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Piers Morgan Live

Interview with Rob Reiner; Interview with Amanda Peet; Interview with Carson Daly; Rita Wilson Discusses New Album, Family and Marriage With Tom Hanks

Aired May 11, 2012 - 21:00   ET




PIERS MORGAN: Tonight, fame, fortune and the fight for the White House. I'll take you inside George Clooney's record $15 million fund- raiser for the president. I'll ask top director Rob Reiner in an exclusive interview what happens when Hollywood's heavyweights play politics. He was at the party.

Also, mothering or smothering, the battle of the breast-feeding really big kids. I talked to actress and momma, Amanda Peet, about extreme parenting and her controversial mission to have every child vaccinated.

Plus, fatherhood and fame with Carson Daly.


CARSON DALY, TV HOST: We're in church every Sunday because we have a lot to be thankful for and we know that.


MORGAN: From "The Voice" to "Last Call", I'll ask him about his faith, his family and all those supposed wild nights.

Also, Rita Wilson, Hollywood royalty and the better half of that guy, Tom Hanks.

And only in America, the family Jacksons, brothers reunited and divided over Michael's killer and a mother grieving her son's death.


MORGAN: Will you ever get over this?

KATHERINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOTHER: Never. Every morning, every -- all through the day, I think about Michael. I just miss him.




MORGAN: Good evening.

We begin with our big story and the bruising battle for the White House. It's not just the votes that count, it's the money.

President Obama and Mitt Romney could spend billions by November.

Since announcing his support for same-sex marriage, President Obama has raised at least $20 million, $15 million of which came from that big party in Hollywood last night hosted by George Clooney.

Director and actor Rob Reiner was among the select few invited.

Tonight, he joins me for an exclusive interview.

Rob, what was it like?

REINER: It was a great evening. I mean, what was wonderful about it is that even though we had raised that, you know, you -- you mentioned $15 million, about two thirds of that money came from small donors.

There were about 15 tables. And they had a -- like a raffle, and if you -- you know, were lucky enough to win a ticket, you got to come to the -- to the event. And the winners, which was a couple from Florida, sat at our table. So it was pretty cool.

And -- and the president kind of moved from table to table. Now, like I said, there were 15 tables. He moved from one table to the next. And so, everybody in the -- in the room got a chance to talk with him.

MORGAN: And there are lots of people sort of moaning in Hollywood that Hollywood has lost its love for President Obama. They feel a bit disillusioned.

Did the stand he took over gay marriage, do you think, get him right back into the Hollywood firmament in one big hit?

REINER: Well, I think there was -- there has been a lot of enthusiasm for President Obama before his position on marriage equality. But it certainly made things even more enthusiastic.

I mean, what it's -- what I noticed and we look around the room and we look around our -- our party, we are a party of inclusivity. And this just makes it even more so.

So what he was saying with that position is that we are all -- we are all equal. This is about equal rights. And we're all equal. And I think it did energize the -- the Hollywood community and the whole -- the whole party even more.

MORGAN: Critics of this event say, look, the president shouldn't be hobnobbing with celebrities in Hollywood. You know, you've got more than 8 percent of the country unemployed. It's the economy that matters, not him rallying money from his celebrity mates.

What do you say to that?

REINER: Well, I mean, I would say that it's -- if the other side decides that they're not going to spend any money on the campaign, then I would say that he probably shouldn't go look for places to raise money. But we know that's not the case.

So everybody has to compete. We -- both sides have to compete. And, you know, one of the places that -- that the Democrats have traditionally found as a place to raise money is in Hollywood.

MORGAN: You directed "The American President," of course, a terrific movie. You've been critical of President Obama.

How do you think he's done?

If you're -- if you're putting an overview on his performance so far, how do you think he's done?

REINER: I think he's done remarkably well. I mean initially, as, you know, people know that I was a Hillary supporter during the primaries. Once we had a nomination -- a nominee in president and -- eventually President Obama, I was supportive.

But I must say that as the -- as his administration has progressed, I have become more and more impressed with how he's handled things.

I mean, first of all, he took on the worst economy since the Great Depression. Nobody expected it to turn around overnight and things are moving in the right direction.

And secondly, and something that we couldn't possibly have imagined, we understand that there's been tremendous partisanship in Washington. There's been gridlock. But the extent, the -- of that gridlock has been unprecedented.

And so, given what he's had to face, the intractability of the other side. I think he's done a remarkable job. I mean, all you have to do is say, you know, bin Laden's dead and G.M. is alive and know -- to know that Obama has done a very good job.

MORGAN: Finally, Rob, you're obviously a movie man. George Clooney put on the event at his house last night. Whenever I see George Clooney, I always get a sneaking feeling that we may one day be considering him as a serious candidate for president.

What do you think?

REINER: Well, I don't know what his thoughts about that are, but I knew -- I don't know that if he ever decides to run for elected office, he'd be terrific. I mean, he is obviously very articulate, knowledgeable. He is very passionate about issues and he does walk the walk. I mean, you saw what happened in his being arrested with his father in Washington.

