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Play Examines 'Jaws' Drama; Interview With Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Interview with "The Shark is Broken" Actor and Co- Writer Ian Shaw; Interview with Former U.S. Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott; Interview with Fontaines D.C. Lead Singer Grian Chatten. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired January 21, 2022 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: People are justifiably outraged.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): A key American ally at a crossroads. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Britain's future, amid the Boris Johnson's
scandals, and whether diplomacy can defuse the standoff over Ukraine.
IAN SHAW, ACTOR AND CO-WRITER, "THE SHARK IS BROKEN": Who gets top billing?
AMANPOUR: What really went on behind the scenes during the filming of "Jaws"? That drama turned into a West End comedy. I'm joined by its writer
and star Ian Shaw, some of the original cast member Robert Shaw.
Plus, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott talks to Walter Isaacson about healing the partisan divide.
And, finally, the hit Irish band blending punk and poetry. We go down the line with Fontaines D.C.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
There is a gaping hole in the governing of Britain. That is the sobering assessment of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. In a speech about the
future of Britain, he said the country is stuck. And the latest scandal surrounding the current leader, Boris Johnson, is not helping.
Blair spent 10 years as prime minister, winning three elections. While joining the war against Iraq alongside the United States remains deeply
unpopular,but he also launched a raft of policy reforms at home and was at the helm during global crises that demanded a united Western consensus and
Now, of course, the Western alliance is being tested again, this time by Vladimir Putin. But whether figuring out the future of Britain or convening
to end the global pandemic, Blair tells me it is all about parties in Britain and the United States stepping back from their deep divisions and
partisan divides to actually get things done.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, welcome to the program.
BLAIR: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: So, you have talked about the future of Britain basically revolving around three revolutions, Brexit, technology, and climate.
Can you sum up what you mean and what you mean by revolutions?
BLAIR: So we're living through a period of time in the U.K. when you have these massive changes happening. Brexit, the decision is over, and whether
it's right or wrong, that's done with. But it's a decision of consequence, because half of our trade is with Europe. It's part of our continent. We
can change our politics in respect of Europe. We can't change our interests or geography.
So Brexit is a huge change. We don't have a plan to deal with it. Secondly, you have got...
AMANPOUR: They would say you do have a plan, or they have a plan.
But you say they don't?
BLAIR: Well, they don't really. We don't have a new trade relationship in place with Europe. We haven't decided what areas we want to concentrate
upon in Europe.
Our relationship with Europe at the moment, it's very scratchy and difficult. We haven't resolved even Northern Ireland. So I don't think they
do have a plan for Brexit. Then you have got a climate ambition that's enormous. It's the right ambition.
But just to give you an example, it means we're going to have to quadruple the rate at which we build renewable energy in the U.K. You're going to be
changing all the fossil fuel cars into electric vehicles, changing all the gas boilers with heat pumps. This is massive.
We have a plan there, but I don't think it's nearly adequate. And then you have got the technology revolution, which is going to change everything in
our world, and where the real political debate should be not between the old-style left and right, but how do you harness this revolution to reform
things like health care, education, law and order defense, the whole works. Never mind how business operates.
So, my point is, you have got three revolutions, no plan for the future. For Britain, what this means is, if we don't get such a plan and pursue it,
we're going to relegate ourselves from the premier league of countries.
AMANPOUR: And you have said: "There's no cause for pessimism, "although you do sound right now pessimistic, "but there is an urgent need for
realism in the face of the three revolutions. Without a radical shift in policy, we face a steady, inexorable compound decline, similar to back in
the '60s and 70s. We're relegating ourselves to a league which is poorer, less prosperous and less powerful."
That, of course, goes right against the grain of the Boris Johnson government, which says, we're global Britain. We have got the sunny
uplands. We have shown that -- I mean, they claim that they have shown the economy has rebounded to pre-COVID levels and they're doing very nicely,
thank you very much.
BLAIR: I think that would not be the experience of most people.
We're about to face tax rises. We have got rising energy bills. The best estimate is that our trend growth is run about 1.7 percent for the next
years, during the early part of the century. When I was in office, it was 2.3 percent or more.
If you look at where we are today, the disruption to our trading relations, the fact that, although we have got an institutionally strong relationship
with America, I don't think, politically, our relationship with America is very strong anymore. And, of course, our relationship with Europe is pretty
much in breakdown.
So, you look at it from a power point of view or a living standards point of view -- now, we do have strengths. I mean, this is -- it's not
impossible to turn this around. We have got great technology in the U.K., great life sciences. We're leaders in climate technology. We have got the
city of London. We have got wonderful universities, our culture, our language.
There's lots to be proud of and optimistic about, but it needs government to be organized. And our politics today has, at least until very recently
with the changes in the Labor Party, given me more cause for optimism. But, up to now, our politics has just been about politics and bitter divisions
in right and left, which don't correspond to the needs of the world today, which is that the solutions you require are practical.
And at the very point in time where really practical solutions, both main parties went ideological.
AMANPOUR: This is very similar to what's happening in the United States and in many of the Western alliance countries, this deep ideological
division or political division between right and left, and ne'er the twain shall meet, and particularly when it comes to making serious policy
decisions for the future of their countries in this country, where you were prime minister before, your Labor Party is now saying, Johnson is no longer
fit to lead.
