tv Roadrunner A Film About Anthony Bourdain CNN November 25, 2022 6:00pm-8:00pm PST
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it is considered useful and enlightening and therapeutic to think about death for a few minutes a day. what actually happens to my physical remains is of zero interest to me. i don't want anybody seeing my body. i don't want anybody -- i don't want a party. "reported dead." unless they can provide entertainment value in a perverse or subversive way. i mean, if you could throw me into a wood chipper, spray me into harrods in the middle of the rush hour, that would be pretty epic. i wouldn't being mind being remembered in that way. ♪ one, two, three four five
six ♪ ♪ ♪ with the radio on ♪ ♪ i'm in love with massachusetts ♪ ♪ and the neon when it's cold outside ♪ ♪ and the highway when it's late at night ♪ ♪ with the radio on ♪ >> what the [ muted ] am i doing here? i shall explain. one minute i was standing next to a deep fryer. the next, i was watching the sunset over the sahara. i realize that one thing led directly to the other. had i not taken a dead-end dish washing job, i would not have become a cook. had i not become a cook, i would never have become a chef. had i not become a chef, i never would have been able to
[ muted ] up so spectacularly. had i not known what it was like to really [ muted ] up, that that obnoxious, but wildly successful memoir i wrote, wouldn't have been nearly has interesting. ♪ >> and i'm not going to tell you how to live your life. i'm just saying, i guess, that i got very lucky. ♪ ♪ >> you are probably going to find out about it anyway.
sol so, here's a little preemptive truth telling. there's no happy ending. >> all around -- >> it's just on the news not a very nice way, i know, tony. >> thanks. >> what would you like? >> apple juice. >> apple juice. >> apple juice. >> or cranberry, i don't care. whatever we have more of. happiness is a fresh pack. first thing in the morning. i mean, before i brush my teeth i mean, i roll out of bed, light a cigarette, stumble into this room, and i start writing immediately. i always use language to get out of trouble. you know, i found at an early age if i made everybody in the class laugh, that was power. i came from a household with a lot of books. and in fact the first book i
remember reading was a book called "why johnny can't read," which i stole from my mother. she was anticipating i would have difficulty reading as i was exhibiting anti-social tendencies, i pinched the book and basically taught myself to read by kindergarten. and then, you know, my early heroes were musicians and writers. the idea that you could have adventurers, no matter how antisocial, and make them legitimate by writing something beautiful about them, that concept took an early hold on me. i wasn't serious enough about anything to actually do any writing until '93. but when i was given the opportunity i did it and, you know, kept doing it. the whole business fills me with terror, frankly.
>> hey. we know each other by now. >> yeah. >> let me see if rocco is up front. >> what was it about tony with big knives? >> they were never sharp enough. you know, he would just always -- when he came over for thanksgiving, i was going to carve the turkey and he took over. he was very short with me about how i wasn't taking care of my knives. >> saw you when you were just born. do you remember that? >> my relationship with tony has always been as a writer. he was such a powerful writer right from the start. >> he was on business in tokyo for the first time. and he was writing me a series of emails. he did one of those bursts.
>> the jet lag wouldn't let me sleep, so i crashed late and rose early, plunging blindly down dark streets at all hours. the streets were unbelievably dense with pedestrians, people hanging around, flashing neon, flapping banners, screaming signs, with pump pi young men, asian women in thigh-high boots and no one i mean no one would meet my eye with the direct gaze. i was the quiet american, the ugly american, the hungry ghost, searching and searching for whatever came next. >> i loved it. i loved it, and my wife, karen, who was a book publisher, was in the living room breastfeeding the baby. i printed out the email and i went, karen, you have to read this. >> am i allowed to curse? does anybody curse when they are on this? i read it and i just went, that
is [ muted ] awesome. i was, like, okay, i'm going to make him an offer that he basically can't refuse. he came back and then we sat down. i said, joel tells me you have a lot of stories. and he goes i have so many stories i'm so excited to tell them. he said, i already have a title it. what's the title and he said "kitchen confidential." i said i love it. let's do it. >> what do you think about tony bourdain anyway? >> what do you think about that guy? he is cool, huh [ baby cry ]. >> i don't think tony was afraid of failure. and that was hard wired. he was the kind person who thought, well, you know what the [ muted ], let's just try it and see how it turns out. >> anthony bourdain worked as a chef for 28 years reveals surprising and disturbing trade secrets in a book called "kitchen confidential." >> chef anthony says the truth about bread in a restaurant, how you should prepare meat when you order it, and the truth about fish that make you sick.
