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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Pres. Obama Apologizes for Comment; North Korea Missile Ready to Launch; Interview with Jeremy Piven; Interview with Lance Bass; Interview with Ryan Phillippe
Aired April 5, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, who is in North Korea's crosshairs? Kim Jong Un has two missiles ready to launch. Has the countdown begun?
Plus, hey, good-looking. The president apologizes to California's attorney general.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He apologized for creating this distraction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Did he really need to?
Then, there's Michelle Obama's slip of the tongue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Believe me, as a busy single mother -- or I shouldn't say single.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: First couple in hot water. Are they just being human?
And Ari Gold meets "Downton Abbey".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: You want to be a Brit, really, don't you?
JEREMY PIVEN, ACTOR: I think it may happen someday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Jeremy Piven is not giving up Ari just yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIVEN: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus, young Hollywood gone wild. Advice to Justin Bieber and his money behind bars from a teen idol who's been to it all before, Lance Bass.
MORGAN: Good evening. This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. We've got a lot to get to tonight, including North Korea's ongoing nuclear threat.
The White House says it would not be surprised to see Pyongyang conduct a new missile test. I will ask the former senator and peace envoy, George Mitchell, what it would take to calm things down.
Well, we begin with the White House in hot water for of all things, a compliment. The president called California's attorney general last night to apologize for the uproar after he called her, quote, "By far, the best-looking attorney general in the country."
Now, I should point out Mr. Obama also called Kamala Harris brilliant, dedicated and tough. But the "good-looking" comment is the one getting all the attention.
So joining me now, Jodi Kantor, Washington correspondent with "The New York Times" and woman who literally wrote the book on the first couple.
Also, Jonathan Chait, he's a writer for "New York" magazine.
Jodi, are you as offended as everybody else seems to be the president called an attorney general the best-looking in the country?
JODI KANTOR, AUTHOR, "THE OBAMAS": You know, I see why this is not a great story for the president, because Kamala Harris is a brainy, up and coming politician and it is a little strange that her national introduction to the political stage is a discussion about whether or not it was OK for the president to call her pretty or not.
But that said, I would caution against making too much out of this. He was trying to pay her a compliment. It was kind of an awkward compliment. It was a faux pas but he was trying to be nice.
I would say this is in a different category than the worst thing the president probably ever said gender-wise which was, "You're likeable enough, Hillary Clinton." He said, "You're likeable enough, Hillary," during a 2008 presidential debate, and that really did not go over well for him gender-wise because it was dismissive, it was condescending, and this compliment is really not in the same category.
MORGAN: Jonathan Chait, you described it in a piece you wrote today as disgraceful, what the president did.
JONATHAN CHAIT, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Yes, because, look, the struggle to attain equality in the work force for women is largely a struggle to allow women to move beyond being judged on the basis of their appearance. So to contextualize someone in that way is to distract and demean from not only their accomplishments but to make it difficult for all women to do what they need to do to complete the struggle.
MORGAN: I mean, maybe I'm in the minority here, I think the whole thing's a load of nonsense. The president of the United States -- wait a minute, let me make my point. You've got potential nuclear war with North Korea, you've got terrible jobs result today, and the nation is talking about the president of the United States having to telephone a friend of his who doesn't seem to have been remotely offended to apologize for saying and I quote, "she's brilliant, dedicated, tough, and good-looking."
Who gives a stuff? Seriously, Jodi Kantor, explain to me why I should care.
KANTOR: Well, we are talking about it which says something. I think he touched on, you know, it was a little cultural moment because these are the rules of the workplace that are being negotiated now. And look, this kind of thing --
MORGAN: They're not the rules of my workplace.
KANTOR: But as the sole woman in this conversation, what I would say is this happens all the time, right? A more powerful man in the workplace says something nice to you about your appearance and your first thought is, why are we talking about my appearance? Your second thought is, he could probably be saying a lot worse about me. And then you try to change the subject.
But it was truly one little minor moment and it's really only because he's the president of the United States that this has gotten any news attention. This happens in every workplace all the day, all the time.
MORGAN: Let me ask you this, Jonathan.
MORGAN: Would you feel the same way if the president called men good-looking? Would you feel equally affronted?
CHAIT: It's not the same. It's not the same, because --
MORGAN: Why? Why?
CHAIT: Different people in different situations.
Look, if he was making a joke about Tim Geithner took the last cookie, that would be fine. If he was making a joke about somebody who was fat, that would be offensive and demeaning. Different people are in different situations.
MORGAN: If he -- if he told --
(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: Wait a minute. If he told lower ranking employees in his administration, for example, that they were good-looking but they happened to be men, would you feel that that was equally offensive?
CHAIT: No, because that's not a barrier to men participating in the work force.