Obviously, this is because of Partygate, which the whole world has now clocked on to, prime minister's questions. They have seen him try to answer
Is he no longer fit to lead? And can you actually have what you're proposing with a mortally wounded prime minister?
BLAIR: You know, I would say to people, it's not my job to get into the prime minister whether should stay or go. I have been prime minister
myself. I don't call upon my successors to resign. So I will leave all that to those who are in the front line of politics.
But what I do think is this, that, if the government doesn't create such a plan for the future, and our politics is incapable of producing one, we're
in trouble. Now, I think what's changed in British politics, frankly, over the last months is that the Labor Party, under its new leadership, has
moved much closer back to the center.
And that's in line with a lot of what's happening in Europe. In Europe today, in Germany, Olaf Scholz is in many ways seen as the successor to
Angela Merkel, even if he's not the same political party. President Macron is still in a strong position in France.
Italy, of all the European countries, is probably the one that is regarded as making a lot of progress now, particularly over the last few years, with
essentially a technocratic government. So there's some signs.
And COVID, also, I think, is producing some signs amongst the public that what they respect is competent government.
AMANPOUR: Partygate in the gardens of Downing Street. You referred a little bit to the crisis in your speech.
I mean, that was -- that's pretty bad.
BLAIR: Yes, it is.
AMANPOUR: Do you agree?
BLAIR: Yes. No, it should never have happened. And it was -- people are justifiably outraged by it.
Now, what -- how exactly it all turns out politically, that's another matter. But, no, the problem was that everyone was suffering during
lockdown. And it was an extraordinary thing to do, but -- yes, there it is.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about COVID?
Because, here in this country, it looks from the government's point of view as if the peak has been reached, it's going down. And they have announced,
Boris Johnson has announced basically all restrictions are going to be lifted in the next days, and then in the next few weeks.
Is that a good thing? I mean, they have had a very successful vaccine and boosting program.
BLAIR: The general direction, yes. I mean, the timing is a little politically convenient, let's say. But leave that aside.
No, the general direction is fine. I think, if Omicron is the worst it gets, we will get through it.
AMANPOUR: Because America is literally sinking in malaise over this.
And President Biden on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration is facing terrible poll ratings, mostly around the perception that he can't
get a grip actually on COVID, and, of course, inflation and other...
BLAIR: But you have still got -- I think, in America, there is still a significant number of people not vaccinated. I mean, that's -- it's an
indicator of how broken politics has been that the issue of vaccination should become political.
I mean, it's just a question of science. And, by the way, you look at the studies around the world, the evidence for getting vaccinated is utterly
overwhelming. I mean, it is the thing that saves you as an individual, prevents you from spreading the disease not nearly as much as otherwise,
and, of course, protects your health care system, because, otherwise, it gets overwhelmed.
So it's a curious thing how this ever became political, but it's an indicator of the thing that I'm talking about, which is the state of
AMANPOUR: So you were one of the first, if not the first British public official to suggest about a year or so ago, when it was quite clear that we
didn't have enough vaccines to meet the -- remember, the initial three-week gap, and then four-week gap.
You said, vaccinate everybody once, and then we will figure out the second vaccines. Do you feel somewhat vindicated by that?
BLAIR: Yes, I think, in the end, it was the sensible policy, particularly with us using AstraZeneca, because it's clear that a three-month gap
between first and second dose is probably optimal.
But now you have got the boosters. I think the more shocking thing for me - - and this is where the world's got to position itself differently for the future -- is that we didn't, at an early stage, cooperate globally in
ensuring we had enough vaccine for the world.
Now, we will have enough vaccine this year. And now the problem for the world is absorption capacity and overcoming vaccine hesitancy.
AMANPOUR: So, talk to me a little bit about cooperation and coalitions, because you were involved in exactly that kind of leadership with U.S.
alliance and the rest during the '90s and the 2000s, when you were prime minister. Some of it went right. Some of it didn't go right.
But that seems to be very much lacking right now. I mean, it started, I guess, with President Trump pulling out of things like the WHO right in the
middle of this pandemic, and the Iran nuclear deal, climate and the like.
How desperately obvious is the fact that there is no real coalition to fix really broad global problems right now?
BLAIR: I think it's a -- it's a curious thing that's happened, which is that people got into the way of thinking that, if you were in favor of
global cooperation, it meant you were putting someone else before your own people. And so this idea of my country first became a common theme of
But, in the end, the reason why you're in favor of cooperation is enlightened self-interest. It's not because you want to put someone else
before you. I mean, if you cooperate on vaccines, there's more vaccine for everyone. If you don't vaccinate the world, the disease keeps mutating, and
it can come back and affect your own people.
If you're not going to cooperate on climate change, you're all going to suffer. So I hope one of the things that comes out of COVID is that people
do understand the need for that global cooperation.
But it's -- there's so much more we could do to get things right. And I'm worried about the future, because my institute has put forward a series of
detailed plans for how you cooperate on global pandemics for the future. But you really need to get that organized, because it's -- it will happen,
and we should just learn from the past.
AMANPOUR: You haven't -- in your speech "The Future of Britain," you haven't really focused on foreign policy, per se, other than relations with
Europe and Brexit.
