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Health Care Proposal In The Unites States, Medicare For All; Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) And Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Are Interviewed About Health Care; Mental Health And Security In Refugee Camps In Lesbos; Lena Headey, Actress, Is Interviewed About Mental Health And "Game Of Thrones;" "Framing John DeLorean." Aired 1-2p ET
Aired August 20, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. And welcome to AMANPOUR. This week, we are dipping into the archives and
looking back at some of our interviews from this year. So, here's what's coming up.
Picking the fight for Medicare into their own hands. Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell tell me why the time is now for universal health
care in America.
And Game of Thrones actress, Lena Headey, takes on a new challenge, the fragile mental health of refugees.
Plus, on being John DeLorean and Donald Trump. Walter Isaacson to actor and comedian, Alec Baldwin.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
How should America care for its sick? The question has plagued the nation nearly since its inception. President John Adams was the first to sign a
public health law in 1798 during a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, President Franklin Roosevelt tried to include national health insurance in
his Social Security bill but it never saw the light of day, President Johnson got Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor, Presidents
Carter and Clinton both tried to get universal health care and failed.
President Obama did make massive strides with reforms to preexisting conditions and putting kids on their parents' insurance but universal
affordable care has remained elusive. Left and right agree that the system is broken.
Americans pay more for worse outcomes than anywhere in the Western world. So, now is the time for boldness, say Democrats. Medicare for All of has
become the rallying cry of legislators and almost all Democratic presidential candidates. Not so fast, say small government Republicans.
For answers, we turn to Pramila Jayapal, lead sponsor of a new Medicare for All Bill, and Debbie Dingell. Dingell has made universal care her life's
work, something she shared with her recently deceased husband, John, who is the longest serving congressman in American history. They join me from
Capitol Hill Statuary Hall.
Congresswomen, welcome to the program.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Thanks so much.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL, (D-MI): Glad to be here.
AMANPOUR: Well, this is such an important issue and on the theme that we're busy exploring of big, big topics and big reforms, you're Medicare
for All pretty much ticks that box. Just explain to us, both of you, what exactly are you proposing. I mean, Medicare already exists and Obamacare
JAYAPAL: Yes. So, what we are proposing, and I'm just so thrilled to have such a long-term champion co-leading this effort with me and 105 of our
colleagues in the House that are original co-sponsors, we propose that health care should be available for everybody, no co-pays, no deductibles,
no premiums, you can go see the doctor or the hospital of your choice, in fact, more choice than is available now.
And the only thing that really change is we pay for it through a government insurance program. And we cut out the waste and we contain the costs. So,
for the first time, you'll be able to get vision, dental, mental health, substance abuse and long-term supports and services.
AMANPOUR: You make it sound very attractive and very doable and you talk about 105, you know, supporters and co-sponsors, I wonder whether any of
those are Republicans. But what happens when they start saying, "Well, hang on, that's all well and good, but this is going to cost the nation an
arm and a leg, so to speak. It's just going to be too expensive."
DINGELL: So, let's start with the fact. I believe that every person has got a right to quality affordable health care. And right now, we've got a
very broken fragmented system that doesn't work. And the bulk of the -- we're the most expensive of any country in the world, we are the most
expensive country in terms of delivering health care to Americans.
And so, what we do is we save money as -- we're also the only industrialized nation in the world. This is an economic issue as well is
an issue that nobody should have to worry about whether they can afford to go to a doctor because we're competing in a global marketplace. Yet, every
other industrialized nation that we're competing with -- my background was auto industry at one point, is competing against countries where the cost
of health care isn't passed on to the private employer.
So -- but by going to a single payer system, we're going to eliminate a lot of waste and we're going to let doctors -- we're going to get rid of
bureaucracy, we're going to get rid of paper, we're going to let doctors and nurses go back to taking care of the patients and we will save a
significant amount of money just in streamlining and making their process more efficient.
[13:05:00] AMANPOUR: So, I mean, I'm speaking to you from London and here we have a National Health Service, which speaks for itself. It's about
what you would basically suggesting and it's incomprehensible for many in the rest of the democratic world and the -- you know, basically the
developed world that the United States doesn't have a universal health care system such as the one you're describing.
And it is just to remind -- you know, said the U.S. spends about twice what other high income nations do on health care but it has the lowest life
expectancy, the highest infant mortality rate, you know, this life expectancy directly tied to the high level of people without health
So, these figures are, in fact, staggering. But for some reason, your nation has grappled with this from the beginning of time, from the
beginning of the new deal that just doesn't seem the political will to push this ball over the line.
JAYAPAL: Well, I think that's true but I think that things have really changed and we are deeply committed to having a conversation across this
country about the costs of health care today. As you said, you know, the estimates are -- will be at 50 trillion in 10 years for the existing
So, our plan would make this cheaper for everybody. It would save money for the economy. It would save money for American families. But most of
all, we would cut out the waste in a system that frankly has been geared around profits instead of patient care. We have got to contain those costs
and we've got to take on the industries that perhaps don't want us to change because it's doing pretty well for them.
In the end, our responsibility is to the American people and I think this is true in red districts and blue districts, in independent districts that
people are ready for Congress to take this on. I have people who are Republicans, small business owners in my district and they come up to me
and say, you know, "I might disagree with you on a whole bunch of other issues, but get this done.
We can't afford to pay for health care for our employees anymore. We would be happy to pay into a government insurance program if we could contain the
cost and if we could ensure that health care was taken care of so that we really could do the work that we're supposed to do as small businesses,"
and as Debbie said, retain our competitiveness.