He has been a very deep and caring person when it comes to the issues. So like I say, he's very articulate. He's not too ugly to look at. And I think he'd do very well. I don't know that he's interested in running for public office, but if he decided to do so, I think he'd -- he'd do very well.

MORGAN: I've got a sneaking feeling that he will one day.

Anyway, Rob, thank you for joining me.

Your new movie, "The Magic of Belle Isle," starring Morgan Freeman, one of my favorite movie stars, is out on Video-On-Demand June the 1st and in theaters nationwide on July the 6th.

Rob Reiner, thank you very much.

REINER: Thank you so much for having me.

MORGAN: And now to our other big story, extreme parenting. The very provocative cover of "TIME" magazine showing a 26-year-old mother proudly breastfeeding her 3-year-old son as part of the attachment parenting craze that is apparently sweeping the nation, as is having the entire family sleeping in one bed.

Now, many people say it's the right thing to do. Others, like me, think it's ridiculous and will lead to inevitable dysfunction down the road.

So is it mothering or is it smothering?

Well, joining me now is the perfect person to ask, Amanda Peet. She's an actress, the mother of two young children, ambassador to the U.N.'s Shot@Life campaign for vaccinations.

Amanda, welcome.

AMANDA PEET, ACTRESS: Thank you so much. How are you?

MORGAN: Are you a mother or a smotherer?


PEET: I hope I'm not a smotherer, but you'll have to ask my children in a few years, I guess.

MORGAN: So, look, what did you think of this?

I mean, it's a very provocative cover. I -- my wife gave birth to a little girl six months ago, her first baby. And she breast --

PEET: Oh, sweet. Mazel tov.

MORGAN: Yes, but she's just starting to sort of wane off the breastfeeding and she finds it very difficult. So I can understand that lots of women develop these amazingly emotional bonds with their young babies. And it is hard to stop.

But you do have to stop at some stage. I mean, a 3-year-old boy suckling on his mother's breast, it's ridiculous, isn't it?

PEET: You know, I think it's best to leave these decisions up to the individual mom. And it would be good of we didn't get overly zealous about these things, I think, parenting techniques and what-have-you.

MORGAN: I know, but look, sometimes you have to step in. I mean, this kid -- what's he going to be like at school, the poor little mite?

I mean this --

PEET: Well, if it were this easy --


PEET: -- to keep the children from being dysfunctional, don't you think we would all do it?

If there were some recipe that would make all of our children really sane and civic-minded and hugely intelligent, I think we'd probably all do it. But I don't know that there is a recipe for creating that.

I do know that I think children should be vaccinated because that affects the health of all the other children.

MORGAN: Right. Now you are an ambassador to the U.N.'s Foundation Shot@Life campaign. Tell me about this.

Why are you so fixated on people getting vaccinations for their kids?

PEET: Well, the U.N. Foundation came together with Every Child by Two to start raising awareness and funds for vaccination campaigns in developing countries -- which I do think is, you know, one of the great medical interventions of our time. And I, for one, want to be on the right side of history. And we're so close to being able to eradicate some of these diseases, especially polio.

The door is just -- it's wide open and I just want to be able to know that I helped try to shut it.

MORGAN: Now, I've noticed that having had children both in Britain and then America, there are many more vaccinations that you go through in this country in a much shorter period of time. And I don't know enough about it, really, to say whether that is necessarily a better thing or a worse thing. But I'm happy to go along with good doctors' advice on this.

How do you feel about parents like Jenny McCarthy, who have talked publicly, you know, trying to link vaccinations with possible autism and so on? I mean, do you feel these are dangerous statements by celebrities when they say that kind of thing?

PEET: You know, if you look at the data and the science behind these studies, it seems fairly clear that vaccines are very safe. And I think, you know, I, for one, am happy to listen to the U.N. and GAVI and the CDC and the WHO. And mothers shouldn't have to walk 15 miles in order to get their child vaccinated for measles.

MORGAN: Yes. And I think it's a very important thing. And I think these vaccinations are vitally important, not just to, you know, Third World countries, where, obviously, they can save millions of lives, but also in countries like America, where a lot of ignorance means people don't do them for their kids. I think it's ridiculous.

Let's turn to another great invention of our times, George Clooney, your acting buddy. You weren't at the big party last night.

What happened? You didn't get invited?


PEET: I'm really upset about it.


MORGAN: Are you on the same political side as Mr. Clooney?

PEET: I think probably in most things, yes. I don't -- I don't know --


PEET: -- I don't know all of his -- his political aspirations. But, yes, I love -- I love George Clooney and I'm a fan of President Obama.

MORGAN: Yes, will you be voting for Mr. Obama come November?

PEET: You betcha.


MORGAN: Finally, Amanda, how are you spending Mother's Day?

PEET: Well, on Mother's Day, I will be with my mother and my mother- in-law. And I don't know if there are that many women who can say that.

MORGAN: You are a brave woman and I wish you all the very best with that one.



MORGAN: Amanda, it's been a real pleasure.

PEET: Thank you so much.

Next, a father's point of view on this attachment parenting. The voice is Carson Daly. Let's hear some of what he thinks.



