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Urgent Call To Action On Climate Change From The Unstoppable David Attenborough; Legendary Correspondent, Marie Colvin, Gave Her Life In Syria, Hollywood Actress Rosamund Pike Plays Her In A New Film; Jameela Jamil, Explains How Getting Hit By A Car Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Her. Aired: 11-12p ET
Aired January 3, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, ANCHOR, CNN: Hello, everyone, and welcome to Amanpour. During the holiday season, we are dipping into the archive and
looking back at some of this year's highlights, so here's what's coming up. An urgent call to action on climate change from the unstoppable David
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, ENGLISH BROADCASTER AND NATURAL HISTORIAN: Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Also ahead legendary correspondent, Marie Colvin, gave her life in Syria. Now the Hollywood actress Rosamund Pike plays her in a new film.
She joins us along with Marie's friend and fellow journalist, Lindsey Hilsum, who's written a new biography about Colvin's remarkable life. Plus
when nearly dying gives you new life, The Good Place Actress and Jackie of all trades, Jameela Jamil, explains how getting hit by a car was the best
thing that ever happened to her.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Climate change is too important to leave to government. That is why David
Attenborough, the 92-year-old naturalist and broadcasting legend is telling people all around the world if you don't speak up, nobody will.
Attenborough was the first to take up the People's Seat. It's a movement by the United Nations to let the voices of ordinary citizens be heard at
the landmark climate conference in Poland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd like to thank the UN for inviting me to share my thoughts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're facing this global challenge of climate change.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're increasingly witnessing impacts of climate change in China with our own eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's already affecting us in a really scary way ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Foreign Language).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Climate change affects everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And will continue to affect millions of the world's poorest people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The People's Seat giving millions the opportunity to talk directly to you, the leaders and decision makers today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So those were the voices of the people and the conference called COP24 marked the required next step after the Paris accords where 197
nations around the world wrote the rulebook that will govern and fund the fight against climate change or at least that's what it's meant to be
doing. The United States was notably absent from the meeting, refusing to take part in what Trump officials call the job-killing Paris agreement. As
host of blockbuster series like Life on Earth, Blue Planet II and his current series Dynasties, David Attenborough has done more to bring the
natural world into our homes than almost anyone. He's also got a brand new Netflix deal to spread the word farther and louder.
He was once in the very early years a skeptic but his work has made him a fervent convert to the climate change cause and he joined me from Poland to
talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you, you are there giving this speech. You've given a speech to COP24, what is your underlying fundamental message at
ATTENBOROUGH: It's a message to the people who got their fingers on power. The people who can do things in terms of both money, and legislation and
big practical events. A message from people, ordinary people around the world who are facing the brunt of what's happening in the climate today and
saying that they desperately need action. And they are - they give some opportunity of 208 million people to express their views as to what they're
feeling about climate change and what's happening to them.
AMANPOUR: So were you surprised to hear what these young people have to say, because always we hear from the sort of the people in power or the
experts or whatever, were you surprised to hear from the people on what they had to say?
ATTENBOROUGH: I wasn't surprised but I was very moved. The fact that there are people, several hundred million people around the world are using
the internet to speak to the people in power. In human mind, television is very powerful but there are many more people who have mobile phones than
who have television sets. So that message is getting to people that we haven't been able to reach and what is more enabling to say what they think
about the situation that they personally are facing. And then bringing that into the center so that people who sit on these platforms will control
hundreds of millions of pounds in terms as the World Bank we've just heard now are being very generous, so that they can really hear what's happening
in the world around them.
Where in big conferences like these international conferences, you are isolated from people who are just in homes and just been raised to the
ground or facing hurricanes.
But this is where it's working, this is where the penalties are being paid of what humanities have been doing to the planet.
AMANPOUR: And you speak with such urgency and this is a very unprecedented event, this take your seat that you are representing peoples all over the
world. Tell me whether you believe this will continue. Tell me about the importance of this hashtag movement, take your seat.
ATTENBOROUGH: Well, we will see. We will see whether people out there take advantage of this and we will see and I believe this is - we can
predict, that if they do take advantage of this that it will be a great incentive to the people who sit in conference rooms discussing protocols,
and figures, and policies to realize that we are actually dealing with real people; men, women and children, who are actually faith taking the brunt of
this on the chin. And not only that, but also that the natural world which is also bearing the brunt of what we've been doing to it and it's facing
AMANPOUR: I just want to go back to several of the things you've said in the past about this environment which you are uniquely qualified to talk
about it, given your incredible decades-long travel around the world, and bringing this to people's attention in the most understandable way
possible. Let me just ask you, I mean, you've used this medium, television, to really make an impact. At the moment, how do you reflect on
the success of what you have done?
ATTENBOROUGH: Well, I don't know. But I think that the condition of the world, that the earth is facing has never been visible to a large
proportion of the world's population, and it's the responsibility of people who do this sort of work that I do to make sure that what is happening
visible to people. And mind you, they know, but it's also visible to the people who have their fingers on power both political power, and physical
power, monetary power to do something about this situation which is every day that passes it gets more and more serious.
AMANPOUR: So about 18 years ago in state of the earth you said the future of life on Earth depends on our ability to take action. Many individuals
are doing what they can, but real success can only come if there's a change in societies, and our economics and in our politics. So is that kind of
the purpose of your storytelling and do you feel that some of these people in positions of power are persuadable, particularly those who are deniers
and who believe that it's economically unfeasible?