>> i was in a cranky mood after my last restaurant closed and felt no reason not to tell the truth about a business i both love and have mixed emotions about. >> "kitchen confidential" is a memoir of tony's life in the kitchen and the salty adventures that he had with his cooks. it was kind of lawless. you know, a lot was broken as tony used to say. >> as the executive chef at les halles, he found success and a full-blown heroin addict at an early age. >> i had a dope problem, a cocaine problem. but by '88 i pretty much cleaned up my act. the dietary supplement that every chef needs, i take around ten of these a day. it's of an aspirin-tylenol mix called "crunchies." >> so you didn't fire him? >> i didn't fire him. i didn't know it was being written. i didn't know it was going to be
published. one day i arrived at the restaurant and i said what happened? you're [ muted ] kidding me. >> i was told today i guess the 12th of this month it will be number 7 on the "times" best-seller list. >> it was on 20 wasn't it. >> i'm getting congratulatory calls and they're telling me i have a best seller. it's scary. >> very exciting. it's wonderful. >> yeah, it's just anything that happens to me on that door i'm suspicious of. >> he was always behind in the rent, always behind his you know payments and living from paycheck to paycheck. like in a pressure cooker. so when there was this opportunity, he was ready. we tried dove instead. so, still need that trim? oh my gosh! i am actually shocked i don't need a haircut. don't trim daily damage. stop it with dove.
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♪ by the time i was 43, i really thought that i had had all my great adventures, that the entertainment and excitement segment of the program was long over. >> look! >> that was cool. >> i was comfortably ensconced in secure digs with a wife who still remarkably found me to be amusing on occasion. >> what are you doing, giving interviews? >> i had a job i loved and successful restaurant and i was alive for christ sake. i was still around. >> i don't cook at home. i just -- i'm too -- i would love to tell you, you know, i go home and cook fabulous little sna snackies for my wife. i would be lying if i told you that. it's more like, honey, call out
for chinese. there are, it turns out, a million ways to say suck my [ muted ] and like all great performances, it's about timing, tone, and delivery. like cooking. thanks. you know, all the tv chefs are so cuddly and adorable. maybe i'm the anti-or something. you know, i don't know. >> for me it happened overnight. i mean, one minute i was a cook at restaurant and not a particularly great one. and the next i was an author and was literally overnight. fell in my lap. >> i'm selling books now. >> got a free bottle of wine and a basket of food when i came home last night. >> joining me now is anthony bourdain, author of "kitchen confidential." >> chef anthony bourdain. >> here is anthony bourdain. [ cheers ] >> what do you think about these guys like emeril legassi on the
food network? >> you're asking me to kick santa claus in the crotch on television. >> apparently brad pitt will be playing me in a movie. >> it's tomorrow. >> oprah. >> no! you're kidding me. >> this is anthony bourdain. his book, "kitchen confidential," is a "new york times" best seller. >> i was born to cook. i love satisfying people's appetites. next i'll be doing the lambada with emeril. ♪ >> i hate myself. ♪ ♪
>> oh. oh. tony bourdain rocks. what's up, man? everything good? >> life is good. >> yes, yes, yes. >> come here, girl. get in here. how are you doing? this is tony. tony, welcome. we're having a good time. >> the next one, no i'm doing something called "the cook's tour." basically i travel around the world eating exotic food having adventures in the far east, and africa and south america with a crew chasing me. >> hey, john, come here. >> you know, my 15 minutes of quote, unquote, fame, you know when that's over, i will be perfectly comfortable with that, if not relieved. i think even relieved at this point. >> when i met him for the first time, he had made a splash with "kitchen confidential." i had read that he had a contract to write a second book
called "the cook's tour." and i called him. >> yes. >> and i said, hey i'm a producer. would you ever even consider making "cook's tour" into a series. and he was like, whatever, yeah, sure. he was very nonplussed about the idea of doing anything television. it was not what was on his mind. a week and a half later, chris collins and i went up to les halles. >> we found tony, shot a demo with him, and had a conversation with him. >> and it became immediately clear he had never traveled. >> his travels were in his head. >> growing up as a kid, you know, i watched "the crimson pirate." they were all pirates and bad guys having great adventures.
>> tony's view of the world emanated from books and from films. almost in an encyclopedic way, he could grab all these references. and i think he was excited to go on this journey to see if the reality actually matched the imagination. >> our first journey was for six weeks. and, remember, we had only spent one day with tony leading up to that moment. the image of tony, i mean, it was i think a guy who at that moment was very unsure of what was about to happen. >> good flight? >> you know, i'm looking at a strange and unpredictable
future in a tough business. with rules that i'm not completely familiar with and when i become familiar with them, i -- you know, i don't know whether i like them that much. >> we hit the road together. just the three of us. >> lydia and i had just gotten married. and then we had tony, a guy who we barely knew. so, it was like three idiots trying to figure each other out. >> the first shoot was japan. we didn't know what we were doing. he definitely didn't know what he was doing. and tony immediately became uncomfortable and awkward. >> what we would find out very quickly is tony is actually a very shy human being. and to get him to make eye contact or to interact wasn't his natural state.
