and that people are enjoying so much. It's just -- it's just been a privilege to make this movie and to be a part of it.

KING: Diane, thank you very much.

HUBER: Thank you.

KING: Continued good luck. When we come back, the panel remains. We'll be joined by William Weisel, who was one of five bystanders shocked by Sirhan Sirhan that night. Don't go away.


STONE: Love or money.

LOHAN: Pardon me?

STONE: The reason you're getting married. Love or money?

LOHAN: I'm saving a life. At least that's how I see it.

STONE: There's a lot of that going on these days.

LOHAN: The government sends a check to the spouse for $135 a month. It's definitely not for money.



KENNEDY: I think you have one time around. I'm impatient. You know, there was somebody who wrote on the Pyramids, at the time they were being constructed, the words, "and no one was angry enough to speak out." I think people should be angry enough to speak out. I think there are injustice, I think there are unfairnesses in my own country and around the world. And I think that if one feels it, involved it in, that one should try to do something about it.


KING: Our panel remains. The movie is "Bobby." It's now open everywhere.

Joining us from San Francisco is William Weisel. He was one of five bystanders shot by Sirhan Sirhan right after midnight on June 5th, 1968. At the time, he was 30 years old and working for ABC News, and he has not as yet seen the film.

William, where were you and how did you manage to get shot?

WILLIAM WEISEL, SHOT BY SIRHAN SIRHAN: Well, I was right behind Bobby. We were following him to go downstairs and speak to another group of people. And I was going with our cameraman down to show him where to plug in. And so we followed Bobby, and the shooting started.

KING: Was he hit first?

WEISEL: Yes, he was hit first. And then Rosey, I guess, pulled the gun down of Sirhan, and I got the second bullet in my stomach. And it -- it didn't kill me, but Bobby didn't make it through.

KING: Were you critical?

WEISEL: No, I was not really critical, but they didn't know it. Actually, producer Dave Jayne (ph) pulled me down on the floor, said, "get down, they're shooting." And I said, "no, stop pulling me around the neck," that there are balloons hitting the steam pipes. And I said, "the balloons are going off." And he said, "no, they're shooting." And I said, "well, you've made me drop my stopwatch out of my pocket." And I opened up my jacket, and there was blood everywhere.

KING: Did you know that Bobby was going to die?

WEISEL: No, I didn't know for several days. They wouldn't let me have a television set in my room after the operation. And I didn't know why.

KING: A lot of people, of course, watching who are under a certain age, didn't know him. What was he like?

WEISEL: Well, he was very interesting. He was -- he was concerned with the populace and people, but he was -- he was quite intense. He was not at all like his brother. I had worked in the Oval Office with Jack Kennedy, and Jack was, of course, quite a person.

Bobby was intense. I was -- I was not his biggest fan. When you travel with somebody -- it was -- it was a stressful campaign. It was very difficult to travel on that campaign.

KING: Rosey, was it difficult for you?

GRIER: No, I loved him. I mean...

KING: You loved him?

GRIER: He would ask me about my mom, I would tell him everything I knew about my mom. I trusted that guy a lot. There was one thing I wanted to say that as a result of Bobby's assassination, I think it was important that each individual realized that he can do something about what's going on in our society today. And you can't wait for someone else to come along. You have to move now and do what you think you can do.

KING: Harry, the country would have been a lot different, don't you think -- do you think he would have won that nomination, though?

BELAFONTE: Yes, I'm almost sure that the mood of the country, and with Eugene McCarthy and all the candidates who were running. The Democratic Party had a very liberal platform, and that was what appealed to all the American voters, at least those who were voting in the primary.

KING: Yes, but Hubert Humphrey was way ahead in delegates.

BELAFONTE: Yes, but had he -- but I think Bobby Kennedy would have gotten the nomination, because I think Bobby Kennedy was the most favored of all the candidates. Obviously revealed by what the voters did in the primaries.

