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Larry King Live

Shirley MacLaine Discusses `The Camino'

Aired May 24, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, she's an actress, adventurer and bestselling author. She also says she's lived a whole bunch of lives. She's our buddy Shirley MacLaine. She's here for the whole hour. We'll take your calls, too, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

SHIRLEY MACLAINE, ACTRESS/AUTHOR: You're not going to talk that loud, are you?

KING: They very few people I would -- I'm not talking that loud. I'm just introing the show. I yelled a little, and Shirley got angry.

Anyway, I'm interrupting a vacation this week. My little son, Canon Edwards, was born on Monday, but you would always interrupt a vacation to be with one of the great people in show business history, Shirley MacLaine. She's also one of our bestselling authors. And her new book is "The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit." There you see its cover. This book just came out. And a week from , it's number four on the "New York Times" bestseller list. All of her books have been major bestsellers. This one could go through the roof. Thanks for coming, Shirley.

MACLAINE: Thank you. It's my pleasure.

KING: Just so I understand something before we begin this journey. I had a little baby Monday.

MACLAINE: Yes, yes you did.

KING: Where do you think he came from?

MACLAINE: No, really. I'm not talking about the physical came from. Where in the spirit of things? He's been around?

MACLAINE: When you looked into the face of your new child, what did you feel? Feel, not think?

KING: Love.

MACLAINE: Was there any kind of recognition there?

KING: You don't know, you know. There was a warmth. There was a radiation.

MACLAINE: And you really felt the connection. KING: Yes.

MACLAINE: He's yours, of course.

KING: And you love him right away.

MACLAINE: And did you get the sense that he was kind of what we call an old soul.

KING: Yes. Everyone says -- well, I don't know what I'm sensing, but he looked like an old soul. OK, what does that mean to you?

MACLAINE: I would -- for me, this means, when I had my child -- and I've been around a lot of young kids lately. When a child comes in, I believe that it's a "multipersonhood," and it knows it, its consciousness knows it, and it has a nuclei in the center of its consciousness that is the repository of all experience and all knowledge. And when you look in the eyes of your baby and you feel this sense that they are an old soul, I believe indeed they are. They have been here before. That's what "many happy returns" means to me on a birthday. So then when the child is more and more focused on this life experience that it has chosen to have, I believe the veils drop in relation to its memory of what went before.

KING: When did you begin to believe this? You didn't believe this when you were 20, when you were dancing in "The Pajama Game," did you believe this?

MACLAINE: You know, I think I had my first past life recall when I was 7.

KING: Really?

MACLAINE: Yes, I was standing on a statue in Jamestown. My family took us to Jamestown.

KING: Virginia?

MACLAINE: Yes, and I was positive I had been there. And when I went back to Jamestown some years later, when my dad was dying -- and that's interesting, to be around parent when they're dying, because they get an influx of this mass overall consciousness. Are your parents alive?


MACLAINE: Were you with them when they were dying?


MACLAINE: It is an extraordinary thing. I used to go to my dad's bedside at...

KING: Johns Hopkins. I remember where he died. MACLAINE: Yes, and I just wanted to be with him, because at night, he would have the experience -- I don't say dreaming -- he would have the experience that he was seeing his father, his mother, his friend, his departed loved ones and so forth, and he would come back in the morning, wake up, and I would be sitting there, and he would tell me about this.

KING: Now, Shirley, this book, you have written a lot of books. Some of them have been extraordinary bestsellers. This one looks like it's going through the roof and a lot of people talking about it. Let's -- give me the history? What do you mean by the title? What's "The Camino?"

MACLAINE: All right, let me start from the beginning. I was playing in Brazil with my one-woman show in...

KING: Dancing, singing -- you still do that?

MACLAINE: Yes, with my left leg up, not my right leg. And I received two anonymous letters over a period of three years, suggesting that if I was going to continue writing these books and being so involved with the sort of popularization of these theories, rather than something so intellectually convoluted you get bored, that I should do this camino. It's called "The Camino" -- the Santiago de Compostela Camino. It's a very famous pilgrimage done by thousands and thousands and thousands of people.

KING: A pilgrimage is called a camino?

MACLAINE: Well, I call it the Camino, and it's called the Camino Santiago de Compostela, taken by saints, sinners, kings, queens.

KING: In Spain.

MACLAINE: Yes, it's across northern Spain.

MACLAINE: You go from Saint Jean de Pied de Port, which is just over the Pyrenees. That's where I started -- I walked across the Pyrenees and then walked across northern Spain.

KING: It's a walk?