DALY: I want to talk about your ability to express opinions on CNN. It's not predictable and it's one of the things I find so interesting about you. I don't know where you're going to come from. And when you do, it's tactful and it's usually -- I usually end up agreeing with it.


MORGAN: That is Carson Daly grilling me --

DALY: Right.

MORGAN: -- which is the wrong way around, really.

Carson is in his 15th year of television. And what better way for the host of "The Voice" and "Last Call with Carson Daly" to celebrate this momentous occasion than joining me on my show.

DALY: That's the moment I fell in love with you, Piers -- right there.


DALY: That was it.

MORGAN: I was -- I'm -- let me say this about you off the top. I was very, not pleasantly surprised -- surprised in a good way about what a good interviewer you were.

DALY: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

MORGAN: I had --

DALY: I mean from you, that's quite the compliment.

MORGAN: Yes, but I haven't really seen enough of your interviews, but I have --

DALY: NBC has me on in the middle of the night interviewing --

MORGAN: Yes, you were --

DALY: -- celebrities.

MORGAN: -- you're on when I'm asleep.

DALY: Right. I entertain --

MORGAN: But you're --

DALY: -- America when they're fast asleep.

MORGAN: But you're a good interviewer. DALY: Well, thank you.

MORGAN: You were well-researched. You were probing. I thought you had a keen interest in your subject, even if maybe you had to create one.

DALY: Right.

MORGAN: But it was -- it was an impressive thing. You -- do you like doing the interviews?

DALY: I do. I like -- our late night show now has evolved in the last 10 years, where now I'm influenced by longer story-telling, you know, Charlie Rose, Mike Wallace, those sorts of interviews now. And I think we have a boutique late night show that comes on after "Leno," after "Fallon." And we're different now.

And I get to have the subjects that I have a personal sort of stake in. So that makes the interview process, for me, a little bit easier and a lot more fun.

So -- and I'm a big fan of yours, so it was great to you have you come in.

MORGAN: Yes, well, I -- I really enjoyed it.

We're going to come to "The Voice" a little later, because you just had finale this week.

DALY: Yes.

MORGAN: A huge success, I think better than Simon Cowell, which is always very pleasing for everybody.


MORGAN: I can't (ph) interview Simon to taunt him.

Let's talk about this "Time" magazine cover. You're --

DALY: Yes.

MORGAN: -- you're a father of one. You have another one on the way.

DALY: Yes.

MORGAN: You've got a 3-year-old boy, right?

DALY: Yes, sir.

MORGAN: What do you think, when you see a 3-year-old boy suckling on his mama's breast --

DALY: Yes.

MORGAN: -- on the cover of "TIME" magazine. What was your honest gut reaction?

DALY: My first reaction was that -- that must be like a European cover version of "TIME." I didn't think it was -- I didn't think it was real when I first saw it, because it was a bit of -- it was a bit shocking.

The kid's on a -- on a stool like he's going to the cookie jar.


DALY: He's put in a position doing something as if he shouldn't be doing it.


DALY: I don't think that's actually how she breastfeeds him at three, but --

MORGAN: But don't you feel like the --

DALY: -- the picture is a little polarizing.

MORGAN: Don't you just feel deeply uncomfortable looking at that picture?

DALY: Not deeply, because she's so attractive. But like --


MORGAN: That's it exactly.

DALY: Uncomfortable.

MORGAN: That's my point.

DALY: Uncomfortable.

MORGAN: That's what we think as guys looking at it.

DALY: Right.

MORGAN: That's so wrong.

DALY: I agree. I agree.

MORGAN: And that kid, you know, he's nearly 4 apparently.

DALY: Listen, you don't --

MORGAN: Doesn't he go to school?

DALY: -- you don't get in the business of telling moms what to do, number one.

Number two, I --

MORGAN: Yes, but is it --

DALY: -- I understand what you're saying, though, that the photo -- it's a heck of a photo.

MORGAN: You're the second guest tonight to say you don't tell moms what to do. I don't agree. I think broadly speaking, that's true. But when you see moms doing that and you also hear stories about, you know, kids staying in their parents' beds until they're 6, 7, 8 --

DALY: Right.

MORGAN: -- years old --

DALY: Right.

MORGAN: -- somebody has to say something.

DALY: Well, 6, 7, 8 is getting up there. I couldn't wait to kick Jack out of my bed. When my son got into my house, he just started taking -- he took everything from me. He took my woman.


DALY: He took -- he took my bed.

MORGAN: Your sleep.

DALY: My sleep. He -- so I wanted Jackson out of the room quickly.

MORGAN: There has to be limits, doesn't there?

DALY: Yes. I mean, I don't think you should, you know, go into like first grade and pull out your kid at lunch and -- and breastfeed him. That's -- you know, there is a line somewhere. Be careful where you draw that, but --

MORGAN: Who draws it?


MORGAN: Have we got any right --

DALY: Moms, parents.

MORGAN: -- to tell that mom --

DALY: No, I don't think so.

MORGAN: -- at cover of "TIME" how to -- how to look after her kids?