But before we get to -- I just want to say one thing about Emilio Estevez, and it's this, Larry. A man that you've interviewed more than once, a great American director, a few days ago passed away. Robert Altman. And I think when I listen to my colleagues express the kind of reward and joy they see in Emilio, it is because Emilio has instilled in us and has raised expectation in us, because he's so much like Robert Altman, his style of making films, his trust of the actors. And I think that when a lot of us have known the fact that Bob is gone, we can rest with some comfort knowing that Emilio was here to make sure that space isn't as empty as we expect it to be.

KING: Thanks, Harry.

Up next, another eyewitness who was hit by an assassin's bullet that night when "LARRY KING LIVE" comes back. And thanks, William, for joining us. We'll be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm getting complaints that you're not allowing the kitchen staff off work to vote today. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're understaffed this week. I've got six workers with the flu. I've had to deny sick leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell them they couldn't leave?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's no small thing we're doing tonight. I need every staffer with a pulse...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell them that they couldn't leave to vote?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not going to vote. Half of them are illegal. They can't vote. Why give them the time off for something they can't do anyway?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll post a memo informing all employees of their right to vote. And, because I'm an equal opportunity kind of guy, you got until the end of the week to clear out your desk and leave. You're fired, Darrell.




SHEEN: I'm a stock broker.


SHEEN: As well as a patron of the arts. She bought a painting of a can of soup last month.


SHEEN: I think it was Campbell's tomato.


SHEEN: Onion?


SHEEN: She says tomato, I say onion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an original Warhol. Did you know he was shot yesterday?

SHEEN: Probably by someone who sobered up and realized that they paid a fortune for a picture of a can of soup.



KING: Joining us now is Paul Schrade. Paul was one of five bystanders wounded by the assassin who killed Bobby Kennedy. At the time, he was 43 and a regional UAW director who broke with the union leadership to campaign for RFK. The union had supported Humphrey, right?

PAUL SCHRADE, SHOT BY SIRHAN SIRHAN: There hadn't been a decision made, but Walter Russo, the president of UAW, the president of my union, was still supporting Lyndon Johnson.

KING: Who had said he wouldn't run.

SCHRADE: Well, this was before that.

KING: Oh. Where were you, what happened?

SCHRADE: I was with Bob on the platform listening to his victory speech. I had been upstairs with him. Frank Mancowitz (ph) and Fred Dapp (ph) and I had gone to a bedroom and worked up his notes. We went downstairs, and he was on the platform. I listened to his victory speech. And as soon as he was through, I got off and went towards the pantry, because that's where I was directed to go.

I walked in there, and Bob came through and said, I want you and Jess -- Jess Unger (ph), the chair of the campaign, speaker of the assembly, with me. We were heading for the Colonial Room for a media conference for the print media, because they had been complaining that television had access but they didn't.

And I remember -- the last thing I remember was that he was shaking hands with people I know now, Jesus Perez (ph) and Juan Romero, became famous as the busboy, and I can remember thinking since I introduced Robert Kennedy to Cesar Chavez up in Delano, that I saw the same look on Juan Romero's face as -- a look of trust and of hope. And I found out later that that was really what Juan Romero was all about.

KING: And then what?

SCHRADE: And I turned to go, and all of a sudden I started shaking violently. I was going into shock. I didn't know what had happened. I thought it was -- I thought I was being electrocuted.

KING: Did you hear a gunshot?

SCHRADE: I heard no gunshots at all. I just passed out completely. A friend of mine stood over me, I found out later. And -- because I was being trampled. I was lying just behind Robert Kennedy, lying here and there.

When I came to, a doctor was with me and said, Paul, you're going to be all right. We're taking you to L.A. receiving hospital. And I said, why L.A. receiving hospital? He said, well, that's where all shooting victims go. But I said, I'm a member of the Kaiser plan. And he said, I'm a doctor from Kaiser. So in even a tragic situation like this, there is some humor.

KING: Where were you shot? SCHRADE: In the head.

KING: In the head?


KING: A scalp wound, or...?

SCHRADE: Well, no, it penetrated the first layer of skull. The doctor took out about a third of the bullet. Two-thirds blew away.

