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Piers Morgan Live
Interview with Mark Spitz; Interview with Kyra Sedgwick
Aired July 14, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Kyra Sedgwick, her life with Kevin Bacon and the secret to their happy marriage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYRA SEDGWICK, ACTRESS: The secret to a happy marriage is not to take advice from celebrities about marriage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The end of the series "The Closer."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Was it emotional?
SEDGWICK: Oh, very. Oh, my God, very. Very boo-hooey. It's like that (INAUDIBLE) always saying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And how she stays so impossibly youthful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEDGWICK: You have the high cheekbones everything hangs on.
MORGAN: I can get you a guy who can do that.
SEDGWICK: I'm sure you can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And he set the standard for hauling Olympic gold out of the pool, no, not Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz. Now I'll get him to set the record straight, who's the best, Spitz or Phelps?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The peak of both your power, who would win?
MARK SPITZ, 11-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Well, I'd like to say, you know, selfishly maybe I might beat him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Mark Spitz's inspiring advice for today's Olympians and his harrowing escape from a terror attack with the whole world watching.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Mark Spitz is a true Olympic legend. Long before Michael Phelps jumped into a pool, Spitz was swimming the way into the record books. He won seven gold medals in the 1972 games in Munich. Forty years later, he remains an icon, an American hero, and he's here.
Mark Spitz, welcome.
SPITZ: My pleasure.
MORGAN: What's it like being an American icon?
SPITZ: Probably a little better than not being an icon, you know?
SPITZ: I was sort of thrusted into that opportunity in 1972. I didn't realize that my performance was going to elevate myself to a level where people would be looking at it as something special.
MORGAN: I remember it vividly. I was 7 years old. It was the first Olympic Games I'd ever watched on television with any kind of real interest or be old enough to understand what's going on. And all I remember was you were like this incredible fish. Every time you went in the water, everyone else had to get out of there and you just destroyed everyone. And you also had the most incredible mustache that anyone had ever seen.
SPITZ: You know, I --
MORGAN: Which is now gone.
SPITZ: I know. I grew that mustache out of spite because my college coach said you need to look like the all-American boy. And, you know -- and so it took me for about five or six months to grow that moustache. I went to the Olympic trials. Had intentions of shaving it off. All my competitors in the press were talking about it. I go, wow, they're not figuring out how to beat me, I might as well keep this thing.
But I had the intention to actually -- shave the thing off the day before competition. And I had a chance to swim in the Olympic venue just one more time in the evening because we never had a chance to practice in the pool in the evening, the Russians were there, and I got in the water and the Russians let me swim in a side lane for a couple of moments and when I got out, one of the questions were, are you going to shave this thing off?
And I don't know why, I just came up with this thought, no, I'm just not going to -- I'm not going to shave it off. Well, doesn't it slow you down? I said, no, I deflect the water away from my mouth and I'm much more smooth and he's translating. Every Russian swimmer that was a male had a mustache the following year.
SPITZ: They figure it must have been good. It worked for me.
MORGAN: You became this huge poster boy for American sport afterwards. What are your memories of that Olympics? Because to go for a win seven, I mean, other than Michael Phelps, and about one or two people. No one's ever been in that position. You were very competent. I mean you had said at the previous games you thought you would win everything and you hadn't. So you came with a bit more pressure at the '72 games.
MORGAN: And you swept the board. Talk me through what it was like.
SPITZ: I had a difficult time from 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City where I was expected to win a lot of gold medals. And if I just look at my performance of winning two gold, a silver and a bronze, I mean that is pretty remarkable. But the problem was, is that I didn't win a gold medal in two events I held a world record in.
Matter of fact, in one of them, I got a silver medal. And it cost me a place on a relay. And the other one, I qualified first in the prelims and got dead last. And wouldn't you know it, it was the first event in the Olympic Games in the 200-meter butterfly that I would have to swim in Munich. So there was a guy named Doug Russell that beat me.
And that was just the reason that I basically had this fire in my system to be able to want to actually go for another four years. And I found it kind of difficult to work out and train. But I had a focus and the focus was to do the best I could. And over the course of what I learned was a mistake of not being able to swim all those events in one particular competition, I started to do that.
And the year before, in Houston, Texas, I won the four individual events, broke three world records and got the Sullivan Award, which was the best athlete as an amateur in America. So I realized that I had the capacity to be able to accomplish this at least in theory, on paper. And then thank goodness my coach has encouraged me and I went forward and I was successful.
MORGAN: When you're standing there having won the seventh consecutive gold, putting you into a Pantheon of Olympians, in very rare small number, and playing the anthem for the seventh time, what is that emotion like?
SPITZ: I was so happy it was over.
MORGAN: It must have been exhausting, wasn't it?