Political will has changed and I think our work is to continue to organize around the country and make sure that people are speaking up about the real
things they are facing at the kitchen table every day.
AMANPOUR: So, again, you know, we remember when Hillary Clinton tried to take this on and President Obama, and it was really hard to get it across.
And then we've had 10 years of the Republicans trying to kill "Obamacare." We see how popular it has been, certainly in the midterm elections, to keep
that hard-won health care.
So, I am interested to know, Congresswoman Dingell, because your late husband, really, this was his life's work as well, to create Medicare,
Medicaid, to be there at the origin and to keep protecting it as well. Do you think the politics as Representative Jayapal said, have actually
changed on this?
DINGELL: So, you know, here's the reality. The reality is it's actually my father-in-law that introduced the first national health care insurance
bill in this country in the early 40s. If you want to bring about real change, we'd like to see it quickly, I'd like to see it today but you have
to work together and build that coalition and get people to understand.
People in this country fought Social Security and Medicare are now trying to take it away and they're going to scream. Medicare was the first bill
that passed as a result of that initial bill, it took 20 years. And then we got to children's insurance program.
I think you saw in the last two years, people -- when the affordable care bill passed, there were many things that people were concerned about,
people with preexisting conditions couldn't get access to health care. Now, when Republicans are trying to take that away from people, people are
And I mean, the stories, when you got -- you here the mother of a diabetic child worried that her child will grow into adulthood, the woman the tender
stroke in her 50s, I think when you're out there, people are understanding more, they're not letting the horror stories or the fear mongers and I
think the times have changed.
So, we've got to go across the country, we've got to build the coalition. We can't let other people define what this is. We have to talk about how
it is working in England, in Germany, France, Canada, China, Japan and tell people, "You don't have to worry. If you find a lump, you can afford the
mammogram. And if it is something, you can get treated."
AMANPOUR: I wonder whether both of you will also be telling the story as you cross the country on this, how it's not just working in those other
countries you talk about but in all the states in the United States. I mean, states, you know, like Hawaii, Minnesota, Connecticut, you know, they
have results like high income [13:10:00] countries whereas, you know, life expectancy in places like Mississippi is much, much worse than other parts
of the United States. I wonder if people get that.
JAYAPAL: I mean, I think we'll be able to illuminate that, you know, our bill also includes a really important cost containment measure around
global budgets for hospitals, that is something that obviously most developed countries already have in their system. But here in Maryland,
there are some really fantastic results that are coming out of a smaller segment of hospitals that are trying that.
So, I think the important thing for people to understand is that while this might be called radical as it was when Mr. Dingell introduced the first
bill, as it was when Teddy Roosevelt talked about this or Harry Truman talked about this, the reality is, it's not a radical idea to ensure that
health care is a right and not a privilege and certainly not for the richest country in the world. And it's not a new idea and that we do have
these other countries, other states.
I mean, states aren't providing universal health care in the way we're talking about, but some states are more generous. My state of Washington
has a very generous program but it is subsidizing the costs still of a very expensive system.
And so, it is universal coverage, it's also cost containment and it's making sure that at the end of the day, nobody is choosing between their
insulin treatments and their mortgage, nobody is having to foreclose on their home because they can't afford their cancer treatments, people aren't
having to go to GoFundMe as an insurance program.
That mindset is very different today than it was even with the Affordable Care Act. And I think the Affordable Care Act and Democrats are united
around needing to shore up the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act was also very important in helping to transition Americans to believe
that health care is a right and not a privilege.
AMANPOUR: We keep hearing that, you know, it's just going to be too expensive, too expensive, and you have conspicuously not attached a cost to
your bill. We don't know how much you estimate this is going to cost. We do know that public opinion is shifting towards single payer but not
towards paying higher taxes to finance it. So, how do you square that?
DINGELL: Well, I think first of all, we have to figure out what the real cost is going to be and what we're going to save in terms of going to a
single payer system. But another point that I wanted to me is that we've got 10,000 people turning 65 every day in this country. Long-term care is
the theory broken system, it's fragmented.
If you're in it, you better only be six for 90 days. And I don't think -- I think as more and more people are having to access the health care
system, they realize how broken it is.
I'm -- now, that I'm luckier than 99 and nine-tenths of the people in this country. And yet, I had no idea until the last couple of years as a spouse
how broken the system is. And I think more and more Americans are understanding as they start to have more health care issues, we have a very
broken system and it needs to be fixed. So, we have to be very blunt.
JAYAPAL: Yes. No, I was just going to respond. And I totally agree with everything that Debbie said and I wanted to respond to the cost issue. Our
system today is going to cost us in 10 year -- over 10 years, $50 trillion. This is unsustainable. That is 18 percent of US GDP right now, double the
cost of what most industrialized countries in the world pay. And recognize that two-thirds of those costs are already borne by the federal government.
So, when people say this is going to cost a certain amount of money because there are other plans like Senator Sanders plan which is different from
ours and in a couple of critical ways, but some of the cost estimates, even from conservative think tanks, say that we will save $2 trillion over the
next 10 years by going to our plan and some estimates have that American families, the average working family across America, will save 14 percent.
Because remember that somebody is bearing those costs, that are 50 trillion over -- you know, in the next 10 years. That cost is now increasingly
being borne by families who pay co-pays, premiums, deductibles, out of pocket costs for their care.