KING: When did you find out that Bobby was dead?

SCHRADE: It must have been a day or two later, because I was out of it from then on. I was in the hospital.

KING: Do you often look back on that day?

SCHRADE: I do every day.

KING: Did you see the movie?


SCHRADE: Bob was special to me. I had worked with him in the '60 convention for his brother, and worked with him getting him to go to Delano to support the farm workers struggle with Cesar Chavez, took him to Watts, where we were building a community organization, which he modeled -- used as a model for Brooklyn, from Brooklyn's Bed Sty.

KING: Paul, I thank you for sharing this with us.


KING: Paul Schrade, what a story.

Our panel returns, and when we come back, every one of them will have a final comment. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) too much class to show (inaudible) in the film. That's it. That's the facts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not just a film, Coop. It's "The Graduate."



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So I have a question for you. What do you think, Bancroft or body double?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the nude scene?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Body double, for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait. Do you know this for a fact?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, but that's what I would do. That is if I am ever actually hired for a movie I auditioned for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do look like a movie star.




KENNEDY: What we need in the United States is not hatred. What we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another.


KING: In our remaining moments, Martin Sheen in Galway, Ireland. Thanks for being with us. How will people view this movie, do you think, Martin?

SHEEN: Well, I think it belongs to them, and I think that particularly young people are going to be reawakened, and all of us older people are going to be reminded again of how much we missed in Bobby Kennedy. I'm thinking of his or one of his favorite quotes on his last campaign, is that we're here to help make gentle the life of this world, and that's what his life was all about.

KING: Thank you, Marty. Thanks for sharing this time with us. And good luck on your grades.

SHEEN: Thank you.

KING: Harry Belafonte, how do you think the public will react?

BELAFONTE: I suspect that the mood of America will be wide open to receiving this picture in a very positive way. I think the Democratic Party could just take a look at that campaign, that year and what Bobby had to say, and they'll find their platform for 2008.

KING: Thank you, Harry. Continued long life.

BELAFONTE: Thank you very much.

KING: Harry Belafonte, who is cast as a chess-playing retiree in it. Terrific scenario in the movie.

Do you think about it a lot, that day, Rosey?

GRIER: All the time, I think about it. I think about what we could do individually to make the world better in our part that we need to play now and do it.

KING: You drive by that hotel a lot?

GRIER: No, I don't -- I don't go by there at all.

KING: You avoid it?

GRIER: No, not really. Except I found myself one day in the hotel. And I felt very eerie. I was standing in the very place, and I couldn't understand it until suddenly I realized where I was at, and it just broke me up.

KING: Christian, how do you think this movie is going to do?

SLATER: Well, for me, it was a great reminder that if we don't learn, listen to our past, we're doomed to repeat it over and over again.

KING: And all of the scenarios, they work, don't they?

SLATER: All the characters, all the...

KING: The plots?

SLATER: Absolutely. How it all comes together, and just to hear the words that Bobby Kennedy spoke. I mean, somebody who believed that violence begets violence, repression breeds retaliation. You know, a leader like that -- a movie like this certainly helped to shape the kind of leader I would like to find in the future.

KING: Sharon, how's it going to do, or are you bad at predicting that?

STONE: I never like -- it's not to me about how the movie does but what we did making it. And everyone put their hearts and souls into it. They're tender, beautiful, gorgeous performances, and you can't beat the live, beautiful truth of Bobby Kennedy.

KING: And I imagine you are quite proud of it. Your work.

ESTEVEZ: I'm proud. Yes, thank you. I made the movie for you, I mean, truly. And for all of us, really, as a reminder to what leadership was like. And if you could inspire our leaders to speak from their heart like Bobby Kennedy did, we may actually see leadership emerge, true leadership.

KING: It's also, if I may add, a hell of a good yarn. These are some great stories. You'll enjoy "Bobby," trust me.

Thanks very much for joining us. Monday night, Jimmy Carter joins us. Got a new book out about the Palestinians and the Jews.

Next is John Roberts, sitting in for Anderson Cooper on "AC 360."


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