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Interview with Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci; Interview with "Wicked Little Letters" Director Thea Sharrock; Interview with "Wicked Little Letters" Actress Olivia Colman; Interview with "Supercommunicators" Author Charles Duhigg. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired March 26, 2024 - 13:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would also like to be able to use some of my cash to get



AMANPOUR: The Trump conundrum. I speak to Anthony Scaramucci, his former defender and short-lived spokesman, about the evolution of MAGA and how to

stand up for democracy.

Then --


OLIVIA COLMAN, ACTRESS, "WICKED LITTLE LETTERS": I get quite nervous and I get a bit more sweary when I'm nervous.


AMANPOUR: -- "Wicked Little Letters" movie star Olivia Colman and director Thea Sharrock on the power of language and the real-life scandal that

gripped a nation.

Plus --


CHARLES DUHIGG, AUTHOR, "SUPERCOMMUNICATORS": Asking about the facts of someone's life can often be a dead end. Asking how they feel about their

life invites them to say something meaningful and real.


AMANPOUR: -- "Supercommunicators" author Charles Duhigg talks to Walter Isaacson about how to have a great conversation.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

President Biden has given an Oval Office address about the Baltimore bridge that was struck by a cargo ship and collapsed. Search and rescue is still

going on, and some people remain unaccounted for. Here's what Biden had to say.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: People of Baltimore, I want to say we're with you. We're going to stay with you as long as it takes. And like the

governor said, you're Maryland tough, you're Baltimore strong, and we're going to get through this together. And I promise we're not leaving.


AMANPOUR: Indeed, the president vowed that federal funds would pay for the whole rebuild. Getting that bridge and the port and those dependent jobs

back up and running is crucial for President Biden. It goes to the heart of the economy as well.

Meantime, his opponent in the upcoming presidential race, the Former President Donald Trump, spends much of his time in court defending himself

against a series of criminal charges, fines, and upcoming trials.

Trump made history, of course, when he became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. And now, he's making history again. Becoming the first

former president to be criminally prosecuted.

On April 15th, Trump is set to face trial in Manhattan on charges of paying hush money to cover up an affair with Stephanie Clifford, AKA Stormy


True to form, Trump says he's the victim of persecution, using those lines to get the MAGA faithful to fork over their cash for his campaign and his

defense. Trump faces three other criminal indictments, including over attempts to overturn the 2020 election. But for now, only the Manhattan

hush money case looks set to go to trial before November.

Anthony Scaramucci was once a dedicated Trump supporter and spent a notorious 11 days as the White House communications director. But since

2019, he's opposed the former president's reelection. And he's now joining us from Las Vegas. Anthony Scaramucci, welcome to the program.

You know, we want to talk to you because it's important for, I think, everybody in the United States and watching around the world to try to

understand how to inform their own thinking about a potential second Trump presidency. And since you were there for a good, good long time, we thought

we'd start by asking you based on what he has already done in office.

But first, I want to start with the trials. As we mentioned, what's just happened, he was given a bit of a lifeline yesterday, the amount of bond

that he was told, like nearly half a billion dollars was reduced. On the other hand, he was told that a court date on different charges would

actually be coming on April 15th.

So, where do you think he stands politically and, you know, with his faithful right now?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, I think with his faithful, he's quite strong. I just think if you look at the

data and the numbers, they may be louder than before, but they're smaller. And if you go to the rallies, you'll see that the rallies are smaller. And

if you look at registrations in the Republican Party, Christiane, they're down. So, the combination of those two things do not bode well for the



As it relates to his mind-set, you know, he will take one day at a time. He's a very good compartmentalizer. But this is wreaking havoc on him,

because he's got the money he's got to put up. It's not clear that he has that money. Of course, when he says he has it, that's probably a tell that

he doesn't have it.

And then he's got the criminal proceeding coming up. And he knows that his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, went to jail for that very same fact-set. So

that's going to be a difficult case for him as well.

And last but not least, he's not raising money. And so, President Biden has a surplus differential of about $45 million right now. And although Mr.

Trump does have a small cadre of billionaires that are going to support him, he doesn't have the widespread net that, say, a Governor Mitt Romney

had in 2012, or George W. Bush had, say, in 2000 or 2004.

AMANPOUR: He -- Donald Trump, as I said, uses these trials and these charges and these indictments to say that he is the victim. He is the --

persecuted by political opponents. And that obviously fires up his base.

Just explain to us, is there a precedent? Well, we know there's not a precedent for, you know, impeached presidents and those facing criminal

trial. But in terms of money and you're a financier, is it allowed to use campaign donations and the like to, for instance, help with legal bills?

SCARAMUCCI: So, the way that would work in the United States is that you would have to put it in the President's Political Action Committee. And so,

he now has his daughter-in-law taking charge of the RNC. And in the fine print when you're sending money to the RNC, it says, well, the first stop

for that money is going to be the president's political action committee, and it may be used for his legal fees.

And so, as long as you're disclosing what the money is going to be used for, in the United States, you can use the money for those reasons. And, of

course, what Mr. Trump did after the election, he lied about the election results. He had a very large group of people in the U.S. believing in

election denialism, including his friend, Ronna Romney McDaniel.

And what he did was he raised a ton of money off of that big lie. And he's used a lot of that money for his current legal fees on these four different

cases. So, you can use the money. But the danger for him, and I think he knows this, his Facebook ads are down about 85 percent. His Instagram ads

are virtually nonexistent. And if he doesn't get up on the airwaves and in social media and scale, he's not going to reach enough people to beat

President Biden.

