tv Charlie Rose PBS May 27, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT
. >> #01: welcome to the program. tonight an encore performance of bryan cranston, the actor from breaking bad now on broadway, in all the way. >> i think any actor who does broadway is the pinnacle of their career and i certainly had it on my bucket list to be able to do a broadway show. i mean, that was going to be very exciting for me if that was possible. the zeitgeist of breaking bad created such a fervor that i got a lot of attention and i was caught up in that maelstrom of energy and i thought, well, i have an opportunity now. >> this is the most important election of your lifetime and the choices couldn't be clearer. peace or war.
brotherhood or division. prosperity or poverty. a march into a black future or a retreat into a dark past. >> march into a bright future. >> it is all or nothing and every single one of you needs to go out there and fight for every single vote in every single part of this great country of ours. god bless you. >> bryan cranston for the hour next. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following. >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on
so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> well the first time i turned the corner on to this street and saw this with my name above the title on a broadway house -- >> yes. >> it stopped me cold. i couldn't move. i couldn't believe it. and to see this whole thing happening. >> an emotional moment.
>> oh, my god. because you have hopes and aspirations like something like this could happen but you you nr actually think it is going to, and it does and of course that one person, i want to pick up the phone and. >> you did. >> yes, it was with my wife and i called my wife and my daughter and i have got to show you a little picture and i took a picture of that and i sent it to her. >> and my wife is you're kidding and my life the is laughing and my daughter. >> and i am just the goofy guy that lives at home. >> rose: and you are seeing a guy above the marquee. >> in the hottest play on broadway. >> bryan cranston makes his broadway debut in acting as lyndon johnson. >> he is best known at walter white in the hit television series breaking bad. >> (sirens]
(sirens] >> outside the neal simon theatre in new york we couldn't help but run into some of his fans. >> >> is that good? >> come see the play. >> oh, we would like to but only here a day, but we will come back. >> come today! >> come today. come back! >> >> oh, thank you. nice to meet you. >> rose: we also went backstage. >> well, here is the entrance that we have going backstage. here we have some props over here i want to show you. here, his favorite. >> a little bit of cutting.
that's all we needed. hoover's favorite prop. >> uh-huh. >> and people don't get that lyndon johnson was the guy who put this stuff in the white house. >> he did. he did. and he told nixon he said you are going to need this because, you know, you are going to forget what people tell you in private so he considered a recorded phone call private. >> to make sure they tell you in person. >> and for his memoirs so he kind of planted that seed and nixon, said, i don't know. maybe you are right. wanted to show you something. >> oh, my goodness these are my little earlobes i have named them. this is called left. this is left and right. >> yes, i just, you know, put it with a little glue and i can't feel them. >> oh, that is good and something like that and it gives me an extra -- to just hang there. >> it is like someone -- like i was wearing heavy earrings, you
know. it is like, whoa. yeah. and now -- would you like to try them? >> this is the phone. >> yes. you know, remember these. >> rotary dial. >> yes. >> and these are the -- >> a number of hats. we have 20 different actors and we have like 38 different characters so people are taken on and off wigs all over the place and it is a madhouse back here during a show. >> hats are interesting because jack kennedy would never wear a hat and johnson wore a hat all the tie time. >> but it is a very dangerous think hinge for a president to wear any kind of hat. remember michael dukakis when he wore the helmet. >> he lost the election right there. exactly right. it doesn't belong. >> right. i remember on the campaign trail candidate obama was given a sombrero and he goes, put it on, put it on. >> well --
>> that is an election -- >> same thing. >> when had you done theatre before this, the last time. >> the last time i did two plays inbetween like a year and a half between the end of malcolm in the middle and the beginning of breaking bad. so any time i have -- >> rose: you are always anxious to get back if you find time in the schedule. >> yes. an if you get a play that resonates with you and makes sense and seems challenging, that's what you are looking for. >> rose: we sat down for an extended interview about this role and his career. >> so you finished breaking bad. you were on top of the world. why this? why lyndon johnson? on broadway for bryan cranston. >> well, i think any actor broadway is the pinnacle of their career and i certainly have it on my bucket list to be able to do a broadway show. that was going to be very
