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Who's Talking to Chris Wallace

One-on-One with Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC); Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) Reacts to Report Alleging Racial Gerrymandering in South Carolina; Actress and Producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas Joins Chris Wallace; Actor Andy Garcia Joins Chris Wallace. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 19, 2023 - 22:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Tonight, a rocky road to re-election.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm more experienced than anybody has ever been for the office.


WALLACE: President Biden on the defensive as he faces a growing list of challenges, from inflation to immigration to questions about his age, all dragging down his poll numbers.


DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Joe Biden's approval rating down at 36 percent. That is certainly not good.


WALLACE: Now, a showdown with Congress over the country's debt limit could lead to a crippling economic crisis.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Our spending is out of control. It's unfortunate we are where we are.


WALLACE: As the president faces this latest task, we turn to one of his key allies on Capitol Hill, Congressman James Clyburn, who helped turn around Biden's 2020 campaign.


WALLACE: Don't Democrats risk if you nominate Joe Biden, there's a real chance that the country ends up with President Trump again?

(END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: And later this hour, Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sitting here talking to Chris Wallace. So, who won?

WALLACE: Man, it doesn't get better than that.



WALLACE: On her buzzy T.V. series, her new role as mom, and her high- profile marriage.

Good evening and welcome back to Who's Talking? Tonight, President Biden continues his meetings with world leaders at the G7 summit in Japan. They're tackling a wide range of problems, including global economic stability. It's an issue that could soon blow up if Mr. Biden and Republicans can't reach a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling. And it's one of many trouble spots for the president here at home as he gears up his re-election bid amid growing headwinds from many Democrats who don't want him to run again.

Which is why we start tonight with one of Mr. Biden's biggest political allies, Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina.


WALLACE: Congressman Clyburn, welcome. Thank you so much for coming in and talking with me.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, thank you very much for having me.

WALLACE: I think it's fair to say that Joe Biden would not be president of the United States today if you had not given him this endorsement before the 2020 South Carolina primary. Take a look.

CLYBURN: I want the public to know that I'm voting for Joe Biden. South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden.

I know Joe. We know Joe. But most importantly, Joe knows us.

WALLACE: But "The Washington Post" has a recent poll out that shows that Joe Biden is in serious trouble as he seeks re-election in 2024. Let me put some of this on the screen. Does Mr. Biden have the mental sharpness to serve effectively as president? 32 percent said yes, 63 percent no. And when Democrats were asked who they want the party to nominate in 2024, 36 percent said Biden while 58 percent said someone else. Congressman, wouldn't Democrats be better off picking another person as their nominee next year?

CLYBURN: Well, I don't think so. When you go into a general election, it's going to be Democrats against Republicans. What's the Democratic agenda? What's the Democratic vision for the future? And what's the Republican agenda and vision for the future? And then you look at the candidates. And you compare your candidate against their candidate. That is when it comes to fruition.

WALLACE: But let's take a look at these recent horse race polls, candidate versus candidate. Washington Post, Trump plus six, The Wall Street Journal, Biden plus three. For all Trump's baggage, and he's got a lot, this race is essentially even. I mean, isn't there a real risk, don't Democrats risk that if you nominate Joe Biden, with all the concerns about his age and his competence over the next six years, that the country has -- there's a real chance that the country ends up with President Trump again?

CLYBURN: I don't think so, not in the least. And I've seen the horse races. And when you put Biden up against Trump, Biden does very well.

WALLACE: Not always. Some of the polls --

CLYBURN: Yes, one poll may say one thing, other polls will say another. I'll go with the average of those polls and Biden is four to eight points in the lead.


And that's before people really get a chance to look in on their performances and their vision for the future.

WALLACE: If you were the kingmaker, and a lot of people think you were in 2020, President Biden has certainly returned the favor. He has arranged for South Carolina to go first in the nominating process next year, moving it ahead of traditionally early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Why should Democrats put such an emphasis on a state that they have no chance of winning in the 2024 election?

CLYBURN: Well, you've got to win the nomination first. Why would you start out your primary campaign, if you're a Democrat over to the left, and move become to the center? And if you're a Republican, you start out over to the right and move back towards the center. That's the way things work. And so it's the same thing when it comes to the primary elections.

