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Childhood with an Alcoholic Father; Access to Education. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired February 5, 2019 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNNI ANCHOR: Hello everyone and welcome to Amanpour, here's that's coming up.
Before Cobert, Fallon and Steward there was Dick Cavett, the Godfather of late night political comedy who found humor in some of America's most
troubled times. Then, it's Richard E. Grant's world, we're just living in it. I speak with the star of "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" The surprise
darling of this year's award season. And, a college counselor who takes on controversial clients, young men who were disciplined for sexual assault.
Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London, where we're bringing you up to date with some of our important recent stories.
And we begin with Dick Cavett, the brilliant comic mind who lit up late night television with his quick wit and his insightful interviews.
For decades Americans stayed up past their bedtimes as Cavett hosted an unprecedented string of must-see interviews. Going head-to-head with guest
ranging form Marlon Brando, to John Lennon, to Katharine Hepburn.
Now, that's it's awards season, with the Oscar's around the corner, we're looking at how the master of celebrity interviews corralled all those
famous names and had so much fun really drawing them out.
Dick Cavett, welcome to my program.
DICK CAVETT, AMERICAN TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Well, I'm glad to be here, because I sit yelling at the screen when you're on saying, when am I going
to be on?
AMANPOUR: Well, here you are.
CAVETT: I'm glad it's happened.
AMANPOUR: So, I do interviewing for a living, but it's almost embarrassing for me to say that talking to you, because you are the king of
CAVETT: I'll be the judge of that.
AMANPOUR: All right. When you came onto the stage, how did you get your break? How did a young boy from Nebraska, by way of Yale University,
become Dick Cavett, get the Dick Cavett Show?
CAVETT: In fact, it was very, very, very strange. I became a copy boy at "Time Magazine" making $90 -- or $60 a week. So a paper (ph) item (ph)
Jack Paar worries about his monologue more than anything else. I was a huge Paar fan.
I went home and typed a monologue, took it on the subway down to the RCA building, knew what floor Jack's show was on, and here he came down the
hall, as in a too contrived situation and I had put it in a "Time" envelope so it caught his eye. And I said, I've written you -- some for you Mr.
Paar. He said, okay kid, you want to be a writer? And he took it in his office.
I went and sat in the audience, he came out, took some papers out and I thought, I made. And he said, this is a routine about mothers-in-law. And
I thought, oh no. It's not my stuff, it's somebody else.
In the middle of the show he did wonderful adlibs that were from my material that I had given him. Like first ship hijacking was in and he had
a hand mike in the audience and a woman said -- or said to her, what do you think about this pirate ship? And they used that phrase a couple times.
And Jack said, it must have been a surprise to the people hearing a voice come over saying attention please, this is your pirate speaking. Well,
that got a big laugh. He used another one of my lines, and in the elevator later, he said, you want to write don't you kid? And I said, yes. And he
said come back in a week.
And here we are.
AMANPOUR: And here we are.
CAVETT: Everything followed from that.
AMANPOUR: And Jack Paar was the biggest and most successful host, right?
CAVETT: He was it. He was Mr. Tonight Show. Yes.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Tonight Show.
CAVETT: Steve Allen had done one before, but Jack, surprisingly, for the impact Jack had on the nation, he was only on it five years.
AMANPOUR: It is pretty amazing.
CAVETT: Johnny, 30 some.
CAVETT: Ask people and you'll --
AMANPOUR: And Johnny Carson was a big rival of yours, right?
CAVETT: Yes, he was -- well, being two Nebraskans who came to New York dewy eyed, he came dewy eyed 10 years before I did, but we were very, very
AMANPOUR: So, I just want to just quickly read part of the incredible roster of guests on your program over the years. Marlon Brando, Mick
Jagger, Katharine Hepburn, Groucho Marx, Bette Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, John Lennon, that's not bad. That is not bad at all.
CAVETT: No, that's for starters.
AMANPOUR: That's just for starters.
CAVETT: Those are the little folks.
AMANPOUR: But here's the advice that Jack Paar gave you. He said to you, hey kid, when you do your show, don't do interviews.
CAVETT: That knocked me over. I picked up the phone, a voice said it was Jack Paar and I didn't believe it, because he never called me. And he
said, hey kid, this is Jack. You know, you're going to do this show, let me give you some advice. Please, don't do interviews. I thought, what do
I do sing or talk to the guests in poetry.
He said, no, no, interview, that's Q&A and what's your favorite this or that? And David Frost falling asleep on his clipboard and just make it a
AMANPOUR: So, he was, don't do interviews, have conversations?
CAVETT: Conversation is best. And you know, when it become spontaneous and it's rolling along and you can throw your notes away. I would -- a
friend of mine pointed my fault out at one set at the beginning, I stuck to my notes and I'd go to this one and then this one, whatever had just been
AMANPOUR: In other words, you weren't listening.
CAVETT: It wasn't that bad, but --
AMANPOUR: Yes, but it could have been, right?
CAVETT: Not listening, yes.
AMANPOUR: So, look, I just read this incredible list, you said just for starters, but it would be on anybody's dream list to have Marlon Brando,
and I'm going to play a little bit of a clip because you had this conversation, you were debating his premise that each of you were, in fact,
actors. And to prove his point he dissected your performance as a talk show host. Here's the clip
CAVETT: Oh, great.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARLON BRANDO, ACTOR: You're thinking of 60 things of once. How is it going? Is it getting dull? Is he upset and distresses and articulate? Is
he bored? Is he offended? Here's a good time for a joke. We haven't got much time.
You're thinking about nine million things and reacting to what I say, and how is that going to be? Is that going to be offensive? No, that's good.
So, you're doing this -- this editing at an insane rate and I mean -- and you have to do that and that's your job. And you have this demeanor of
levity and likeness and amusement and zest, and it's easy to abstain (ph) that that finally isn't what goes on in your mind or your feelings at all.