SPITZ: It really was because -- the program started on a Monday and continued on through the following Monday. So over an eight-day period of time, I swam every single day but Friday. And so I was in the water 13 different times. We had the prelims, the semifinals and what have you. And each day that I swam and I won a gold medal, it was like one brick shy of a load getting off of the cart. And so therefore I felt that I was actually having a better go of it.
But I was exhausted by the time it came to my last individual event, the 100-meter freestyle. And I have to say that the last stroke that I took at the Olympic Games, I don't think I could have taken another stroke. I was 100 percent up until the last stroke, and I literally had one drop of gas in my tank at the end of that. So thank goodness it ended.
MORGAN: What does it take to be a true Olympic champion do you think? What are the qualities that anybody needs to get there?
SPITZ: I think a coach. I mean, and the support of your family and a good system. Being in a program where there's a lot of great athletes is a very enlightening thing. My family moved me from one town to Santa Clara, California, where I was coached with this guy named George Haynes who --
MORGAN: Because you were a natural, were you? Your family said that even as a young kid, you ran into the sea to swim. Like a kind of maniac, is that right?
SPITZ: Well, I didn't run into the sea with the thought that I was going to have to swim 26,000 miles and have a 14-year career and then --
SPITZ: You know, become a seven-gold medal winner.
MORGAN: Is that how many miles you swam?
SPITZ: I kind of calculated that out. But there were a lot people that swam the same amount that I did. You know, what made me a champion --
MORGAN: What made you different?
SPITZ: I hated the idea of losing. I built just one day at a time. I became a world record holder in the 400-meter freestyle which most people don't know was my first world record. I swam with a guy named Don Schollander, that was my inspiration on the team. And I broke his world record.
MORGAN: You broke 33 world records, is that right?
SPITZ: Yes, I actually broke two world records that from a technicality should have been counted. Because they were done in the same day by the same person, I didn't get recognized in the order chronologically of breaking it. So if I broke it in the prelims and then I went a little faster in the finals it only counted the final time and not the first time. MORGAN: So you should have 35 world records?
SPITZ: Yes. But who's counting?
MORGAN: You are. And that's what makes you clearly the edge. That's the edge, isn't it? It's that kind of mind that says, I may have won 33, but it should have been 35. It still rankles with you.
SPITZ: I don't know. I walked off a plane in -- was it Australia, and it was 2000 for the Olympics Games there. And I was in a press conference and somebody says, well, what has been the greatest journey of your athletic career? And I said, well, how about winning for seven gold medals. He said, no, I don't think that was. And so I'm, OK, what was it? And everybody was sort of silent.
And he said, well, what I did was I analyzed swimming sort of like baseball statistics. From the very first world record you ever have, not counting prelims and semifinals, just the time you were in the finals, and you have to take your collegiate and your -- what they call short course program away because that was in a 25-yard pool so you couldn't break a world record.
Just long course swimming, 50-meter pools, you can break a world record. You swam approximately 35 -- 75 times. And you had basically 33 or 35 world records. So almost 50 percent of the time, you actually broke a world record. But more importantly, the last two years of my career, I swam 20 times, and I broke a world record 19 of those times.
SPITZ: So my competitors obviously knew that. So -- that helped me. So each day that I want to go medal, my competitors at the Olympic Games were second-guessing whether or not they trained, rested enough, and whether or not the room was quiet enough and the food was good at the Olympic Village. Here they watching Mark Spitz time and tine again become successful. And that's the reason I think that Michael Phelps has been so successful because he uses that success one day after another.
That's quite arduous to be able to get to that level of training and the psyche that you need to put on yourself to win on a daily basis. But it really helps if you're multitalented to be able to use that moving forward.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break and come back and talk about Michael Phelps because I sat down with him for an hour recently and I found him a fascinating guy. Not least of which because having met you know I see a lot of similarities. Let's explore those.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL PHELPS, OLYMPIC CHAMPION: First of all, I mean, records are always made to be broken. No matter what they are. Anybody can do anything they set their mind to. You know, I said it all along, I want to be the first Michael Phelps, not the second Mark Spitz.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Michael Phelps from 2008 in Beijing, talking about Mark Spitz who's back with me now.
How did you feel about that? He doesn't want to be the second Mark Spitz. He wants to be the first Michael Phelps.
SPITZ: You know, we saw Michael come on the scene actually four years before in Athens at the Olympics Games there where he attempted to swim at eight different events and he came away with six gold medals and two bronze medals. So I knew that he had the capacity to be able to attempt to break my record. And I just knew that it was just a matter of time. And if he just stayed healthy for the next four years, we obviously saw what he was able to do in Beijing.
I actually felt a tremendous relief. I mean, records -- you heard the cliche, that records are made to be broken. Then why should my be -- my records be exclusive, that you can't break my records? And it was just a matter of time that somebody would come along.