DALY: No, I don't think so. I'm not going to -- I don't. I think you make your comment and you say, hey, you know, it looks a little strange.

MORGAN: As a former newspaper editor, I've got to say, I thought it was a brilliant cover. I mean, it's got the whole of America talking. DALY: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: It's a fascinating issue. And I applaud them for it. I think it's --

DALY: America is squeamish about attachment parenting beyond babyhood. And if this article is trying to speak to those issues -- and she was on the "Today" show this morning saying I get it, I get why the media is so crazed about this photo. She said Jamie Lynne, the cover mom, said that's not how I actually breastfeed my kid. We do it in a more coddling way at home in a very private setting on the couch. He doesn't, you know, stand up on a stool.

But the photo is distracting from the issue, maybe, a little bit. But --

MORGAN: Let's move to the other big issue of the week.

DALY: All right, let's do it.

MORGAN: Gay marriage.

DALY: Yes.

MORGAN: Were you pleased?

DALY: Yes, very pleased. I was on with my -- I said on my radio show I was very pleased with the president. Long overdue. I thought it was bold.

MORGAN: What do you think it will do to the debate? I mean, California, you still can't legally have a gay marriage.

Do you think --

DALY: I don't know.

MORGAN: -- that this is going to force the pace or could it actually create more resistance in a certain sense?

DALY: I think you -- I think if you -- if you feel this way on the issue for same-sex marriage, you have to applaud the president for his -- for his bravery in coming out with his personal opinion, right, and stay there.

Then the next question is, is it enough?

And that gets into a whole other dialogue that I'm not educated to speak on. But you certainly can understand that, you know, legislation would be next.

MORGAN: You study theology?

DALY: Yes.

MORGAN: You nearly became a priest -- DALY: Well, I --

MORGAN: How close were you?

DALY: I considered it. Piers, I considered it to the point where I'm -- I -- faith is important to me. I don't speak about my faith too much in public. It's -- it's my own.

My family, we're in church every Sunday because we have a lot to be thankful for and we know that. And we look at the world and what we have in comparison to the world and I feel the need to give thanks for that. And that's what drives me in my spirituality.

But I had come to a place in -- in high school. My father was in the seminary. Or all -- yes, he did -- he did go to the seminary.

I came to a place where I recognized that people who are willing to give up money, take an oath of poverty and celibacy in the name of service to others was something that I could relate to. And I'm cut from that cloth.

And had I felt the calling, I am of that order that I could do that, because I -- there's nothing more commendable, to me, than when human beings make a sacrifice for others.

And to me, the order was that. That's why I love the military so much and I support the troops so much.

MORGAN: But, see, don't take this the wrong way, Carson --

DALY: Yes?

MORGAN: -- but the words Carson Daly and celibacy aren't --


MORGAN: -- aren't ringing that easily in my head.

DALY: It didn't go down that -- it didn't go down that path.

MORGAN: Not your current behavioral pattern, but certainly it goes back --

DALY: That was years ago.

MORGAN: -- it goes back into your early rock and roll years in Hollywood.

DALY: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: You were a bit of a naughty boy.

DALY: Not really. No, not at the end of the day. I --

MORGAN: A reasonably naughty boy? DALY: No, I -- listen, I worked hard and, you know, I dropped out of college and I ended up, you know, broke and living in six cities in California and working in music. But no, I was always sort of cursed with morals. I wish I didn't have them. I wish I had more --

MORGAN: I love that saying, cursed with morals.

DALY: Oh, yes. No, I really could have taken advantage of my -- now, don't feel sorry for me, but I was raised, I think, properly. So -- and I'm proud of that now.

MORGAN: Let's take a short break. I want to come back and talk to you about "The Voice."

DALY: Thank God. I mean you're really --

MORGAN: I don't (INAUDIBLE) we're coming back to your cursed morals and probably your lack of celibacy.


DALY: You know too much.



DALY: Front and center where you belong. No more background for you. How are you feeling? Congratulations. You did it, man. You did it.


DALY: What's going on in your mind?

PAUL: I want to say thank you to everybody that voted for me. All the years I put in, my wife, my children.


MORGAN: Jermaine Paul winning season two of NBC's mega hit, "The Voice," which pulled in over 12 million viewers.

Back with me now is the host of that smash hit show, Carson Daly.

I've done talent shows.

DALY: You have, yes.

MORGAN: And you've been on various sides of this. You're now doing a pure talent show. But, obviously, in your previous incarnation, MTV, you created many stars on that show.

So I can't think of anyone better, really, to put all these in perspective.

What do you feel when you -- when you host a show like "The Voice?" How attached do you get to creating a bona fide star?

DALY: Very, very attached. And in -- in my case, I've been lucky enough, through NBC and also Mark Burnett Productions -- to be included. They've offered me a chair at the -- at the creative session to put a show like "The Voice" on NBC. So I have a say on both sides of the, the camera, if you will. And it's important for me.

