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Interview with McLain Institute Executive Director and Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas; Interview with Council on Foreign Relations President Michael Froman; Interview with Son of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Film Director and Writer Rodrigo Garcia; Interview with Actor Ian McKellen. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired March 22, 2024 - 13:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.

Battered and in darkness, Russia targets Ukraine's energy system in a massive missile and drone attack. I speak to former Defense Department

official Evelyn Farkas from Kyiv.

And --


MICHAEL FROMAN, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: The most important thing is for our Congress to act and to demonstrate that the U.S.

stands behind Ukraine at this critical moment.


GOLODRYGA: With U.S. military aid still in limbo, Walter Isaacson discusses America's shifting position on global politics with president of

the Council on Foreign Relations.

Then, published without permission. I asked the son of legendary author Gabriel Garcia Marquez why he released the novel "Until August" after his

father's death.

Also ahead --


IAN MCKELLEN, ACTOR: There is so much in every scene of her Shakespeare play which is relevant to life, living, humanity.


GOLODRYGA: -- king of the stage. We look back at Christian's conversation with Sir Ian McKellen as he takes on one of Shakespeare's toughest roles.

Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

Putin targets Ukraine's power plants and energy system in one of Russia's biggest ever missile and drone attacks. Moscow is finally calling this a

state of war as well. At least 10 regions were hit, leaving over 1 million households without electricity, and more than 1,000 miners were stranded

underground during a blackout.

Reports of blasts near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant act as a clear reminder of the stakes at play. E.U. leaders have agreed in principle to

send Kyiv the profits on frozen Russian assets, that's around $3 billion this year, but $60 billion is still caught up in U.S. Congress. Meantime,

NATO has sent its first official military delegation to Kyiv since Russia's invasion in 2022.

Evelyn Farkas is a former U.S. Defense Department official and the head of the McCain Institute. She joins me now from Kyiv, which yesterday was hit

by Russian missile strikes for the first time in six weeks.

Evelyn Farkas, welcome to the program. I know you're there at the Kyiv Security Forum. The country continues to be attacked, at war here. What is

the reaction on the ground there? What is the mood?


really frustrated and subdued, first of all, because this attack comes at a time when the Ukrainians are just counting the days until they can get the

assistance, you mentioned, from the U.S. Congress. They're mostly focused on, of course, the military assistance because troops on the front have

been sealing the impact of not having the ammunition.

And then, of course, you know, here in Kyiv, they haven't been under attack. I was here in October with the McCain Institute delegation that I

led, and, you know, there were no attacks. The Russians were basically hoarding their UAVs, their attack capability. But they are attacking now,

probably in retaliation for Ukrainian attacks against their oil refineries.

GOLODRYGA: And I want to get back to the strategy behind some of Ukraine's attacks, specifically against their oil infrastructure and energy

infrastructure, because the U.S. responded today in quite a controversial manner, telling them that they didn't think that this was a productive

response to Russia in this war. Let's pick up on that later.

But with regards to this attack right now, as we mentioned, more than a million people left without power. Ukraine's air defense forces said they

destroyed 92 of the 151 drones and missiles fired from Russia, but they failed to shoot down any of the 19 ballistic missiles that obviously would

need the U.S.-designed Patriot air defense system to do that.

And President Zelenskyy used this as a real-life example of why that air defense system is so crucial for the country as it's defending itself now

two years into the war. How much frustration are you sensing there among Ukrainians and either even other Europeans that that aid isn't getting

there soon enough?


FARKAS: Yes, Bianna, you're making a really important point because I answered your question talking just about Kyiv because they have a really

good air defense system here. So, the injury to buildings and to people, and nobody died, was because of debris, because the air defense systems

here worked.

But you're right, the air defense systems across Ukraine, there aren't air defense systems that cover the entire country, which is why the electric

grid was attacked, unfortunately, successfully here in Ukraine. And so, people are now having problems with electricity disruptions. Clearly,

they're frustrated.

Now, the Ukrainians are grateful because USAID, the United States government, has helped them fortify their electricity and other

installations that protect civilian infrastructure. But there's only so much you can do.

And really, what they need are these strong air defense systems, the Patriots, and they need to be able to retaliate against the Russians. You

know, the Ukrainians likely know where these cruise missiles are coming from, and they could actually address the problem at the source if we gave

them longer range munitions.

GOLODRYGA: This isn't the first time that Russia has specifically gone after Ukraine's energy infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia. Obviously, it's home

to the largest nuclear power facility in all of Europe, and there's a lot of concern about potential damage there.

To my earlier point, with the U.S. now telling Ukraine that they don't think that it's effective, and they're urging Ukrainians to halt their

attacks on Russia's energy infrastructure, there's reports that that's largely because they don't want to see a spike in energy prices and oil

prices, perhaps leading up to the U.S. election.

What is the response to that report? Because it just came out today, and as an expert yourself, what is your take on it?

FARKAS: I saw that report, Bianna. It is disconcerting because we know that the U.S. government has issued kind of warnings or directives like

this to the Ukrainian government with a fear of escalation or -- and perhaps in this case, a fear of something happening to the oil prices.