MACLAINE: It's a walk, and it's 800 kilometers -- a little over 500 miles.

KING: It took you how long?

MACLAINE: Thirty days.

KING: And the purpose?

MACLAINE: Well, to really find one's deepest spiritual meaning. That's why so many generals took it, and kings and queens.

KING: Why there? Why not San Francisco? MACLAINE: Many more stops. They claim that the energy underneath the ground of the Camino is in direct ratio to the energy of the Milky Way, And therefore, when you walk, you are feeling the energy of the stars in that configuration of the Milky Way. Also one needs to do it alone. I did it alone. I slept in shelters. I slept in the basement of churches. I begged for food. One should go...

KING: You went without money?

MACLAINE: No, I took money but I only spent about $50, and then I'll tell you something I bought later that figures into this book.

KING: Did you know you would write a book?

MACLAINE: You know, for me, life is always, as they say, grist for the mill, but I only knew I couldn't write my notes at the end of the day because my hands were so cramped from walking 20 miles a day and sometimes 40, 10 hours a day, so I talked into a little tiny procorder. I didn't know what I would do. I wanted that experience to live with me after I got back and if I would turn it on, I would...

KING: Did you sense right away it was special?

MACLAINE: Oh, Larry, absolutely.

KING: And what happened that would tell you that? What made it different from walking through this studio?


KING: No, I mean it. Walking is walking.

MACLAINE: No. When you do something in your completely vulnerable state, you're completely helpless. You're dependent on the refugeios. I was sleeping in these refugeios. They're shelters with people who snored, and dreamed, and coughed everything out loud, all communal. We get up...

KING: You didn't know the language, did you?

MACLAINE: No, it's Castiliano, very much different than Spanish.

KING: But you knew you knew, you knew something was happening?

MACLAINE: Yes, because I tell you what happens to you. Do you know Tick Nat Khan (ph)? He is a Vietnamese master of walking meditation. I did not know it was happening to me. I knew it was beginning to happen. When you walk 10 hours, 11 hours a day by yourself, you are doing a walking meditation. If you make friends, it's best to let them go so you can be totally within yourself, so you are walking in a meditative state. And as you walk in the meditative state, you begin to access levels of consciousness that you didn't know were there.

KING: And it's different when you're walking in Northern Spain than walking anywhere else? MACLAINE: I think there are other pilgrimages one could take, I do, but this one is -- I'll tell you why I liked it. The Spanish government protects a pilgrim who is walking alone, particularly a woman, and the water in Northern Spain is extraordinary, and so there are fountains in every village that you walk through. It's really, I learned, all you need is a good hat, some good shoes and some...

KING: The water tastes good, you mean?

MACLAINE: Delicious.

KING: We'll be right back with more. Shirley MacLaine's book is "The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit."

We'll take your calls later. This is LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Shirley MacLaine. What do you learn when you're walking? What's happening?

MACLAINE: You know, all you think about is yourself. You know how many of the great politicians and leaders have said that the most important time they ever spent was in solitary confinement. This is a walking solitary confinement. You think about your life, work, family, your lovers, family, your body, your soul, your mind, and then finally, as you are so engrossed in this sort of what would in the beginning be a morass of who am I?, you come to a very clear understanding that you are more than what you thought you were when you began.

KING: how long into the journey?

MACLAINE: Took me about two and a half weeks. Now, mind you, at the same time, the press in Spain has had a long relationship between me and my book. My books have always been...

KING: Your films are big there.

MACLAINE: And my films. And no celebrity, apparently, had ever done this. A bullfighter had done it, but he used to have his caravan waiting for him at the end of the day, so he never really experienced it.

KING: So you were followed?

MACLAINE: They followed me, they ambushed me, they landed in a couple of helicopter -- it was awful. I threw a boulder at one of the crews.

KING: Wasn't that distracting?

MACLAINE: Extremely. So what I did, I figured, well, this is the baggage that I bring with me on this pilgrimage, unlike the others that are unknown. People were wonderful. The villagers and some of the people that I met in the night at the refugeios would protect me, they would tell the press I'd gone the other way. I got attacked by wild dogs. They tried to film that. It was an extraordinary kind of dramatic experience at the same time that I'm trying to go within myself. So I realize that I'm one of these people who has a public life, who is noticed by people, and I have to deal with that. I was not happy with how angry I got with the press, and in the book...

KING: You got angry with them?

MACLAINE: I certainly did, because they interrupted.

KING: You asked for privacy, and they didn't give you?

