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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Hello everyone and welcome to “Amanpour and Company.” Here’s what’s coming up.
AMANPOUR: Knife edge drama playing out behind the scenes until the very last minute. In a back room deal, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
has been approved (ph) in committee, amid a call for an FBI investigation before a full Senate vote.
I speak to the democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. She was moved to tears during Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. And to legal affairs
analyst David Kaplan, whose new book warns the Supreme Curt has become too powerful.
Plus, the Oscar winning actor Anthony Hopkins from Hannibal the Cannibal to King Lear, what’s inspired his latest return to Shakespeare? Also, a look
to the future with tech expert Kai-Fu Lee, how the rates for artificial intelligence will reshape our world.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I’m Christiane Amanpour in London. From the United Sates to right here across the pond and points beyond, the Brett
Kavanaugh nomination is in sharp focus as he inches a step closer to becoming the next U.S. Supreme Court justice.
The Judiciary Committee voted along strictly partisan lines to approve him. But in a dramatic last minute move, republican senator Jeff Flake who has
exited the room earlier, along with democratic colleague Chris Coons, said that his vote in the full Senate would be conditional on an FBI
investigation in to allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.
JEFF FLAKE, U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN: Yes, I can’t make that commitment for the – the leadership. I can just only say that I would be only comfortable
moving forward on the floor, or move it out of committee, that I will only be comfortable on the floor until the FBI has done more investigation than
they have already.
It may not take them a week; I understand that some of these witnesses may not want to discuss anything further. But I think we are – we owe them due
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: But the chairman of the committee said that amounted to nothing more than quote a gentlemen and women’s agreement. Flake’s change of heart
probably had a lot to do with this remarkable moment earlier in the day, which came just minutes after his office said that he would vote for
UNKNOWN FEMALE: You have children in your family, think about them. I have two children; I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will
have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?
UNKNOWN FEMALE: I was sexually assaulted and nobody believed me. I didn’t tell anyone and you’re telling all women-
UNKNOWN FEMALE: We got to go.
UNKNOWN FEMALE: — that they don’t matter. That they should just stay quite because if they tell you want happened to them, you’re going to
ignore them. That’s what happened to me and that’s what you’re telling all women in America.
AMANPOUR: So, did that affect what he did later and demanding that FBI investigation? We don’t know, but the Supreme Court is meant to be an
impartial, a political body.
After Kavanaugh’s broad side against the democratic members, Deputy Chairman Dianne Feinstein questioned whether his kind of justice could
indeed be blind? While republicans just wanted to get the vote over with.
[23:05:00] DIANNE FEINSTEIN, U.S. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR: This was not someone who reflected an impartial temperament or the fairness and
evenhandedness one would see in a judge. This was someone who was aggressive and belligerent.
I have never seen someone who wants to be elevated to the highest court in our country behave in that manner.
ORRIN HATCH, U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATOR: Frankly, we’ve had enough time on this to – to choke a horse. And I just have to say, let’s be fair about
this. Let’s vote whichever way we want to and let’s – let’s move on this.
I personally am tired of all the games and all the gamesmanship that’s been going on around not just this nominee but others as well.
AMANPOUR: Well, as we said they did move on it, but there is this caveat for an FBI investigation once it gets to the full floor. So, with me to
discuss this from Washington is Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. She was in the room during Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony yesterday. And at one
point broke in to tears.
Joining me from Raleigh, North Carolina is David Kaplan, whose new book is called “The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court’s Assault on
the Constitution”. David Kaplan, certainly Senator Feinstein and a lot of the democrats obviously were completely – they expressed outrage at what
Judge Kavanaugh said in his testimony yesterday.
And he, they say, was unprecedentedly political in his self defense. I’m going to play you a little bit of what he said in his denial of all these
BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: This whole two week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit.Fueled with apparent pin
up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the
Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.
AMANPOUR: David Kaplan, in all your study on the Supreme Court, have you ever heard that kind of partisan rhetoric from any kind of nominee, much
less in the Supreme Court?
DAVID KAPLAN, LEGAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, perhaps Clarence Thomas, almost 30 years ago when the Senate Judiciary Committee had to investigate charges
made by Anita Hill against then nominee Thomas.
But I – I think Judge Kavanaugh does protest a little too much. He may have needed to be as belligerent and as political as he was yesterday to
win over the most important watcher of the day which was the president.
He needed the president’s support, and the president tweeted thereafter, and I think Kavanaugh did himself good with some republican senators who
wanted to see Kavanaugh come out swinging.
But that is not judicial temperament, that is not what it looks like. And I think he did himself at that end a lot of harm. We tend to forget that
stuff. Clarence Thomas has been a functioning member of the court for a quarter century.
It hasn’t done him a lot of institutional damage within the court itself. But the court does take a hi,t and I think Kavanaugh at least short-term
takes a hit. But if the name of the game is getting confirmed, Kavanaugh was in a much better position after his testimony than beforehand.