CAVETT: I just feel like all of my clothes have been taken off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You felt like you'd been stripped bear there and then.
CAVETT: And the sensation of, here I am, little Dicky Cavett from 23rd Street in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Marlon Brando is talking about me, who's
also from Nebraska.
CAVETT: That surprises you?
AMANPOUR: You, Johnny Carson and Marlon Brando, that does surprise me.
CAVETT: Here's one that will knock your hat off, as Groucho would say, assuming that is your hat. Fred Astaire -- Fred Astaire, a Nebraskan.
European's won't believe it.
AMANPOUR: Did you interview him too?
CAVETT: He was from Omaha. He did two -- my show twice.
AMANPOUR: But, what did you think of Brando? I mean, he was a pretty intimidating guy. How -- what did you think of him? And how did you carry
on the conversation after you've been stripped naked, so to speak?
CAVETT: Well, I didn't know how I could do another show after that. He had come up to my dressing room before the show and I was in awe. But easy
to talk to. He was so brilliant. And afterwards he said, I'm going down to Chinatown. And I said, why? There's a little restaurant down there
I've been looking for, for years. So we went to Chinatown.
AMANPOUR: I have no idea what you just said.
CAVETT: Do you know what -- want to go down to Chinatown?
AMANPOUR: You want to go down to Chinatown.
CAVETT: And people often said that to him, I don't know (inaudible). We went down, I'll make it quick, Ron Galella, the Paparazzo, followed us.
Jumps out of his car as we got out on the dark, dark streets of Chinatown, everything's closed. Which one is Galella? And I said, that one right
there. The other guy is his assistant. Just keep the same expression on your face and he'll get tire of taking the same picture. Well, Galella did
not get tired of taking it and he kept going with us. And we all know Marlon has a temper and he leaned in and said, you want to take those sun
glasses off, Marlon? And Marlon took them off and, wham, a shot that came up from the sidewalk. Broke Galella's jaw as he fell face forward onto the
hood of a car and it was really --
AMANPOUR: And that was Marlon Brando.
CAVETT: I thought, this is thrilling, this is the biggest day of my life. This is one of the stupidest things that I've ever seen.
AMANPOUR: So, you are known amongst your friends, and not just your audience, as incredibly literal, incredibly intellectual.
CAVETT: Why is that?
AMANPOUR: I don't know why it is. You use words and words and words to the point --
CAVETT: Well --
AMANPOUR: -- to the point that your wife, your wife, Carrie and I, your first wife, your late wife once said, he is a genuinely witty man. He is a
questioner really. You ask him a simple question and he employees the socratic method for 45 minutes, it drives me absolutely crazy. But, is
that part of your secret? I guess, what I want to know is, what makes you a great interviewer?
Do you recall, I mean, what is it that you thought of, because you did do interviews for more than an hour or so, and that was commercial television?
I mean, that doesn't happen that much these days.
CAVETT: I don't know. I never had any experience doing it before. And -- but I found that when I got out there and though of Jack's, talk to the
people, don't read your -- and what is your favorite mountain or something, that it just seemed to flow.
AMANPOUR: Was somebody like David Bowie a natural for you? I mean, I'm a great David Bowie fan, I don't know whether you were, but he was
particularly cutting edge on all the gender fluidity and his music was cutting edge and his persona, and --
CAVETT: He's dynamic and you can feel that sitting there --
AMANPOUR: Which you did.
CAVETT: -- as you can with Brando and a few people in our business who something really emanates from them and you can feel it, yes.
AMANPOUR: So, I'm going to a clip.
CAVETT: Used a Kleenex a couple of times, but other than that we had a good time.
AMANPOUR: Let me play a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BOWIE, MUSICIAN: I'm a story teller and a story writer and I decided that I prefer to enact a lot of the material that I was writing than
performing it as myself at this moment. I'm performing as myself, but I will continue, in the future, after I've done what I wish to do at the
moment, return back to writing stories and I will enact them again and I don't care what anybody says, I like doing it and it's what I shall
continue to do.
CAVETT: Well, I'm not stopping you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Nobody is stopping you said, and everybody laughed at that. He was a -- did you get him then? Did you get how revolutionary he was in
this industry and how --
CAVETT: Probably not. Probably my antenna were a little wiggly at that point and lame, but then as I watched him I saw, as they would say about
Garbo, she didn't seem very interesting in the studio when they were shooting, but when you saw it on the screen you saw all kinds of things
going on. And with Bowie, like something's going happen, something's going on.
AMANPOUR: Talking about huge stars, you did two programs with Katharine Hepburn.
AMANPOUR: How many hours? Was it about three hours all told?
CAVETT: It's strange how that came about. I had wanted her for years. Finally she had said something to somebody.
AMANPOUR: How did you get her to agree?
CAVETT: I don't know what did it. I think a couple of other friends said, you should do it with him, he's the one you should do it with. She'd never
do it -- never done that and she's the kind of woman who if she's never picked up a snake she will pick on up just so she's done that. And she
decided to do a talk show and --
AMANPOUR: She was pretty cantankerous in the actual interview.
CAVETT: She was at times, yes. But --
AMANPOUR: Here's a clip.
CAVETT: -- I --
AMANPOUR: Watch this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHARINE HEPBURN, ACTRESS: But you keep interrupting the long story of my life. If you'd just shut up, I'd be able to --
CAVETT: I won't speak again for the next hour.
HEPBURN: You never listen though. That'll be the day. Or that'll be the night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, no punches pulled there.
CAVETT: If I -- my favorite moment in that show was when I cornered her. I got sort of having fun with her and I said, you know, we've worked
together. Summer at Stratford I was an extra in "the Merchant of Venice" with you, I had one line, you weren't on stage. And she said, what was
your line? And I said, "Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house and desires to speak with you both." Is that how you said it?