Although, I will say, that when we raised this with experts, they said, well, it's not clear that oil prices would rise necessarily because of

attacks on these refineries. You have to look at which refineries. Are they for domestic production? But the export probably will be impacted.

I would say to this, we know that the U.S. government -- well, it's reported that the U.S. government wasn't very happy when the Ukrainians

started clearing the Black Sea Corridor. So, using their weaponry to essentially take out Russian naval ships. And they did this with great


Initially, there is reporting that the U.S. government wasn't happy about that. But the Ukrainians proceeded, and it's been a spectacular success.

They are now looking at billions of dollars every year coming in through that corridor because they're trading grain, iron, ore, steel like normal,

like during peacetime.

So, it's possible that the United States government may be unhappy or uncomfortable, but the Ukrainians essentially can continue, because this is

a way to impact the money flow to the Russian government, undoubtedly.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and there's a lot of frustration within Ukraine that there isn't more guns.

FARKAS: And by the way, I should say it also impacts, of course, the military, because these oils go to -- the fuel goes also to fuel, pun

intended, the military effort against Ukraine.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, Russia, completely in wartime footing at this point and its economy has withstood what many experts would have already expected to

see, a recession in the past couple of years. And, you know, perhaps in a couple -- are you having difficulty hearing me, Evelyn?

I think we're having some technical difficulties with Evelyn. Yes, we'll try to get her back. I'm sorry about that, and we'll come back to her if we

can get a reconnection there.

Let's turn now to a day of U.S. diplomatic efforts to push for peace in Gaza. A delta blow by the U N. Security Council once again, who failed to

pass a U.S. resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. It was a major tonal shift for the White House after months of vetoing other resolutions,

suggesting a departure from previous policy towards Israel.

This, while U.S. military aid to Ukraine continues to hang in the balance in Congress as a prospect of another Trump presidency, casts a shadow over

Ukraine's future on the battlefield as we've just been discussing.

President of the Council on Foreign Relations joins Walter Isaacson to discuss how shifting U.S. foreign policy is resonating in Washington and



WALTER ISAACSON, CO-HOST, AMANPOUR AND CO.: Thank you, Bianna. And Michael Froman, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: This week, Congress has still been wrestling with Ukraine aid. Now, there's an idea that maybe it should be a loan that's perhaps

waivable. How important is it to you that they settle it? And is this idea of doing it as a loan, does that make sense?


FROMAN: Well, I think it is absolutely critical that they settle. That's perhaps the most important thing that Ukraine knows that the money is going

to be there, that Russia knows that the support is going to be there. I think it is significantly better for it to be a grant as it has been

before, but the most important thing is for Congress to act and to demonstrate that the U.S. stands behind Ukraine at this critical moment.

ISAACSON: Even if this happens, it seems like this is not going to be a forever thing. Certainly, if Donald Trump is elected, but even now, it

looks unlikely that they'll continue to do aid year after year. Isn't it time to have some peace process that would try to at least get us to a

truce or a standstill? Or what should we be doing?

FROMAN: Look, I think ultimately everybody wants to get there. I think the question is, do you get there with Ukrainians coming to the table from a

position of strength or from a position of weakness?

If Congress does not act, they'll be coming to the table from a position of weakness. If Congress does act, they have the wherewithal to get through

this year to try and make as many gains as they can on the battlefield, and very importantly, to avoid problems on the battlefield, prevent Russia from

making gains on the battlefield. Then there's at least some hope that when the parties decide that negotiations are appropriate, that there'll be a

decent outcome.

I think the risk right now is that without the support from Congress, Ukraine may be forced to the table in a way that's very much


ISAACSON: Well, so if you do get to the table, what do you think an outcome could be?

FROMAN: Well, that's going to be a very hard set of issues. I mean, there's a whole range. It's hard to imagine Russia giving up territory that

it has gained, and it's hard to imagine the Ukrainians accepting that as a long-term proposition.

I think one idea that has been put out there is something not unlike what happened in the Korean peninsula at the end of the Korean War, where there

was a truce but not a final peace settlement, and there was a series of compromises and security guarantees that allowed both sides to find it

acceptable. The Ukrainians will not be happy about that.

Giving up both the Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, even in the short run, is not something that will be prepared to do. But I think what will be

determining this is how much progress there is on the ground and how much the Russians feel the need to make a compromise.

I think one thing that could change the dynamic, Walter, is that if -- I think President Putin believes that time is on his side, both because

Russia has dug into very strong defensive positions in Eastern Ukraine, and because, frankly, he's waiting to see what the outcome of the U.S. election

is and whether the support will be there from Congress in the meantime.

I think one thing that could change that is if President Putin felt he was losing some control over Crimea, which is of course extremely important to

him and to Russia and his image of Russia. And if the wherewithal that we provide Ukraine gives them the capability of shaking some of that security

around Crimea, then that could potentially bring the support to the table earlier.

ISAACSON: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, at the request of President Biden, to send a delegation to Washington to talk

about whether or not to do a military operation in Rafah and how to do it. What do you hope comes out of these discussions?

FROMAN: I think, hopefully, that will turn the temperature down a bit between the United States and Israel. U.S. is now Israel's really, if not

the only source of support, certainly the strongest remaining source of support.