AMANPOUR: And Congresswoman Maloney, do you think that? Do you think he’s in a better position now after his testimony? Yes, there was a whole sort
of relief from his side of the aisle. But after today, do you think that he can count on being confirmed?
REP. CAROLYN MALONEY, D-NY.: I don’t think he can count on anything until the votes are over and the votes are counted. It was the most partisan
statement I have ever heard from any nominee to any court.
He sounded more like he was on the campaign trail as a political trying to get elected than someone who was being moved to the highest court of our
country that is going to be confronting some of the most important decisions that affect the lives of millions of — and rights of millions of
I was astonished by his – his demeanor. It was certainly not the demander of a courter that you would ever – you think that they’re going to be
balanced – or you hope. And look at the – at the issues, it was sort of – it was incredibly, incredibly partisan. And – and I thought incredibly
And one of the reasons why you are seeing such a – a deep feeling across the country and during this confirmation process, the feelings are deep,
they are strong and they are deeply divided. And it is not good for the country.
AMANPOUR: It’s not just deeply divided, it’s – it’s really something very very profound about women’s rights. And about the women’s rights, not just
to be heard but also not to be ignored as the senator says.
[23:10:00] And I think that one of the issues certainly for women is that this particular justice might vote with a blog (ph) that could overturn
very very important women’s rights. So, it’s clear why women are very very concerned about this.
But that’s why I want to ask David Kaplan again, because you seem to say that if he got on to the Supreme Court like Clarence Thomas, he may be – he
may – this may not have any effect on his judicial thinking and processes.
But talk to me a little bit about how this justice is very different than Gorsuch, for instance. Gorsuch took over from like minded, Scalia. But
Kavanaugh would take over from what’s been considered a swing vote, and that is Anthony Kennedy.
Isn’t it very very consequential who sits on the court and whether his temperament and his nonpartisanship can be vouched for, David Kaplan?
KAPLAN: I don’t think anybody has any doubt that Brett Kavanaugh is a conservative. He – he’s been a part of the conservative political movement
for several decades, worked in the Bush White House.
He often was – was in effect the hatch man within the party. Don’t mistake him for someone who’s lived in the ivory tower his whole life. And
assuming he takes Justice Kennedy’s seat, the court is going to shift right. Those predictions are correct.
Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative as well will pass for the middle of the court. He’ll become the swing justice. But Kavanaugh will move the
court to the right. I’m not so sure that he will explicitly vote to overturn Roe. v. Wade, but he will surely look to cut back on federal
power, agencies like the EPA. Cut back on the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the power of the Securities in Exchange Commission, regulation of the
workplace. And that’s really the holy grail for many conservatives. It’s not social issues so much like abortion.
Now, I think – I don’t think Roe v. Wade will find a friend in Brett Kavanaugh to be sure. But they didn’t really have one n Anthony Kennedy
except for a couple of decisions a few years ago, and then back in 1992 when Justice Kennedy voted in the Casey opinion to uphold Roe v. Wade.
But I don’t think Kavanaugh will necessarily vote to explicitly overturn Roe. I think he will nearly approve of a lot of anti-abortion regulations
that various states pass.
AMANPOUR: Which then-
KAPLAN: But his temperament – will his temperament matter? I’m not sure. Justice Thomas is still angry over his hearings. And I report in the book
30 years later, he’s enraged over it. But he was a conservative when he went on the court, and did he turn further to the right as a result of his
hearings? I don’t think so.
I think Kavanaugh’s judicial views; his ideology is pretty much set in stone now.
AMANPOUR: Let’s –
MALONEY: — don’t know who he is, because he hasn’t put his papers out like Kagan did. 99 percent of her papers were put on the internet for the
public to read. Very few of Kavanaugh’s have been put toward. FBI investigations used to be proforma. But for the allegations against him,
they have not been investigated, and all these allegations coming in from women that – they’re not being listened to. They’re not being looked at,
they’re not being investigated.
They – I thought – I thought Dr. Ford’s testimony was incredibly moving, especially when she talked about why she couldn’t understand why she needed
two doors in her house. She and her husband had to go to someone to help her think it through and it came back to Brett Kavanaugh and feeling that
she was going to be killed by him and running out of the door and needed another door to run in to.
So, I think that a lot of women have had these types of experiences and no one has listened to them. And when they do talk, they are rewarded like
she is. What has she gained from this?
She’s been – had death threats, her family ha had to move twice because of the death threats on her. Most women never work again. Anita Hill never
had another job in government again.
Women who come forward and speak out are often – are often – live through it again. They feel like they’ve been raped again on how they are being
treated. And I feel that this next election and how the have treated these allegations you are going to see a fury.
You’re not going to see the year of the woman, you’re going to see the decade of the woman reacting to how serious allegations about her life,
about her body. She came forward, she wanted to be anonymous. She didn’t want to come out in the pubic. She didn’t want to be attacked like she’s
Kavanaugh talks about how he’s been attacked, she’s been attacked far more deeply and – and furiously than he has. He has to gain a seat on the
Supreme Court. All she’s gaining is the attacks in this situation.