AMANPOUR: No wonder she kept buzzing (ph) you, right?
CAVETT: One of the biggest laughs ever. And she loved getting the laugh.
AMANPOUR: That is pretty good.
CAVETT: And we hit her good too.
AMANPOUR: In 1971 you, in fact, had the first television interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and of course it was at the time when the Beatles
had broken up and you were asking John, what made that Beatles break up. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN LENNON, MUSICIAN: It's just when you grow up, you know, we don't want to be the crazy gang, which they might know over here, which is British, or
the Marx Brothers, which has sort of been dragged on stage playing, She Loves You, when we've got asthma and tuberculosis and when we're 50. Here
they are again. Yesterday, all my --
LENNON: A long time ago I said that I didn't want to be singing, She Loves You, when I'm 30, I said that when I was about 25 or something, which in a
round about way meant that I wouldn't be doing whatever I was doing then at 30. When I was 30, last October, and that's about when my life changed
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, his life changed.
CAVETT: John was so approachable, so available. When you met him it was that feeling of, I've known him a long time, though you had not. And they
had fun on the show.
AMANPOUR: And this was a very, very difficult time because was choosing Yoko over the Beatles.
CAVETT: Yes, yes, it was a -- I maybe did one of the few good things, really good things I've ever done, which was went down, as he had asked me
if I would, and protested the fact that our great unindicted co-conspirator of that time, that your Belinda (ph) wonder (ph) Richard Milhous Nixon
wanted John out of the country. And then -- unfortunately later got himself out of the White House.
AMANPOUR: Out of the White House.
CAVETT: I thought they'd have to cut his hands off at the wrists to get him out of the White House, but --
AMANPOUR: You know, it is interesting, we forget that John was up on a blacklist, right? I mean --
CAVETT: Yes, oh yes.
AMANPOUR: -- Nixon siced the FBI on him.
CAVETT: Yes, and I helped him. It was a good feeling.
AMANPOUR: What did you do?
CAVETT: And anything I could do for John and against Nixon, I would jump at.
AMANPOUR: And what did you do for him?
CAVETT: Well, I just went down and talked about how he should not be thrown out and there was -- his lawyer was there and an audience and now if
you go to Youtube and -- well, not while we're on, and put in Cavett-Nixon, you can see him in the Oval Office in a still. The words are up here. It
begins with, what is Cavett anyway, he says to his lick (inaudible) H.R. Haldeman. And the last line is, Cavett, there must be something we can do
to screw him.
AMANPOUR: Well, absolutely right. I mean, you took the words out my mouth. On the White House tapes the press says --
CAVETT: I never heard you talk like that.
AMANPOUR: -- the press says, Cavett, is there any way we can screw him? I mean, look, you were one of the first to really delve into covering
Watergate, right? I mean you spoke a lot on your show about Watergate. You debated all sorts of things. You didn't shy away from those actual
CAVETT: I did not, no, because it was so damn interesting. I don't know how much credit I deserve for it, but as Gore Vidal said, you woke up every
morning and you had to have your Watergate fix. It was just thrilling.
AMANPOUR: I mean, again, you had an extraordinary conversation with Henry Kissinger. It was after Watergate you discussed Nixon's final days and you
asked about his mental health and Kissinger said, well, it was a rather scary period, because we were living, after all, in a nuclear world. What
did you think when you heard Kissinger say that?
CAVETT: Yes, Kissinger, whom I liked, though I offended him once or twice, but we've seen to gotten over that on the air. Kissinger said an
interesting thing, it didn't him so much until later, how would you describe Nixon or what was Nixon? And he said, just about anything you
would say about him would be true. Isn't that wonderful?
AMANPOUR: Isn't that interesting. Yes, yes. I mean, that is wonderful. Can I make a very, very hard turn and a quite difficult hard turn.
CAVETT: Do your worst.
AMANPOUR: Because -- well, maybe painful hard turn. There are a lot of great creatives across the whole spectrum of human endeavor who suffer from
some kinds of depression in all sorts of degrees. You did yourself.
CAVETT: Way to many and it's not hard to find the latest. Yes. And there's nothing good about depression. Somebody called it the worse agony
device for man and it sort of is, or people are familiar with the fact that you loose interest in everything.
Seems like all of the color goes out of your life, you don't want to do anything and it's hateful. And you also feel that you're busted. It's
going to always be that way and a thing with great force tells you, this is permanent, this here for good.
Tell your depressive victim or child or wife or friend, it will pass, but that doesn't do you much good while you're doing it and if anybody says to
your wife, daughter, or you, while you're suffering from it, what have you got to be depressed about? You've got money and a house and a daughter and
-- you can punch those people without a sense of guilt because it's a disease.
AMANPOUR: I want to end with a really nice exchange between you and the great Janice Joplin back in 1970.
CAVETT: Oh, dear Janice, yes, my god.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAVETT: Do you ever get back to Port Arthur, Texas?
JANICE JOPLIN, SINGER-SONGWRITER: No, but I'm going back next -- in August man. And guess what I'm doing?
CAVETT: I don't know. Night clubbing?
JOPLIN: I'm going to my 10th annual high school reunion.
CAVETT: Oh, I want to -- take movies and bring them back here and show us, will you?
JOPLIN: Hey, would you like to go?
CAVETT: Well, I don't -- I don't have that many friends in your high school class.
JOPLIN: I don't either.
CAVETT: Or mine, for that matter.
JOPLIN: I don't either.
CAVETT: You don't either?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVETT: Oh boy. She loved coming on the show. I didn't know if she would. I didn't know who she was the first time I saw here at Fillmore on
stage. Somebody dragged me down, she was terrific, I said who is that girl in the green pants who was so good. And he told me here name, Janice
Joplin and little did I know that she -- I think she must have been on about six or eight times.