None of us were really excited about doing the show and it create -- in a crowded landscape of lots of these musical competition shows. But NBC had such a commitment to make good quality family television. Mark Burnett makes cinematic television. We had a good spin on it. It was a heightened version of what we're already working here in the States and we're proud of it.

MORGAN: And very good casting, I thought.

DALY: Excellent.

MORGAN: I thought the casting of the judges on "The Voice" was really good.

DALY: Because we had no idea. We had no idea. I mean me and Ceelo and Christina and Adam all knew each other pretty well. Nobody knew Blake Shelton. He, arguably, has gotten the biggest bounce from the show.


DALY: The kid is a star.

MORGAN: Yes, yes, yes.

DALY: He's a movie star, really. And very funny.

MORGAN: But to me, there's more honesty than there is on something like "Idol" now. You know, I saw Howard Stern. He's obviously replaced me on "America's Got Talent." It starts next week.

DALY: Right.

MORGAN: But he was saying that, you know, he doesn't really like "Idol" because they're all too nice, the judges.

There is -- there is a slight element of that when I watch it.

But I think on "The Voice," there's enough of an edge now. They're all very good singers, which gives it a different feel anyway, so you don't have all the train wrecks. But at the same time, you do need to be --

DALY: Right.

MORGAN: -- what I would call constructively critical.

DALY: Two things. We didn't want to start a show that -- that made fun of somebody's pursuit of their dream. We didn't -- that's just not what "The Voice" -- we didn't want to do that. We already wanted to start with really, really good talent.

Finding singers who are terrible and finding the good ones from that, that journey is not that difficult. Starting your journey with really good singers and finding the few that are great, that's difficult. And that's where "The Voice" lives, in that area.

And if you ask most of the artists that come on our show who are serious about trying to make it in music, they want the constructive criticism.

If everybody says you're wonderful, you're wonderful and they walk out, they're like, well, what the heck did I just do? I have four of the biggest stars in music and they couldn't give me one bit of advice.

MORGAN: Yes, yes, yes.

DALY: You know, off-camera, I ask you about your interview. I mean, that's -- we all want to learn and grow and our artists do and our coaches, you're right, I think they did a good job this year of being warm and welcoming, but also offering their honest opinions.

MORGAN: I also think you just could -- you just shouldn't be in a position where you feel compelled to give somebody a false hope. That's what I always felt.

DALY: We're really proud of the show. We had a great second season and I'm so lucky to be on that show. It's like --

MORGAN: Life is good for you at the moment, isn't it?

DALY: It is. I feel very blessed in a lot of ways, yes.

MORGAN: I look at what's happened during your career. You're suddenly in this smash hit show and you've got your daily show. I mean, personally, you've probably, I would imagine, never been happier, right?

DALY: I've never been happier ever.

MORGAN: You found the right woman for you.

DALY: Yes.

MORGAN: You've got -- expecting a second child and so on.

DALY: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: What have you learned about yourself on this crazy show biz roll you've been on?

DALY: Just how proud I am of myself, really, Piers. No, I'm kidding.

(LAUGHTER) DALY: No, that's --

MORGAN: We're all proud of you, Carson.

DALY: You know, honestly, you know, I -- I thank my parents for just kind of putting a -- you know, a good head on my shoulders, you know? I just feel very lucky.

MORGAN: What did they tell you? What were the values they wanted you to have?

DALY: You know the best thing about it, when I was -- I lost my father when I was 5 years old.


DALY: He died of cancer.

My mom remarried shortly after to an entrepreneur, an Italian, Richard Caruso. He came into the house. We called him Richie. He wasn't dad for a while. He had to earn that, me and my sister.

So I'm 8, my sister is 12. And I hear footsteps going down my hallway early in the morning, 6:00 in the morning. Come to find out, that's my father, my stepfather. He's my dad now. That's him going to work.

And he worked his ass off all day every day, the work ethic. I wake up and do a radio show and I'm out of my house at 4:30 every morning.

And I hope that Jackson, my son, while he's sleeping, just hears my footsteps because if I can pass a little bit of the work ethic, don't be afraid to work -- it doesn't matter what you do, entertainment or otherwise, don't be afraid to work. Be thankful for what you have. And take care of your family.

That's what's important to me.

MORGAN: And long before iPhones came along, you chose a woman whose name is Siri.

DALY: I know. Can you believe that?

MORGAN: You asked Siri every day, presumably.

DALY: It's unbelievable. Nobody knew her name before. It's Siri. And then you say? Siri. What is that? Now it's on the iPhone.

MORGAN: She's got the coolest name in America.

DALY: She's the best.

MORGAN: What is the next big ambition for you?

DALY: Gosh, you know, I'm -- I don't take anything for granted. So my thing now is I'm -- I just want to -- I want to continue to work and save and provide for my family. I think about I've got another one coming. And I just -- I'm always nervous about losing my job. I'm just of that nature.

MORGAN: Do you have the empire building ambition of someone like Ryan Seacrest, who you've often been compared with?

DALY: No, I don't look at it as empire. I look at as just employment. You know, I want to keep my feet rooted in the real world and literally just earn and save. Obviously you want to brand build and you want to be smart. Ryan and I are different in those regards. Our sensibilities are very different.