exciting for me if that was possible. the zeitgeist of breaking bad created such a fervor that i got a lot of attention and i was caught up in that maelstrom of energy and i thought well i have an opportunity now. so i knew that after 14 years of doing television, seven with malcolm in the middle and six with breaking bad that it was time to push away. it was time to step away from that ubiquitous nature of television and hide out, so to speak, in the theatre and do a play that was hopefully important, and a character that i can sink my teeth into and this was both of those things. >> rose: how much did you know about lyndon johnson other than the fact that during vietnam he was the president? you know, i think the interesting concept is that for
most people when they think of lyndon johnson they think of the failures of vietnam and that's his legacy and here we are in the 50th anniversary of the first year of his presidency and civil rights act. >> which this play is about. >> the first year of his presidency, and i think, i think it is credible and important to be able to revisit that legacy, not in a historical revisionist sort of way but to say what was the accomplishment that he actually -- >> there are people who think that vietnam is a scar buzz important for a kind of balancing of what he accomplished and extraordinary legislative achievements and the great society. >> i agree, i agree. i don't want to diminish the unfortunate condition of vietnam, even lyndon in my research, i was listening to some tapes many, many tapes from
conversations that he had and he is talking with dick russell his mentor and i am saying i just don't see how we can win this. why are we even there? we don't have any business there. and why would i send kids off there to die for what? you know, and he was lamenting the packet that there was no -- there is no rightful place for america to be involved in that war. and yet the escalation was certainly on his shoulders and he listened to his advisors and generals and robert mcnamara and pushed forward and i think my theory is i think it was his political hubris that did that, political hubris. >> yes. that he did not want to be known as the first president to lose a war. >> rose: he said that. >> yeah. >> he did not want to be
vulnerable to attacks by barry goldwater during the campaign of 64 that he was weak, soft on military, you know, and scared, have the red scare come in and be a factor in that election. >> he is an interesting guy, i know a lot of people think he is the most interesting president of the last, you know, after roosevelt, probably the most interesting guy at the office. >> i think so. just the largeness of the personality. >> unbelievable. >> i think it was bill moyers who said lyndon johnson is 11 of the most interesting people i have ever met. >> he is the full spectrum of emotion. you cannot assign any one adjective to lyndon johnson, you have to use all of them. he is mercurial and passionate and interesting and wallowing in
self-pity and brazen and funny and embracing and threatening and ferocious. i mean and you never knew what part of lyndon johnson you were going to be able to receive when you walked into his office. >> it probably depended on what his needs were. >> yes. absolutely. >> and his political acumen the flip side of the political hubris coin was unmatched since roosevelt. he knew everyone. everyone in the house of representatives, everyone in the senate, and he knew what those senators and congres congressmed for their own political base and needs and so he gave them, he worked hard to give them what they want sod he could get from them what he needed. >> rose: politics was a transaction. >> it was a beautiful thing in his words. he loved it. he loved it. he lived for it. >> rose: loved the game. >> loved it. it was brutal on him and it cost
him, blood, sweat and tears but i think that is the -- that's the difference. >> dick russell said he would rip your arm off and beat you over the head with it. >> with your own arm. yes, metaphorically and maybe literally too if it came to that. >> rose: when you began -- you talked about before as an actor how you kind of began 0 get inside a character, you know, and by the end of your process you are him. >> well. >> rose: tell me. >> in a way, yes. i mean, whenever an actor first starts a production, a play, a movie, whatever, the characters, the character is floating out there somewhere and the more research you do and the more you allow that character to be absorbed into your being, the more secure you feel, and it feels like there is a transitional period to where you got it and going and it comes
