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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  May 28, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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>> dr., this being tv, time is unfortunately limited. i wish we could continue. >> we do need to continue. >> we will. >> there are lots of issues that have to be clarified. >> i look forward to it. >> we need a clear debate on this. >> dare i say, with all due respect, i look forward to it. >> with all due respect, so do i. >> thank you for coming on the show. >> okay. my pleasure. >> there you can see it, tough issues with strong emotions on both sides with that long and bitter dispute. thank you all for joining us tonight. enjoy your memorial day weekend. to all the men and women serving in the military, our deepest thanks to you in particular. "piers morgan tonight" starts right now. 30 million people watch "glee" and its breakout star chris culver every week. and tonight he's here. >> you're probably going to be crying. you're very intimidating. >> the tender age of not quite 21, he's already made "time"
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magazine's 100 list of the most influential people in the world. he's a role model to millions of fans and hobnobbing with celebrities. you -- >> i bow to lady gaga. she had a crown on. >> he's even met the president. what did he say to you? >> hi, i'm barack. and of course when i get excited i get high pitched, so i'm, like, i'm chris! >> inside the white house with someone who knows the president better than just about anybody else -- the first brother-in-law. what do you call the president? >> oh, when i see him i call him barack or president obama or mr. president. the best one is that guy who goes to his left all the time on the basketball court. >> michelle obama's brother, craig robinson. this is "piers morgan tonight." google chris culver and you'll get more than 2.5 million results. he's an overnight sensation and
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has millions of fans across the country hanging on his every word. i will be, too. >> awesome. great. thank you. >> i don't know why i do this to myself. there you are, the cover. >> yes. >> which has eluded me so far. >> it's coming. >> two copies of hollywood reporter. this year alone. there you are on both of them. and then this one, which absolutely -- i've got to be honest -- sickens me. i have spent 46 years in journalism, in broadcasting. desperate to get on the top 100 of "time" magazine's most influential people. >> there i am. >> there you are, first shout. you're not even inside. you're on the cover under the banner. >> right under the -- yeah. >> the most prominent head on the whole damn thing. >> right on my forehead. >> how old are you? >> i am turn 2g 1 in two weeks. >> this is ridiculous. how did you do this? >> i have an fastic publicity team. but, i mean --? >> when you think of "time" magazine, i mean, you weren't
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doing anything before you got this job, were you? >> no. i was just a student and i was in high school a few months before i got the show, then i was in college for two weeks when i officially got it. i was working at a dry cleaners in the summers. >> earning how much? make it even more annoying. >> at the dry cleaners i was making, i think, $7.25 an hour. i think that was minimum wage at the time. >> $7.25 an hour. >> yes. >> at a dry cleaners. >> yes. >> when you get a call saying are you available to be the heartthrob star of the biggest tv show in america? >> well, i wish it was that picturesque. but, no, no. in a way, yeah. yeah. i was just -- >> where were you when you got the call? >> i was driving back from the last audition, and i was with my mom and my mom was driving. and i'll never forget, we were just passing santa monica pier
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and the phone rang. she answered it, and then she just looked at me with that look and i knew i had it. >> what's the look? >> the look was like looked like she should be driving, paying attention to the road. just like that, ooh! the look. >> what an extraordinary story for you. did you realize when you got got that call how big it might be? did you have an inkling? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. and had i had any -- any notion that it would become what it was, i would have been insane. who could predict all of this? >> i was trying to think of anyone in recent time that has gone from where you started at the dry cleaners and college to the cover of "time" magazine within a year. it's absolutely startling. >> it is. it's so surreal that whenever i have a minute to myself and i stop and think about it, i get so lost in this cloud nine world that it's so hard to come back
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down from it. >> did you dream of being famous? were you like all these kids who do a bit of acting and singing and dancing, were you thinking in your head i really want to be whoever? tom cruz. >> no. definitely not. >> zac efron. >> definitely not. i never thought i'd be of heartthrob stature. i think i always dreamed of being respected, but i never had any aspiration of being famous or just being known. >> who did you look up to? who were your celebrity icons? >> oh, gosh. yikes. honestly, i don't know if i really had any because there really wasn't anyone there for me to look up to. i mean, yeah, i obviously had myself along the way but -- >> you never had anyone, i want to be like that? >> everybody wants to be lady gaga at one point or the other. >> i didn't want to be lady gaga. >> now you're lying. everyone wants to be lady gaga. >> i never woke up and said that. >> have you ever wanted to be