AMANPOUR: She had a great connection. But, you had a great connection with all your guests. I think that's what comes through.
CAVETT: Not Spiro Agnew.
AMANPOUR: Maybe not some of the guests.
CAVETT: He was if not the dullest guest runner-up.
AMANPOUR: Dick Cavett, thank you so much, indeed.
CAVETT: Oh my god, don't mention it. Whatever that means.
AMANPOUR: And now we turn from a young man, who came out of Nebraska, to take the TV world by storm, to a young man who came out of Swaziland to
take the movie world by storm. Here is Richard E. Grant, and he is having his moment.
After 40 years and more than 100 films, the much loved actor is getting serious award show love, including his first ever Oscar nomination for his
unlikely role alongside Melissa McCarthy in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" The movie based on the true story of literary forger Lee Israel. Here's a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD E. GRANT, ACTOR: This is quite something. Isn't it wonderful?
MELISSA MCCARTHY, ACTRESS: I thought so too.
GRANT: Name your price.
MCCARTHY: You are looking at one month's rent.
GRANT: What do we have to do? Gamble, shock (ph), drink?
UNKNOWN MALE: Israel, we have a couple of questions regarding the last letter you purchased (ph).
GRANT: Uh oh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Jack Hock is one of a series of memorable alcoholics on Grant's resume, going all the way back to his breakthrough role in the Indie
classic "Withnail and I." And though he is in fact a (inaudible) of scream, Grant's father was an alcoholic.
And that was a major factor in his complicated and sometimes violent childhood in southern Africa. And I asked him about all of that when we
spoke against a backdrop of Brexit based upheaval here in London.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Richard E. Grant, welcome to the program.
GRANT: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: So, we just had this robust discussion about Brexit. You can see that nobody quite knows which is the way forward. We've heard from
British PM from the Europeans. Does Brexit resonate -- I man, are you political? I mean you're an actor.
AMANPOUR: Are you?
GRANT: Yes. I feel passionate about it. But I think that, that what's happened now is so -- put it this way, I think there's something on the
one hand an (inaudible) in the DNA of the British people. And on the other hand, fair minders. And I think those things have absolutely reveled
themselves today in what's gone on.
That we're not going to be told what to do by Europe. And we're not going to be told to take this deal the majority of people in parliament don't
seem to agree with. So, I think it kind of puts the Alice and Wonderland.
AMANPOUR: Can you see it being (inaudible) for more I know films or TV series, one of your British colleagues; Benedict Cumberbatch has just
"Brexit" the film. And it's endlessly interesting as characters, right?
GRANT: I think so. But on the other hand, I also think that people are sick to the back teeth of all this turmoil that's been going on. They
don't want to know about it. So, I will be very surprised if that gets the viewing figures that they can anticipate that they will get.
AMANPOUR: And that turmoil presumably felt it with the United States as well shooting this latest film--
GRANT: Oh, yes.
AMANPOUR: -- "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
GRANT: Yes, I was there during the inauguration of Donald Trump.
GRANT: And people were so depressed on that Friday. But on the Saturday morning, there was this huge marches all across America and huge women
marches of almost a million people toward Central Park. So, there's a feeling you're like yes, we're going to take this on.
AMANPOUR: And all these years later in to a second year, we've got government shutdown there. We've paralysis of the government here. So,
let's move on and talk about your film. The breakthrough this sorted reality. In fact, let me just say, the New York Times quoted about the
book that you made the film.
"It's a slender, sorted and pretty damn fabulous book about her misadventure." So, it's based on the author Lee Israel.
AMANPOUR: Give us the premise.
GRANT: Lee Israel was a successful best selling biographer in New York in the 1980s. And she then fell on hard times. Her book about Estee Lauder
failed to sell. And she chanced upon a letter written by Fanny Brice, the (inaudible) to (inaudible).
And nobody would publish her book. Nobody wanted to do a book about Fanny Brice. They said its old news. So, she then added a postscript to a
letter and sold it to a collector and realized that there was money to be made out of being a literary ventriloquist like forger.
So, she started imitating a whole bunch of famous dead writers. And she was very successful at it. She was finally rumbled by the F.B.I. And I
play a guy, a kleptomaniac, HIV positive drug addict alcoholic who worked in collision with her. But she is an unapologetically misanthropic grump
GRANT: -- played by Melissa McCarthy.
AMANPOUR: Exactly. So, with that in mind, here's the clip of when you fist meet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRANT: Lee Israel. Jack Hock. Last time I saw you -- thank you, we were both pleasantly pissed at some horrible book carter (ph). Am I right?
MCCARTHY: It's slowly flooding back to me. You're fiends with Julie or something--
GRANT: She's not an agent anymore, she died.
MCCARTHY: She did? Jesus, that's young.
GRANT: Maybe she didn't die, maybe she just moved back to the suburbs. I always confuse those two. No, that's right. She got married and had
MCCARTHY: Better to have died.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, I mean it's funny, it's acerbic. You both play gay characters. She's an alcoholic, you're an alcoholic. And as you said, you
end up HIV positive. What drew you to this film? And also what was it was lie working with this irrepressible Melissa McCarthy?
GRANT: Well, that's what I was curious about. Because when I got the script and I saw this is a true story which I was amazed that I didn't --
have never heard of it because it was right down to the radar. It happened in the early '90s.
I wondered whether this was going to be a vehicle for the comic percent that we know and love of Melissa McCarthy. And I met her on a Friday,
before I saw (inaudible) on a Monday last year in January.
And she -- she was wearing a gray wig showing the gray roots. And very, very dirty clothes, a sense of gravity seemed to have shifted. Her voice
was lowered. And I knew instantaneously that she was 5,000 percent committed to playing this character without a tanner of sentimentality and
to play her for all her contrariness.
Which for leading -- a comedy actress to the that on in a movie was a bold choice, I thought and she does it absolutely brilliantly.
