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Interview with Director of Istituto Affari Internazionali and Foreign Policy Adviser Nathalie Tocci; Interview with BFMTV Senior International Correspondent Thierry Arnaud; Interview with "Tuesday" Actress and "Wiser Than Me" Host Julia Louis-Dreyfus; Interview with "Tuesday" Director Daina O. Pusic; Interview with "Chasing Hope: A Reporter's Life" Author and The New York Times Opinion Columnist Nicholas Kristof. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 13, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



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

win, Italy's populist prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, welcomes the world's most powerful leaders to Puglia. We look at Europe at a turning point.

Then --


JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, ACTRESS, "TUESDAY" AND HOST, "WISER THAN ME": I don't know what I am without you. Who I am without you. I don't know what the

world is without you in it.


AMANPOUR: -- the queen of comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, gets serious in her new movie "Tuesday." The actress and the film's director join me.

Plus --



Walter, you invariably find the very best.


AMANPOUR: "Chasing Hope," journalist Nicholas Kristof tells Walter Isaacson how he finds light in the world's darkest corners.

Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Today in Italy, G7 leaders have agreed to loan Kyiv about $50 billion dollars

backed by the profits from Russia's frozen investments. It's been a banner week for the summit host, Italy's prime minister, Giorgia Meloni. Fresh off

a big win in the European elections, the far-right leader has welcomed her G7 peers to Puglia.

But that's not all. Meloni has also invited a slew of other power players, like Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, India's prime minister,

Narendra Modi, and South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa. An emboldened Meloni stands in stark contrast to her counterparts, like France's Emmanuel Macron

and Germany's Olaf Scholz who are on very shaky ground after their parties took a beating from the far-right this weekend.

Nonetheless, there are important issues to hash out, and top of the agenda is of course Ukraine and Gaza I'm joined by Nathalie Tocci, political

scientist and former adviser to the E.U.'s foreign policy chief, along with Thierry Arnaud, senior international correspondent for the French channel

BFMTV Welcome to both of you. Thanks for being with us.

Nathalie, can I start with you first? Because in Italy, at the G7, they actually did agree to make this loan to Kyiv based on Russian frozen

assets. Now, Russia is furious. It says there'll be painful retaliatory measures. How significant is this moment for Ukraine, Nathalie?


been in the pipeline for quite some time and the U.S. had been pushing for it for quite some time. It was actually the European countries that had

been resisting.

And essentially, the reason why it's mainly the Europeans that have been caving in the sense of, you know, contributing to providing the guarantee

to the guarantee. Because of course, the big question really is, you know, what if the guarantee that is provided by those Russian assets were to

somehow no longer be available, for instance, because of a "peace agreement," then who would actually, you know, guarantee that guarantee?

And for a long time, there was, you know, haggling over this point. It seems to me that it's mainly been the Europeans that have been backtracking

on some of their resistance. And I actually think that the reason why this is happening is because of a growing fear that if the agreement is not

reached now, then it could be a lot harder to reach in a few months' time, especially if the elections in the United States were to see a return of

Donald Trump to the White House.

So, in a sense, you know, cash in whatever agreement you can get in now, because the future may actually be far more troubled. So, I think, you

know, although, of course, it's an extremely positive development that this agreement has been reached, and as I said, it has been in the pipeline,

really, for quite perhaps for a little bit too long, it's been, you know, long -- a long time in the making, but the reason why it actually ended up

in this final squeeze is because of a fear that in future things could get far nastier.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me turn to you, Thierry Arnaud, because in France, for instance, you have this far-right surge. Would a Prime Minister Bardella or

a President Le Pen, would they, you know, put the brakes on this kind of thing? Because as you know many of the far-right leaders, including Le Pen

and others, have been criticized for their closer links to Vladimir Putin.


THIERRY ARNAUD, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, BFMTV: They have indeed. The fact of the matter is that over the past few weeks and months,

their position has moved towards a more Ukraine-friendly attitude. They were basically opposing any kind of aid, whether military or financial for

Ukraine initially, but they've come a long way since then.

And as much as they have disapproved the president's latest moves, for example, providing fighter jets to Ukraine, as is promised to do and

training the pilots as well, obviously, by the end of the year, he has also talked about deploying French military instructors in Ukraine. The way he

would like to do it would be as part of a European coalition. But on those two specific aspects obviously, neither Marine Le Pen or Jordan Bardella

would approve of that and would sign off on it.

But when it comes to financially supporting Ukraine or providing some kind of military equipment, they are now much more open to this than they were

only a few weeks ago.

AMANPOUR: I want to come back to more on Macron and his political issues right now. But first, I want to ask in relation to Giorgia Meloni,

Nathalie. You know, some of the editorials have been saying that, you know, this G7 is six lame ducks and Giorgia Meloni. In other words, as we know,

many of the leaders there took a real drubbing.

