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Martin Scorsese on Film Restoration, The Actors Studio, Eva Longoria

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2023 2:30 pm

Martin Scorsese on Film Restoration, The Actors Studio, Eva Longoria

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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March 12, 2023 2:30 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, Ben Tracy talks with filmmaker Martin Scorsese about the importance of film restoration and preservation. Plus: Ben Mankiewicz talks with Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn about the History and legacy of the Actors Studio. Rita Waters visits John Waters, whose art collection is on display in Baltimore; Tracy Smith looks back on the classic comedy “Some Like It Hot,” and meets the cast of the Broadway musical it has inspired; and Lee Cowan profiles actress and director Eva Longoria.

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Hey, Prime members. You can listen to CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the app today. Follow Money Watch wherever you get your podcasts.

You can listen ad-free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. Hi, I'm Lindsey Graham, host of the Wondery show Business Movers. In our latest series, an intrepid lawyer turned fast food executive named George Cohan creates an ingenious and wily scheme to sell Big Macs behind the Iron Curtain in the middle of the Cold War. Listen to Business Movers The McDonald's Invasion on Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. Good morning.

I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning. It's Oscars big night as the best in filmmaking takes center stage at tonight's 95th Academy Awards. But as our newest movies are celebrated, Hollywood's rich history is endangered. The problem is the film itself.

Early stocks were highly flammable and disintegrated over time. Most films from the silent era are lost forever. Modern movies are safer but come with their own issues, namely fading colors. But there are people working to save these priceless treasures, among them legendary director Martin Scorsese. Ben Tracy examines the quest to preserve and restore our celluloid classics. The first movie I can remember seeing by title. Martin Scorsese loves movies so much he once sent a list to every studio of the films they needed to preserve.

The first thing I had to do was to let them understand that this is precious and it goes beyond them. There needed to be a program in place. And so he and his director friends started one.

Now it suddenly comes to life. Making sure Hollywood's history has a future coming up on Sunday Morning. On a night when the craft of acting is in the spotlight, Ben Mankiewicz will be speaking with two of Hollywood's biggest stars, Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn, as they help mark the 75th anniversary of the famed Actors Studio. It was after a middle school play when Al Pacino found himself compared to a legend. This guy came over to me and he said, hey kid, you're going to be the next Marlon Brando. And I said, who's Marlon Brando?

Pacino and Brando are connected in The Godfather and as members of the Actors Studio. Another Oscar winner, Ellen Burstyn, says the studio revolutionized acting in Hollywood. It transformed me as an actress, but also as a person.

The story later on Sunday Morning. It's a tall order, transforming a beloved movie into a successful Broadway musical. Tracy Smith looks at the reinvention of a comedy classic. It's been called the best comedy film of all time. And now Some Like It Hot is an all-singing, all-dancing Broadway extravaganza.

But they're doing it their way. People who think they know the movie come in and all of a sudden we've created a whole different world. On stage and on screen. A story that never seems to get old.

Ahead on Sunday morning. Lee Cowan profiles actor and director Eva Longoria, now turning her attention to Mexico's rich culinary heritage. Josh Seftel talks with his mom about getting an Academy Award nomination. A story from Steve Hartman. And more. We're all about the Oscars this Sunday morning, March 12th, 2023.

Curtain going up after this. Meet Jill Evans. Jill's got it all.

A big house, fast car, two kids and a great career. But Jill has a problem. When it comes to love, Jill can never seem to get things right. And then along comes Dean. I can't believe my luck.

I've hit the jackpot. It looks like they're going to live happily ever after. But on Halloween night, things get a little gruesome. This is where the shooting happened outside a building society in New Romney.

It's thought the 42 year old victim was killed after he opened fire on police. And Jill's life is changed forever. From wondery and novel comes Stolen Hearts. A story about a cop who falls in love with a man who is not all he seems to be. I'm Kerry Godliman.

Follow Stolen Hearts on Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen early and ad free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery app. . Director Martin Scorsese's illustrious career includes some of the greatest movies of the last half century. And he has an Oscar to prove that. But he has another legacy that's almost equally important as Ben Tracy explains. Martin Scorsese's meticulous and unsparing approach to filmmaking.

If we wanted something, we just took it. Has made him one of the most acclaimed directors of all time. You can see the difference clearly here.

And in his New York screening room, it was quite clear that he's not just passionate about movie making, but also movie caretaking. Here, you see, now it suddenly comes to life. It's like having a cataract removed or something like that.

Exactly, which I've had done. It's a restored version of 1955's East of Eden starring James Dean. The actors come to life when their faces can be really perceived properly.

And if you look like James Dean, you want to see your face. This is just one of the more than 950 films restored with the support of the Film Foundation, which has been essential to preserving cinematic history. It partners with studios and archives to ensure that everything from classic foreign films to Marilyn Monroe's final performance once again look like they did when they were first shot.

The foundation was started by Scorsese in 1990 with a little help from his friends. Spielberg, Francis Coppola, we got Stanley Kubrick, but the key figure was George Lucas. Like the plot of many a Tinseltown thriller, Scorsese and his fellow directors realized the threat to the film industry was coming from inside the house. It was film itself. The earliest stock, nitrate film, was highly flammable and could decompose with age. That's a big reason why up to 75% of all silent films have been lost. Its successor, acetate film, was safer but had its own issues.

