Oliver Stone is an award-winning director, producer, screenwriter, and author. His memoir Chasing the Light is available on July 21, 2020. https://linktr.ee/OStone
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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water, it's the same water, that you brought your teeth with wet wipes or even worse and toilet paper, their terrible for the environment. They calls anal fishers and they clog up Utah. And again tissues. Only seventy nine box. It's a great deal, go to hello tissue dot, com, Slash Rogan, that's hd! L, L, o t! U s age! Why hello touchy dot com, flash Rogan to get ten percent off your order and free shipping. My friends, my guest today is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His name is we're still the job will gain experience. Thank you very much I'm a really big fan. So this is an honour for me. Real real excited I'm really excited about your book really excited about just your phone
the untold untold history in United States, which I think is fantastic. I mean that's what my favorite things you ve ever done, and in and so thorough and so interesting, but the book first ball. Look how good you are gonna cover them on all shot guns, handsome bastard ligature slogan, could there ten years after it was nineteen sixty eight November. I just come off the last mission in Vietnam. While he was on a hilltop, we got stuck in the rain and the ashes Valley, it was first cavalry and we really the helicopters couldn't get in four eleven days. It was awful while we had leeches ever were away and the enemy we didn't know where they were, but we felt that they were gonna closer was, but was too where ultimately for them to them to, but they knew we were there, so we were pray and so hard. I was gonna nerve racking because it was my last few days you understand. I was supposed to get out of there. What the Euro sleeve the country I was due out. I had violent. I had voluntary,
for an extra three months in order to get out of the army three months, Europe, while in other words that there is normally you had to serve if it to your deal you to serve six six months, stateside on the backside of it. So I didn't want to do that, because I was going nuts with rules and regulations, and I got this trouble with that. So I extended in combat for another three months and that ended up in this mission. How much did your times serving impact. Your your directing and you'll get you ve. Had these life experiences as someone who is just a filmmaker there really can't draw upon like you, you ve had actual combat expense, science and when you're making movies about combat, I mean that has to be a gigantic advantage, or at least it adds layers to it that are almost impossible to creep to recreate someone has just trying to imagine what it's like
Yeah, I know, is very important when we did platoon. Oh, I wish I was trying to get the exact distances and what and the amount of fire power is not as you it's not as intense generally speaking as the movies make it yeah and that's the problem, because the movies have so much to put you have so much to show they bring the enemy much closer. They they condense things.
And they they amplify as much as possible. Now I did that to here and there so I'm I'm guilty to, but I think over all its way overdone under the newer stuff. That's come out since two thousand one. You know what the patriotic stuff Emily Emily Militaristic, some way off way off and people don't die that way like needle in the type of films like Mark Wahlberg Made- or you know, those kind of sausages way way overdone anyway and went in what way well was an aim that loans arrive. Nea was at the new near here they get dropped off. Whatever intend guys and they manage to kill how many Taliban for each guy, you know how much I was based on the minutes, all about markets, the jails light. I haven't had a chance to talk Marcus, other friends with them, but I dont know how much of it they they monkey with everything
whenever they may way over them and was way overdone knave and what I heard and was spin reported is it they know they got trapped right away. That was pretty quick, the ambush went on and then they got that they at the ship kicked out so and I can't buy Campi. I don't remember exactly the details, but he did get away and now some people did Scamp skin doesn't look like it does in the movie ruins a hero right, you that is a problem, and that's one of the things that are really loved about platoon everyone wasn't a hero. I mean the the Tom Barons, your character, the only existed it's in the book, yeah based on a guy called sergeant, like called them sergeant Barnes, but he had it wouldn't lose his real name. We'll guy can shorten the face. Then was scarred distorted kind, a handsome like that, but he was a serious guy and he knew what he was doing. He was
the leader of the plateau, Shi Ite. I made clear that the leaders of the platoon were not really the lieutenants. They were this, the platoon sergeant in this and the squads arduous, and they were very important our lives, so I really saw officers I was going to get in the jungle you deal with. What's right in front of you, so the sergeant was crucial. Barnes is a crucial character, so is the other character sergeant Elias
played by wonderful, was in another unit that I had combined for different units are in three combat units are combined them into one one unit, one platoon for this movie purposes, so the wonderful character was also based on a real person. Yes, he was was based on a guy. You in the lurch, long range, Recon patrol who was a great eyes and patchy kind of an Apache mexican mixer, I'm not quite sure when he was gonna, get a norm that well, but I admired him because he had that life. Grace of a guy who fought alot, been around he'd, been an he'd been in before he was on a second tour and very much love a beloved figure and he was killed after I left the union. He was killed about a month later in
friendly fire accident friendly fires met. We talk about an yeah, we're quite a bit. You know because it's also underestimated people. Never the Pentagon cuts it all out, especially in the movies had come from the Pentagon approval rattling. They. They don't like to emphasise how difficult how often I would say, fifteen to twenty percent of our casualties in that war, were friendly fire. Now, that's not just ground fire from when you get into a jungle situation, your close to people, you don't really know where you're shooting, sometimes you know, which were the incoming fire is, is coming from. So it's quite a mess as chaotic the radio people screaming shouting noise confusion. And a lot of fear, yet that was highlighted for us when the Pat Tillman Incident down very important one pal Tillman. Who is this spectacular athlete decided to postpone his NFL career in and go
over and serve and was killed in friendly fire, and it wasn't really reported that way for, while actually correct, which is the point is: if they don't, they really dont want the parents to know what's really going on. So, if imagine, if imagined fifteen, maybe twenty percent are dying from that friendly fire that this is not just ground fire. This is, of course, bombing and surly artillery fire, because that is often this placed it's not that easy to get the coroner. Down in a tense situation where you you can hit year, where artillery twenty miles away. Forty miles away has to hit you has they had to spot when you make a move. You opportune, and this is in many much much of it- is based on you. Actual real life experience, how much preparation is involved and how much? How much is it different?
then, when you're making another movie, because this is something that's intensely personal to you, obviously how much preparation? Well, I got I got a great combat adviser, he'd been errors and marine they'll die. He came in the blue and he was a real life or type. So he remembered all the details in of uniforms and fire in the end, the fire power in its it took a lot of detail to put this together, but the preparation was I've been doing it for ten years I started the picture. Nineteen, seventy six road, I wrote it it wasn't made. It was rejected by the by the powers that be The first time- and then they was, it was considered a great great script, but to really to realistic a bummer, a downer. If you remember
in the seventies aunt Apocalypse now and your hunter yeah. Those were big films and mythic beautiful films, but they were not realistic than they had so it s just alone to his Rambo series, where he goes back, invites a war again, those DR greatly yeah, although the first one was pretty good, but the first one was different they're playing up the gather, all sympathy card, the pity card- I don't buy that know that a lot about veteran feeling that new is the we we were. We were beaten, we had our hands, hide behind our backs and we couldn't win and that kind of thing believe me. It was badly conceived war with a lot of misinformation. I go on in the book and talk about the lies. It were spread by the military they propaganda that were winning the whole time that they were using the body.
Counts. Everybody counts. It's a motive for killing so much at so many of them, they're not going to be that many left and but on the other hand, as the years went on more and more of them kept appearing the way the Vietnamese were indestructible and away. They were like ants. They were. They were fighting for their independence there for their land man. It was their country and they never gave up ever you gotta, look them and I've. That's what Curtis limit one point suggested you could have dropped a nuclear bomb. We would have done it when they made the difference that God they didn't, but to America went to extremes to in that war. With poisoning the balmy added. The bombing of Nano Avian allows in Cambodia was intense, intense beer, bigger than by far than war war too, for this crazy war, it also would set a precedent for our lack of trust in the military and lack of trust. In the government that guides the military pressure,
clean how they deal with the veterans that are dealing with things like agent, orange or people have come back that work that were sick where they denied that this is part of the problem church we didn't even have PTSD weed and we are without was but a startling prop up. When I got back- and I talk about it here- a bit about ptsd- which I never heard of, but I think we all have it. What did they call back then? Shall shocked- or I guess so, but I wasn't, it was not. Diagnosis, diagnosis, evil that it was not an element that you could officially
Catalogue, because, if you did, the army would be meeting to a huge amount of insurance problems in all kinds of medical problems they would have to cover. So it was something that it was no word for it, but frankly, to get back to the issue of whether the original question was the platoon was rejected on for these two almost came to be again in eighteen, eighty, three fellow party gettin to heartbreaking story it in the book and its resurrected. I mean I forget about I just put in the closet after those movies came out, is dead. Then I want to know about yet nominate this country. They really forget it. The second happen. Fine, I guess I live.