inside. from that point on, you hold on and you let that character live and when you read them source material or comment from the director or the writer about the text or your character, it then goes through that filter that you have created expit either, and it either sits well or not and night after night i am trying something new. >> rose: really. >> oh, yes, absolutely. >> rose: give me an example of that thrmplets is a passage in the play where i am manipulating hoover. >> rose: yes. j edgar hoover. >> played brilliantly by michael mckeen and i just got off the phone with the senator, the governor from mississippi, whose name also was johnson and he is not doing anything about looking for these three boys, the three boys who were in freedom summer and i convince the governor that i'm going to send the fbi down
there. oh, no, no, no, it's better than sending down the federal marshals and u.s. army, ain't it? okay, okay, okay. and i tell hoover, the governor wants the fbi to look into these kids, and it is like so you are manipulating all the time. and hoover says, well, i would be happy to, mr. president, but we don't have jurisdiction, we have a jurisdictional problem. >> no, i talked to bobby about that and he said we have got the lindbergh statute on our side. >> well, it occurred to me, i was probably lying about that too, so last night or the night before i just said no, i talked to bobby about that and i indicated to my walter jenkins, i go no, i talked to bobby about that, indicating i have no idea what i talked to him about if i did, and it just got a laugh so -- >> rose: so this is a great -- >> yes. you are constantly allowing it to stay alive, you know. i don't think i ever really want it to set in concrete to where no matter what happens, no
matter what audience you have at any given time you are doing the same performance night after night. with the same words but a different feeling to it. sometimes people talk about actors may give a different performance because they are feeling different that night. >> very true. yes. i mean, i think it is important to be honest about that and if you are not feeling well, you may have to augment your natural performance and maybe play it under a little bit, hopefully with the same intensity or the same intention at those places but maybe not with the same volume or -- >> what does the audience do for you? >> oh, it is wonderful to be able to feel the immediate response, even subtle gasps or pushbacks in their seat when they are offended by something, you feel it, you know. and sometimes yo you go in for e
jugular the as he would if he sensed blood in the water. >> rose: he you would could sense blood in the water. he knew if you were weak he had you. >> yes. >> rose: and what you needed and wanted and what you were h)red of. >> yes. and he fed into that. the there is this with lincoln. >> rose: there is this with lincoln in the great performance we saw with daniel day-lewis who won an award, he had photographs and history books, but you had -- very live multivolume biography. >> yes. >> rose: you had audio recordings. >> yes. >> rose: you had people that knew him. >> right. >> rose: you had video of him in action making speeches as you make. >> so there is no excuse for me to be bad. is that what -- that is that where you are going? >> rose: i mean this is a piece of cake. >> oh, please. >> rose: come on. >> but there was this, he was my whieght, six-three, six-4 and
you are less than that. >> yes. i am just at six. probably a little less than that now. >> rose: they don't even sense, but they sense the towering presence of him, how did you come up with the idea of being able to suggest that lyndon johnson physically powered over these people? >> three-inch lifts is how i do it. i have shoes that i have lifts in and i tell you, i want to tell you a secret, last night i had another conversation with our -- the head of ward, wardrobe, jessica and i said i want you to go into every one's wardrobe and grab their shoes and take the heels of their shoes down another inch. don't even tell them and i was serious. take them down, because the johnson treatment was, that was a big part of it he used his size and girth to be able to intimidate and he invaded their space and he was like this.
and he would bend people backwards and famous photograph of the senator from rhode island, yes in is leaning back, he leans forward, and it could be in a good way, laughing and smile or poking the chest. yes. but it is helpful to have all of that material it is and i don't have his girth either and he was always battling his weight and had terrible eating habits and it just wasn't important to him eating was sustenance, police and politics, i have so i have two-inch lifts that get me close but i have heighten i have with you when i saw you get in, it is like, damn you, you and your six-foot, three, frame i wish i had that. >> and i wish i had your talent so -- >> . it is a trade-off, i also have some prosthetic earlobes that are droopy like a dog, so i put on these earlobes that give me