And so, remember, this will be down to a few swing states. President Biden will win the popular vote. Mr. Trump has never won that, but it will be a

battle in three or four swing states. And without the advertising, it's going to be very hard for him.

AMANPOUR: So, people, certainly abroad anyway, who are looking on and who like to read the American tea leaves say, well, look at the swing states.

In some of them, his polls are higher than President Biden's. And they say, wow, look at how convincingly he won all the primaries and the caucuses

leading up to him being the official candidate. What would you say about that in terms of a general election?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, three things, I think he's ahead in the polls because he's had way more media exposure than President Biden. He just went through

the primary season for the Republicans. And, of course, the incumbent president didn't have to do that.

The second thing I would say is, if you really analyze that data, there's approximately 25 percent of the Republicans that voted for Nikki Haley when

they exited the polls and they were asked, well, would you vote for Mr. Trump? That number was a negative. You know, that -- the word was a

negative. And so, the point being, if you don't get the crossover vote, you really can't win the presidency.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not get that crossover vote from Bernie Sanders. But Barack Obama did get that crossover vote from Senator

Clinton. And so -- and of course, Mr. Trump got that crossover vote from his fellow Republicans in 2016. But I think that there is several things

that are going to happen as we get towards the fall. There's a very large group of us that have worked for the president. It's sort of like a Trump

recovery unit, if you will.

It includes people like Secretary Esper, General Milley, General John Kelly, Bill Barr. There's a whole host of us, John Bolton, who are going to

go out there and passionately explain to the American people the systemic danger of Mr. Trump.


And I think the problem that Europeans have with all of this is that Europeans in general have more hereditary memory of the scourge of fascism

and the destruction that fascism caused on the continent. Of course, the United States, we avoided that. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was able to put

down the first America First movement, which was led by people like Charles Lindbergh and Father Coughlin, et cetera.

And so, we don't have the hereditary memory. We don't have the field trip going to places which were destroyed as a result of fascist leaders

declaring war on western liberal democracies. And I think it's a little bit of a problem for the country. But, again, there will be a very large group

of us come to fall out on the airwaves, on the campaign, explaining to people the systemic danger that Donald Trump represents to the institutions

of the democracy and basically to the fabric of America, the checks and balances in the system that have made people free in this country and by

and large, very prosperous.

AMANPOUR: It's really interesting that you mentioned those individuals, yourself included, who are going to do this, because I was going to ask

you, in the first administration, there were a lot of accomplished individuals who were put in very important cabinet positions. And people

thought, well, you know, at least, I hate to say this, there were adults in the room and they were able to put the -- you know, put the brakes on any

kind of completely crazy behavior.

Do you think -- are there those people, and would a President Trump choose that kind of, you know, character to be his main cabinet officials in a

second term?

SCARAMUCCI: So, I'm a little bit of a contrarian on this. I don't buy into the punditry argument that he's just going to pick loyalists. First of all,

these aren't well-resumed people, these loyalists. And, secondarily, Mr. Trump has always been a status seeker, and he's somebody that will want

resumes in his cabinet.

And, unfortunately, if he does win, and I predict that he won't, there will be people that will be gravitated to the American government, much the way

many of us were where we thought there was a call to service to serve the American people, and not realizing the full insanity that Mr. Trump


And so, people will do that. Obviously, Kevin McCarthy is flying around with him on the Trump plane. He could potentially be his chief of staff.

John Paulson, who is a hedge fund billionaire, has been cited to be potentially the treasury of the secretary -- secretary of the treasury.

So, I don't buy the argument that he'll just be loyalists. Mr. Trump doesn't have that type of personality. He'll bring in people that he thinks

are well-resonated.

AMANPOUR: OK. Well, let's then talk about issues for a moment. I will get to you and what you learned in those -- in the campaign and in those 11

days in the Oval Office. But, you know, let's just go to foreign policy.

So, if I remember rightly when I was covering the first term, his only term, he basically promised to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict with

the deal of the century. He said he would end the Ayatollah's regime in Iran by pulling out of the nuclear deal and applying maximum pressure. Of

course, none of that happened. He now says he could settle the Ukraine war in 24 hours. Nobody actually believes that's possible.

Does he have a worldview that shapes foreign policy? And how do you think people who saw what happened last time, and let's not even go into NATO,

we've gone over that many, many times, he threatens the sanctity of NATO, questions the idea of all for one and one for all Article 5.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, he does have a worldview. You left out that he was going to balance the budget in four years, but he put $7.8 trillion on top of the

other budget deficits.

His worldview, thankfully, is not well articulated by him, but the Trump worldview and his acolyte Steve Bannon is to bring the United States back

to the 1890s, to wall it off from the rest of the global civilization, both physically and metaphorically, and to disavow the David Ricardo principle

of global trade.

And so, Mr. Trump would like to see something like what was going on in the U.S. in 1890, where 97 percent of the goods and services that were

manufactured in the U.S. were consumed by Americans. He'll have a very strong anti-immigration stance as well.

And this will be a disaster for the global community. It'll ultimately be a long-term disaster for the American people. The good news is, he couldn't

really accomplish that in four years. But the real fear is, if you know the man, people do everything he can to expand executive powers.


He's got a very strong team of people working for him on his campaign that believe in the expansion of what they're calling unitary executive power.