And we've seen that fray with Senator Schumer's speech send a general tension between the administration and Prime Minister Netanyahu. So,

hopefully, turn down the temperature. I think that has to be related to actually substantive progress on the underlying issues, which is on one

hand, of course, Israel has the right to defend itself, Israel has the right to try and eliminate Hamas as a security threat on its border.

The question is at this point, on the verge of going into Rafah, will there be a strong humanitarian element to that operation? What happens to the

million or so Gazans who are being asked to go back to the north who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance? Back in the north, 70 percent of

the buildings have been damaged. So, where are they going back to and will there be a housing component to that? Can we get humanitarian aid into Gaza

in a meaningful way?


And that means beyond airdrops, beyond building a port into the Mediterranean Sea, really opening up the roads, both from Egypt and

potentially from the north, from Israel, for significant truck traffic to bring in the food and the other humanitarian supplies that are so

desperately needed. And of course, we're not talking as much as we should be talking about the hostages. How do we get the 100 or so hostages that

remain in Gaza under Hamas control out and safely home?

ISAACSON: Well, let's talk about humanitarian aid, because I don't get it. I mean, there's a famine, there's widespread deep hunger in Gaza. Why would

the U.S. and Israel not want to try to get a humanitarian aid in as fast as possible?

FROMAN: Well, like you said, very much in certainly the U.S. interests and Israel's interests to do so. I think what we've seen is that the trucks

that have come to the border, to the Rafah Crossing, have been turned away sometimes for having reports of surgical scissors or other things that were

deemed to be potentially dangerous.

Part of this operation, part of the near-term focus, needs to be working with Egypt to ensure that whatever comes into Gaza at this point is not

strengthening Hamas, not giving Hamas tools and weapons to be used against the Israelis, not allowing them to replenish their strength. And there

needs to be a process for doing that, but doing it efficiently so we can get humanitarian aid back into Gaza.

But there needs to be a real plan, Walter. And I think one of the things that Israel has been criticized for is as they've gone into Gaza, and

certainly as they prepare to go into Rafah specifically, that there hasn't been enough attention for how to ensure that the Palestinians there will be

cared for as they have to displace themselves again to get out of harm's way. And making the humanitarian element a key part of the overall

operation is got to be part of this.

ISAACSON: What do you see as an eventual outcome for Gaza?

FROMAN: Look, I think it's a really difficult question right now. Because on one hand, it needs to be a situation where Israel is secure. Israel is

not going to live with a Gaza that is a source of insecurity for it going forward.

There's no interest in allowing or encouraging the Palestinians in Gaza to move elsewhere. So, there's going to be an enormous rebuilding effort that

needs to happen, a security effort that needs to happen. And then, you know, making Gaza a livable, sustainable place over time. That's going to

require the involvement of not just the United States and Israel, but of Saudi Arabia, other Arab nations, Egypt, who can play a role in helping to

secure Gaza and ensure that it's got the investment necessary to survive.

The other big issue, Walter, is who's going to rule Gaza? What are the -- what's the political situation in Gaza? And the Palestinian Authority has

very little credibility among Palestinians. Hamas will not be permitted to govern Gaza by Israel. And there's not been the kind of investment,

particularly by the surrounding Arab nations over the years, in supporting and cultivating a strong Palestinian administrative state to be able to

take control both of Gaza and the West Bank.

And so, that is the next step. I think that it may take years for that to happen, but there's no time like the present to begin to invest in that.

ISAACSON: You're sitting in the Council on Foreign Relations building, as you can tell, wood paneled, wonderful molding. It's been there for a

century or so. And on the walls of that building, I know, are sort of the great elder statesmen of American foreign policy, Democrats and Republicans

who work together in a nonpartisan way. That seems to have broken down in this country.

Tell me, what are the causes of that, and what do you do at the Council now that this nonpartisan consensus no longer exists?

FROMAN: I think it's so important. I mean, it used to be, there was this phrase, the politics stopped at the water's edge. And when it got into

foreign policy, there was a broad consensus around the role of the United States in the world, around the open liberal market-based economies, around

democracy. All of that is very much at risk right now.

And I don't think we should overstate it. There are still a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats who agree on the fundamental principles

of that, of internationalism of the U.S. playing a constructive role in the world.


They may disagree over some of the tactics and how far to go, how long to commit, but I think that the role of the U.S. as a very critical nation and

its leadership being needed on so many issues is recognized by many.

Having said that, there's been a long tradition in the United States of isolationism, and we now see it on elements of both parties, but

particularly in the Republican Party. The Council was founded over a century ago precisely to address the risk of isolationism and the

understanding that our interests and the interests of the American people are so closely tied to what goes on around the world that it's important

for the U.S. to be engaged and to show leadership.

And those very same dynamics are present today and we're very much active in trying to bring together Republicans and Democrats as broad a coalition

responsible to talk about these issues and to talk about how the U.S. should exercise that leadership.

ISAACSON: Is there something we got wrong in that globalism consensus and there's some rationale to the backlash against it -- that's happening not

only in the United States but around the world?

FROMAN: So, I think if we look back over the last several decades, the opening up of economies, the integration of them has had enormous positive

impacts in general. It's lifted hundreds of millions if not billions out of abject poverty. It's allowed really all the human development indicators to

be improved, it has brought nations closer together in a number of respects.