about an extra inch, you know, every inch matters. >> wouldn't you love to have a conversation with him now that you had a chance to do this play. >> and what would you ask. >> hmm. well i think the most important thing, i would probably ask something that no one else would ask him. >> that i would think no one else would ask him, and that would be something like a childhood memory. yes, i would want to get into say, what was your -- what is your first pet? what is your first -- what was your first, you know, thing you ever really got so excited about? >> rose: that is such a good instinct i used to be the producer for bill moyers and we went to do an interview with jimmy carter when he just, just had gotten the nomination in and the campaign hadn't really started. and bill and i talk about it and
bill asked him about first memories of growing up. >> yes. >> rose: and playing and this was almost like candidate carter went back and he was back in that time and place and so then the emotional charge of the interview was elevated because he had engaged the interview. it wasn't just a political interview. it was -- this is where i came from. >> yes. >> rose: and your instinct. the thing i would love to explore with him is the notion of where his fear was, where was his fear? you know and where where was his vulnerability? and we know of the connection to his mother and those kind of things which would give you some sense of how much, you know, the balance was between insecurity and overconfidence. >> his mother rebecca, who he admired and loved, but was also very strict for the time, she was the disciplinarian and a
tough one of the family, and there were times when she would withhold affection from young lyndon if she was displeased with his behavior or grades or whatever the case may be, and would almost be like he is not in the room. it is just like he is invisible. i don't hear him, i don't see him and to a young boy that created such an emptiness and an extreme desire to be loved and that is what i found to be the emotional core of lyndon johnson. >> rose: the need to be loved. >> the need to be loved. the need, the absolute -- the desperate desire to be loved. and the interesting thing is people say, you know, i didn't necessarily like him but i loved him. >> yeah. because i knew all of this
stuff, this the ends justify the means -- >> and that's what it is. his -- the end was so valuable and altruistic and important that the means that he got there were treacherous and unapologetic and he would just take your nose and rub it into your own fecal matter. he didn't care. oh, just oh, my god it was just unbelievable some of the things he did. >> rose: i think one said lbj was charming and funny and the true life of the party, violent and vile, cruel and utterly terrible. >> is there any link here between walter white and lyndon johnson? and in just strains of personality, one real, one fictional? >> walter is white -- no. lyndon johnson was real too.
>> rose: in the minds of many people walter white became real and perhaps in yours. >> well he was real to me. i mean, i can't -- i can't play someone unless you -- unless you make him true and honest to you. yes. there are similarities. i think both had created and allowed the incredible drive and ambition to be unleashed. >> rose: and the end justifies the means, the end justifies the means. >> and the end justifies the means. >> rose: do whatever -- >> it is for my family, it is for my family and lyndon johnson is for the betterment of the country, i am cutting your balls off for the betterment of the country. >> now you are gelded now but just think what you accomplished. it was necessary to protect the country. listen to this. i know you know this scene if i can make this happen. talking to his taylor. >> go ahead, sir. hello. >> -- >> yes this is joe.
joe, you are the one that makes clothes. >> yes, sir. >> you all made me some real lightweight slacks, just made up on his own and sent to me two or three months ago. it is kind of a light brown and a light green, rather soft green, soft brown. >> yes, sir. >> and real lightweight. now i need about six pairs for summer wear. do you recall. >> do you recall the exact size i want to make sure we get them right for you. >> no, i don't know. you guessed at them i think. don't you have the measurements there? >> we will find them for you. >> i can send you a pair. i ordered them harm inch larger in the waste than they were before but two or three inches stuck back in there so i can take them up. i have gained 15 pounds in the last month. >> all right, sir. >> so at least two and a half, three inches in the back so i can take them out or let them up
and half-inch bigger in the pocket and make the pockets an inch longer. my money and my knife and everything falls out. the pockets when you sit down in the chair, the knife and your money comes out so i need it at least another inch in the pockets. >> that will be fine. >> yes. now, another thing, the crotch down where your nuts hang, it always is a little too tight so when you make them up give me an inch i can let out there, because they cut me just like riding a wire fence. these are almost -- these are the best i have had anywhere in the united states, but when i gained a little weight they cut me under there, so believe me, you never do have much margin. see if you can't leave me a good inch from the zipper, where the zipper ends down under back to my bung hole so i can let it out if i need to. >> rose: there you go.