>> that compounded by the fact that we were in japan, being sort of led into scenes where there was a lot of kind of formality involved. you know, all of those factored in to him being quiet, which was like the worst possible thing. >> oh, wow. spectacular. >> i mean, chris and i went back to the hotel and basically looked at each other and said, like, we're [ muted ]. go for 10 runs! run a marathon. instead, start small. with nicorette. which can lead to something big. start stopping with nicorette. i'm stuck! is that the new iphone? yup, i just got the new iphone 14 with its amazing camera at t-mobile. wow! at t-mobile, get four iphone 14's on us and four new lines for $25 bucks a line. dove 0% is different. we left aluminum out
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chris, chris, take a picture of me and lydia as we come back with the sun behind her pointing up the mountain towards the farmhouse as we walk up past the yellow triangular sign. thank you. okay. here we go. okay. i mean, to be honest i'm not totally alone because somebody is clearly shooting this i love the desert scenes i'm alone in the desert who else's footprints are those, one of those things. but, look, this is pretty cool. it does feel pretty cool to be walking -- well, i'll tell you this. i'm having a lot more fun walking forward than the camera person is walking backwards, i'm sure. was that a groan? >> yes, it was. >> we went from japan to vietnam. that's when things started to
kick in to a different gear. >> my good friend philippe hold called on me semi-unexpectedly last night. we're ready for our adventure. >> i joined them on the first trip in vietnam. >> and he was enjoying himself and being less cynical. >> floating starbucks over here. i want a double latte mochaccino, please. it's great. kicks the shit out of starbucks. >> i love vietnam. maybe it's a pheromone thing, like when you meet the love of your life for the first time. she just somehow inexplicably smells and feels right. you sense that given the opportunity, this is the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. >> we had common desire to spend time in vietnam maybe forever. that was our secret bond. and of course the movie
"apocalypse now" was one of his top three movies in his life because it combined so many things in his life, vietnam and the war and the world out of darkness. >> we just started doing all these self-indulgent film references. i suddenly realized, wait a minute, this film-making thing can be fun. you know, it's a big crayon box. we can actually enjoy this. >> why am i here? am i insane? >> you know, he used to say don't ever let me do tv. the thing is like if i ever do tv, shoot me. and, you know, at first it was awful. >> where do cooks come from? the answer to this and other questions to follow. >> and then very quickly -- he's such a good student, he's so freaking smart -- he, like, figured it out. >> chris, lydia, i love you.
you know that, right? but i got one night in bangkok here, not every 24 hours. you want to do a whole god damn show in 24 hours. fine. forget about blocking out, no plan. you better be fast. i'm going to have a good time. we're going to roll, and if you don't get it, you don't get it. catch it in editing as we like to say. >> what started to grow at that moment was this understanding of tony, you don't need to tell us everything. you need to experience this and ask questions. that's how we're going to learn from this place. it's not you being a travel guide. it's you being open to this experience. >> oh, jesus, look at this. look at this thing. look at the road popping out everywhere. whoa. come back, come to papa. if there is any dish that comes closest to perfection, this is it. you know this is bumping right up against the walls of heaven. oh, man. we've reached the mountaintop.
♪ >> i'm thinking what do i want? it would be nice to buy something that will fill some hollow part of my soul. but i can't think of anything. maybe a car will do it. i don't know. i mean, shit, my rent is paid, not a loan. it's spectacular. i mean, i -- i'd like to live like a normal person. that was always my thought that if i get enough money, i'll be able to live like a normal
person. but i don't even know what that is any more. [ phone ringing ] >> i read "kitchen confidential" at that time, an. and i invite him to have lunch with me because i want to meet the man. and he shows up with a tv crew. >> i thought, this was a jackpot. this was one of my idols, where i was just absolutely freaked out. incredibly sophisticated, refined, clean, beautiful, impeccably presented. the craft performed at its highest level. >> when i meet him, i don't expect him to be so articulate. and he has amazing good manners at the table. >> i think the person that people experienced on camera was someone who seemingly had this
incredible ability to engage with anybody he came across. there was that persona that was created over time. >> but that burned off and it became tony. >> all of the places that i'm going, i'm really excited about this one. going back to the ancestral homeland and maybe we'll discover some things along the way. so this is my father and a little friend in france. a little oyster village. this is one of my favorite pictures also of my brother and i in the same spot. we didn't do a lot of travel when we were kids because, i mean, my parents were not rich. we did go to france a couple times because my dad had relatives there. >> i'm nervous. who ever thought we'd do something this goofy? >> this is an oyster boat similar to the one on which i
had my first oyster. >> i blame my first oyster for everything i did after. my thrill-seeking, my hideous screw ups in pursuit of pleasure. i bridled bitterly at the smothering chokehold of love and normalcy in my house. call it a character flaw, of which drugs for a simple m manifestation. >> outstanding corporal. >> pet lent view of my bourgeois parents who committed the unpardonable sin of loving me. >> i'm really glad we had a chance to do this. >> me too, yeah. >> okay. >> call. >> yeah, let's shoot another one, yeah. take two. >> two years ago frequent flier miles meant nothing to me. today miles earned are the pathetic milestones. >> take turn. >> we would write the voiceover in the beginning, like we need context for what we are seeing, some summary of the scene. >> later on another swing
through southeast asia with layovers here and there. first stop, singapore, a quick business dinner with my editor. tan? >> tanabalon. >> tanabalon. okay. >> tony would come to the narration he would like what is this shit? you know what i mean? he was start scratching things out. first started with a word or two here or sentence or two here. you know then he became man maniacal about it. he really understood, like, this is an extension of me. this is an extension of my writing. i better write in my voice. you know, otherwise this is going to -- i'm going to sound like a travel television host rather than a writer. >> making tv was becoming creatively satisfying. i wrote the book and yet continued filming. the tail now wagged the dog.