MORGAN: Let's watch a clip. The reason I asked you about the men comment was this. We did a little show reel of what else the president has said towards junior members of his administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Shaun Donovan, there he is, good-looking guy in the front here.
Our interior secretary, Ken Salazar, is in the house. He's a good-looking guy.
I want to thank our outstanding secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, who's here. There he is right there -- the good-looking guy over there at the end.
I have to say all of you look pretty good without your playoff beards. Pretty good-looking guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The president of the United States calls everybody good- looking. Why the hell are we getting so uptight about it?
I mean, there's feminism and there's feminism and then there's nonsense, isn't there?
CHAIT: I don't think it is. Fortunately I was able to anticipate this question by saying why it's different for men and for women. Men don't have this problem in the workforce. Women do.
KANTOR: But I think -- but, Piers, I think all three of us agree that this was a pretty minor incident.
MORGAN: No, I don't think we do. Jonathan called it disgraceful. He called Barack Obama disgraceful.
CHAIT: OK. The adjective may have been slightly strong but the sentiment I think is correct. It's totally inappropriate behavior. I think he recognized that --
MORGAN: It's a disgrace for the United States president to call a female friend of his good-looking? Really?
MORGAN: That's a disgrace? CHAIT: She needs and deserves to be judged on her merits and her qualifications, not to be --
MORGAN: He did judge her on her merits. Before he called her good-looking he said she was brilliant, dedicated and tough.
CHAIT: Right, but you're introducing something into the conversation about her which shouldn't be introduced in that context. It's not right. It's not the right message for how men should discuss other people in the context of their job performance.
MORGAN: Oh, I think we're all just getting our knickers completely in a twist for want of a better phrase. That may itself mean I have to apologize.
I mean, recently interviewed Usain Bolt, who's the Jamaican sprinter who won the Olympics. I said sing me a bit of Bob Marley, I bet you can sing well, everyone from Jamaica can sing well. Twitter blew up that night with me being stereotypical and racist because I accused Jamaicans of being able to sing well. Usain Bolt wasn't remotely offended. No Jamaican I've ever met was remotely offended, because guess what? Most of them can't sing well.
How could that possibly be offensive? We're in a P.C. world that is in meltdown.
KANTOR: But, Piers, would you walk into an editorial meeting for your program and say to a female producer in front of everybody else, you look fantastic today?
MORGAN: I don't -- look, (a), I've got 90 percent female staff. I find it hard to believe that any of them being intelligent, strong- minded independent women, would take any exception to being told they look good. To me, that's one of the least offensive things you can say, particularly if before I preface that, I said by the way, you're brilliant, dedicated and tough as well.
I mean, if someone said that to me, I would be absolutely jubilant. Why is somebody's looks become this absolutely no-go area that you can't say anything?
People comment on my looks all night long. Every time I'm live on air, Twitter blows up with you are the ugliest thing to ever hit American television. I hate your hair, I hate your tie, I loathe your suit. Every night, this goes on. Nobody jumps to my defense.
CHAIT: Well, that's completely out of bounds, Piers.
MORGAN: Nobody cared. You know why? Most of the time, they're probably right. But who cares?
CHAIT: No, you're a very handsome man and that's completely out of bounds.
MORGAN: That is offensive and stereotypical and I feel that you are marginalizing me. Let's turn to Michelle Obama. She caught some flack as well for saying this. We'll play a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA: Believe me, as a busy single mother -- or I shouldn't say single. As a busy mother, sometimes, you know, when you've got a husband who's president, it can feel a little single, but he's there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KANTOR: Well, now we may be parsing --
KANTOR: -- we maybe parsing an even smaller matter, Piers, because this is literally one word out of place which is significant in part only because Michelle Obama is so careful in everything she says that it's very rare to hear her make any kind of gaffe whatsoever.
But you know, I just don't know that anybody attaches particular import to this other than the fact that there is some Obama history here. It's pretty well-known that the president and first lady had a very difficult time when their kids were very young. The president was off pursuing his political career and the Obamas had about a two to three-year period, the president and first lady once told me in an interview, where they really did have trouble in their marriage. And one of the things that Michelle Obama said to the president at the time was, "I never thought that I would be raising these kids alone, I never thought I'd be a single mother."
So there is some Obama history there, but then again, that wasn't at all what the first lady was talking about. So I find it hard to attach too much significance to what she said.
CHAIT: Yes, I attach zero significance to it.
MORGAN: Jonathan, do you find it another disgraceful incident?
CHAIT: No, I would attach zero significance to that. From what I understand, President Obama makes sure to spend every single evening with his family or almost every single one, having dinner at 6:30. And one of the reasons why he doesn't do the Washington social scene is because he's dedicated to seeing his family.