But you have seen two big issues flare up recently, and you were critical about the haphazard pullout from Afghanistan. That seemed the opposite of a
coalition, of talking to the allies. Biden had promoted, America is back. And it was a disaster.
And you spoke very harshly about it at the time. Are you still -- I mean, however many months later, do you still think that it was the wrong thing
BLAIR: I do. I'm afraid there's no way out of that. I think it's -- what's happened is very tragic. I hope we can repair it over time.
AMANPOUR: You don't look too optimistic on that.
I wonder if you're more optimistic on what's happening between NATO and Russia. So, Russia yesterday, the main negotiator and deputy foreign
minister, Ryabkov, said, we do not want and we will not, and he used all these words, invade, attack, strike, whatever, he said, Ukraine.
Do you buy that? He's the spokesman for Putin on this issue. Do you by that?
BLAIR: I mean, the fact is, their actions will be what counts. And some of their words, by the way, have been extremely bellicose and aggressive.
But we have just got to go back to what's happening here. Ukraine is a country on the borders of Europe. It's part of the larger European space.
And it's being said that they're not free to determine their own future.
I mean, this is not about them making up their minds that they want to go with Russia or want to go with the West. This is about the present Russian
leadership saying to them, it doesn't matter what you decide, you're with us, and we will force you to be if you don't like it.
I don't see how Europe accepts that. So, I think the biggest risk is that Russia misunderstands that any form of attempt to go into Ukraine to launch
an attack on Ukraine would be met, I think, with a large and unified Western response.
I mean, I know people talk about the divisions and so on, but the European leaders I'm talking to, they're not really divided on this.
AMANPOUR: No, it does seem actually that this is a case of real unity from the U.S., Europe and all those dealing with Russia. And, as you say, many
have suggested that that's the only way to tell Putin which way you're thinking and going to act.
Therefore, were you, like others, concerned about what President Biden said last night at this press conference. And let me just quote: "Russia will be
held accountable. And it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion, and we in NATO end up having to fight about what to do and
what not to do, et cetera."
And then he basically also said he thinks Putin will have to do something, he will do some invading.
So, do you think he -- well, the White House has clarified, very strict position from the White House, but the Ukrainians are pretty upset about
it. They say he gave a little bit of a green light there for even a mini- invasion.
BLAIR: I don't think he did, though, really.
And I'm sure that any form of military incursion is going to be a huge problem for the West. And Russia has got to think seriously about what its
own long-term interests are. Remember, the Russian economy is, what, two- thirds the size of the U.K. or Italy's economy.
The sensible thing would be for them to focus on how they build economic strength, the living standards of their people. I mean, no one seriously
believes that Ukraine joining NATO is on the near-term agenda. So there's not really a -- there's no justification for it, and which makes some
people think, well, maybe it's to do with the internal politics of Russia.
But, for whatever reason, the one thing I am sure about is that the response of the West would be very big, and I believe it will be united.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you what you feel about being knighted, Sir Tony?
AMANPOUR: And what do you feel about the million signatures against your knighthood?
BLAIR: It's a -- this is an honor by the queen. It's a personal gift.
And, as I have said to people, I take it as something not just -- it's not for me as a person, but me as the leader of a government that made a lot of
changes in the country and with -- and government for -- well, I was prime minister for 10 years.
So -- and it's a traditional thing for prime ministers to have. And, of course, if you're in politics today, you're going to have people that are
strongly opposed. I understand that. But if you don't want criticism today in public life, you should steer clear of it.
AMANPOUR: Sir Tony Blair, thank you very much for joining us.
BLAIR: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: How do you like being called Sir Tony?
AMANPOUR: Heavy is the head that bears the crown.
Now we set sail for a little nostalgia and some behind-the-scenes dysfunction. Who could forget the 1975 thriller "Jaws," known as the first
blockbuster? It launched the career of director Steven Spielberg and turned its main characters into movie stars.
But it wasn't easy. A lot of blood, sweat and saltwater went into the five- month shoot, mostly taking place on the Atlantic Ocean, with the cast often at each other's throats.
Now a play based on that drama is buoying London's West End. It is called the shark is broken. And here's a bit from the trailer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: The USS Indianapolis, June 29, 1945, damn near 1,100 men went over the side. There was no rafts, none.
Oh, for God's sake, I can't say this. It's doubled in my tax return.
Who gets top billing?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What do you think it's about?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This (EXPLETIVE DELETED) movie.
SHAW: It's about a shark.
Do you really think they're going to be talking about this in 40 years?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, that is "Jaws" turned into a stage play.
And I joined Ian Shaw on stage for a conversation about it that he co-wrote and he also stars in. And as the son of the original cast member, Robert
Shaw, he has unique insight.
AMANPOUR: Ian Shaw, welcome to the program.
SHAW: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So many people know "Jaws," obviously, and you must have a lot of fans who come to this play.
What did you know about "Jaws"? And when did you know it?
SHAW: Well, I was on the set when I was a little boy, not -- I was -- I must have been 5. So I wasn't hugely impressed by anything.
It was kind of not a particularly interesting place to be, except for the fact that I met Bruce, the shark.
SHAW: And that was scary.
AMANPOUR: Was it huge? I mean, just describe what it was like for a 5- year-old.