AMANPOUR: So now we have this specter of some kind of FBI investigation. We don’t know how long. We don’t know how many witnesses. We don’t know
how this next chapter of the drama is going to play out, but I want to play for you something of a highlight of yesterday’s hearing which was precisely
on this issue, and Senator Durbin asked Judge Kavanaugh about whether he would submit or what he would think of an FBI investigation, and here’s how
that exchange went.
SEN. DURBIN (D), I.L.: Judge Kavanaugh, will you support and FBI investigation right now?
BRETT KAVANAUGH: I will do whatever the committee wants to.
DURBIN: Personally, do you think that’s the best thing for us to do? You won’t answer?
KAVANAUGH: Look Senator, I’ve said I wanted a hearing and I’ve said I was welcome to anything. I’m innocent. This thing was held when it could have
been presented in the ordinary way. It could have been in the handle of confidentially at first, which was what Dr. Ford’s wishes were as I
understand it. It wouldn’t have caused this – like destroyed my family like this effort has.
AMANPOUR: So do you think he’s, what, eager for an FBI investigation?
MALONEY: Absolutely not.
AMANPOUR: All right.
MALONEY: He’s fought it. He’s fought it.
KAPLAN: I mean, his answer was terrible.
AMANPOUR: OK, so now –
KAPLAN: Why not? I mean, if you really – I understand why he and the Republican senators think that any delay just allows public opinion and
perhaps the opinion of republicans on the fence to possibly move to opposition, but I think if you want to maintain, as Kavanaugh does, that
he’s totally innocent, it’s pretty hard to just simply answer the question about the FBI with, “Sure, bring it on,” because the Republicans aren’t
going to necessarily follow his request either. Instead of that long- winded, rambling, evasive answer, I might have counseled the nominee to simply say, “Yes.”
AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, I want to play for you let’s dueling testimony from either side of the aisle on this issue of investigation, first from Lindsey
Graham who spoke about Kavanaugh’s testimony yesterday, and then from Cory Booker talked about who could be brought to be investigated. Some of the
Democratic senators say some of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations can be corroborated and all of them can be investigated. So let’s just listen to
these two sound bytes.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), K.Y.: I’ve been doing this legal stuff most of my life. I’ve never heard a more compelling defense of one’s honor and
integrity than I did from Brett Kavanaugh. He looked me in the eye, everybody in the eye and he was mad, and he should have been mad.
All I can say about Ms. Ford, I feel sorry for her and I do believe something happened to her and I don’t know when and where, but I don’t
believe it was Brett Kavanaugh. And as a prosecutor you couldn’t get out of the batters box because in America before you can accuse somebody of a
crime you have to tell them when it happened and where it happened and you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt it did happen.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), N.J.: Mr. Chairman, Lynne Brookes who said she did not want to come forward, another friend from Yale, and showing that this
is not partisan, she is a republican, Mr. Chairman. She did not want to come forward, but last night after listening to his testimony was so
offended by his lies that this is what his friend from Yale, a registered republican said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that while at Yale he was a big partier, often drank to excess, and there had to be a number of nights he does not
remember. In fact, I was witnesses to the night he got tapped into he fraternity and was stumbling drunk, and he was in a ridiculous, saying
really dumb things, and I could almost guarantee that there is no way that he remembers that night.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So Congresswoman, you know the politics, so you’re right in there on a daily basis obviously on the House, but I mean are they going to
be now forced to – I don’t know what the process it. Not just to – I mean, to subpoena them, to talk to them. What if some of these people don’t want
to come forward?
MALONEY: They can subpoena them, and what is – this is such an important appointment that has – in some ways it’s the most powerful appointment in
our country and can change the direction on rights and direction of our country. It is incredibly important. And people have no idea who Brett
He says he’s the choir boy and you have numerous women who’ve come out and says he’s a predator, that he’s a sexual – person who sexually assaulted
them. He may not remember, but Dr. Ford remembers clearly.
She remembers him putting his hand over her mouth, and she was afraid she was going to be inadvertently killed. So, she remembers and she has cited
three or four other people that know him, know her and were there that night.
At the least, we should talk to them. If the other three women that have come forward are credible, you should investigate that too–
MALONEY: This is a character, this is incredibly important. And this should be answered before you put someone on the Supreme Court–
AMANPOUR: And that’s what-
MALONEY: I think it is-
KAPLAN: If I–
AMANPOUR: Sorry, that’s what next week is-
KAPLAN: If I could just-
AMANPOUR: I just want – we’re running slightly out of time. But I need to ask you David Kaplan, about the nature of the Supreme Court as well. What
– what the congresswoman is saying is obviously important.
There needs to be an investigation of these kinds of allegations for both sides and for there to be creditability going forward. And particularly,
in this moment (ph), you – you obviously agree with that-
KAPLAN: I completely – I completely endorse the idea of an investigation. And frankly, further hearings. If you learned anything yesterday, even
though the crux of Dr. Ford’s allegations had – were already out there.