I don't like the Kardashian show, personally. It's not for me. I love "Sons of Anarchy."

MORGAN: You don't buy into the purity of the Kardashian lifestyle?

DALY: That's not the kind of show I would like to produce, personally. I would like to create a scripted show like "Homeland" or "Glee" I think is a great music based show for a network..

MORGAN: What do you think of Britney Spears joining the "X Factor"?

DALY: I think -- I'm excited.

MORGAN: One of your old star acts you created.

DALY: I think it's -- I created Britney in the basement in O-Town. Anyway, I'm excited. I'm excited to see what she's going to be like. You know, we haven't really seen Britney -- we haven't seen her communicate mass media in quite some time, because of the conservatorship and various things that she's been through rebuilding her life.

You're -- these shows -- you know -- when you get in the live scenarios you can't hide and edit it.

MORGAN: Britney Spears live and uncensored could be compelling television, whatever happens.

DALY: We'll see. We'll see.

MORGAN: Maybe not as compelling as "The Voice."

DALY: I really like "The Voice." I'm really proud of that show.

MORGAN: So you should be.

DALY: That's where my money is.

MORGAN: It's a great show. Carson, great to see you.

DALY: Sure. What a pleasure. Thank you so much.

MORGAN: Thanks for coming in. Come again. I enjoyed it.

Next, actor and singer Rita Wilson on fame, family and what it is like to be married to, I don't know, some actor guy. Can't remember his name.


MORGAN: Now I'm in the presence of Hollywood royalty tonight.


MORGAN: The better half. This is -- I hate to say Mrs. Tom Hanks. He is Mr. Rita Wilson as far as I'm concerned. Welcome.

WILSON: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

MORGAN: It's a great pleasure to have you.

WILSON: Thank you very much.

MORGAN: You're here to promote this incredible album. I say incredible because this album cover of the inside is really fascinating. The reason I like it is it has all these pictures of your parents, of your first car, of you through the ages. But the only men on here are not Tom Hanks, but three anonymous, as you put it before we started, dudes you met on a beach.

WILSON: That's right.

MORGAN: Is this true?


MORGAN: I love this.

WILSON: That's right. My parents, we would take driving trips. My dad was a bartender and I'm a first generation American. And every summer, he would have about a week off and we would take driving trips.

And they were either to Las Vegas or to Lake Tahoe. What do those two places have in common? Casinos. So my dad really liked gambling, as a hobby. He wasn't an addict or anything like that. And Lake Tahoe was where I met those three fine young men.

MORGAN: Strapping beach surfer dudes.

WILSON: That's right. They are surfer dudes.

MORGAN: Is your husband aware that he's been airbrushed out of your history for this album, but the three dudes made it.

WILSON: That's OK, because he's in all the pictures at home.

MORGAN: Your family is absolutely fascinating. I watched the "Who Do You Think You Are" episode. And it is obviously a show that originated in Britain, actually. And I'm very familiar with the format.

It gets really into people's lives in a way that surprises them. I know that you were completely taken aback by many of the discoveries about your family. But what I really liked -- we do a regular segment on this show, Keeping America Great. There is no greater testimony to the American dream than your story, your father, your parents coming here.

Your father, born in Greece, he ended up in a Bulgarian labor camp in Europe. Then he gets away, escapes. He gets to Turkey. He gets on a boat and comes to America. And now here he is -- you know, very sadly died two years ago. But he produced this daughter who is now Hollywood royalty. It is the American dream. But it is a wonderful story, isn't it?

WILSON: First of all, that term Hollywood royalty really, really scares me. Like in Britain, you have real royalty.


WILSON: No, no, no. No.

MORGAN: It is William and Kate to many Americans.

WILSON: I don't think so. I don't think so. We'll leave that to Brad and Angelina. How's that? We'll make them --

MORGAN: Tell me about your dad. He was clearly a pivotal figure in your life.

WILSON: Yes, yes.

MORGAN: What would he have made -- you know what he made of it. Tell me about the struggles he first had when he first came to America and what it was like for the family.

WILSON: Well, the struggles really became -- were actually what happened before he came to America. As you know, he was in a labor camp. He tried to escape from the country twice. If he had even -- if they had even known that he was thinking about escaping, then they would have shot him just for even suspecting that he might have wanted to do something like that.

So his struggles that he encountered all before the age of 25 or 26, I think. Once he came to America, that was the dream, that was the destination. And in the "Who Do You Think You Are" episode, an uncle that I had never met before handed me a letter that my dad had written when he came to America.

And I had never known the date that he came. I had really never known the circumstances or how he felt or what it was like for him. So in that letter, you hear the joy and the exultation of being finally free. And my dad said every day of his life, God bless America, that he really, really -- that was it, that he could come here and stay here and be here and, by the way, raise a family of three, never have one minute of debt in his life.

He was a bartender. We would get together on Saturday mornings and count the tips out and put them in the bankrolls, dimes, nickels, pennies, quarters. And he would bring them home in a crown royal bag because he worked at the racetrack. And I think that work ethic that he taught us was really, really strong.