Why should President Biden sit back and allow a state that he finished fifth in be first up? He remembers -- I've talked to him. He remembers what happened to Lyndon Johnson. He goes up to New Hampshire and gets embarrassed and drops out of the race. So, why should he expose himself to that? Because in New Hampshire -- how many people in New Hampshire really care about things like head start and voting rights? And so they vote on other things.

WALLACE: But isn't Biden, in effect, stacking the deck, moving states that he knows he can win, even if there's no chance he can win them in the general election, and South Carolina is the perfect case because he lost to Donald Trump 55 percent to 43, but moving states he knows he's going to do well in early in the nomination process, and thereby kind of giving him an easy glide path to the nomination?

CLYBURN: I don't think you're stacking the deck. I think you're avoiding embarrassment. And that is what he is attempting to avoid here. And I would expect anybody to do the same.

WALLACE: And you think Iowa and New Hampshire present the possibility of embarrassment for President Joe Biden?

CLYBURN: Well, if you do not have the demographics as required for Democrats in the general election and neither of those states have the demographics that are favorable to Democrats in the general. I think we know that.

WALLACE: Let's turn to another subject, which is the big issue right now. For months, President Biden said he wouldn't negotiate with House Republicans over the debt limit. But right now, they're in intense talks, the White House and House Republicans, you can see they had a meeting this week. Hasn't the president caved on his demand for a clean debt ceiling, and, in effect, didn't he waste three months insisting that there be no conditions, and now when we're under the gun, he's agreeing to conditions?

CLYBURN: Well, there's a big difference between negotiating a debt limit and in having negotiations on the future parallel. I have been saying a long time and I still believe the resolution will be something like this. We have a short-term debt limit bill to expire, say, September 30th, at the same time that the fiscal year expires, September 30th. And you have negotiations on the debt limit running parallel with negotiations on the budget for the future --

WALLACE: Yes, but the Republicans in the House are saying, no go. And I guess my point, if I may, Congressman, is just this. He said for months there is going to be a clean debt limit, we're not going to have negotiations about spending and budget issues as part of that. And now here we are, and there are -- the debt, we're approaching a deadline on default, and we're having negotiations about the budget. So, he's caved on it issue.

CLYBURN: I don't think so. The debt limit bill is one thing. He says he wants a clean debt limit bill. He's never said he would not negotiate on future spending. He's always said that he would.

WALLACE: But they're doing them at the same exact time.

CLYBURN: But they're separate, though. You can walk and chew gun at the same time. He's walking on the debt limit, chewing gum when it comes to the budget of the future.

WALLACE: You've got a little smile on your face. Do you really believe that yourself?

CLYBURN: Yes, I do.

WALLACE: You do?

CLYBURN: Yes, that's what he's doing.

WALLACE: Your bona fides on Joe Biden are clear from what happened before the South Carolina primary in 2020. If he agrees on a deal to avoid default, to get the debt limit increase, and it includes clawing back some of the COVID spending, putting caps on domestic spending but not on the Pentagon, and maybe even new work requirements for people getting federal aid, what are you going to do?


This is your guy.

CLYBURN: Well, I'm going to compare what he does to what's been done on the other side. That's all I'm going to do.

WALLACE: And if you feel that he's had to give more than he's gotten?

CLYBURN: Well, that all depends, whether or not I think it's a fair exchange. That, to me, is -- I've said all of my life, if the distance between me and the partner on any issue are five steps, I don't mind taking three of them. That's the way I feel. I don't think you have to always meet in the middle.


CLYBURN: So, I don't mind taking three of five, but I ain't going to take all five.


WALLACE: Coming up, the growing controversy involving a map, the Supreme Court, and a top Clyburn aide. Plus, the surprising answer when I asked the Congressman about his future.


WALLACE: You still got it, as they say. But you are 82. Any thoughts at all about retiring?




WALLACE: Congressman Jim Clyburn is in the middle of a controversial case that the Supreme Court said this week it will look into. At issue, whether or not Clyburn's congressional district in South Carolina was racially gerrymandered, illegally redrawn to disadvantage black voters in other districts. And there are reports one of Clyburn's top aides was involved.

I continue my conversation asking Clyburn whether he participated in manipulating his state's new congressional map.