By seeing her testify, by observing her demeanor, you could assess her credibility. And then under cross examine, see how she held up in a way
that a mere FBI investigation can’t do.
But I’d like to pick up something – pick up on something that the congresswoman said. She said that this appointment might be the most
important for the country for the next generation.
And what I argue in my book is that that agreement from both liberals and conservatives is a problem. Why do we accept that the Supreme Curt and a
single vote on the Supreme Court ought to be determining key social and political policy for generation?
Whether it’s on abortion or gun control or campaign finance regulation, why do we all in an unquestioning way allow nine unelected, unaccountable
judges to determine what goes on in a democracy-
AMANPOUR: What’s the alternative?
KAPLAN: Well, you – you want the court to vindicate the rights under the first amendment, free expression, the rights of criminal defendants under
the fourth amendment concerning unreasonable search and seizure. The alternative is to have true judicial restraint.
It’s to have the kind of court we used to have 50, 60, 80, 100 years ago where the court had the courage to say that’s an important issue, but it’s
not for judges to resolve. You need to go across the street, go back to Congress and to state legislatures and fight it out in democracy.
If you don’t like democracy, if you don’t like some of the folks in Congress, if you don’t like who your president is, if you don’t like who
your state legislatures are, vote them out of office and pick those who will pass the right bills, choose the right policy.
The fact that we don’t like what goes on in legislatures and in Congress now is no excuse to then head to the courts to achieve our victories there.
And I think one of the consequences of the court’s transcending power for 50 years is confirmation circuses like this-
KAPLAN: It also leads to the distortion of presidential elections like in 2016. And it ultimately is bad for the court itself.
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean it’s certainly clear from many many outsider’s point of view that the court has become incredibly political. And this as
the world looks to America for the ultimate and impartial justice.
Let me just say to you both thank you very much, David Kaplan and also Congresswoman Maloney. And this will continue for the next week at the
So, if there ever was a Shakespeare play for these turbulent political times, it is King Lear. The demise and the demanding king, the
backstabbing power merchants who surround him, the chaos of war.
The masterpiece is always timely, and the latest actor taking on this demanding character is sir, Anthony Hopkins, 30 years since he tread (ph)
the boards as Lear on stage, he’s now bringing him to Amazon Prime, where he embodies the aging king dividing his kingdom between his daughters.
ANTHONY HOPKINS, ACTOR, KING LEAR: Know that we have divided and free our kingdom, it is our vast intent to shake all cares and business my
(inaudible), conferring them on their strengthens, while we unburdened crawl toward death.
AMANPOUR: Hopkins is an actor beloved and feared for his work, whether in his Oscar-winning role as Hannibal Lector in “The Silence of the Lambs” or
his stifled butler in “The Remains of the Day,” where he managed to convey love and anguish with heartbreaking subtlety. “King Lear” is out today,
and we spoke recently about his remarkable life and career and what drew him to this part, finally.
Anthony Hopkins, welcome to the program. You know, we are all so familiar with your massive body of work. And it just strikes me, as a really
interesting question to ask you, that you really didn’t want to be an actor. You said music and art were your first loves, and you sort of
stumbled into acting by mistake. How so?
ANTHONY HOPKINS, ACTOR: I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be a pianist and a composer. I played the piano ever since I was a kid, six
years of age. Anyway, I was 17, and I sort of lost service (ph) in school, not qualified to do anything, hopeless of everything, academically, no
sports, nothing like that. So I – I didn’t know what I was going to do.
And suddenly, there was a scholarship for the Cardiff College of Music and Drama. So I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll go and try a scholarship as an
actor, and see if I can sneak into the music department.” Anyway, I – I never acted before in my life, and I did a piece from “Othello.”
And I did the audition – I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did the audition, full of sound and fury, and they gave me the scholarship, much to
my surprise. So that’s how I’m – how I started out the world (ph) is – beats booking for a living.
AMANPOUR: Well, let – let me ask you something because it’s really interesting to hear that, 50 years ago, you got your big stage break by
playing Sir Lord Laurence Olivier’s understudy in the Strindberg play, and one day, as every actor dreams, the principle fell ill, couldn’t play, and
you stepped into the role.
And I just wonder, you know, what you think about that serendipity and what he, then said, the great man himself, Olivier, wrote, “A new young actor,
in the company of exceptional promise, named Anthony Hopkins, was understudying me and walked away with the part of Edgar, like a cat with a
mouth between his teeth.” That’s pretty amazing. What did you think when you got that kind of validation?
HOPKINS: I had said (ph) – and I’m an ambitious young kid, you know. I wanted to do everything and be everywhere and – but I was scared stiff.
And I was understudying Olivier. He seems to take a shine to me because I was very strong, and he admired strong men, you know, because I was,
physically, very strong and tough. And I think he valued that in actors.