SHAW: Enormous, even though it wasn't moving. It was just there, had a blanket over its head. It was scary.
AMANPOUR: And then, of course, the shark in the film, in the story actually eats your father alive, I mean, bites him in two, right?
Quint is Robert Shaw's character.
AMANPOUR: Was that nightmarish for you?
SHAW: What was nightmarish was the fact of sharks, because I can remember having a nightmare about them swimming around my bed, and calling out for
my dad, who I'd seen obviously being eaten in the movie.
But it was -- I was able to separate fact from fiction on that level. I knew that he wasn't really eaten. But even so, the movie had instilled in
me a terror of sharks.
AMANPOUR: So, then the obvious question, I guess is, why would you do a whole play about a shark?
SHAW: A few separate coincidences, I think. I mean, I'd always loved the film.
And then I met Richard Dreyfuss. He was auditioning -- I can't remember which part I was going up. But it was "Hamlet."
AMANPOUR: He was directing "Hamlet." He watched your audition.
SHAW: He was directing.
AMANPOUR: He was a key part of the original film "Jaws."
SHAW: Absolutely. Played Hooper in "Jaws." And I'd always loved him as an actor anyway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD DREYFUSS, ACTOR: That's it. Goodbye. I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a man who is lining up to be a hot lunch. I'm going to
see you later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: And I had either forgotten or didn't know that Robert and Richard clashed on the set.
AMANPOUR: That's kind of an understatement.
SHAW: Yes, an understatement.
AMANPOUR: I mean, they didn't seem to like each other at all. Your father did not seem to like...
SHAW: Well, it was complicated, though, because there was an affection there.
But it was definitely a -- I think Richard was traumatized a little by Robert, or traumatized a lot by Robert, because his reaction when I
introduced myself -- I wasn't expecting -- I was expecting to get a hug or something.
His reaction was as if I'd punched him in the stomach, I think.
AMANPOUR: By telling him, hi, I'm Robert Shaw's...
SHAW: Hi. I'm Robert Shaw's son, yes.
AMANPOUR: And that then led to you wanting to do this play?
I had stored -- I had squirreled that piece of information away just because I found it interesting. But it did lead me on to reading "The Jaws
Log," which was Carl Gottlieb, who was the screenwriter post-Peter Benchley.
And that was a fascinating read. And it uncovered what I had either forgotten or didn't know, that -- the whole story of Robert and Richard's
relationship on the set, which I found fascinating.
AMANPOUR: And why was your father so harsh on Richard Dreyfuss? And he got him to do really silly pranks, like climb up the mast and jump off into the
middle of the sea and stuff like that.
What do you think was the reason for his tormenting his co-star?
SHAW: I think it was a few things.
I think, obviously, they were -- as we said, the pressures were piling on. So they were going over time, and the shark wasn't working. So the
frustrations were building. So there was this atmosphere ripe for fighting.
Robert was drinking. But I think he felt that -- and their personalities were so different. He felt that Richard was arrogant and brash and hadn't
earned his stripes and that he was an established actor who had focused on the hard work and had come along to this point.
And I think he was -- felt that he needed to school Richard a little bit.
AMANPOUR: And from what I read, he also -- from the logs, that he also thought he got a better performance out of Richard and everybody.
SHAW: That's the other theory.
AMANPOUR: Do you buy that?
SHAW: I mean, I think it's true that they did have a fantastic chemistry on screen. And so it can't have hurt that. It must have helped that.
AMANPOUR: I mean, obviously, they made a beautiful movie in the end, very successful.
But the dysfunction in terms of Bruce, the shark, breaking down, in terms of this relationship between your father and the other star of the film,
Richard Dreyfuss -- of course, there was Roy Scheider.
Is that also what interested you?
SHAW: There was a lot of stress.
I mean, drama is about stress ,I think, seeing what people do in these situations. If everyone's sitting around getting on very happily, it's not
The shark was broken. So the shoot went -- spiraled over budget and over time. They were filming on the sea on a boat.
AMANPOUR: Kind of a little like what we're doing now, make-believe. We're on a boat.
SHAW: Yes, but with real...
AMANPOUR: It's an amazing set.
SHAW: ... with real seasickness and...
AMANPOUR: They had real seasickness.
AMANPOUR: But you know what?
I don't know whether your audience ever reacts to this. But when I watched it, I felt a little, a little seasick, because the sea is actually moving
in CGI or whatever it is.
SHAW: I -- in fact, one or two people have certainly said that they have definitely felt the motion.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Yes.
By the way, talking about the audience, there are a lot of "Jaws" fans. I mean, it's a cult movie. Do you get reaction from the live audience?
SHAW: I mean, one time, slightly embarrassingly, almost, I entered and there was a little sort of whooping reaction, because I think they were
just so pleased to see, one or two of them, the hardcore fans, pleased to see Quint back.
AMANPOUR: Because you do look very much like Robert Shaw.
Was it always a blessing? In other words, many -- many kids of famous and very successful parents obviously feel they have a lot to live up to.
AMANPOUR: Did you?
SHAW: Yes, I...
AMANPOUR: Especially taking on this.
SHAW: With this, I was very reluctant to do it.