And so, this is something that we have to fight against to really understand the marvel of the American Republican system or these wonderful

checks and balances and the separation of powers in our Constitution.

Mr. Trump deplores that. He doesn't really understand it, but he'll go after that. And that's why we have to stop him.

AMANPOUR: Again, I want to take it back to foreign policy because he made very grandiose gestures, not only -- I remember the Helsinki presser in

which he seemed to side -- well, he did side with President Putin's view of the world against his own intelligence community, but he also notoriously

attacked verbally at the U N. Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and then went to three meetings with him in which he promised that the two of them had a

lovely bromance that was going to end the Korean Peninsula conflict.

But I spoke to -- and of course, it didn't happen. The former South Korea foreign minister told me that the Hanoi summit and all of those, you know,

in 2019 or whatever, she said it was a debacle, and this is why. Here's what she said.


KANG KYUNG-WHA, FORMER SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The president has tremendous desire, intention to do something, but there was very little

backup at the working level. And this is -- you know, this is the typical Trump leadership on these issues. Will, but very little follow up and

support from the working level. So, that's a huge lesson when we ever go back to a phase of engagement with North Korea.


AMANPOUR: So, I found that quite extraordinary for a chief diplomat of a country to say that about a former U.S. president. And it's possible that

the North Korea, I mean, intelligence types in the U.S. say this could be another major problem, they have nuclear weapons.

What happens if Trump inserts himself into Israel-Palestine or North Korea in a second term? What do you think would come of it?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, let's take them separately. On the North Korean issue, I think the State Department has ultimately been right. The 60 or 70 years of

this type of engagement that we've had with North Korea is the best that we could do. And I don't think if he tries to re-engage with the North Korean

dictator that anything positive is going to come out of it.

The Israeli-Palestinian issue, I think, is more tender and way more sensitive. Remember, Mr. Trump loves Vladimir Putin. He speaks about him in

these grandiose terms. He wants to be part of the axis of autocracy, which is why he's always praising these dictators.

We have to remember that the Putin regime is very close to the Iranians. And the Iranians, as you know and I know, they have in their constitution

the exportation of their revolution, but they also want to wipe Israel off the map.

And so, his buddy Putin has an ozy from the Iranians. And Mr. Trump is very, very transactional. So, all the stuff that he said about Israel in

the past, it's not impossible for him to back a truck over the Israeli nation or the Israeli people. And I think people have to understand that

about him. He turns on everybody.

And so, this is a very dangerous thing. He would be horrible for Israel, particularly because of this relationship that he wants to have with Putin

and the, and the ozy that Putin has to Iran.


SCARAMUCCI: So, I would be very, very worried about this from a national security perspective.

AMANPOUR: And back to a domestic perspective, and it's a big one. It appears that President Trump and the Republicans miscalculated when

essentially by stacking the court, they caused the reverse of Roe versus Wade and American women and girls and many men have voted many times

against that.

Now, President Trump is talking about how he might come down on a national abortion ban around 15 weeks. Where do you think that issue will land him

in November?

SCARAMUCCI: So, I think this is good news for the Democrats and for the Biden administration. I think the die has already been cast about how

Republicans feel about this. And no matter what Mr. Trump says about the IDF situation or the abortion situation, I believe the suburban families,

not just women, but men and women, are going to come out and cast their votes against him. And this will be one of the central reasons.

And so, look at what happened in the midterms, President Biden had a much better showing than people had anticipated. He outdid President Obama and

certainly Donald Trump. And so, for me, I think this is a core critical issue that we have to explain to the American people going forward. And

this is the good news about this extremism in the Republican Party. It will catch up to them in November.


AMANPOUR: I've got 30 seconds. I didn't ask you about your experience. What about your experience in the White House makes you think this now? 15


SCARAMUCCI: Just the guy's crazy. I don't have enough time to explain it all, Christiane. You would need a phone book of all the things that he's

done, but he's crazy. And you don't need a leader like that on the global stage again. And we're going to work very, very hard to make sure that

doesn't happen.

AMANPOUR: Anthony Scaramucci, thank you so much for joining us.

And now to Gaza, where desperation is turning deadly as hungry people are forced to go to extreme lengths just to get something, anything to eat.

Jomana Karadsheh has this story on the disaster of airdrops that are trying to help. And a note, of course, they are disturbing scenes to watch.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As they spot a plane and the aid begins to drop, they run as fast as they can. It's the rush of a

people so desperate, so hungry, who would do anything to feed their children, now on the brink of starvation. This is what survival in Gaza has

come to, fighting for food, that little bit of aid that makes it into the north, where manmade famine now looms.

People chase parachutes that fell into these choppy waters. It is desperation that drives them into the sea. What you're about to see next is

disturbing. It's the reality of a war growing more cruel by the day. The fastest, the fittest emerged with boxes of American-issued meals ready to

eat. Others didn't make it out alive. People gather around the thin, frail body of a man who drowned trying to reach that aid. Twelve people drowned,

according to paramedics.

The parachutes fell into the water, Abu Hammad (ph) says, but people went to eat. They went into the water and drowned. The current was so strong,

they didn't know how to swim. It's what you do when you have nothing left to lose.

Iman (ph) goes in swimming to get food for his children. He returns dead. This man says, bring us aid through the land crossings. Our children are

dying. We are dying. What are you doing? Where is the world?