So, just the other day, Debbie and I get these stories all the time from our constituents. I have a constituent who is covered by health insurance
employer health care and is -- has a disability and is paying $35,000 out of pocket costs.
So, in the end, the American family, if you count up everything that they're paying for health care out of pocket, they are already paying for
this and they are not getting the care they need, and some of them are dying because they can't get insulin. So, the cost issue is far out blown
because nobody ever says when they say what the cost of health care of our plan would be, even a conservative estimate, they don't talk about the fact
that it saves the overall economy money.
[13:15:00] And they don't talk about the fact that those costs are being borne and already by American families. And what is it going to?
It's going to astronomical pharmaceutical drug pricing profits and insurance companies that have a lot of administration that can be taken out
if we go to a single payer government insurance system, recognizing that the private system of delivery is still the same, we're not changing
anything around that. So, it's really just about who ends up paying and cutting out the waste.
AMANPOUR: You know, you're no doubt going to face a lot of opposition and pushback from pharmaceutical companies, from insurance companies. You've
said that perhaps small businesses and medium sized businesses could be your allies here.
I do want to just pick up on what you said, Congressman Dingell. You lost your husband and we offer our condolences. He was the longest serving
member of Congress, he was on the committee that oversaw the chairman, who oversaw Medicaid and Medicare.
And he said, you know, amongst his last words, he wrote a letter to America and he basically said, "Opponents of the Medicare program that saved the
elderly from impoverishment called it socialized medicine. Remember that slander if there's a sustained revival of silly red baiting today."
You know, fighting words. Was he on board with your Medicare for All? Would he have approved and fought for that?
DINGELL: He would have approved of anything these two women put together. But, you know, I want to say something. I don't -- we want a seat at the
table for everybody. We're not trying to -- we got to do something for the people that we represent, we've got to do something for the working men and
women of this country so that they've got access to health care.
I don't want to demonize anybody. I want to work with the pharmaceutical companies and say, "Why is insulin gone up from $39 to --" I mean, it
depends which prescription it is. But for some people $300, $400, $500 a month.
We need to work with the hospitals, we need to -- this is -- how do you build the coalition that says, you know, they're not in your country,
they're not enemies. I mean, people get mad at them. We want to bring everybody together because the time is now, people need to have access to
health care, they need to be able to afford their medicine.
And I think the will of the people this year, we're not going to let people try to define this is something that it's not. We are going to make sure
that if you're sick you can go to the doctor and you can afford what you need to have.
AMANPOUR: So, let's just ask you what you would tell your constituents and people in response to what Seema Verma has said. She oversees Medicare for
the Trump administration and she's called, you know, Medicare for All the greatest threat to the American health care system. She says, "Expanding
Medicare will ruin the program for the seniors it was created to serve and it would decrease the quality of care that we as Americans have come to
expect. Medical -- Medicare for All is in reality Medicare for none."
JAYAPAL: I just -- I mean, we fundamentally disagree with that. You know, the Medicare program, as Debbie said, is adding people every single year.
And actually, Medicare when it was instituted, the entire change took place in one year without any computers or anything like that. So, we have the
You know, we are a country that ended slavery, we are country that got women the right to vote, we are a country that sent a man to the moon, we
certainly can provide health care for everyone. There will be scare stories out there and that's unfortunate.
We want as many people at the table ready to work towards that vision, that universal goal of helping America to not only be more competitive in the
global economy, to not only make sure that we are addressing the health care needs of everyone but to really uphold that fundamental human right,
which is that people shouldn't go to bed worrying about how they're going to pay for their health care costs or skip their prescription drugs or cut
their pills in half in order to make them last longer or drive to Canada, that's the vision that we have.
And we actually think that America is with us. It's -- it -- I even have - - you know, people say the hospitals are against us, I don't think that's true. We're having meetings with our hospitals, with folks in the district
and people are saying to me, "Look, I actually think this is a really good idea. We want you to do this."
DINGELL: Hospitals, really?
JAYAPAL: The hospital, yes. Because they know -- look, and they want their doctors to be able to do what they were trained to do in medical
school, which is to provide patient care, not to deal with five insurance plans, trying to figure out who's in a network, who's out of a network,
doing all the administration, the paperwork, they just want to provide care.
And so, we've got physicians, we've got nurses, we've got labor unions, the biggest coalition yet for this plan. And we believe that in the end, it's
the stories of the American people and the voices that are really going to --
AMANPOUR: And you have millennials who are becoming the biggest voting bloc and who care very, very much about this issue. [13:20:00]
DINGELL: They do care deeply. But I want to just talk about the author of that quote that you just read. This is a person that doesn't want to
defend -- ensuring that some of the preexisting conditions will have access to insurance.
So, something with high blood pressure, something with diabetes, for the administration that she works for doesn't even think preexisting conditions
is important. That was one of the most important things that we did in the Affordable Care Act. That people who had those, had, you know, a variety
of preexisting conditions weren't guaranteed access to health care insurance. And if they did have it, it was sky high and not affordable.
So, if somebody like that who's not going to defend preexisting conditions, isn't going to have credibility for me to talk about what we're trying to
AMANPOUR: And just because this is airing on International Women's Day, how will you bill affect women, many of whom are often the ones left
carrying, you know, the biggest burden and the least financially equipped to take care of their health or their family's health?