When all the -- when all these separate coincidences had come together, and I thought that maybe this -- there was a story to tell, I was very
reluctant to tell it. It took a lot of persuasion by -- from other people to push me into writing it with Joseph Nixon.
AMANPOUR: Because of?
SHAW: Because of the fact that I didn't want to get it wrong.
I didn't want to -- I mean, I spent most of my life avoiding association with my father, trying to carve my own path. And then to play him, to write
about him, I didn't want to judge him. But, at the same time, I didn't want to put him on a pedestal.
AMANPOUR: And particularly poignantly, you decided to grapple with the overdrinking. I mean, your father drank a lot.
AMANPOUR: And I assume he was an alcoholic?
SHAW: He was, yes. Yes.
AMANPOUR: And you grappled with how much of that to show, whether that was betraying the family?
I mean, yes, I mean, I felt anguished at times in the process, because I felt that, if we got the tone wrong, that it would be a disaster.
AMANPOUR: I was really interested to read something that you told in a different interview.
You talked about working-class actors drinking heavily. And you sort of surmise that it might be a reaction to these really macho dudes having to
wear, as you put it, tights and makeup, let's say, for Shakespeare and that kind of stuff, and how this was their way of claiming their manhood, the
Do you feel that way?
SHAW: I do feel that way.
I mean, I don't know whether that's right or wrong. It's a feeling I have, that they felt -- that a part of them felt uncomfortable with the
femininity of the profession, which I don't think actors feel so much now. I think we have -- I think we have got past that.
AMANPOUR: Let's get back to the film and play a little clip about the whole meaning of life. In other words, what is this film about?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What do you think it's about?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This movie, this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) movie. It's got to be about something, right? Everything is about something.
I think it's about the subconscious.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Say again?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Sharks are these ancient primal creatures, right?
Well, they represent all the primal fear in all of us, all the terrors and desires we keep buried down deep, all the Freudian crap my therapist is
always going on about. That's what the shark is.
You don't agree?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Well, it's an interesting theory.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: All right. Well, what do you think it's about?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I think it's about responsibility.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Huh?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Well, when the government are putting profit before people's lives, and you can't get rid of the jerks, you have got to take
care of the mess yourself, even if it terrifies you, for the good of the community.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Whoa. That's deep.
What about you, Robert? What do you think it's about?
SHAW: It's about a shark.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: No, what's it really about?
SHAW: It's really about a shock. Don't rig me more into it. It's a thriller, a machine for making money. Do you really think they're going to
be talking about this in 40 years?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: What is the film about for you? Is it also just about a shark and a play?
SHAW: You know, nobody's really asked me that question because I do have my own little theory and I don't know -- I mean, of course, it is just
about a shark. But I do think there's a little bit of Vietnam in there. At the time, that was what was going on.
AMANPOUR: Look at this, you're right. I mean, this paper is a prop that you used. This is Nixon Resigns. So, it's 1974, at the height of Watergate.
He finally resigns. And Vietnam was at its highest, of course.
SHAW: You know, not long ago, I watched Ken Burns' documentary on Vietnam, which is just spell binding. And there were these young men who were being
sent off and dying and dying and dying. And, you know, there was -- you know, to this far away land and people couldn't understand why it was
happening and there is a sort of a relationship, I think, between those two things for me.
AMANPOUR: That's the first time I've heard that, that's really interesting. This is the famous USS Indianapolis speech that is delivered
by Robert Shaw's character.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Sometimes that shark, it looks right into you, right into your eyes. You know a thing about the shark, he's got lifeless eyes, black eye, like a
doll's eye. When he comes at you, doesn't seem to be living until he bites you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Why was that so important, that speech?
SHAW: I think it was -- it's instrumental in the film and it's often cited as one of being -- you know, as being one of the most compelling scenes in
cinema history. I think that it's pivotal because it really explains Quint and really roots him down and you understand and have sympathy, I think,
with the character at that point. And it completely changes the tone of the film.
AMANPOUR: Just tell me, because this is a phenomenal set, and that idea of the sea and this boat and all the rest of it. Was this set obvious to you
or did it come with a lot of talking?
SHAW: The auker (ph), interior of the auker (ph) was front, center in my mind writing the play.
AMANPOUR: The auker (ph) being boat?
AMANPOUR: This boat that we're sitting in?
SHAW: Yes. Because I was always thinking about the Indianapolis speech and Robert was sitting where you are looking -- and the camera was here looking
that way. So, that was always going to be the center point. And, you know, the stress of being confined, the fact that the shoot went on for 159 days
meant that, you know, that was a useful dramatic device.
AMANPOUR: And finally, I noticed you call him Robert throughout our interview. You don't say dad. Do you think Robert, dad, would have been
proud of this play? What would he have thought about the play compared to - -
SHAW: It's like a quantum physics question because with him here, it wouldn't exist. It's about the loss of him, partly. He talks about the loss
of his father in the play. And when I am doing that, I can't help but think of the loss of him. So, I don't know how to answer. You know, I hope that
we don't do him a disservice.
AMANPOUR: Have you heard from the only surviving cast member, Richard Dreyfuss?
SHAW: No. We haven't. I haven't. I would love to -- you know, I'd love to meet up with him again.
AMANPOUR: Well, Ian Shaw, thank you very much. Really entertaining, really a great play.