Do you agree with that image and that she now is really cemented as the solid European leader?

TOCCI: Well, I mean, it's clear that, you know, out of those leaders, she is the one that came out electorally strengthened. So, that is, I think, a

fact. I actually, though, think that this narrative is overblown.

Firstly, I think that Italy is presiding this G7 in extremely complicated times. It's actually a G7 that with the exception of this one agreement on

the Russian frozen assets actually has no real deliverables, and it has no real deliverables precisely because, in general, the situation within the

west has weakened really quite substantially.

When it comes to Meloni herself, I also think that although over the last few months, and it's not just with the election, it's really been, you

know, a narrative building up over the neck -- over the last few months of, you know, Meloni being the queen maker in Europe and what is her position

vis-a-vis Ursula von der Leyen. We may be reaching the end of that story.

And what I mean by this is that there comes a point where you kind of need to make a choice, right? And there's only so long that you can play this

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde game, which has been going on for the last year and a half, frankly speaking, of being very hardline domestically and appearing

to be rather malleable on foreign policy issues.

There will come a point, and especially when it comes to the decisions concerning the future cohort of European leaders, that Meloni will have to

choose whether to actually make the definitive moods towards -- move towards moderation and essentially end up being, given the electoral

results at European level, the small fish still the small fish in a big pond or actually return to what probably her real beliefs on and "values"

are and move to the right, especially looking ahead at what may be happening in France soon.

AMANPOUR: Right. Well, there she is in Italy, domestically, her politics are much different, as you said, to her foreign policy, and they are much

more right-wing on all the social issues and other such issues. So, Thierry Arnaud, your president, Macron is at this G7 meeting. I mean -- along with

Olaf Scholz, of course, but Macron's thrown down the gauntlet and has decided to go all-in on a big gamble to make the French decide whether they

really want the far-right.

How is it being taken? How are the French looking at it? What are you all seeing when you talk to people and interview people and report on this?

ARNAUD: Well, with a lot of puzzlement and astonishment as to what the president has decided to do. And most of the people you talk to do not

necessarily understand why he has come to this decision. So, he has some explaining to do, which he started doing yesterday by holding a press


And essentially, I think he did it for two reasons. The first one is who he is. He is a man with a lot of pride. He hates losing. He hates being in a

corner. And when he finds himself in a situation where he holds very few strong cards, instead of doing the reasonable thing, which would be

folding, he's going to go all-in, which is exactly what he has done.


And it's also his assessment of the current political situation. First of all, the loss is hard to overstate. I mean, how bad it is. And the

conclusion he has drawn is that if not now, he would have had to do it anyway within the next few weeks or month. He was expecting, for example, a

motion of no confidence to be adopted in parliament by the fall over the next budget.

And in that particular case, the government would have had to resign and he would have had to call this election. So, might as well doing now. out of

his own initiative, as opposed to having to play defense in a few months' time.

AMANPOUR: That's interesting. Yes.

ARNAUD: And the political gamble he's making is this one. The political gamble he's making now is this one. He thinks that, in essence, a

parliamentary election is very different from the European election. The defeat he has been submitted to is, in his opinion, first and foremost, the

expression of a lot of anger. But it's one thing to be very angry and to express it by supporting the far-right.

It's quite different to vote for a parliament which is going to hand over power to Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella. And in his opinion, the French

are not ready to go that far yet. It's a bet that governing parties have been making for the past 20 years. And if you look at what's been happening

for 20 years, this is that each time so far, they have won that bet, but the margin by which they have won is getting narrower and narrower. And

maybe it's going to disappear over the next few weeks.

AMANPOUR: So, I was going to ask you that because, you know, there's one sort of -- I mean, the leader of the traditional right-wing party, Les

Republicains, he has called for an alliance with the Le Penistas (ph), and he has had a lot of pushback from within his own traditional party. Let's

not forget, it's the party of Charles de Gaulle who actually fought to rid France of the fascists and their and their inheritors.

Are you surprised that this kind of red line between the regular parties and the far-right has disappeared?

ARNAUD: No, because you will always find people, and Eric Ciotti, the leader of this particular party, is one of them that think that the only

way to win now, the only way for them to get back to power is through that alliance.

So, it's -- you know, it goes against the history of the party. It goes against the nature of its policies in many ways. But, you know, there are

people like him who think that they want to run the country and want to have a seat in the government, and the only way to do this now is to align

with, with Marine Le Pen.

You know, when you look at these results of the European election, they're really spectacular because, you know, the Rassemblement National Party came

ahead in 93 percent of French cities, of all French cities, big and small.

If you look at all the social classes, if you look at all the age groups, she's ahead almost everywhere now, where -- even where she used to be

traditionally quite weak. So, the wave of that of that election in her favor has been a very strong and it's a momentum that's going to be very

hard to stop before the next election.