MACLAINE: They didn't respect what their camino was about. They thought I was turning Catholic, big new agers, writing about all these things, I'm turning Catholic. I mean, they have no idea what their pilgrimage is for.

KING: So how then did you get to concentrate or get in touch with what you needed to get in touch with?

MACLAINE: I did it in spite of them. Many times I would walk even though they were following me. I never spoke to one of them, never gave them any sound bites or anything like that. And I learned to go within myself and live on two levels of consciousness simultaneously. There they are. but here I am, too, which is where you are when you are a public figure. You know, you've got your own private life. You've got your agendas, your own conflicts, you don't want the public to know about them. And yet when you're walking like this, you're there to balance those conflicts, to resolve those conflicts.

KING: When revelations began -- if that's a good word for it -- what was that like?

MACLAINE: I, as I said, didn't -- well, I never knew really why, except for these spiritual conflicts to be resolved, was I doing this. No one really knew. I don't know if others went through what I went through. But as I trekked, I realized I had been there before. And as I went deeper into the knowledge that I was more was more than a person in big pain with lots of blisters and aching body, let that go, got out of my own way, and my consciousness went deeper until I began to have what a walking meditation will produce. Vision pictures, I guess you'd say. I would have some flashes of them when I was walking, but then when I'd stop, sit under a tree, I would go into what I guess one would call, even though it's a prejudicial phrase, a past life recall, and I had been on a communal.

KING: Flashes of your own past.

MACLAINE: Yes, being a Moorish girl, being there, being a healer, in these same places.

KING: How do you know really that it's not a kind of hallucination? MACLAINE: I question that, because they were so clear. In fact, I went through quite a bit of analysis as to -- not analysis with the psychiatrists. They wouldn't really know. Although there are a lot of past-life psychiatrists working today who are helping a great many people. I didn't know the difference between memory and imagination. Maybe I was. Maybe I'm a dream artist, as they call it.

Another thing, Larry. You know, I saw Deepak the other night on the show, and I've heard people try to explain this, and I thought perhaps it takes an artist, someone who has to be readily accessible to their own conscious memory and potential, probability, their own conscious probability, or unconscious possibility, to get to this, because when you play a part and don't know you have any identification with the emotions of that part, you have to go deep, you have to create a reality that you truly believe. I thought, am I creating this reality?

KING: And how do you know you aren't?

MACLAINE: Well, we're creating our lives all day long.

KING: Let me get a break.

By the way, speaking of Shirley the artist, six Oscar nominations, three Emmys, won 10 Golden Globes. For one of those nominations, she won an Oscar.

Here's a scene from that Oscar-winning film "Terms of Endearment."


MACLAINE: Excuse me, it is after 10:00. Give my daughter the pain shot please.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Mrs. Greenway, I was going, too.

MACLAINE: Oh, good, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: In just a few minutes.

MACLAINE: Well, please, it's after 10:00. It's after 10:00. I don't see why she has to have this pain.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Ma'am, it's not my patient.

MACLAINE: It's time for the shot, do you understand? Do something! All she has to do is hold on until 10:00, and it's past 10:00! My daughter is in pain! Give her the shot, do you understand me?


MACLAINE: Give my daughter the shot!

Thank you very much. Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP)


KING: We're back with Shirley MacLaine. Her book, "The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit." A week from Sunday, it's number four on "The New York Times" bestseller list.

Are you just beginning a tour? You're doing a lot of tours.

MACLAINE: You know what I did? I launched this on the Internet Web.

KING: That's it?

MACLAINE: Simon & Schuster put it all together, and I did all these Web site...

KING: This your first serious interview then?

MACLAINE: This is the first one where that I've really had in depth where I have to make sense.


KING: All right, now when you start realizing in your past, did things shock you?

MACLAINE: You know, when you've been an actor and done so much stuff, none of the emotional drama that occurs in something from the past really can shock you, because you've been there and back so many times in characters.

KING: Dismiss shock, what surprised you?

MACLAINE: The fact that the sense of it was so true and so real.

KING: It was real to you?

MACLAINE: Absolutely real. And you have emotional reactions to it. When I did some past-life therapy -- when I had a divorce from my husband, it was extremely difficult, Larry, so I went into past-life therapy to try to figure out what had been our relationship perhaps in the past, because I always felt I knew him. I accessed that, don't want to go into that. It's not pertinent now. But because I accessed that, because I saw how important he and I had been together over centuries, I didn't feel any bitterness. It really does work, it has this sense of making you understand that you are a conglomeration of everything you've experienced. It's like Einstein said, "Knowledge is experience. Anything else is information."