The world has been piling up life-saving aid into trucks stuck at land crossings. Seemingly powerless in the face of Israel that's accused of

using starvation as a weapon in this war. A charge it denies. Forcing the International Community to resort to dropping aid from the sky. Several

countries carried out aid drops on this day, deliveries that have been criticized for being ineffective, insufficient, and unsafe.

Earlier this month, another air drop disaster, when a parachute failed and eight packages came crashing down, killing at least five people. It's a war

that's testing humanity. And many say this is what failure looks like.


AMANPOUR: Jomana Karadsheh reporting there.

Now, long before Twitter trolls and online hate campaigns, there was pen and paper. And though the tech may have been a little bit more rudimentary,

people could be just as vicious. And that is the inspiration behind a string of anonymous poison pen letters and a new comedy called "Wicked

Little Letters." It brings a real-life scandal that rocked the sleepy town of Littlehampton on the English coast in 1920s to the big screen now.

Here's a clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mystery of the obscene Littlehampton letters is causing widespread distress across the nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Edith Swan tacks it up (INAUDIBLE) and she loves it more than Christmas Day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She sucks 10 a week, minimum.


COLMAN: I think it's just jealousy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rose Gooding, you are writing these wicked little letters to Edith Swan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would I send a letter when I can just say it?


AMANPOUR: It's a whodunit. I recently talked about it with the Oscar- winning star of the film, Olivia Colman, and director Thea Sharrock.


Welcome to you both. And thanks for being on with us. So, Olivia Colman --



AMANPOUR: You have been in our lives with many, many iconic roles. You know, the Queen and many queens and it's been incredible, Oscars and all

the rest of it. This is a little film about little letters. What inspired you? What drew you to this script?

COLMAN: I just thought it would be fun, quite simply. You know, sort of sometimes you do a lot of heavy work and then something like comes along

and you think, yes, that's what I'd like to do now. And it was in the U.K., which was a plus, so I didn't have to be away from my family.


And I had never heard of this story. And to find out that it's true, I just -- I enjoyed it so much. And I think that is basically what it was.

AMANPOUR: OK. I'm going to get to the story in a moment. But, Thea, for you, as the director, how did you get introduced to it, what made you turn

this into a movie?

SHARROCK: Well, I was lucky enough to receive it not knowing anything about it except for Olivia was already playing the lead. So, I had no idea

what the genre was. I have no ideas based on a true story. I didn't really know what to expect, but I read it with Olivia both in mind and I could

hear her voice, which was a great start.

I had no expectations of it being anything like as funny as it is, which, for a director, to laugh out loud on your first reading is pure joy. And

then to discover after that that it was based on a true story, and the sort of crazy mishaps that happened within it, as well as probably the thing

that drew me to it most of all, was, A, the comedy, but also there's room for fantastic performances.


COLMAN: In prison, Rosemary finds some kindred spirits.


COLMAN: No, no, not the murders or the rapists, I'm thinking more the drunks and the queers, maybe. Just trying to find a bright side.


SHARROCK: The unraveling of who this woman is, in fact, all the characters were already so well -- well, they were obviously based on real people, but

Jonny Sweet, the writer, had done the most beautiful job of creating both a comedy and also a drama.

There are incredibly intimate, vulnerable moments inside, you know, great moments of comedy, and then on top of all of that, for it to be real, for

me, it was a no-brainer.

AMANPOUR: Let's just talk a little bit about the storyline. So, Olivia, you play a kind of a buttoned-up lady of the era in this seaside town. This

very gregarious Irish young girl comes to the town played by Jessie Buckley, you become friends and then you're dealing with a string of

poisonous horrible letters that are being directed to you and it's about who did it.

So, it's pretty hilarious. And there's quite a lot of big scenes of sort of female confrontations that we don't generally see in movies, especially not

of that time. Tell us a little bit about that.

COLMAN: Yes. So, Edith Swan, who I play, on the face of it is pious Christian, sort of the perfect woman of that time and very well behaved.

Lives still with her parents and still weirdly sleeps in the same room as her parents.

AMANPOUR: Oh, that's weird.

COLMAN: Weird. And then Jessie he plays Rose Gooding, who in that period, you know, everybody looked at as, you know, a shocking example of womanhood

and an unmarried mother. But these two women become friends. They sort of see each other, because we find out that behind closed doors Edith is not

having a nice time and it's not a particularly loving household.

And this friendship sort of starts up. But then something happens, which -- because I'm not --

AMANPOUR: Yes, yes.

COLMAN: We don't do spoilers.

AMANPOUR: OK. I am going to take it from there because this investigation then starts when you start getting these poison letters. Those are the

wicked little letters of the title. And Rose, Jessie Buckley, gets arrested because she is thought to have done this. I want to play one of the clips.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir. You're charging her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under libel. Not a small offence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it isn't. But what's the evidence?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Motive. Timeline.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You let me out of this (INAUDIBLE) thing. You (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Similarities and the language.


AMANPOUR: So, I can see you both laughing as you are listening and remembering, and I mean so much of it was bleeped that we can't figure out

what the heck is going on. Was there a lot of that on set? Are you all pretty potty-mouthed and you were allowed to deliver?

SHARROCK: Shall we tell the truth?

COLMAN: Yes, I mean, the -- yes. Go on.

AMANPOUR: Go on, Thea.

SHARROCK: Olivia's incredibly potty-mouthed.


SHARROCK: No, it's Jessie.