AMANPOUR: And was it fun? Did you feel -- I mean, you have a great report in the film, although there's obviously--
GRANT: You can see it clearly (ph).
AMANPOUR: In person?
GRANT: You hope for that. I think it's almost like I know that you're recently single. So, you know that when you meet somebody, you hope that
you're going to have connection with them.
You think well, on paper there's this. But as I said, we went on a Friday. We knew how to play the -- all these (inaudible) that ages out of this
friendship that these people go through -- experience. And it felt like lightning in a bottle. We just -- I knew that we'd be friends forever and
GRANT: So, it's luck.
AMANPOUR: And it is award season. And you have been nominated and the film has been really critically well reviewed. I mean, did you imagine
AMANPOUR: -- kind of weird under the radar be kind of (inaudible) both of you.
GRANT: Yes. Christiane, I'm 61 and 3/4 years old. I've never been nominated or reward for anything in my whole life. And I've now got 20 of
them on my shelf. And we haven't even got to--
AMANPOUR: How does that feel?
GRANT: I mean it's extraordinary. You go for something that took me 20 days to shoot and the rest of the movie is 26 days in total that this
should be -- this should've happened is extraordinary. But we keep meeting people that say this movie made us feel something. We care for these
AMANPOUR: And because that loneliness is also the theme. Obviously, the - - the sort of forgery and all of that but this loneliness is really I think the theme of it and how you both try to comfort each other.
GRANT: They're lonely and they're failures. So, you think well who wants to see a movie with people doing that. But people seem to -- people have
responded very positively to wanting to see it.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And as you said, we haven't even go to the (inaudible), we haven't got the Oscars yet. Yes, so you're on a good run. So, you also
have an amazing back story. You grew up in Swaziland. Your father was a major personality in the education system there. But he was also an
AMANPOUR: And you are not embarrassed or shy about talking about it. You've talked quite a lot about how difficult it was growing up in that
kind of environment. And of course you play an alcoholic in this character.
GRANT: And ironically, I'm allergic to alcohol. I thought it was like somatic, but I found out when I was 17, (inaudible) in my system. So, I
cannot keep alcohol down whatsoever. But I think that what I saw the toxic price that my father paid. And we paid as a family by keeping all that
And so, I've made a movie about it 14 years ago in which Gabriel Byrne played my father (inaudible).
AMANPOUR: "Wah Wah?"
GRANT: Yes. So, I feel very, very strongly that secrets like that are ultimately toxic. So in talking about them, problem as problem share that
old cliche. But I really believe in that. And it's saved me. And it's connected me with other people who are in the same situation.
AMANPOUR: Of course now there are so many. And people are more and more open about it whether it's about opioids or whether it's about any kind of
addictions. And that's pretty good in terms of progress and trying to get- -
GRANT: I absolutely think so--
AMANPOUR: -- trying to get help. But at the time you're a kid and quote unquote a foreign land. I mean I know you grew up there. But nonetheless,
it was just a strange environment. And you talk about your father even pointing a gun at you.
GRANT: Well, the circumstance--
AMANPOUR: And firing the gun.
GRANT: Well, I was -- I was 15. I was very, very angry. And he was very drunk. And violent and so I emptied a crate of his scotch down the sink,
in the sort of deluded hope that I could stop him drinking by doing that, by removing the source material. And--
AMANPOUR: But that's a very natural impulse.
GRANT: Yes. And he had a gun and he came at me and cornered me in the garden and, you know, had the gun to my temple. I said, you know, go on,
shoot my brains, just get it over and done with. And he pulled the trigger but because he was so drunk he lusts and so it fired off and just missed
So, you know, I've lived to tell the tale. And, of course --
AMANPOUR: That is
GRANT: The thing is that with all addiction as I'm sure you've experienced with people that you've interviewed before that the person that I loved and
adored, who's my father, was very, very quick-witted and well-educated, and incredibly charming person. By night when -- by 9:00 at night, the Dutch
and Hyde character would come out and that wasn't the person that I knew him to be. So I was -- it was very clear to me that our lives were in two
AMANPOUR: But is actually extraordinary to hear that he actually pulled the trigger because you know there's a lot of threatening behavior that can
happen, scary threatening behavior like putting a gun to your temple but he pulled the trigger.
GRANT: Yes. He was furious. And I ran. When he missed, I then ran away from home for a week. So I felt my life was really in danger.
AMANPOUR: And given the title of this latest film, you know, "Can you" --
GRANT: "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
AMANPOUR: Could you ever forgive him?
GRANT: Absolutely. Yes, I did. With a weep because he blacked out and he didn't remember that this has happened.
So you know, that's the weird thing about if your -- you forgive your parents almost anything because, you know, they're the people that you
love. And he wasn't like that all the time.
AMANPOUR: And because of that --
GRANT: After that, he was sober.
AMANPOUR: Right. I mean it must be so difficult for a kid. Your mother also, you caught her having an affair.
GRANT: I did too.
AMANPOUR: I mean actually in flagrante.
GRANT: Yes, when I was 10-years-old.
AMANPOUR: And how does that affect you?
GRANT: I started keeping a diary which I've kept ever since I was 10- years-old because I couldn't -- I tried God, I got no response. And so I have no faith or religion. Although I live by the 10 Commandments as much
as I best can.
And I couldn't tell my friends and I couldn't tell my father. So by keeping a diary, I thought, well, this somehow makes it real. And in the
same way that, you know, I've just been on this huge press junket in Los Angeles and New York, San Francisco for this film, that when I meet people
that I never thought that I possibly meet my whole life, writing about it is a way of somehow making it real. I actually did meet this person if
I've written it down so that's a lifelong habit.
AMANPOUR: And did you ever confront your mom?
GRANT: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
AMANPOUR: And what -- I mean she said it was because your dad was a drunkard.