I think what was clear though is that the benefits of that integration have not been broadly and equally shared. And so that, between nations and

within nations, there were winners and losers. And the impact on those who were left behind were not fully addressed.

Just take the United States as an example. I think this -- by the way, it cuts across both Democratic and Republican administrations. We never paired

our focus on integrating the global economy with sufficient domestic policy to take care of those who would be adversely affected in the short or the

medium-term. And we saw the impact of this on communities as factories close, as manufacturing shrunk. And as there were no -- there wasn't

sufficient social safety net and programs to help people really develop and transition to new industries and those new industries to be invested in

their communities to take up the slack.

And that, I think, has led to populism and protectionism, some nativism and nationalism as well. And we see that not just in the United States, we see

it in some other countries as well, but we see it particularly in our politics.

ISAACSON: What do you think the election of Donald Trump would mean for American foreign policy?

FROMAN: You know, when I travel around the world, the concerns I hear are about American isolationism and about our political dysfunctionality. Those

are the two major risks that the rest of the world sees when they look at the United States.

We have a little bit of dysfunctionality right now, witness Congress not being able to act on the aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, et cetera. But I

think when the world looks at the choice that we'll face in November, they view President Trump as being more isolationist, and that very much scares


And so, you know, of course, we don't know exactly what policy President Biden would pursue in the next -- in a second term, nor Former President

Trump, if he were to be reelected. But I think the broad consensus is it's likely to be more isolationist, less focus on alliances and partnerships,

and that will have ramifications more broadly for how our policy is implemented around the world.

ISAACSON: Can you understand, though, the appeal that that has in some parts of America? And to the extent you think it's wrong, what can you do

to counter it?

FROMAN: So, I think I do understand the appeal. And as I said, it's not new. I mean, isolationism has always here really since the beginning of the

Republic. I mean, with this George Washington's farewell address about entangling alliances is warning about that. And we certainly saw it earlier

in the 20th century between World War I and World War II.

But I think the 20th century, and President Biden made reference to this at the beginning of the State of the Union, the 20th century holds out some

very important lessons for us, which is by withdrawing from the world, it doesn't mean that things aren't going to happen outside our borders that

affect us.

And I think right now, let's just focus on Ukraine. The Ukraine war is very importantly about the Ukrainians and their national aspirations, but it's

much bigger and broader than that. It's about whether countries can challenge the fundamental principles of international order and stability,

that is the agreement not to use force to change borders.


And I think a lot of countries are looking at Ukraine, whether it's China and its concerns about -- its focus on Taiwan or countries all across other

regions of the world, who would say, well, look, if we can redress our grievances around where borders are drawn, if that becomes the new normal,

well, it's going to be an outbreak of a lot of conflicts and a lot of wars, and that has an implication for us here at home.

The same thing, obviously, on the economic issues. I understand that free trade is not in fashion right now. There's been a big reaction against it,

but when people begin to see, OK, well, what does it mean for my getting the availability of goods at an affordable price?

And particularly for people who are spending a disproportionate amount of their disposable income on imports, which tends to be people with a lower

levels of income, they'll begin to see they don't like inflation, they don't like high cost of living, how do we strike that balance? How do we

make sure we're not throwing out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to some of these issues?

I think we need to do a much better job. By we, I mean people in government, people in institutions, people in education, of just making

clear what's at stake. Why does it matter? Why does Ukraine matter to somebody in the middle of the country? And is it because if we're not

supporting Ukrainians, we may find ourselves sending our own soldiers to war in one place or another? Is it because it's going to disrupt the supply

of food and other fertilizer and other goods in such a way that it can have an implication back here at home, including at the grocery store? What is

it that we -- how do we make those issues relevant to people at home? And then making clear, as I said, what the trade-offs are of the different

policy options that are available to us.

ISAACSON: Michael Froman, thank you so much for joining us.

FROMAN: Thanks for having me.


GOLODRYGA: OK. I want to go back now to Evelyn Farkas from the McCain Institute who is joining us in Kyiv.


GOLODRYGA: I think we've reestablished connection there, Evelyn, and I'm sorry about the disruption earlier. But I want to pick up, because I do

believe that you were able to listen to the tail-end of that conversation with Walter Isaacson and Mike Froman.

And the conversation really centered on U.S. politics here, the upcoming election, what another Trump presidency could mean. And that's being viewed

very closely from where you are. I mean, there's $60 billion in aid that's still being held up that Ukraine urgently needs, and some stalwart

Republican supporters of Ukraine, including Senator Lindsey Graham, were just there promoting a new plan from Donald Trump essentially saying that

they will loan money and loan aid to Ukraine. How is that all being received where you are?

FARKAS: Yes, Bianna. I mean, first, thanks for coming back to me. I think that they don't care whether it's a loan or what the conditions are. They

just really need the assistance. I mean, this is literally life or death. And there are, you know, troops on the battlefield, you know, waiting so

that they have more ammunition. The ratio, we're told, between the Russians and the Ukrainians in terms of firepower is 10 to 1. Another analysis says

7 to 1, meaning -- and that usually focuses on the artillery. But it doesn't matter.