KING: How far back did you go? When you recorded the end of the day your memory...

MACLAINE: Well, sure, I recorded the end of the visions.

KING: ... how far back?

MACLAINE: I went back to the beginning. I...

KING: The beginning of time?

MACLAINE: Yes, I had this sense of understanding the -- at least on this Earth level, what went on.

KING: All right, are these people you were dead?

MACLAINE: No, I am those people.

KING: You are those people.

MACLAINE: my soul still has the genetic memory, the genetic coding, the genetic experience of what I did experience. That's why -- that's why accessing this consciousness of ours which is so vast and so universal, inside ourselves is so important.

KING: Then the obvious question is -- I know I've asked of you before, but I haven't seen you in quite a while. How come there are more people now than there were 200 years ago?

MACLAINE: Because we've not been only this Earth. There have been souls all over the universe, I believe. That's why we have this extraordinary curiosity about other planes, other planets. Some of us -- I was out -- I asked for a telescope when I was 9, and I was out on the back lawn thinking that's home somehow.

KING: You were also a man in a prior life?

MACLAINE: Yes. I think the whole idea of the reincarnational -- codeword -- experience is to experience what it is to be male and what it is to be female.

KING: You revealed to yourself you were Charlemagne's lover, you assassinated a Swedish prime minister.

MACLAINE: No, I didn't assassinate...

KING: Or you were assassinated?

MACLAINE: No, he was.

KING: He was.

MACLAINE: You haven't read the book. You've got...

KING: No, this is just a note. I just got the -- but this -- you were involved in life, and death and love, right?


KING: What I'm getting at, is when you experienced that, do you experience it emotionally, the death of someone, making love to someone? Do you experience that while you're on the walk? MACLAINE: Yes, the vision pictures that you see, or that I saw, was of being a Gypsy Moorish girl brought into the court of Charlemagne, was his lover, among many others. He had many. The soul of that man, Charlemagne, came later, had a future life as Olof Palme in Sweden. I had a relationship with him, and...

KING: So you continued with him in a karma situation.

MACLAINE: Yes. There was this connection of recognition.

KING: If you were not Shirley MacLaine, this would not a serious around-the-world program, someone could turn this on and say this is funny, right?

MACLAINE: Only in this country, because most people around the world, about two-thirds of the human race, are involved with this. It's this country that has a humorous -- by the way, I think it's funny. I love the Jay Leno...

KING: I know, we always kid about it.

MACLAINE: Yes, but maybe they're making comedy relief, because what I'm saying is something you intuit.

KING: OK, having it, in a minute I want to ask you, what does it mean? Let's say I was a friend of Lincoln's, just as an example.


KING: The question when we come back is, so what? If I don't know it, so what?

MACLAINE: We'll take a break with Shirley MacLaine.

Here's another example of her extraordinary talent in "The Turning Point." Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: It's so lovely to be you?

MACLAINE: Well, obviously, you think so. And anyway, I doubt if Amelia could become you. She's as talented as you are and she works as hard.

There's one thing, dearest friend, that you are that Amelia, poor darling, is not.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: And what, pray tell, is that?

MACLAINE: A killer. You'd walk over anybody and still get a good night's sleep. That's exactly how you got where you are, Emma.

Good girl.


KING: I want to veer off for a second. When Anne Bancroft threw that liquor in your face, you said to me you didn't know she was going to do that, or it wasn't in the script.


KING: And it was real liquor.


KING: What did you think?

MACLAINE: I thought, you know, I'm an actress, he doesn't have to do that, I could really react, because it hurt, it hurt my eye, it surprised me, I was blubbering through my mascara, I was afraid I would get that all over the costume and then how would that match? I don't like that kind of direction, because, you know, you can act it.

KING: In other words, tell her to do one thing and not tell the other.


KING: OK, so what? I know I was a friend of Lincoln, so what?

MACLAINE: You know, it would depend on the experience that you had, if you are referring to his assassination. Probably, that trauma certainly would follow through in your soul's mechanism.

KING: And help me in what way?

MACLAINE: Well, you would be perhaps more alert at a theater. You might feel more empathy for leaders. You might sense a more of alertness in times of danger. Anything.

KING: So I do carry with me the things of my past.

MACLAINE: Absolutely, forever, every experience.

KING: When we do shows with people who communicate with the dead, and we've done some...

MACLAINE: They're fascinating, huh?

KING: ... and "The Sixth Sense" movie and that kind of thing, do you believe they are communicating with souls?

MACLAINE: Well, I believe that...