With it? I was moving all my career at midnight Express I had scarface I would I was. I had other things in my life, but Michael J meaner who had directed the dear Hunter told me he wanted to produce it with me as a writer as a director and that too we would be. Would we would resurrect it because he said Vietnam is coming back. I said, that's nonsense. I don't think it's going to come back. He said. Look at Stanley, Kubrick Pictures he's going to make a picture is called full metal jacket and it do it took three years or two years for in the mail but the fact that he made it certainly gave us some in Paris to make we made it very low budget and by the way, was made by the same company as May Salvador. My previous shown they made him. I made him back to back in Mexico and the Philippines back to back, financed very low budget by M nail, a british company led by it
gentlemen Name John Daily. I might who was my mentor much credit name in the book, so we were nothing film. Let me worry about him. I mean we're in the Philippines and making a film that nobody really knew much about it at the Bahia and we were struggling to get it made and there was a weather problems. There was all kinds of. Logistical problems, but we ve been through hell on Salvador, as I described in the book and makes it go so we were unit by this terming. We are used to the difficulties. May he low budget In between the time you wrote it in a time it actually got done. Was there ever any effort by the studios to try to water it down or to try to doktor it up and sure now then went on quite a bit. Everyone red descriptive one born another
so when it finally almost got made, which amino in nineteen eighty three we thought we'd Brian wait till we get it made now, but the the resistance to it at the very end with the MGM was supposed to be the distributor and Henry. Kissinger was on the board of directors along with the Hague. Alexander, hang you remember him. No, during I've secretary of state, for a bad time, they were both on the board and whether they went to that board. I don't know, but that's what the store they cover their asked by Tommy. We can't make this moving. We can't distributors movie because the board would be against it. Now, sometimes aid, they tell you that without checking. But in this case I don't know I was result. The film fell apart again, this was a hard, but did you
ever think like. Maybe I can move at a little bed or change it a little better when you just attentive out of hand again said to me, forget it well. Can I help you little on this thing is completely distort it. They were upset as hell about the frightening in that society trade unions, yeah yeah. There was a lot of that towards the end for started in sixty seven eight, but there was more and more discontent. Lyndon Johnson pulled out of the presidency in March of sixty eight. That was a big moment. I think I'm older, so everyone kind of knew that this thing was not going to work out and who wanted to be the last guy to get killed in Vietnam, and so I think, six thousand nine hundred and seventy or more fractions
a fraction fractious, and there was more and more incidents. At one point, there was a Pentagon document that came out I've seen it said this situation in in the army is getting so poor, so bad the morale is so low that it resemble is beginning to resemble the french mutinies and nineteen seventy in the war, one that was a big concern, the Pentagon. They knew there. The thing was not gonna work, he was cracking from within. So if we have more and more let's say more and more credit to the vietnamese selfie enemies in saying that there were take our place when I put more money, we put a fortune into them, selfie enemies, we like we're doing now with the afghan army. It's interesting when you look by what year dimple to come out eighty finally made it out, and eighty six eighty says ember when, when you really think about it, you're only talk you not talking about that. Much dissidents, distance between that movie coming
and the Vietnam WAR ending the meaning. Terms of how we look at the world. Now I mean if we look at its two thousand twenty, if we look at two thousand that doesn't seem like two thousand three that doesnt seem that longer, but that's the timeline you're looking at and so in a lot of ways was pretty very fresh in a lot of people's eyes Equally people on the paragraph. It was quite something when it came out, it was, it was like a bomb went off, went around the world. First of all, I wasn't just America, this film played everywhere and was guesses shock at the time because was more realistic than any Warfield that they had seen and, of course it was dirty and got you know I mean it was that we had drug use in it, which was you know, description of.
Division. There was a division in the army. We wish. We were draft he's many of us, so it wasn't all volunteer. You know, and it wasn't all like Gung ho at all. It was a split, and I decided I describe. I showed this split as much as I could. I would be in the I joined the camp where the people, I would say, were anti authoritarian. I Windsor there. I wore because we didn't have anything like that. Going on it was just the army sucks, the man sucks. You know a lot of the black troops knew this. There was a lot of dissension with a black trips to cuz, when Martin Luther King got killed in April of sixty eight that had that had a negative impact over. There was a lot going on in the country, and people were seen feeling it and new troops are coming in all the time from the country. Crafts, easy
you know you got a feeling for what's goin on, did the moon? Did the movies feel different to you than anything else? You ve ever done in terms of your obligation, because I really do think that that was the most realistic at that point. Four shore war movie ever made and the one that left people with the most conflicting feelings, and just this this feeling of as much as you can relate in a film with notable actors that you, you you showed the heart, of war in a way that, I think it ever been portrayed before in a field where we gotta details. Right, I mean, when you see a dead body and you see it being lifted in the helicopter. That's really looks like a dead man and the pain of death. I mean you feel the danger you it's, it's never what you think it's gonna be. It's always comes up
another way, it's like sloppy, sometimes and battle, and that's what I don't like about. A lot of the movies at battle is often just confusion. Breaking down things don't work. It's like MIKE Tyson said you know your plan and goes out the window and you can hit in the face. It's that's the way those it never see. The Americans had a methodical way of doing we would we go into the jungle is under the little guys in the jungle. They meet resistance, pullback bomb artillery do anything, take minimum casualties, that's what the Marines day, but that's what the army's idea, one in that it works to a degree that it eradicate saw that the bombing is is very sloppy none of your friendly fire, but you have a lot of civilians killed to imagine when you finish your final caught that movie and it got really
how to be a very strange. Almost like you, you releasing a child. You you mean it was it had been so much more personal, so much so much more so I've been through so much. I really I didn't. I I didn't think I was going. I felt was good movie those goods remnant amid the unexpected anything I just done Salvador, which was about a dirty civil war down in the in Central America, in which America again supported some pretty bad guys. That squats and I show that in that picture, had not done very well because it had been. America has been very little or no interest really in the central american issues of the nineteen eighties member, they sandinistas Revolution in Nicaragua, there was not a term oil and Guatemala turmoil in Andorra swear where I went down there to research Salvadoran when I saw in Honduras was the beginning of another Vietnam. That's one of them,
since I really committed to sound, was heavily when I saw the troops American now there, women, men and women young in uniform many of them National Guard troops reserve. They were. They are building up for this. I think it was pretty clear that Reagan was gonna attack, Nicaragua in some way, but it never happened because of her a fortuitous accident. When the CIA got busted for flying a cargo cargo over Nicaraguan, it was a huge scandal that led to the IRAN Contra unravelling with Reagan. So Reagan was unable. To do what he wanted to do in in Nicaragua. Although we in mind the port, we done everything possible, supporting the Contras, although Piss me off, in other words, who is like twenty years
after the war fifteen years after work- I am back in Central America, I'm the same thing young guys like me in a country yet just believing what their hearing from their superiors. So you felt like this obligation to not just really Salvador but also release platoon, as. Input to you, your experiences showing what the Vietnam WAR was really like and with so Commodore saying hey! This is happening again. Yeah I didn't simultaneously, except I didn't really. Both an unbelievable tune was gonna work. Yeah come outside do not much faith in what when it did come out. How much of a surprise was it when I was a giant head? Well, I knew that in the moment put it this way.
They should in was you can tell from the young people the actors in the? U their enthusiasm? For this saying there was a hunger to me. They were so delight delighted to become so certain soldiers for the purposes of the movie. We train them on a twenty four hour basis for two weeks and it was a work I wanted them to get no sleep and they ll die. Help me with that. We we put them in a pebble training situation by real welcoming where you don't sleep in you. You basically points entry doing night kind, and you have you split your duty with foxholes three guys and date deal with stage, attacks and stuff in the middle of the night, real they were nervous and they were. They were tired beyond belief, which is good. That's where you want the Sahara You plan this out. So when you were when you were about to start filming, you How did in your head? We have to make this more realistic, whats the best way to do it in the area,
the beginning, we, finally at the way I cast it I'm already. I wanted young people as much as possible in the in the wrong people who were fresh, who didn't look like they done other movies, rap and types they were based on everybody. I knew my pollutants, people from the south, a lotta people from the south of people from the MID West, alot of inner city people Chicago especially on Saint Louis New Orleans, and I mean Californians and when I try to mix it all up and the whole idea from the beginning was it were made this with our A bit of money will make this a realistic as we could. So we planned it that way. When the camp worked, we got the full cooperation of the Filipino and some shitty helicopters that they have a very dangerous ones. But at least that was what was a start. Than ever been done before the camp to the idea of having their believe, and I think so I don't think so- presented
I me be allowed and maybe in the This man, I don't know one now what what made you fall on that like Why was I lived, had lived it, so I wanted them to above all, I wanted them to be tired. Irritable gives you a sense of what it's like in his bugs in his eight it's it's a jungle and sir, have they respond to that at first there a lot a bit, There was a sad cities as I e g, the setting sail unions and you you have to have twelve our turn around, so a few of them quit really bad. We replace them, because I had a long list waiting list of people and I'd seen over the years. While actually trolley sheen was the broadly your brother of a Emilio Esteve, as was my first choice, to played in eighteen. Eighty three after the movie, went peel back to eighty six Emilio. I got
older and I went with Charlie came of age about that time was my age when I was over there, while so he was nineteen twenty So that's what I wanted. Those faces. Wench two faces. You can train them. Berringer interfere with the oldest and they that helped enormously in there with us in old anchors of of the operation. When the film was this gigantic success did that but that feel dude that validate yes, idea that you had and in achieving onto a sudden shock me you mean for years, have been rejected. Ten years you know, I mean I was sick of it and I'm not gonna make this will because it's gonna go wrong. You know I didn't think was possible, but because of the world cubic picture and the support of the english company John Daily they wanted to make it. This is news.