Listen, I inspired somebody not even born to try to achieve a goal for himself, primarily, which is Michael's goal, not Mark Spitz's goal, to do the best that he could. And in the process, my record got broken. Well, why wouldn't I be proud? My accolade to the sport was left on the fact that he was able to do that. And I felt really great about it.
MORGAN: When I interviewed him, I -- he's -- part from being physically very impressive, he had an aura about him of invincibility. It was a guy who just knew he was head and shoulders -- in fact, in his case, massive wingspan shoulders, above everybody else. And he had that aura and swagger. You have that, too. Do you recognize that in a true champion?
SPITZ: I think what a true champion has is the ability to be able to know his competitors. And everything about his competition. And then try to make one or two less mistakes than those he competes against. And on a regular basis that they do that, quantitatively saying is that that he may have only been 4 or 5 percent better than anybody, but since it was always 4 or 5 percent better than anybody, the illusion was he was so grand, and that's what makes a great champion.
And that they're able to repeat that time and again. Regardless of the conditions. Because not every time you come to a swimming pool do you feel great, or if you're in track and field, not every time you hit that track you feel good. Or in boxing, I knew Mohammed Ali. We talked a lot about -- there were a lot of times that he felt terrible. But he knew he had to rise to the occasion. And they did.
MORGAN: You and Michael Phelps, no goggles, wear a cap if you want, I know you didn't. So the old-fashioned way. Right now, the peak of both your powers. Who would win?
SPITZ: I've been asked that question before.
MORGAN: Have you ever honestly answered it?
SPITZ: And I've -- I've answered it the honest way. Based on what I've just previously said. If I was great because I knew everything I needed to know to beat that other person, then I would have to know everything that would be necessary to beat Michael. And likewise, he would have to know everything to beat me. So the answer is, we'd have to tie. However there was a --
MORGAN: You would be tied.
SPITZ: Wait, wait. But there's a caveat to that. Somebody else who actually had posed that question said, yes, but you won by greater margins so therefore you knew how to beat your competition by greater margins. Well, I'd like to say, you know, selfishly maybe I might beat him so I would have to say relentlessly, yes, of course, I would want to beat him. And it wouldn't matter whether I had a cap on or a fur coat, as long as we all had the same.
MORGAN: See, I just couldn't imagine you looking me in the eye and saying anything different. Of course you think you'd beat him. And he, I suspect, if he's honest, would say he'd beat you. And that's what makes the pair of you such huge Olympians.
SPITZ: Well, I think that when I look back, that obviously you've posed the question that's never going to happen. The reality is that some day there'll be another Michael Phelps who will say the same things that Michael said which is that, you know, I just want to be myself. But the benchmark of who they are and the watershed is really to identify trying to implement and emulate that person to the best you can.
SPITZ: (INAUDIBLE) for yourself.
MORGAN: Do you get -- do you get along? Are you friends?
SPITZ: I haven't talked to him that much. In the environment I've actually met him is actually handing him an award. The first time I actually met him was when he qualified to swim at the Olympic Games for Athens. And I whispered something in his ear. And the press really said, well, what did you say? I said, well, sort of private. Eventually they sort of pulled it out of me.
And what I said to him was, I know you can do this. Just stop listening to the press but give them all the time they want.
MORGAN: What do you make of all the drug abuse in sport? Particularly athletics and Olympians? You see the great champions toppling down like dominos. Caught cheating. What do you think of it?
SPITZ: I think the International Olympic Committee has done a great job of trying to police, you know, drugs. They were the first to do it back in 1968, Olympic Games in Mexico City. And they -- they're not perfect. They try to get as best they can all the offenders. But I think there's a little bit of design to let the best fall through the cracks. They list all of the performance enhancing drugs, about six to nine months ahead of time, so that those athletes who get a whiff -- you know, if you're on this stuff, don't take it anymore.
But then that gives a drug buffet of everything else that's out there to be taken that they knowingly won't be tested for. And so the old school drugs seem to make the list first before the new school drugs. And drug companies do not make performance-enhancing drugs. This is all off-label usage that has been discovered and experimented from the communist coaches that were back in the '80s and '90s.
And so you have to say to yourself, if it's only going to improve my performance by 8 or 9 percent max and I'm not getting a gold medal, why am I wasting my time doing this? It's a waste.
MORGAN: Is there a simple answer to drug abuse in sport that you just ban the cheats for life?
SPITZ: The question is if the penalty is great enough to where you're out of a sport for four years, the odds are you're not going to get that second chance because that's almost a lifetime in sports at that elite level. So the craziness of the rules is such that most people don't actually know what the rules are. But I remember there was an incident, the World Swimming Championships back in 1999 in Perth, Australia, and there was somebody from China that brought in human growth hormone.