i was hooked on travel, on seeing the world, and on the terms i was seeing. i was on the road for the better part of two years, during which time everything in my life changed. i stopped working as a chef, the job whose daily routines had always been the only thing that stood between me and chaos. my first marriage began to fall apart. >> they were together almost 30 years. you know, he was a traditional romantic. he believed that you could meet your high school sweetheart and spend the rest of your life with them. they were like, you know, sid and nancy. they were, like, two people conspiring against the world. it was a love born out of youth and rebellion. >> all right, nancy, i hope your divorce lawyer is paying close
attention to this footage. feel free to depose anyone on this crew at any time. this too, of course, is part of life's glorious mosaic. nancy had no interest in fame or being tied to fame. but it just was like a rebirth for tony. it was like he died and was reborn. this was a new person with a new life. >> i wrote a crime novel around that time in which the character's yearning for a white picket fence kind of life reflected my own truth more than any nonfiction i've written. shortly after that, i cruelly burned down my previous life in its entirety. we left aluminum out and put 48 hours freshness and 1 quarter moisturizers... in. dove 0% aluminum deodorant. lasting odor protection that's kind on skin. i'd like to thank our sponsor liberty mutual. they customize your car insurance,
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out the mini bar, watching jet fuel cook off at the airport. >> we had gone there to shoot a show for the travel channel about how beirut was this renaissance of thought, feeling and energy. and we shot two scenes. and then shit went south really fast. >> there was a border incident with israel. hezbollah had kidnapped some israeli soldiers and we got caught up in a war. >> hold on, let me -- >> todd, exactly how disgusted and anxious are you? >> we're damn lucky to be here. we're spending all this time at the pool watching helicopters come in and out. it was just a waiting game for us. >> we had to go in the basement because there was a lot of bombs by us. >> you know, look at us in these scenes, sitting around the pool getting tan, you know, watching a war. if there is a single metaphor in
this entire experience that -- you know, that's probably it. not a flattering one. >> when they arrived back, the first thing he said was, we cannot make a show out of this. i refuse to exploit this experience in that way. needless to say, the network saw it differently. >> there was no neat sum-up to the story. >> he stopped doing the rosy sum-up of what we just saw. he just stopped. in the few years since i started to travel this world, i found myself changing. i had begun to believe that the dinner table was the great leveler. now, i'm not so sure. maybe the world's not like that at all. maybe in the real world the one without cameras and happy food and travel shows, everybody, the good and the bad together, are all crushed under the same terrible wheel.
i hope -- i really hope i'm wrong about that. >> that ambiguity, that's what he embraced. open-endedness is where the answers are. >> it was an embittering experience. it got all of us thinking about, you know, what's important in life. >> it's recording. oh, my god. you look like an idiot. so i'm talking with mr. anthony bourdain. this is our vacation video. we're going to show this to our children. >> welcome to my first independent film. my spring vacation. >> how do you say that in english? >> is this a bad thing? >> tony was single and ottavia worked for me. tony called me and said who is
this girl, ottavia? and i said, have fun, don't take it seriously. >> you know, we were the perfect match for those occasional, you know, rendezvous. like drama. >> what do you mean? does grandma drive like this? look, no hands. >> i thought i was going to meet this bad boy. arrogant, and not what i was expecting, but endearing, none theless. perfecto. >> you know what the show is about? >> it's about an existential crossroads in my life. you look bored already. >> yes. >> you saw they were pretty smitten. he always really appreciated very strong women. she would cut him no slack. >> this is a little [ bleep ]. what are the chances this is going to end up on the cutting room floor?
>> zero, even if we fight. >> that would be good television, see. we should fight. >> couple of months later we are in a restaurant, and she is toasting him at the table and i see tears in his eyes, real tears. and we are, like, my god he is in love. >> okay, let's do some romantic thing. >> what, like, no. >> tony was like a teenager like falling in love for the first time. they changed their clothes and music they were listening to. and pieces of him that you thought you knew were shifting. >> were you shocked when tony had a kid? >> i was shocked. i had asked him are you going to have kids? and he is like, it's just not something i ever see myself doing, ever. >> for most of my life i wouldn't have been a good father. too self-involved, too messed up on drugs, and also afraid.
the thought of being frightened for a child, you know, i was not up to that kind of fear. >> any doubts i might have had kind of dissipated when i realized how happy -- how happy excited he was, that he was going to become a father. >> no phone. >> no phone? >> okay. okay. it's okay. >> that's okay? >> that's okay. >> yeah, it's okay, dada? >> come on. >> okay, a little hug. >> come on. come on now. okay. okay. okay. okay. come on, come on. apple. apple. >> apple? what about your apple? [ tickling ] one, two, three. hoo. >> but what does the doctor look
like? >> well, hello. i'm dr. tony. what seems to be the problem here? i'm here to help you get all better. >> hurrah! >> we should help all people when they need help. hey, that reminds me. i have to get back. >> bye. >> bye! >> this is my life. i wake up. i walk my daughter to her summer camp. you know, i have a few minutes of normal family life. then i take the elevator down the stairs and then there is yet another -- hey, what's up, man? are you on the job? >> you've got the best show on tv. >> tony got really famous. every two minutes it seems someone is going up to him, hey, you know, tony, huge fan. can i take a photo? can you talk to me? what are some travel tips?
it was just incessant, non-stop barrage. and that's when i was like, tony, like, how do you maintain your cool and your composure and you're nice? i'll never forget. he says, listen, me being nice to someone and being gracious, if that's my job, it certainly beats being middling line cook at a struggling restaurant. >> do you have anything resembling a normal life? >> no. i'm asking this because the answer for me is no. i want to say no, because i just visited my friends. i haven't seen them in many years. >> right. >> and i felt i just -- i couldn't relate. >> i know. i know. and i understand those. but -- but, you know, i'm a freak. >> they own [ muted ].