Make us out my life, I'm fighting to me against somebody's wishes, all oversight. I got some people on my side at a big, that's a big difference and enthusiasm, but the Caston Dale Die and always great people in my camera, man, everybody they loved it and we made it end Frankly, we finished it. We didn't on budget. Fifty was fifty days when fifty four days, but that was in we had the money in the in the in the that ten percent contingency. We finished it in fifty four days and it was tough and we got out of there just in time, because the puncture wounds came and in the editing right away. You can feel it people reacting to it in a different way. We edited There was no, we wee wee it a little bit, but you know we played with it play with new massage it, but right away, I would say, from the first screening on you could tell people were responding in. This is real. This is never seen this this Israel, so
It took care of itself. In a word I mean they didn't put much money and distributing company was awry in pictures were existence that they they put it they said, will give it a quality release, a few theatres, a Christmas in eighty six and it open huge first day in New York, there was a line of veterans, young, we veterans or look young. I mean not war war to enters young veterans them around. The block at the lows asked her and I wasn't there, but people told me that they were they went in quietly. There was a new and they said to the film and very little talk or anything, not a lot of the Gung HO stuffy here and at the end of it they were quiet and they some of them.
About their seats. Quite a few of them were sitting there, stillness Asia somewhere cry. It took off and then it'll half like I can't I've. Never you notice, an army is rarely see in the world is like the top third highest grossing film in America that year and it was was applied buster because no children are allowed in. You know you and you don't have much roof a woman's audience at first? So you don't finger on these things. You know it it took off and kept going in and the women started to come in the third week. This as it was getting more and more talked about, there's no stopping it in. Even when you went to places like Paris, London people carried, it was unbelievable. While it was a masterpiece and is it is that your finest moment in your your proudest moment, you feel like a filmmaker was one of the highlights of my life and at its climax of this book, the tension.
Matters here led up to that, because my story starts in seventy six, I'm in New York I'm broke into pressed written twelve screenplays nothing's happened. I've come close a few times nothing's going on and my marriage is ended. My first marriage and looks- I haven't atop accomplished my life, the things it matters at the age of thirty, you kind of wake up. You say you know: what can I do? My grandmother dies. I talk to her. I go and talk to other deathbed she's she's dead, but in France they let them. My mother was friend she said they laid. They lay them out and I was talking or an innocent plenty of room moving scene where he communicates with her because she loved him and his own family life was quite disturbing in many
where is it was for him a traumatic divorce between the mother of his mother and father, and he goes into he goes into this. What what happened in it's about a family to it's about? Have a family life can break apart. You can become a child of divorce, so his life kind of falls apart and he goes out for your hands. He goes to Vietnam teacher. He goes joints a merchant marine, all kinds of things that happen comes back to school. Goes back to Yale. University drops out again writes a book righteous first book about his experiences. I did this before back in nineteen sixty six, I was nineteen years old didn't work out. It was rejected. It was ultimately published about ninety. Ninety seven is called a child's night dream.
So I was a writer from the beginning. I I think before was a director and when that was rejected, I just said fuck it yeah, I'm too, I'm too full of myself onto of a narcissist tee. I can't write about myself, so I join the army and volunteered for combat end for Vietnam. Are you why MRS see it right away for the experience now? One of the above the barrel I want to see what what this country was about. I I was, I was inquisitive those I wanted to know what why was about, I mean a grown up. Real level. We shall do you know my father, amid living a Wall Street he was a republican eyes we're supporter he wasn't. Lieutenant colonel in World WAR two way met. My mother. I mean he was a strong republican and all his life. I grew up in that ethic when it really
it's something that when I went to Vietnam, he had never been in combat, but one So what I saw over their coming from a sheltered existence, relatively it was shattered. The glass was shattered. It was his I wasn't like I will. I couldn't take farmers word for it anymore anything. So I had to learn from myself. That's why what was different from your father's perceptions? What would I lie supported the warlike many many people did the first seven years until he got older and then he came around one Danny said. You know, I think it's her and I think you're right. I think it was it's a futile thing because The whole idea of the Cold war: he would he began to question it at the age of seventy about sixty five. He said you know what what what difference does it make? This domino
bullshit me said: the Russians have a sub off long island. You know they can make an Lucas from anywhere done. It doesn't make sense. It play this, zero sum game of fighting for land fighting for one country or another intervening in other countries. She began to question Emily and I was too so. I didn't change I know you going to go to later in my life, but basically I didn't change until I went to the Strip in Honduras, which I just told you about with my friend Richard Boyle for Salvador in nineteen. Eighty five I went down there and when I saw in Central America, confirmed that we were doing it again. We were going into these countries, we do know what the fuck there about. We didn't and we were fighting. These are in most cases the interests of most of them the majority of the people. They had had a revolution in Nicaragua because it was so corrupt, major revolution, nineteen, seventy, nine and seventy, the
We ve been opposed to that new regime ever since. So when you first when you, into the army. When you signed up, did you You have clarity about this to do when you just have this idea in your head that you needed to find out what it was like. No clarity I was I wanted to get out of New York. I let you get away from the whole. My parents were divorce. Father. I want to get away from my father when he with everything I knew I do. I didn't like Yale University. I was in the ass, we George Bush and I come from that generation. Donald Trump George Bush Click, yes m generation, but I dont identify with those people will become. Maybe they they didn't have that sense of service at all. I did. I had a sense of patriotism other, but I think call it. I really think it was Miss place, but I felt that I owe my country something they can't workers
myself. There is MIKE you going back to us, is so significant that you had that moment in your life when you were in vain in vietnam- and you were in combat duty because all of your films, although there these big commercial success as they have a message I mean midnight Express, even scarface, there's there's a man, passage in these films. That's bay, stone real? alive scenarios that took place that a lot of people are unaware of in a lot of people got their education about releasing prisoners to America done scarface, that's how a lot of people found out about that. That's too bad, because I wish we had more, can more study of what's going on in the world more contemporary well, that's again what are really loved about the untold history, the United States, its a fantastic pc put together one another Cherokee, slanting mature. There is surely no words, but you don't that's something. That's really flame.
I heard your life. Is it your your work? Is not just commercial, you don't you don't. Put out these commercial success really are, but they are commercially successful, but you balance it with them such whether its J, F, K or or whether its put two and all of them there's something to them that resonates with people. In answer to your question about whether I was clear, no, I wasn't clear. I was here's what I was held at the time. I said: look I've been, I wrote this book, it didn't work. It's I spent two. Here's putting that guides in my own lives on their it's not of interest to a publisher. So therefore, I'm gonna go.
Went to his army. They go to these war and I'm gonna let at that time I was a good christian God sort this out and he'll decide where they put it. That's how you fell in somewhat yeah, if I'm not men to come back. I won't while and I went under those conditions, so you know you have to real, as long as people in nineteen o suicidal in nature- and we know this from the facts now now they were talking about. It is in this country in Amerika we ever surfeit of of love suicide among nineteen, twenty, twenty one and its a sad, but that's where I was and spiritually desolate and frankly it gets
you'd up over there, in the sense that I came out very grateful to be alive. Having seen a lot of, I been wounded twice, and I got the bronze storm done. Thirty, thirty or more helicopter missions, but seem quite a fair share of combat, which I described in the book I came back alienated and number didn't come back as protester butter confused. How did you feel about thirty would lay flat fighting with the failure of a game? Lsd went other did on permanent. Did you know I didn't know Nor do I know I'd give it to him, but he more than he was uncertain. How did you do that with similar is called no scotch, even better how much a quite a bit. He was strongly he handed it strict. He drank He drank whisky, everyday life, so yeah he was, but he was greatly was like.
Swain to the music and allow Hemi sex fantasy, Did you tell him about it afterwards, hello, actually we'd, but over the years winged he knew I curve. After while you figured it out, I guess and I was along here. While you re talking black talk to him. Did you feel like you how to do it you you knew what kind of an impact it would have on the open. I was fighting with him. Now we were funded about the war. Finally, about everything like I just didn't like his ideas in one of the destroys mindset, our mindset was: ok we're we wait this? Vietnam is a mass, but his mindset was, but we can learn from it. We can get our remit swell gonna blow up our knowledge for the next war. That was his thinking right. She, a generation of world war, two he was His father was wiped out in that in twenty nine in his first jobs and for what I didn't have anything he worked
weigh up on Wall Street and very high hard worker research in the back offices. So when with the war was the more shallower war was the highlight of his life. He says, because Furthermore, in America face this problem. What are we to do with all these men than that we got the women working, how we gonna employees, people every. He seemed to be scared of another depression. They thought we're going back into that. So there was this milk rise economy that we had and they kept going. It basically kept going and built up by nineteen. We, it ended in forty five would by nineteen fifty fifty one we're back in Korea where we are building up again. So the whole concept of an enemy was important to the american enemy and that the Soviet Union, of course fit the bill where our ally in one or two and four and then did most of the fighting they became, are our biggest enemy right away. Rhino
it was no hesitation about it- it was at life in the political decision. You know to have an enemy, to create fear and to keep the militarized economy that we have any idea how or talked about it He was an unknown built it up the most, but we're getting ahead of us. No, no, no, not means Fund They came from the generation and he believed firmly that Russia was really invading our country, threatening it our schools. They were nor State Department. I mean he wasn't Joe Mccord.