SHAW: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: "The Shark is Broken," hugely successful, is extending its run here at London's Ambassadors Theatre until February 13th.
Next, we return to dry land and the cold hard reality of partisan politics. An evenly divided Senate in the United States means not much is getting
done in Washington. Former Republican senator, Trent Lott, was majority leader in 2002 during the last 50/50 split. And he's been speaking to
Walter Isaacson about how to break the current deadlock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER ISAACSON, CNNI HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And Former Senator Trent Lott, welcome to the show.
TRENT LOTT, FORMER U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER: It's great to be with you. Great to see you again, Walter.
ISAACSON: You were the majority leader, the last time we had a 50/50 Senate. And you were able to make it work with Tom Daschle, who was then
the Democratic leader. How did you make it work and why is it not working now?
LOTT: Well, first of all, a lot of credit does go to my very good friend, Tom Daschle. In fact, we talk all the time. I've e-mailed with him this
morning. So, we had a very strong relationship. When we realized we were going to be in a 50/50 situation, Tom and I sat down and worked out an
agreement of how we would proceed.
My Republican conference didn't like it too much but it was the fair thing to do and Tom defended it in his caucus and then, we went to work. The next
to six months, when we had 50/50 Senate, we passed significant appropriations bills. We passed the defense bill. We passed affordability
of insurance and we passed the no child left behind education bill. We worked.
But we told the members on both sides, be prepared to go to the floor of the Senate and debate the appropriations bill or an education bill. We had
amendments. We let the process work and it turned out to be a very productive time. We got more done when it was 50/50 than we did after it
switched back over with the Democrats taking control again when Jim Jeffords switched parties.
ISAACSON: You said that your Republican conference resisted you making a deal with the Democrat Tom Daschle. Do you think that nowadays the
Republican conference is so strong and soo resistant to making deals that it's harder to do what you did?
LOTT: I think clearly it is harder to do that now. But, you know, I read into (INAUDIBLE) when I presented it to the conference over in the Library
of Congress, some of my best friends like Phil Gramm of Texas and (INAUDIBLE) of Oklahoma didn't like it and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania
and then, Pat Roberts of Kansas stood up and said, what are you all thinking? It's a 50/50 Senate. Our leader had done the best he can. Let's
you go with this and, you know, see if it works. And that -- everybody just shut up and we went to work.
But, you know, a lot of it is, they don't communicate. For instance, Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell had a good relationship. And during the Obama
administration, it was Joe Biden that made the deal with Mitch McConnell on the budget that exists until this day and some of the media referred to Joe
as the McConnell whisperer. But as I understand it, they've only maybe spoken once this year.
And the same is to the senators, Republican and Democrat senator, don't like to talk to each other, the Senate doesn't like the House. A key part
of leadership and getting things done in Washington is communication. You've got to talk. And that's what -- you know, Tom Daschle and I had rev
(ph) phones on our desk.
When I picked that phone up, it rang one place, not at the Kremlin, it rang on Tom Daschle's desk. He would pick it up and that's how we got around the
media and even some of our colleagues when it was time to get things done. And I think they need to go back to that.
ISAACSON: So, we don't have that sort of bipartisan camaraderie now and one reason seems to be that the parties have become more polarized. And if
I may say so, it's your party in particular in the age of Trump that doesn't like people to compromise or to engage in bipartisan things. Do you
feel there's a problem in the Republican Party now?
LOTT: Yes, there is some problem there. And I also think there's a problem in the Democratic Party. And, you know, Democratic Party gets shifted very
dramatically to the left. Where Bernie Sanders is chairman of the Budget Committee, please. But also, on the Republican side, acrimony and the whole
debate has gotten somewhat course. They call each other names.
Now, one time when I was in the House, I actually had the Speaker Tip O'Neill's words taken down because he was questioning the motives and
integrity of Newt Gingrich. But we worked it out and he never got mad at me about that. When a senator goes to the floor of the Senate and calls one of
the leaders a liar, that is unacceptable. If I was there, I would have had a senator that would do that removed from the floor of the Senate.
So, yes. It -- the Republican Party bears some of the blame for the inability to get things done. You know, Mitch McConnell, by the way, is
world class defensive player. I mean, he knows the rules and he can really help or hurt if he wants to, because I really think he knows the rules
better than anybody else in the Senate now. Only Bob Byrd knew more about the Senate than Mitch McConnell when he was there.
ISAACSON: Joe Biden is a creature of the Senate. He was able to work both sides of the aisle, even did so as vice president. I thought he was going
to come in and be able to have a good relationship with the Senate and work in a very bipartisan way. What happened?
LOTT: I thought the same. You know, I worked with him in the Senate and I saw him take courageous stands whether you agreed with him or not on things
like, you know, criminal law bill or the Iraq War Resolution. He took some tough positions and I worked with him and had a good relationship.
I have been really surprised he has not become the unifier. I fear that he's getting bad advice and I'm not quite sure where that all is coming
from. But Joe was always left of center but he wasn't socialist and the positions he's advocating are out of character with the person that I knew
in the United States Senate.