And to take human growth hormone the penalty was four years. But they also had the masking drug. And the masking drug's penalty was basically two years which superseded the actual four-year penalty, which meant that if you cheated the cheat, instead of having a four- year penalty, you only had a two-year penalty, what brain trust at the IOC figured that out?
MORGAN: That's ridiculous.
SPITZ: That is ridiculous. And since the Chinese brought the drug in, less than two years prior to the Olympic Games in Sydney, they altered the rule to make it a six-year -- a six-month penalty so that at least the Chinese could then go ahead and compete in the Olympic Games. So there is sort of a twisting of the rules.
MORGAN: See, if I was running it, I'd be quite straightforward. I would test every single athlete after every single event. Anybody found guilty, that's it for life. Trust me, within two years, there would be no more cheats.
SPITZ: Well, they do test every single athlete that gets a first, second and third place and one at random. But that's for the drugs that are on that list. If the drug is not on that list, there's no way they're going to find them.
MORGAN: It's a sad, sad, I think. Sad that it's so prevalent.
Take another break. Let's come back to on a very, very sad event. Just back at Munich, your great, great year at the Olympics, was this dreadful incident involving the murder of Israeli athletes. I want to talk to you about your memories of that after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM MCKAY, ABC NEWS: They've now said that there were 11 hostages, two were killed in their rooms this -- yesterday morning. Nine were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A moment seared into Olympic history. ABC's Jim McKay announcing the Israelis taken hostage at the Munich games. All dead. The massacre stunned the world. But after the tragedy the Olympics went on. Swimming great Mark Spitz won seven gold medals at that Olympics. And he's back with me now.
Mark, you're Jewish. A shattering event. What are your memories of it?
SPITZ: Well, for me and the whole swimming community, swimming was over before this happened. We finished on the evening of Monday and this happened into the early hours, as we know, into Tuesday. I had gone out with a gentleman by the name -- two gentlemen, Heinz Kluetmeier who was a photographer for "Sports Illustrated." Still is a photographer. I was -- he created two covers on "Sports Illustrated" for me. And a guy named Jerry Kirshenbaum who wrote a bunch of articles for me for "Sports Illustrated." Became, I believe, the editor of "TIME" magazine later on.
They took me to dinner. We had a great time. Everybody was cheering. Wanted to throw me drinks. I don't drink. You know, at the restaurant that evening. And then at 9:00 in the morning, I woke up and went to the press conference. And they were the first to greet me at the -- at the fan with the IOC officials and the swim coaches from America. And they said, did you hear what happened? I go, well, I don't know anything. What happened? Was I -- was with you last night. I don't know anything.
They go, well, there's about 1500 press people in this room and there's been a lockdown. We don't know what's going on. Supposedly, there's some activities, there are terrorist activities there in the village. And they had these high-powered zoom lenses in the press center right next to the village. And we saw for the first time that athlete come out with that hat on, talking to what appeared to be a hostess.
But the hostess was really actually a crisis negotiator. And we had no sound. So we didn't know what was going on. I was like, whoa, you know, this is like wow, happening almost like in slow motion.
I went back in with, now, police to get back into the village. And then the chancellor of Germany was in my room, saying everything is fine, we're going to take care of you, and then I was ushered out --
SPITZ: This was at about 10:30 in the morning. By 5:00 I was ushered out -- this was complex. The village was on top of a subterranean garage, went down into a car, was -- had an army blanket put over my head, drove out of the village so nobody knew that I was in the car, taken to actual municipal airport and flew to London.
MORGAN: Had you been identified as a potential target?
SPITZ: You know that's a great question. I don't think so, because here, obviously, they must have had this well-planned years in advance, or months in advance. Here I was a Jewish athlete, I was an American. I was winning all these gold medals. Everybody knew where I was. So if they had a change of heart and a plan, they could have immediately just come to my room instead of the compound where the Israelis were staying. So I didn't really feel that I was in the crosshairs.
MORGAN: Awful day, though.
SPITZ: It was terrible. I mean, you know, the Olympic Games today is modeled based on the security not only for the athletes, but for the press, the media, the spectators, and the citizens of a host city. And the International Olympic Committee has done a great job over the years to protect everybody. But it's totally different. Here I became a real gigantic event as a sports celebrity winning seven gold medals.
Then it became a news event. And then all of a sudden it became a tragedy. And then it became elevated at a much higher level, and we're talking about it right now, 40 years later.
MORGAN: Quite extraordinary. As London approaches, a lot of American athletes, you know, competing, about to compete and so on. What is it like to represent America as an athlete?
SPITZ: Well, you know, I just watched the Olympic trials recently with my son, and we noticed that in swimming, we only take two per event, and the third place person that got left home had the third fastest time in the world, that had he been brought, he might have been winning a medal. So it's quite a big honor to represent the United States in your sport. For your sport. There's a lot of training that goes behind, you know, getting to that level. A lot of pressure. But the reward is standing, you know, on the award stand. You know, just watching it. All just unfold your success. And, you know, that's why you see people cry.