AMANPOUR: Gosh, yes. You seem to have a pessimistic view of how it's going to turn out. So, we'll see. But obviously, these leaders who are at the G7,

Nathalie, also have another raging war on their hands. And that is between Israel and Hamas and the essential flattening of Gaza and the terrible

humanitarian crisis. Plus, the fact that there are still Israeli hostages inside Gaza.

Now, I just wonder what you think, because the secretary of state is there, I think, having come back from unconclusive -- inconclusive ceasefire talks

in the region. And every day, they're faced with pictures like the one I'm going to put up, and it's really awful. Images of suffering which are


This is a Palestinian child in Gaza. His name is Amjad Kanu (ph). He's three years old. He weighs five kilos, and he's suffering from, you know,

severe malnutrition. It's the kind of thing I've seen when I've covered famine -- you know, famine countries. The U.N. says almost 3,000 children

are being cut off from treatment for moderate and severe acute malnutrition in Southern Gaza. They're at risk of dying in front of their family.

So, I'm saying all this because clearly that is what the leaders also are faced with. How are they going to alleviate this humanitarian condition

while also trying to bring about a ceasefire and end the actual war?


TOCCI: Well, you know, Christiane, I think, you know, the tragedy of this moment is that whereas diplomacy over the last eight months, I mean,

obviously failed. But it was, in the sense, trying at least to get to a deal, for instance, on the hostage release and a ceasefire.

Now, that that plan is, in theory, there, and, of course, it has been endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, what the G7 will do is, I presume,

sign up to that very plan. But in a sense, we're in this odd situation in which there is a plan that presumably is Israel's plan. Hamas has kind of

conditionally accepted it so long as there are certain clarifications made. But Israel itself doesn't actually seem to be committed to, presumably,

what its own plan is.

And so, in a sense, it -- we're back to a pre-7th of October situation, in which diplomacy on the "Middle East peace process," for years, in fact, for

decades, it became, in a sense, an excuse for things on the ground to deteriorate even further.

And so, I fear that we're getting into this situation now once again, but, of course, in a far more dramatic and in humanitarian terms, catastrophic

situation in which, in a sense, leaders can all be happy, there's a plan and we all sign up to it, but then nothing really happens, right, and no

one really actually makes Israel comply to what presumably its own plan is.

AMANPOUR: Nathalie, of course, the U.S. has put the burden completely on Hamas and they've demanded that Hamas come up and say yes to this. But

you're right, Israel publicly has not endorsed this peace plan. Can I ask a final question to you, Arnaud? I mean, you're watching from there.

This G7 is somewhat different, Meloni has invited a whole slew of people from, you know, powerful presidents from Latin America, India, you know,

prime minister, South Africa, et cetera. They're trying to get the Global South on board, particularly to buy into their narrative of what's

happening in Ukraine. How do you see that developing, Thierry?

ARNAUD: Well, I think it's going to be very hard work. I don't know about you, Christiane, but I cannot recall any G7 Summit in recent memory in

which the French president, the German chancellor, the British prime minister found themselves in such a weak political situation that it was

hard to imagine that their pressure would be able to carry a lot of weight vis a vis those representatives of the Global South.

So, I think it's essential that they try, because on the other side of the equation, you have obviously China together with Russia pushing extremely

hard to convince them to align their world views to that of Beijing and Moscow. So, there has to be an argument. There has to be, beyond this

invitation, you know, a worldview presented to these leaders that makes sense to them as well.

So, I think it's very important that they are invited. It's very important that it's discussed the -- this very difficult world situation with those

western leaders specifically. But because of the situation they're in today, I think, again, what they have to say will unfortunately carry a lot

less weight than it would have maybe a couple of years ago.

AMANPOUR: And from your perspective, Nathalie, as somebody who used to advise, you know, the E.U. foreign policy establishment?

TOCCI: Well, you know, I mean, if you take the G7 of two years ago, the German presidency, G7, that was actually the first time. You know, so the

war had already started in Ukraine, and we realized that we had a problem with the Global South, and there was a kind of real effort being made. You

know, it was the first time that South Africa and Senegal and Indonesia and India were invited.

And at that time, of course, we realized that the Global South was not quite totally aligned with us, but we were still with the "global

majority." Yes. I mean, just think about votes in the U.N. General Assembly on Ukraine.


TOCCI: The problem is that making that effort now with war in the Middle East --


TOCCI: -- in which our reputation and credibility in that Global South has, you know, collapsed makes it a far harder challenge.

AMANPOUR: Yes. OK. It's been really great talking to you, Nathalie Tocci, Thierry Arnaud. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.

Now, Russia has formally sent an espionage case against the jailed American Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich to court. He's been detained

in Moscow since March of last year. In response, today, the Wall Street Journal said Evan Gershkovich is facing a false and baseless charge. Evan

is a journalist. The Russian regime's smearing of Evan is repugnant, disgusting, and based on calculated and transparent lies. We continue to

demand his immediate release. As, of course, does the journalistic community.