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oprah? >> not actually oprah. >> okay, because i always wanted to be oprah. >> really? >> absolutely. >> fascinating. why would you want to be oprah winfrey? >> who wouldn't want to be? are you kidding? if you don't want to be oprah winfrey, there's something wrong with you. >> funny enough, i do get. lady gaga -- >> no, she was never, like, a -- she's very inspirational for my character but never -- i don't know. there wasn't really -- i didn't have a hero growing up, unfortunately. >> did you want to be an actor? >> yes. i remember when i was 3 years old and watching a movie, the title of which escapes me, and i remember the credits came on and asked my mom why it was over. and i just desperately wanted to be on the other side of it and, you know, as i got older i found out what movies actually were and actors playing these roles and those kids weren't actually
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living the adventures that you saw them living. but i knew i wanted to be a part of that world. >> when was the moment with "glee" when you realized your life was never going to be the same again? when did it pop for you? >> i don't know. i think it's a constant bubble that keeps getting popped more and more. >> originally, when the ratings come in. you go, whoa. >> yeah. i mean, of course, when you're -- it's your first thing, you think as soon as the pilot airs, the first time it's going to be this huge thing and you won't be able to walk outside. it doesn't work that way. it's more a gradual process. >> for you, what was the pinch-me moment? >> oh, god. what was the first pinch-me moment? >> the moment when you rang your mom and you were both getting carried away on the phone. >> i don't know. maybe it was the first time i was recognized or maybe it was -- maybe it was the first time i drove up to paramount studios and had a place for my car to go. that was crazy. >> through the gates. >> through the gates. they let me in. they didn't call security. >> ied that same moment when i signed up for "america's got
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talent" and the first day of filming was through the famous gates. that is a moment, isn't it. >> amazing moment. >> a long way from the dry cleaners. >> i think actually getting work, being a working actor was the moment for me, when i really had the realization. >> and then it explodes and your character becomes this iconic character, really fast. >> hmm. >> and you -- i think you're very smart the way you handled the character and the brand and everything else. >> thank you. >> you do this extraordinary speech at the golden globes. i'll play a little clip of. >> chris colfer. >> i have to thank ryan murphy for basically being my fairy godfather. everybody at fox. robert oreck, for submitting me to the show when there was nothing to submit me for. our amazing, amazing -- >> i get really high pitched when i get mervous. >> a verial ended cast. you guys deserve this as much as i do. but most importantly to all the amazing kids that watch our show and the kids that our show celebrates who are constantly told no by the people in the environments, bullies at school
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that they can't be who they are or what have what they want because of who they are. well, screw that, kids. >> i mean, that for me was the moment. you won the golden globe. that was big enough. but i remember the media reaction after you made that short but perfectly phrased speech. and you became a kind of poster boy for kids who are being bullied, you know, for whatever reason. there's something -- it wasn't just about kids who may be gay or whatever, just kids who feel they're outsiders. right? >> absolutely. i think maybe somewhere in my mind i knew when i made that speech that kurt was affecting more than just gay kids but kids bullied in general. i don't remember that moment at all. i was in such an adrenaline high that i can't recall anything. >> if your voice had got much higher -- >> if it got higher --
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>> i would have recommended you joining the bee gees. >> had it been higher, god. can you imagine the dogs that would have been howling for miles and miles? i know, gosh. people's glasses would have been breaking. yeah. >> what a thrilling moment for you, though. >> yeah. >> you had the poise to do what you did. what were you thinking? >> when i was walking up i kept thinking to myself do not trip on a chair or table on the way up there because it was so possible because there were so many things in my way. honestly, i don't remember anything about the moment. i just remember getting up there and saying what i felt and then looking out in the audience and thanking everyone that i could physically see and remember who they were. because there were people i saw but couldn't remember their names at the moment so i didn't thank them. thank god i was on speech team in high school and thank god because otherwise i probably would have spoken spanish up there. >> obviously, i would imagine all people get bullied in school. you can probably remember who they were. >> yes. >> does it please you you were able to have this wonderful moment of payback, really?