MORGAN: Because when they -- when they play the anthem. SPITZ: Yes.
MORGAN: And all the work is suddenly worth it -- I can see even now, you're emotional about it.
SPITZ: It's kind of strange because I didn't have an opportunity to enjoy any of it. So to me I was on a mission. I just didn't have any time to reflect whatsoever.
MORGAN: Do you -- do you swim these days?
SPITZ: I try to swim a couple of days a week. I walk for about 45 minutes to an hour to try to stay in shape and clothes are very revealing.
MORGAN: You're looking great, I have to say.
SPITZ: Well, you know.
MORGAN: How old are you now?
SPITZ: I'm 62.
SPITZ: You know?
MORGAN: Unfortunately, you look better than me.
SPITZ: I don't think so.
MORGAN: I try and swim, but I don't think I go at quite the same speed you do. Do you time yourself?
SPITZ: That would be a big mistake. That would be a big mistake.
MORGAN: Where do you swim? I'm fascinated by this.
SPITZ: Well, there's a master swim program at UCLA here in Los Angeles. And there's a bunch of guys that -- used to be swimmers, competitive swimmers, and a bunch of people that never really had a chance that would believe that they'd like to be a competitive swimmer and there's masters programs all over the world.
A matter of fact, I went back to Munich a number of years ago, I guess, it was about six or seven years ago, they had the World Master Swim Championships. It was a meet where they had about almost 12,000 athletes, timed event only. It's like -- it's like carpet. I mean it's this -- it's like watching fruit getting processed in a mill. These like these swimmers kept going off and off and off. As a matter of fact, in some events, they had actually started the race before the last person got out at the other end.
And -- but there was such excitement and enthusiasm. So I believe that sports is really great, you know? And I think that there can be self-expression --
MORGAN: When you get in the pool at these -- at these masters, you still want to kill them, right? Be honest.
SPITZ: You know, I'll tell you a funny story --
MORGAN: Do you ever lose?
SPITZ: I get in a slow lane so I can win, how's that for answer?
MORGAN: Have you lost a swimming race in the last 30 years?
SPITZ: Not really.
SPITZ: Not really.
MORGAN: Mark Spitz, it's been a real pleasure. Thank you very much.
SPITZ: Well, thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she here?
I'll get her.
Grace, the lying, cheating sack of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.
Ann Marie, what did you do?
SEDGWICK: Well you said to keep him busy. He's busy holding his nuts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Kyra Sedgwick in "Something to Talk About," one of the films in her 30-year acting career that includes "Born on the Fourth of July" and the smash TV hit "The Closer". Plus, she also got one of Hollywood's best marriages, being one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon for the last 25 years.
And she joins me now.
Do you get sick of the degrees of separation?
SEDGWICK: Yes. I do. I can't believe it is still -- I think that he's -- he's turned it into something great. He's turned it into sixdegrees.org. But I think he thought it as a put-down, a joke at his expense somehow. I don't know how he spun that, but he did.
But, yes, it is, you know, people always say, I'm just one degree away when they se me on the subway.
MORGAN: I can see you visibly tensing as I say that. You have my sympathies. I interviewed your husband. He's a great chap. And, B, I loved what he said about you. So, I'm not going to make you squirm with embarrassment by playing what your husband said about you when he came on the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN BACON, ACTOR: Found her, you know, really very beautiful and sexy and aloof, and I was, you know, just immediately in love with her and she was immediately put off by me.
MORGAN: Did you know she was the one?
BACON: Yes. Yes. I did.
MORGAN: You were right. I mean, you've been inseparable ever since.
BACON: I was right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEDGWICK: Oh, God.
MORGAN: You get a little emotional watching that.
SEDGWICK: Yes. Yes. Yes. We're lucky.
MORGAN: You said about him recently, when he walks into a room, my heart gets a little flutter and I think, he's so cute. He's so hot.
But it is really touching that you can watch him talk about you like that and actually get tearful about that.
MORGAN: I mean, that is the ultimate testament to the strength of your marriage.
SEDGWICK: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: Do you remember the first time you met him?
SEDGWICK: Oh, yes, absolutely. Yes. He came into -- we were doing a film, it was a PBS American playhouse film of the Lanford Wilson play "Lemon Sky". And he -- we were all getting picked up in the van and we were in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
And he got picked up and his dog came in first and he had on this Hudson Bay kind of, you know, wool coat. And his black lab mix came in first and he came in first and he was aloof, so it's funny to hear him say that I was aloof.
And my first thought was, he's really cocky and he thinks he's so cool. And little did I know he was not that way at all.
MORGAN: Twenty-five years of marriage, so happy --
SEDGWICK: Well, not quite. It will be 24 in September.