WALLACE: You're under fire right now from a ProPublica report that says that you cooperated with redistricting by South Carolina Republicans after the 2020 census when they redistricted the state. And that, in fact, your office cooperated to make your congressional seat safer for you, but at the expense of Democrats and black candidates having a chance to win any other seats.

CLYBURN: Those people look behind the headlines of these things. You've got two people who are pretty upset at Jim Clyburn who planted these stories. We know exactly where this all started (ph). Number one, if there is a map room, I don't know anything about it. I've never heard of a map room, never have been in a map room. That is a downright falsehood, never happened.

Secondly, if I had allowed any kind of process to go forward that would move my district, which when I first got elected was 58 percent African American, it is now 48 percent African American. Now, how is that protecting me? From 58 percent down to -- I do not have a majority minority district. Nobody bothered to look at that.

WALLACE: Well, the report says -- you say you don't know anything about --

CLYBURN: The report is just absolutely not true.

WALLACE: Let me just ask the question. You can give your answer. The report says that one of your top aides, Dalton Tresvant, brought this hand drawn map to a meeting with state Republicans in 2021 to show where you stood on redistricting your district and that it was going to take some blacks from the first directional district, move them into your district -- yes, it's not majority minority, but it's more than it would have been without it. And the result was that it made your district safer for you and for somebody else, an African American replacing you or succeeding you, but it made it harder in the first congressional district for a Democrat or a black candidate to win.

CLYBURN: Any time you move the people around, that's going to be case -- I have no idea what that is.

WALLACE: Dalton Tresvant is a top aide to you?


WALLACE: Did he or did he not bring a hand drawn congressional map to the South Carolina Republicans to show what you wanted for the 6th Congressional District?

CLYBURN: I have no idea whether or not he did. I know this, I have never, ever proposed a district, ever, hand drawn or otherwise. When I was asked, I said to them, I do not care where you draw the lines. I will be filing for re-election. That's the way I've always been.

WALLACE: So if he did it, he was --

CLYBURN: If he did it, he did it on his own or with help from somebody else. I never, ever put my finger or a pencil on any map. I don't do that.

WALLACE: Just one question. Did you ask him whether he did it?

CLYBURN: No. I have not.

WALLACE: Why not?

CLYBURN: Why should I? Because I saw the story, I know where it came from. And it's not true. I mean, it's just a way the business is today. Why would I, after 30 years, need to have a 58 percent black district to get re-elected? I've got a 48 percent black district. I ran for re-election. I got 62 percent of the vote. Come on. Just think about that.

WALLACE: One thing that's not in doubt is your bona fides when it comes to civil rights. Over the years, you have been a leader in civil rights issues in South Carolina.


You participated in protests. You got arrested for civil disobedience. You were the first black person to be a member of the state cabinet. Big-picture question, Congressman, when you look at where this country is now on race, do you see how much has changed or how little?

CLYBURN: Things have changed. Things are retrogressing. When the Supreme Court, the Plessy versus Ferguson of 1896, we know what that did to black folks. We know what Jim Crow did after reconstruction. And I see the same things happening today. So, just because we've come a long way doesn't mean we are not seeing a reversal, and we're all seeing that.

WALLACE: Where do you see the reversal? I'm not talking just about your district, but nationwide, where do you see the reversal?

CLYBURN: Look what's happened to Roe v. Wade. That's a reversal. For the first time in modern history, we're taking rights away from people. Now, a lot of people say for the first time in the history of the country, you're taking rights away, tell them you must not have studied reconstruction as I have and post-reconstruction. All those people who had rights, they got taken away. And anything that's happened before can happen again.

WALLACE: But, I mean, on the issue of race, do you think the country's retrogressing?

CLYBURN: In many areas, yes, absolutely. You've got to be a little bit touched not to see what has gone on with this new redistricting that's taking place. You've got to look at what the voting patterns have been and what the Supreme Court is doing. And looking at the district, you've got the federal court saying, this is racial gerrymandering. The Supreme Court says, well, maybe it is, but let's run the campaign it anyway and look at it later. Come on. That's retrogressing to me.

WALLACE: When -- before this last Congress, the House Democrats were considering their leadership. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer voluntarily stepped down from leadership. You didn't. You're the assistant Democratic leader. You're in the number four post. How come you didn't step down along with the two of them?

CLYBURN: I think I stepped back. And --

WALLACE: You went from three to four.