ATTENBOROUGH: Well, we don't have the choice. They can't reckon that it's unfeasible. That's the voice of doom if they said that. Of course action
is feasible. We have to do something about it. I didn't start - I was unaware when I started making Natural History films that there was going to
be a disaster that are facing us just over the horizon. I didn't know that that was going to happen and the motives that I had in making Natural World
is because I think the natural world is marvelous and wonderful and one of the great solaces of the human beings that we are part of this sort of
And that's the sort of thing that television should be dealing with. That's why I started in it, but what you realize now is that if you don't
speak up, nobody will. I've had unprecedented good fortune in being able to travel around the world and seeing all of the most wonderful things.
And what sort of a person would I be if I failed to speak up on this occasion when we suddenly see what we're facing is just over the horizon.
AMANPOUR: You've also said that the alarmism over climate change, some of the sort of doom and gloom that is this sort of narrative that's out there,
I guess in good faith because people want to try to get everybody's attention and shake them by the lapels. But you think that sort of
negativism and alarmism can have the wrong effect.
ATTENBOROUGH: No, I don't. They're properly handled. I think that if all you said was that the Natural History programs on television is that the
world is doomed, there are an awful lot of people who are not in touch with the natural world and are having the good fortune that you and I have which
is being able to travel in it. Hundreds of millions people around the world, their horizons are not that broad. So in today's verse you have
that privilege, we have two responsibilities. The first two is to explain what it is and explain the way, the part that humanity plays in controlling
and determining what happens to the rest of life on the earth and the other is to actually show the world itself.
So we have there two responsibilities and any of us working in this field knows that and feels it very strongly.
AMANPOUR: So people around the world are really familiar with your decades of series on this issue, but now you're taking a giant leap forward by
putting on your new series on Netflix. Tell me what that means to you and what kind of exponential effect do you think it might have?
ATTENBOROUGH: Well, the two advantages of it are, first of all, that they can immediately overnight, once it starts it's available to over 200
million people. There's no other single network in the television network in the world that can command that sort of audience. So that's one very
good reason why it should be on Netflix so that everybody can sit and what's more can go on seeing it for a long period of time not governed by
schedules. As you know in Netflix, once you join you can in fact see it at any time what it is you wish to see. So that is a huge advantage if you
really care about the message that we are trying to make in that series.
AMANPOUR: So as you talked about all of these young people and as we've seen all of these young people respond to the hashtag take your seat, we've
also seen over the weekend in Australia, for instance, in cities all over the country young people took to the streets and practically closed down
the traffic in those cities, demanding that their leaders take action on this really huge issue. So that must be sort of a positive thing for you
and what are you trying to say maybe to Americans where as you know the leadership there has been quite reluctant to admit and take action on
humankind's effect on the environment?
ATTENBOROUGH: What I would say is, "Look, we're not telling lies. The evidence is there. We are showing the evidence of what's happening around
the world and if you take any account of knowledge of research of science, we know what's causing these disasters and we know how to deal with it.
Please join the rest of the world. The rest of the world. Entire rest of the world is united in trying to take action on this. The United States is
a very, very powerful voice. Please, please join us."
AMANPOUR: And I want to play a little clip of your latest series airing on the BBC. It's called Dynasties and you're taking various animal species
and delving into how they are in their own environments. And the first one was about chimpanzees and we're going to play this little clip about a
chimpanzee called David and how he's struggling to remain in control of his tribe.
ATTENBOROUGH: As leader, David gets his pick of the feeding spots. But he is weary as he must feed alongside old enemies. He has two particularly
ambitious rivals. David's toes begin to twitch. The nervous take, he can't conceal. This is Jumkin who has long sought the top spot. And this
is Luther. A tempestuous younger male with an aggressive streak.
AMANPOUR: So what happened after that clip. Did he stay in control, David the chimp?
ATTENBOROUGH: No, he didn't. In fact that clip was the original film. The original recording was made just over a year earlier and actually David
succumbed. He was an aged David and he was overturned by the young males who had already made an attempt on his life as it were, which we were there
to record. And a year later, however, time passes and time does pass.
AMANPOUR: And you've talked about people and humans and human impact, I just want to refer you to a quote in 2005 in an interview with The
Telegraph. You said, so that's the U.K. newspaper, "If we humans disappeared overnight, the world would probably be better off."
I mean there's a point there, isn't there? You still believe that.
ATTENBOROUGH: Yes, if by the world you mean the natural world, yes that's the case. I mean, we have inflicted terrible damage on the world, on the
planet. We have overrun it in the way that is unprecedented. No other creature in the world has caused the - had the effect on the planet; good,
bad or indifferent has had the effect on the planet that the human species has. And so we ought to be aware of what we've done and recognize the
responsibility that we now have in our hands.
AMANPOUR: You are one of the world's best storytellers, if not the best storyteller around the world right now, and you've been doing it for a long
time, even before you got in front of the camera when you were controller at the BBC here in the U.K., you are the one who pioneered these amazing
documentaries and series on, for instance, civilization, so our human civilization and then the ascent of man. Describe for me what it was that
got your interest in these epic stories about our humanity and our civilization from such a young age?