Like I said, he's a very significant figure in the culture, even more so than most presidents, I think, because a lot of what he represents and a lot of what he represents is positive and rightly so. I think in this one matter, he made a mistake, realized he made a mistake and set a bad example for how gender relations in the workforce ought to go.
MORGAN: Well, I think what we can say with certainty is I can end this debate which has been fascinating by saying to you, Jonathan, you look extremely handsome today.
CHAIT: No one has ever said that before.
MORGAN: And to you, Jodi, you were a very effective -- you're a very effective debater. I have nothing to say about what you look like at all.
CHAIT: Thank you.
MORGAN: Thanks both very much.
Now, I want to turn to the threat from North Korea. Two medium range missiles have been loaded on to mobile launchers. The White House admits a launch is a possibility since North Korea has done it before. Meanwhile, Pyongyang is telling diplomats it can't guarantee their safety.
Just how serious, though, is this situation?
Joining me now a man who knows his way around an international standoff, George Mitchell, former special envoy to the Middle East.
Senator Mitchell, how are you?
GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE MIDDLE EAST: I'm fine. Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: How concerned should we all be about what is happening with North Korea? You have seen this particular story line many times, but there's a new leader there and some are saying we should be more worried than perhaps we are.
MITCHELL: I think it requires a high level of concern without creating any new pressure or tensions. And I think the president is handling it about right in that regard.
It's -- this is a totally totalitarian state dominated by the military with a young, untested and probably lacking in knowledge leader who has to prove himself. He's trying to show the military that he's a tough guy. We've been through this before with North Korea and with others, but absurd as some of these claims sound coming from them, they must be taken seriously and the administration must be prepared to act.
MORGAN: I mean, you say the president's doing the right stuff at the moment. What would it take from North Korea now to trigger some kind of either defensive or retaliatory or aggressive action from the United States? I mean, can you see a scenario where America would have to do something?
MITCHELL: Well, we are obligated by treaty, of course, with South Korea to defend if there is an attack upon South Korea. I think it's very unlikely, indeed unlikely in the extreme, that there would be any direct attack on the United States. I don't think there's any capability there. But they certainly are capable of making a strike upon South Korea, although I don't think that is likely. Another missile test is the most likely event, fired off somewhere into the Pacific Ocean to demonstrate their capability. That would not require a military response in and of itself. So I think it would require a genuine act of aggression against the United States or South Korea or possibly but also very unlikely, Japan.
MORGAN: You've got a similar situation in Iran brewing over their nuclear capability and the usual bellicose comments coming out of there as well. As a general rule of thumb, what is the best way for America to handle countries that are of the nature of Iran, North Korea, where they're clearly fairly dangerous but maybe not as well- armed as people fear they might be, but they're making lots of threats and noises.
What is the more -- what is the consistent strategy you think that's most effective?
MITCHELL: It's pretty hard to improve upon Theodore Roosevelt's statement that you should walk softly and carry a big stick. We have the power. We don't need to match them in threats and bellicose statements and demands to attack. Everyone knows American power is there.
I think that it requires calm, steady, firm, but ready to act if necessary. It's an extraordinary thing, Piers, the extent to which we assume that national leaders are well informed and rational in their decisions, and we project ourselves into their minds trying to think of what they would do in a rational way. But in fact, many of them are not informed.
MORGAN: Senator Mitchell, as always, very wise counsel there for everyone watching. Thank you very much for joining me.
MITCHELL: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: Coming up next, forever Ari. I talk to Jeremy Piven about his most famous role, about the "Entourage" movie and about his new show being compared to "Downton Abbey".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uncle Jeremy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your beard is really awkward.
PIVEN: It's for a part, honey.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to have a beard in the "Entourage" movie?
PIVEN: No. This is for a new series that I'm doing, "Mr. Selfridge." We're shooting in London. Remember I told you about that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what's with the glasses? (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
PIVEN: I'm old, OK?
I need these glasses to see. There's nothing hipster about it.
And can you watch your language please?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You'll always be Ari.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Jeremy Piven in a clip from "Funny Or Die".
He, of course, starred in HBO's "Entourage" as Ari Gold, winning three Emmys and a Golden Globe. Since then, he's spending a lot of time in my backyard of London, playing in "Mr. Selfridge," currently on PBS.
And Jeremy Piven joins me now.
That is almost -- that's a perfect clip, that "Funny Or Die."
How do you get away, even from your closest nearest and dearest, from being the great Ari Gold?
PIVEN: Well, you know what's funny is I -- is I came up with that sketch and, I just thought it was a really fun way to -- just to kind of send up the whole, you know, preconceived notion of it all, because, you know, before I had done that role, there was no reference to me being anyway near or like that character. I had played like a series of kind of like best friends, shlumpy kind of, you know, best friends. And then suddenly, you do a -- a role like that and then are the -- then people think it's a documentary.