Now, another noteworthy meeting is happening inside Italy tomorrow, and this one is in Vatican City. The pope, who is a fan of cracking jokes, is

hosting some of the world's best comedians. The church says it's in support of comedy contributing to a more empathetic world.

Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen Colbert, Chris Rock, Conan O'Brien, they'll all be there, along with my next guest, one of the queens of comedy, Julia Louis-

Dreyfus. She's given us lots of laughs in "Seinfeld" and "Veep," but her new movie, "Tuesday," is much more serious. The story centers on a mother,

played by Louis-Dreyfus, and her daughter, Tuesday, who is dying.

And when the mother struggles to accept this reality, death itself appears in the form of a giant parrot, and begins pecking her towards acceptance.

Here's a clip from the trailer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're unique. You made my head silent.


LOLA PETTICREW, ACTRESS, "TUESDAY": Can you please just come out so she can see you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam, you need to say goodbye to your daughter.

PETTICREW: You have to get strong now.


PETTICREW: You can. And you have to let me help you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life, every life ends.


AMANPOUR: The magical realist fable is written and directed by Daina O. Pusic, who joined Julia to explain how this strangest of concepts help them

reach a universal truth.


AMANPOUR: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Daina O. Pusic, welcome to the program.

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Thank you for having us both.

DAINA O. PUSIC, DIRECTOR, "TUESDAY": Thank you so much.

AMANPOUR: It's an extraordinary film. It's very weird, at least to start off. But I just want to first start by asking you, Julia, I guess people do

typecast you a little bit with the comedy thing. But you've done, you know, clearly a number of films that aren't comedy. And I wondered what about

this one attracted you?

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Well, what attracted me to this role was the script, of course, but the script in a very fantasy, magical, realism kind of way,

explores issues of grief, death, dying, denial, acceptance, in addition to really exploring the bond between parent and child. All of those themes

were, I -- of course, they're very fundamental, and they really appealed to me to explore from a storytelling point of view.

AMANPOUR: And it should be unnoted that the -- one of the main stars anyway, is a CGI giant morphing parrot. I mean, the two of you, how did you

bond over this? Because it could have gone horribly wrong or it could have been, as it is, really interesting.

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Well, Daina and I met over Zoom a number of times to talk in depth about the script. And Daina is obviously a very emotionally

intelligent person and a true artist in every sense of the word. And really, it was quite clear to me, and she can speak more to this, that her

desire, in terms of the animated parrot, as it were, was to make this as beautiful and otherworldly and rooted in reality in such a way so that it

would propel the story forward and give it proper sort of profundity.

AMANPOUR: So, Daina, tell me about it because it's kind of an unusual vehicle. The parrot is death. The Grim Reaper.

PUSIC: Well, I really -- I designed death the way that I did really through a sort of a process of deduction. I knew what the character was

like. I knew what he needed to do in the film. I knew he needed to talk, which parrots are famous for, and I knew he needed to sing and dance and

tell jokes. I felt also that his personality was sort of birdlike. He is kind of cuddly and friendly in one moment and then at the turn of the head

is frightening and foreign and dangerous.


And I also felt that, you know, I needed to not just make him a parrot, but also make him a monster. To push the reality what he was. Because I felt

that that would be more believable in the visual effects.

AMANPOUR: Yes, that's really interesting to hear you describe that. And you talk about, you know, using that vehicle, that parrot, to sort of push

off certain realities and not play around, but essentially, you know, inhabit this reality, which turns out, Julia, your character, the mother,

is trying to delay, deny the obvious, which is that your daughter, Tuesday, is dying and has an incurable disease. And I want to play just this clip,

which is from the so-called bathroom scene where you're essentially telling her, you know, to get a grip, weirdly or so. Let's just play it.


LOUIS-DREYFUS: It's the reality of the situation, isn't it? This is what parents do. They do what they have to do. OK? And it's good to be honest

about that. So, you need to look reality in the eye instead of just getting angry at me about it.

PETTICREW: Are you being serious right now?


AMANPOUR: Gosh, the actress who plays Tuesday is just so phenomenal. And that is -- I mean, that's exactly the best line, because there you are

telling her to, you know, get a grip, and she's the one dying. Just, Julia, put that into context, because you've spun a whole load of lies just to get

out of the house, so that you don't have to confront your dying daughter.

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Yes, exactly. I would say that the dysfunction that we sort of begin the film with is that my daughter in the film is really the parent

to me. And she's -- and I -- my character is in such pain and suffering that she is -- refuses to face the reality that her daughter is in. And so,

she's making one decision after another that doesn't seem, on its face, is not -- these are not nurturing decisions.