It means they have to hold their ammunition and they're being shot at and hold their artillery before they can react. And it's obviously very

dangerous for them. So, they are waiting. They don't care what shape it comes in. And they're quite concerned that it might drag out. You know, we

don't know exactly when it'll happen.

And those of us Americans here meeting with the Ukrainians and at the conference -- there was a panel on the United States -- we have not been

able to give them any firm assurances.

My hope is that it will be done before the next congressional recess, because I have some experience working in Congress and I know how they tend

to operate and that there is a tendency to put hard votes right before a recess, take the vote, and leave town.

So, maybe that will happen. But hopefully, they'll do it sooner. We can only hope, as I say. I mean, the speaker can take action right now. And

there were a lot of strong words from the dais for the speaker. You know, let your people vote was something Ambassador Mike McFaul said. There were

-- but there were Ukrainians who were clearly calling out our speaker saying, you know, essentially with very sharp language that he should do

the right thing.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, because the votes were there if he brought it up for a vote. He obviously was listening to Donald Trump and not doing so, and that

could very well happen, as you noted, in the next couple of weeks.


But that aid and the weapons won't be in Ukraine overnight once it is passed. I mean, you have to procure the weapons. That takes time. And as

you noted, there is a disadvantage in terms of where Russia is and its wartime footing completely focused its economy now on military and its war.

Putin just winning "re-election" with 88 percent turnout and approval there and unprecedented turnout, too. So, he can sit there and say that he has

the support of his full country going into this war.

Do you see any changes among Ukrainian officials following whatever you want to call this election and that it perhaps has emboldened Vladimir

Putin even more? He's calling this what it is, a war.

FARKAS: Right. I mean, it's a sham election. And I guess the silver lining might be that Putin is now emboldened to do things that might actually

backfire on him, even militarily. But of course, the Ukrainians aren't wishing for that, but they understand that Putin is feeling emboldened,

that an offensive is likely in the spring or the summer.

So, if he does undertake an offensive and the Ukrainians have the time to dig in the defenses and they get the right weaponry from us as well, then -

- to defend themselves, then maybe Putin will have overreached if he does actually launch an offensive.


FARKAS: With regard to the elections, of course, they call them sham elections. They are sham elections. And they, you know, are determined to

continue to highlight the fact that they are the ones who are defending democracy, that Putin is attacking civilians purposely, attacking civilian

infrastructure. This is not a normal war, and I think that there is repeating. And it's important for our government to understand that as


One other quick thing, because you mentioned kind of the difference between autocracies and democracies. You know, while the Europeans are really

stepping up and they're trying to get about $800 million worth of ammunition to the Ukrainians, quickly the Czech government is running this

initiative. In the meantime, the North Koreans, we know, have provided over a million dollars' worth of ammunition to the Russians, you know, in two



FARKAS: So, there is clearly, you know, a difference.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and that is noted. I mean, President Zelenskyy straight up told E.U. leaders that it was "humiliating" for Europe that Ukraine did not

have enough artillery now to fight Russia largely because Europe and the United States are not being able to provide them with the artillery that

other countries like North Korea, like perhaps Iran are providing Russia at the moment.

Evelyn Farkas, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it. And thanks for waiting to come back.

FARKAS: Thank you, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Well, we turn now to a major literary moment Ten years after his death, the iconic author Gabriel Garcia Marquez's final novel has been

released. But it hasn't come without controversy.

"Until August" was written when the Nobel laureate had dementia and in his final years of life. Just before his death, he asked his sons to destroy

the manuscript, believing it unworthy of his body of work. Well, instead, they saw the beauty in it and defying his wishes, have shared it with the


One of those sons, Rodrigo Garcia, joins me from Mexico City. Rodrigo, thank you for joining us. It's really good to see you again.

So, this book was first published on March 6th in Spanish and then released about a week later in English. Just walk us through the process of you and

your brother choosing to defy your father's wishes and say, no, this is a book that's worthy for the world to see written by your beloved father.

RODRIGO GARCIA, SON OF GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ AND FILM DIRECTOR AND WRITER: Hi, thanks for having me. You know, my dad worked on this for 10, 12, maybe

even longer, which was unlike him. I think the time it took him to work on a novel that is essentially 110, 120 pages was symptomatic of his struggle

with Alzheimer's and his loss of memory and his loss of his capabilities.

In the end, I think, after much back and forth, and not at the very end, but, you know, close to the end, he said, you know, the book doesn't make

sense, the book should be destroyed. But he never destroyed it, which was rare for him because he only -- he finished every book he started or if he

wasn't happy with it, he would destroy it. There are no unfinished books, there are no unpublished books, except for this one.

We put the book away after he died. It's at the Ransom Center in Texas. And after a few years, it was scanned and it was available for, you know,

scholars and students of my father's work. So, essentially, it was being read already. And some people took photographs of a page or two or copied a

page or two by hand in order to reproduce it. So, we started thinking, well, if people are reading it, we should read it again and consider

publishing it.


And when we read it, we found that we thought it was much better than he could probably judge at the end of his life. I mean, it is unfinished. It's

not as polished as his great books. And that bar is high, of course, you know, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera."