He said, “You have to be strong, very healthy and fit.” So he gave me an understudy part to an understudy himself, and he had never been ill in his
life. He was – then he had cancer. And it was in those days they had the ability (ph) of radium treatment, I think. And I was told that – I was one
morning, saying, “You’re on stage tonight.” I said, “You’re kidding me.” And I thought they were joking. And I went into the theater for rehearsal.
I’d learned the entire part. That’s my thing, though, I always prepare. I went into the rehearsal with Robert Stevens and Geraldine McEwan (ph), and
Glen Byan Shaw was directing.
And fortunately, the – Olivier’s costume and uniform fitted me. But anyway, they started and I got a huge round of applause at the end of it,
and apparently, I was told I was very good. I was far too young. But Olivier had come out of the hospital – he’d visited the seat – he was in a
bathrobe or something – dressed up – he had his overcoat on, and he stood at the back of the theater to watch me.
He phoned me the next day. He said, “How did you feel?” I said, “Well, I was scared.” He said, “I bet you were, but you did very well, dear boy.”
And he said, “Any problems?” I said, “Well, I went – went through about three shirts, I was so wet with perspiration and sweat.” He said, “Well,
that’s tension.” I said, “How will it take to get rid of that?” He said, “About 25 years.”
AMANPOUR: That’s pretty – that is a great story, and particularly, that he got off of his sick bed, basically, and came to watch you. And it is an
amazing story. And you – you mentioned that one of first roles was a fellow and – and – and you then took on a whole raft – ream of
But I’m fascinated that you sort of mid-Macbeth (ph), walked out and decided you just didn’t want to do that anymore, in 1973. What was going
on in your career and your life and your relationship with Shakespeare at that time?
HOPKINS: Well, I was a bad boy. I was – I was trouble, you know. I was rebellious, restless, and I didn’t fit in. And I think it was nothing to
do with feeling well sure in fear (ph), but I – I just didn’t feel I belonged anywhere. And I still have that feeling, to this day. I never fit
in quite easily with people in the acting business, I love working with actors but I always feel slightly a bit of the outsider and I think that
has been my driving force, I suppose if you want to call it that. And I couldn’t — I wasn’t a very good team player and things went wrong during
our production and one day I said that’s it, and there was a director, a famous director, John Dexter, who is a bit of a monster, but he was a great
director, but he was a bully.
And one day, I said that’s it, I told my agent, I said I’m not going in anymore. You see, you can’t leave without a (inaudible) I don’t care, I
don’t care. I don’t care and I did know that was my attitude, I didn’t care about anything.
And I look back over the years and I think well if I hadn’t made that decision, if it’s probably the wrong decision or I don’t know, but I – I
was motivated by I think restlessness, the anger and arrogance and all that, but I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t done that.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: So it’s really interesting the way you — the way you described all your, you know, your own sort of feelings and the way
you are. I want to play just from — I know I’m leapfrogging a lot but so many people know you for so many things.
But especially the younger generation for the Hannibal Lecter, and I want to play, you know, how kind of awful and psychotic you are in this
performance and what an amazing impact it’s had. We’re just going to play a clip for a moment.
(VIDEO CLIP STARTS)
LECTER: Agent Starling, you think you can dissect me with this blunt little tool?
STARLING: No, I thought that your knowledge
LECTER: You know what you look like to me with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed hustling rube with a
little taste. Good nutrition has given you some length of bone but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent
And that accent you’re trying so desperately to shed, pure West Virginia? What was your father dear? Is he a coal miner? Did he stink of the lamp?
And oh, how quickly the boys found you, all those tedious, sticky fumblings in the backs seats of cars, while you could only dream of getting out.
Getting anywhere — getting all the way to the FBI.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I think it’s chilling even today as we watch it. I wonder what your reaction to that is. You got an Oscar for playing that role and I
wonder how your acting life changed after that role?
HOPKINS: My agent phoned one afternoon, I was in the theater early, I was there early, getting ready to go on and there is a long run there so I was
getting tired there and board. Nothing to break out. My agent sent me a script and he said, “Are you going to” he said, “I want you to read from a
script called Silence of the Lambs” and I thought it was , I said “Is it a children’s story” and he said, “No, it’s with Jodie Foster” and he
explained about Hannibal Lecter, they are very interested in you playing it.
So the script came, I read part of it and I phoned him up and I said is this an offer or not?
And he said, “well, it’s not an offer” they are very interested. I said “Well, I don’t want to read anymore. This is one of the best parts I have
ever read.” So he phoned back an hour later, he said, “Jonathan Demme, the director is coming to see you tomorrow night. You’re on.” I said okay.
And I knew how to play it, I don’t know why but I know how to play these parts.
It’s a strange feeling but it’s in my muscles and in my nature I guess, I guess I’m an actor by freaky chance, I don’t know why, I’m not an
intellectual, I’m not an educated person, but I have this instinct for it and a sudden toughness and rawness in my nature.