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>> there's a diplomatic answer that i could give, but absolutely yes. >> give me the straight answer. >> oh, god, yes. yes. those individuals, it's almost like you want to say "suck it" to them. i shouldn't have just said that. like given names and social security numbers instead. but, no, it's great. >> do you remember their names? >> yes, of course. of course. >> was there any one in particular you'd like to smoke now? >> no. i hate them all equally. >> tell me about that period when you were being bullied, because obviously that speech you made applied, as you said, to all kids being bullied out there. what is that feeling like for someone who's never been through it? how did it make you feel? >> i was just embarrassed because i'd walk by people i barely knew in the hallway and they would just scream
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profanities at me that i didn't think were true at the time and of course everyone else in the hallway would laugh. of course i had amazing legendary comebacks but it's embarrassing and uncalled for, especially when they don't know you and you don't know them. and i was a really, really good kid. i wasn't necessarily the best student, but i was a fantastic kid. and it was just heartwrenching. heartbreaking. >> let's take a short break. when we come back, we'll talk about "glee," the phenomenon. >> sure.
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has the lady gaga episode of "glee," of course, which was brilliant to watch. i love lady gaga. she's just a phenomenon who completely gets what it takes to be a modern-day brand, doesn't she. >> she understands her fans. mm-hmm. >> did you meet her? >> a couple times. >> what did you make of her? >> i completely embarrassed myself to no end. i mean, i bowed. who does that? >> you bowed? >> i bowed to lady gaga. >> she's not royalty. >> well, she had a crown on, so, you know, but -- >> ba what did she say to you? >> thank you. >> did you have to then do anything else? >> no. i kind of ran out of the -- no, no. thank god i didn't. it crossed my mind. i ran out after that. >> did you have a public
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conversation with her? >> i don't think i'll ever be able to have a proper conversation with her. >> too nervous. >> yeah. >> is she like an iconic figure for you? >> she's actually one of the first people in my generation whose music i liked. everyone before her i didn't care for too much, like growing up. there wasn't much to choose from. she's the first person i've connected oher music and have liked it. >> you recently went to the white house correspondents dinner. there you are at one of the top tables. i'm always curious about the reality. when you meet, for example, the right-wing politicians or commentators, whatever, i bet it's all over you about "glee." >> everyone loves "glee." everyone loves "glee" and me in "glee." it's hysterical. >> you quietly know they're all voting for gay rights. >> i do watch c-span occasionally. it's great when people come up and, oh, my god, i love you, can i have a picture? sure, you don't believe in me and my rights but you can. >> do you let them have the picture? >> i might as well.
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>> do you ever say, i know how you voted? >> here's the thing, what if somebody else comes along and they go, no, that gay kid from "glee" didn't give me a picture. >> will they change their minds because you gave them a picture? >> who knows? i think it's more likely they will change it positively if i give them a picture. you know who they are when they ask you. >> absolutely. >> you know how they voted. >> usually. >> i love that. >> yeah. yeah. >> do you feel like you're winning when that you have moment? >> a little bit. it is kind of nice when people -- yeah, when people believe so strongly against you yet they want proof that they met you. it's kind of awesome. >> you've obviously become this, as i say, iconic figure. do you feel that america is fast becoming much less homophobic, or do you feel as gay rights become much more prominent and successes are being achieved in a funny way it's becoming -- it's more homophobic as they try
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and resisz this change? >> you know, i don't know, because i know that i surround myself with positivity towards the situation and not negativity, but i certainly hope so and i certainly have witnessed first hand the progress that's been made and some progress that myself and the show have made. so i like to believe, yes, it has definitely improved. >> you stopped googling yourself? >> oh, god, yes. >> the if it makes you feel better, you should have a look at my name. >> the last time i googled myself i think was september 2009. >> and it's so shocking. what did you find there? >> just high school again. it was high school all over again, people making fun of my voice, of the way i looked. i mean, it was just -- it was just bullying in another form. >> and that hurt? >> yeah, because, i mean, it's
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ridiculous when people have, like, strong opinions about you when it's about things you can't control, like an example, my voice. i can not control how high pitched i get when i get excited. i wish i could control it. there are so many situations when i wish i wasn't squealing, but it just -- >> your voice didn't have that kind of tone to it you wouldn't be the singer you are. >> maybe not. >> all hand in hand. >> it comes back. >> can't give away everything you are. >> well, i mean -- >> rubbing it in. i like that. enjoy it. if i was on the cover of "time" magazine, i would carry this around with me all day long. >> hey, might as well. >> i would. >> i almost did. >> what did your mother say when she saw that? >> it's so funny. whenever i call my -- my dad is always overly excited and just so proud and so excited, and whenever i call my mom, my mom
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will get psi leapt for like two minutes on the phone and she'll go, who are you? she gets -- she apologizes. i'm so sorry, christopher, i don't mean to be silent. i'm so proud of you. i just can't believe you came out of me. it's just -- it's crazy. >> my mother said to me, you're looking very pale. are you working too hard again? >> oh. >> that's what mothers do. they don't see you the way everybody else does. >> no, no. >> tell me about how the fame thing has impacted your life. i mean, are you finding you're getting more attractive because of the fame? >> oh, sure. i hope so. i don't know. i think -- >> you know what i mean. fame is such a sort of magnet to people, isn't it? >> kind of. a little bit. i mean, i think fame is great until the day comes when you are afraid to leave your house alone and then the day when your name is used as an adjective in a negative way. >> it's interesting. it's like culture, isn't it, of envy, of resentment of people's success. i mean, that goes with the territory, doesn't it?