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♪ [ singing in non-english ] ♪ ♪ he was a control freak in a lot of ways. you couldn't win an argument with him. just because there was an idea he would challenge it. >> have any lines for me? maybe you could feed me something. >> there is no place like it is there? ooh, romance is in the air. who says that?
>> you might like it. >> i would say his barometer for bullshit in general was extremely sensitive. but if he felt we were bullshitting, that was the ultimate sin. >> what kind of fascist regime is this? >> because when tony wanted to leave, tony would leave. stopping him had to be physical. like, putting my body in between him and the escape route. >> keep him away from me. no, no, no. >> goodbye. >> kind of burst into tears. >> in the beginning it was just chris and lydia shooting with him. they did that for several years and then brought in a whole team of people, many of them who stuck around to the end. >> this is for you. >> oh! >> you might need this later.
>> oh, i will. >> it was pretty much the most formative years of my life. >> i think tony liked me for a couple reasons. one was i enjoyed being with tony. >> you know, it was very competitive. so the bar got pushed every single episode. >> tony was in on everything. every show was something that was important. every show had his care in it. he would say the greatest sin is mediocrity. >> it bothered him if everyone liked the show. he said it should create conversation. >> how would is he? does he even remember the planes? he was a child. >> he doesn't remember. >> doesn't remember. >> he was a shockingly countercultural voice. so many of the countries i worked in with him were still dealing with the fallout from whatever america had done. >> for him, it's losing everything, because he's the
head of the family, feeding the the family. so after losing his arms and his legs it's -- it's a great disaster for his life. >> he wants to know if you are afraid of seeing the reality. >> oh. afraid? um, no. it hurts, but i think that's appropriate, you know. it should. i think americans -- every american should see the results of war. i think it's a -- the least i can do is to see the world with open eyes. >> how do you spend time with people and you empathize with their plight, how does it not change you fundamentally?
>> going to outer space? >> yes. >> going higher. >> he was traveling 250 days a year. and, you know, when you come back home you have to be a husband, you have to be a father. the little time he had, he was very attentive. sand castles on the beach all day long. >> i think it was a surprise and shock for him that late in life to experience that kind of love. >> i found it. >> that's okay. use that hand and pull that out. and use that hand for the crust. it's okay. >> it moved him to his core. and he was constantly aware of not wanting to screw it up.
>> you know, my whole life i was like a kid with my nose pressed against the glass, what must it be like to have a normal family and stand in the backyard with a silly apron barbecuing burgers. >> can i get a picture of that? >> when i find myself doing that, i am like ridiculously stupid happy. i do a lot of pretty cool shit now. travel all over the world see amazing things. but never happier than standing in the backyard being like tv dad, because i feel normal. you know, whatever the hell that means. >> yeah, what does that mean? >> i live a very strange life. i try to make up for it when i go home by cooking aggressively. i try to kill people around me with food. you know, like, eat, eat. why rant you eating? don't you love me? >> he straddled the world of being the domestic guy.
but that pull for the experience outside, you know, like as if it was going to slip away if he wasn't there, was equally as great. >> and he was always rushing. he was rushing everywhere. he was rushing to get into the scene. he was rushing to get out of the scene. he was rushing to get out of the country. rushing to go somewhere next even if he had nowhere to go. je. seen it. trust me, after 15 walks it gets a little old. i really should be retired by now. wish i'd invested when i had the chance... to the moon! [golf ball bounces off rover] unbelievable. ugh. [ding]
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if you want to be my pilot. >> yeah. i don't see what the problem is. weather looks fine to me. >> i'm sure we'll be fine. wow, nice. security situation good, weather not so good. are you frightened, by the way? yeah, look at him, look at him. he's scared shitless. >> i don't like flying. ♪ >> i think the congo was without question the most dangerous place we ever made the show. assuming it couldn't be done was a big part of it and we were
always going to figure out a way to do something that couldn't be done. >> everyone gets everything he wants. i wanted to see the congo. but for my sins they let me. this is a place i read about as a boy. in heart of darkness conrad described it as a twisting neighboring with its head in the atlantic ocean and tail buried deep in africa's heart. >> congo was a fulfillment of an enormous dream in our little fantasy we were having our apocalypse now moment. >> we rented a trust me vestal. and i shall dub thee, the captain willard. >> tony was finding ways to push himself towards his not just understanding of the world but understanding of himself. >> are you an assassin? >> i'm a soldier. >> it's like which character is he in that film?
when you get really deep into travel, i think there is an itch that you want to scratch that is out on the edge of that and below. where chaos kind of rules. because it strips away all of the functional artifice how we go through life and it leaves you with just the sensory experience . >> anthony bourdain, the renowned chef and best selling author has a new program, "parts unknown," and it showcases bourdain's gift for finding the essence of a country or culture.
is it about the journalism? or it about the tourism? is it about the people? is it about the food? >> it's a strange combination of food, politics, and a personally decisive point of view. he reports from israel, the palestine territories, mexico and france simply superb. >> he traveled roughly 662,000 miles around the globe, 26 times. >> you know, i actually went to tangier because you had gone there and you've had a big impact on me. >> tony was very aware of his own ability to promote other people's voices. but i do think that even though we moved to cnn, he won a peabody and several emmys. he began to question who is benefitting from these shows .