And which includes not working. She's overcome with depression. She's selling off everything that's in their house to make ends meet. Nothing

makes real rational sense. But I have to say, as someone who played the character, I certainly understand where she's coming from.

And by the end of the film, the tables will have turned in the sense that my character, Zora, realizes that it's time for her to parent her child in

the way that's necessary and critical.

AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to do it later, but since you bring it up, I'm going to play this later clip, which is about how you are, in fact,

realizing what exactly is going on and the dynamic. Here's this clip.


LOUIS-DREYFUS: I don't know what I am without you. Who I am without you. I don't know what the world is without you in it. I have absolutely no idea.

And because of that, I think, I don't know, I was scared. I was fighting for my own life. But I love you so much more than me. And this is your

life. And from now on we're going to do what's best for you.


AMANPOUR: It's really, really, really powerful and it's almost like you are finally being the adult, giving her the permission to be the child and

to finish her journey, which you will do together.

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Exactly. That's exactly right. Yes. But what's so fascinating to me, too, about this film, is that everything that -- in this

fantastical reality that Daina has so brilliantly created, it's a very believable scenario, the lengths to which this mother, Zora, will go to

keep her child from harm, from death. And it's a fantastical journey that makes sense, I think, in so many ways on an emotional and psychological


AMANPOUR: Diana, I want to ask you, you -- did you write this as well? And what about your experience or where you grew up or, I mean, I know your

country was caught up in the Balkan Wars, I don't know? But what about death and grief and parenthood were you trying to explore as well?


PUSIC: I did write it, as well. I was -- if I were to describe this film, I would say it's an accumulation of my thoughts and feelings in life up

until this point, really. And making this film is to process everything that's happened so far, in a way.

I wanted to explore the familial relationship, which I have done as well in my short films before between mother and daughter, and the intensity with

which that type of love comes, that intensity sometimes brings not just love, but in a way also hate, tension, because when feelings run high to

that extent in such an extreme way, tenderness and love run hand in hand almost with violence and misunderstanding.

So, this is a type of real messy love and relationship that I was really interested in exploring just because of my own life and my own experiences.

And in terms of my relationship with death, you know, I feel, and I hope that that's what some -- what the film speaks to, and that the audience

feels that when they watch the film, that really, you know, if we are a -- you know, life has its meaning and it's gain -- it gains its weight and

wonder and meaning because of the fact that it has an expiration date. And if we were to live our life understanding death and acknowledging it, then

we are more likely to live a fuller and happier life.

AMANPOUR: You know, what makes sense is that very few people talk about death. I mean, as you, Julia, I think I've heard you say, we are all going

to die. Everybody is going to die. Everybody we know is going to die, and we have to talk about it and understand it. And I thought, there was a --

the part of the film that makes death sort of less scary, maybe, is, again, the parrot, where there's a serious comedy bit there, where you decide

you're going to eat the parrot, Julia, as the mother, and try to kill death.

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Yes, exactly. That's what I do. That's my maternal instinct coming out. I fight death to death. And when that doesn't work, I consume


AMANPOUR: You do indeed. And the vomiting him up again. I mean, the whole thing, that is pretty inspired. I mean, it's very funny, it's very

meaningful, it's very dramatic, and, you know, it's very clear.

I also thought what was really interesting is the parrot is like the vehicle. The dying daughter and death are in a bond, in a complicit bond,

to try to bring you along as the mother, Julia.

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Exactly, which is what is such a remarkable sort of turn of events in the storytelling of this film. They're trying to -- I'm --

everybody's trying to negotiate with one another. Tuesday's trying to negotiate with death, to negotiate with her mother, to -- you know. I mean,

it is a master class in -- I don't know what the word I would use for, but it is -- it's so outrageous. It's marvelous.

And it, to me, makes complete and utter sense. And I loved everything about making this film with Daina, I have to say. It's been a complete joy.

AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you also about what's going gangbusters for you, and that is your podcast, "Wiser Than Me." What are you getting out of


LOUIS-DREYFUS: One thing that's vastly surprised me is the reaction. I think, you know, I felt a need to have these conversations personally, and

then it turns out many millions of people feel the need as well to hear these conversations.

And so, I'm honored to be talking to these women, to -- sitting at the feet of these women to glean their wisdom from what I see as the sort of the

front lines of life. Women often, as they age, become less visible. And that's a tremendous -- well, that's a tremendous missed opportunity for the

rest of the universe, because women, in particular, have an enormous amount of wisdom, I think. Perhaps even more than the other gender. So --

AMANPOUR: I'm sure all three women here would agree.

LOUIS-DREYFUS: But anyway, I -- yes, exactly. But anyway, yes, I'm very happy with how it's been received, for sure.