PIVEN: You know, but the reality is, it's -- there is a compliment in there. And I -- and I -- and, you know, what a -- what a great run. And it was so much fun. And, you know, I remember meeting you out one night and I think that people are genuinely disappointed that I'm not going to just start barking at them.
MORGAN: Yes. I wanted you to be --
MORGAN: I wanted you to -- I said, my exact words to you were, can you treat me like Lloyd?
MORGAN: That's what I wanted. And the reason for that, I want to play you a clip of -- they said to me, what clips do you want, my producers?
I went, anything of him shouting at Lloyd.
MORGAN: Here's what they came up with.
PIVEN: Oh, no.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIVEN: Lloyd! This envelope contains the names of eight agents. Anyone catches you, you eat it. Comprende? Nod if you understand what I'm saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand.
PIVEN: You can't just (EXPLETIVE DELETED) nod?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I met -- I met the actor that played Lloyd.
MORGAN: I wanted to hug him.
MORGAN: I wanted to bring him in and tell him it was all going to be OK.
PIVEN: Well, I have to tell you, each morning I'd go up to him and I'd say, look it, are you -- are you all right?
Because I swear to you, are you OK -- I'm -- I'm about to say -- do you know what I'm going to say to you, because I just wanted to make sure?
I go are you all right with this?
And he's like, he goes, yes, it's totally fine.
PIVEN: And he was like, yes, just give me (AUDIO GAP) and I'm like, then I realized what -- why do I keep apologizing?
You know, he's totally fine with it. And he had a great -- he was such a good sport and he actually is -- he's -- and -- but, by the way, as an actor, he's an assassin. And he will steal the scene from you at any point.
MORGAN: Of course.
PIVEN: Yes. MORGAN: And he began to.
MORGAN: He began to challenge you.
There's -- the movie keeps being mooted.
MORGAN: But is your success in this new show, "Mr. Selfridge," is that going to affect the filming of the movie, "Entourage?"
PIVEN: It will affect everyone in my life, because I -- I won't speak to anyone because of the success of "Mr. Selfridge." And you're -- you're lucky that I'm actually looking you in the eye.
PIVEN: No. As you know, back in your -- in your former life, in the UK. It's -- much to my surprise, was, you know, I thought -- they do period dramas better than anyone in the world. And here's some random American coming into their backyard and doing a period piece. They're going to -- they're going to crush me and send me packing.
And for whatever reason, we were averaging about 8.5 million --
MORGAN: Amazing, amazing viewing (INAUDIBLE).
MORGAN: I mean it was seen by many as the kind of -- this is -- this is what to watch for because "Downton Abbey" is not on at the moment.
MORGAN: I've read a very good analysis of it where someone said that the difference was -- was bite and bark, that the bark --
MORGAN: -- of Mr. Selfridge was nowhere near as bad as his bite.
MORGAN: But with Ari, it was the other way around.
MORGAN: The bark was much worse than the bite.
PIVEN: Yes. I actually came up with that --
PIVEN: -- I swear to God. No --
MORGAN: I knew it was somebody really smarter that done that.
PIVEN: Yes. Exactly. Yes, it -- you have to understand, Ari ruled with an iron fist and through intimidation. And that's -- that -- and he was always incredibly reactive.
You know, he's, in a way, what's interesting -- and this may be -- and I want you to tell me one of the reasons why I think so many people from other countries respond to him, I think it's because he does kind of represent this ugly American, I mean, that is just -- will say and do anything.
MORGAN: Well, he's the one that I always imagined an American Hollywood agent would really be like. And I have to say, based on my experience --
MORGAN: -- it's not far off.
PIVEN: Yes. Yes, indeed.
MORGAN: I mean it's --
MORGAN: -- you've met a lot of agents.
MORGAN: I mean I know it's based predominantly around this Ari Emanuel --
MORGAN: -- who is a bit like that. I've met Ari a few times. And -- and he really is a bit like that.
Have you met him?
PIVEN: I -- I have met him, yes. Yes, I have, indeed, met him and --
MORGAN: Was he flattered or enraged?
PIVEN: Well, I -- no, he certainly was not enraged. I think that he enjoys it and he enjoys the attention. He's a hard-working guy who's incredibly successful. And his brothers are -- you know, Rahm is running -- is the -- is the -- is the mayor of Chicago, was Obama's chief of staff.
PIVEN: -- and -- and Ezekiel --
MORGAN: I just interviewed Ezekiel. Yes, he's probably the smartest of all three of them.
PIVEN: Yes, indeed. You can imagine that Passover table like Ari getting the least respect out of all of these --
PIVEN: -- all of these -- these brilliant, prolific guys, which is an idea that I actually would pitch all the time to --
PIVEN: -- to everyone and anyone that would listen on "Entourage."