KING: When they sit there and say, your grandfather, I feel him in the presence, do you believe that?

MACLAINE: Well, Larry, science says no energy ever dies, it just changes form. So therefore, what does the soul do when it leaves the body? It is somewhere. It is intelligent. It is full of experiences. It is make up its mind what to do next. Certainly.

KING: We don't know what the soul is, do we? Never seen one?

MACLAINE: You know, it should be more of an official investigation, it seems to me, because we're prisoners of the way we look at science. We have theorized something that is the hypothesis of which is not expanded enough. It's really time to come -- we came out of the cave and looked into the light.

KING: You have no doubt there is a soul that goes on.

MACLAINE: There's no question about that.

KING: We'll take a break and come back. We'll include your phone calls from Shirley MacLaine. We'll ask her some questions about theater, what she misses and some of the people she's been with and "The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit." I didn't mean biblically.

Don't go away.



KING: You and Shirley MacLaine: What's the story?

WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR: She's my sister. I love her. We had dinner the night before last.

KING: You did?


KING: Why are there all these stories over the years of a rift, you never work together, that kind of thing?

BEATTY: I'd love to work with her. I sense she probably feels the same way. There's no rift.

KING: Where did that start? Not new to you to hear this?

BEATTY: No, no, no. She's -- I think we have ways of irritating each other once in a while. But I mean, that's not a big...

KING: Just like any brother and sister?

BEATTY: I think so, yes.


KING: OK. What about him? What's with him? Are you going to do a movie ever together, going to do something together?

MACLAINE: You know, it's interesting. Maybe this is why the stories went around. When we're together, we talk about kids, family, things that have to do with personal interplay. We don't talk about work.

KING: Do you know a more famous, honestly, brother and sister acting since the Barrymores.

MACLAINE: I haven't thought about it.

KING: There isn't. So there would be a demand to see you work together. That's understandable.

MACLAINE: Well, I don't know if I could do 63 takes, Larry. I think I'd be -- I work differently than him, although nothing has come up that would present that decision.

KING: You are his older sister, right?


KING: Did you boss him around as a kid?

MACLAINE: Yes, and I fought his battles for him.

KING: Down there in Arlington, Virginia.

MACLAINE: In Richmond.

KING: Richmond. Oh, and then Arlington.

MACLAINE: First -- first...

KING: First Richmond.

MACLAINE: ... Waverly and then Richmond and then Arlington.

KING: Ellijay, Georgia for Shirley MacLaine, author of "The Camino." Hello.

Hello. Are you there?

There ain't nobody there. I'm bringing it down, but there's nobody there. OK, I tried it. They weren't there.

You've worked with...

MACLAINE: My kind of people.


KING: You worked with Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Anne Bancroft, Meryl Streep, Sally Fields, Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin. Anyone you wanted to work with...

MACLAINE: Oh yes. Marlon.

KING: Marlon. He's probably watching, because Brando watches this show. He's been on this show.


MACLAINE: We've been talking. We talk often. He's quite extraordinary. Love to work with him.

I want to see his process. He is probably studiedly spontaneous, but I think -- now that's a man who would look at the art of accessing emotions and understanding this.

KING: So when you see a talent like that or look at your own, do you in yourself wonder where that came from?

MACLAINE: Yes, I do.

KING: What he might have been or done?

MACLAINE: I do. Yes, I do. Yes, I've often asked myself that.

Also things came very easily for me, Larry. It was sort of like I had a magic wand on my shoulder and I didn't struggle much. I went through, after I became a star, I went through the ups and downs with 10 comebacks and this and that. But I feel a kind of responsibility since my destiny has been so positive to look into myself: Who am I? Why did this happen? As I can access this internal knowledge, I feel the necessity to share it.

KING: And so you bring it to your art, do you not?

MACLAINE: I do. Oh, sure. Listen, there are many past-life acting teachers. You have to play the part of somebody evil, it is necessary to access that emotion. So you go into a session and you find this emotion within you. Now, where is all that coming from?

KING: Yes. Where? Do you wonder where? Had to come...

MACLAINE: Well, I think I know enough for me to be satisfied.

KING: All right. But what about genes? What do you think about genes?

MACLAINE: Well, I think genes are connected to the consciousness. I think genes ride along the consciousness, and when you decide to come in, like your little new boy, he's decided to come into the family with you and Shawn and his brother Chance, and I bet you that brother knows him.

KING: Well, he looked at him kind of like, and then he went oh, and he -- there's a sense. Tell you a little story. You can help me.