MORGAN: Twenty-four. OK, nearly a quarter of a century.
SEDGWICK: Yes, yes.
MORGAN: What is the trick? Is it luck and just finding the right person?
SEDGWICK: Absolutely. It's absolutely luck and finding the right person. I mean, initially, I think -- I don't know, I always get uncomfortable with that question because I always feel like never take the secret to a happy marriage is to not take advice from celebrities about marriage.
MORGAN: What did you find worked for you? I mean, do you have a certain way that you are with each other that just works?
SEDGWICK: You know, I think we did just get lucky, but I also think that we have the same priorities and I think that helps a lot because we know that our relationship has to be sort of the primary relationship and the primary purpose of our lives in a way, even though we have so many other parts of our lives that are important. So, that makes it easier when you have the same priorities.
MORGAN: Have you actually acted with him? I think he's directed you, but have you --
SEDGWICK: Yeah, "The Woodsman."
MORGAN: What was it like?
SEDGWICK: It was -- it was scary. I think -- I know I initially, you know, said I didn't think it was a good idea. It was a very dark film, actually, about a -- a pedophile who was out of jail and sort of recovering. And I was afraid that it would be -- we met on "Lemon Sky." But I was afraid that it would take people out of the movie, and I felt like it was an important movie to be made.
But it is extraordinary to work with someone that you know is going to always throw the ball back at you. But it was scary. I thought how is the audience not going to be able to tell that we -- that we know each other so well and we're supposed to just be meeting.
MORGAN: It is quite hard when you get home, I would imagine. You're sitting there, having a glass of wine at the end of a long day's filming, and there is like this dark, horrible pedophile plot line. You look at this guy and think, I am going to try and pretend he's my husband now.
SEDGWICK: No, no, no. I didn't have any problems with that, no. No.
MORGAN: You've got two adult children now.
MORGAN: How does that feel? You don't look old enough, by the way. You look ludicrously youthful.
SEDGWICK: Thank you.
MORGAN: I may have to get the secret of that as well, but tell me about your kids. How old are they now?
SEDGWICK: They are -- my son is about to turn 23 and my daughter is 20. And it is crazy. I turn around and look at them and I say, who is that? I can't believe those kids are mine. They're big and they're -- they are so much further along than I was at their age, even though at their -- at my son's age, I was married and had a kid, but I didn't really know who I was or -- and he really does. I'm -- they inspire me.
MORGAN: Do they find it hard being the products of two famous acting stars?
SEDGWICK: I don't think they know any better. So I think that they don't know any differently, so it is what they -- it is what they have always known. But I can't imagine that it hasn't been -- it has its challenges, for sure. We always sort of encourage them to think about that. But I think that they'll think about it when it is their time.
I mean, it is annoying when you're with your kid and they're telling you something very important and then someone comes in and, you know, asks for an autograph or wants to talk. And it is lovely that people want to talk to you. It is part of the gig, but it is hard when your kid feels a little --
MORGAN: It slightly blurs the line, doesn't it?
MORGAN: Let's take a short break, come back and talk about Obama, Bernie Madoff and "The Closer." not necessarily in that order, and not necessarily together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Will you dance with me?
(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: Kyra Sedgwick with Tom Cruise in "Born on the Fourth of July" in 1989. 1989, you can't be as old as I know you are. It is impossible. It is a physical impossibility.
SEDGWICK: Thank you.
MORGAN: How do you stay so ridiculously youthful?
SEDGWICK: I drink a lot of water. I honestly -- I don't know. I take care of myself, I guess.
MORGAN: Is it just a work out ten hours a day? How do you get to look like this?
SEDGWICK: Not ten hours a day, but I do like to exercise. I do it more for my head than for anything else.
MORGAN: What was Tom Cruise like to work with? I saw you laughing the moment you saw that scene.
SEDGWICK: Well, first of all, I mean --
MORGAN: An affectionate remembrance.
SEDGWICK: Yes, I loved him. He was wonderful. He was so inviting and so generous as an actor, and such a hard worker. He was -- he is such a hard worker. And --
MORGAN: He also doesn't age either.
MORGAN: He looks exactly the same as he did in "Top Gun." It is quite weird, actually, isn't it?
SEDGWICK: No, I don't think it is weird. I think he takes care of himself. Probably gets good facials.
MORGAN: He's like Benjamin Button in reverse.
SEDGWICK: Right. He has good bone structure.
MORGAN: Is that the secret?
SEDGWICK: No, I think I could have better bone structure. You need to have the high cheekbones that everything hangs on.
MORGAN: I can get you a guy who can do that.
SEDGWICK: I'm sure you can. I'm sure you know him.
MORGAN: Talking of things that make your bones go creaky, what about Bernie Madoff? When I spoke to Kevin, he'd obviously been through this horrible experience where he lost a lot of money to Mr. Madoff. What are your feelings about him?