ISAACSON: Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden, they worked together last year on the infrastructure bill. And McConnell helped get it passed. What's gone
LOTT: You know, they haven't passed a single appropriations bill for this fiscal year. None. And they passed a continued resolution to fund the
government until February the 18th, so they could begin there. They could meet and sit down to say, look, what is the top number on social spending?
What is the top number on defense? Let's shave them a little bit here and there, let's get an agreement and then, let's go forward with doing, you
know, a dozen appropriations bills. That would be huge.
We're talking about the basic operations of the governments. And if we continue to just go with these so-called continued resolutions, you know,
funding everything at last year's level, which is not good for anybody, whether it's higher or lower. You need that agreement. That's what I urge
him to do.
And also, hold this bill the president calls build back better. I call build back broke. I've said from the beginning, it's too big. You're not
going to be able to swallow that. You ought to break that up into pieces. Lose some of the parts of it that, you know, would have (INAUDIBLE)
support, whether it's in healthcare or the tax credits with children. Pick the parts that are bipartisan that really do need to get done and do that.
Now, there's some discussion they might begin to do that but I'm leery that they're going to, again, overplay their hand, make them too big and
ISAACSON: Donald Trump attacked Mitch McConnell for supporting some of the infrastructure bill. Attacked a lot of the Republican senators for doing
so. Do you think he would go on attack if indeed they voted for some components of build back better?
LOTT: You know, I didn't always agree with presidents, even with my own party. Sometimes I didn't even agree with my constituents. So, I think they
did the right thing on the infrastructure bill. I would have voted for it. And I thought Trump's criticism of McConnell, that was absolutely wrong.
But, you know, being a United States senator is kind of a special job. You've got a six-year term. The people, we don't govern by every, you know,
votes back home on every issue, we elect good men and women to go to Washington learn the issues and vote on behalf of the people.
You've got to, every now and then, take a position maybe not that popular. But in your heart and your mind, you know it's right. You have to get up
the next morning to be able to look yourself in the mirror and say, you did the right thing for your country.
And so, I would say to Former President Trump, you know, you need to be for something. You know, he did some good stuff when he was president but he
just talked himself out of office. Now, he'll probably call me a rhino, but I was conservative before he was born, probably. Well, wait a minute, I
guess he's my age, come to think.
ISAACSON: This past week, the Senate thought about and debated getting rid of the filibuster when it comes to certain things, in this case, the voting
rights type act. Do you strongly support the filibuster or do you think it's now gotten counterproductive?
LOTT: I do strongly support the filibuster. You know, I've been told that I first used the term nuclear option to refer to changing the filibuster. I
actually thought about it very seriously one time when I was majority leader and I worked a lot of the votes, and I actually got to where I had
the 51 votes. And then, I talked to people that I respected and I thought about it and I backed away and I said, no. There's a reason why we require
60 votes in the Senate. A lot of good reasons.
ISAACSON: What are those reasons? I mean, why should the majority party not be able to do something like this?
LOTT: Well, you know, you roll over the party, the Senate minority. And two years later, if you're the minority, the reverse happens. The
filibuster forces a good discussion, supposedly, but also when you get 60 votes for a bill, you go back and look at history. Bills that got super
majorities are more likely to be supported by the people, to have long lasting effects. And by the way, that's more or less a quote from Tom
Now, are there some things that you might want to consider? For instance, I've always thought the filibustering the motion for seat was bad because
we're -- you're saying I don't even want to talk about the bill, but there -- it forces bipartisanship. It forces you to think about the best way to
get broad support.
Legislation gets 60 or more votes, like infrastructure, is going to have a real good effect and will be supported. Legislation that squeezed by with
51 votes or 49, 47 because of absentees will almost always be a problem. So -- and I've studied the filibuster and I've got mad about it. I've, you
know, prepared to challenge it more than once. When you're in the majority, it's a problem. When you're in the minority, you say thank God.
ISAACSON: Former President Trump has challenged the past election. Said it was fake, said it was wrong, tried to have it overturned. What do you say
LOTT: I say, you know, there's no question there was probably some things that went on that shouldn't have. And, you know, Georgia and Pennsylvania
and maybe Arizona, I don't know, but state officials looked at those elections and even if they found there were some irregularities. It was not
going to be enough to overturn the Electoral College.
And, you know, at some point, you say -- you check what happened to the election, you see if there were real problems. But then you have to move
forward. And, you know, Richard Nixon did that when he had a very close election with John F. Kennedy. Al Gore did it with George W. Bush. At some
point, you say, OK, look, they may have been a problem here, there or somewhere else. But at some point, you have to respect the overall results
and go forward. You know, and that's what I would recommend to everybody.
ISAACSON: In today's Republican Party, you are really expected to toe the line. I mean, look at what had to Liz Cheney. What do you say to that?
LOTT: Well, I've been concerned about the so-called January 6th Committee. I don't think it was set up properly. There are a lot of reasons why, and
you could say, well, it was Pelosi's fault, no, it was McCarthy's fault to get that. It was set up in a very strange way.
I think that everybody needs to try to find a way to lower the temperature and reach out. The temperature needs to be lowered, no question about that,
on both sides. I listened to the debate in the Senate last night, I said, golly, there is the problem. When you listen to senators' accusations and
criticisms of senators of other side of the aisle, I watched the exchange between Senator Collins, whom I respect and just love, actually he's a
senator, a great person, arguing with Senator Ossoff, who basically (INAUDIBLE) integrity. You can't allow that. And, you know, the leadership
needs to help lower the temperature and keep the rhetoric from getting too hot.