GRANT: Well, no, no, because she fell in love with somebody else.
AMANPOUR: And she stayed with him?
GRANT: And then he became a drunk.
GRANT: Yes. So --
AMANPOUR: You think he became a drunk because of that?
GRANT: Oh, I know he did. And so he suffered, you know, unrequited love for her and he drank himself to death at the age of 53. But after sort of
three decades of estrangement, after I had really good psychoanalysis with him, actually a brilliant man in London, I then had to approach with my
mother. So it's all good.
I spike -- Skyped with her today. Spiked with her. I Skyped with her today and I speak to her once a week.
AMANPOUR: I mean that really is wonderful actually because to see your son --
GRANT: Yes. Oh, saved my life.
AMANPOUR: -- and come out of this, I mean life-altering experiences. But I am interested that you say you're allergic to alcohol. You're allergic
AMANPOUR: And yet your breakout film with Withnail & I, you play what? An alcoholic.
GRANT: I played more alcoholics, drug addicts, cocaine heads, almost than any other thing in my career.
AMANPOUR: There must be a reason.
GRANT: After -- no.
AMANPOUR: I'm going to play a little clip, OK, just to show what you look like drunk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WITHNAIL: These aren't mine. They belong to him.
POLICE OFFICER: You're drunk.
WITHNAIL: I assure you I'm not drunk, officer. I've only had a few ales.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And you play a good drunk.
GRANT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: But I read that -- and now I'm worried about you because, you know, you say you're allergic. Did they force fed you like foie gras, a
bottle of champagne?
GRANT: They did the night before the final day of rehearsals. Because the director, Bruce Robinson, who's a lifelong friend, he said that I have to
have a chemical memory he called it of what it was like to be completely levered. So I did and I have never done since I passed out.
AMANPOUR: So anyway, here you are as you said at the age of 61 and 3 quarters I think --
AMANPOUR: -- suddenly receiving awards, never have done before. And you are in the prime of your life, right. How happy do you feel?
GRANT: I am astonished because a very very kind and considerate actor called Roddy McDowall who (INAUDIBLE) Planet of the Apes and all those
things. I met him when I was researching and all that I was writing in Los Angeles when I was 40.
And he said, "How do you see old age?" And I said I haven't thought about it. He said, "Well, [13:35:00] from now onwards, diminishing returns,
smaller roles, smaller recognition, smaller paychecks, do you get a bitter and twisted route like the majority of actors will become? Or do you go I
am the luckiest person to have worked with, to have met with, to have earned this?"
So the wisdom of that has really stayed with me. And if you told me 41 years ago (INAUDIBLE) 20 that 41 years later, I'd be in the final Star Wars
film which I've just been shooting, I would have said you're completely insane.
So the fact that I've had this sort of upsurge at the age that I am now, it's beyond all -- you know, it's like what John Allen said before he was
shot, life is what happens in between making your plans. And that really is what's happened to me. So I'm incredibly grateful.
AMANPOUR: Richard E. Grant, thank you very much indeed.
GRANT: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: It's great that he's getting all this recognition for the first time but over 60-years-old.
But now, we turn to college and a college admissions' counselor who dedicate her career to helping struggling students. Hanna Stotland
specializes in what she calls the kryptonite cases, kids with a record of substance abuse, legal troubles, or behavioral issues that might block
their path to a college education.
But one aspect of Stotland's practice is particularly controversial, that she is the go-to expert for students who are disciplined for sexual
misconduct. At a time of white-hot controversy over how colleges handle assault allegations, Stotland believes that everyone deserves a second
chance as she's been telling our Michel Martin.
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Hanna Stotland, thanks so much for talking with us.
HANNA STOTLAND, EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT: Thanks. I'm glad to be here.
MARTIN: I understand that you actually have an interesting educational journey yourself. You got your GED.
MARTIN: And then you actually transferred to Harvard but just tell me a little bit about how all that happened.
STOTLAND: So I flunked out of high school. I had straight Fs my last three semesters. And I didn't think I was college material. I didn't
think I was going to go.
I got a job. My parents said, "If you're going to live in the house, you need to have a job." So I started working full-time on my 18th birthday.
After a couple of years, I thought I want to go to college but I had no idea if any four-year college would take me basically on the strength of my
Eventually, got into a small women's college, did really well there for two years, and was able to transfer, and ended up going to Harvard.
MARTIN: How did you get into educational consulting?
STOTLAND: So this is something that came to me. So after I transferred, I got a job as a tour guide in the admissions office. And you know I would
be giving a tour and there's a little spot in the tour script where you say, "And this is what brought me to Harvard." And I'd say, well, I had
straight Fs my last three semesters of high school. I have a GED. I got here when I was 22.
And after every tour, some family would take me aside and say, "You have to talk to my nephew. He just got out of rehab and he wants to apply to
college. You know, can you help us?"
MARTIN: When people would say that, did that freak you out or did you think --
STOTLAND: Well, it was daunting.
MARTIN: Did you do it? I mean did you call these people's nephew or whatever?
STOTLAND: Yes, if they -- I would give them a card and I would say, you know, here's my e-mail address and if you want to get in touch with me.
And those that did, I was happy to talk to.
They wanted to know, you know, can you retake the SAT when you're 20? Yes, I had to do that. Questions like that. And so it grew from there. And I
started learning from my clients.
MARTIN: You said in one interview that I read with you -- to other folks in the field, you said "Send me your addicted, you're convicted, you're
expelled, you're eating disordered, your kryptonite cases, if you will." Did you mean that? Why did you say that?
STOTLAND: Absolutely, I meant it. I think these are -- these kids can benefit from education too. And it's really hard for them to get it but I
know how to help them do it.
MARTIN: I understand that you said you're doing a lot of eating disorders, kids who had to take health breaks from school and trying to figure out how
to get back in. When did it become about sexual misconduct?