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>> yeah. >> are you equipped to deal with all this? >> sometimes. sometimes not. sometimes i do get very overwhelmed with it, and sometimes -- i'm quite frightened by it, to be honest. >> it is scary. >> it is scary. it's very scary. and there really is a whole other world people don't see. they always see in front of the camera. they never really see the behind-the-scenes stuff. >> what's behind-the-scenes stuff with you? >> the security risks and the security issues that are very frightening that people don't know about, because i don't want them to know about. but -- >> what's the scariest thing that's happened to you? >> i was at a movie theater once, and i was by myself, stupidly, and i was semimobbed, but it got very physical and people were pulling at me and grabbing at me, and i had to call the police. and the next day i was covered in bruises because people got so physical with me. >> you. >> yeah. >> as it was going on, what were you thinking? >> not much. i went to my happy place. but -- >> i would go to my unhappy place. >> no, i definitely had to go to my happy place.
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>> were you worried about whether you might survive this? >> absolutely. >> it was crazy. >> it's crazy, but it's really a mind trip because on one hand you want them to stop, you want it to stop, and on the other hand you know that if you -- ins you are in the public eye, that you are a raging jerk and say get off me, leave me alone, it's going to be written about the next day and, you know, people are going to say, you know -- there will be talk about what a jerk you are. >> have you had stalkers? >> not -- not really. some form of staubing is is flattering, you know. >> yeah. if they're good looking. >> if they're very good looking and stalking i call it pursuing. strongly pursuing. >> how do you deal with the date progress says when you're really famous famous? i mean, how can you trust people? >> i don't know. i mean, i think it's -- i don't
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know how you deal with it. i -- because i think there's always the question if -- what people's real intentions are. >> yeah. >> but i don't know. i think you just have to wish for the best. it's a gamble. >> life's a gamble, though, isn't it? >> life is a gamble. >> when we come back, we'll talk about projects outside "glee," this movie you're about to start making. >> sure. sure. :20011231][v
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stop, kurt! please, just stop. come on. >> don't you get how stupid we were? we thought that because no one was teasing us or beating us up that no one cared. like some kind of progress had been made. but it's still the same. >> it's just a stupid joke. >> no, it's not. all that hate, they were just afraid to say it out loud. so they did it by secret ballot. i'm a practical joke. >> moving scene from "glee" starring my guest today, chris cole fer. horrible stuff, that. "glee" has a reputation of being a light, fun, maybe frivolous show, but there are moments like that which are really significant and have a real impact on america.
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>> right. all the light stuff makes the stuff that punchious that much stronger. >> yeah. >> yeah. >> you said you cry every single episode. >> i do. one of my biggest acting things is is it has to be my tears otherwise i think i'm cheating. >> how do you get your tears to work? >> it's really just a gland thing. >> can you do it now? >> well, no, i can't do it now. >> some of you actors can literally -- >> i'm not good at it. >> how long does it take you to get into tear mode? >> depends on the scene. if i'm sobbing, maybe a minute. >> a minute. >> or one or two, like a couple seconds. >> you can get tears in a couple seconds. >> i could. >> come on. >> i can't do it on the spot. >> why not? >> unless it's scripted. unless i have time -- >> here's the script. i'll play a character. >> okay. >> i'm saying something really upsetting to you. >> i can't do it now. >> great tv. >> i know. it would be great tv. >> like a magician revealing his
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tricks. >> that's what it is. i have to do this whole chant before i can do it. i can't do that right now. >> can all actors do it? >> no, it's -- no, because sometimes, you know, like you can't because your body can't produce tears so you can't. >> someone said to me, cry, i couldn't think how i'd start to cry. i haven't in about ten years. how do you do it? >> i really have not cried off camera in years. >> really. >> i don't think i've cried -- >> when was the last time? >> last time i cried. my grandmother's funeral. like two, 2 1/2 years ago. that's the last time i cried. every time i've done it so far -- since then, for the camera. >> in the show, literally almost every episode a moment when you're in tears. >> oh, yeah. >> you're not actually that emotional off camera. >> no. i would say for me what works is i'm about 20% emotional and then 80% physical. a lot of -- i think everything i do is very physical. >> has all that's happened to you, has it toughened you up a?