But we thought it was a very enjoyable piece and that his readers would enjoy listening to his voice one last time. So, we disobeyed the way

children sometimes do.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. And you know that his other works that he would do away with, right, that he wouldn't keep them if he wasn't happy with the work.

And yet, he had a folder with the fifth manuscript labeled, "great, OK. Final." And he even published chapters in "The New Yorker" and "El Pais."

I don't want to put you on the spot, but if you don't mind reading perhaps a couple of lines for us?

GARCIA: Yes, this is from chapter one, the beginning of the book. She returned to the island on Friday, August 16th on the 3:00 ferry. She was

wearing jeans, a plaid shirt, plain, flat shoes without socks, carrying a satin parasol, and a handbag. And her only luggage was a beach bag.

In the row of taxis at the dock she went straight to an old model corroded by the sea air. The driver welcomed her warmly and took her jolting across

the destitute village with its mud walled shacks, palm thatched roofs and streets of burning sand beside the sea in flames.

GOLODRYGA: This book is a departure from his previous writing styles. For the first time, you have a female protagonist, a woman in her 40s by the

name of Ana Magdalena Bach, who pursues love affairs every year when she goes to visit her mother's grave despite having, you know, a family of her

own and a stable marriage.

Were you surprised that your father went down this path and chose this specific topic to write about?

GARCIA: No. You know, it was a fairly old idea. I remember hearing -- you know, he never spoke in detail about who was writing, but he would give you

an overview of an idea. And this -- you know, I remember hearing easily, you know, 15, 20 years before he died the story of a woman who would visit

her mother's grave yearly, without going into more details.

And although it's true that he only has one or two short stories with women in the center, you know, he is well known for having very strong female

characters. And I think, you know, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera" and "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," they're

all full of strong women.

But yes, this was unusual. And also, the setting is more contemporary. His books seem to exist always in a kind of time out of time, in something that

might be Columbia. But this was not specific about place, but specific about time and more contemporary. So, we thought it was a good addition to

his canon, even though, like I said, and like my brother and I said in the prologue, you know, we're aware that it's not as polished a book as I'm

sure he would have liked.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. And as you said, the bar is very high comparing it to his other works. It's a high-class problem to have. That -- notwithstanding,

it's not the only book by an accomplished author that had been published posthumously and when there had been instructions given not to do so, Franz

Kafka comes to mind.

I'm wondering though if you and your brother were prepared to get sort of the criticism or questioning of your decision to do so and were you worried

at all that that would take away from the work itself?

GARCIA: Well, let me say a couple of things. I think, you know, it makes for a great headline, you know, sons betray famous father. But the truth is

there have been so many articles and so many reviews that say, like we said in the prologue, this is not one of his great books, but it's totally worth

reading. And there's been -- and you know, in numerous articles that say, we are -- you know, I'm very thankful that this was published.

So, you know, the controversy, of course, always takes the foreground. But I wouldn't say on the whole that we've taken a beating. And if we have, you

know, that's -- it is what it is. You know, we feel a little better by the fact that my dad was always clear, when I'm dead, do whatever you want. He

said that always about everything.

GOLODRYGA: I saw that.

GARCIA: So, you know, we have we have that, yes.

GOLODRYGA: I saw that.

GARCIA: We have that, at least.

GOLODRYGA: I saw that. And by the way, you have each other. I mean, this is a decision that you both came to -- you know, together. So, you have

that as well. I wonder if you think that you would have come to the same conclusion if you weren't as convinced that the real setback that he faced

from his dementia hadn't really started when he had been working through the majority of this book?


GARCIA: If he had been even, you know, 80 percent there, he would have even finished this book, pursuing perfection like he always did, or he

would have destroyed it. He never left unfinished work. So, the fact that the book is not only unfinished, but abandoned and forgotten, you know,

gave us great confidence that it wasn't, you know, the great writer at his best saying this must be destroyed, because that great writer would have

destroyed it, like he destroyed everything else that was never published.

GOLODRYGA: This April will mark 10 years since your father's passing, this -- until August now will be known as his final piece of work. How do you

want his followers, his fans, maybe even first-time readers to reflect upon him as you come upon this 10-year mark?

GARCIA: Well, you know, I'm still surprised, you know, when I -- especially when I go to Columbia, sometimes when his name comes up in any

context, how -- you know, how his reputation as a great writer has not waned at all, even with younger readers.

And certainly, whenever I -- you know, I often see younger -- and by younger, I mean, any writers under 50, 40, 30 even, you know, list great

books, they will very frequently list "One Hundred Years" and "Love in the Time of Cholera."

So, I think his reputation is still very good, finding new readers all the time. He would be the first to say, like he did say to us, you know, when

books are a classic 200 or 300 years later, we will see. We'll have to have this interview in 100 years and look at it. But, you know, he knew that

life and time were very capricious, and whether or not "One Hundred Years of Solitude" was a masterpiece, you know, we're a couple centuries away

from that.

GOLODRYGA: Final seconds we have. Looking back, I know you touched on it in your memoir about your parents as well, do you think your father was too

hard on himself?