JAYAPAL: Well, health care, overall, I think is a women's issue, it is, of course, everybody's issue. But women do end up being in this position
where they have to make these really tough choices, take care of families more often than not.
But in addition, we allow in this bill the ability for every woman to control her own reproductive choices and to get the reproductive care that
she needs. So, we essentially repeal the Hyde Amendment, also the long- term supports and services.
I think that this is a women's issue because the majority of that unpaid care that currently fuels the long-term supports industry is by women who
have to leave their jobs or make choices to take care of a family member and often women of color, in particular, who have to make all of these
decisions to take care of their family first, which they are always going to do.
And so, this is a real issue for women in multiple ways and it's just meaningful to me that I'm doing this with Debbie and that we have so many
strong women's groups that are with us on this, groups that really believe that health care is a human right for everybody and that the
disproportionate effect of our broken health care system often gets borne by women.
AMANPOUR: Really interesting. Thank you so much for laying it all out. Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell, thank you so much for
JAYAPAL: Thank you.
DINGELL: Thank you. Thanks for caring about it for us.
AMANPOUR: Of course, with the Republican controlled Senate, the bill's prospects (INAUDIBLE) but the debate is changing and it's moving.
We turn now to a phenomenon of a different kind, one that has swept the airwaves, the computer screens and the smartphones. I'm talking of course
about "Game of Thrones." HBO has just teased the show's eighth and final season and it brings to our shores the actress Lena Headey who plays the
villainous queen, Cersei.
In real life she's much more altruistic, visiting refugees in camps on the Greek Island of Lesbos and calling on European leaders to step up their
efforts to help them particularly when it comes to mental health and security. And I've been speaking to about her humanitarian and her film
Lena Headey, welcome to the program.
LENA HEADEY, ACTRESS, "GAME OF THRONES": Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, I understand you've just come back from Lesbos. What did you find there? First of all, why are you even going there?
HEADEY: I went to Lesbos three years ago with the IRC, which I am a voice for.
AMANPOUR: International Rescue Committee.
HEADEY: Committee, yes.
HEADEY: And we went back to look at their mental health program that they're running. And also, to go inside the reception center, Moorea,
which is a government run place --
AMANPOUR: Run by the Greek government?
HEADEY: Yes. And no one's really been in there before.
AMANPOUR: What did you find?
HEADEY: It's appalling. It may -- it was unforgivable. I spoke to a lot of people who were in there, who are stuck there. It's unthinkable. I
mean, it's horribly unsafe for women and children. The women don't use the toilets at night, there's no lighting after dark.
AMANPOUR: Because they're afraid of getting attacked just --
HEADEY: I mean, rape is an everyday occurrence and --
AMANPOUR: Are you serious?
AMANPOUR: Rape is an everyday occurrence?
AMANPOUR: That is shocking.
AMANPOUR: Why do we not know?
HEADEY: I don't know why we don't know this. It was horrendous to listen to stories.
AMANPOUR: Did they give you any assurance that they were going to help people in this regard, that -- I mean, is there any security that they can
put there to make sure the women are safer?
HEADEY: I mean, the camp is manned by police and military. They also have six psychologists on the site. I don't know how often that is. You hear
very different tales from the officials, tales from the people that are in there. The medical team come and go. I think they find it overwhelming.
They don't have a place to work from.
[13:25:00] There's a lot of illness in the camp. And people are just told, "Well, just go to the chemists." So, nothing is diagnosed. So, people get
ill and that spreads, it's deeply unsanitary.
AMANPOUR: And it's been going on for years now.
HEADEY: For -- yes.
HEADEY: The last kind of six years.
HEADEY: And at Christmas, it was full of 9,000 people. Now, it's at 5,000. The past year is 3,000. So, I dread to think --
AMANPOUR: What's going to have next. Look, I mean, it must be really different and very strange for you to come from, I mean, a fairly
privileged environment --
AMANPOUR: -- where you're a Hollywood movie star, where you're on "Game of Thrones," where the whole world knows you, you have, you know, money and
fame and all this, to go there and see that. I mean, how much of a total culture shock was it for you?
HEADEY: I mean, before I got famous, because I'm sort of a Yorkshire lass, you know and I never expected this happens to me. I've always had an
interest in humanitarian work. I travel to India as a backpacker for six years, running. So, I was obsessed with it. But I'd never seen anything
like the refugee crisis, I've never seen such a lack of humanity and sort of carelessness where people are concerned that need it most.
AMANPOUR: One of the things when I was reading about you that I found really, really interesting is that two years or a year ago you went with
your costar from "Game of Thrones."
HEADEY: Yes. With Maisie.
AMANPOUR: Maisie Williams, right?
HEADEY: Yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: And one of the questions she asked you really sort of struck me, she basically was saying to you, "We experience what we saw from two
different points as a teenage and as a mother. It's only when you're face to face with someone who's just like you, who deserves the same
opportunities as you and is just as bright as you, yet they're forced to live in a tent with people they don't know that you realize how horrendous
the situation is." And she asked you what affected you most. But that juxtaposition she really sorts of articulates well.
HEADEY: Yes. Well, that was the thing. The takeaway -- the first takeaway from the visit, our original visit, was that there's no
difference, you know, it's geography and circumstance. And this time, I saw so many despondent mothers and so many kids desperate for present
affection. And that -- as a mom with great privilege, that just was the worst thing I think I saw.
AMANPOUR: What made you want to join IRC?