There's a little car, gift, you know, toy car...


KING: ... that is -- that belongs to Cannon. Chance never touches this car. He's got his own little car. He never touches this car.

MACLAINE: Well, they've had -- I can't say...

KING: You think they know each other?

MACLAINE: I would say so. I think most families have been through many things together, and that's why they come into a family again. Now, they weren't necessarily family members previously, but I think the family is the nucleus for the learning experience on the physical plain.

KING: Therefore, they had some experience talking to them before they came out?

MACLAINE: I think so. Also I would say that if your kids start to have little imaginary visitors at the breakfast table or something, I wouldn't pooh-pooh that. Because how do you know they're not seeing some other anti-matter, invisible, unknown reality to us?

KING: Are you surprised that you have become worldwide as famous...


MACLAINE: It is just...

KING: Oh, put down the men, huh?

MACLAINE: No, no. It's not about that. It's about the women understanding the necessities of each other.

And there were times when each of us would go to the rescue, the emotional rescue of another actress when the men, including the director, really didn't understand.

KING: Are you surprised at Julia Roberts' success?

MACLAINE: Not at all, Larry. The moment she walked on that set -- and it wasn't just her cheek bones and her beauty and her hair -- she had the talent for the freedom of accessing spontaneity.

KING: She's as good as there is?

MACLAINE: I think so. I mean, this is a bona fide movie star who also is an excellent actress.

KING: Good person, too. I like her.

MACLAINE: Very nice person.

KING: What's with you and New Mexico? You have a home where?

MACLAINE: I have one in Abiquiu, which is not far from Los Alamos. And it occurred to me and everyone else who lives there -- it's very pertinent to the stuff we're talking about -- that the mechanics of getting the weather report, of looking at machines, and kind of instruments to tell you what the weather is when any of the locals out there could have told you, don't start this controlled burn now. But the machine said it's OK and the bureaucracy.

KING: Any of them knew...

MACLAINE: Of course. And that means to me -- this is a kind of metaphysical catastrophe -- that the people who were involved with nature are depending on instruments instead of their own inner knowingness in relation to nature.

KING: Are we relying too much on the machine?

MACLAINE: Much too much, and I think that's part of our problem in the world, because we're not really respecting "Mother Earth's" consciousness. Everything has a consciousness.

KING: Well, we're techno-conscious now, right? The machine tells us...

MACLAINE: We're technologically addicted, and that is veering us more and more away from the universal knowledge within each of us.

KING: What happened to your house?

MACLAINE: Nothing. I just had a lot of evacuees, and they slept in rooms and on the floors.

KING: Evacuees from Los Alamos came to your house?

MACLAINE: Oh yes. Sure. Oh yes.

KING: Were you there?

MACLAINE: Yes, of course. I knew some of them.


MACLAINE: ... full of smoke.

KING: Were you ever scared?

MACLAINE: No, I didn't think -- I don't think it's in my destiny to have my house burn down. And I've been through nine fires in Malibu so much so that I said Malibu should be -- change the area code to 911.


KING: Were you angry at the fire?

MACLAINE: Yes. Not at the fire.

KING: At the people who started it?

MACLAINE: At the people. And you know, the hot-shots who came in, some of the Arizona firemen, they think like the fire. They can get into the intelligence of the fire. And this is part of the esoteric knowledge I'm talking about: that they have learned to understand the language of the fire and that's how they know how to use it. But if you don't access that in yourself, you're not going to access it in the world.

KING: Back to acting, why do you like acting? Why do you like being somebody else?

MACLAINE: You're asking me that question?


KING: Why do you?

MACLAINE: Well, I've been so many other people...

KING: Why have you liked it?

MACLAINE: I think that's why.

KING: There's a kick to it?

MACLAINE: Well, the kick isn't what you would think of as why I as an actress like to act and be somebody else. I am aware that I've been so many people. I love to do that process again.

So sometimes when I go into a part, I really look inside myself and think, now, wait a minute, where are these emotions? Where have I felt these emotions before? I can usually pinpoint it. I pinpoint and then I use it.

KING: Ellijay, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Shirley. What do you think of the career of your brother, Warren Beatty, as an actor, and do you ever think he will ever run for president?

MACLAINE: I really don't know. You'll have to ask him that. I think he's a marvelous actor, a marvelous director and a marvelous producer. What he will do with politics, I don't know.

KING: What do you think his prior lives were?

MACLAINE: You know, that is one person I have had difficulty in...


KING: We all have.

MACLAINE: Yes. Well, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) withholding then as he is now.