ATTENBOROUGH: I suppose I thought that television is not a trivia. I thought that here is a means of communication unlike anything in the
history of humanity ever before, that suddenly you're able to bring pictures and sound to tell messages. And surely those messages aren't just
trivia, with a huge opportunity surely you should deploy that to say things that are important.
Now, if you believe that knowledge is important well then you should do something about it. If you believe that understanding is important, you
should make it possible for people to share that. That's what television should be doing and that television isn't just to sell products, isn't just
a while away. It doesn't visual chewing gum. It can be used to say something really, really important globally. I mean it is an extraordinary
facility that's been put in our hands. Why don't we use it? We must use it.
AMANPOUR: Well, you've been using it to amazing effect so I wonder at the grand old age of over 90 now, you are still so vigorous, and so involved,
and still traveling and still telling these stories. What do you make all these years later having been based and rooted in the evidence world, in
the anthropological world, in the sort of natural history world of this assault on fact, on knowledge, on science and on natural history?
ATTENBOROUGH: Well, you can only have the faith. The truth is its own message and the truth will be recognized and the mendacity, and falsehoods
and doubt by lies will be exposed to what they are. And those of us who are working in the media, that's you and me, do our best to make that
AMANPOUR: We certainly do and you've been doing it for an enormously long time and everybody is grateful. So David Attenborough, thank you for
ATTENBOROUGH: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: At a time when journalists are in particular danger, Jamal Khashoggi is being Exhibit A right now. We bring you the story of Marie
Colvin, a journalist killed while telling the world about the war in Syria. She did cheat death many times even losing an eye while she was covering
the war in Sri Lanka. But Marie in the words of her editor at the London Sunday Times had a god-given talent to make people care. Two new and very
timely words focus on her work and her life.
The movie, A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike who uncannily and completely inhabits our colleague, Marie. And Marie's friend, the TV
correspondent, Lindsey Hilsum has written the book called In Extremis with exclusive access to Colvin's diaries from when she was 13 all the way up to
her death. Both of them joined me here to talk about Marie, Jamal, the astonishing power of their work, and the heavy price both have paid.
Rosamund Pike, Lindsey Hilsum, welcome to the program.
I don't know whether you think about this in real time, but it could not be better time, this movie, and frankly your book as well, since it does
highlight Marie's life but in the context of the severe danger that we journalists are under and people like Marie obviously was. What do you
think about what's going on right now with the horrific story of Jamal Khashoggi?
ROSAMUND PIKE, ACTRESS, A PRIVATE WAR: I mean I think, Matthew Heineman, the director and I are both very, very proud that this is a film that
really celebrates journalism. There is a hymn to the real and very real danger that journalists put themselves in. And I'm not sure that everybody
is fully aware of that.
It struck me actually. I'm reading Lindsey's book that in around 2004- 2005, the Sunday Times was having to quickly recalibrate and start almost - you imply almost to start reading books on the effects of repeated exposure
to conflict ...
AMANPOUR: PTSD and all. Yes, exactly.
PIKE: But now here we have it, obviously, from the Washington Post this time of a journalist again who has lost his life in pursuit of his truth or
in for speaking out his truth.
AMANPOUR: Yes, I know. I mean, it's extraordinary and you obviously are a foreign correspondent and a war correspondent. And you've written the book
on Marie, In Extremis. And you've had amazing access to her diaries, but you also know what Rosamund has learnt to know by playing this singular
LINDSEY HILSUM, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR, IN EXTREMIS: Right. I think that the extraordinary thing about Marie is people often say that Marie was
fearless. She wasn't really fearless, but she could always overcome her fear because she was so motivated. She was so highly motivated to sell the
story of victims of war and that was conscripts as well. There was nothing Marie like more than sitting in a muddy trench with a bunch of soldiers and
finding out what was going on. But she did think about her own safety. I often worked alongside Marie, but her danger threshold was far beyond mine
and she always went in further and stayed longer. That was why she got the best stories. That was why she's not with us today.
AMANPOUR: What did you think as you were assimilating the character to play her? I mean what Lindsey says is really true and it's what Jamal did,
speak out against his government. Marie and other journalists who were in Syria saying things that were seen by the Assad regime in real time,
particularly since she gave interviews to cable news and radio and all the rest of it. How did you compute for yourself as an outsider to news but as
the actress playing this very brave kind of edgy frontiers woman?
PIKE: I love the way you say that. Marie had an extraordinary empathy and what always interested her was the human cost of war. And I think in terms
of our film, I think it's very interesting because the depiction of Middle Eastern people in Hollywood movies tends to be as the outsider, the other
sometimes the extremists, the fanatic, that's the sort of traditional role. And here is a movie which goes into and delves into the pain of the people
in these conflict regions, particularly the Syrian people. We go with Libyan people, people in Iraq, and that's not a portrait that many people
in the West are often given on film and it's something I'm quite proud of. And I think Marie would have applauded too.
AMANPOUR: We're going to start actually with one of the clips now, because it is when she's actually meeting photographer Paul Conroy for the first
time who was with her to the end in Syria. But this is in Iraq and she's doing her typical thing, wanting to meet up and collaborate with the best
of the best. So let us just play this and we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIE CORVIN, JOURNALIST, THE SUNDAY TIMES: What's your name?