STOTLAND: So I got my first two calls from students who'd been accused of sexual misconduct in January 2014. And they asked, "Can you help me in
this situation?" And I said I have no idea, let's find out. But after I had a few successful clients, the next thing I knew I had dozens.
MARTIN: Why January 2014? What -- did something happen then that started to stimulate these particular cases?
STOTLAND: I'm not sure. I think it was probably a delayed impact of the 2011 Obama era, a dear colleague letter from the Department of Education
that revised the standards that universities had to follow in adjudicating sexual misconduct cases.
MARTIN: Could you just briefly describe for people who don't follow this field like what the shift was?
STOTLAND: The shift was designed to push back against a system that was I think correctly perceived [13:40:00] as silencing victims, particularly
women. And it was perceived as not resulting in real consequences for folks who committed harassment or assault.
And so it was an attempt to make the system more stringent so that there would be stricter enforcement of Title IX, the law that mandates equality
of the sexes in higher education.
MARTIN: Is there a typical scenario that brings someone to you?
STOTLAND: So about two-thirds of my cases stem from I would broadly say drunken hook-up. About one-third of the cases, the accusation happened
following the breakup of, like in college terms, a long-term relationship.
MARTIN: And so are these mostly men, young men?
STOTLAND: They are mostly young men who were accused --
MARTIN: By women?
STOTLAND: I have -- but that's a mix. I see both men and women accusing men. I have a tiny handful of women who have been accused either by men or
MARTIN: And what do you do for them?
STOTLAND: The main thing I do for them is help them make a plan for how to continue their education after this interruption and help them talk about
the problem on their record in a way that gives them a shot at a second chance.
MARTIN: Do you ask them, what happened here?
MARTIN: Because if you're representing somebody in a criminal proceeding, I think the question would be, "What do they say happened?"
STOTLAND: I need both. If I'm going to help you write an explanation of what happened, I need to understand and you need to talk about both the
best way of looking at the facts and the worst way of looking at the facts.
MARTIN: Talk to me a little bit more if you would about how you go about this.
STOTLAND: I want to take the counseling equivalent of a searching medical history. I want to know both from the point of view of you as a student.
You know, what major do I want? What kind of grad school do I want? What's my career plan? And then also what happened here in the incident in
question and also in the process that led you out of that school?
MARTIN: Do you look for remorse?
MARTIN: What if it's not forthcoming?
STOTLAND: There's often disagreement about what happened and I don't try to evaluate whose version of events would match a videotape if there had
been a videotape. It's not my area of expertise. It's not my job.
But it is essential to making the argument that you need a second chance, that this won't happen again. If this was just a lightning strike that
could happen to anyone, then you have no leg to stand on saying, "I'm going to prevent this from happening again in my life."
So even if you feel you didn't commit assault which maybe you didn't, I wasn't there, you better find other choices that you made that you would
make differently now. Maybe you weren't as kind as you could have been. Maybe you were drinking underage. Maybe you were hooking up with someone
who either had been drinking or using drugs.
And now you think that that wasn't smart, you know. So you need to look at what your failures of judgment, of kindness, of any standard that you want
to live up to in the future. Look at those failures and talk about how you've changed them.
MARTIN: And how do you know you're not introducing somebody dangerous back into an environment where they're just going to do something else? Because
guess what, they got away with it.
STOTLAND: It's always possible that someone who has done something wrong in the past will repeat that behavior. There's a couple of assumptions in
the question that I want to unpack.
One is that these kids are going to be in the community somewhere. These are not students who are typically charged with anything criminally. And
so they can be in the community as students or they can be in the community as workers or volunteers. If indeed someone is a habitual predator, they
can and will be that wherever they may be, you know, unless they're in a cell which is usually not on the table.
MARTIN: Can you give us an example without -- to the degree that you can without violating your vow of confidentiality to your client? Can you just
give me a little bit more detail about a scenario?
STOTLAND: So there's just a few typical scenarios. One is two people meet at a party, they go off and hook up. Both have been drinking. Following
the hook-up, in some days or months later, one of the parties alleges that they were too drunk to consent to the hook-up.
In that case, frequently the person who didn't make the allegation is going to be expelled or suspended even if they were equally or more liberated.
And there -- the whole question that the case would [13:45:00] turn on is, were they intoxicated or were they incapacitated? So it's a very --
MARTIN: Which party, the complainant or both?
STOTLAND: The complainant. And so that is probably the single most common scenario that I see where you have two intoxicated people and everyone
agrees that the encounter was -- appeared consensual at the time, that there was -- yes, there was participation, there wasn't no. But the
consent -- the apparent consent was no good because of the level of intoxication. And so that -- that's the core of the dispute usually that
determines whether someone gets expelled or not is how drunk do we think the accuser was at that moment.
MARTIN: You're telling me that the bulk of your caseload is ambiguous consent. Would that be right?
STOTLAND: The bulk of my caseload is ambiguous.
MARTIN: And it's not force -- there's no force involved in your view?
STOTLAND: There's a meaningful minority of my cases where force is alleged and there's usually mixed evidence on that question. The majority of my
cases don't involve an allegation of force.
MARTIN: What is this about in your view? There are a lot of people who are saying, you know what, time's up, right?
MARTIN: Enough, that women have been manipulated for too long, have been coerced, and I've had it, and they're speaking up now. That's what some
people say is happening. I take it you say it's actually different than that.
STOTLAND: No, I agree with that. I think that is happening and I think there are a whole lot more accusations. People are speaking up both in
cases where the evidence is unambiguous in supporting the allegation, and cases where it's ambiguous or even runs contrary to the allegation.
But it is absolutely true that the patriarchy has been silencing victims of sexual violence for millennia that we ought to do something about that.
And that, in general, the fact that you have a lot of complaints is not a bad thing.