KING: You're kidding? Warren withholding? Just gives you anything you want to learn. Just don't ask him. MACLAINE: Yes, but that's wonderful for me, because even though we are diametrically opposed in the way we express ourselves, he's acted as a wonderful teacher for me to hone what I'm feeling and hone what I'm expressing. He's a good teacher along those lines.

KING: He's a great actor, right?

MACLAINE: Oh, yes.

KING: Did you sense that in him early, your kid brother?

MACLAINE: No, I saw him more as a reader. I saw him more shy. I think it might be -- I don't know -- hard for him to give vent to these emotions. But boy, when he does, he really does. I mean, I thought he was so brilliant in "Bugsy."

KING: Or "Reds."

MACLAINE: I like "Bugsy" better.

KING: We'll take a break with Shirley MacLaine in a scene from the aforementioned "Steel Magnolias."


MACLAINE: Can I get one thing straight with you? I do not see plays because I can nap at home for free. And I don't see movies because they're trash and they've got nothing but naked people in them. And I don't read books, because if they're any good they're going to make them into a miniseries.

OLYMPIA DUKAKIS, ACTRESS: You know, you would be a much more contented, pleasant person if you would find ways to occupy your time.

MACLAINE: I am pleasant! Dammit! I just saw (UNINTELLIGIBLE) eating this morning at the Piggly-Wiggly and I smiled at the son of a bitch before I could help myself.


DARYL HANNAH, ACTRESS: Sorry. I'm sorry, Ms. Ouiser.

MACLAINE: Annelle, would you take your Bible and shove it where the sun doesn't shine?





MACLAINE (screaming): Andre, I want Francois.

FRANK SINATRA, ACTOR: Service quick enough for you? MACLAINE: They get you, too? What's the charge?

SINATRA: Cost me about 2,000, including this wagon.

MACLAINE: What will?

SINATRA: For rigging a false arrest.

MACLAINE (screaming): I'll smash you, Francois.

SINATRA: Simone, wait. Stop screaming at me.

MACLAINE (screaming): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I'll smash you.

SINATRA: Now, listen to me. Now, you were just in a lot of trouble a second ago and you called for me, didn't you? Now, I love you, Simone, I truly love you. Now, please forgive me.

MACLAINE: You don't love me!

SINATRA: I'm willing to make it legal.

MACLAINE: You don't love me! No, you never have loved me, and you're going to go on like -- you what?

Francois, honestly? You mean you want to marry me?

SINATRA: No, I thought I'd just adopt you.



KING: What was he like to work with?

MACLAINE: Oh, he was terrific. He was so spontaneous. Would never do the same thing twice.

KING: I know. Never he was...

MACLAINE: Never rehearsed.

KING: Did you criticize him at the end? Did something happen between...

MACLAINE: No, I wrote about his relationship with Sam Giancana and some of the stuff that I was involved in, in the middle of.

KING: And do you feel sorry about doing that?

MACLAINE: No, I don't, Larry, because first of all, it was true, and second of all, everybody knew, and third of all, it was my life. But I...

KING: But you liked him, didn't you?

MACLAINE: I adored him. I adored him. We felt the same way about each other. We could tell each other the truth.

KING: Did you love each other ever?

MACLAINE: No, we were never romantically involved.

KING: Never had a relationship?


KING: What was his talent like as an actor? We know as a singer. What was his acting ability?

MACLAINE: His confidence of the moment, which probably came out of some deep-seated sense of inferiority being thin and little, because he was little. But his courage to be spontaneous -- and he would listen to directors who were very autocratic.

KING: And he liked people who knew what they were doing. I remember sitting with him watching a scene from "Manchurian Candidate" with Laurence Harvey and he said: Well, there's an actor; Laurence Harvey, there's an actor.

MACLAINE: Right, yes.

KING: So you liked him a lot?

MACLAINE: Oh, I loved him. Not Laurence. I didn't like him.


But I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Frank a lot.

KING: You directed a movie?

MACLAINE: Yes, I directed a picture called "Bruno." We're trying to work out the problems with distribution now. Story of little boy who's a spelling bee champion, Catholic, sees angels, son of a big, fat mother -- 450 pounds. She's a dress-maker.

And he takes what he sees from the angels to the spelling bees and he wears dresses. It's a comedy-drama. And it upsets everybody.

Kathy Bates is the mother superior and Gary Sinise is the father, and I'm the grandmother.

KING: Gary Sinise is in it and you and -- you're in it, too?


KING: You're having trouble getting distribution.

MACLAINE: Well, we've got some complications.