PAUL CONROY, FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER AND FILMMAKER, BRITISH MEDIA: Paul.
CORVIN: I'm Marie.
CONROY: I know.
CORVIN: So you're a freelance?
CORVIN: Any good?
CONROY: The best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Paul, the photographer ...
AMANPOUR: ... also I think worked with you on the script, and as a consultant, and all the rest of it. What did you gain from meeting the
people who she not just knew but worked in the field with? Plus, how did you get that uncannily accurate depiction of her?
PIKE: That's very nice. I mean Marie was an amazing person and an inimitable presence. And I knew that in playing her I had to inhabit her.
I couldn't just play and walk her, I had to play her. Also, my director was a documentary maker and I knew that probably in an ideal world he would
be making a documentary about Marie, which sadly he can't, and I knew I had to deliver something that would be as close to the authentic as I could.
So I knew that involved changing the way I walked, changing the way I spoke, changing the way I - learning to smoke.
AMANPOUR: Which she did a lot.
HILSUM: Oh, she did a lot of that. Did you learn to drink vodka martinis as well?
PIKE: I could learn to make mix drink, yes.
AMANPOUR: All of the above.
PIKE: And Paul Conroy came with us, I think just to check out what we were doing for about a week and to get us up on our feet. And then I think he
found in our profession something akin to the sort of sense of a traveling band on the road with people where there's a sort of urgent sense of
intimacy because you're having to create something that delves deep into the human condition in a short space of time, and it's that fast-track
intimacy that I'm sure people in your profession find as well. And I think he enjoyed it, and he stayed with us and actually became our onset stills
photographer which was probably a bit of a sort of light relief really.
But it was very, very valuable to have him around because he shared - he gave a real sense at all times of Marie and Paul's - their camaraderie of
her of the moments that she'd go dead quiet because she experienced the fear that Lindsey was talking about. I agree with you, definitely not
fearless. The real courage is feeling it and going there anyway.
AMANPOUR: I mean quick-quick, you've seen a clip or two, how does Rosamund measure off as Marie?
HILSUM: Actually the first time I saw it, it was quite painful because the thing that Rosamund has done which is so weird to me is she's got the way
Marie moved. This sort of spiky angular thing and it really did feel like Marie was there. And it was that more than anything else, I mean, yes the
face, the eye patch, the voice but it's the way she moved and that is what was so extraordinary for me watching it.
AMANPOUR: And given where we are in the story, you worked alongside her many times, I did as well, and you have had unbelievable access to her most
intimate thoughts through her diaries since she was 13 years old. As we move along with this story, give us a little idea of who she was and how
she became this person.
HILSUM: Oh, it's so extraordinary for me. I mean I think in writing the biography, one of the most extraordinary moments for me was when I found
this diary of hers, little white plastic close with a key, and I had to split it open, and I rose, "Oh, my God. Nobody has opened this since Marie
at the age of 14 locked it." Yes. But then, oh, she was naughty, oh, she was rebellious. And so she's brought up on Long Island, middle-class
family, Catholic family, mass every Sunday. And I think one of my favorite entries it just goes, "To church, wore a mini, the mother and the father no
like. " Oh, I felt within that rebellious little girl I saw the woman she became who I knew.
AMANPOUR: Well, I want to fast forward to a dramatic towards the end of her life and I want to play one of the very last dispatches she gave from
Homs which was to Anderson Cooper and it became really sort seminal. Let's just play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORVIN: It's a complete and utter lie that they are only going after terrorists. There are rocket, shell, tank shells, anti-aircraft being
fired in a parallel line into the city. The Syrian army is simply shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: She was in Baba Amr, one of the suburbs or outposts of Homs and she insisted on staying. And that's part of a whole sort of controversy
between her, and Paul, and the editors and people who look at who look at what happened to her in the end. It's a pivotal moment in the film. What
was going through your mind? I mean you're playing her, you've assimilated so much and yet some people might say that determination to stay is what
cost her, her life.
PIKE: Yes. It's funny, my heart is racing. I haven't been nervous sitting here and then we play that and somewhere in my body I go back to
the feelings that I inherited play Marie at that time in her life. And actually she was in Homs, they understood that that the big assault was
coming and it was necessitous to go to leave. They were halfway down this storm drain, this four-kilometer storm drain which was the entry and exit
point for any journalist coming in to Homs taken by the FSA fighters. And she was sort of halfway down or a few hundred meters down it and she said,
"I've got to go back. There are 28,000 people there and I can't abandon them."
And Paul said to her, "You realize if we go back, we will die." And she said, "I have to go back. This is what we do. This is what we do." And
she went back and he, of course, followed her because he wasn't going to leave her. And he told me actually that they - I find this very emotional
so forgive me, but he said that they both felt very strongly that they might not make the deadline for the Sunday Times that week. And that was
her decision, that motivated her decision to ask Sean Ryan if she could broadcast with CNN and Channel 4 and wherever.
HILSUM: BBC, yes.
HILSUM: And she called me.
PIKE: And, yes, she spoke to you.
HILSUM: She called me and I said - and I was furious with her. I was furious with Marie, why she go back. And she said, "Lindsey, it's the
worst thing we've ever seen." And I said, "I know, but what's your exit strategy?" And she said, "That's just it. We don't have one. I'm working
on it now." And then a few hours later she was killed.