HEADEY: We were -- I think we're in the 3rd season of "Game of Thrones" and I kept saying, "We need to do something, have a great platform. We
have a lot of eyes on us and we should do something to bring some attention to this." And our wonderful PR kind of -- (INAUDIBLE) said, "Funny
enough, we're talking to the IRC about doing a fundraiser."
And so, I met a wonderful Sandy and I said, "Can I come on a trip with you guys?" And just -- you know, the only way to kind of grasp it is to
firsthand experience it, I know that. So, they took me (INAUDIBLE). And I think you -- once you've been there, it doesn't leave you.
AMANPOUR: I mean, you've spoken -- you know, you've spoken quite articulately and with feeling about what happens to the women there. I
just want to -- I mean, here you are, a young woman, you have achieved fame with this unbelievable who knew that it would be so successful, "Game of
HEADEY: Yes. Who knew.
AMANPOUR: And it's just the talking point all over the world, everybody's talking about this, water cooler conversation is what happens in "Game of
Thrones." It's ending. How does that feel to you?
HEADEY: I'm OK. I mean, it's been eight years. You know, I like new things. So --
AMANPOUR: And how did the cast all feel about having to disperse? I mean, it's been shot but it's not out yet.
HEADEY: It's not out yet. We're all going to New York at the end of the month. So, we'll all see each other. And then I think it will feel real.
But, you know, this thing is happening already, really exciting projects and it allows you, you know, a bit of freedom now.
AMANPOUR: It's very -- it's really interesting because there's a lot of very strong women in "Game of Thrones."
AMANPOUR: And there is a little bit of -- you know, I mean, there's very strong women but there's also portrayal of women in ways that some women
might not like. I mean, it's caused some controversy, rapes and, you know, violence and you're a pretty villainous queen.
HEADEY: No. Well, she is.
AMANPOUR: I mean, she is, right?
HEADEY: She is.
AMANPOUR: But is it an empowering role?
HEADEY: Yes, it's fantastic. You know, David and Dan, our writers, who are wonderful men from the get-go took these women who were struggling and
they knew they were going to raise them to these positions of power. And within that, all kind of violent muddy waters, as we know the world, shows
us every day.
So, to be part of the group of survivors, which are mainly women, it's a great thing.
AMANPOUR: And it's quite a parable also for us. And let's just play a small clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CERSEI LANNISTER: Your daughter will die here in this cell, and you will be here watching when she does. You'll be here the rest of your days.
If you refuse to eat, we'll force food down your throat. You will live to watch your daughter rot, to watch that beautiful face collapse to bone and
All the while contemplating the choices you've made. Make sure the guards change the torches every few hours. I don't want her to miss a thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So Lena Headey, that's you playing Queen Cersei.
AMANPOUR: Very villainous but come sort of from a place of personal pain.
AMANPOUR: Describe your character.
HEADEY: Cersei is a product of a deeply anti-female society. Her father - - she's -- the only thing she settled for is love from her father and
recognition from her father. Even though he hates one of his sons, he still respects him.
She loses her mother when she's younger so all she has is this father figure. And she's also in love with her twin brother.
One of her children is from him. She hates her younger brother because he killed her mother during childbirth.
And her father just won't even give her the eye contact that she's so desperate -- she wants to be recognized as the ferocious intelligent woman
she is and she outlives her father so.
AMANPOUR: Look, you have not been immune to the pressures that women, many women, have had to face trying to climb any ladder, whether it's in
Hollywood or wherever it might be. And you have recounted a pretty scary incident with Harvey Weinstein. It happened several years ago and you went
public about it.
AMANPOUR: Tell me again what happened.
HEADEY: He -- when I first met Harvey, I did a film for him, for Miramax, when I was younger and had an experience with him at a film festival. But
I just sort of -- I think I said to him, you look like my granddad.
And then later on, like five years later, I've done another film and I met him. And I naively thought something I do with you, that that's a very
AMANPOUR: And you've already told him --
HEADEY: And I told him that I'm not here for that. So we were in the lift to go up to his room to get a script and that sounds incredibly naive.
And I think because I knew my position, I just didn't believe it would happen. And I said in the lift -- I got this feeling and I said I want you
know I'm not here for anything else other than friendship and a job possibly.
And he just -- the feeling in the lift just was very frightening and the doors open, he just puts his hand on my back and marched me to his room.
And nobody said anything and he kept --
AMANPOUR: There were people?
HEADEY: No, it was just me and him and silence. And I thought I don't know how I'm going to get out of this. And he put the key on the door, it
didn't work. But it was my lucky day I guess. And then he took me downstairs and said, "Never, ever speak of this ever again."
AMANPOUR: It's really scary. I mean obviously, we have to say that he would deny all of this.
HEADEY: He would deny all of this, yes.
AMANPOUR: He is facing court for a lot of this. Do you think things have changed for women, for girls, at least in your industry since all of this
HEADEY: The majority, yes. I think there are always going to be chances. But hopefully, we now have a voice and it's collective. And should
anything happen, people have a space to speak and it won't be ignored or shut down.
AMANPOUR: And younger costars, I mean young girls coming up, they're also getting the message, the older people or the more veterans there?
AMANPOUR: They're helping them and warning them?
HEADEY: Young girls are coming up and they're like, you know, I'm going to have the job, nothing to do with whether -- it's already out. Their
dialogue is open and it's out there which is brilliant.
AMANPOUR: Will you go back into the field for the IRC, the International Rescue Committee?
HEADEY: Yes, absolutely.