>> okay, we are just going to set up shop with the tv. me lying on the bed watching the news. >> this is cnn. >> this friday, january 25th. >> i'm not a news fan. i'm not a journalist. i'm not an advocate. i'm not an educator. i'm not looking to inspire or i don't have a political agenda. if anything, i like very much going to a place thinking one thing and being completely wrong about all of it. >> he was a journalist. and he was political. but he was a story teller. and he didn't realize i think how political he was.
>> we tend to see places in the middle east and africa in particular -- we only see them when bad things happen. if you just follow the news, you'll be reminded about kidnappings in algeria, unrest in tunisia. terrorist cells to the south. deadly riots in egypt and extremist attacks in benghazi that killed the u.s. ambassador. all those things are very real concerns, but if you only look at what's on the news, you can miss maybe what's a bigger picture.
you can literally see it as he goes and travels more and more and more. it was almost never about food. you know. i think it was about tony learning how to be a better person. (vo) after fifteen years of the share the love event, subaru and our retailers have donated over two hundred and fifty million dollars to charity. in fact, subaru is the largest corporate donor to the aspca... ...and the national park foundation. and the largest automotive donor to meals on wheels... ...and make-a-wish. get a new subaru during the share the love event and subaru and our retailers will donate three hundred dollars to charity.
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can't you tell? i am that in a completely non-disrespectful way. >> no, i can imagine. you try. you are inspiring so many people with the show. you have a good karma. >> i can't believe you said that. >> yeah. >> good karma. >> i think so. well -- >> at the end of the day, tony's darkest -- man, everyone asked tony's favorite music, and he would always give the same bullshit answers. 96 tears, he loved that song. and he loved superfine. the sound track. there is no downers in the f-ing bunch. this is what tony told me was his favorite song. ♪
he loved this song. ♪ ♪ >> it's a great song. but it's heroin music. >> in the early '70s this is where i lived. you know, back then, you bought us heroin we would have said, oh cool. i would like to try some of that. it wasn't like i fell into it or accidentally got addicted? oh, really it's addicting, gee, how did that happen? no, i knew. >> he never dealt with the insecurity and all the issues that put him down that road to begin with. >> people forget anthony bourdain was a junkie. he is a drug addict. i'm also a junkie.
i don't do drugs but i do everything else. >> you know, something was missing in me. some part of me wanted to be a dope fiend. my whole life leading up to that point. in my mind it was my first step towards being an artist. >> you think a certain level of dissatisfaction or unhappiness is part of the creative process? >> great art can be created when you are unhappy. but the best art is created through intense suffering. so then do you put yourself in a situation where you are constantly in pain? and the answer to that question is, yes. >> that's just about everybody i know. i don't know what this says about me. >> i think it was one of the first conversations i had with him. like hey i'm just meeting you. but i don't know one heroin addict that has quit cold turkey besides you. tell me how you did it.
>> i got through. but my case, it was like i looked in a mirror and i -- i saw somebody worth saving. or that i wanted to at least try real hard and save. you know, nobody -- nobody saved me. >> and he goes, you just work. and i realize i jumped -- the addiction jumped. >> but there was always a time line -- i don't think there was anything that would have lasted forever in his world. no person, place, thing, interest. >> i have to show you first. you want -- okay. keep one and you will down. and then you skip one and go down.
and then you come back up. >> he always seemed like what he wanted was, you know, all this idyllic picture of like one you know, family and ordinary life. >> come on, you can do it. >> but then what he got it, i don't know if he was -- i don't know. after a while, maybe that wasn't enough anymore. >> you devoted your book to family. >> yup. >> the joys of being normal, and now you've split. >> yeah. >> are you rethinking about being normal? >> what is normal? what toes the american family look like? i travel 250 days a year. you know, how normal could i ever hope to be? >> tony and i being pretty much
living separate under the same roof for quite some time. you know, even if we didn't work out, still really good friends. and our focus was marianne. that romantic love kind of dissipated after he started traveling so intensely. and then we couldn't follow him. >> once every five years. that's all. >> i'll be back. before it flowers again. cross my heart. >> he was devastated. he was losing his home base. and it left him incredibly vulnerable.
>> i think tony did blame himself. and i think it also left him wondering whether or not he was lovable. >> is it worse to be someplace awful when you're by yourself? or someplace really nice that you can't share with anyone? >> i mean, i have an email that he sent me that haunts me. that was just straight up, you know, out of the blue. >> david, this is a crazy thing to ask. but i'm curious. my life is sort of shit now. you are successful. and i am successful.