KING: Hard to get a movie made.

MACLAINE: It is. And independent film-making, ooh, what a war. KING: When we come back with our remaining moments with Shirley MacLaine, we'll ask her if everyone should take this walk, this camino, this journey of the spirit. Here's one more film clip. It's her and Jerry Lewis in artists and models. Watch.



JERRY LEWIS, ACTOR: Oh, yes, and I just found out she's for real.

MACLAINE: Sure she is. She's a living doll.

LEWIS: Do you -- do you know her?

MACLAINE: Intimately. In fact, she's even more darling in person.

LEWIS: No fooling? Boy, those lovely lips: those red inviting luscious lips, like two strips of liver gleaming in the moonlight.

What's wrong with your mouth? You're sore?

MACLAINE: No, I just thought I felt a pucker coming on.

LEWIS: Oh. And her eyes, those magnificent eyes.

What's wrong with yours? You've got astigmatism?

MACLAINE: No, it's just I'm crossing them.



KING: Get in one more call for Shirley. We got to Jacksonville, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Hi, Ms. MacLaine, my sister and I are taking the Camino in July, and my question is, are you concerned about the publicity that will be brought to the Camino, because of your book, will in essence ruin the spirit of the pilgrimage?

KING: Great question.

MACLAINE: It is. Very good. I've thought about that. I don't think it'll ruin the spirit within you. There might be a lot more people there, but then I would have to say that's part of the destiny of the Camino, too. And somebody like me takes it and writes about, you know, it'll be more difficult for you to be alone, and you should walk differently from where your sister walks. You should walk separately because the whole...

KING: Should people do this? Should they take the walk? MACLAINE: You know, it's very painful, Larry, oh my goodness. And being a dancer I thought I knew everything about blisters and all that stuff. But you have to be willing to let the old concepts die.

KING: Well, that's the hardest thing to do.

MACLAINE: Of course it is. And the idea of...

KING: Get rid of...

MACLAINE: ... how we've been conditioned.

You know, I was telling you before -- here's an image. If you were told you must stand in a room that is enclosed, and they have educated you to that room, you do it because that is the accepted theory of reality. And then every now and then you see a bird go by the window and you wonder what what is, or you see a flash of an ocean or a lightning bolt or you hear thunder or you hear someone else talking, or the experience of what you have been conditioned to limit yourself with in the room, those pictures that you see when you go underneath your consciousness is analogous to these things that might be going on all the time. You're just unaware of it. So your consciousness in yourself is this universality experience that you can access if you allow yourself the time.

Now, the Camino, is that the way you do it? You don't have to do it that way. You can do it with meditation. You really should be taking time every day from these busy lives.

KING: Here, you've got a book now -- it's going to be No. 4 a week from Sunday on The New York Times. It may be your biggest hit, this book.


KING: So...

MACLAINE: Because it's experiential.

KING: But are -- do you fear now, OK, folks, next group leaving on the Camino?

MACLAINE: It could be a problem. They'll find their own Camino. It could be a problem. But I -- I...

KING: But you talk about that Camino, because it's lined up with the stars, right?

MACLAINE: That's right. But you know, there is -- there is some information about it that it started in Scotland and that it was an old Celtic tradition, this pilgrimage, that came from Scotland down through Europe over the Pyrenees and across Spain, by the way, ending up at Finisterra, which is the end of the known world. So my question was, what was the unknown world?

KING: What was your most immediate past life? MACLAINE: I don't know, Larry.

KING: Don't know. What's the one...

MACLAINE: Now, let me tell you something else that is interesting.

KING: We've got a minute.

MACLAINE: Yes. All time is happening at once. All these experiences are happening now as we speak. We are just focused on this one. And when I read physics and quantum mechanics and this is what Einstein, et cetera -- Stephen Hawking, we got to be friends; we had the same publisher -- and he said if you listened to one of my lectures it would be the same as listening to a lecture on Buddhism: There is no beginning, there is no end, it's all happening now.

So when you ask a linear question, like what was your last -- I don't know. It would be the one that I remembered the last or that I contacted...

KING: It's all relative to...

MACLAINE: All relative to now.

KING: Thanks, Shirley.

MACLAINE: Thanks, Larry.

Wait, I have something for you. This is a gift for your new son. It has...

KING: A slumber bear.


KING: You sleep with this. I've got to run.


KING: Stay -- thank you, Shirley.


Stay tuned for a town hall meeting on the new economy. They discussed this thousands of years ago. We'll do it again.


Thanks for joining us. Good night.



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