AMANPOUR: Where --
HEADEY: It's so hard to convey this to people that don't believe and even to people that believe and have a passion for it.
[13:35:00] So we're planning a documentary going back to Moria and doing some really exciting things that will make people listen.
AMANPOUR: Well, we'll look forward to that.
AMANPOUR: Lena Headey, thank you very much for being with us.
HEADEY: Thank you very much. It's a pleasure.
AMANPOUR: Next, we turn to our guest, the award-winning actor Alec Baldwin. In the past three years, he's become an even more familiar face
by impersonating President Trump on Saturday Night Live.
Baldwin's latest role is another larger than life character. "Framing John DeLorean" tells the story of the car executive best known for making the
famous time traveling vehicle in Back to the Future. Rocked by scandal, his company ultimately went bust though.
He joined our Walter Isaacson to talk about the biopic, how he gets in character to play President Trump and why he's considered running to
WALTER ISAACSON, CEO, CNN: Alec, welcome to the show.
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Thank you, Walter.
ISAACSON: Hey, opening Tribeca Film Festival with a John DeLorean sort of combination doc and film. Do you like John DeLorean as a character? I
mean, he sort of fits into your style.
BALDWIN: Oh, no.
ISAACSON: That was a compliment.
BALDWIN: Oh no. OK. Well I'll try to find a way to take it as a compliment and I'll work on that.
But the -- well you know, years ago when there was a -- I'm not going to say a fever, but there was more of a -- of a fizz to doing a DeLorean film,
he called me. I got a call from John DeLorean and he said, Alec, with that Michigan accent of his, he said, Alec, I'd like you to play me in the film.
And I said, oh my God, that would be great. And he was living -- I think actually he had been put out of his New Jersey -- his Bedminster estate,
which is now Trump's golf course.
That was -- that was DeLorean's home. And he was evicted from there because of his financial reversals, and he was -- wound up living in some
other home near there.
But I spoke to him on the phone about me playing him in a movie which never came about, and now this came. And I think that I was intrigued by the
hybrid of the doc footage and re-enactment footage, and I think that in terms of creating the character, it wasn't easy.
Because to do DeLorean, who's taller than me, leaner than me, there was a prosthetic makeup job that might have taken three hours, which we couldn't
afford that time-wise. So we came up with something with the best makeup artists that I know, who are also very quick, which are the Saturday Night
ISAACSON: When I first saw some clips of this, I saw John DeLorean unveil the car and it took me awhile to realize it was you. Let's -- let's look
at a clip of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: I know that we may be the new boy on the block, but I also know that on this, the bicentennial of the American Revolution, we can start
making our version of the American dream a reality. Allow me to introduce the first incarnation in the evolution of my dream, our first vehicle, code
named the DMC 12, the DeLorean motor car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: I love movies because there's so much practicality involved, so in order to have everything work in that shot, we had two men crouched down
on the floor of the car who opened the gull wing doors on -- on cue. And Morena Baccarin who plays Christina Ferrare, his wife at the time, is
fantastic in the movie and she's a wonderful actress and Josh Charles is playing the other part.
ISAACSON: And he has an incredibly driven character, he had cocaine problems, everything else. When you do a biopic like that, do you see how
the personality all weaves together and it's sort of all part of one guy?
BALDWIN: DeLorean's story is difficult to me to grasp because it's kind of an unresolved story. DeLorean himself, he never actually came clean about
why he did some of the things he did. He was a kind of a very furtive and very kind of a cagey animal who evaded prosecution for the -- he beat the
system in the -- in the -- in the cocaine charge.
I think he was somebody who had a -- just an almost paralyzing allergy to failure. There was no way he was going to fail. So to go and get the
funds from selling drugs and -- and the other crimes he committed -- because there's a lot of things about DeLorean people don't know, other
things that were kind of larcenous or exploitative of people.
ISAACSON: So the crimes, in a way, explain what they were, were somewhat part and parcel of his personality.
[13:40:00] BALDWIN: Well I guess a jury eventually -- if I have it right, a jury eventually saw that -- or recognized that DeLorean was entrapped to
-- in a drug deal. And they went and got all this cocaine, they were going to move and access money to help bail out the failing project.
Now the project -- if the story is told properly, the project, what he wanted to do, there was a lot of good things about that car company. He
was going to -- they were creating jobs in Ireland and they were going to manufacture a car.
One of the things that was the most surprising to me was how anemic the car actually was as a sports car. They were in a hurry to get this thing.
Once they got the money and once they had delivery dates and stuff like that (ph) -- it's a business with a timeline, they didn't have time to put
the right engine in the car.
So if I'm not mistaken, they got a six-cylinder lotus (ph) that fit the body. They did it backwards. They did the body first and the engine after
And the car was like a -- power-wise, was -- I mean, it wasn't a golf cart but it was not much more. It was just a little bit more than that. And
many people thought that the car, like DeLorean himself, looked beautiful on the outside and was very insubstantial on the inside.
ISAACSON: When I watch you do John DeLorean, I think of you really getting into character. And the one, of course, that you do now when you're so
into the character is Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So I'm basically taking military money so I can has wall. So I'm going to sign these papers for emergency and then I'll immediately be sued
and the ruling will not go in my favor and then I end up in the Supreme Court, and then I'll call my buddy Kavanaugh and I'll say it's time to
repay the Donnie and he'll say new phone, who dis?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ISAACSON: When you get into Donald Trump, I mean, do you still enjoy it? Because it's -- it's so fresh every time you're on Saturday Night Live
BALDWIN: Well you know, you have a -- it's such a dichotomy, the people's response. I mean, I have people -- the majority of people who will meet me
are very kind and they say, I love what you're doing and they walk up and whisper to me and they're very polite and say thank you so much for helping
us get through this nightmare and so forth.