The birds, there was a lot of that. Many highly Nixon was like that. Yeah Hoover was pushing it and I grew up terrified of terrified dad. Why? Why why why? Why do we? Let the Russians do that that kind of men tell him being besieged, and so my father and I fought Alot acre magic because I got kicked out. Oh he take me to a restaurant I'd. I'd have an american tie was made Marian flag right and the restaurant owners me out, because you know that it was a disrespectfully, been ex worried. That's interesting! You can have an american flag anything now in your respectful. That's weird, like you get american flag, or a t, shirt and come on. This was a different world. Sylvia now highly still assemblies of the older people were were offended by them, yeah? That's it it's interesting! How that shifted right, like now the more american flag, the better on everything socks
hundred where they were nothing is respect plants different, it's so yeah. It's really weird can have been bastardize. What was it like? Coming back and seeing the protest on and and and seeing these people that were your age that were angry at people like you? had had been over there. I didn't have any horror stories. I didn't see that your bed be killer. That's been exaggerated, I think by people looking for new now, looking for revenge, usually I mean someone yelling baby killer soldiers write another that they mean. I would I think there was just comfort back to New York society, which was, I didn't, have any veteran friends in New York? My friends went back to small towns in Tennessee and Kentucky and Georgia and
Chicago, so I never said I didn't see them until I made bottom and why I think the problem was. It was indifference. People didn't care, I don't give a shit. Most people were making money, it was the sixties man people were getting jobs. It was all kinds of new, liberating ideas. The world was on fire and I think people with currently the Vietnam was an afterthought unless she were directly involved with relative released in New York very little. Occasionally, people would wonder why you? Why did you go there? You know like I was an outcast. Why did you waste your time? Get ahead, make some money. It was. The Donald Trump was was the Donald Trump generation? You know a kind of a feeling make money. Does a thing about your films, though, that I think I can keep going back to this, but because you did go over there, it's almost like it in your films, like you, have something you have to tell people, but you yeah. It's like you have to give them
Edison, but you gotta give it to him in sugar and a figure that way I wanted to do. I take thorny subjects. But they're entertaining tat, because I want to know what happens next. Like you, I think you have an interesting so even Political matters can be fascinated. Yes, who else would do Nixon's life right? I mean come on in that he was not the most popular guy now he's in there. I am for me it was a challenge. The same thing with a J K murderer made. It was so so normally Darwins extra complex right because you took some liberties there to try to move the plot along, but liberties. In the spirit of the of the, I didn't violate the truth right now. In this I mean I had to combine. Characters of. That is a complex story. The story of J of cases ass, a nation is very complex because I can learn a lot from a person in what their opinion is. What do you think
happened. While Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. You get these very specific character times where these people have these. Predetermine patterns they plug into and the like, Harvey Oswald acted alone is one of the weirder once youngster. That is one of the weird as arguments and when, when I talk to them about the magic bullet like and they Well, that's actually been proven. That can happen. I mean that drives me nuts Yoshi, because I'm a guy who shoots guns, I'm a hunter. I know it happens and bullets had bones. It does never come out like that ever and also, I think you know there was a hell of a shot held a shot can happen. I don't think it's that out of it I don't think it's that big of a deal. I think that's overstated theirs, many things that are overstated. One of things it's we're state as the scope was off. You know people here What scope was awful fuckin at any thing can knock a scope of you can drop a gun and the evidence roman scopes off. That's that's nonsense that people understand guns, but the bullet hitting those two p.
Bore and finding its way on economies, gurney magically with very little distortion. The boat at all is straight up horseshit and the fact that that that still gets touted, as but while this is actually how it could have happened- and we are things happen with bullets shore, weird things happen but one weird thing than never happens with thoughts as when they hit and shattered bone. They always distort always I must make you made a documentary almost finished about. We went back to the case again saw taking all information from the assassination Records Review board that came out of the film there. Were they passed an act, the J F K Act, Congress did was amazing and they allowed the border exist for five years and they went through a lot of detail. They were now to prove anything, but they would they found a lot
on a little detail that we put into this documentary lunch. I think you'll love, I'm sure, love. It goes into into see three nine. The bullet, but also goes into so much else on the autopsy that scrutiny to our tops is the want of Bethesda and also the one doubts that there was no dollars while they d like they did yeah, they say of what happened, damage in examinations douse everybody saw a huge gaping wound in the rear right over Mister Kennedys yeah. That was covered up. The other was. There is also the reason why they needed to make that magic bullet work I got him under the underpass loses now I know you. I could see her enthusiasm. This idea and also you know, come on. Let me know if you're an entrance dream and it's you can't fire three shots like that Why are you not firing at him when he's coming towards you early? If you're serious
the very unlikely but possible mean it can be done. The shot can be. Down, but that's one of the least ridiculous things about that story is whether or not one person could have pulled off of genes and nothing can be done, and I think the world's what best marksman couldn't do. I remember reading but it's a hard sharing. Our shots can be made hard shot, three shots in that time depending upon how much trade trained for, depending on I mean I've, I've, no, some people. It is spectacular marksman that can do some ridiculous shit, and but it was so fast he was he wasn't, but he was so trained and if you did depending upon How much training he did between his time in the service and his time actually getting ready to shoot Kennedy. You can get a lot better. I dont know how much training he did. Maneuver take someone whose three years ago a terrible shot and then They kill someone you're what he could have done and he's a terrible shot. Look three years ago he was a terrible shot. Well,
I was draining without time. Well to do. I don't take the rifle look, it can be done, but again Whether it's likely or not, that could be debated. Anyone it's the least ridiculous thing about that story. Will wait to you The document I can only we go. We initially pretty much prove that there is no chain of evidence on on the rifle either I'm not sure, I'm sure did you re dead, David lifting his book best evidence years ago That's what got me into the Kennedy assassination somebody but to me friend of mine, musician friend of mine, when I was on the road and I ran a red it unfortunately, all day right before my stand. Comedy shows that night and I was so depressed- I didn't think anything was funding and no one wants data had a terrible show, and then I had it shake myself out of it for the second show, because I was bombed out. I was like I'd never considered before, unlike Jesus Christ, they EL. The presently covered it up. And we're painful to this day, cuz, I think to Mr Kennedy- was one of them
really on the road to being a great president. I think you did a lot of great things that people don't even know, and we put that in the documentary what he was actually doing in Africa. People don't know what he was doing around the world at Asia and Cuba. Obviously, America, what is plans? Were people don't understand that it was a big divide between Let Lyndon Johnson we he was about to get rid of him, as vice president for the next election. It was a big divide in thinking between Kennedy and Johnson. Kennedy was without doubt pulling out of the way. There is a directive we bring it up and then from the US, a sect F conference in Hawaii from earlier that year was pulling out even made that very clear mother was also the northwards document. Which is already causing shocking when you actually, because this is not speculation or in kind of conspiracy theory. This is all from the Freedom of Information ACT signed by the Joint Chiefs of staff. They were going to
blow up a jet airliner blame it on the Cubans arrogantly arm cuban Friendly's intact Guantanamo Bay they're going to do all this, to go to war with Cuba, and it was its it stunning that this this, and this is an actual plan by the United States government vetoed by Kennedy. Wasn't there plan also to fly the plane into a building alone? I don't know if there was. It was applying the plan to blow up a drone jet liner through can take a jet liner fly blown up in the sky and in you know a tribute to all the. Death to that I came about actually that northwards came about as a result of the movie, because that was what there was found by the assassination reckoned trivial, real yeah. Why one of many documents come out. That's why it's important from my systems space peace of mind. To finish this thing is kind of like okay. This is the end. I have to put down the evidence, because I couldn't do it in a film right That's what I'm going to get to like what? What is it like when you have this passion for this story, and this is
a critical story in the history of the United States and a clear piece of Libyan. It's it's a clear stork record of an assassination of a president and most. Equally. Whether who I mean I don't owe who'd you who do, you think was behind it, I'm not gonna get sued because there all right, but I think that Alan Dollars has to be don't allow closer. I think he was no longer in the CIA, but he had a tremendous amount of influence and I He needed some organised very organised top people to help him, so I think it could have been a group of people that were involved in that, maybe involving certain people in the Pentagon too, because I was an awful lot strange things that happen. He certainly had some ideas that didn't jive well with the people that were in power then was for