GARCIA: He was as hard on himself as great artists are, you know, they are perfectionists. He was, of course, never a perfectionist to the point that

it paralyzed him. But yes, he hardly ever showed work in progress. He did work on this in progress with the editor Cristobal Pera who was in charge

of this edition, I think because he was struggling with his memory.

But, you know, he was no more of a perfectionist than any other great and even not so great artist. You know, it can't be helped.

GOLODRYGA: Rodrigo Garcia, thank you again for sharing your father with us.

GARCIA: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you.

GARCIA: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: We turn next to a bold reinvention of Shakespeare and one of the U.K.'s greatest acting talents. For the first time in his career, Ian

McKellen has taken on the iconic role of Falstaff. and a new adaptation of both parts of Henry IV retitled "Player Kings."

It's about to start its run in the West End, and this week announced that it will also tour around England. So, today, we revisit the conversation

Christiane and McKellen had back in 2018 at the Duke of York Theatre, where he was playing King Lear at the time. Christiane started by asking him,

what lies behind the enduring attraction of Shakespeare?


IAN MCKELLEN, ACTOR: Because there is so much in every scene of a Shakespeare play, which is relevant to life, living, humanity. Of course,

there are things that are outdated now, like kings and queens, but there are presidents who do have power and there are tyrants. And Shakespeare is

very, very interested in people who have power and he wants to tell you what they're really like and what a dangerous thing it is to have too much


And King Lear is such a man. He's a very foolish man. He says it of himself. He does make some silly mistakes. He's not a cruel man. I mean, he

hasn't killed people as far as we can see. But he doesn't know how to deal with his daughters, his son.

We don't hear about Mrs. Lear. But, you know, people come and see, listen, and say you're exactly like my granddad when he was dying. He went a bit

dotty too. Or someone came along in America and said, well, it's all about Trump, isn't it? I don't get that at all.

But an audience brings to it their own life and they measure their own experience, a family experience, or politics, whatever it happens to be,

whatever their interest is, and match it against the experience of the characters that they're seeing act out their story. That's the way in which

you're engaged.

And Shakespeare remains a persistently modern, contemporary, and that was his genius. That he knew more about us than any other person who ever

lived. Whether we were a servant or a dictator, whether we were a man or a woman, whatever we happened to be, he knew.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Honestly, it is incredible that you should say that because everybody now is feeling in a

state of heightened political anxiety. There's so much anxiety around the world.


An author who's associated also with Harvard University, Stephen Greenblatt, has written a book, a piece of work called "The Tyrant and His

Enablers." And he profiles Richard III -- he takes Richard III as his case study. And it's, obviously, a very thinly disguised attempt to make Richard

III into Donald Trump as the modern Richrd the III.

You have played Richard III, notably in the, you know, iconic film version of it. Do you see that at all?

MCKELLEN: I don't. But I wouldn't contradict somebody else who did. They are both kings. What does connect them, I suppose, is an innate inadequacy.

Richard III had a dreadful mother, in that she gave birth to a child who was physically deformed and says to his face, later in life, I've always

hated you from the moment I conceived you and from the moment you were born I've hated you.

I don't think you can say that to your baby and expect him to grow up to be a normal, loving person. He's discovered hate at a very early age.

What it is in Trump's background which makes lying so easy, I don't know. But I would make that connection that you could delve into the back story

of a peasant or a king and find that that was the most relevant source of truth about them.

Trump has the whole world at his feet and he contacts them through television. I mean, he's a television performer.

AMANPOUR: And when you say --

MCKELLEN: And he learned from that how to get people's attention. And he succeeded. He rivets our attention as we try to understand. And my fear is

that, in trying to understand, eventually, we will become sympathetic and say, well, let's see, maybe he's right, and there's an affection grows. Oh,

my goodness.

AMANPOUR: So, I'm getting back to you as an actor then. Do you do it for fun or do you equally respect the movie profession, the movie craft, as you

do the onstage theater craft? Because you have gone global and stratospheric in your renown by playing movies, by playing Gandalf, by

playing, is it, Magneto in "X-men?"

MCKELLEN: Well, I wouldn't be the first actor to caricature our business as you do films for money, you do television for fame, but the real thing

is acting in the theater. And what's real about it is the presence of the audience, of course. And so, there's a shared experience.

If there's no audience, there's no play. If there's no audience, there is still the film. It just rolls on. It's dead in a sense. The audience cannot

affect the outcome.

But in the theater, yes, they can stop a performance with applause. They can make their experience audible to the actors, which we relish. I want my

breath which starts down there to pass across the very intimate parts of one's body out along through the airways, measurable, on to the eardrum of

the audience. And there's a direct communication. That is life. That's people meeting each other. And it's not available to you if you're acting

for the camera.

AMANPOUR: One of the things so many people appreciate about you, apart from your acting, is your activism, that you have been brave enough to come

out as gay. On Radio 3 in 1988, you came out. And it was a question by the radio interviewer, who said, did you want to see article -- or Clause 28

disappear. And that clause was a prevention, a ban on schools, I believe, promoting or explaining, you know, homosexuality. And this is what you



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you would just like to see Clause 28 disappear altogether?

MCKELLEN: Oh, yes. I certainly would. Yes. I think its offensive to anyone who's, like myself, homosexual.