But so you -- Mr. Selfridge is -- is in -- in my opinion, ultimately, the antithesis of -- of Ari in the way that he is a master of the high road.
PIVEN: He came up with -- with the credo that the customer is always right --
PIVEN: -- and you treat them like guests. And so he was so kind and he would always -- almost like Obama, like when Obama is in the middle of a speech and someone yells, "You're a liar!", he smiles and he diffuses all of that by taking the high road. And that's kind of very much the way Mr. Selfridge is.
But he has his own demons and he's a risk junkie and he loves to gamble and he loves women and -- and he fancies himself a performer.
MORGAN: You had a great line that your -- your -- your mother was sort of gritting her teeth through "Entourage." It wasn't maybe quite what she had in mind for --
PIVEN: Well, it was a --
MORGAN: -- her great thespian son, who is now the masterpiece --
PIVEN: I mean, I --
MORGAN: -- having finally arrived.
PIVEN: I mean, can I tell a story?
PIVEN: OK. So, by the way, my mother, who just came out with a book -- her name is George Piven. It's called, it's a -- it's a book on acting. Her -- it's her first book on acting in the studio with George Piven. And she's, you know, been my teacher since I was eight years old. And I would run lines with her for "Entourage." So you can only imagine, you know, like some of the things that were -- I've -- you know, I would -- I would have to yell at her as Lloyd, if you can imagine.
PIVEN: The reality is, is that we're artists and -- and this is a character that exists.
PIVEN: And so you have to play him authentically.
MORGAN: Let's take a quick break and come back and talk more about Mr. Selfridge, and, also, I want to hear your British accent, because you've been living in London long enough. And I've heard it's quite good. I want to hear the --
PIVEN: What -- did you -- did you see the end of the "Funny Or Die" clip?
MORGAN: I did.
MORGAN: That's why I'm asking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIVEN: I want to move perfume out of the pharmacy and give it its own department.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In plain sight? Perfume's a lady's secret, Mr. Selfridge.
PIVEN: Not in France, it isn't. All the stores give it prominence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where will it be, Mr. Selfridge?
PIVEN: Right in the front of the store. The smell of the street is dreadful. We disguise the God-awful horse manure and sell at the same time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not on the ground floor, surely, among accessories and fashion. It doesn't seem right somehow.
PIVEN: I was thinking of selling beauty products right next to the perfume.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beauty products on display?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A clip from "Mr. Selfridge," which made it's debut on PBS last Sunday. Some people are calling it the new "Downton Abbey," which is quite a coup.
Star Jeremy Piven is back with me now.
MORGAN: And I've heard you do a -- a little accent.
PIVEN: You know what, I really don't. I mean, it --
MORGAN: Come on, have a go.
PIVEN: No. No, here -- here's the thing. At the end of -- of the "Funny Or Die" video, it just said do a British accent, you know? So I basically just imitated, at that moment, because you have to be cackling women.
So I just started -- you -- you want me to do it, because --
PIVEN: -- it's so horrible.
MORGAN: I do, yes.
MORGAN: How bad is it?
PIVEN: It -- well, I have no idea, because you know what's interesting is when I met with the producers for "Mr. Selfridge," I said, Harry is from Chicago and there's a very hard Chicago accent. It's hard -- hard Irish Chicago, cars and bars. And so I did this accent for them.
And they said, please don't ever do that again.
PIVEN: That's -- that's the worst thing I've ever heard --
MORGAN: But I've got another bone to pick with you --
MORGAN: -- which is this. It's not really about the accent. It's about what you said about football.
MORGAN: The real football. PIVEN: Yes.
MORGAN: The one that we have in our country.
MORGAN: You said that our football was a celebration of nothing and, quote, "most -- the most unfit men watching the most fit men."
MORGAN: I resent that, Mr. Piven. You --
MORGAN: -- since I am one of those unfit men.
MORGAN: Most unfit men --
PIVEN: So you resemble the remark, you don't --
PIVEN: -- you don't resent it. You resemble it.
PIVEN: Here's the reality. If you were to go on further in the interview, I said, well, the reality maybe is that it is a brilliant sport that we don't know much about. And that's the end of that.
So you took it out of context. It happens all the time, you know.
MORGAN: Now let's go to "Mr. Selfridge."
MORGAN: Because I'm fascinated by this. This is a -- a series of leadership quotes --
MORGAN: -- which he apparent -- the real Mr. Selfridge came out with. I wanted to run through them and see what you think of this.
MORGAN: How many you would personally subscribe to. People will sit up and take notice of you if you sit up and take notice of what makes them sit up and take notice.