by Kennedy, Scalia Hollis Bay, this aid, which had never been done. This was a shock to the american way of government. I mean we come from a pro military system and here was Kennedy questioning and then What do you know when, after he was killed? I mean it was insane for Lyndon Johnson to appoint him to the Warren Commission where he managed to control pretty much. The hearings in who who was. Who was rare and in what the CIA was delivering too. There was a joke. It was transparent, a joke, there's a quarrel coupled things that are Joe, Ireland, Spectre being the guy comes up the magic bullet. There is not a joke, yeah, there's there's a lot of that. It is very disturbing when it's one of those things where you go over that subject and you just leave in this state of discomfort and in these and it's very hard to relax afterwards. But your weight is here
I can't wait. I'd look. I look like I said. I love the untold who see the United States and I think you do a great service with that that series. Where are you illustrate in a way this both entertaining and very thorough, and all pieces that we're moving in all the things that took place. Really, we really worked, and I were had a professor of histories, Peter Cosmic work with me. Five years we spend on while he wrote it was really a nonprofit kind of. Enterprise, but I really had to do it- fits amazing announcing it gets nearly the credit that it deserves. A lot of people like that It's great, I love it it's available on Netflix. Yes, yes, when you're doing, can, I think a gag. Break out. Your words will be right back, please, John, so we're back there. Yeah you're asking me about we're back here: you're asking
about why. Why get attracted to these kind of subjects and they don't seem attractive on the surface. But when he more you get into the more they can be exciting. So I am dramatist at heart there, really, that is mine, but I do best, which is too dramatized situations. Take something and bring it to life, so take taken at Kennedy was extremely challenging and I knew it could work. I felt like you could work. I was a surprise. Like platoon mean, basically, how can you take this war is boring, there's a lot of details. I was in for different units. You know time, but not much happens, and then suddenly things happen sought that easy to make it happen in a movie time movie space, Sir, I took two different sergeants from to differ,
units and I imagine what would they be like if they were in the same year they rallied they would clash. One would be the law and order guy as a way of guy who believed in what he was doing for its fishing fleet and the other guys is a guy who's and anti, whose rebel like a bit like my own character, my father was much of law and order guy. My mother was very much a rebel and I kind of put that into it this
half like, because I saw it in every button. There were people who were like doing no marijuana people who are doing alcohol in over there was that split guy and a lot of the black eyes. I hung out with we're doin marijuana and they were doing the music. Music was unbelievable, the ring, but there are different kind of music than the Oki music. So was all the split in these patterns. I saw constantly black white and country city sensibilities. Also very important point. Is I found over time that the law and order
often where the most racist in terms of coming down on the vietnamese civilians cuz. We we had. We did jungle duty, but we also did a lot of civilian villages searching just searching whatever suffering, searching, searching we find stores and weapons is that they not necessary. They were cooperating, but sometimes they were forced to, but a lot of guys screwed with them. You know didn't like the Vietnamese at all, which was not the black problem. That was, you know that was more of a. It was a white problem, so I felt there was a lot of that going on and I couldn't. That was not my thing and I just really didn't like what I saw. Lot of cowardice to drawing imagine and as a shock education I mean you talk about Mega Knowest scale. Just thrust into this lately to volatile chaotic world and then introduce to a bunch of different people that you weren't around. When I got out, I got thrown into jail in the book to what for
federal smuggling where water coming back from Mexico? you have just announced or to really that's, it fell, Am I going for announcing I'd taken, some vietnamese grants home but I never went home. I just went right Mexico, so it was a few days later. I was in the jail why how my father's dead, you know I'm in trouble, Why did you call me or you then fill it? We know you got out two weeks ago for Louis as a dead. You wanna hear you don't love our blood. He got me out of here with some money. Without it. I would have been sunk into prison. It was awful. Prison was filled with blacks and Latinos. I mean there are five thousand people in there for two thousand. Why was the beginning of the drug war? Nixon was had been elected, but had not yet declared war on drugs, but it was
filled most of them are non violent crimes. Is it now- and I saw that that side of America common out, so we have a lot of law and order, type, serious, stood out, law and order. Stuff was instituted one night. They pass that sweeping psychedelic, sacks, nineteen, seven God yeah whatever they were trying to do as they were trying to squash civil rights movement. It's a big part of what we're trying to do. They were trying to make everything incredibly illegal schedule, one so that they could have a reason to infiltrate these groups and start arresting people and break the group's up. That's actually correct now ended J Edgar Hoover was still around. Unfortunately, he with a lot of influence. Marijuana had been the devil. Drug what else ass in character he was this year. They never got him yet Now, no god almost impossible to really get out a really wish. There was more
I mean real personal footage of all the crane shit that he was actually into we get standing of how nuts it was? This guy was in charge of spying on people. And Lyndon Johnson, and we have to ask, you know, did Linda really believed the bullshitting was talking about that, though, the black civil rights Moon had a communist basis that their communism was supporting it, they mean that was very much Hoover's thesis now, while they die, was a great way to get people motivated to see your side things back. Then you know that during the whole cold war, scare and red scared, like communism, being a motivating factor for any group. So when you put together J F K, you have this film. That is about this incredibly important subject. But yet you why to make it interesting and you want to make it a great failing. You sick. Seated in doing that. But what is what is like doing that balancing act?
of having so much information to tell that story so complex. The three hours and ten twelve minutes, and I got it through the system, which is unbelievable, I'll tell you how later, but at the time I thought I was, I needed a protagonist in the protagonist and who was the guy. You know you're the only person who ever brought any kind of charges publicly was Jim Garrison Yasmine in New Orleans. He was a district attorney and I read his book. He wrote to books and I actually got to know him and he was a man who would like twenty years after he did this with through hell came by. To an road another book and that's a book I more I bought. In other words, he was devoted to the sudden like you are. He believed a lot more than make you he'd been a patriot were too and he served in Korea. He'd been ble, he'd been Sheep dominion
been called every name in the book he, but he for. As a patriot, I firmly believe that took Mister Kennedy was killed by these intelligence forces and he went after an inn. In those days you just couldn't, do you could prove a covert operation raw? He got killed by the press killed and that we have now found on a lot more about why what was going on. We know a lot more facts about how the media, when, after him with bullshit alot of bullshit accusations and made him look as bad as possible or calving, constituted an amazing doubt plan in Europe. We too, because he was the basis of the bait. Once you get a Costner in the middle of it, then you can start to move. You got an interesting central character than you bring in all these crazies that you re read about people like Jack, lemon mouth, water matter The lunatics around New Orleans Dallas involved in the war against Cuba, and yet and thence I wanted. Then I wanna Lee Harvey Oswald Character, which has to tell.
Over the historic, so I had to stories Garrison and Oswald. I got to know Marina, didn't you know the tract of a lot of the Oswald story, not enough of it, but there's more now, but it some he seems to have been definitely in the employ of the CIA when he went to Russia the first time and when he came back again, he was there's too much evidence of it. Yeah. We're gonna bring now too, but that story become and then the third storey would be the Dealey Plaza, the actual assassination so garrisons, not there. He has to go back into the past too, to fight this outright. So here that threat the whole Dallas section is part of it is partly structure. It starts the movie, but it also we go back to it at the right time and if the climax we go back to her for the final time, the way the way it probably happened. So then that that's three stories and the forced or if you everyone, know the truth in my thinking at that time was a dongle Sutherland. Yes
this comes into the movie at the half way point and he gives garrison a lot of new information, because Garrison thinks he's dealing on a local level. East increased dealing with something it's in New Orleans, she's, not sure what beyond it. So he and now the house's it's a much bigger story which sends Costner to the last act going to Dallas and is too much room for the cost of character. He came in. I hear he's blown away by it. He knows he's up against forces a much larger than ever thought in this trial. Who was that? What was the motivation for the Donald Sutherland character? Fletcher Prodi, he was a little the colonel the air force. He was the focal officer bit in the CIA and the Pentagon,
no time a war war to spend a lot of service, and he was in charge of basically providing the CIA with military equipment for cover operations. He worked into bet. He worked on a lot of the operations in the fifty, he's in the late forties, we had operations going on in Ukraine, Ukraine, at China, Tibet. He was a stranger Tibetans in the Colorado mountains and many stories written several books occasion. He was he was a keen observer of the differences.