CLYBURN: Well, my caucus, the Democratic caucus, is one thing. The Congressional Black Caucus is another thing. And I'm guided in principle by what they think may be the best for me to do. So, I did exactly what I did in concert with the Democratic caucus.

WALLACE: And they wanted you there?

CLYBURN: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think that what we fail to realize is, you know, when I got to Congress, Steny was there, Nancy was there, while I was not there before. Nobody talks about why South Carolina was majority black for so many years, the whole state, majority with 100 percent white legislators at the state and federal level. And so, to me, I am never to be judged in the same way as those who never had any privileged questions at all.

WALLACE: Anybody who's watched this interview knows that you're not slowing down. You've still got it, as they say. But you are 82. Any thoughts at all about retiring?

CLYBURN: Every day.

WALLACE: Really?

CLYBURN: Absolutely.


CLYBURN: I think about it every day. You know, I have three very astute daughters who are very political. And I've said to them, I said to them I guess six or seven years ago, I said, I want you all to keep your ears close to the ground and keep your eyes on me. And if you ever think that there's something amiss, or if you hear that there's something amiss, let me know. And that's the way I operate this.

WALLACE: Final question. For more than 30 years, you and your family have been very supportive of South Carolina's eight historically black universities and colleges. And you and your family have raised millions of dollars for scholarships. Question, why has that been such a focus of your philanthropy over the years?

CLYBURN: I believe very strongly in what Ron McNair said to me, Ronald McNair, just before he had his fatal blastoff. He said to me, people always introduce me as being this PhD from MIT, but that's not what made me successful, he said.


It was North Carolina A&T who took this little boy from a tobacco town, Lake City, South Carolina, and I became a successful astronaut with a PhD from MIT. That's because the people in these institutions who grew up the way I grew up, who understand what it is to grow up the way I grew up, and they remediated where I needed remediation, and that's what made me successful.

That's what these HBCUs are all about. They take students that have been intentionally, in some instances, undereducated students, without sophistication, and they turn them into jewels. And that is what it's all about with me.

So, the history is there. It's not appreciated by enough people. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that the history of these institutions is appreciated.


WALLACE: One final note on that topic. Clyburn announced this week $3 million from the National Parks Service will go to preserving and restoring historically black colleges and universities in South Carolina.

When we come back, one of Hollywood's brightest young stars, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas on her new spy thriller series, the marriage to pop star Nick Jonas, and the moment that got this reaction.


WALLACE: We even explored that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, come on. Stop it, Chris.






CHRIS WALLACE, HOST (voice-over): From Spy Thrillers.


To an FBI procedural.


To romantic comedies.


Priyanka Chopra Jonas is an international superstar.


She's had quite a journey from pageant winner and Bollywood leading lady to headliner in Hollywood.


While outside the studio, she's active as a U.N. goodwill ambassador. PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS, ACTOR: My wish for children is freedom.

WALLACE (voice-over): And using the attention from her high-profile marriage to help change the world.


WALLACE: Let's start with your buzzy series on Amazon Prime Video. It's called "Citadel." And briefly, for those folks who haven't seen it, what's the premise and what's "Citadel," and what's, and this will show you I've watched part of it, what's Manticore?

CHOPRA JONAS: Oh, you have watched part of it. "Citadel" is an extremely ambitious show which strives to cross-pollinate global industries. So we have this show, which is in English language, which you can see it in any language, American show. We have an Indian show and an Italian show.

But the premise is your good old spy genre led by a spy duo who are the best -- best in this spy organization called Citadel, which has no loyalty to any nation. So it works for humanity. It's a secret organization. It stops wars. And the beginning of the show, Citadel is taken down. So when the good guys are taken down, the bad guys that are Manticore.

WALLACE: Manticore?

CHOPRA JONAS: Yes. They rule the roost. And the memories are erased of all of these spies. You start the show with a couple of years later when everyone's kind of finding their feet.

WALLACE: All right, there are parts of this series that have the glitz and gadgets of a James Bond movie. Take a look.


WALLACE: How much do you love all that stuff, the gadgets?

CHOPRA JONAS: I love it, I love it, I love it. I love, who doesn't? I mean, there's a reason why there's so many Mission Impossibles and then we love the Bourne series and we love the Bonds, that there's that many Bonds. People have always had a fascination with the spy genre, and it was so much fun. It was like, what dreams are made of, except I got to be the spy, not the damsel.