MARTIN: Let me just break it down a bit. You know, you are a lawyer, right?
MARTIN: But you don't represent people in court? Do you?
STOTLAND: That's right.
MARTIN: OK. So criminal defense lawyers often get this question, right?
MARTIN: Which is how can you defend that person. And typically what they say is, "You know what, it's in the Constitution." You know, you have a
right to a defense, you have a right to be represented by counsel. And that -- I think a lot of them would say, particularly people who take cases
that other people won't which is that if the system doesn't work for everybody, it doesn't work for anybody, OK.
But going to a four-year college, a private college, a prestigious college, that's not in the Constitution. And I remember in one of the interviews
you said that there was a client you helped who was super happy because he didn't have to go to community college.
And the question I think a lot of people might have is, why are they entitled to go to a private four-year college, a prestigious college? You
know, why is that something that they have to have?
STOTLAND: They don't have to have it and they aren't entitled to it. They may earn it. And my students again -- the only reason to work with me is
to tell your whole story and give each institution an opportunity to make their own decision.
And for a typical client of mine who's been expelled from undergrad, I would encourage them to apply to about 30 universities and I would expect
them to get into three to five. That's often a very good outcome for one of my students. So there are plenty of colleges they have no trouble
But if what I'm helping the student do is make their case for why one of the spots in the class, and they're not necessarily highly selective
colleges, but why one of the spots in class would be well-served with me.
MARTIN: And tell me why. I mean you say you think you're helping make the system more fair. Tell me why.
STOTLAND: We get the motto almost believe women. And I think we absolutely should believe women and accusers in general when we are their
friends, their doctors, their professors, their family members. When your student or patient or friend or loved one comes to you and says, "I was
assaulted", believe them. Absolutely believe that.
If you are a judge, a juror, a journalist, or a decision maker at a college, there is no one you should automatically believe. In the first
instance, your job is to provide support and care for the person in your life.
And in the second much smaller group -- and many people are in most both groups at different times. But in the second much smaller group, your job
is to seek the truth.
MARTIN: There are still those who would argue that the scales have been tipped on one side for so long, that anything you do on the other side
[13:50:00] is helping the patriarchy to fight back. And it is undeniable that most of the people who retain you are well-healed, overwhelmingly
male, overwhelmingly white.
This is a group that controls most of the assets in the country. So what would you say to those -- and I'm not saying it's fair but what would you
say to those who would argue, you know, why is that fair? You're still -- the scales are always on this group side, why are you helping them?
STOTLAND: I'm helping them because this is about individual justice. I think if I'm examining U.S. society from 30,000 feet, I might make
different choices than if I'm looking at it one student at a time.
And I think our justice system and this -- the Title IX enforcement system is a little bit like the justice system RIT small, for good and for ill.
So for ill in that it's racist just like every other system in the U.S.. For ill that it favors those with greater resources just like every other
system in the U.S.
But for good in that, we don't judge people by, OK, well you're a white male, that means you are a rapist. We try and determine, are the
allegations about you and Sarah, you know, in Drake Hall on the 19th and what happened there.
And I think that's how we ought to do justice whether it's criminal justice or, in this case, school discipline justice, we should be saying what
happened in this case between these individuals.
MARTIN: You know I cannot help but wonder what your reaction was to the Kavanaugh hearings.
STOTLAND: I have now worked with many dozens of young men. I am -- and I'm certain that in my population, I am seeing both people who are wrongly
accused and people who are correctly accused. I just know who is who.
I have never seen an accused young man rage, cry, and blame, in my entire career, the way Justice Kavanagh did in front of the U.S. Senate. And I'm
their counselor, right? I wouldn't judge them if they didn't do that. You know, I take them as I find them. But I've never seen a disparity like
MARTIN: What do you make of it? What do you make of that?
STOTLAND: I can't decide whether it's more disqualifying that he uncontrollably had an emotional outburst and talked back to the U.S. Senate
and everything else or whether that was all a planned, careful, cynical, political act. I don't know which of those would be more disqualifying for
the Supreme Court but they're both -- both possibilities are disqualifying in my book.
MARTIN: Can we just take a step back and kind of take that 30,000-foot view of relationships right now, relationships on campus, and what should
happen. Is there something you can tell us by what you're seeing on campus?
STOTLAND: A big part of what I'm seeing is that a whole lot of students would be a lot better off if there were less alcohol abuse. That -- that's
the almost, I hesitate to say this, but almost the easy part. There will absolutely still continue to be sexual assault in a society that doesn't
have such rampant alcohol abuse but it's playing an enormous role in a large majority of my cases.
And I had loved to see a lot more public health research about prevention in general and about alcohol responsibility in particular. The conflation
of getting wasted all the time and getting the most out of college is a white middle-class idea.
We already don't see it at nearly the same way with first-generation students. We don't see it with non-white students. That is a really
poisonous idea that's hurting a lot of students and ending a lot of educations.
MARTIN: I'm trying to hear our conversation through the ears of people who might have other experiences. And there are going to be people who are
going to hear what you said and say you're blaming the victim. Like a woman has a right to be alone with a man and has a right to have had a
couple of drinks and not be raped or assaulted or had sex against her will. And to that, you would say?
STOTLAND: You have all the rights in the world. You have rights to do lots of things and the world has a lot of bad people in it. That hasn't
been something that any profit or king or anyone has been able to solve.
And I'm interested in harm reduction. I want people to go out there and learn. Discover what helps reduce all of this harm to these young people
that's so unnecessary.
MARTIN: Hanna Stotland, thanks so much for talking with us.
STOTLAND: Thank you so much for having me.
AMANPOUR: It is, of course, a complicated question especially in this Time'sUp moment. Do these young men deserve a second chance? Well,
Stotland thinks they do.
That is it for now. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast. See us online at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.