AMANPOUR: And what about comedy? Obviously, you are burnt into everybody's minds with "Seinfeld," with "Veep." Any more -- what is it that you like

about comedy? Because you're obviously taking to this other stuff, like a duck to water. I mean, you know, you're not typecast. But you are so good

at the other as well. What do you like about it?

LOUIS-DREYFUS: Well, what's not to like? I mean, there's -- it's so -- it's such an elevated experience to hear people laugh. And I -- it's a

blessing, really. And so -- and it's something I've sort of, in my career, have sort of fallen into. These are the -- most of the jobs I've gotten in

my career have been comedic.

So, I love doing comedy. But having said that, I love doing drama, and they're related on so -- in so many ways. And I'm -- I -- what I really

like is trying new things and trying -- and sinking my teeth into material that's unfamiliar and challenging and artistically satisfying. So, that's

what I'm looking for. I don't want to do anything derivative. And certainly, this film is not that.

AMANPOUR: No, it's not. And I just -- talking about new things, I hear that you have been selected or invited as a number of prominent comedians

going to visit the Pope. What do you think you'll -- what do you think he wants to know?

LOUIS-DREYFUS: You know what, honestly, I have no idea. I have no idea what this is going to be like. And if you know, tell me. Because I don't --

but, you know, the pope wants to meet, I'm like, sure. Let's see what this is going to be about. I'm interested.

AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, there's a drama in there somewhere. And Daina O. Pusic, finally, what's next on your agenda? I mean, this was -- you know,

this was a particular drama. What's next?

PUSIC: Make another one.


PUSIC: Hopefully, if they let me. That's -- yes.

AMANPOUR: All right. Well, that's a good way to end. Daina O. Pusic, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, thank you so much, indeed.


PUSIC: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: And we had that conversation earlier this week, just ahead of when the film comes out, which is tomorrow.

We turn next to someone who spent his career reporting on death and darkness around the world. And yet, in his new memoir, New York Times

columnist Nicholas Kristof says he is chasing hope. He speaks to Walter Isaacson about that, and the people that he's met along the way who help

him to remain optimistic.


WALTER ISAACSON, CO-HOST, AMANPOUR AND CO.: Thank you, Christiane. And Nick Kristof, welcome back to the show.


ISAACSON: For 40 years you've been covering everything from sex trafficking to child health issues and genocide and yet you got this new

memoir out and you say chasing hope. What do you mean by the chasing hope?

KRISTOF: So, you know, people meet me for the first time because I've been covering all these grim topics, they always expect I'm going to be this

dour pessimist. But the truth is that the backdrop that we don't always acknowledge in journalism is an extraordinary improvement in the human

condition around the world. You know, fewer kids dying, fewer people malnourished, fewer people disabled by disease, more people literate, women

more empowered.

And also, I think at the same time, you know, you side by side with the worst of humanity, Walter, you invariably find the very best. You find

people of just amazing courage, strength, resilience, who have left me utterly inspired about our capacity to still take on all these very real

challenges around us.

ISAACSON: Your journalism has had a crusading aspect without necessarily being partisan or political or even ideological. And in some ways, I see

your journalism as in the tradition of a hundred years ago with Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair. Are those the models for you?

KRISTOF: Yes, I think that's exactly right. It's not so much trying to change people's views about issues that are on the agenda, but rather

trying to cover issues that are off the agenda and thereby, project them onto the agenda in ways that will lead them to be resolved.

And, you know, I think that mimics changes in the way history has unfolded. That we used to think of history as what kings did. And then there was

this, you know, revolution in history writing. So, it was about what happened to societies, to women, to kids, et cetera. And I think, likewise,

that journalism needs to be a little less about what presidents did yesterday, and more about the broad changes happening in society, and

including those left behind.

ISAACSON: You made your name in some ways by covering Tiananmen Square, by rushing into it when you were there for "The New York Times." And yet, I

read in your book, there was an interesting thing that you say, one of the things I learned is that victims sometimes lie. Walk me through how you got

that realization.


KRISTOF: So, I was on Tiananmen Square that night when troops opened fire, and I knew that they had slaughtered unarmed protesters, but I also knew,

for example, that they had not sent tanks through the tents with a lot of students inside them, that the Tiananmen Square had not been knee-deep in

blood et cetera, and that -- and I had been very careful to get figures from each of the hospitals about how many people had died, my estimate was

400 to 800 people dying in Beijing.

And then, in the days after, there were all this talk about, you know, tens of thousands of people dying at Tiananmen and the Square being knee-deep in

blood. And, you know, I realized that we in journalism, it's intuitive of us to be skeptical and to challenge accounts by perpetrators of massacres

by dictators.

But it's also, I think, natural for us to be sympathetic and less skeptical of victims. But victims exaggerate, they lie. And when you have suffered

terribly, you're incentivized to say that, you know, something you heard about that you actually witnessed it. And one of the things that I learned

from that terrible night is that it's important for us as journalists, if we care deeply about getting the truth to actually, you know, be as

skeptical of victims as we are perpetrators.