WALLACE: Well, you're certainly not a damsel. There are the less glamorous parts, such as --


WALLACE: Now, I will tread very lightly for the rest of this interview.

CHOPRA JONAS: So. I love showing this clip at the beginning of an interview.

WALLACE: Honestly, how much of that on screen is you?

CHOPRA JONAS: About 80, 85% of it.

WALLACE: Really? And did you have to do workouts to get in shape to beat the hell out of that guy?

CHOPRA JONAS: Yes, workouts for sure. We trained like five days a week. We had weapons training, combat training, because they wanted, well, the mandate from upstairs, the Russos, was that, you know, people will have a more visceral reaction because we're not superheroes. We're not superpowers. We're human beings. We bleed. We hurt. So they wanted to see our faces as much as they can.


And listen, I am a girl who comes from I've done action movies and my Bollywood movies. I trust my body and you give me resources like that. Yeah, I'm capable of doing most of it.

WALLACE: So I want talk about you. You are unquestionably considered one of the great beauties of the world.

CHOPRA JONAS: Thank you very much.

WALLACE: When did you first become aware that your looks were a thing? And did you regard it as a gift or a burden?

CHOPRA JONAS: I think when I was 16, 15, 16, you know, I suddenly realized the power of being a woman. And I liked it. And I liked it, and I may have enjoyed it because I was like, oh, me and my friends used to challenge each other. This is like, listen, late 90s. We used to challenge each other about how many phone numbers we could get at the mall. And like that kind of silly teenager stuff. But I started working when I was 17. So -- and I was very young and awkward and trying to figure out where I land my confidence, you know, wasn't as polished, didn't know everything. But slowly the entertainment industry taught me how to be the best version of myself.

WALLACE: Is it true that there was so much attention from boys in your hometown in India, that your father put up iron bars on the windows of your home?

CHOPRA JONAS: Well, there has to be context to that story. It is true, but context-less, it sounds crazy. But I had left India when I was a 12-year-old girl, and my father didn't see me for four years. Like, we didn't have FaceTime and stuff like that. We talk on the phone, pictures.

WALLACE: So now you come back, and you look different.

CHOPRA JONAS: I come back, and I look like this at 16. My dad was just did not know what to do with this 16-year-old teenager. And I was precocious, like I was, you know, I liked attention, I was like, I'm not shy. And my dad didn't know what to do with me. And one night, you know, some boys that I didn't know were following me back from extra classes that I was doing. And, you know, one of them jumped into my bedroom balcony and I ran out and called my dad and it became a whole thing. And after that, he was just like, we got to protect this, this house is becoming a fortress.

WALLACE: So in 2000, you compete, you become Miss India, and then you win the Miss World pageant. I want you to talk about that, but I also read somewhere that it was your little brother who pushed you to get into the contest because he wanted you out of the house so he could get your room.

CHOPRA JONAS: Yeah, we just had one guest room when I came back from America. And my dad now was like, oh, she's a young woman. She needs her space. I can't. He didn't know, so he just kicked my brother out. He was 10 years old and gave him the hallway. He had a bed and like tables in the hallway and I got the room.

And I may have shoved it in his face that this was my room. Now you're not allowed. So he hatched this elaborate plan, which gave me my career, technically. He got his room back.

WALLACE: He got his room back and you got in this world. Well, okay, that sets you on a path, as you've mentioned briefly before, to Bollywood, the Hindi movie capital in Mumbai. And I want to show a clip from one of your movies. And you starred in a hit action film. Here you are.


You were just a thing, I've got to tell folks, what fun you like doing that?

CHOPRA JONAS: Oh, I love dancing. It's so much fun, especially these beautiful set pieces. Dancing is such an integral part of Indian culture. Babies are born, we dance. You know, in cricket as one, we dance. Weddings, we dance. We just dance. So our movies are influenced with so much music and richness and colors that I really miss doing that.

WALLACE: Now, I've got to ask you about a slightly more complicated part of this. You became a big star. But I read somewhere that they thought that you were too dark, in fact, that people in the movie business called you, quote, "dusky," and that you had to put on skin- lightening cream. Is that true?