Do you go along with that? PIVEN: I -- I do. I mean, here's a guy -- here -- here's a guy who, instead of competing against Marshall Field's, where he made his bones as a professional, in Chicago, he said, I respect you guys too much, I'm going to go to England and get as far away from all of you as possible and prove myself over there, which, in 1908 --
PIVEN: -- had not been heard of. Um, shopping was incredibly uncouth. If you had money, you sent for your -- your dressmaker. You did catalogs. He basically -- here we are, 100 years later, it was voted the best store in the world last year. So he was obviously doing something right.
I think that -- listen, it's a true story. It's a fascinating story. His life plays out like a Greek tragedy.
He's a man who, his wife and his mother were everything to him. And yet he was an -- in a -- and loved his family and at night would go out and gamble almost kind of a risk junkie. And then --
MORGAN: And a serial womanizer.
PIVEN: He was. You know what's funny, I -- I, I'm so protective of him now. Someone was speaking that way about him and they would say, oh, yes, I -- I heard about, you know, Harry. He would bring women into the store and say, buy anything you like. And then I said -- and then I started defending him as if he was my father.
PIVEN: And I had to just stop. And that's kind of what happens when you -- when you play a character.
One of the great things about acting is that you -- you really can't judge your characters, because if you judge them, you're going to -- you're going to take yourself out of the equation and you're not going to give them as much integrity as -- as I think they deserve.
MORGAN: You said if there's an "Entourage" movie.
MORGAN: I can see a lot of actors in Hollywood right now grabbing the remote, rewinding --
MORGAN: -- did -- what exactly did he say, because no Ari, no movie.
Is it going to happen, do you think?
PIVEN: Well --
MORGAN: A lot of total self-interest here. PIVEN: Well -- well, you know, you just don't know. Um, there are just so many things that have to happen before --
MORGAN: I don't know, but do you know?
PIVEN: I -- you know, I feel like I'm the last to know, if that makes any sense. And I don't know why that is, but it's all part of it. I --
MORGAN: Can you give me a flicker of hope?
PIVEN: Well, yes. Yes, there is a -- you know, Warner Brothers has commissioned a script. There is a script, and things are progressing. I have to go and leave in a little bit into London to shoot season two. We've been picked up. We'll see how I see --
PIVEN: You see how I seamlessly transitioned --
MORGAN: You did.
MORGAN: You've wriggled again away from the question.
MORGAN: And I think I know why. I will leave you to negotiate whatever it is you're negotiating. I would love to see an "Entourage" movie, but I'd also love to see a second season of "Mr. Selfridge." It was a terrific season.
PIVEN: Thank you.
MORGAN: I really enjoyed the first one.
PIVEN: Thank you.
MORGAN: And I really appreciate you coming in.
Thank you very much.
PIVEN: Thank you for having me, man.
MORGAN: Nice to see you.
PIVEN: It's nice to see you.
MORGAN: When we come back, advice for Justin Bieber from a former team idol who has been there and back, Lance Bass.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: It's been one bad headline after another for teen superstar Justin Bieber who just turned 19. He was recently caught on camera battling the paparazzi.
Joining me now is someone who knows all about life as a teen idol, Lance Bass, a former member of 'N Sync.
Welcome to you, Lance.
LANCE BASS, HOST OF SIRIUS XM'S "DIRTY POP": How you doing, Piers?
MORGAN: When you see Justin Bieber going through these tumultuous times really by his standards, fighting with the paparazzi, wearing wig and face masks and so on and so on, what do you put it down to? Is it the stress of being a lone idol? You were in a band, obviously, a bit different.
BASS: Yes, I mean, it is different. You know, I was -- I was with the group. So, I had, you know, four of my best friends with me to keep me down to earth but when you're a solo artist, no one's there telling you no.
I think that's the big problem, especially with teen idols. You immediately go from, you know, learning about puberty to having, you know, hundreds of employees and not really knowing how to deal with that. And with fame comes entitlement. You have tons of people around you saying yes, sir, yes, sir, yes, sir. So it's hard to keep that ego in check.
MORGAN: He's got 37 million Twitter followers. Quite extraordinary. It shows you the sort of scale of his global appeal, I guess. There must be a point, you're 19, you just want to get away from it all. I'm not sure that he can, really.
BASS: Not at all. He's sought after all over the world. That can get to you. That's got to affect someone at that age, when you're just given the world, like, what do you do with that?
Like I said, no one's around these people telling them no. They have everything just falling into their lap.
MORGAN: We see lots of young people in Hollywood going off the rails. Lindsay Lohan still going that way. Amanda Bynes in some kind of downward spiral, even the clean-cut kid from "Glee", Cory Monteith, entering rehab.
How much is Hollywood to blame in terms of the culture, the system, the way it builds up big stars and then maybe leaves them alone when they're on the skids?
BASS: Right. Well, I mean, I don't blame Hollywood.