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all that bullying, all that ostracizing. >> yeah, i think so. excuse me. >> steeled yourself growing up. >> i think it made me a sarcastic person, for sure. i think sarcasm comes from hard times. >> the good thing is you're welling up because you've been coughing. >> yeah. >> we can cut this and make it look like -- >> like i started crying. right. so i have horrible allergies. that's why i can do it. horrible allergies. >> is it fun, "glee," or like all these shows, actually incredibly hard work to make? >> i'd be lying if i said -- it is a lot of work. we are working constantly. >> when did you finish working on this season? >> we finished season two yesterday at 4:00 in the morning. >> wow. >> yes. we are constantly working. it's hard to hear other actors complain about their four hours a day tapings and -- because we really are working constantly. >> do you now get time off or what happens?
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>> no, no. we -- on our hiatus we get, we go on a music tour. i mean, it's an amazing, amazing thing to be a part of. but it's a lot of work. >> and you also are doing a movie. >> yes. >> how are you going to fit that in? >> well, the tour ends on july 5th or 4th, i believe, and as soon as it's over i'm literally going straight to a plane and flying to a set in l.a. >> and then back into "glee." >> yes. >> do you get any time off at all? >> no, but that's self-inflicted. >> even a day? >> i'll get a day here and there. >> when you see the schedule, before it used to say dry cleaners, college. >> school, work, grandma's house. >> now "glee" tour, movie, "glee." >> amazing. yeah. >> crazy. >> it is. it's insanity. sometimes i think maybe i'm still back in my hometown, i just went insane and i'm sitting there in some mental institution just rocking thinking all of this is true. >> is there anything else you're up to other than all this? or is that enough this year? >> there are a thousand things i'm up to. i'm doing a -- developing a television show for disney right
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now. i have tons of projects up my stlooef i haven't announced yet. >> of all the famous people you've met, who's been the most inspiring to you when you actually met them? >> oh. >> apart from the president. >> obviously. of course. of course. i don't know. give me a minute to think about this. >> curious yo you may have met who's said something that's been quite profound to you for whatever reason. >> yeah. >> now mixing these rarefied circles. >> no. yeah. i mean -- >> did you meet the president? >> i did. >> what did he say to you? >> hi, i'm barack. >> he didn't. >> he did. he said, hi, i'm barack. and i said, i know. and of course when i get excited i get high pitched so i was like, i'm chris! he probably thought i was some mickey mouse impersonator. >> does he know you? >> i think his daughters did. i think he's a little busy to watch "glee." >> he didn't say he watched it
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religiously. >> he didn't say i watched you in "single ladies." i was praying i got that but no. >> what's the most excited you've been to meet anyone apart from the president? >> i loved meeting oprah because, i mean, who would snnt. >> what was she like with you? >> great. great. very welcoming and gave everyone hugs and friendly and awesome. i've got on the meet a lot of my heroes. >> i bet your mother, if she's watching you on oprah, that was quite a moment. >> she was upset because she didn't get to go with me. she was mad about that. >> your mother is getting a little mad. >> she called me the other day and said, oh, christopher, i did this interview with other people about famous mothers. i hope you done mind. i'm, like -- >> i had to ban my mother from talking to me. >> i tried. >> i said you're never allowed
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to talk again. >> my biggest fear, which upset my parents, because i was so young doing all these things, i didn't want to look like i had stage parents guidesing me on a leash so i never invited them anywhere the first couple years. now a couple years have past and they're like when do we get to come to set? i'm like maybe next season. >> a real pleasure. >> thank you. coming up, a white house insider like no other. michelle obama's brother, craig robinson. [ man ] i got this new citi thankyou card
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and started earning loads of points. you got a weather balloon with points? yes i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. ♪ ♪ there it is. [ man ] so i used mine to get a whole new perspective. ♪ [ male announcer ] the new citi thankyou premier card gives you more ways to earn points. what's your story? citi can help you write it.