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hi, tony, how are you? >> all right. i'm here. outstanding. good. that's awesome. >> i do tend to have a sort of manic personality. everything is going really really great, or it's not going great. it could happen at any time. it's a random thing. one minute i'm okay. everything is going all right. and then suddenly it's one little thing sort of sets me off. and then i find myself, you know, increasingly thinking -- i do. i think about momentary fantasies of harming other people or myself, like i want to kill somebody or choke them or break their arms. i think about that a lot.
i'd like to be happier. i'd like to be able to be calmer. i'd like to be able to relax. i'd like to be able to look out the window and say, yeah, life is good. >> and you don't? >> nah. >> never? >> maybe a few seconds here and there. >> there is a line during your life of loneliness, or feeling like i want to kill somebody, i think that maybe you should start thinking, do you really want to change anything? do you really want to change the way you feel? >> i suspect it's too late.
whenever you guys are ready the cameras are rolling. we're ready to go. >> all right. >> all right. you're up? so where are we? but don't not to mention name of the place. >> no, why? >> you don't want to blow this place up. >> i don't give a shit. >> you've been eating here how long? >> since i was a kid. >> you want to come in here and see nothing but americans, nothing but. >> nothing but. >> just. >> so nobody but my boss. >> okay then we are -- there we go. how many generations of filmmakers in your family? >> hmm, a lot. >> when tony met aja, he was like she's the best, she's so great, like when you were in high school and you got laid for the first time or something. >> i'm happiest when life is kind of like a film. you're happy in the illusion,
because film is an illusion. >> yeah, i am. >> me too. i understand you. you seem really happy with her. >> you know, i was, like, well, he is handsome. whoever he wants to be with, i'm happy for him. he told me that she was very insecure about their relationship. so he just asked me to stop seeing pictures of us on social media. and i think he thought he was doing the right thing, make sure the person he loved felt secure. and he always told me it's just time for things are going to settle down and everything is going back to normal. but it never did. >> oh. >> i bring you to the best
places. >> uh-huh. >> his last relationship, i guess when you look at it, it's not that surprising. >> in many ways it feels elliptical from the very beginning. >> some of these you might ask how is this food related? mewed muted if i know. i guess if i crush my skull on a rock parts of me will become part of the food chain. >> it was one that had at its center extremes. because if he can't feel in the mid-zone -- he was very stressed and very weary and very exhausted.
he did talk about quitting. it happened like a couple of years ago. he asked to see chris and i at a bar. >> it was very dramatic. he was, like, i can't live my life like this any more. >> i'm done, done with this. i'm done with you people. every band comes to an end. it's time for us to break up and go our separate ways. >> you know, i've broken one family. i'm in this other relationship that i care very deeply about, and i want to make it work. and lydia looked at tony and said, then go do it. go do it. move to italy, set up. we will support you. we will be your friend. go. >> like if you are done with this, it's okay. i don't know, maybe he was expecting us to, like, grab him and say, like, no, don't go, it's not over. what can we do? >> he couldn't move. it's really kind of sad.
it's like, then sit the [ muted ] down and let's talk this thing through. we said we'll figure out a way to make this thing work so it's good for you. movies are dreams that you never forget. a $100 for a hobby? can you stop calling it a hobby. you do what your heart says you have to. because you don't owe anyone your life.
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here we go. hong kong. to fall in love with asia. to fall in love with asia is one thing. to fall in love in asia is another. both have happened to me. it's a gift, a dream, a curse. the best thing, the happiest thing, yet also the loneliest thing in the world. i've been to hong kong many times before, but not like this. >> if i die before i'm 40 years old, that should probably have something to do with it. at the last second your director gets sick. >> i had my gall bladder removed. >> michael's gall bladder i swear to god. >> honestly i can't go. and immediately he gets them to agree that asia should direct this. >> well, like, okay in some ways on this side, this is giving him some kind of, like, intense resurgence of like creative
energy. and so we ran with that. >> asia. one sec. we're getting too much good stuff in too short a period of time. let's move -- let's move and move. we're getting too much. >> i'm thinking stop saying so much great stuff. >> asia -- >> it seemed like so many years of us shaping and creating this thing all of a sudden was thrown out the window and it was just, you know, anything goes. >> so what is your -- what is your hope? what do you hope will happen to change your situation? >> to be honest, i'm not a big fan of hope. hope is -- >> hold on one second. let me reset. >> in the middle of the heartfelt scene with asylum seekers, we're stopping and telling them to hold their
thought and re-do it as if we're filming a movie or something. you know, breaking the natural heartfelt conversations that are not easy conversations to have. he would have never ever have done that. >> let's go. sorry. >> do it again. >> asia. >> what happened in hong kong was -- listen. we were trying to help our friend. and if that meant doing -- >> of everything i've done in my
life, this was probably the professional highlight. between asia argento as the director and christopher doyle as the director of photographer. >> are you going to give me a camera? >> oh, yeah. >> we really did something special. >> it's going to take over your life. and he thinks -- >> it could still work. >> you're both as tough. we know. >> it was a very sort of manic nature to what was going on in that last year where the highs were very, very high and the lows were very ugly.