CHOPRA JONAS: Yeah, in the early 2000s, journalists would refer to me as Dusky Beauty. I was considered there was a song talked about it recently, but there was a song called Chitti Doodh Kuri, which literally means girl white, like milk. I'm not white like milk. But I was made to look lighter. Most brands, skincare brands have like brightening whitening creams and that was normalized for a very long time.


But all of that is changing. I think the conversation around it has really helped people kind of understand the destructive nature of that messaging. WALLACE: Coming up from Bollywood to Hollywood, Priyanka opens up

about career troubles in America, marrying a pop star, and some scary weeks for the glamorous couple.

CHOPRA JONAS: She had so many tubes in her heart, you could see her little face. So it was very terrifying.


WALLACE: Priyanka Chopra Jonas made more than 50 Bollywood films. But when she decided to take on projects in the U.S., it was not an easy transition. We continue our conversation with the problems she faced as she tried to make it big in America.


In 2015, you come to this country, and you've become the first South Asian to star in an American television series as an FBI recruit in the TV show, "Quantico." Here you are.


You were a big star in India. Why did you decide to make the move to the U.S.?

CHOPRA JONAS: Well, everybody wants to grow and evolve. I was looking to kind of spread my wings. I wanted to -- I had the opportunity to do pop music for a hot second and then quickly realized I'm a better actor than I am a pop star. I had never thought about it when I was working in India, but circumstances kind of brought me here and I -- I've always sort of, I worked for about 10 years to get to a point where I was a leading lady and I wanted to be able to look for mainstream thoughts in entertainment here and there were very few people like me that did that at that time. So to be able to get that job after working towards it, after, you know, this was not written for an Indian woman, I just went in, auditioned like everybody else and got the job, was really validating.

WALLACE: So you talk briefly about you were going to be a pop star. We even explored that.

CHOPRA JONAS: Oh, come on. Stop it, Chris.

WALLACE: It's not so bad, Priyanka.


WALLACE: So you have a song that for a while was the opening song on NFL Network, "Thursday Night Football," here you are.


CHOPRA JONAS: I was so young.

WALLACE: Is that what you do? You look back at her and think?

CHOPRA JONAS: Well, it's like 10 years ago or something. She's like, I was 30 or something. That's crazy.

WALLACE: So I -- I heard that the reaction in social media was not, I mean, yes, there were obviously people like it, but there was also a lot of racism. Was that true?

CHOPRA JONAS: Yeah, I mean, NFL Network got a lot of tweets and stuff, or you know, things saying, who is she? Who's this person? And why should she be on American TV? And like, football should be an American person. It was just like very confusing, because I was just an artist with a song that they liked, but props to NFL, they doubled down for next year.

WALLACE: Was that hurtful to you, or by that point, had you sort of been through that and it didn't hit you?

CHOPRA JONAS: No, it hits you every time. It hits you every, all of it hits you. Criticism, the fact that, you know, my job requires me to be dissected and microscopically, everything I say, my home, my family, everything is looked at, but that's the nature of the beast. And I've done it for 23 years now, where I'm not expecting its nature to change. You've gotta start protecting yourself. And I started doing that many years ago. So yes, of course it was hurtful, but I'm someone who does wear blinders. I'm not. And I believe in, you know, letting my work speak for itself. And the best shutdown to people like that, who said that I didn't belong, is to belong. And today I have, you know, the number one series in the world on the show. And I'm sitting here talking to Chris Wallace, so --

WALLACE: Man, it doesn't get better than that.

CHOPRA JONAS: Who won, who won?

WALLACE: Well, but one of the things that changed as you grew and got more success. I heard that when you started, you felt you had to kind of shed your ethnicity to get jobs, to get accepted here in the U.S., but that as you've grown and become Priyanka Chopra Jonas, that you are, you now embrace your ethnicity on screen.

CHOPRA JONAS: When I first started working here, I think that I did not want to be the check in the box. Normalizing my culture has been a long walk. And there are a few of us that are doing it, and culture should be normalized because children should be exposed to different kinds of culture. Culture is the best teacher in the world, traveling around the world, meeting, you know, different foods that take different forms, languages.

So I think that that became my quest for a very long time. And I'm doing a lot of work where I want to bring stories that are about my culture, my people. And should be out there.

WALLACE: Well, speaking of your culture, one way you embraced it was your wedding to pop singer Nick Jonas with his big extravaganza in Jodhpur. Why did you want it to be so big?