SEDGWICK: God, are we still on that? Is that still a topic of interest?
MORGAN: Yes, make this quick and brutal. Take him down and we can move on.
SEDGWICK: I know you so want that. But I see him as a sick man. And I see us as adults who made a choice. And I see a lot of people that are so much worse off than we are. And I think that, you know, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) happens. Can you say that?
MORGAN: So a gun with one bullet, walking down the street, you wouldn't --
SEDGWICK: No, he has a horrible life at this point. I know you hate him. I feel like you hate him more than we do.
MORGAN: Yes, he's a despicable human being. He ruined so many lives.
SEDGWICK: I absolutely agree.
MORGAN: Just because you're famous, I don't think you should be divorced from -- you're taking this very well, but if that was me, I would be absolutely enraged. This guy fleeced me.
MORGAN: But you're a nicer person than me.
SEDGWICK: Well, no, I wouldn't say that I'm that nice, but --
MORGAN: More forgiving. Let's turn to President Obama. You've been quite vocal about the president. You Tweeted about the big row over the Tar Sands Pipeline, "Obama lost America jobs when he blocked the EPA from cutting smog and ozone pollution. A great day for Exxonmobil, bad day for kids."
SEDGWICK: I think nothing is more important right now. I know the economy is in trouble. But I think we have to protect our natural resources for our children. And we have to somehow curb our addiction to fossil fuel. And the Tar Sands Pipeline was a very obviously -- it was a very tricky subject for a lot of people because it was supposed to create a lot of jobs, but I was -- from my research, I was absolutely not entirely convinced they were jobs that would actually stick around, that there were actually a lot of jobs to be had, and that, for the most part, it was going through pristine land and ruining it for the future.
And I don't think we have that much land to squander anymore, and that much clean water to squander anymore.
MORGAN: Are you an Obama fan generally?
SEDGWICK: I love Obama. I think that he's done some extraordinary things. I think he's had a really, really hard time of it. I think he's been blamed for things that were not on his watch. And I think that given a second term, I think that he will be bolder. I think that sometimes his statesmanship gets in his way and his diplomacy gets in his way a little bit. But hopefully in the second term, he'll care a little bit less about that.
MORGAN: Will you vote? Are you one of these people that I'm going to go and vote?
MORGAN: You feel strongly?
SEDGWICK: Absolutely, 100 percent. I'm -- I get flummoxed by the idea that we are all not voting, that it isn't -- that it's such a small percentage of the country that's actually voting. It is one of the few things that we can do to actually make difference.
MORGAN: Hollywood has been slightly turning on Obama recently. I know quite a few stars coming out and saying they feel disappointed in him. He hasn't lived up to expectation and so on.
SEDGWICK: I think he had impossible expectations to live up to, absolutely. Everyone hung all their hopes on him and I think that was unrealistic. There is only so much we can do with our government of checks and balances in a four-year term.
MORGAN: Are you worried that the Republicans will get in?
SEDGWICK: Always. I am.
MORGAN: What do you think of Mitt Romney?
SEDGWICK: I need to learn more about him, I think.
MORGAN: What is your gut feeling?
SEDGWICK: You know, I will be voting for Obama.
MORGAN: You're very diplomatic, aren't you?
SEDGWICK: I try to be. I would rather not be quoted all over the country.
MORGAN: You're entitled to have a say.
MORGAN: You're an active Tweeter. Do you like Twitter?
SEDGWICK: I'm not as good at it -- I'm not as diligent about it as I should be. Kevin is much better and much more creative.
MORGAN: He's very good on it, but do you like the instant feedback? Or is it -- for any artist, is it sort of vaguely terrifying as well?
SEDGWICK: It is vaguely terrifying, absolutely. It is so personal sometimes and it just feels like something you don't really want to do. But then I honestly find the Twitter universe -- or Twitter- verse, is that the word, to be pretty polite group of people.
MORGAN: You obviously haven't read any of my followers.
SEDGWICK: No. You know, if they say, anything negative, I just block them.
MORGAN: I quite like the haters. It sort of gets me up in the morning. A reason to live.
Let's take another short break, come back and talk about "the Closer," this brilliant TV series which has been dominating the last five years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEDGWICK: Mr. Strow (ph), I'm starting with the rape suspects, as usual.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your suspects are my clients and sex isn't always rape.
SEDGWICK: Murder ups the stakes a little. DNA can be very helpful in court.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have a sample, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here. Let me help you with that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Kyra Sedgwick is the feisty and brilliant deputy chief on "The Closer." It's been a smash hit. She has taken home both the Golden Globe and Emmy for her portrayal of Brenda Leigh Johnson. "The Closer" is the only series in cable history to be number one for five consecutive years. Isn't that amazing?