ISAACSON: When you covered Darfur, you got in there, I think, using United Airlines mileage card. You kind of snuck in, broke the rules, and it

actually started a global movement to focus on the atrocities that were happening in Darfur. How did you learn about those and how did you decide

to embrace that as a sort of journalistic cause?

KRISTOF: So, a lot of what I have done has really been about serendipity. You know, I made one trip in which I saw this, you know, horrible sex

trafficking and then that led me to more coverage of it. And likewise, I may -- I'd heard rumors about atrocities in Darfur. I didn't know if they

were true.

I made one trip to the Chad-Sudan border where I was able to interview refugees who described what had happened, who described villages being

destroyed, bodies thrown into wells, so those villages would become uninhabitable, you know, met a four-year-old girl who carried her baby

sister eight days to get there after her parents had been killed. And I was horrified. And you can't just go back to your family and hug your kids and

then just forget about what happened. It haunts you.

And so, the way we fight back is with our laptops and our cameras, but that means going back and getting more stories and trying to figure out what

can, you know, make -- can spill people's coffee in the morning and get them to call their member of Congress or call the White House. And so, that

meant trying to sneak into Darfur.

And it did become kind of an obsession with me that, you know, the more victims I met, the more I actually saw firsthand those villages. It just --

it did become something of an obsession.

ISAACSON: And one of the things you do is you personalize, in other words, an atrocity in Darfur is a concept and people can't get, but if you meet

one or two people and they become very personal, you can relate to it. Explain to me the role of personalizing a tragedy like that.

KRISTOF: Yes, then -- and frankly, that came out of a frustration that my early reporting about Darfur just did not seem terribly effective. And in

particular, at that time, in New York City, there were these two hawks, these two red tailed hawks who had been nesting in a building and then

they're -- the building pushed them out of the -- broke -- took apart their nests because they didn't like the bird droppings. And all New York City

was up in arms about these two homeless hawks. And I thought, how is it that I can't generate the same outrage about hundreds of thousands of

people being slaughtered?

And so, that led me to the work in social psychology and neuroscience about what makes people care. And it turns out it's basically about two things,

it's about individual stories, it's an emotional connection, not a rational one. And secondly, it's about some possibility that if people do care about

it, there can be a better outcome.

And I think these are things we journalists do wrong. We talk about millions of people suffering from some crisis and we often focus so much on

all that is going wrong that we don't acknowledge the possibility of better outcomes.


And so, I've since then really tried to tell individual stories and likewise, to look at this backdrop of progress just so that, look, we can

do better. And if people do get engaged, we can save lives.

ISAACSON: One of the things I love about your journalism is that in an era of hot takes, when everybody's got to be a hero or villain and know exactly

which side they're on, you're often conflicted and you lay out the reasons you're conflicted. And recently, it's been on the Gaza-Israel war front.

And you say that sometimes a just war can turn unjust. Tell me, do you think that's what's happened now, that the Israeli war in Gaza has become


KRISTOF: That's exactly what I think. I think that on October 7th, Israel had every right to use military means to go after Hamas. And indeed, not

just they're right to go after Hamas, but really an obligation to do so, to re-establish deterrence, which I think had had failed. But that did not

mean using 2,000-pound bombs to destroy entire neighborhoods in Gaza. That did not mean cutting off the flow of food in particular, and, you know,

things like birthing kits, because birthing kits have little tiny scissors in them to cut a umbilical cord.

And I think then the U.S. became complicit in that brutality in Gaza because President Biden was too slow to use the leverage that we had, which

was essentially protecting Israel and the U.N. and shipping offensive weapons to Israel. So, you know, there's no doubt about the horror of

October 7th, but I think there's also no doubt about the horror of what followed.

And while I don't believe that there is a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, I do believe that there is a moral equivalence between the

children of Israel and the children of Gaza, and I think we've neglected that.

ISAACSON: You covered the horrors of Darfur. And you became a fan of Senator Joe Biden then, because he was a person of compassion. But you say,

I wonder, where has Joe -- that Joe Biden gone? Gaza's become the albatross around Biden's neck. It'll be part of his legacy, an element of his

obituary, a blot on his campaign.

What are you driving at, that Joe Biden has lost the compassion that he had before when it comes to Gaza?

KRISTOF: I don't think that he's lost his compassion. I think that's actually deep within him. And he also showed it during the Bosnia genocide.