the president of the united states. talking. talking to his taylor. to at this, to his tailor you can tell he has been drinking and he is doing three, four, five things at one time, which he always did, and but he got involved in every little detail. >> yes. >> the measurement. he wanted an inch more, deeper of his pockets. >> so my nuts. >> it is like riding on a wire.e so my pocketknife doesn't fall out. here is the president of the united states carrying a pocketknife. you never know when i am going to have to whittle. >> i may need to cut this budget. this is what we are going to do. >> how did you get the voice. >> well, going down to the hill country helps a lot, and just being open to it and listening to it, you know, and of course there is the basic thing is
dropping the i and g, listenin, and figure-in -- >> so you have got the hard r of the midwest, which is different from the soft r of the south, you know, georgia and carolina, so it is a hard r, but with a twang to it, and gomna, and git, and do you do this on your own or through somebody that understands dialect. >> i did it on my own and then we have dialect-ician that helps, rebecca and helps pick apart words and takes this word and cutting it short when it needs to be drawled out so it really helps. >> just being open to it and listening. >> rose: yes. tell me about the satisfaction of being here, being on stage, having people, new people in the
audience every day and have a chance to mold it and shape it and find a way to change it one night if you want to. >> it is deeply gratifying. this is my joy. i love to act. i love to come to the theatre, so a day off is great forest, and. >> rose: you don't speak on the day off. >> i don't speak on monday. the thing is this is not a monday. it would be a bad interview. questions and no answers. >> yeah. that would be terrible. but i look forward to coming to the theatre. >> rose: when do you come? >> i am here disho. >> rose: for an evening performance if it is not an, if it is not a matinee. >> half an hour, usually people get here half an hour before the curtain and get into their costumes, quickly i am the first one here and i take my time. i put my own make-up on and my ears and do my hair and -- >> rose: have you done that
always. >> on this show, yes. and you know, in film and television you have people doing that for you. but you are there much earlier, because if i am walter white i am usually in the make-up and hair chair either 5:30, 6:00 o'clock in the morning every morning, and i sit there. >> rose: fix 30, or 6:00. >> those are my hours. i know, i knows. >> rose: those are my hours. we also have good things happen later in life. you were 51 before you started. >> yeah. >> 50 when we were breaking bad and turned 40 when i was doing malcolm in the middle and i think it helped. you know, i know that this business owes me nothing and this life owes me nothing, everything that you are able to achieve, it is a gift and i never forget that. i know that there are careers, acting careers that sometimes go
nowhere, but i have no idea why this happened to me, i love it and i am always involved in it, but there is a tremendous amount of luck that is necessary to have a successful career. >> rose: does -- change things. >> oh, it does. >> rose: how so. >> in many good ways and in many not so good ways. i never sought game. i still don't seek game. it is a by-product of what i love to do the good things. well, first of all, financial security. >> rose: right. >> i never have to work another day in my life but i don't work for money anyway. i have people who are incentivized to have earned a good living and so i trust them, and also, i don't even know what i am making doing this play. >> rose: you really don't. >> i know the ballpark and talking about it. >> rose: you never read your contract. >> no, i don't read the contracts,.
>> rose:. >> my agent -- >> rose: i feel bad. >> i say to my agents are you happy and if they go well i think we can get more, then try to get more, i don't want to sound like oh, no, i don't need money, money is great, i have had none and having it is much better but it is not what motivates me. there was a time in your life when you like to go out and observe, to the mall, for example i am told and just see how people are and see how they react get a sense of things that might play, might be tools to use in your performance. >> that is an actor's job, observing human behavior. i tell young actors if you are bored ever, you are not doing enough work. >> rose: exactly. >> you have to go out there and do work. what can i do if i am not actually acting? work, work, work. i said you can go to an airport or a restaurant or a mall or anyplace and you observe human
behavior and you take it in, you feel that couple is silently arguing, how fascinating to watch them not say a word but you know -- and watch the difference in men talking to men and women talking to women. >> yes. or a man and a woman, a man on the make with and some of the energy that changes or the flirtation that she may be showing or not, you know. >> rose: it is human behavior. >> it is all human behavior and no matter what the condition you can be working but the interesting thing about game and i was talking to david duchovny about this and he said a very interesting thing, he said, once the observer becomes the observed, your cover is money. you can't, because they have by thbehavior changes. >> that is exactly right. >> if i am recognized they change their behave consider and all bets are off so it makes it harder and harder to be able to do that and this is akin to that. somebody told me about a great
acting coach that asked a young actress to walk around and since they were thinking about walking it was a sense of being observed, you have a consciousness of being observed so their work would be effective and then ask them to think about something else, and once they ban thinking about something else, they didn't have the sense of being observed. >> yes. >> rose: because they were in that thought. >> yes. >> rose: and the walk would change. >> the walk became more natural. >> that's why when you go on stage you have to have a thought of what is my objective for this, you know, any given point what is just happening? what do i need to do? so that you are not thinking oh am i sitting? how am i -- you knee, otherwise you become self conscious about those things and not doing your work. >> rose: what are your dreams now? you, now we have seen breaking bad have all the success which i was lucky enough to be a part of, thank you very much. >> yes, you were. >> rose: in the final episode. >> next to final.