AMANPOUR: You know, you described your toughness in not being a gentle actor. And you did say to you know, the TV movie critic, Barry Norman back
in 1993, the British critic, you know, after playing Lecter, Nixon, Hitler, all of those dark roles, you said “It’s the certainty within them that is
attractive, the unblinked look into the darkness. I think I understand that for some reason.”
It’s a pretty big admission there.
HOPKINS: Yes, and I quite — can’t quite understand anything about what I meant by that, I still don’t get it, you know, but I’ve always had that
instinct ever since I was a kid.
This certainty of that life is tough and hard and I came from the back, my father was a hardworking man, so was my grandfather, but there was a
certain toughness about them, they didn’t mentor us, they weren’t very touchy feely, and I think that is what, I did beyond ego, it was suggested
instinct that forced me to look life as it is. For example, in the Lear, can I jump to that for a moment?
AMANPOUR: You can, but I want to play, I want to play, I want to ask you about that because I’m going to play a clip.
AMANPOUR: So you mentioned Lear and was circling all the way back in your career to Shakespear and of course it’s been played by many, many greats.
Your old buddy, Sir Ian McKellen is doing it in the West End in Britain right now, Glenda Jackson the other great British actress is about to take
on King Lear on Broadway now you’re taking the film version.
Before I play a clip, I want to know what it is about Lear that even fascinates you?
HOPKINS: Well, I played it years ago or 30 years ago, in David Hare’s production, it was a very good production, and I played Lear but I was too
young, I was 47, and I you know, I hammed it up and I didn’t know what I was doing but I was so afraid of it, and I wasn’t — it was okay but I knew
I missed it because now I’m in my 81st year, now I understand the muscle of the man, the power of the man and about old age and about loneliness, and
And I’ve always had that sense in my nature about death, and my favorite poems are about not death and mortality but about the certainty of life,
about the certainty of mortality, and like TS Eliot, I’ve seen the moment of my greatest flicker, and I have seen the eternal footman hold my coat
and snicker, and in short I was afraid. And I wanted to play Lear without the fanfare of bowing and scraping, unencumbered, just as an old warrior
who was impatient with everyone and has no time for nonsense.
He only loves one creature and that’s his daughter, Cordelia who I believe and in childbirth, my wife was killed in childbirth giving birth to her so
I treated her like a boy, you know, give her a sword and bone and arrow of fought with — so she was like a boy to me.
The other two girls, I didn’t have any time for them. And this is in my nature as well, I’m not a very touchy-feely person, I don’t have any
friends much to speak of, this is my – I don’t want to talk about personal life, but I like that. My wife sometimes says, “Do you just enjoy
solitude?” I said “Yes, I do.”
AMANPOUR: I do want to play this clip, it’s from the film that you are in and it’s a more modernistic unusual adaptation of Lear and this is the
scene ,you’ve just told about Cordelia and how he treated like a boy, in this scene, you are kind of disowning here. Let’s just play it.
(START OF VIDEO CLIP)
LEAR: Better thou hadst not been born and not pleased me better.
(UNKNOWN): My lord of Burgundy, what say you to the lady? Will you have her?
(UNKNOWN): Give up that portion which yourself proposed and I will make Cordelia Duchess of Burgundy.
LEAR: Nothing, I have sworn, I’m firm.
(UNKNOWN): I’m sorry then. You have so lost a father. But you must lose a husband.
CORDELIA: Peace be with Burgundy. Since that respects and fortunes are his love, I shall not be his wife.
(UNKNOWN): Fairest Cordelia, thee and thy virtues here I seize upon.
LEAR: Thou hast her, King, let her be thine. For we have such no such daughter nor shall ever see that face of hers again.
Therefore be gone, without our grace, our love, our benison.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It’s very clear that you are not a touchy-feely father there, how do you feel when you look at that clip..
HOPKINS. Well, I thought – recently I was Rome when I got – when I saw the film and I was moved not by my own performance but I was moved by the
nature of that scene because it’s very rushed, it’s very part of my own life and I – it sounds weird to say that because I don’t know quite what I
mean but there is something I know about this, something in my nature I know, maybe through experience with my parents, my father, my grandfather,
there is a darkness that I don’t want to make it sound mysterious but there is something in there that moves me about the finality of love, about the
finality of betrayal, and finally, you know, there are no longer days of wine and roses. Off we go into darkness.
AMANPOUR: Do you now, when did you feel that acting was not a mistake?
HOPKINS: Just recently. Recently I was thinking my goodness, I’ve had a long life, I’ve had an amazing life I’ve had a great life, I’ve worked with
some extraordinary people and I am what I am today and I look out of my window and I think how on earth did I get here?
And I can’t really account for any bizaare chance, I was given so many breaks and I many, many mistakes but I’ve managed to pull myself up again
by the bootstraps and go on with it. So I know it’s the only thing I can do. I have other hobbies, I paint and I play the piano and I compose music
but this is the one thing that I do I love and I relish. And I hope I got and do a few more things like that, but it’s been the best life and there
was no mistake made one — I will say one last thing, the happiest time of my life is now because I’ve given – get rid of self-consciousness, being
free of self-consciousness, being free to not to realize that I’m not that important, none of us are that hot, for a very limited time.