[22:50:04] CHOPRA JONAS: Because I never said I was subtle. Everything I do is big. I'm a bold person. It was big in scale, but it was just 110 people. It was the closest people to me and my husband, and we kept it very intimate. But I wanted to get married in a palace with a 75-foot train. Why not? Why not?

WALLACE: And you could.


WALLACE: All right. Then last year, you and Nick had your baby girl, Malte Marie, who was born dangerously premature. How big was she when she was born?

CHOPRA JONAS: Very small. She was very, very small. It was very touch and go for about her whole third trimester. She was in the NICU and it was many, many scary moments, but my husband and I had each other and we really, really, we had to be really tough in that situation because she needed that. And here she is, happy as a clam, smiley as baby now, healthy, and we're so blessed, she's our greatest blessing.

WALLACE: So she had to spend 100 days in ICU, and as I understand it, when she came home and you didn't have all the monitors and all the nurses that you would all the time you'd be putting your ear to her heart to make sure that her heart --

CHOPRA JONAS: Or my finger in front of her nose or just like is she breathing? And I would count her breathing to see if it was like a normal breath. Because I was an acute mom, I read, I mean the monitor to know that she was okay or what she was feeling. She couldn't even cry or communicate in any way. You know, she had so many tubes in her, you hardly could see a little face. So it was very terrifying and trying, but we had so much support from our family, my mom, my husband's parents came down, spent time with us, helped us, helped her be surrounded by love and, you know, feel cherished and she's the happiest little thing.

WALLACE: And how's she doing now?

CHOPRA JONAS: She's great. She's great. She's almost walking. Almost. We're just about standing now.

WALLACE: Finally, hold up your right. So I kept noticing this. Daddy's, well, you tell me about that and the story behind it.

CHOPRA JONAS: Well, it says daddy's little girl, and it's my dad's handwriting. I lost my dad to cancer in 2013. And he was my greatest champion, biggest fan, like gregarious laugh, loudest in the room, you know, just confident guy. And there was a lot of silence after I lost my dad in my life. It was a very tumultuous time for me, but he would never let me get a tattoo. So I thought if I involved him, you know, maybe he'd like let me get a tattoo and he was very emotional when I got it done. That picture was just three, two months before he passed.

WALLACE: In addition to starring in the new series Citadel on Prime Video, Priyanka has her own production company called Purple Pebble Pictures, which mostly works with new female filmmakers.

Up next, the actor known as a reluctant star in Hollywood shines bright in a new movie.




WALLACE: Finally, tonight, the highly anticipated reunion of four legendary actresses. Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen star on the next chapter of their "Book Club" series. The movie is in theaters now, and here's a taste.


Well, another actor who's still got it is Andy Garcia. He plays Diane Keaton's boyfriend in the film. I recently sat down with him to talk about what it was like to play opposite the legendary actress.


ANDY GARCIA, ACTOR: Yeah, Diane's a friend and I'm a great admirer of hers. And she's so wonderful to play with, you know. I think that for me, the character's so fascinated with her from the moment he meets her in the first film. He's so smitten by her. She's so charming, so fetching and kooky, you know, and he's just fascinated with her. And so I just get lost in her, you know, when I work with her. She's amazing. And anything I throw her away, you know, she's best when you can throw things at her and things are unpredictable.

WALLACE: You have been a movie star for 35 years. You've acted in more than 100 roles. You've directed seven projects. You've also been called the reluctant star because while you've had this great career over 35 years, you are known for being very zealous about guarding your privacy and not wanting to be over exposed.

GARCIA: Yes, I guess so. People have said that. I guess your behavior becomes your pattern of how people define you, you know. But this is true. I always feel that I'm always game to support a project that I like and stuff like that. But then after that, I think it's best to retreat and, you know, until you have something else to talk about. You know, I think somewhat of an enigma of the performer is important. And it's just not my nature to, I mean, I love a good party. I have many friends. I'm not a person who hides in real life. But in terms of the lights, you know, I tend to shy away from those.

WALLACE: We'll have much more of my conversation with Andy Garcia in a few weeks on Who's Talking. For now, thank you for watching. You can catch my full sit downs with Congressman James Clyburn and Priyanka Chopra Jonas anytime you want on HBO Max.