AMANPOUR: Again, in this moment that we are living, we all remember so starkly where we were when we heard that Marie had been killed in 2012.
And now six years later you have so many others who've been killed in the last six years trying to do this kind of work.
But all of a sudden the world is focused on Jamal Khashoggi. Because he wasn't a war correspondent, but he was taking on and criticizing a very
powerful regime. And again, until we find out exactly what happened to him, we can only assume the worst of what's being leaked. But there is
that whole similar attitude that I cannot be silenced. I will not be silenced whether it's Marie because of the danger, whether it's Jamal
because of the threats he was getting from the Saudi regime and others. I wonder whether people understand that that's what we do for them.
HILSUM: But I think the other thing she said really important is that Marie was killed in Syria and James Foley. But the majority of journalists
killed in Syria are Syrians and I think that that is so important that the majority of journalists under threats all over the world are under threat
from their own governments, and from organized criminals. Today is the anniversary of the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. She was a Maltese
journalist who was investigating corruption. And she and two other journalists within the European Union have been killed this year and they
are not in war zones, they're investigating corruption and organized crime and that it seems to me as this really important, I don't if it's new, but
it's the front in this war on journalists.
AMANPOUR: And I think that's why this film and your book at this time are really, really significant, and major reminders of what's at stake here,
not just for the individuals who are targeted and who lose their lives. But for our very democracies, for our whole idea of what's truth and what's
lies. And again about Marie, we had her sister and her lawyer on, Cat and her lawyer who are convinced that this was not an accident. She was not
killed in any crossfire. That she was in fact targeted. And I interviewed them when they came out with their conclusions and their suit against the
Assad regime and Cat explained to me that she'd been talking to Paul Conroy. Let's just listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CATHLEEN CORVIN, SISTER OF MARIE CORVIN: Really it felt right from the beginning like it had to be deliberate. The coincidence of her reporting
out of Homs just the night before she was killed was too much of a coincidence. But it really hit home when I spoke to Paul Conroy about his
knowledge of the artillery fire and how he was absolutely certain that the pattern of fire was one of targeting, not random bombings as they'd
experienced in the weeks leading up to Marie's murder. So I really felt from the outset that it was deliberate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIKE: And we say that in the film. I mean, as we leave the media center in Homs under fire in the final moments of the film, the poor character
played by Jamie Dornan says to me, "They're bracketing. They found us." And Marie says, "What?" He says they are measuring the distance and
they're closing in on our location. They know exactly where we are.
HILSUM: And in the last chapter of the book, I talked about the other evidence of the court case which is the defectors and spies. There is
quite a lot of evidence.
AMANPOUR: So you think that this is a solid case?
PIKE: There's someone who's actually spoken out.
AMANPOUR: Yes, there are. An intelligence official.
HILSUM: Yes, there's a lot of evidence.
AMANPOUR: Okay, so the next question is much with the Saudi regime right now, do you think that either Marie's death or Jamal's death will result in
the guilty being held accountable?
HILSUM: Oh, I wish I could say yes. I think that I believe that in the end the guilty will be held accountable. But I don't know how far away the
end is because right now I feel that journalism is really under threat. And I think that if it is established that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, if
it is established that he was murdered for being a journalist and speaking out, then I really hope that governments and people within the Saudi Arabia
do react and do something.
AMANPOUR: And can we just point out that six years after Marie's death and she was reporting from the very beginning of the war, it looks like Assad
is on the verge of not just winning but being accepted as the winner. And we need to really compute this, we really do need to just think about it
for the moment, because it cost 500,000 lives at the very least of Syrians, and millions of refugees and obviously so many more wounded. But I want to
play because this film is called A Private War, so it's not just about Marie's war work, it's also about her internal war with herself. And she
had as you know and we know a lot of PTSD. She was a heavy drinker. She had a couple of miscarriages. She had failed marriages. She had suicide.
She had divorce. She had just so much going on in her own life as she was nonetheless conducting this work at a very high level. And I just want to
play Marie accepting an award back in 2000.
Then Marie talking to Paul in the film when she's actually at one of the rehabilitation clinics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORVIN: Pain of war is really beyond telling. I don't think I've ever filed the story and felt I got it, I really said what I want people to
feel. But I do try and I think whatever the rights and wrongs of a conflict, I feel we fell if we don't face what war does. Face the human
horrors rather than just record who won and who lost.
I fear growing old and I also fear dying young. I'm most happy with the vodka martini in my hand, but I can't stand the fact that the chatter in my
head won't go quiet until there's a quart of vodka inside me. I hate being in a war zone. I also feel compelled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So it's really real.
PIKE: Yes, I think Matthew and I both felt that in order to really do Marie justice, we needed to go into the depths of her soul. And I think
I'm very, very interested in the cost of doing any job at a high level, whether it's sport or whether it's what you do. And I think it's a very
complicated place for the war correspondent, because I'm sure you must feel when you're out there you're exposed to so much trauma, and so much of
other people's pain. There must be a part of you that thinks, "Well, why am I feeling because it's not my pain to feel," and yet you must feel. You
cannot be exposed to that level of trauma without feeling so where on earth does it go.