I think every teenager goes through, you know, these times. Everyone's going to rebel with their families. It's just these teens happen to do it in the public eye and especially with social media being what it is today, you can't hide anything. Everyone knows every little thing about your life.
So when everyone is just learning how to, you know, smoke that first cigarette, have that first drink, they're growing up. Every kid does it. It's just these kids have to do it, you know, with everyone staring at them.
MORGAN: To anyone out there, there will be millions of young Americans who want to be in a boy band, and be hugely rich and famous and successful and so on -- what is the word of advice that you think is most important to anyone thinking of going down that road? Because you've been down it, ups and downs and everything. What would you say to them?
BASS: Well -- I mean, definitely surround yourself with great people. I had an amazing family, you know, around me. I had my four friends that kept me down to earth. Try to learn as much as you can about the business.
I started when I was 16, so I didn't know much. We got taken advantage of every step of the way. You know, we always felt like we were the ones in charge, we were the bosses, but we definitely weren't. We were definitely, you know, being pulled in so many directions. We didn't know what was going on.
They kept us so busy, we didn't really get to understand what was happening in our lives.
But take control of your business. You know, you're not too young to understand everything and just learn, learn, learn as much as you can. The biggest word that I learned early on was the word recoupable.
You know, we were in debt for many years before we learned the word recoupable. All those dinners that those labels are taking you to that you're thanking them for, you're paying for that.
MORGAN: Yes. I did a few reports on boy bands in Britain over the years, and my advice would be work out what the word net means and gross.
MORGAN: That's the biggest lesson I would give anybody.
You came out as gay in 2006. At the time, it caused a big sensation. Looking at the debate over same sex marriage now and gay rights generally -- a very, very different America to what it even was in 2006. What do you make of the way the debate's gone?
BASS: You know, it's been incredible how everything has shifted just I would say in the last year. We've been working very hard, you know, for many, many years with the civil rights and it's just incredible that finally, it is just sinking into people's heads how silly it is to deny, you know, Americans the right to marry. It's just crazy to me. I think just in just a couple years we're going to look back and see how silly that was.
MORGAN: Would you like to get married yourself?
BASS: Oh, definitely. You know, I'm from Mississippi. I grew up with an amazing family and that dream of getting married, having kids, and I want that. You know, I have that American dream and, you know, I have an amazing relationship right now, and I desperately would love to get married in my home state of California and start that family.
MORGAN: Lance Bass, great to talk to you. Fascinating insight there. Hope Justin was watching. I'm sure he is somewhere.
MORGAN: Make sure to check out Lance Bass on his Sirius XM Radio show, "Dirty Pop", weeknights at 6:00 p.m.
Lance, thanks again.
BASS: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: Next, Ryan Phillippe and his documentary that led to a life-changing discovery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN PHILLIPPE, ACTOR: Hey, my name is Ryan Phillippe. I'm an actor, director and I'm an isolated ambassador for peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Hollywood star Ryan Phillippe has been branching out behind the camera. He's the executive producer of "Isolated," a new documentary on surfing. The project took a stunning turn when Phillippe and his crew discovered something much more urgent -- a human rights crisis in New Guinea.
And joining me now is Ryan.
Also here, producer Geoff Clarke.
Welcome to you both.
This is a fascinating little story. And the reason I wanted to get you both on was that I love the gestation period of what turned from a normal surfing movie that you were planning with a bunch of surf dudes into something a lot more serious and a lot more important.
Let me start with you, Geoff, because you were there from the start.
What was the original purpose of this film?
GEOFFREY JAMES CLARKE, PRODUCER, "ISOLATED": Well, originally, the director and I just set out to go find one of the world's last undiscovered waves. And through that process, we realized that it's almost next to impossible. And the deeper and deeper we dug, it just led to only one place, and that was West Papua.
MORGAN: When you got there and you discovered there's all sorts of hellish stuff going on -- oppression of the people, really appalling scenes. And at that moment, Ryan comes on board.
But how did you hear about this and what prompted you to get involved?
PHILLIPPE: Well, Geoff and I were friends and I knew he had quite a few projects on the go as a producer, reality-based, and some in the spirits world. And he started telling me about this film surfer documentary that they were making, or at least that's what it started out. And -- and then once he told me what they uncovered and -- and the effect that it had on the five international surfers who went on this expos -- expedition, I was -- I was riveted.
And, you know, I'm a novice surfer myself. I've enjoyed quite a few surf documentaries. But if that's all this was, I don't think I would have put my name on it and narrated it and tried to get the word out the way that I have.
MORGAN: Let's just take a little look at a clip from "Isolated," one of the more powerful moments, actually, from the film.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Living in fear, isolated from the rest of the world, hope had finally come to their doorstep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The letter to the Swiss to help them get their freedom. And in the bottom is (INAUDIBLE) is like free Papua. It's telling (INAUDIBLE) a very special place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The phrase feral surfers, feral surfers are people who just drop everything to surf, who chase the big -- the big ride. They could never have imagined, I guess, this is what they were going to find out there.