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you could call craig robinson first brother-in-law, but michelle obama's brother is also a college basketball star turned very successful coach and
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the author of "a game of character: a family journey from chicago's south side to the ivy league." craig robinson joins me now. i read this book. fascinating book. >> thank you. >> for many reasons. >> thank you. >> as i read it, i was thinking, so this guy goes to princeton, you get an mba from the university of chicago, you're the coach of an amazing basketball team at oregon state, and a life of unparalleled excellence and success. and just when you're claiming all bragging rights in the family, your sister goes and marries the guy that becomes president of the united states. i mean, that's a bugger, isn't it? >> for some people it could be. but what you have to understand, piers, is that my sister smernt entire life being craig robinson's little sister. everywhere she went, it was craig, craig, and she does a great impression of this. it's like craig, craig, craig, craig, craig. you're craig's sister.
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are you craig's little sister? she's had to put up with that her entire life. now it's only fair i spend some time being michelle obama's older brother. >> are you proud to be michelle obama's older brother? >> absolutely. absolutely. she's just such a bright light for the family, for the country, for her own individual family, and i couldn't be more proud of her. >> reading the book, very interesting, you're very modest beginnings that you had as family. tell me about the early days. >> you know, i talk about this in "a game of character." it didn't seem modest to us. it felt like we lived in castle even though we lived in this one-bedroom apartment. and it was filled with love and lessons and tenderness. and they're the kind of lessons that resonate at the kitchen table as they did for us on the basketball court as it does for
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my team and in the boardroom as it did when i was working in corporate america. >> when i see michelle, whom i've never met, when i see her, she shows remarkable poise and apparent self-confidence. and you're similar. you know, you're a confident man but you're a warm character. i can tell that. you can tell that from the book. you're obvious similar personalities. are you amazed at how she's dealt with becoming first lady? >> wow. amazed? i'm amazed that she is the first lady. i mean, you know, who does that? who grows up on the south side of chicago and, as you pointed out, very modest background, and ends up being the first lady? >> well, the answer is nobody. nobody has done that. >> that's right. >> that's what makes her position so completely unique, and barack obama's, for that matter. >> right. and her ability to step into
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that role has -- is a real tribute, i think, to our parents. i mean, you know, whatever we've been asked to do in life or shown to do, it's been a really -- it's been -- our parents wanted us to do it with -- with love, hard work, empathy, compassion, and you see all of that in my sister. >> what do you call the president now? when you see him. >> oh, when i see him i call him barack or president obama or mr. president. i've called him all the best -- all of those. the best one is that guy who goes to his left all the time on the basketball court. >> doesn't it feel even stranger calling him mr. president? >> it does. >> this guy your sister -- i mean, take me back to first time you met him. >> it is. it is so surreal. and it's one of the favorite stories from "a game of character" is when my sister brought him home, so to speak, and asked -- after she introduced us and we saw things were going well -- >> had you heard of him before? >> you know, i had heard she was dating a guy who was a harvard guy and they worked together in the summer and this, that, and the other. but i sort of took it like i
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took most of her boyfriends. i figured the guy would be gone, 86'd in about two months. and so i didn't pay much attention. but then after a while, when we got to meet him, i was, like, wow, this guy has such a different background from ours, but you could tell right away he had the same values that our family did but raised completely different. so they dated for a few months, and she came back and asked me to take him to play ball. she heard my father and i talk about how you can tell a guy's personality and character based on how he plays on the basketball court. so to make a long story short, it was tough for me to say yes to agree to that, but i did, and i took him out to play and just was -- it was reinforced what a wonderful guy he was. he was completely unselfish on the court. he was quietly confident to be playing with a bunch of guys who were ex-college and pro basketball players. and the best part about him was
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that he didn't try to suck up to me by just passing me the ball. you know, he played the game like it should have been played. so i was able to report back to my sister that this is a pretty good guy based on our -- >> are you a good judge of character from the way people perform on a basketball court? is it as simple as those things that he was doing means he's a good man? >> you know, it's hard when you get fatigued to shield your real personality. that's what i'll say. it's not always an indicator, but you can do a lot of -- you can sort a lot out by watching a guy play. >> take a short break. when we come back, i want to talk to you about the first moment you walked through the white house as the brother-in-law of the president of the united states. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too.