AMANPOUR: Potter wouldn't melt in your mouth.

SHARROCK: And actually --

COLMAN: Thank you.

SHARROCK: No. We all are.

COLMAN: We all are. We all --

SHARROCK: Proudly.

COLMAN: Yes, yes. I think it's a nice seasoning of language.


AMANPOUR: And isn't it a bit restrictive when you go to try to promote this thing and you can't really show any scenes or talk in that vernacular?

COLMAN: Well, we -- that's why we don't do live telly. I get quite nervous and I get a bit more sweary when I'm nervous. I'm really trying not to say

anything bad now.

SHARROCK: You're doing really well.

COLMAN: I really am.

SHARROCK: You're doing really well.

COLMAN: (INAUDIBLE) amazing. But I know that you can bleep it out. Yes. So sorry.

AMANPOUR: What are your favorite swear words?

COLMAN: Now, you see --

SHARROCK: Can we say it?

COLMAN: -- American audiences really aren't keen on my favorite word.


COLMAN: So, can you imagine what my favorite word is?

AMANPOUR: I'm not going to say it. I will be lambasted and pilloried.

COLMAN: Well, I do maintain that it's actually quite a cultured word because Chaucer did use it.


COLMAN: But (INAUDIBLE) is my favorite.

AMANPOUR: Oh, OK. Well, we'll be bleeping that. Thea, do you have one?

COLMAN: Yes, I thought you might.

SHARROCK: Well, I like to counterbalance. So, I go with bollocks.

AMANPOUR: OK. I think we can keep that one. That's not too bad.


AMANPOUR: Yes, yes. Sorry. Thea wins. Olivia, you're clean out of luck. I'm going to play another scene It's you and Rose outside the houses. Here

goes it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry for your troubles. I mean it. She was a good lady, your mother. How have you been getting on?

COLMAN: Oh, I've been feeling grand. Thank you. How about you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a wee bit preoccupied.

COLMAN: Yes, I see they trumpet me in Parliament.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a range of opinions.

COLMAN: Where did you learn to read?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A local priest taught me. Lacey said he was a priest. Asked me to elope to Morocco in the end. Use a fine tutor of letters. How

about yourself?

COLMAN: I used to help my father with the sign writing. Very early age. I did all the ones for Glimson's Dairy (ph) when I was only eight. Oh, would

you return my patty-pans before the trial next week? Just in case I don't see you for a long while afterwards. Tough.


AMANPOUR: So, we're obviously not going to do a spoiler alert. We're not going to say who is the writer of these poisonous letters. But more

seriously, you know, you do play women of a certain era, both of you in that film.

And, Olivia, you've played women throughout many, many eras. You know, your roles have been very emblematic and iconic. What are you saying, I guess,

or what is the film saying about women of that era and the progress?

COLMAN: Well, I think there's an assumption that women in the 1920s wouldn't have sworn. I love the fact -- my mom said to me when I was a

teenager, she said every generation thinks they've invented sex and I think we feel similarly about bad language.

But there was a huge increase in swearing after the First World War apparently. I think this sort of -- this experiences that happened, people

thought, I need some kind of a release. And so, language -- what am I trying to say, language?

SHARROCK: Well, there was also a massive increase in poison pen letters, which is where this whole thing --

COLMAN: -- release of frustrations and --

SHARROCK: Absolutely. So, whether it was spoken or written, that's where this story came from.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And, Thea, in fact, and we sort of said blithely that before there was Twitter and trolling and social media there were poison

pen letters. So, this also is very relevant to today.


COLMAN: Yes. The obvious comparisons are that a hundred years ago poison pen letters were happening, which hurt people and there were prison

sentences handed out. A hundred years later, you'd hope that we'd have learnt from that. It turns out we haven't. And if anything, we've got much

worse. And there seems to be no repercussions now.

SHARROCK: And it's so much easier, that's the big thing.

COLMAN: Yes, yes.

SHARROCK: If you want to say something, hurt somebody, offend somebody, you can do it publicly and you can do it in a second and it can go out

across the world.


SHARROCK: So, you know, it's advancement in one sense and what feels like no lessons learned at all in another, but perhaps that's humanity and it's

just the way we are.

AMANPOUR: And, Thea, you began your career, you know, with amazing theatre here in the U.K. and I wonder whether you see in what you've done, not just

from where you started but where you are now, whether roles for women are beginning to be taken as seriously as they should because women -- are they

considered now big box office drawers?

SHARROCK: I would say yes.

COLMAN: And actually, I mean, research suggests that they've always been big box office drawers, but they have chosen to say -- don't get me started

on the pay disparity, but male actors get paid more because they used to say they draw in the audiences and actually, that hasn't been true for




COLMAN: But they still like to use that as a reason to not pay women as much as their male counterparts in our industry.

AMANPOUR: Yes. So, let's ask Thea, because I want to know -- yes, tell me. Do you have a pay disparity? I mean, you're an Oscar-winning actress,


COLMAN: I'm very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I'd be earning a (INAUDIBLE) up a lot more than I am.


COLMAN: And I'm not saying I'm -- absolutely, yes. I'm aware of -- I know of one pay disparity which is a 12,000 percent difference.


AMANPOUR: 12,000 percent?

COLMAN: I know. I'll tell you about that later.

AMANPOUR: Oh, gosh.

COLMAN: Yes, do the maths. I know.