And then there's people, typically online, who are far away, who say, you know, you suck and you're the worst impersonator I've ever seen in my life
and what have you. But truly, I thought -- the -- the thing about the cold opening on the show, which you are literally firing a cannon.
It always ends up with you saying, live from New York, it's Saturday night and whether your co-stars are members of the company, like Kate or Beck or
they're other guest stars like Ben Stiller or De Niro and so forth, there's a pace and there's a vitality to it that doesn't necessarily allow for the
most precise Trump impersonation.
What we're doing is -- is -- is a figure of Trump, we're doing like an essence of Trump. His corrupt, amoral, Machiavellian nature is at the fore
and doing a real Trump, that's for another project.
ISAACSON: Well in some ways -- I mean, you're from Long Island, you grew up in this milieu, you kind of get Trump, it seems to me. I mean, do you
feel that you really understand this guy?
BALDWIN: No, I don't. I mean, I -- I've said this before. For my podcast, I hosted an episode that we did with Michael Wolff and it was at
the crest of that "Fire and Fury" release of his book and we were at a town hall and I remember saying for the first time -- and I've said this a
couple other times -- that, you know, the presidency of the United States - - which you know better than I do. I mean, you're an historian, you know
better than I do.
And this is a vista like no other vista in life. You have a job of which you see the -- the -- the kind of panoply of life, good and bad, what
people are doing, including our own country, around the world, good and bad and you meet the creme de la creme of society -- thinkers, athletes,
artists, military men and women, you have a chance to see the world in a way that -- that everybody that's had the job, this -- this seat has
changed them. Except Trump.
Trump is the only man in American history that the presidency of the United States has had no effect on him whatsoever. It hasn't changed him. I
thought he would change.
After he won, which was horrifying to me, because if you're a New Yorker, you're on to Trump. He's not the host of "The Apprentice" who's fooled
over all these fly-over Americans that he's this crack businessman.
We kind of know he's something else. But even so when he won, I thought to myself, he's going to change. Give it a year and we'll see a different
Trump. And no. He's the same now -- which, this is the real tragedy. He's exactly the same today as he was back in November of 2016.
ISAACSON: You just talked about the flyover Americans, though. I mean, do you -- you must understand the resentment a lot of people feel in this
BALDWIN: I do. I do.
ISAACSON: -- that leads to a Donald Trump.
[13:45:00] BALDWIN: Well I -- when I say flyover Americans I mean that -- that's a show business term in terms of demographics and I don't mean that
with any -- in any pejorative sense. I mean, I -- I -- but I mean, I -- I live in a world where nobody watched "The Apprentice."
Nobody I know in the world I lived in New York or L.A. or in the world I live ever (ph) watched "The Apprentice". "The Apprentice" was a tedious
kind of silly show that was on the air that was a triumph for them and for Burnett and all those people.
They made a lot of money. But the idea that you'd show an edited version of this kind of hyper stylized reality show and say that that's who that
guy is; it's -- this is acting.
There was an article, which I'm sure you saw that Larissa MacFarquhar wrote in the New Yorker were all about Kentucky and -- I think it was Kentucky or
West Virginia where she went down there.
And that's what they were saying. They were saying we don't necessarily support Trump or admire Trump but we know how much you hate him, elites and
northeaster elites in their mind. And -- and this is our chance to say F.U. to the rest of the country, which I found numbing.
ISSACSON: He has a lot of quirks in his -- the way he looks and talks and you've mastered them. I mean it is -- when you come on cold on "Saturday
Night Live," it's like you're doing John Delorean and looks just like him. Show me some of the tricks; show me how you do it. You know just what it
is that makes you able to get into it?
BALDWIN: You know what we do is a caricature. I mean it's like an Oliphant drawing. You know we don't really -- we don't really go for a --
it's like Steve Brodner, everything is an exaggeration.
But you know the thing about Trump was to just always look miserable. That was the key. You should have your face -- no matter what someone would
It's a beautiful day outside. Is it, is it really beautiful outside. Is it a beautiful day? Like nothing people can say that can change you from
this deep, deep, deep pit of unhappiness that I think he lives in all the time.
Because I -- because this is not going the way he imagined. How many people who've been president had been treated this way? I mean even Regan;
liberals, democrats, people who didn't agree with the -- you know they backed but they didn't say unkind things and say well he's got Alzheimer's.
You know they -- they -- they lay it off out of some respect for the office if not the man. George W. H. Bush, they started giving him a little bit
more of the business because that they -- of the illegitimacy of the election in Florida in 2000, I think fueled some of that.
But with Trump I've never seen anybody that held this office be treated the way this guy is. It's uncanny.
ISSACSON: Do you think the Democratic Party has gotten so jangled by Trump that they're in danger of fragmenting, going off the deep end, not having a
real message that appeals to the people in America about where we should go next?
BALDWIN: Well, I think Trump has had an effect on them and perhaps a little bit more than -- than your ordinary incumbent republican. But you
know I said recently on -- online; I said I'd love to run for president and I viewed beating Trump as something that was easy to do.