We're going on in new dollars, used a briefing and Tommy stories about. Then everything changed after Kennedy was clearly to see how you gonna meet him. Oh yeah, yeah, oh yeah, I hung out with a garrison too. I mean that both of these were authentic, Madame Fletcher described, as you know, the difference after November, sixty three. He felt it right or he left the Pentagon. A year later it was over. There was something the change in the country and sure enough in Vietnam, faster than you can imagine. The combat troops yeah another crazy character in that whole, that the whole historical record is jack. Ruby he's he's a very strange one, and I just read a book called the chaos by Tom, O Neill is about CIA and Manson in the sixties. Oh yeah right. I know the book at its very interesting, but Ruby is in that book as well, because
movie was actually visited by. I forget his name, jolly something jolly, what's eventually less jolly well, thank you. Who was the central character in M K Ultra who they believe, involved in these various see, that's a plaster so now comes off towards then I'm listening, but he was a central character. The CIA is use of LSD during the whole operation, midnight climax in San Francisco, and they ran a free clinic and hate aspirated connected to ants and where they were risk giving people lsd and running studies on yeah, and he read about. Is it Ruby in prison and ruby who had shown no psychological trauma. Distress after he left was a mess crow. Of an official position on the ground and was so thinking they were
burning Jews in the streets and lit literally, was in a psychotic state and they think diagnosed em up while he was in jail. He seems to be the mob connection to this thing. Yes, you put your basic back its known rubies his contacts alone arms. He goes back many years, the forties he was quota. He was mobbed up completely, didn't wanna. Do it he was forced into doing. Why do you think he was forced? What would you think it was? I think he was scared about what will. I have never followed that in depth, because the young people Maceda organised crime, killed him. I don't Believe that, because they didn't have the power to polish thing off, I think that they their new element to it yeah. You wanna, tell me to run about Oswald Rat Pollyanna. What was intended to die there on that day, he say whether there is a lot of things at point in that direction, but he didn't and he couldn't be because it's crazy, they got Jack Ruby, do they they killed after that
everything TAT Oswald said in that station police station is gone. Yeah, it's your say. He said in the corridor outside very interesting, and we know that Ruby was there. So Ruby, I think was pushed into this thing is tat. They had to make it. It was a quick operation. We got get to him and Its- crazy. The story plays out twelve years later when on the Herald or Rivera show Dick Gregory brings us uprooted film, introduced to the american public Health. Then they get the chance to see. Kennedys had gone back into the left here and everybody like what that's disgusting story, but in the end only on the Ruby Affair door, forgetting also he was urgently asking the Warren Commission. It get me to Washington. I want to talk to you what he knew he didn't know everything on the anyone knew everything they he knew his brow of it. So the whole there was: how can you get cancer out of the blue light? That's suddenly yeah so suddenly and die so quickly now,
here again. There is a lot of cancer experimentation going on at this point. In the sixties, we mature doctors in the milky way. Cancer too. There was a huge you'd, sir where there was a doctor in New Orleans, I forget his name but working on it and Dairy David Ferrie was one of these people who norm. Very, had a lot of mice and he was operating on his my aim. Using his Mises cancer feeding them huge doses of cancer The idea was that they said they were: gonna, kill Castro with inject Castro with a needle and kill him. Because they make it so strong and getting getting this cancer to play their building up through these mice and a cancer that was so powerful. It chill. Meta herds, everything on Israel, but there seems to be truth to this. Do you feel you gonna put into bed
with this documentary. In your ear, mind, like you can select, we can do. Is I mean I urge him to Eugenia working with me, he's followed this thing like he's a fifth generation researcher and he's very very up to date, but ones is coming up. It's I don't know yet I don't really get it out it. Try now when, like scarface is another movie who are saying that that doubt as the introduction for a lot of people, they alot of people aspire The outside of Miami really just didn't understand how crazy things have got in there. I have a good friend of mine, who is an ophthalmologist who did is residency in Miami and he would tell me stories like EU. Is there in the eighties when all the crazy shit was happening and just tvs like it was a war zone. You would just everybody was you Everybody come in and was shot, people were all cooked up and all these overdoses and well, let's, I think, there's. Love sensationalism. In that you know America likes
or they wouldn't they like to play up the the machine guns and all that that was one thousand nine hundred and thirty six go Time magazine went out of its way to sensationalize at night, there I saw you know it wasn't wild that way. Tens of shooting in the street would happen rarely, but they often people would begun. Families were killed. Drug dealers went after families of each other's. Yes, there was a lot of that kind of, internet sign warfare. Oh my friend saw because using the e r You know what to do and residency there, so he was seeing where they get any american city there's a lot. Shootings every week. Does it says the right now right, but Definitely there was a new element. Is the colombian element and the marriage, Lee came in some of them. Cubans are worth a gangster element out a Cuba yeah, and it got blood,
when the the Colombian were not playing around. So there was a cutthroats they used to she Vartos Colombian, necktie yeah. That's right! This year, when I was there, I heard about a couple of these Guys was interesting because I was working both sides of the case. I was trying to get to know that the crime element is what is more than so. I knew all the lawyers I went over to bimini one day to two to five,
it's a real information about them because they couldn't in the U S there and scared to talk site. I log hated through defence lawyer a couple of some guys in the environment and went down there and I'm met with them and they were talking and Cosette was Bimini was another kind of world there was. The government was on the take their they and they had a lot of speedboats funding going out of their every night at the hotel towards the Burmese. Very close to my army and, like I was doing coke at that time and again, when my wife, I miss you with my cover you know, and Hollywood screenwriter you want to talk to. You did midnight express they like that. You know they want to know about the business, but then, in the middle of this we're all coked up in the hotel and let you know the way conversation goes, and I drop a name just like that. You know a guy, I talked to well. He been a defense lawyer when I talk to him, but in the past he been a prosecutor
It is often flip too defensive journeys to make more money. So when I mention that, namely to these three guys got really uptight and they walked these the excuse of cells when, in the bathroom with ice, I said I fucked up- I knew I fucked up and I didn't know it was going to come out that bathroom. You know if they thought I was some kind of cop some kind of underground informer because did they hated that prosecutor that put them away and put on the way so a few minutes went by there and it was pretty hairy butter. I think I was paranoia, but ass. They came out and they didn't have guns in their hands, but they they cut. The meeting, often young I went back to my. They were staying in the same hotel all night. I was tense because I know you know I know they could come and get me. It was their hotel, they own, that they own the island, but it was nerve racking and I got out of there, for in the morning. The whole point, as you say, the wrong word. Sometimes in your dead. That's that's it
attention. I wanted for this movie. I put it into the scene earlier the picture where Mr Regina out there, what goes into MECCA pick up, make us a trade, and he says You know he senses something's off in this meeting in the EU and it becomes at blood bloodbath with the dismemberment. Remember yes, that's it Jane saw a chainsaw the hours Gabriela seen up. There was a change of murder and, at one point, the something By the way? You feel that was so excellent, because it was obvious Goran disgusting, but you didn't have to show it I did directed. I wrote it right. Brian diploma did a great job directed at grand Opera now answer. He didn't amazing geometry you when you are talking about someone who is in that world, when the when you're trying to make a film about a guy who is in that world? Who is not a good guy? You you're you main guy out between us toy
Montana is a bad got, he's the hero it's over! Strange move will yell. It is because he is the hero because he's free anyway he's a free man. That's where people liked peep white people did not like that movie. When it came out, I was disappointed at first, There was a blacks and the Latinos in the End cities and went and they loved it and also the people white people who were doing some drugs made. What that was a kind of audience we had. We were a bad boy movie, so movie with didn't, do as well as a whole, because it cost a lot of money once three months over budget. It was a very media shoot. I was at all time, but over time the film garner the reputation and made money for the big money for must become this iconic drug war movie, minutes it's the movie, their gangsters rises. Bolgia effect, wherever I go,
I'm in the world. I mean I pretty much people that you wrote scarface, you know I can got into Salvador. I got into the fascist party that weighs real recent research. They thought weaker harness one writing about a movie. Urge you running about a guy like Tony Montana. Did how do you you? You did you walk this fine line of telling telling us story accurately, but actually making him likeable in some strange way? Ways not a hypocrite. You see he tells us as far as even when I lie he's a man whose free unto Himself- and I think that's what worked, because the people are,
Emma so corrupt, and yet the cops are corrupt in humanity. The system, the bureaucracy that pressed down on by the way I mean the. Let's be honest: we talk about the drug war, I mean it. This is an invention that come about that's a disaster, the bureaucracy of enormous billions of dollars being wasted on fighting drugs. With this super d, a now the ice and all that whatever they want, we always create wars. We call the war on drugs war on poverty war on this war. On that we make that's a problem. We make too much of your arm. I notice in Vietnam. It bother the shit out of me because we were sending five people noncom bad people over nine hundred and forty one every combat person we had an infrastructure. The LAS Vegas of the of the material we had PX is We had everything we wanted. They send. Cars of a lot of this stuff was seen, are sold on the black market. In the end light
my master sergeants make a buck on the side. You knows a lot of shit going on crime stuff and the Vietnamese were benefiting from it. They loved the Americans. Of course they loved us But it's the same thing: Afghanistan, Iraq, it goes on and on and on its like. We create these super bureaucracies. Around events What happened in the war on drugs is the same thing and then I think that potatoes a hero, because in a way He sees at all, he sees it, the it's all bullshit and he calls it out. I think people and a lot of people just picked up on they knew the war on drugs was a lie. Yeah well, most people today at least have a sense that it's not going. Well, you know that. Then they thought only reason how many countries it we pissed off countries, a veto, how you do it this way we're
Madame there we're gonna bust you speaking of her rather degeneracy. The footage were short, hurrah it was in Afghanistan, these walking through the poppy fields that are being protected by yours, truly Asher and its on Fox NEWS so is trying to do this. Weird propaganda, job of explaining why, in to get these poppy farmers give us information about the Taliban. We have to somehow another protect their crops. Suva Americans, soldiers, it's crazy story. Well, then, you find out that spectacular growth of heroin like Heroin just heroin. Sales and heroin use worldwide, went up in an amazing manner. This was going on by the wind nineteen eighties when we word when the we were support, in their mujahideen against the Russians. Now that's when it started they were, they were fighting for the poppy fields. Yeah we're talking about billions of dollars, your billions,
I like some of these drug dealers, we don't you know their names, but there well known in the pakistani afghani world now some of them is unbelievably rich, but it's so transparent than the poppy fields being guarded by: U S, troops and to new and them talking about it openly on Fox NEWS and somebody dont worry folks. This is why they have to do this. I it's it's one of the weirdest parts of the war yeah, as was Dan rather doing his stand up at the beginning of the ward about how you were fighting the the awful Russians they got us going on. I mean see that clear. When was that an early in the war yeah
He would. He was brought us to the flag to Afghanistan, YO making heroes them action, though the guys we support that we have the most money was to act or act. My dear who is a drug dealer, we gave him the most amount of aid had materials like the killer, killer, warlord so strange it such a itself strange how history itself in different forms. Just over and over and over yet known, there was a whole allows: those old poppy growth, yeah and shipping. There were CIA shipping out air American. Remember that movie yeah yeah, there's a a guy on who was in denial of this, and I showed him
CIA drug plane that crashed in Mexico with several tons of cocaine in it just a few years ago. I might this is a plane that have been to Guantanamo Bay. Multiple times like this is still going on all that shit. That happened with Barry Seals and usually may run contrary yeah, I mean that's tough, still going on at an ugly store. Yes, very ugly, Various your movie was ok other topic. We got a piece of it, but it was uglier than we were debating The Reagan was selling arms to IRAN, taking the cash and split in it with a contrast. Doubtless the contracts were limit, one of the most brutal brutal groups, terrorist groups since in Nicaragua treated as if they were killing civilians, goin on farms, scaring people and we support them. We saw a lot of bad guys everywhere in the world.