When we think we’re important, think again because we’re not. And not important at all. And that is the great freedom now, there is no escape,
life is terminal. And I like that. Sounds like gallows humor but I like it.
AMANPOUR: Yes, and yes, and on that gallows humor note, it’s been a pleasure speaking to you, Sir Anthony Hopkins. Thank you for joining me.
HOPKINS: Thank you very much, thank you.
AMANPOUR: And if I might say, an important reflection by Sir Anthony Hopkins on self-importance, it does strike a chord, at a time when our
roles in society are being transformed by technology, here comes artificial intelligence at breakneck speed replacing jobs and changing economies in
the race to achieve innovation.
AI Expert, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee says that if data is the new oil, then China is the new Saudi Arabia. He has worked both in United States and China with a
resume including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. His new book AI Superpowers, China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order the dots on
decades of development and he tells our Hari Sreenivasan that AI is at the heart, a story about what makes us human.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN: You worked in artificial intelligence for a long time, you talk about AI in different phases, you’ve got the sort of
Internet phase, business, you call it eyes and ears and in the hands and feet.
KAI FU LEE, AUTHOR:Right.
SREENIVASAN: Explain that evolution.
LEE: Sure , we’re already surrounded by Internet AI that is AI being used within the Amazon, Google, Facebook, in fact this is how they’ve become so
valuable because they take the data that we provide and our actions and use that to maximize the revenue or user benefit or some combination as the
natural first step because they have the most data.
The next step will be businesses, so banks, insurance, hospitals and so on will collect data in that will have data in their domains and they can use
it to make better decisions about credit card fraud detection, loan approvals, investment allocation and so on. But these are both phase I and
phase II are both based on existing or being generated — big data being generated.
The third phase is when the AI has eyes and ears and they can see and hear. So Amazon Go, Amazon Echo are examples of that, but that is going to be on
everywhere as devices become cheaper and sensors are embedded everywhere along with the Internet of things are adding to this network capturing the
physical world and doing things that couldn’t be done before such as an autonomous store without any human’s involvement.
Then the last phase, the fourth phase is the autonomous AI phase where the hands and feet are added, for example, AI can decide on making loans to
people, what kind of insurance policies to issue, AI can be added with computer vision and robotics and builds self driving autonomous vehicles or
machines that can manufacture future products without human involvement or even autonomous agriculture, picking up fruits and vegetables and
So really taking over all the routine jobs we have.
SREENIVASAN: You just rattled off four different industries, all the loan officers in the world, all the drivers in the world, all the pickers of the
crops, these are you are talking about a seismic shift here, you are talking about billions of unemployed people if all of these jobs go away.
LEE: Yes and the good news is that this would generate amazing efficiency and a phenomenal amount of the wealth that will help move us forward and
the question is what happens to those unemployed people how does the redistribution of wealth and the retraining for the new jobs or early
retirement or the shift to volunteerism can transition the work style so that people can continue productively and happily.
SREENIVASAN: How did our education system change to prepare for this?
LEE: So the education system has to stop guiding people towards the jobs that have no future, so even vocational schools have to rethink, are we
going to have as many auto mechanics or truck drivers were not, but we might still have a large number of plumbers because AI can’t handle the
variations of environments and we’re going to need more elderly care, more nursing, more teachers, so the entire our job mix will change and education
should change along with it.
SREENIVASAN: In the book you lay out almost a four-quadrant matrix of the types of jobs that will be most likely to be replaced or are being replaced
now and the types that are least replaceable. Explain.
LEE: So if we look at this out defensively what are the things AI cannot do, that’s what we should put our energies. AI cannot be creative and AI
cannot be compassionate. Those are the two biggest core pillars, there other things but these are the two core things. So that the four-quadrant
would correspond to four types of a human AI symbiosis. So for the highly creative highly compassionate jobs, AI doesn’t have a chance, best is tools
to help us do better in those jobs.
For the jobs that are highly creative but doesn’t require human interaction or compassion, then humans will continue to create with AI becoming tools
to help them be more creative, let’s say scientists might discover more drugs.
For the jobs that are highly interactive with human component, compassion and empathy all but not that creative, those are the kinds of jobs where AI
analytical engines will become dominant but humans will really wrap their warmth and connectivity around it.
For example, doctors, teachers, they will make the professions more effective and leverage the AI tools and be able to reach out to more people
SREENIVASAN: So how does has a doctor’s job change in 20 years with let’s say in AI assistant?
LEE: I think the dock is having a doctor’s job will change into that of interacting with the patients, understanding the patient’s history, teasing
out all of the necessary ingredients to make a good diagnosis, have that — make the patient feel listened to and then have rely on the AI to make the
possible diagnosis and the doctor can potentially override in the beginning but over time, the AI will be so much better the doctor is going to be
mainly the human communication tool to offer warmth, compassion, care, confidence, and that outcome means the type of healthcare that we’re able
to get today can be provided to all the poor regions and countries at a much lower cost.