>> >> for us it always has been science first and -- >> would you go back, please. >> more of a -- >> exactly. >> this. >> it is crazy how things turned out. >> but just yesterday your charity, the ellen and schwartz announce add $28 million grant for butting drug abuse treatment centers throughout the southwest. charlie the southwest is our home and we couldn't just ignore what is going on in our own backyard. >> but i am sure there are people who suggest other motives. sorkin of "the new york times" wrote a column suggesting that the grant was a kind of publicity maneuver the shore up the stock price of gray matter technology because of your association with walter white. >> well, that is not exactly --
>> so to speak of having a methamphetamine kingpin as cofounder of your company. >> charlie, i am glad you brought that up. i have to believe that the investing public understafy we are talking about a person who was there early on, but who had virtually nothing to do with the creation of the company and was, and into growing it into what it was today. >> so what was walter white's contribution? >> you know, to be honest -- >> the company name. >> the company name. >> your appearance, i am telling you, your appearance gave credence and gave people a sense of well this is real. >> you know what i mean? >> it was great. >> thanks to you but the point was, this was so huge, breaking bad, i mean, i have never seen anything like it in terms of how people took note of the fact that somehow you were associated with breaking bad. >> obviously you understood that. >> so you look back on that experience and obviously it
shaped your life. >> i knew when i read that pilot script by vince gilligan there was something very special there. >> i knew it was special, but there is no way it was that good of a script, i it was terrific d relayed it to this man, i knew men like him who missed opportunities in their lives, and because functioning, still functioning, still loving to their family, still paying their bills, but there is something that died in the interior, and putting one step in front of the other. they are in a deep depression, and in doing some of the research i found that, you know, in broad strokes when people are in deep depression, there are two basic ways it manifests either externally or internally, either externally, that bossy, he screwed me, otherwise my life would be completely different
ready to fight and blame my ex-wife, just -- >> somebody else, somebody else's fault. >> yes. or it is me. and i missed it and i go -- i go into a shell and that was walter white. he went into a shell. he didn't care about his looks, he didn't care about his weight. hhe didn't care about his clothes. nothing mattered to him. he was invisible to himself and the world. this ironic diagnosis of terminal cancer was his get out of jail agree card. it exploded his emotions. >> rose: it gave him reason and purpose. >> to live. even if it is just for a short period of time. >> you are in over your head. that's what we tell them. that's the truth. >> it is not the truth. >> of course it is. >> a school teacher, cancer, desperate for money. >> unable to even quit. you told me that yourself, walt.
what was i thinking? walt, please. let's both of us stop trying to justify this whole thing and admit you are in danger. >> who are you talking to right now? who is it you think you see? >> do you know how much i make a year? even if i told you, you wouldn't believe it. do you know what would happen if i suddenly decided to stop going into work? a business big enough that could be listed on the nasdaq goes belly up, dispiers, it, disappears, it ceases to exist without me, you clearly don't know who you are talking to so let me clue you in, i am not in, i am not in danger, skylor, i am the danger, a i am the one who knocks. those last two years of his life were full and exciting and i don't think he would have traded
it, and he acknowledged it in the end. >> he acknowledged it in the end. >> i loved it. >> i loved it. >> it was for me. i was good at it. and that is the brilliance of vince's writing to have him confess to that hubris, to that ego, and it was a full -- you know, maturation, if you can say that, of that character, that he came to completely understand who he was and the evil that men do. >> rose: your father was one of those men. >> physically, just physically. >> yeah, i always felt that walter white was much older than he was chronologically, so i wanted to give him sloped shoulders and, you know, his posture was bad and he was overweight so i wanted to give him the weight tens, weightiness of a man, 25, 30 -- my
upbringing was a mess .. to be honest with you. it was a mess. it was like living two different lives. up until ten years old, it was a model life. >> rose: they were both there. >> they were both there. my dad was always one of our coaches in sports. taking us places, my mom was the -- the team mom and tupperware lady and pta and always making our costumes for halloween and active, active, active and then when they realized that they didn't want -- my dad didn't want to be with my mother anymore and split up it exploded, it wasn't like coming to an understanding, it exploded and their emotional immaturity damaged the rest of the structure and i didn't see my father for ten years. >> you didn't see him. >> no phone call, no nothing.