And I think that you need to have somebody come in and have a very tight message for the American people like -- like if you come into the hospital
and you break every bone in your body but you punctured an artery, we have to fix the thing that's going to kill you first and then we'll fix -- we'll
set all your bones later.
This country has to prioritize its needs and there -- let's say there's ten things you want but five things you need and we must do the five things we
need. First healthcare, immigration, education, environmental protection infrastructure.
I mean I've got my own list. But the -- but when you hear specific left leaning democratic candidates and progressive candidates talking about
these -- these buffet tables they want to set up of public policy, well that one word about how they're going to pay for it, that's what's going to
kill the party in the next election.
ISSACSON: So you seriously have thought about running. Might you actually think of doing this in the coming year?
BALDWIN: Well, I want to be very clear of it -- I mean I would love to -- well its two things; one, I would to be the president. And I think I would
be a good president because I think I get it in terms of, you know, the idea that -- that you know there's things I don't know.
Nearly all those men came into office and there's things they didn't know. I believe that there are people who are running for office that what they
have that I don't have, I can get. But what I have that they don't have, they can't get.
Which is a world view that the government has to move toward helping the greatest number of people. Now the -- do I think I would actually do it,
probably not because it's so crowded now and the media is kind of on board with -- or right away anointing.
This one sounds good, here's a poll, this one's not doing so well; the game that the media does very often, which is that -- and I think if I ran they
would kill me. They would just kill me.
Even though a comedian who imitates the president just won the presidency of the Ukraine.
[13:50:00] That was very -- that was very inspiring to me.
ISSACSON: You've had an amazingly eclectic career. And I first began -- became a fan when we were young, and I saw you play "A Street Car Named
Desire" on stage.
You played, you know, Stanley Kowalski, got into that character. Tell me about the arc of your career because I think it may be the most eclectic
career ever. Things from stage plays to game shows to softball player to podcaster to author.
BALDWIN: You know, there was no plan in the sense that there's a -- there's a way you can work in this business and let's say -- it's not a
long list, but there may be three or four things which are good advice, if you want to succeed.
I think one of those things -- and I even tell people from time to time is, is don't become too politically outspoken. The people that are the biggest
movie stars in the world today are people you know nothing about their politics.
It's very private. But to go and to become very partisan and to go and become very vocal, attacking a president who has the support of some
significant swatch of the country is always a risk. I mean, I've actually been fired from jobs. I've lost jobs.
ISAACSON: You had the messy divorce with Kim Basinger and the fights over custody.
ISAACSON: What did you learn from that?
BALDWIN: What I learned, and I've told people before, is that when you're in court, be patient to let the bitterness leak out and to ebb because if
you do what I did -- and I mentioned this in the book, which is to win a ruling, and then within months go back in and try to expand and expand your
ruling and antagonize the other side because they view -- the other party and their lawyers view it as a competition.
Don't settle for the boilerplate you get and wait. And just live with it for a year, a year and a half, two years. You're entitled to more, you
know you're entitled to more, but let the anger subside, and -- which I did not do.
I went in every three months saying, I want my rights. You know, and what you realize is you don't have any rights as far as the court is concerned.
ISAACSON: You talk about letting anger subside. Did that help you manage -- you know, you used to get in fights a whole lot, have anger problems and
stuff. Has that helped you sort of with the family calm that down now?
BALDWIN: Well you know, this thing happened with this guy in front of my building where they said that I punched this guy and what was really sad
for me was there's cameras everywhere and I guess we're about to go maybe into some civil proceeding, I don't know.
Because I feel badly in the sense that this guy's wasting his time and my time because there's cameras everywhere that dispute it. I mean, he lied
to the police. If he says that I punched him in the face, that's a lie.
But what I think is important is, number one, any physical altercation that you get into with people like that is not a good idea. But every single
one of them I've had, has been with a tabloid, paparazzi media member, and there was a provocation involved.
I have never -- I mean, I don't think I could survive in my business. I have never had an altercation with somebody in that quadrant of the media
that wasn't provoked.
If a guy is across the street with a long lens, I don't go running across the street, say hey, what are you doing. But men who've come to my home
during specific events in my life and they almost chipped my wife's teeth with a lens of a camera, you know, snapping it in her face, anything like
that where you get provoked and cross a line, you - - you lose. You're the loser.
ISAACSON: What is your aspiration? What would be the great thing you'd love to do in a few years when you're ready to do something big?
BALDWIN: Next year, in 2020, I will have done this for 40 years. Now what I want to do, I don't know.
My wife and I are thinking about maybe moving overseas for like a little holiday, like a year to live in Spain because my wife is from Spain. We
have all kinds of ideas of different things we might do because I'm 61.
And I have a five-year-old, a three-year-old, a two-year-old and 11-month- old. So I want to make the most of the time I have left and as my friend said, when I turned 60, he said remember that you have -- you still have
plenty of time, but none to waste.
ISAACSON: Alec Baldwin, wow, thanks for being with us.
BALDWIN: Yes. Yes, thank you.
ISAACSON: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you. Yes.
AMANPOUR: And that's it for now. But join us again tomorrow night for my conversation with presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg. That was when
he announced on why he stands out in a crowded Democratic field, followed by some lessons on intimacy in this digital age from 91-year-old
firecracker and sex therapist Dr. Ruth.
Thanks for watching this special edition of AMANPOUR. And remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at amanpour.com and follow
me on Instagram and Twitter.
Goodbye from London.