ISAACSON: You're sitting there against the backdrop of the capitol of the United States. A building that you loved. It was invaded by an insurrection
a year ago. How do we get to the bottom of that and how do you get your party to say, that was wrong and we need to figure out who's responsible?
LOTT: You're right, I did work in that building for 39 years. Four years as a staff member to a senior Democrat. Congressman Bill Colmer, chairman
of Rules Committee. Then I was elected to succeed him four later, to serve the House and Senate. I had offices on both sides of the capitol. I adore
that building. I called it the, you know, temple of democracy.
I've been to, you know, services in the rotunda, including recently for Bob Dole. I was in tears the day that happened. I couldn't believe what I was
seeing. When I saw them try to break the doors into House Chamber and one of my former security guys standing there with a gun pointed at people, I
mean, I was horrified by all of that.
I do think that, you know, we need to think about what happened. I think we need to -- I do think the one place where they could maybe get some
legislation done is to clarify more how the Electoral College count is supposed to be done and what is the role of the vice president and others.
So -- but how long are we going to continue to rehash this? At some point, we have to learn from this bad experience and think about how it can be
avoided in the future through intelligence, through quicker action by the leadership involved in the National Guard. We need to make sure that temple
of democracy is protected and that things like what we saw happen can't happen again. And one of the ways you avoid that is to make sure that the
process to confirm the rectoral (ph) count is clear and protected.
ISAACSON: But how can we make sure a January 6th invasion of the capitol won't happen again when the Republicans have pretty much resisted finding
out who was responsible and what happened on that day?
LOTT: Well, it's -- you know, I think probably you're talking about the resistance being too much. I think it's the way it's being done and who
they're subpoenaing, what are they trying to find out. You know, you would expect it from me, you know, I am a Republican, but it looks to be like, in
many ways, it's a partisan witch hunt.
How long is this going to go on? You know, what do we need to know? And what are we going to do when we find out? What needs to come out of this?
But I suspect that this will be hanging around our necks, good bad and ugly, whatever, all the way to the election and then, maybe something
different will happen.
ISAACSON: Senator Trent Lott, thank you so much for joining us.
LOTT: Glad to be with you, Walter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The ongoing dilemma about how to really govern and get things done in an era of poisonous partisanship.
And finally, rock with a literary heart. Irish band, Fontaines D.C., met and bonded over poetry as university students altogether in Dublin. It led
to a unique brand of punk rock and a debut hit single that even namechecks James Joyce. Accolades have followed and their last album was nominated for
Their next album is out in April. And while I was isolating at home with COVID, I spoke to Grian Chatten, lead singer of only the second Irish band
after U2 to get a Grammy nod.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You have a new album out. You're a Dublin based band. It's called, "Skinty Fia." That's in Irish. What does it mean and why did you
call it that?
GRIAN CHATTEN, LEAD SINGER FONTAINES D.C.: It means -- it translates kind of loosely to the damnation of the deer and it would be substituted for a
curse word or something you don't fear to drop a plate and it smashed, you might say skinty fia.
AMANPOUR: Why are you using a curse word for your new album?
CHATTEN: Well, I mean, it isn't -- it's in (INAUDIBLE) of in a way but it means the damnation of the deer, which is incredible poetic. And
(INAUDIBLE). It was interesting to me because, you know, on the record, we looked at -- we try to explore the kind of mutation of a culture as it
exists in a new area, in a new location such as ours in England and in America, especially the East Coast, places like Boston and things like
You see this new kind of -- new form of Irishness, which is no less kind of pure or anything like that. It's just a new thing. And -- but the kind of
damnation of the deer was that kind of -- it reminded of the scene in Pinocchio, you know, where all the kids turned into donkeys.
AMANPOUR: Well, how would you describe your music for those who don't know?
CHATTEN: I would say that it's probably -- it's heavily influenced by arch music, arch traditional music. Themes of arch traditional music. You know,
the storytelling and stuff like that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How did that affect you creatively?
CHATTEN: I kind of looked at it. It was kind of like switch in the color palette, you know. And it basically meant that instead of having kind of a
sense of dislocation like we did when writing our second record, when we were constantly touring every place that we arrived kind of eventually
became to mean sort of knocking, you know, they all became bases in a way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTEN: We settled in a place and then had to draw inspiration from people that we'd see on a daily basis walking through from shops and things
like that. And I think that's actually more interesting to me, you know, to find beauty in those everyday occurrences.
AMANPOUR: So, listen, you're going to play for us, you're going to play us out on our program with a track from "Skinty Fia." What's the name of the
track and why have you chosen this one?
CHATTEN: Well, it's called "Jackie Down the Line." And it's a really nice song for us to play because we wrote it at a time, you know, obviously,
during lockdown and it was just -- it's very liberating to play, very freeing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Grian Chatten and Fontaines D.C. closing our show tonight. And that is it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest
episode shortly after it airs on our podcast, and you can find that at cnn.com/podcast and all major podcast platforms. Just search for "Amanpour"
or scan the QR code on your screens right now.
Remember, you can catch us online. Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.