And then you probably feel sort of guilty wrongly for having it haunt you, because I think it's a very complicated position to occupy, and I think it
was very lonely and I'm sure you feel that you should be able just to pull yourself together when you're back on your land.
HILSUM: But I think it is also - I mean, one of the reasons I called the book In Extremis is because there was a quote from Marie that says, "What I
write about is people living in extremis and what really happens in war." But obviously she also lived her own life in extremis, that was it. But I
suppose I also want to say because this is all serious stuff, she was the best company, she was the funniest person. And I said I used to think of
us as the Thelma and Louise of the press corps because whenever I - I would be anywhere and Marie would say like, "Now, I'm going to have fun."
And there was an occasion and we're not supposed to joke about these things now, but there was an occasion when we were on a stage and a very earnest
young woman got up and said, "How do you cope with the trauma?" Marie turned to me and she said, "Well, Lindsey and I, we go to bars and we
AMANPOUR: Yes, and this, what do we call it, black humor, Rosamund Pike, thank you so much. Lindsey Hilsum, thank you very much. A private war and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It is not unusual for a British actor to go to Hollywood and make it big. But Jameela Jamil is not exactly your paint-by-numbers
actress. A Brit, a Pakistani descent incredibly honest about her life from anorexia to sexual assault, nervous breakdown and even she got hit by a
car. She remains incredibly optimistic throughout and now she's starring in the hit sitcom The Good Place. Jamil spoke with our Alicia Menendez
about her unusual journey to the top.
ALICIA MENENDEZ, CO-HOST, AMANPOUR & CO.: You have the type of story that if it were written as fiction would be unbelievable. You grow up without
full hearing and yet somehow become a radio DJ. You accidentally become a host. You then accidentally become a columnist. You have then achieved
fame in the U.K. and decided it's time to move to the U.S. to pursue a career in writing and then somehow although you're not pursuing acting get
cast in one of the most important sitcoms happening in America right now. Who are you?
JAMEELA JAMIL, FOUNDER, #IWEIGH MOVEMENT: I don't know. I have no idea. I should be stopped.
MENENDEZ: Yes, who the hell is amazing at you ...
JAMIL: It's amazing that you've memorized my life, that's so mad.
MENENDEZ: Well, because it's unbelievable.
JAMIL: So when I was 17 I got hit by car into another car and broke my back and that changed the rest of my life, because it gave me this
certainty that we can't really have plans. There's no point really in having plans. For this one day you can just be walking across the road and
then that's it. Your whole life changes and you can't walk again for a year or some people can never walk again. So I think I stopped living my
life with a plan and with a particular direction and just moved in the direction of happiness.
And making the most of every single day, which makes me sound so disgustingly cheesy. It is true. Once you lose the ability to urinate,
alone for a year, you start to take things less for granted. So I think that it's left me open-minded, I think some people can be quite tunnel
visioned in this world. And in this industry in particular they have a certain idea of how everything is going to go and I think because I've just
been quite malleable and quite open to things, I've been in the right place at the right time. I think luck plays a huge part in it and I've just been
willing to take risks and humiliate myself constantly sometimes which I do actually quite frequently. I'm bad at things on air, in front of lots of
people but I'm willing to do for the first time.
MENENDEZ: Well because you're trying to try.
JAMIL: Yes. But I always jump straight in at the deep end. I had no idea how to host and my first audition landed me one of the biggest hosting jobs
in the United Kingdom. And then I started out in radio and rather than giving me the kind of one-year training round that you're supposed to get
where you pop up for other people, I got given my own show straightaway, and then made history as the first woman to ever take over the Official
Chart. So I've never been ready for - I mean I've never acted before and now I'm on The Good Place opposite to Ted Danson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who would you say is the most famous person in your phone?
JAMIL: It's not about who you know, enlightenment comes from within. The Dalai Lama texted me that.
MENENDEZ: The show The Good Place for all of its humor he gets into some very dark deep existential questions. What have you learned being on the
JAMIL: I've learnt that I need to pay more attention, and be a better person, and make sure that my motivations aren't corrupt. I think there's
a part of all of us that sometimes even without realizing do good things not for the sake of it, but doing it because it'll make you feel like a
good person. We call it moral desert on the show and I think that also it is a great reminder at this time where it feels like everything is so
divisive in politics, and then the news, and we're all being turned against each other and fear about one another.
This show is about four people who have nothing in common, who come from very different places, who have no choice but to work together in order to
get to a better place which is kind of a really wonderful analogy for the rest of the world is that when divided we will be conquered and we are
literally being conquered. And if we were to be more like the show, this silly NBC network comedy, if we were to put aside our differences and just
work together, we could actually change the world, and so that's what I really like about it.
MENENDEZ: Talk to me about why you decided to make that leap from your career in the U.K. to moving to L.A.?
JAMIL: Well England is amazing, but England has kind of a - it's got quite a low ceiling for women still. I think there's really very few of us who
manage to continue to work after our 30s and there still isn't enough diversity, not as much as there should be. I think they're getting better,
but way behind America. And so I kind of felt like my options of really great content was sort of at that time, I think things are changing now,
but four years ago they were sort of - I felt like the walls are kind of closing in on me and I didn't know what I wanted to do and I had a health
scare. Again, I get this like kind of cyclical every decade I get a huge health scare that makes me think about my life.
MENENDEZ: A breast cancer scare.