>> no. >> didn't see him. he had a breakdown. he was 408, late 40s. >> rose: was it about success? >> i think it was, i think it was about the lack of success, i think it was his frustration at not being, he was an actor and it was about his frustration of not being a star. >> he wanted to be a star. >> like a lot of people and he didn't handle it well when he was getting to be a certain age and i am sure there are complications that are much deeper than that i wasn't privy to and he is of a generation where revealing those inner thoughts, men would rather go to their grave, you know, than. >> rose: admit weakness. >> admit what they consider weakness. >> rose: which may not be a weakness. >> or to be able to say, i felt this and i was -- but he to this
day now and he is nearing 90. >> rose: after everything that has, after everything that has happened to you. >> regardless of the relationship, all of us want to say, i did okay, dad. >> yes. >> yeah. and he is extremely proud. he is extremely proud. and he has changed. as men do, tough old guard pugilistic kind of guys soften with age and he cries openly now and he is just -- >> rose: what is interesting about lyndon johnson, lyndon johnson who went back to the texas hill country after saying he would not run for another term starting smoking again. >> uh-huh. >> you get this from robert kara. >> yes. >> and knew he was nailing a nail into his coffin. what was that about? >> there was a certain amount of -- well, he was a great
prognosticator, he knew he was going to die -- >> he had two heart attacks all already. >> he had two heart attacks and he knew he was going to die of a heart attack and he did, 64 years old. >> rose: 64. >> yes. >> which is young. >> rose: young. >> please! >> but he knew he was going to die so it was like courting death. >> maybe that's why he thought, the hell with it, the hell with it, it is going to happen anyway. >> but had he run for reelection and won, in 1968, he would have died three days after his term would have ended, so he died in january of 1973. but if he were elected to a second term of presidency, i think he would have died in office and so did ladybird. ladybird thought, the stress, the amount of stress and the way -- the way vietnam was rolling out he just was not capable of
commanding that war. he was not able to know how to end that war. he was just. >> i mean you wonder whe when wt that meant to the country and it tore the country apart. >> unbelievable. >> rose: and how much he hated it because he had his drive was to do something about education and poverty and all of those things that roosevelt wanted to do, his great political mentor and he did. and he did. >> he accomplished those things. you would hope that somehow in a case like that somebody, for all of us, we are doing -- if we are on a place, we are at a place where we are doing the wrong things, whether it is destructive or not, you just think of philip seymour hoffman. >> addiction. >> his addiction was politics. he didn't read. he never read a book. he didn't go to the theatre, he didn't go to concerts, sporting
events. >> rose: he went to baseball only because it was to court richard russell. >> to watch him throw the ball out, a photo-op. >> the only books he read were biographies of presidents that he admired, maybe he gleaned something from that. he was a machine of politics, and he had true, good altruistic intentions. and he didn't care how he got there. he just wanted to get the end result and his accomplishments, domestically are unparalleled from roosevelt's -- >> rose: people who loved him loved him because he was larger than life but in the end they knew that however despicable he might be in terms of personality at the moment that his heart in the end was in the right place. >> he got things done which. >> rose: which brings me to the president obama comparison, you know, the consummate part of
the conversation, if only the real estate was more like lyndon johnson he would be able to do more with the republicans and the congress. >> well, i think that is unfair to, unfair to our president and so does he. >> well i think it is unfair to say why can't you be more like this man? he is his own man. i think there are two distinct differences that don't allow. >> the system to work as it did in johnson's day. one is our president's own past experience. he didn't have the years in the house of representatives and the senate that johnson had. johnson had 12 years in the house, 12 years in the senate, rose to the most powerful position in the senate before taking on the vice presidency. so he knew all the players. he knew everything about them, what they wanted. knew their wives, would be able
to break the ice and say, how is margaret? is she okay? i know she had a bad hip. >> well, thank you, mr. president. >> now listen we need to get that bill -- >> he just complimented my wife and now i have to help. so president obama has the experience that he has the experience. he doesn't -- he didn't have all of those years. the second thing is i don't think the temperament, the attitude i and the sensibility n johnson's days and this is just my opinion was this is politics. it is a horse trade. if you want to get something you really need and want to the betterment of the country it is going to cost you. >> rose: yes. >> now -- >> you do something for me. >> you do something for me. blood, sweat and tears to get that done. now, it is -- we are not going to even compliment the other side, and it is sort of a zero sum game.