MCKELLEN: Isn't it interesting? I used homosexual. I would never use it. A gay, I would say. I was learning how to be involved in politics, I suppose.

Hadn't quite got the language.

Well, I was 49. What's brave about coming out at 49? Well, I suppose at a time, when much activity for gay people was illegal in the country, the

expectation was that you would lose your job or the respect of others, including friends and family if you came out. None of that happened to me.

My film career took off when I came out.

AMANPOUR: But Hollywood is not necessarily known for being at the sharp edge of change. Again, maybe a long time ago, but you said they're not

really known for their social commentary, are they?



AMANPOUR: They only recently discovered there were black people in the world. Hollywood has mistreated women in every possible way throughout



AMANPOUR: And gay men don't exist.

MCKELLEN: Yes. Well, there was a time when that was true. And then, Hollywood was in the business of telling a fantasy about the world, not the

real world. They weren't reflecting the real world.

You know, I visit schools quite a lot. I'm very lucky to do that. And I'm allowed to go in. Quite contrary to that dreadful Section 28 that we got

rid of, it is now against the law in British schools to discriminate on grounds of sexuality. So, suddenly schools are now having to talk about

what it is to be gay and understand it. And that's good because there are gay teachers. There are gay parents. There are gay children. There are gay

governors and there are gay visitors like me.

And as I talked about the past when it was illegal to make love to someone of the same gender, the jaws of the kids drop open. They cannot believe the

world I'm talking about.

AMANPOUR: I want to pick up on what you said you visit schools. You've also been to Oxford and you've talked about all sorts of things there.

My producer, Ben, who is here and who helped me with this research, was at one of your speeches. And he recalls a young man standing up. He wants to

ask you a question and he just came out to you.

MCKELLEN: Oh, you'll me cry, yes. Yes, he came out. He was like a revivalist. You know, Billy Graham, come forward, and you'll be saved. And,

I suppose, I've been speaking so positively about my own experience of being an openly gay man that he felt this was the moment for him to join

in. And, yes, he came out and, of course, received a huge reception.

AMANPOUR: You're the first openly gay man to be knighted by the Queen.

MCKELLEN: Second. Second.

AMANPOUR: Second, I'm sorry.

MCKELLEN: The first was Angus Wilson, the novelist.

AMANPOUR: OK. But maybe you were the first openly gay famous person.

MCKELLEN: Well, that was a sign of the times that my career as an actor, which was thought to be worthy of a knighthood, could not be impeded by the

fact that I'd said I was gay.

And I'll tell you a story. It's rather long, so you wouldn't be able to include it. But I was playing Richard III in Paris, having breakfast,

croissant, coffee in my single bed watching a screen, which had 10 Downing Street on it because this was the day that Mrs. Thatcher was finally

resigning as prime minister and we were waiting for her to emerge.

And the phone rang and they said, this is Downing Street. I said yes, isn't it fun? Why don't you come to -- assuming he was a member of the company,

why don't you come down and we'll have our croissant together. He said no, no this is Downing Street. Oh, I'm sorry.

Yes, the prime minister has been trying to get hold of you because she wants to know if you would accept a knighthood from the Queen. I said, oh,

yes, all right, I'll think about it. And I put the phone down. And as I did that, the door of Downing Street opened and out came Mrs. Thatcher famously


And I thought, my God, she's been waiting behind that door to know whether I'm going to accept a knighthood before actually resigning being prime

minister. So, the very, very last thing she did was to give me a knighthood. And, of course, she was a supporter of Section 28, but that was

an indication to me that the world actually was changing.

AMANPOUR: That is incredible.

MCKELLEN: And she could not control it.

AMANPOUR: Let us wrap up with a little Shakespeare. What are you thinking now as you've just opened King Lear here in London, in the theatre where

you did your first ever performance? What do you feel all these years later?

MCKELLEN: It used to be doing a matinee of eight shows a week. I would peep through the curtain to look at the audience just to remind myself why

we were there. We're doing it for these people who've never seen the play before. They need to hear it afresh. The fact that I've done it a score of

times is irrelevant. I must make it fresh. It must be live.

And usually, at my eye would chance on a kid of 14 or 15. Why were they there? Who brought them? Did they come on their own as I used to do when I

was there? It is for them I do it. For the alert 14-year-old. And I was rewarded the other night coming up. It's at the Duke of York's Theatre, and

there was such a little boy. I think he brought his parents. I think he wanted to see Gandalf. But he saw King Lear.

AMANPOUR: They're not that different.

MCKELLEN: Well, they're both old So, you know, the -- it's -- of course, it's a thrill to play to old people, like myself, people who've seen many

King Lears and feel they still haven't got it. They still want more. But then to capture the mind and the heart and affect the life of a young

person, and that they discover live theater. Early on, I think that's what gives me the most excitement.


AMANPOUR: Well, and you give that excitement back.

MCKELLEN: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Sir, Ian McKellen, thank you so much for being here.

MCKELLEN: Bye-bye.


GOLODRYGA: What a lovely conversation. Another reason why I love this show so much.

Well, that does it for now. If you ever miss our great show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. Remember, you can

always catch us online, on our website, and all-over social media.

Thank you so much for watching, and goodbye from New York.