AMANPOUR: So, Thea, on that note, obviously "Barbie" was the biggest grossing movie of the year and --

COLMAN: Exactly.

AMANPOUR: Yes, all women all the time, plus the fabulous Ken. Do you think that empowers people like you to go out with these -- with more of these

kinds of scripts?

SHARROCK: I really hope so. And I do -- I feel as though there has definitely been a change. I would say looking back over the last 10, 15

years certainly in theater and in film now too, without question, and TV. I think you come across many more women in powerful positions, in decision-

making positions, as well as in the creative side of things.

So, for sure. When I was kind of growing up within the industry there were hardly ever, I never really came across many female directors who were also

mothers. I came across various women who had chosen to have children and then felt they couldn't carry on with their job or women who had chosen not

to have children in order to keep going with their job. So, that's one of the major things that I feel has shifted hugely.

AMANPOUR: Well, look, on that note, Thea Sharrock, Olivia Colman, thank you both so much for joining us. "Wicked Little Letters."

SHARROCK: Thank you very much.

COLMAN: Thank you very much. Thanks for having us.


AMANPOUR: And that film is out now in the U.K., releases in the United States this Friday.

Well, whether it is expletive filled letter writing or the kind of political campaigning we discussed earlier in the program, there's one

skill they both require and that is effective communication. Of course, throughout history and still today, it's a tool of the powerful for both

good and bad, but it's also crucial in all of our daily lives, in the workplace, in our personal relationships, and more than ever online.

So, how can we communicate better and make that a force for positive change? Author Charles Duhigg explores this question in his new book,

"Supercommunicators." And here he is speaking to Walter Isaacson.


WALTER ISAACSON, CO-HOST, AMANPOUR AND CO.: Thank you, Christiane. And, Charles Duhigg, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: So, this book, "Supercommunicators," it's all about how to have a great conversation, how to convince people. Tell me, what is the point of

a conversation?

DUHIGG: It's a great question. The point of a conversation is to understand each other, right? It's not to convince you that I'm right and

you're wrong or that you should like me or think I'm smart. The point of a conversation and a conversation is a success, if I understand how you see

the world and I'm able to speak in a way that you understand how I see the world. And that means that we could walk away from that conversation

disagreeing with each other and it's still a success.

ISAACSON: But what you talk about is that a conversation must make a connection. What do you mean by that?

DUHIGG: What we know about when we have conversations is that our neural activity becomes similar. And that makes sense because when I describe an

emotion to you or an idea, you actually experience that emotion or that idea a little bit.

Within psychology and neurology, this is known as neural entrainment. And it's at the core of how we communicate with each other. And so, when we

make that connection, when we have a great conversation, when we feel like we're on the same wavelength, it feels wonderful because our brains have

evolved to crave that kind of communication and connection.

ISAACSON: You say that people are hardwired and some people are really hardwired to do these connections. You and I have covered a lot of people

in the tech industry and other things. There are a lot of people we know who are not hardwired. I mean, even the smartest of them, maybe Elon Musk,

Bill Gates, I can pick a couple right there.

Are there certain people are hardwired? And what can you do if you're not hardwired for this?

DUHIGG: So, we're actually all hardwired for this, right? Even Elon Musk and Bill Gates, even those folks who can seem awkward when in an unfamiliar

setting, they are hardwired for conversation and connection as much as any of us.

So, consistent super communicators. There was a study done asking them if they were always good at communication. And what they said was, no. When I

was in high school, I was unpopular. So, I had to pay attention to how other kids communicated with each other or my parents got divorced. And I

had to play a peacemaker between them.


And what they're really saying is there was a time in my life when I had to think about communication and thinking about communication made me better

at it. It made me recognize that there were these skills that would help me connect with other people.

And whether it's Bill Gates or Elon Musk or Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, all of those people at times have been super communicators, because they

thought deeply about how communication ought to occur. And when we stop thinking about it, when we let ourselves relax and we stop having dialogues

and just start monologuing, stop listening and stop asking questions, we can become a bad communicator again.

But if we understand the skills that make us better at communication, if we think deeply about those skills, that's -- that will make us a super

communicator regardless of who we are.

ISAACSON: OK. Let's talk about those skills, as you say, each of us can develop. Name a couple of skills and how people should try to develop them.

DUHIGG: The first is this thing known as the matching principle of communication. And there's a story in the book about this CIA officer who

is just terrible at his job. He's terrible at recruiting overseas spies until he figures out how to match people.

And matching comes from what researchers have discovered that we tend to think of a discussion as being about one thing. But actually, every

discussion is made up of multiple kinds of conversations. And those kinds of conversations tend to fall into one of three buckets. There's practical

conversations where we're talking about plans or solving problems. There's emotional conversations where I tell you what I'm feeling and I don't want

you to solve my feelings, I want you to empathize. And there's social conversations, which is about how we relate to each other.

And very often, super communicators know that you have to be having the same kind of conversation at the same time in order to connect. So, if I

come home and I start complaining about my day to my wife and I'm having an emotional conversation, and she responds with practical advice and says,

why don't you take your boss out to lunch and get to know him a little bit better? That's not going to solve the problem for me. In fact, I'm not

going to be able to hear what she's saying. It's only when we're having the same kind of conversation, when we match each other, that we'll really be

able to communicate. And then we can move from emotional, to practical, to social, back to emotional together.

ISAACSON: You talk about how a CIA spy recruiter figured this out, I think his name's Jim Lawler in the book. Tell me that story.