if you succeed, i fail. >> yes. >> if i succeed you have to fail. >> and i think the wrong point of view is applied here. i think in johnson's day, the -- in that era, the intention was what is -- let's do something for the betterment of the country, now it is let's win. we are doing something to win for our side to win. is that best for the country? sometimes, many times it is not and so i think our president is unfortunate to be in this day and age to live in that kind of cesspool of attitude. >> rose: he knew the game but also he had majorities and he also had the fact that people wanted the country to do well after the tragic assassination of president kennedy. >> johnson knew he had that window of opportunity. >> rose: the other thing that is fascinating to me is the idea of bobby kennedy and here was a
guy with all that he had, became vice president and all of a sudden was diminished. >> lyndon johnson hated being vice president. >> yes. >> it was, compared to the, you know, the senate majority leader it was -- it was an impotent role. but so then why did he take it. >> well, i think that he got trounced by kennedy in the primaries, and he saw the hand rig on the wall. he thought my opportunity to get in to become president is limited by age. >> rose: right. >> this, you know, king author just came in, from camelot. >> it is like oh, my god, so he is going to be president for eight years. he is going to be president and he is going to be president for eight years. whoever his vice president is will have the inside track, pot necessarily guaranteed, but the inside track to be the next president for eight years, so if
i am going to get in i am looking 16 years down the road and i miss my window of opportunity so i think it was a calculated move on his part and said i have to bite the bullet, accept this vice president city, vice presidency and bring this with me and .. and bide my time and hopefully in eight years get the nod. >> that is why i want you to be the floor manager of this bill. >> floor manager. >> well, i assume the senate majority here -- >> old mike is a good man but i need someone more personable. people like you hubert. >> even dick russell licks you. >> really. >> yes. >> you know, i am under a lot of pressure to announce my running mate for the election. >> people tell me i should pick bobby kennedy but i am not sure of his loyalty. there was a time when him and the rest of his harvard blue blood would look down their nose hose to me like i was some kind
of country bumpkin. >> rose: here you are on this stage where was your ambition after this? what is it that bryan cranston wants to do or needs to do. >> rest. i do. >> i need to rest. yeah. i go pretty hard at it and it is so much fun. i am having a great time. but i think when this is over, when i -- when i finally leave the stage for the last time i am going to collapse. you know, your body had a tendency to hold on, hold on, hold on. it is a very physically demanding thing. it is an emotionally demanding thing. i love putting it all out there, but i think i just want to relax for a while and just let it rest. and see what happens next. >> rose: thank you for doing this. >> i so appreciate it. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: thank you.
>> i take you to school every day, dirty, ragged, hungry because most most of them haven't had any breakfast but they were so on fire to learn, they just, it just makes you feel good. >> and there would come a day where each and every one of them where i would see the light in their eyes die because they discovered the world hated them just because of the color of their 3kin. as a southerner i have had to bite my tongue on this issue. my entire life. until my mouth was full of blood. well not anymore. and what the hell is the point of being president if you can't do what you know is right. this ain't about the constitution. this is about those who got more wanting to hang on to what they got, at the expense of those who have got nothing. and feel good about it. uncle jake, he could talk about
this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and suze susie gharib brought to you by thestreet.com, risk is real with herb greenberg's reality check, researching stocks in terms of risk. you can learn more at thestreet.com/realitycheck. >> good evening, everyone. welcome to a special memorial day edition of "nightly business report." i'm tyler mathisen. >> and i'm susie gharib. today is a day to honor the men and women who died in the military serving our country but it's also marking the unofficial start of summer and all that goes with it. >> thoughts turn to vacations, new homes, barbecues. make no mistake, summer is a time for spending.