>> he was not the same person. something changed and became really heavy. but he started going to therapy at a certain point. and i thought i can take a step back. i don't have to be like, always, you know, so worried about him. and -- and i feel like that's something that i will always, you know, like -- i shouldn't get -- any more, you know.
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when you need it most. you don't want his legacy to come off as like somebody who succumbed to this darkness. that wasn't him. like, he created something that was so important. and i want -- that really needs to be, like, that is the legacy of his life. not this stupid bullshit act that he did at the end.
>> how do we come to terms with what happened? >> mmm. that's something i don't speak about. >> what happened in france? um, where to start. the kind of scenes we had and what kind of shoot it was. it was like tony and eric, light-hearted, funny. >> wow. >> listen, man. listen. >> probably like four days in tony arrives, and he is just palpably angry. he looks back at me and we kind of make eye contact. and in my memory now, it's very desperate.
i called helen and this tabloid shit has come out about asia and this other person. tony goes over this balcony again looking over this valley. and he is like smoking. and he is kind of alone. i go out there, and i'm like, hey, man, how are you doing? is this just like -- are these just tabloid people with you guys you know, what's happening? he pauses. and he just says, a little [ muted ] discretion. and i was like, hey, man. i'm just -- he's like, no, man, not you. it's, like, i don't want to have to [ muted ] deal with these -- you know, he's talking about asia. he didn't even look at me. he was just kind of like, just, smoking and just sort of looking out and just like [ muted ]. i wish i had said more to him in that moment.
>> you know, tony hasn't been all right for a long time. >> the amount that he joked about the end of his life and he he's been chase that go shit forever. >> and the chips are stale. so depressed right now, i feel like killing myself. >> he's a [ muted ] runner. he ran for a long time. but you're not going to outsmart pain. >> i'm pretty sure that pole will support my body weight if i hang myself. >> i think in some regard he was going to write his end, which is what he did. if you look at his last instagram story, he played the title sequence music from the '70s film "violent city." if you've seen the film, you know the beginning is a series of paparazzi photos of this couple. i mean, it's a revenge film. it's about this woman who
betrays him and him seeking revenge. ♪ ♪ >> i mean, it's all there. >> i'm very cautious to be like, he blamed the woman for like -- or blamed the lover, or blamed the husband. you know, tony killed himself. tony did it. my brother committed suicide. i think if somebody else had been in his room, it might have been a murder instead a suicide. he was just in explosive anger and this was the only way out. >> when you choose to hang yourself, it's a torture,
self-imposed torture. >> if he was [ muted ] drunk, it would be a lot easier to understand. the toxicology report said he was clean and sober. i think it was a clear decision. >> it was a momentary lapse. and i don't think he weighed the pros and cons. he had just made it through that night, you know. >> we were trying so hard to understand because we think if we can understand it then we'll be okay with it. and the fact of the matter is, no. i don't think we get to know. i don't think we get to know. that's tough. >> well, i don't know where he is right now. he let me me down.
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god. >> it's like, i haven't cut my hair since he died. i -- i just miss him. >> i miss a friend. a dear friend. i think about a lot of happy moments we had together. mostly, yeah. >> i was in vietnam on that beautiful day. i looked at my phone and there was the news. and that's when i decided to move to vietnam for good. that was, not even a thought. it was the door opened and i had to start doing something new.
>> i was listening to this record that brought me to tears thinking of him and both my kids sort of embraced me. my son, he's like, how did tony die? and i was like, i, we don't know. right. about 20 seconds pass and he looked at me and he's like i really would like to know how tony died. i have like this hour-long conversation about tony to my f-ing 7-year-old kid and i said i think tony at the end felt alone and felt he couldn't talk to anybody about the pain that was going on inside of him. and i said you know you always have someone to turn to and talk to, that's the lesson in it for me.
>> when i get angry is when i think about leaving behind a brilliant daughter, you know, he would have loved to be around now to see her now. he would be so proud of her. >> i am so lucky that she is the best daughter i could hope for. and i would always be grateful that, you know, tony gave her to me. you know. i mean, i think this is the last time i'll ever talk about it because that's not the way i want to remember him, i want to remember when we were together the amazing things we had done and the person that he was.
>> after tony died, the restaurant just became this shrine. we didn't realize he meant so much to so many people. you inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and fearlessly immerse myself in the richness of life. advocate for the working classes, the immigrants, the poor, this world doesn't deserve you. and then a few people left phones, one said everyone forgets -- i believe he was not feeling as he felt but just coming to the end of his triumph.
>> you know, i was an angry young man. i -- i forget what i was angry about, especially looking at this. what the hell was i so angry about? this was, you know, paradise . >> sorry -- can i say something? to have him walking down the beach, it resonates, i go, as i was up stairs using the restroom. i was like -- oh, i hate that.
going out in a blaze of glory was so f-ing lame, but we live in this society where every great artist who kills themselves is on murals and talked about like gods. >> tony's on murals. i've seen a couple of them. >> i should go deface them. he would love it if i did that. ♪ ♪ throw everything away ♪ ♪ you think it would be replaced ♪ ♪ black and blue is the best i can do ♪ ♪ ♪