Ryan, how bad is it?
I mean I've heard the word genocide used in connection with what you unearthed. Is it as bad as that? Are we talking about another Rwanda happening that we're just not really covering much?
PHILLIPPE: The size of it, I think, is difficult to determine and less important than the fact that there is a definite civil and political conflict there that needs attention. Geoff and Justin Perla (ph), La Perla (ph), who -- who did the documentary, who were the initial guys, they -- it's not about having the solution for the issues at that heart of the -- in the region. It's more about kind of raising awareness and saying this needs some straighten and let's try to figure this out peaceably.
MORGAN: It's not a big budget movie, is it?
So how are you going to get this hyped enough to really make a difference, do you think?
CLARKE: Well, I think one of the things that we're going to try to do, which a lot of filmmakers that have low budgets try to do is really engage the community. And we've put together this plan to do what we're calling the Isolated Ambassador for Peace campaign. And as part of this, you can go to our Web site at any time, sign a White House petition that we've filed that will hopefully allow and force the Obama administration to recognize this issue.
MORGAN: I know all about those petitions. You have to get over 25,000 signatures --
MORGAN: The reason I know that is there was a petition to have me deported --
MORGAN: -- at Christmas and they got 125,000.
And the president --
MORGAN: -- saved me.
MORGAN: -- that's a damned good idea, Ryan. I think if all those guys who wanted me deported are watching, switch your attentions and your energy to supporting this and we'll all get along famously. I'm not going anywhere anyways. So, you may not.
Ryan, for you, I mean, you're a -- a Hollywood heartthrob, and forgive me if I use that phrase. That was probably deeply offensive, although (INAUDIBLE).
MORGAN: And when you get something as gritty as this, do you ever get some people going, oh, he's just jumping on some political bandwagon like the other --
PHILLIPPE: Right. MORGAN: -- like George Clooney or Angelina and the others, which obviously is incredibly unfair, because I love what those actors do to use their star status.
MORGAN: Are you concerned about treading into the political arena like this?
PHILLIPPE: Not -- not necessarily. And I feel like those same people that you mentioned -- and they're -- and the causes and the -- and the things that they believe in, that shouldn't be diminished at all. If you have any capacity to give extra attention to something that you feel like needs it, I -- you know, that's a -- you're very grateful if you can, you know, get people to kind of, study or learn a -- about something that you feel like needs to be exposed.
MORGAN: And so, people watching this who -- and there are many in America I've encountered who say, you know, we do so much abroad as a country to help other countries, when, really, our own country is really suffering now from great financial hardship. Many people are in really bad shape, why should we care and why should we do anything about people in Guinea, Indonesia?
What do you say to them?
PHILLIPPE: Well, I mean, I think we all, you know, the -- the human condition should be put at the fore because I think there's a ripple effect. When people are oppressed or their lives are destroyed, I feel like that affects us all on some level, or eventually it does.
And if there's not an answer to a situation, I feel like there is still a great -- you know, to ignore it is sort of, I don't know, I think that's a great mistake.
CLARKE: And we just felt an obligation after that, that we had to tell this story. And I think with the region of West Papua specifically, it's a journalist dead zone, so there is no other option for these people to get their voices heard.
MORGAN: Guys, it's a -- it's a really fascinating documentary. I think it's going to have a lot of effect and I congratulate you both on pushing it so hard.
For more information to viewers, you go to www.isolated.tv. And it's all there for you. That's the lot of it.
PHILLIPPE: Thank you.
MORGAN: Thanks for coming in.
CLARKE: Thanks so much.
PHILLIPPE: Appreciate it.
MORGAN: And we'll be right back.
ESTELLA PYFROM, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: I grew up in the segregated South. I actually started picking beans at age six. But my father, I used to hear him say if you get a good education, you could get a good job. So we knew that education was important.
In today's times, many of our children don't have computers at home and low-income families don't have transportation to get to where the computers are. Kids who don't have access to computers after school will be left behind.
My name is Estella Pyfrom. At age 71, I took my retirement savings to create a classroom to bring high-tech learning to communities in need.
All right, let's get on board Estella's Brilliant Bus.
Estella's Brilliant Bus is a mobile learning center.
Are you ready to get on the computers?
PYFROM: We want to do what we can do to make things better for all. Adults as well.
OK. Got it.
I see the bus as being able to bridge that gap between technology and the lack of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She helps me by having one-on-one attention, if I don't get it, she helps me with this. I look forward to it a lot.
PYFROM: How are you doing here?
It's not just a bus, it's a movement. And we're going to go from neighborhood to neighborhood, and keep making a difference.