JAMIL: It was a breast cancer scare, yes, and it took a week for them to give me back my biopsy results which is so long when it's happening to you.
And I thought during that whole week about everything that I wish I would have done if it is cancer and if it isn't cancer I'm going to go and do all
of those things. I made a list and one of them was to book a one-way ticket to Los Angeles and quit my job, and quit my relationship, quit my
life and just moved there with no plan, no visa, no contacts, nothing, no friends here, and I just did it.
MENENDEZ: They say of comedians that very often their humor comes from a very dark place even though you're not a comedian you obviously now are a
comedic actor. And so I wonder for you, is there a darkness that you access in order to get to your comedy?
JAMIL: I think normally humor comes from an inability of feeling like you have anything else to rely on to make people like you. And so for me that
was being Pakistani in a time where England was still quite racist and I think it was being more overweight than society thought I should be. And
also, coming from a poor background and getting a scholarship to a very wealthy girl school where everyone was then very few people were of any
ethnicity, I was very much so an outsider my whole life, and I didn't really have friends probably until I was about 19 years old.
So I think that loneliness and also spending my hours that I should have been spending with other people my age, I spent watching comedy. So I
think it has become - comedy is my friend and therefore comedy is how I approach all friendship and that's probably where my comedy comes from;
loneliness, and darkness and fatness.
MENENDEZ: Well you alluded to this but, I mean, you spent three years suffering from anorexia in which you did not eat one proper meal the entire
JAMIL: No. Yes.
MENENDEZ: It is then that car accident that kicks you out of that. Not everyone will be hit by a car and have that be the turning point for them.
JAMIL: No, not everyone is as lucky as me.
MENENDEZ: I mean what a life-altering experience.
JAMIL: Yes, it was the best thing every happened to me. I highly recommend it.
MENENDEZ: You understand how dark that was.
JAMIL: Yes. No, I highly recommend it, just a little knock that reminds you that you are human and everything that you have can be taken away from
you. You're not special. You're not privileged. Anything can happen. All of these fluke occurrences can happen all of the time. You have to be
careful with yourself. You have to respect your body and it taught me to respect my body, because once these vital things I'd taken for granted like
walking or bending or sitting up by myself was taken away from me, I realized that, "Oh, my God, I've been treating my body so badly, speaking
about my body so badly." We all do it. We all say terrible things about our bodies to our bodies and to other people.
MENENDEZ: All of the time.
JAMIL: Constantly, it's all I hear and now that I've started the I Weigh Movement and I myself have become so sick of the toxic language around the
way that we talk about our self-image, I feel like I'm seeing it more than ever before, and we just have so much self-hatred and I think that's kind
of the thing I most want to do with my platform.
MENENDEZ: So tell me about I Weigh.
JAMIL: So I Weigh is a movement that I started. It's not a body positive movement, it's a life positive movement. Because I think there are enough
people working within body positivity and I would like to focus myself on getting away from the body and just looking at the whole picture of a
woman. We're so multifaceted and we're so interesting and so many of us do such impressive and wonderful incredible things. So many women is so much
funnier than people now and we are reduced to nothing more than a silhouette and normally aesthetically pleasing to a man. Those are the
kind of confines within which we're given to exist.
We have to have big breasts, and a small waist and a big bottom but no thighs, and no arms, and no cellulite and we have to never age ever. We
have to always look prepubescent and yet men are shot in HD and they get celebrated for getting older and salt-and-pepper hair. You never say that
about women. So we're so shamed and I decided I am tired of being valued by my weight, like my physical weight. I don't want my worth to be
represented on a weighing scale. I think that I weigh the sum of all my parts and I deserve the right to be acknowledged for that. I've lived a
whole life here I'm not just a facade, I'm not just an outside, and I want to celebrate women, and I want them to celebrate themselves and everything
that makes them up.
I want them to be proud of themselves. There's so many things that we do that are amazing. You don't need to look like a teenage sex doll to be
valid in this world. If you do, fine. If that's what you look like, that's great. But that shouldn't be the one requirement we're given.
Also, it's so narrow for us. We were only given one look and that look changes every 10 years. Can you imagine a world in which we said to men
every 10 years, "Oh, you got to look like this now and if you don't, you're nothing." They would tell us to F word off. That's what they would do.
There's no way that they would take that, tolerate that from us.
MENENDEZ: You have plenty of experience with airbrush. Airbrush that is not of your choosing. You have been made to look both less ethnic,
slimmer, how do you stop that?
JAMIL: I say do not ever airbrush me now to all magazines. I think I've always said it for a long time, but I didn't command enough power and also
I think I was less okay with the word no and for being strongly opinionated. I think me too and times up has given me this sense of like -
that I've never ever had before. Where now I'm just like, "Damn it, this is my life. Don't change my face." It's rude when someone changes my
face. It's crazy to me that without asking me someone has changed the shape of my nose and changed the color of my skin and lengthened my body.
That's a direct insult from the editor of the magazine and the Photoshop to me that I'm not good enough.
And then the young girl who doesn't look like me because I don't even look like me who sees that image then think she's not good enough. This is
ridiculous, so I now ban all airbrushing. I would like to move to change the laws on airbrushing. If I could, I would get rid of all of it and god
help us with these Photoshop apps. I think they are a nightmare. And I think that they are increasing the numbers of surgery that are happening
now, cosmetic surgery. I think numbers are rising because you're seeing yourself.