MORGAN: Still got over eight million viewers, airing on Monday nights on TNT. The final series about to start. How do you feel about this being the end?
SEDGWICK: Well, it has been the end since December. And while I miss the people so much, and I do love the consistent work, I -- it has been OK to take a break. It has been good. It's been good. It was an extraordinary experience. It was so creatively fulfilling, more creatively fulfilling than almost anything I've ever done. And --
MORGAN: For any actress, or actor, for that matter, doesn't there come a point when you just worry about this is going to be it now? You have to get out at the right moment.
MORGAN: There are so many other things you want to do. These shows can be brutal to make. SEDGWICK: Oh, yeah.
MORGAN: The filming schedule.
SEDGWICK: Oh, it is completely overwhelming and all consuming. But, yeah, that's why -- that's why we're done now. It was time. It was time.
MORGAN: Did you cry? Was it emotional?
SEDGWICK: Oh, very. Oh, my God, very. Very boo-hooey, as I said, as I was always saying.
MORGAN: Do you die or --
SEDGWICK: No, I don't die.
MORGAN: I don't want you to ruin everything.
SEDGWICK: No, I don't die. It won't ruin anything to say I don't die.
MORGAN: I couldn't bear it. I couldn't bear seeing your rotting carcass at the end of the series. I always think it's so unfair when they do that to the general public.
SEDGWICK: Rotting carcass, I love that. I love that.
MORGAN: What are you doing now with all your free time?
SEDGWICK: Yeah, well, I'm seeing a lot of plays. I'm sleeping a lot. But I want to do, you know, other things. That's why it was time. I think it is a perfect time to go when people still want you around and you don't start smelling like the fish.
MORGAN: What's been best moment of your --
SEDGWICK: A rotting fish.
MORGAN: A rotting fish.
MORGAN: What has been the best moment of your career, the moment if I could replay it for you right now, you would choose?
SEDGWICK: I think the best -- one of the best moments of my career was working with Paul Newman in "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge." Yeah, working with him as a person, as a mentor, and as an actor.
MORGAN: Just a great guy.
MORGAN: Literally extraordinary, wasn't he? I just think he was on a different level. SEDGWICK: Yep.
MORGAN: Both on screen and off it to almost anybody else.
SEDGWICK: Yep. And he always talked about how as he got older, everything got -- his acting got so much smaller and smaller. He would look at his work and go, too big, too big, too big. I always try to remember that. He also gave me lots of -- gave me lots of well-earned, wise education about how to deal with kids and how to drive safely. And he was very wise.
MORGAN: What was his advice about kids?
SEDGWICK: His advice about kids was -- I remember he looked at me -- I had -- Travis was two months old when I did "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge." And he said to me -- he looked at me with his baby blue eyes, all crinkly and kind of getting full with tears, and he said you never stop worrying. You never stop being a parent. Don't think that there's a certain age that that will ever go away. And there was just something about that that I take solace in as my kids get older.
MORGAN: He's right.
MORGAN: You think when they flee the nest, that's it, but that's when the real trouble starts. They're out of sight, out of mind. Anything could be happening.
MORGAN: Do you have a big ambition, a particular project or something that you would really love to do?
SEDGWICK: My big ambition is to work in film with great directors.
MORGAN: Who is the number one?
SEDGWICK: Alexander Pain.
MORGAN: Why him?
SEDGWICK: I think every movie he makes is so other, so brilliant and so spontaneous, and so real and so -- and the characters. And there's never any forcing of anything. And it's just so immensely watchable.
MORGAN: Have you had any conversations?
SEDGWICK: We've -- I've met him several times and auditioned for him several times.
MORGAN: He's rejected you?
SEDGWICK: Yes, a few times, yes.
MORGAN: What was he thinking? SEDGWICK: I don't know. Hopefully he'll see this and change his mind. See the error of his ways.
MORGAN: I think you would be great in one of his movies.
SEDGWICK: Oh yes.
MORGAN: I hope he's watching this. I just think you'd be great in movies like that.
SEDGWICK: I would love to be.
MORGAN: Maybe get you and Kevin together.
MORGAN: Is that the dream ticket?
SEDGWICK: Kind of.
MORGAN: Win a double Oscar. Can you imagine that?
SEDGWICK: Yes, that would be amazing.
MORGAN: What if you both won Oscars on the same year?
SEDGWICK: I always say to Kev, where is my "Dead Man Walking." Remember Tim Robbins directed -- he's a director too, so he needs to get cracking on that.
MORGAN: Exactly. Well, look, Kyra, it's been a real pleasure.
SEDGWICK: Thank you.
MORGAN: Just to repeat, "The Closer," the final series is airing on Monday nights on TNT. Everybody will be watching. I will be watching. It's been a real pleasure, thank you.
SEDGWICK: Thank you so much.