SREENIVASAN: Your book is called AI Superpowers there’s a lot of concern on the balance between who has a lead and where is the edge and do they
overtake each other and who is at advantage here? You start out by saying what China is not in the league right now but were accelerating and
catching up at an incredibly fast pace.
US led all the technology research and that it’s actually openly published and shared so China like every other country, has an opportunity to take
those some algorithms and implement them. China’s advantage is that China has a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of capital to fund them and they work
extremely hard and they are tenacious in finding every business opportunity in phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 of AI.
And but most importantly, China has a lot more data than everyone else because all this a AI is automatically learning based on data, the more
data you have, the better your AI is, and China has more users and also more data per user so the companies that are being built in China has an
inherent advantage of having more data and therefore training better AI.
SREENIVASAN: Given that there’s so much data being generated in China on your facial recognition and on your shopping habits, where does privacy
come into the mix?
LEE: There are clear laws that would forbid companies from sharing or selling the data, so actually the Facebook Cambridge Analytica case..
SREENIVASAN: … China on your facial recognition and on your shopping habits. Where does privacy come in to the mix?
KAI FU LEE, AUTHOR: There are clear laws that would forbid companies from sharing or selling the data, so actually the Facebook, Cambridge Analytica
case would have been more seriously prosecuted and more people would be put into jail for illegally sharing private data. However, the collection by a
company of where you went on your shared bicycle or what you bought on your mobile phone is not so different from what Visa and Google and Open Table
have about the American consumers. It’s just that the speed of adoption is faster.
I think ultimately, every country has to figure out how to balance privacy, personal safety, convenience. These things can’t all be perfectly had.
SREENIVASAN: Are you concerned about the size of companies getting too big and leading people out whether it’s Google and Facebook and Amazon here or
it could be Tencent or Alibaba in China?
LEE: Yes, yes, I am. I think there is a virtuous cycle for them because more data builds better products and makes more money than more machines
given more data. That virtuous cycle makes monopolies harder to break. Traditionally, monopolies were there because of exclusive access to
resources, a great brand, user loyalty or technology edge or high hurdle of entry, but now the AI can add this virtuous cycle, so I think we need to be
cautious about the companies that are getting too powerful. I think there’s still plenty of room for innovation and entrepreneurship in areas
that they’re not currently that many.
SREENIVASAN: It used to be the picture was two guys in a garage coming and putting a better mousetrap, writing something better, and two young women
in a dorm room builds something that challenges Alibaba or Amazon.
LEE: I don’t think so. I think they can invent a brand new application and that will over time come into competition and challenge, sort of like
how Facebook became kind of a threat to Google at times. Kind of how actually in China by Duos, the big company and then Tencent and Alibaba
So, I think new companies can challenge old ones but probably and generally not indirectly going into a market in which a nearly monopolistic position
is already there.
SREENIVASAN: I want to ask you this question as both somebody who understands both of these cultures growing up in Tennessee working in China
being Chinese and also as an investor. The last six months to a year have been a low point in the relationship between the United States and China.
We’re right now engaged in a trade war. How do you see this playing out?
LEE: Well, I think US and China have such mutual dependencies in technology that a continued trade war would just be a lose-lose and I also
– it’s a very sad for me because I think there’s huge affinity by the Chinese people for America. As China opened up, it looked to the market
economy in the US. It looked to Bill Gates as their heroes, and actually, if you go back further historically, there is the American Flying Tigers in
World War II. There’s Americans donating Tsinghua University, the best school in China.
So all of that goodwill I think seems to be melting away from the US side. And I think that would be such a pity and all of us, my colleagues, who
have benefited from the great American education, so there is every reason for US and China to work together because of the already intermingled
technology situation and for such strong affinity coming from China towards US and whatever the governments want to argue and fight over, I sure hope
the American people understand there are 1.3 billion people who love to be America’s friends.
SREENIVASAN: You said that it took a horrible stage 4 cancer diagnosis for you to learn to slow down and you’re actually evangelizing in a way for
other companies in China to create a different kind of work culture?
LEE: I am trying to do that, I don’t expect to be completely successful. I think the forces of the generations of poverty and the hunger for success
is too much to and too insurmountable. But I do see in my personal case, I was working as hard as the entrepreneurs that my company funded and only
when I got sick did I realize that all the money and things cannot buy back my health or the love of my family. So I came to a realization by
facing death and I wanted to share that experience with those people who will listen.
SREENIVASAN: The book is called ” AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order.” Kai Fu Lee, thanks for joining us.
LEE: Thank you, Harry.
AMANPOUR: Such an interesting perspective and experience, not just in his profession, but in his personal life as you heard at the end there.
That’s it for our program tonight.
Thanks for watching Amanpour and Company on PBS and join us again tomorrow.