But I think that he has just preternaturally -- I think it's in his DNA to side with Israel whenever there is some kind of a conflict. I think he is

of an age of a generation where he thinks of Israel as enormously fragile and vulnerable. And I had -- just rushes to embrace its leader, and I think

that has made him too slow and using the leverage that we have, such as the flow of weapons to pressure Israel to do what he's asked it to do from the


So, you know, Biden was, I think, very good right from his first trip to Israel to call on Israel, to show restraint to remind Israel that the U.S.

made mistakes after 9/11 in ways that did not advance their own security. But when Netanyahu rebuffed him and ignored him, then at that point, I

think Biden was way too slow to create consequences and to use that leverage. And diplomacy, as you know, is not just about making requests,

it's also about twisting arms. Biden has been unwilling to do that. And I think that is what has made -- has aggravated the crisis in Gaza and led to

our own complicity in that -- in those results.

ISAACSON: You've written about, you know, your father's example is a refugee seeking asylum here. And yet, recently, I've noticed that you've

turned against having borders that would allow a lot of asylum. You've supported Joe Biden's new rule cracking down on the borders. How tough was

it for you to wrestle with that?

KRISTOF: You know, it's a little, hard for the son of a refugee who benefited from America's generosity toward refugees to feel a little bit

like you're pulling up the ladder after you're here. But I think that the - - what was going on with the asylum system in the U.S. was unsustainable, both in the U.S. and in Europe. It laid the groundwork for extreme right-

wing populists who are bad for refugees, for asylum seekers, for absolutely everybody.


And I think another thing that shaped my thinking was coming from Rural Oregon, Yamhill, Oregon, a working-class area. It was evident that, you

know, there are costs to rising immigration and those who struggle are those who are high school dropouts, or certainly who haven't got to

college, who are competing with immigrant laborers. And there -- these are folks who have already suffered enormously, and we need to be careful about

inflicting more damage on them.

So, for that kind of combination of reasons, I thought that it was important to back Biden in trying to bring back some order to the asylum


ISAACSON: I'm going to read you a sentence in the book that struck me. In a way that I had never imagined at the beginning of my career, I now felt

that reporting on international crises helped me better understand my own country and the risks it faced.

Tell me what it helped you understand what risks are we facing?

KRISTOF: I think that comes partly out of the struggles of my own community in Rural Oregon, which, like a lot of working-class communities

around the country, lost jobs. Then, meth arrived. At this point, more than a third of the kids in my old school bus are gone from drugs, alcohol, and

suicide. That led to a deep hostility to what people would call elites, to conspiracy theories.

A lot of, you know, my friends didn't want to get vaccinated. They became prone to demagogues, to people pointing towards scapegoats. A couple of

friends have talked about taking up arms to get their country back. And I've seen in other countries how things can fall apart and become unglued

when there are scapegoats, when people feel disenfranchised and dispossessed. And in Europe, we've seen how the extreme right, a bigoted

extreme right can gain ground remarkably quickly.

ISAACSON: But let's focus on Oregon and Yamhill, Oregon, which is where you now live. That's a striking thing, that one third of the kids you rode

the school bus with have died of either suicide, depression or drug overdoses or addiction. And that's tied in to the -- both mistrust of the

elites and the populist backlash. Most journalists in America are out of touch with things like that.

Why is it that this is not better understood? And we don't even seem to have a good language to write about it.

KRISTOF: I think that -- look, I spent a lot of time in Iraq and Afghanistan covering those wars, and they were important to cover. But

every two and a half weeks, we lose more Americans to drugs, alcohol, and suicide than we lost in 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I

don't think that we in journalism, I don't think our elective leaders, I don't think the public has come to grips with the pain across the country

in so many homes, the devastation, in so many communities, nor have we devoted the resources to try to get these places back on their feet.

And so, when people feel neglected and ignored, and in some cases betrayed, they're not entirely wrong. And if we are going to heal the divisions and

address these conspiracy theories and make this soil less fertile for demagogues, then we also have to address that broader opportunity gap.

And I think there's some -- you know, people think this is just the white working-class. I think that it was initially most obvious in the white

working-class. But increasingly, we've seen people of color, likewise -- working-class people of color, likewise feeling the same sense of betrayal

and neglect. And this is fundamentally, I think, about lack of opportunity. And I think we can do a lot better.

Education, I think, is the best antidote to this. If we try to figure out how people can become competitive, you know, we've got to do a better job

educating, giving them a skill set so they can compete in the 21st century. And when one in seven kids still doesn't graduate from high school, we are

failing them. We fail them before they fail us.

ISAACSON: Nick Kristof, thank you so much for joining us.

KRISTOF: Good to be with you, Walter.


AMANPOUR: And finally, tonight, a horsey homecoming. After nearly two centuries, wild horses have been reintroduced to their natural habitat on

the grassy plains of Kazakhstan.


Czech military aircraft airlifted the endangered animals all the way from Prague and Berlin, where they'd been living in zoos. Of course, inflight

meals were provided, and they received a warm welcome. It's not just the horses that benefit, their grazing also helps to prevent the spread of

nonnative plants and fires in those planes. So, it's win-win.

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 can always

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

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.