You have a very comprehensive knowledge of history, and is this one of the reasons why you decided to make that documentary the untold history, the United States, because you mean You obviously get some of it out in your films, but did you feel? Like yeah, I've done a lot of films about such subjects around it. At a certain point in my life. I said I'd really like to know more about american history because of these weird here, and I think I went to school back to school- I never studied, I never got it college degree in normal subject: men like history or mathematics, eight I got a film school degree, so I had to. I thought I knew things, but I learned a lot with going back, learn
by with historians, were thrown out all amiss for me about american history, and I made that film with just five years. It took tat. We had to rewrite rewrite it rewrite it. It was complicated. We started with the Philippines. Cosette was the beginning of overseas imperialism and we walked. We work our way up through the through the Obama administration from eighteen. Eighty, two thousand thirteen have it's amazing series. It goes too fast if anything the eyes, but I think people could watch two times without and learn the each chapters revealing stuff people don't know about how this country really got off. I don't know I mean it.
Got off. Maybe they go off on the wrong start with an earlier, but you know really got after bent in its in its purposes and assuming where the good guy, assuming we hear this exceptionalism, that we have that we're somehow motivated in a different way than other countries yeah, that's them! That's, though, the way we skews right where we are. The number one. Superpower do offer things, but better ass than them. There is no excuse for that. No excuse in it doesn't hold up to history and he won't hold up together, now when you make a series like that is difficult to edit it down to oh yeah, palatable sort of version I feel like used. I feel
it moves fast. You know you can't accused at series of board if anything it just has to because his decades to cover, but I'm so proud. I think I'm glad you mention it's one of frankly, it's one of my achievements of my life. It's stands up. They were J F K for me and put her now. What, when you ve done so much to me, had this amazing career, put between writing and directing and and putting the other always incredible films what what? What motivates dynamic? What what gets you go on when you're trying to
make a new project. This book is a lot of work, a memoir, isn't he chanced to rediscover. I once was going so fast at times between films that I didn't have that leisure time to think about what I done, and I think by we re living it. Each Phil each will for me, is important by re living it red eyed rediscover a lot. I thought a lot about the Vietnam WAR, for example, and came to a lot of the conclusions that I put here that I would have been so cogent before also, I realise that I am a fundamentally flawed character. I mean I understand this from really understand that the contradiction in myself between my my parents, my fundamental nature, which is you have to do that when you say you have to look at who you're my mom being
who she was my dad being I mentioned earlier, the rider director side. There are two different people. You can't be the same person when you do it. Writing is very much an inner inner loneliness solitude and my father was like that and directing has very much been external bein warm being inviting working with people collaborating wholly other colleagues. When exercising your mind and those two, I think I think I'm double double minded. I say in the book and I think that's a good thing. Do you prefer to do both? Do you prefer to write the film and and direct it or how much how much satisfaction you get out of just riding a film like scarface or writing a film like platoon end directing it. I think that, for me, was the both. I mean that's why I wanted to direct. I went to film school for them.
So the writing I know has been doing natural in directing is what I wanted to do. Then I then dont forget editing, miss anything process. I oh, I worked very closely with matters and then there's the whole process of selling the film, which is another another category, completely called marketing crazy, fuck and business. It's hard. He eyed. I've done twenty of them in their killers when he films and a documentary, nine documentaries, and what am I gonna do now? I don't know I think, there's another book in me. That's our absolute because this is ends and nineteen. Eighty six, a story is not over the takes another. It takes another turn as to films, documentaries. Satisfy me. Do I need to make other film only if I really needed was last fomented, Snowden. Ah, two thousand sixteen o you interviewed yes, yes, we talked about it like yeah, you let you
you understood. Is you understood his point of view? It sounds crazy story for our times that that that this man is persecuted. This guy, who I think has hero, he's exposed things that are unconstitutional things that no one signed off on. He exposed that there's this widespread surveillance of law abiding citizens done asked absolutely nothing wrong in this data collection and the fact that this man's hiding in Russia is to meet her Easy- and I mean I don't know, I don't even know if at this point in time anybody could pardon him, but it's starting to me that no one has stunning to me that
I didn't it stunning to me. Many be pardoned, Chelsea Manning Goddamn, Pardon Snowden, embryo bomber, when, after the whistle blowers yeah with a ferocity, those crazy using the espionage act from hating seventeen, I mean it was really ugly and he was Alice. I mean if he was actually like, he did more damage and bush in many ways of These are very counter to his image, manipulate the hope and change website. Remember that the whole thing about empowering whistleblowers to come out and tell their story hutches they had to delete that. I supported from the beginning by seemed perfect, is a statesman. Is a bridge speaker seems like amazing guy, but whatever the fuck happened
when you get in that office, you can't change things. You know I mean it seems to be every president. Since Jack Kennedy, Easy Kennedy tried on a fundamental level. He wanted to change the CIA. You want to change the cold war. It seems that you can't off that path and discover can't it seems very hard. No one's variable do it so far when you see a story like the Jeffrey Epstein story, which is playing out right now. Currently, you should talk to my son. That is one of the crew. Is your fuckin stories of our time, because it's a conspiracy theories, wet dream, no known would have ever believe. Is an island or a guy brings prominent scientists, celebrities and politicians to fuck under age girls they. Film them all and use it to somehow another blackmail them or or they feel they found them apparently accord. Two Gawayne Maxwell, there's tapes, you know
I mean there's so much store in certain areas, something out for sure. So that's gonna be the next. The next mystery well, the next, MR, is how they gonna killer That's that's the next mystery. I mean. How long is it going to last looming? This most of the troll trial doesn't take place for a year lot of time in the tombs you feel there was a murder from outside for opt in when has four hundred percent yeah, these guys on suicide watch the captive? The film doesn't work that the surveillance cameras don't work. I heard and Michael bad and the four. EC scientists reviews the autopsy news, like this male strangled, look at the the break in the back of the neck that consistent with strangulation. Look at the position, and in which he was choked like which, which part of the neck. That's not can distant with hanging? all the factors point to the fact that the guy was killed and then the fact that I mean that
as on suicide watch, and you know how. How is it possible that this guy was one the most important witnesses in a case against a gigantic number of very powerful people just want of committing suicide? Whoops no worries, sorry stay away from that victory. It's such a mess, its mass, it's a mass, but that's one that I would think would intrigue you mean if, at the end of all this, when the pieces all fallen, the place is that something new think about covering for a film? Well, if I had to write,
I had to get very interested in the subject matter. It seems it doesn't. Do you know I mean it's. I don't know what it's about. I mean if, if it's really what they say and there's always world leaders and blah blah blah, I mean it doesn't really lead anywhere. It doesn't make sense. I mean the world is much more important places world a sense of world peace, and this is the most important issue- peace in our time, and we are building up nuclear weapons and create an incredible rate under this guide trump and it's a huge it's a return to the worst of the cold war, and that scares me that's the initial, I would like to, I think, if I were to get involved again in another movie, if not a documentary would be that one about the accumulation of arms, yellow building on imports and the the madness of of our leader,
Never crackdown Republican, constantly pushing for more sanctions, more pressure on are perceived enemies, China, Russia, the North Korea, IRAN, IRAN and then as well. It's just! Why are we doing this? We don't have to the world to be a much more is your place and to take our foot off the panel? Is there anybody there has stood out in recent memories, a politician that gave you some Hope Kennedy for for your exercising oh, but a bombing where I was there. I mean you me, and I was hoping for Clinton to its doesn't seem to be in the cards. In other words, the office is not as important as you make it out to be. I think there is a system in place, its system that eyes and our quite well described as the military industrial. Yet a corpse
Complex, drives money, profit greed that speech so amazing at speech that he gave on upon leaving office. It was a warning. Yes, you. He know that heat, for he knew that he fucked up. He said I leave my successor. A legacy of ashes since famous quote as an hour did not horrible things lies in our east story, intervening much more in other countries there he appointed John Toss, a dollar Sousa Psycho, in my opinion, as the Secretary of State Slight Pompey. Oh now, my compare and Ellen Dallas at the CIA. There were brothers, but anyway Eisenhower New. I think he felt bad about what he what he'd seen happen over those eight years.