And there is something about hearing your parents say God bless America and realizing that it is a legacy that you have to really appreciate.

MORGAN: When you look at what has happened to America in recent years, does it frustrate you? Does it sadden you that America's reputation has been dented? And what should America and Americans be doing, do you think, to restore it?

WILSON: My gosh, that's a very -- that's a very heady question there. Look, I think that you're always able to find the greatness in America. You have to look for it. I think, you know, when you travel a lot or you are aware of the issues that people encounter in different parts of the world, it's difficult to take America for granted because we really still are great.

I think, you know, some of my friends in Europe question some of the decisions that our country has made over the past few years. But ultimately people are still wanting to come here and wanting to live here as well as, you know, wanting to take us down.

But I still have a lot of faith in America and I believe in the country.

MORGAN: I think that's right. I think too many Americans have been sucked into this kind of mind set that it is all doom and gloom. America remains the preeminent superpower in the world. It has been a very tricky decade, certainly since the millennium, you could say.


MORGAN: Much of it governed by 9/11 and the terrible events there. But certainly I think there is -- there is a need, I think, for America to feel more confident again.


MORGAN: Don't you think?

WILSON: Definitely. Definitely. It is almost like saying, sometimes you have to focus on what is really working and what is really good about the country, as opposed to what is really wrong with it. And sometimes there is an awareness that has to happen, like in 9/11 when we were all devastated, but we realized that, look, we love our country. And I'll never forget going to church and the following Sunday and -- after 9/11, and having the entire congregation -- I've never heard this before -- sing "God Bless America."

That was powerful and it really showed that everybody -- when they need to, they come together.

MORGAN: It is very true. Very true. Let's have a break, come back and talk music and a bit of Tom. WILSON: I love that guy. I love him.

MORGAN: Let's get that halo slashed off his head.

WILSON: Let's do it.

MORGAN: He can't be as saintly as everyone thinks he is.

WILSON: You're so funny.



WILSON: Oh, so amazing when he comes to see her, because he doesn't even notice that she doesn't get up to say hello. And he's very bitter. And you think that he's just going to walk out the door. And never know why. She's just lying there, you know, like on the couch with this blanket over her shriveled little legs. And --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you all right?



MORGAN: That is funny. Rita Wilson in one of the ultimate chic flicks, of course, with your husband Tom, "Sleepless in Seattle." When you watch that -- you're laughing. Everyone loves that scene. Can you cry on cue? Can all actresses do that? If I suddenly went, shut down, cry in five minutes, could you do that like that?

WILSON: Under the right circumstances, probably. And with the right info, input into the computer, probably.

MORGAN: What do you tell yourself to make yourself cry?

WILSON: Well --

MORGAN: Terrible things?

WILSON: Yeah, you can't go there. You just can't go there. I prefer not to go there, do you know what I mean?

MORGAN: Is that what you do? You literally think of awful things?

WILSON: No. Most of the time, it is inherent in the material that you're doing. And Nora Efron wrote "Sleepless in Seattle." And she's a pretty good writer. So it is kind of -- it is all about the writing, really.

MORGAN: It was a fabulous film. Let's get to your album, "AM/FM." What I loved, the dedication, really moved me this, because you say "making this album has been an extraordinary gift. I thank my mother for playing all those AM song songs, telling me which ones would be hits. Dad, you're always in my heart. God blessed me with a man who told me before we were married I didn't have to change anything about you to be with him. Thank you Tom for the gift of your love and your belief in me."

I really like that.

WILSON: Thank you.

MORGAN: Because I think so many relationships flounder when the opposite happens, don't they? People get married and then suddenly one wants to change the other from the person they fell in love with.

WILSON: That's right. My mom has a great expression which I just love. She says -- my mom is Greek, so she has an accent. She'll say something, you know, in the beginning of a relationship, when opposites attract, later opposites attack.

MORGAN: That is true.

WILSON: That's genius.

MORGAN: It is true.

WILSON: It is kind of true. You fall in love with someone, you're like they're so wonderful. I love everything about you, especially that quirky thing you do that I love. And then, you know, cut to I hate that quirky thing that you do. You know?

MORGAN: What is he like, Tom Hanks? Away from the -- I've got to say, I've met him three or four times, never interviewed him, which remains a terrible scar, blot on my landscape.

WILSON: I'm going to have to talk to him about that.

MORGAN: Thank you. I was just hoping you would do that. But he's always been effortlessly charming, very funny, very self-aware, very how I imagine he would be, which is unusual.

WILSON: He really is that person. And the reason I had that dedication on the album is because I'll never forget we were standing on the corner of 57th and 5th in New York -- or 58th and 5th. And we were holding hands and we were waiting for the traffic light to change.

And he looked at me and he said, you know, I just want you to know that you never have to change anything about who you are in order to be with me. And literally a wave of if you -- love is the feeling or a cellular thing that happens to your body, it went through me. And that's pretty much who he is and how he's been.

MORGAN: That's good to hear.

WILSON: Pretty great guy.