DUHIGG: So, Jim Lawler is this wonderful guy who, at 30 years old, he was sent overseas by the CIA for his first assignment, which was to go recruit

spies in Europe. And he was terrible at it. He kept -- he would go to these embassy parties and try and buddy up to people. And they would say things

like, I know that you're trying to recruit me as a spy. I'm going to report you to the authorities if you don't stop right now.

Now, eventually there was this woman who came to town, who worked for her foreign ministry in a Middle Eastern country. And so, Lawler goes up and he

introduces himself and then he gets to know her. He befriends her. And eventually he says, I'm working for the CIA. Will you work with me? And she

panics. She says, no, look. in my country, they murder people for that. I can't participate in this at all.

And so, Lawler goes and he tells his bosses, I tried to recruit this woman and it didn't work. And they say, look, you're going to get fired, my

friend. You got to recruit someone. You've been here for almost a year.

So, he convinces this woman, Yasmin, to have one more dinner with him. And instead of trying to make arguments to her, instead of trying to charm her

or win her over, he just decides, look. this is pointless. It's not going to work. I'm just going to be as honest as I can be.

And he starts telling her how disappointed he is in himself, how he understands that she's about to go home. And she feels like she's wasting

her life because he feels like he's wasting his life. All he ever wanted to do was be a CIA officer. And here he is, terrible at it. And it's at that

moment that Yasmin is able to hear what he's saying. And she says, I can help you. I can become an asset for you.

And she ends up being the best resource in the Middle East over the next 20 years. But Lawler was only able to recruit her. She was only able to hear

what Lawler was saying when he was authentic and honest and when he engaged in this reciprocal vulnerability. When she shared something about himself,

he shared something true about himself. And in doing so, they were able to forge a connection.

And this is true for all of us. All of us have an instinct towards reciprocal vulnerability. When we are vulnerable ourselves, when we hear

other people's vulnerability, we trust each other more, we like each other more, and we end up communicating much, much better.

ISAACSON: Tell me how this grew out of your own experience.

DUHIGG: So, I was on -- I was made a manager at "The New York Times" at one point. And I thought that I would be a great manager, because I've had

managers my whole life. I went to a fancy business school and an MBA. And I was OK at like the logistics part, but I was terrible at the communication

part. Just awful at it.

And the same thing would happen at home. I would come home and I would talk to my wife and I would complain about my day and she would suggest some

practical advice. And instead of hearing her, I would get even more upset and say, why aren't you supporting me? You're supposed to be outraged on my


And what I realized is that I was not having conversations. I was not listening to the other person. I was monologuing, right? I was waiting my

turn to speak.


And one of the things that we know about conversations is that when we ask questions, when we ask a special kind of question known as a deep question,

it tends to change a monologue into a dialogue because we really listen to the other person. And when we prove that we're listening, they become more

willing to listen to us.

And so, it's transformed how I communicate. When I come home now and I start complaining, my wife will often say, you know, do you want me to

listen to you or do you want me to help you solve this problem together? And it feels wonderful to have her ask that. And I try and do the same


ISAACSON: You talk about asking the deep question, as I can transform a conversation. Give me an example of what you mean by that.

DUHIGG: A deep question is something that asks about our values, our beliefs, or our experiences. And that can sound kind of intimidating, but

it's actually as easy as if you bump into someone and they're a doctor, instead of asking them, oh, where do you practice medicine? Asking, oh,

what made you decide to go to medical school? What do you love about practicing medicine?

When you ask those questions, what you're really asking is, tell me who you actually are. Tell me something about yourself, about what you care about.

In general, the principle is, asking about the facts of someone's life can often be a dead end. Asking how they feel about their life invites them to

say something meaningful and real.

And they've actually started teaching this in schools to teachers. When teachers encounter a student who's having a problem, they'll often say to

them, do you want me to help you? Do you want me to hear you? Or do you want me to hug you? And what they're really asking there is, what kind of

conversation do you need to have right now? And tell me who you are. Tell me what's important to you. Because when we get asked those deep questions,

that's when we open up and we start having a real conversation.

ISAACSON: In your book. you have a whole. of wonderful tales and anecdotes, whether it be on spies or police, but you also have a lot of

neuroscience. And you say we're in a golden age of this neuroscience. Tell me what the neuroscience taught you.

DUHIGG: When we're having a conversation, like this conversation right now, what's interesting is neither of us are aware of it, but our breaths,

our breath rate has started to match each other. Our heart rate is similar. And more importantly, what's happening inside our brains becomes more and

more similar. We become what's known as neural entrained.

And this neural entrainment, it feels wonderful, right? That's why having a great conversation feels so good. And what we know is that the more

entrained we become, the more our thoughts become similar, the more we can understand each other, the more we hear each other.

And that makes sense, because when I explain to you what I'm feeling or what I'm thinking, and you experience that emotional a little bit yourself,

or you experience that idea, that connection is at the core of communication. That's what we mean when we say, I connected and I

communicated with that person. We were on the same wavelength. And it's actually hardwired into our brains, not only to be able to achieve this

entrainment, but to crave it, to want it.

You know, The U.S. surgeon general said that being lonely is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And 15 cigarettes is a lot of cigarettes.