I do, and I think Kennedy was a great hope, because it was a new man, no temptation who each Ange to Kennedy in office house. I move more and more to the left as he has. As you stated off, he saw the problems. He couldn't believe what he saw. He saw the lies and he was lie to a lot. The bay of pigs are first one, but he was lied to about a lot of other things we get into its the great mystery right like what happens to candidate once at once. They win the presidency and once the rain office like what is the process and well that's where you have to have courage and that's where bomber really fail. I mean when he appointed Hillary Clinton. As a secretary stay, you know was over, he have to make decisions and you have to have to go in a new way. She gonna be there, I'm off just so in his sister
become such a bureaucrat ties office. It's almost impossible to appoint a thousand people. Will you come in to work with you to be on your side, but as a guy who's, a storyteller? This is one of the great stories of our time is how impossible it is to be a president. I takes very aren't very hard but unique cuts in aid cuts and, if you have got it makes it different. Member Kennedy had been in war. He saved people. He was a hero in that in in the Pacific, yes, those kind of got. You need right when you put together the Snowden movie. What what was your aim like? What? What are you trying to get out of that felt I'd news, important story, because surveillance had no. I never imagined surveillance at this level. I realised that it could be every and with this new technology we had that
be everywhere. I mean, beyond my imagination, beyond anybody's imagination than I did the movie it was to reveal what he revealed, which was shocking in its implications. We went even further. We showed how the control of information, the usual information, can destabilize many regime's anyway after regime change became in whom the moon, new new modus operandi for the United States was ok to change. Regimes were good at it and the way we did it with a soft power subtle what happened in Brazil a couple years ago, typical, you know the whole forcing out the president alone, guinea readily Dilma bringing in this while the other guy came in from the right, but essentially, Brazil was completely change, completely change there still working on it and Venezuela
they got. They worked in Bolivia. They got rid of the guy illegally endorse Libya, Libya, libyan ass, the most spectacular failure rail. While I was one of why out a failed state now, but it was no better than that comes down to our policy in the Middle EAST, when you make a film like that, how hard is it to put together a mean, the stolen film is so disturbing because its current right we're we're dealing with things that are happening right now, how hard it is to put it down in and make it this dramatic peace. It's going to be a new. You have to charge out for yourself. I like the movie. I think it's a it's a it's tents and it keeps the app keeps the attention throughout the movie. Like. Of course, I got to know soon very well. We went to Moscow several times. Men Willem our real yeah How does that get arranged will differ
her vandam every arise. I've done that too, but that if there was a terrorist groups in the Middle EAST with what was therefore I was worth a persona non grata? Was a document tried in about two in two thousand and three for about the leader of the year pillow, well, Arafat, ya got real yeah. I did an area with em. Why? What was that like? I was I didn't because of my connections. I had more contact with the israeli side. I was in Romola, so I mean he's talking to Netanyahu before was prime Minister shocking other leading the Ex Prime minister, the climate, and all that
and then I went to Romola, which was a capital of the piano there. They actually. I was there the day, the Israelis than that the day before there is really came in and knocked out that knocked out the lights, and while these they isolated Arafat in their annual accounts, we we got out at the last second. Actually, but we were seen rumbled- we were seen Arafat and tighten showing his side of the equation showing when he was thinking. So it part of that part of that I want to see a terrorist group, then they became quite famous later than they are well known. They were young guys and they had their mass and I can't wait at midnight. I was more scared of the Israelis and them realize he's really could be tracking with their all their. They have all this equipment. You known all the shit out of us when we're in there
as an obscure have so Israelis or danger he saw the Israelis would do that. Knowing that you are a finer, I dont know what their thinking you know me. I must surely they knew what we're doing. We saw these people going into a underground bunker who, with people with masks and who knows what they think they have great reconnaissance. Now you have to be careful when you find them, and so they requested you were a mask when it turned out that no, not that none of the Israelis but to me on the other they transport gas, but when I got there took it, did you Bob that decision was out of decisions to let, though not for driving around the mask on no, I was very anxious to meet them. They were. They were away, they com terrorists, but you know who's terrorists. These days have thrive. Where you know we can bomb other countries to death and call our selves a good guys. We kill a lot of civilians around the world with our bombing
This that that's true, but this message that you have that you you eat you, not just a girl, makes movies but you're a guy who makes movies and also a guy who's, very outspoken about all of these issues in the world. Those two get in the way of each other, sometimes, of course, the hours there was people think sometimes my outspokenness overshadows my work. They might be true for, but
but they labour you both ways to do which is very fascinating to mangled is the world is complicated and I did speak out in some people think that's they sham a filmmaker. Stick to being that very hard. If you care, you know this, while it's it's very important that you down and I'm glad you have the courage to not stick to that ill. I think it's. When was the last one, also, please, God Snowden Snow NET, we couldn't get support for we will. It was financed ultimately from France and Germany and ITALY, and we got some from small money at the end from the: U S, with a small distributor, I'm innocent biggest story, one of the biggest tourism our time and we wouldn't get support from any other students we went on either of you are terrified of it. Is that tells you a lot about what a mess wherein we don't even have the guts to talk about stuff? We was shut up. We set ourselves, we self censor.
Yeah when the idle in the nineteen Eightys and Ninetys by could have gotten it finance, but not now was such a tent, time and that that issue so polarizing and understand how it isn't I don't understand how it doesn't have universal support by american citizens? Does it did to the store needs to be told mean even when he was discussed as a podcast guest? A lot of people are saying you should really stay away from that they don't understand. They think he's some kind of rush. Crazy he's been very clear about. While he's it's very clear when you listen to all of the interviews with him and then I get a chance to talk to him myself. He who he says he is exactly a boy scout. Mean he has a story and it's a spectacular one and its it's one of the most important his Oracle moments of our time that we recognise that this,
overwhelming surveillance state has has existed without us, even knowing it and cyber warfare to be it raises the issue of who is doing what do who we were very quick to say they are doing that. Does China, Russia, this that they're doing their steel, blah blah blah blah blah what are we doing now? You know you had difficulties in making fails reserve our film that you wanted to make that you never could yeah sure was several me lie me life. I got very close, we're about to three weeks away from shooting it in two thousand, seven in no Thailand and some of it in Vietnam. I bend of it to me- lie Vienna great story because the massacres unknown they dont know we don't people don't know real story. It was investigated the massacre you ve, heard of it right. I've heard five hundred civilians were shot down in cold blood babies among everybody s old people.
Not and not one enemy bullet was fired, not one, and we ve heard all the obvious cases of that. The whole thing was basically a Miss planned operation because of basically CIA was guiding the war and they were tortured to death. Some no torturing, some poor soul who gave him information. It was faulty happens all the time I torture works right turn. Your doesn't work and as a result that up they operation, they were told that there was envying that village they were not there, so the guy's went in thinking they should kill. Did you write a scream playfulness? I know someone else did and I was about to direct it, and almost happened just ran until the fiscal crisis of two thousand eight hour, but doesn't excuse nobody wanted to make it have you thought about trying again, I did ya, know logo. I also
tried to make that Martin Luther King story years ago. Many years I worked on more, neither kings a great story, but it's too tough a story. To tell I mean, I think, there's a large portion of the black community. That's really kind of treatment likes a saint martyr, whereas this is more of a human man and is far in always failings in this in that, but he's hero in this. But you know his relationship with women is fascinating and we were into that whole aspect of it and what have we learnt that it just never got together? Never man might be a good time to reverse that now know what I think is a black filmmaker commit rivers rise, severally moved in the right direction. I have also tried. I tried for many years to do a visa and wrote a script for that, but if another directorate it, how far down the road had you gotten with Martin Luther King story, twice I what
yeah, I wrote to me and someone else wrote a whole scrap. Things were eager, but can you can't be somebody films get planned and that made me feel you do this like five five abortion, damn? That seems like a great one. I mean he's such an incredible unimportant character. Importers world need Martin Luther King Jr right now, things are changing all the time, but listen Oliver. I was taking up a lot of your time and I really really appreciate you being here. Your book is called chasing the light. It's your memoir up until one thousand nine hundred and eighty six. I really hope you make another one because so you have had one of the most interesting and spectacular lives and show business you're a bad motherfuker. I appreciate you. Thank you Joe. I really enjoyed today
When you I didn't, I was, if there's a clean copying and give it to you, you, ok, what do you get? What you mean I was there gave rise arrangement in with no that's my as Oliver I had to send you. I have one how little sell me I'm good. Thank you thanks for everything, the regime, thank you by everybody Thank you, everybody for Tunisia and thanks to our sponsors. Thank you detour. She go to hell she dot, Slash, Rogan and get ten percent. Off your order and free shipping. It's only seven. I bugs its praise your bottle with clean fresh water. It's better than toilet paper by far were also brought to you by Squares Bay, squares bases. The host of my website, Joe Rogan dot com, the place where you are going to go to make you new amazing website? You dont need anyone to do it for you, you can do it yourself. They ve got a dial, then go to square space, dot com, Slash Joe for a free trial
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Stiller of the year in twenty twenty and they ve been around since seventeen. Seventy three, which is just fuckin, crazy, distilled aged and bottled by Buffalo, trace, distillery. Ninety proof, Franklin, County Kentucky, Buffalo Trace American family owned and independent. Thank you, friends. Thank you for two, and the show, love to you Bob.
Transcript generated on 2020-07-22.