I think Facetune is one of the apps. You're always photoshopping yourself and then you look in the mirror, how can you be happy with something when
you've been looking at complete flawlessness and you look at the mirror and you can see human normal flaws and age. That's going to make you then want
to match what you see in the app and then you have to go out and have painful, expensive, sometimes dangerous surgery. What are we doing? What
kind of time is this that we're spending? I'm thinking about these things. Let's spend a little bit of time on your looks, wearing a suit. I bathed
yesterday, I didn't do it today.
MENENDEZ: Brushed your hair.
JAMIL: I did it yesterday. I brushed my teeth possibly also yesterday, but I'm here, making an effort wearing some makeup. That's fine, but it's
one-tenth of who I am and that's all I want. It's just life positivity. I Weigh is who you are, not what you look like.
MENENDEZ: As you alluded to, we are in a moment of cultural reckoning and that was on full display in this past few weeks as Brett Kavanaugh was
considered for his nomination to the Supreme Court. You've spoken openly in the past about being a survivor of assault. And so I wonder for you
watching what has unfolded in the past few weeks.
How you process the disbelief that has been posed towards the survivors that have come forward.
JAMIL: As a victim of several different cases of sexual assault, I find it very triggering, a very painful to watch and I think so do a lot of my
friends because we've all been there. We've all been given doubt. And also I pointed out this week that in the same week in which a woman who's
just speaking out about sexual assault and the way she's being treated in many different areas as someone to be suspicious of, someone to not
believe. She's been kind of villainized by certain people and then you have Roman Polanski on the other hand who this week we're hearing that he's
got a new film coming out. What is this gender imbalance here? That a woman who's accusing someone of sexual assault, whose life is being torn
apart and then Roman Polanski's off making movies, hanging out with celebrities, eating at the best restaurants, living his life at free.
MENENDEZ: Will you tell me as a survivor what message does it sent?
JAMIL: It sends a message that we're not supposed to speak out and that if we do, we will be villainized, and we will be doubted, and we will be
shamed and asked about what our part. We don't have a part to play in sexual assault. We are just victims and all I could ever beg women to do,
because I buried so much of my sexual assault for so many years. Each one took 10 years from the date of the assault. I've never told anyone about
them. You have to speak out. You have to say something. Not just for the fact that there may be something can be done about it, but also it's very
emancipating to release that shame and put it out into the world away from yourself. It's important to tell someone and have people look after you.
Don't do what I did, which to swallow it for so long which then it just ate me alive and made me afraid of sex and afraid of people. I suggest you go
and get help. I think EMDR therapy and post-traumatic stress disorder --
MENENDEZ: What is that?
JAMIL: EMDR is a special therapy for PTSD that I think is incredible and it really helped me with overcoming my sexual assault. But I think you
need to reach out to people, and you need to go to the law and we need to keep fighting. It's been so inspiring to see that this is going on as long
as it is and that even at higher - at a level where someone could be quite well protected and people could be silenced, we are still listening to
women. We need more of this and women need to know that you have the right to speak out. It is not your fault. You did nothing to encourage it. You
did not deserve it and you must say something.
MENENDEZ: I am envious of how unapologetic you are and I walked into this wondering if that was innate or if that is learned. But what I am hearing
is that it's been a process.
JAMIL: Yes. I had huge anxiety and depression in my 20s. I had a nervous breakdown at 26 until I was about 27, but I had to hide because I was still
a live TV presenter which is probably where my acting comes from, being able to hide the nervous breakdown. But I was mad and that was --
MENENDEZ: Was there something that triggered it?
JAMIL: Yes, but it was too personal to say. But, yes, it was a big event in my life, within my personal life, that sort of just was the straw that
broke the camel's back. And so it's also around the age that I think you start to fully process the things that have happened to you in your
childhood and then in your youth.
MENENDEZ: The one true line that runs through all of the work that you've done is that you have been a public person and in the public eye for a very
long time. No one and nothing can prepare you for that.
MENENDEZ: What has the process of becoming a public person been for you?
JAMIL: Trial and error, so much error. I was not born for this industry at all and I don't think before I speak and I can act emotionally rather
than intellectually sometimes, which is a nightmare if you're on Twitter, and I say the wrong thing, and my ignorance can be problematic, and I'm
trying to grow from it and learn from it. And old mistakes you've made are like a tattoo when you're famous and they never go away and all I can ever
do is continue to learn and openly apologize and beg forgiveness of those that I offend if I didn't know something, but I hope people know that I
don't come from a place of malice, just probably some internalized misogyny sometimes or some internalized shame or my own pain that's pouring out.
It's hard to live in an industry where people want to invade your privacy as much as they do which is kind of why I've kind of just become an open
book, because I'm tired of trying to hide everything all the time. I think my willingness to fail is the one thing that I hope will make me a good
role model to young people. That it's okay to fail as long as you keep trying.
MENENDEZ: Jameela, thank you so much.
JAMIL: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It's okay to fail as long as you keep trying. That is an incredibly honest interview with the actress, Jameela Jamil. And that is
it from us for now. Thank you for watching this special edition Amanpour. And remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at
Amanpour.com. And you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Goodbye for now.