When we are connected to other people, when we are entrained with them, when we ask them questions and we reveal vulnerable things about ourselves,

when we're authentic together, that is when we feel a real connection to someone else. That's how we become happy and healthy and successful in


ISAACSON: I loved your previous book, "The Power of Habit." And then I saw some connections between the two. Explain what the themes are that transfer

from "The Power of Habit" to this book.

DUHIGG: Yes, absolutely. And thank you for that. And "The Power of Habit" is really about how we form habits, how habits exist within our brains. And

it's very self-focused. I realized after I wrote "The Power of Habit" that I get emails from people who would say, look, this is great. It helped me

improve my habits, but I've got this boss who's driving me crazy. How do I change his habits or her habits?

And of course, the answer is we do that through conversation. We do that through communication. So, what I realized is that when we talk about

conversation and communication, when we identify these people who are super communicators and can connect with almost anyone, the reason why they're so

good at this is not only because they think a little bit more about communication, it's also because they've allowed those communication skills

to become habits.

And our brains are predisposed to make these into habits. That's one of the things that "The Power of Habit" tells us is that particularly when it

comes to communication, because communication is a superpower for homo sapiens, we have this ability to take these skills around communication and

make them habits very, very easily.

The key is that we have to recognize which skills are important, and we have to practice them. And when we practice them, we find that the world

opens up in new ways.


ISAACSON: You say that super communicating or communicating is this great skill of homo sapiens, which sets us apart. And indeed, it's what causes us

to be a social animal, to form societies. And yet, nowadays, our politics, our societies are so torn apart and fraught. What can we learn from your

book that can help our politics now?

DUHIGG: Yes, it's a great question. And there's a chapter in the book about this experiment that was done where they brought together gun rights

advocates and gun control activists. And they wanted to see if they could just have civil conversations.

And before the conversation started, they taught them this one particular skill known as looping for understanding. That's really useful in conflict

conversations. And it has three steps. The first step is ask a question, preferably a deep question. The second step is once that person has

replied, repeat back in your own words, which you heard them say. And the third step is ask if you got it right.

Now, the reason why this is so powerful is because it proves that we're listening. And you're right. We are living in a world right now that seems

polarized and divided, and it seems like you go online and people are just screaming at each other rather than having conversations. But there is a

way around that, which is that when we prove to each other that we are listening, when we prove to each other that we want to understand that my

goal is not to convince you that you're wrong and I'm right, my goal is to understand how you see the world and explain to you how I see the world.

That's when, all of a sudden, we can start making those breakthroughs.

And the thing is, we have been doing this for centuries. If you think about the United States and the constitutional convention, this nation was born

in people who hated each other, coming together for months and having these fights and these arguments, but also listening to each other, listening

well enough that they could write a constitution together.

We are at our best when we want to communicate with each other, when we want to communicate with people who believe different things. And part of

that communication means not only explaining how I feel, but asking questions and listening to how you feel. And as long as we remember that,

as a nation and as a world, we will be OK.

ISAACSON: Facebook and other social media were invented, they said, to connect us, to bring us connections. And yet, I now feel that maybe the

problems we're having is that social media isn't great at this notion of connection. How do you think it's effective, what you're written about?

DUHIGG: It's interesting, that experiment I mentioned with the gun control advocates and the gun rights folks, they had a great conversation face-to-

face, and then they went back and they continued the conversation on Facebook. And within 45 minutes, people were calling each other, Jack

(INAUDIBLE) did not see us, right? It all fell apart once they went online.

And the reason why is because, oftentimes, we forget that different forms of communication have different rules. In fact, when telephones first

became popular about 100 years ago, there were all these studies that said, oh, people will never be able to have real conversations on the phone

because you can't see each other. And what's interesting is that at the time, they were right.

If you look at early transcripts of telephone conversations, people use them like telegrams. They'd send each other shopping lists and stock

orders. But of course, nowadays, we can have some of our most meaningful conversations via the telephone. And it's because we've learned the rules

of telephones without being aware of it.

When we talk on the phone, we over-annunciate our words a little bit. We put more emotion into our voice because we know that the other person can't

see us. These are instincts that we've learned in using the technology. And digital conversations are similar. When I look at my teenage kids, they

have no problem communicating online. In fact, they have some of the most meaningful conversations via text and emojis.

But for those of us who grew up in a slightly different world, the key is to remind ourselves that different forms of communication have different

rules. If I'm talking to you on Facebook, I can't assume it's the same as if we're talking face-to-face. If I'm sending you a text, that's different

from sending you an e-mail, that's different from giving you a call.

And when we remind ourselves that different forms of communication have different rules, it becomes fairly obvious what we ought to do in each form

of communication. We should be more polite in e-mails. We should be less sarcastic.

We are going to make it through this period. And digital communication is with us to stay. And it's going to get healthier and healthier and

healthier the more that we think and we remind ourselves that different forms of communication require different skills and different rules, and

the more we observe and respect those.

ISAACSON: Charles Duhigg, thank you so much for joining us.

DUHIGG: Thank you for having me.


AMANPOUR: And finally, tonight, a landmark more than 140 years in the making. Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia, or Holy Family, is one of the

world's great wonders, despite never actually being finished. A constant work in progress. It was designed by the legendary Catalan architect Gaudi.


But by time of his death in 1926, only a quarter of building had been completed, slowed down by civil war and all sorts of historic bureaucratic

building codes.

Now, officials are saying that in 2026, 144 years since construction began in 1882, the Basilica will finally be completed. I guess great things do

come to those who wait.

That's it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. Remember, you could always

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

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.