MORGAN: Let's get to this album. Tell me about music, because we know you as a great actor. We know you for many things. But now you're taking this big -- I guess it's a risk, isn't it? You're plunging in, a big album there. It's a beautiful cover, but in the end people have to buy in now to you as a great singer. Tell me about that.

WILSON: Well, yes. It was I think definitely a risk. And it was one of the things that when it came up, it was almost making the decision to sort of expose yourself to your most kind of -- that most secret vulnerable space, because I have always loved singing. And I have many, many musical friends. And we have musical instruments in our house. And we have our kids play music.

So I knew that it would probably be something that would encounter a -- oh, yeah, right, she's going to do an album. But I guess my feeling about it is look, there are so many people that have things that they want to do, and they never do. And I guess I'm here to say when you figure out what it is that you want to do, you can find a way to make it happen.

MORGAN: It's further proof to me that you are the one with the talent in the family. Sorry, Tom. But she's done it again. She's a better actress, better actor. She's a better singer. Funnier.

WILSON: That's so funny.

MORGAN: It's a great album. Honestly, it's going to surprise people.

WILSON: Thank you.

MORGAN: You can really sing and move with your voice. And I think it is going to do really well. It's been a pleasure to meet you.

WILSON: Thank you.

MORGAN: Rita Wilson, "AM/FM" comes out in May. I wish you all the very best with it.

WILSON: Thank you so much. This was fun.

MORGAN: It was fun. Come back and do it again. Bring the old man. Let's tease him for an hour. I'd love that.

WILSON: Definitely.

MORGAN: Rita Wilson.

Coming up next, Only in America.



WANDA BUTTS, CNN HERO: Josh went to spend the night with friends. I had no clue that they were coming to (INAUDIBLE). Right about here is where Josh was, where the raft capsized. And he went down. It was very hard for me that just like that, my son had drowned and he was gone.

My father, he instilled in us the fear of water. And so I, in turn, didn't take my son around water. Children don't have to drown.

My name is Wanda Butts. I save lives by providing swimming lessons and water safety skills.

Jacob Kendrick.

African American children are three times more likely to drown than white children. That's why we started the Josh Project, to educate families about the importance of being water safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take the ring buoy and throw it right at the victim.

BUTTS: Many parents, they don't know how to swim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was afraid of the water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was the first in my family to learn how to swim. He's come a long way from not liking water in his face to getting ducked under.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feel better in the water? Do you like it? All right.

BUTTS: I'm so happy to see that so many of them have learned how to swim.

Good job. That's one life we've saved.

BUTTS: It takes me back to Josh and how the tragedy was turned into triumph. And it makes me happy.

CROWD: Josh Project.

BUTTS: All right.



MORGAN: For tonight's Only in America, an American family, the Jacksons. This week, I had my exclusive interview with Michael's brothers. On Monday, his mother, Katherine Jackson. She has never spoken about the loss of her son Michael until now. And she is haunted by his death.


KATHERINE JACKSON, MOTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Every morning, every -- all through the day, I think about Michael. If I wake up through the night, my mind is there. I just miss him.

But being a Christian and believing in the resurrection, I feel that I'll see him again. I'm sorry. I just --

MORGAN: It's perfectly understandable. You're his mother, you know? I can't imagine a worse thing. I'm a parent myself to four kids. I can't even imagine how horrendous it must be to lose a child.

JACKSON: I know.

MORGAN: It's so unnatural, isn't it?

JACKSON: Yes, it is. And I've -- and it should be.


MORGAN: It's a searingly powerful and emotional interview. Her other sons are about to go on tour without Michael.


MARLON JACKSON, SINGER: Look at Michael as the big superstar. But to him, he was just our brother. Our brother.


MORGAN: And surprisingly they don't all agree about the man convicted of causing his death, Dr. Conrad Murray.


MORGAN: What do you feel, Tito, about Conrad Murray?

TITO JACKSON, SINGER: Well, I feel that like we're supposed to have forgiving hearts. Doesn't mean I have to forget. I have a forgiving hearts, yes. I forgive everybody.

MORGAN: Do you forgive him?

T. JACKSON: Sure I forgive him.

MORGAN: Do you all feel that way?


MORGAN: You don't, Jermaine?

J. JACKSON: No. I don't feel that way at all.

MORGAN: What do you feel?

J. JACKSON: I feel like it's just negligence and not -- it's on his part plus others. We're yet to know what really happened. But I'm not -- I'm a forgiving person, but not when it comes to that.

MORGAN: Tito, how can you forgive him? He's your brother.

T. JACKSON: I'm not saying that I'm not upset about what happened. But I can't go around angry and upset and want to get revenge and all these things like that, you know? Things happen. And I'm made to forgive. So I have to forgive.

It doesn't mean I have to forget. I haven't forgot what happened. It hurts me dearly. Was there some terrible things done? Absolutely. But I have to forgive. I can't be angry.


MORGAN: Just about everybody else has had their say about Michael Jackson since his death. Now his mother has her say. It's an extraordinary interview and it airs Monday night, 9:00 pm.

That's all for tonight. "AC 360" is next.