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today i've watched michelle and barack strengthen each other. during challenging times, i've watched michelle and barack stand by each other.
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and i know they'll stand by you, the american people, now and in the future. >> that was craig robinson introducing his sister, michelle obama. quite a moment for you, for the family, for everyone. when was the moment when michelle was dating barack, when was the moment that you realized this guy may be something special politically? >> oh, i had no idea at the time when i met him. he was a lawyer. he had been a community organizer. i knew he had political aspirations, but he never came off as a political guy to me. he always seemed like just a normal, smart guy, great personality, who looked like he would be a good fit with my sister. that's how i looked at it. it wasn't until he really started getting into politics and those first early campaigns
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where i saw he's got a gift for this. >> i remember watching him speak for the first time around 2004 i think it was, thinking wow, who is this guy? because he just had something. i don't know if people picked up on it and he ended up running and winning. and then you make your speech there. what's the moment like for you personally, on a human level, when you walk into the white house for the first time with your brother-in-law as the president of the united states? >> well, i got to tell you, the first thing, piers, that struck me was how small the inside of the white house was. >> it's a lot smaller than you think, suspect it isn't it? >> the building looks grand, but when you go in, it's really small. the only bed big enough for a 6'6" guy is the one in the lincoln bedroom. >> so if you don't get that,
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you've had it. >> that's right. >> was it a surreal moment for you? >> and it still is. and i try to get into this, but i don't get to flesh it out really well. it is remarkably weird walking in there and knowing that my mom and my sister and my brother-in-law and nieces live there. you can't possibly get your arms around it, even after this period of time. but it's truly a rewarding opportunity, and every time i go it's very exciting. >> what do you think is the greatest mischaracterization of the obamas from your standpoint? something that annoys you most when you see them described as whatever? >> you know, i would love to tell you that there was something that bothers me, but nothing that anybody says bothers me. you know, i talk about that in a game of character, how my mom, at an early age, helped us with ourself esteem by saying to us,
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if you're doing the right things, it doesn't matter what people say about you. if you're doing your best, working your hardest and you have good intentions, then just do what you do. >> do you ever argue with the president about what he's doing as president? >> are you kidding? no. he's much smarter than i am. we may have have -- before he was president, the argument about which chicago bulls team was better than the other one, because we're both great chicago bulls fans. >> you're not tempted over the breakfast table to say come on, mr. president, about this policy of yours. >> no, not at all. and i appreciate the fact that he stays out of my team's business, too. >> how did you feel when you discovered that your brother-in-law had ordered the mission, the successful mission that killed osama bin laden? >> well, i have to say i was
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probably like most of the people who heard the news. it was extremely moving, and then extremely thankful, and exhilarated that it worked. >> he didn't even tell michelle, he said. >> i'm sure, i'm sure that's the case. and, you know, you talk about character and integrity. you think about how wonderful our armed forces specialists are and all the people who are fighting for this country. and it was a very humbling and sobering thought that went through my mind and just made me glad that i live here. >> finally, will you be out on the stump for him next election campaign? >> well, if they need me? i don't know if they need me. if they need me, i'll be willing to help as always. >> if i read this, i would definitely bring you into the team. i think you're a secret weapon. >> thank you very much.
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>> very nice to meet you. >> thanks for having me on. when we come on, a preview of my interview with nick cannon. [ doctor ] here's some health information for people over 50. maybe you don't think you're at risk for heart attack or stroke but if you've been diagnosed with p.a.d., or have pain or heaviness in your legs, i want to talk to you. you may have heard of poor leg circulation, which could be peripheral artery disease, or p.a.d. with p.a.d., if you have poor circulation in your legs, you may also have poor circulation in your heart or in your brain, your risk for heart attack or stroke is more than doubled with p.a.d. now, ask yourself: am i at risk? if you're not sure, call for this free information kit to learn more. [ female announcer ] call the toll free number on the screen now
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and mississippi blues singer michael grim and the show's host nick cannon. listen to what he has to say about his wife and new baby twins. tell me about your lovely wife, who is, i have to say, delightful. she makes me laugh. she looks sexy. beautiful. >> i know there's this nasty undertone that you have. every time you say something about my wife -- >> the reason you don't like it is because you know she's always flirtatious around me. >> you're overly flirtatious with her. that is the problem. and i don't know how to stop that.