And like many a career in Hollywood, it lacked staying power. By the early 70s, it was decreed that every film had to be made in color. And just at that point in which color became so important, the negative stock became weaker and within six years, whatever prints we could find were faded. And it just seemed crazy. I had to do everything in color and now the color doesn't last? Not only doesn't last up to 20 years, six years? Oh, come on.

Scorsese's fear of fading color was partly why he shot his now classic 1980 film Raging Bull in black and white. That same year, he fired off an urgent letter to filmmakers saying, everything we're doing right now means absolutely nothing. It was an angry letter. It was kind of, I guess, overly enthusiastic. But I wanted to get the attention. You were basically putting folks on notice. We got a problem here.

We got a real problem here and what we should do is force them to deal with this. Scorsese led a campaign to convince Eastman Kodak to develop a more stable film stock and then focused on the studios, worried Hollywood's history was vanishing. The most important thing was being overlooked and those were the films in their vaults.

Saving them wasn't necessarily the biggest priority. Andrea Callas oversees the archive at Paramount Pictures, our sister company. In the early 80s, Scorsese presented the major studios with detailed lists of the films they should preserve. His encyclopedic knowledge of film is literally unparalleled. Have you seen the Paramount list?

I have, yeah. It's amazing that he was able to do that, right? To just sit down with the incredible output of every studio and just go, yep, no, yep, no, yep, no. It's an important list and it's one that's shared with us that helps guide our preservation program, among other things. Callas was brought on to expand Paramount's preservation effort. They've now restored more than 1,500 films, stored at 28 degrees in this state-of-the-art vault. These films are the source material for each new technology that's come along, from DVDs to 4K streaming.

That's nice. You're seeing a lot more detail. Even movies you might not consider that old, such as 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off, already need some work. Paramount recently partnered with the Film Foundation to present some of the restored films from its library. Callas says the foundation has been essential in making sure Hollywood preserves its film past.

We always have before and afters in restorations, you know, it looked like crap and now it looks great. Same thing with film preservation, before the Film Foundation and after is really dramatic. It's been that impactful.

It's that impactful, absolutely. Footloose, Saving Private Ryan. The Film Foundation also works with institutions like the Film Archive at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the folks that hand out the Oscars. The Academy wanted to put its skin into the game, to be a part of that movement to start taking care of films in need of restoration. Mike Porgorzelski is director of the archive. The image has literally just melted away. He says film preservation is not just about caring for Oscar winners, but lesser known films too, including the 1943 film, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, a Technicolor Marvel and Scorsese favorite.

Then Mr. Candy, you are Livingston, I presume? Restoring it was a labor of love. It was extremely complicated because of the fact that there was actually mold spores growing on the film itself, an absolutely monumental task that no archive could have taken on by itself without the Film Foundation's support. One of the Academy Archive's longest running projects was a digital restoration with a criterion collection of acclaimed Indian filmmaker Satyajit Rai's Apu trilogy.

Its negatives were severely damaged in a nitrate fire. The conservation effort moved from taking care of these deteriorating originals to suddenly scouring the world, looking for any surviving film elements so that they could basically be pieced together, almost like a jigsaw puzzle. In a lot of ways, the Apu trilogy looked better in the 2000s than it did in the 1950s when the films were brand new. What is it like when you sit in a screening room and you see one of these fully restored? It is an amazing experience. Being able to carry movies like this into the future is one of the greatest and most meaningful parts of what we do here.

This is an Italian poster of the first movie I can remember seeing by title. And Martin Scorsese, who has been called the patron saint of film preservation, is likely to be remembered not only for the films he's made, but also for the many he's helped save. How important is this part of your legacy to you?

I always thought it was more important. I guess I was more of a teacher than a filmmaker. I particularly enjoy younger people seeing these films and whether their reaction is, I reject it completely, I hate it, or they become inspired and make some beautiful works of art that enrich the lives of the whole world.

This is what we're here for, to enrich each other's lives through art. It's considered one of the greatest movie comedies of all time. Now, Some Like It Hot is a hit on Broadway. Tracy Smith finds that what's old really can be new again.

You could say the movie has legs. In Some Like It Hot, I understand you're looking for a couple of girl musicians. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Where do you think you're going?

Urbana. Play two musicians on the run from the mob who disguise themselves as women. My name is Josephine.

I'm Daphne. And wind up making Hollywood history. Up the daisy, fresh. The film came out in 1959. It's Oscar night in Hollywood. And 63 Oscar nights ago, it was up for six awards. Jack Lemmon was nominated for impersonating a girl. I remember when he used to get arrested for that. But Some Like It Hot did more than just make an audience laugh.

How do they walk in these things? You might not know that director Billy Wilder is said to have practically pushed the two men into the ladies room to see if they could pass for the real thing. This is from me to you, dawg.

They did. Or that Tony Curtis would need to ice his feet every night after a day spent in high heels. I'm Sugar Cane. Hi. Sugar Cane?

Yeah, I changed. It used to be a sugar kvolchik. Or that Marilyn Monroe, as Sugar Cane, was pregnant during filming and delayed production with her chronic lateness.

Josephine, yoo-hoo! But it was a triumph anyway, says UT Austin film professor Noah Eisenberg. How was Some Like It Hot received back in 1959? The critical praise for this film was extraordinary. It was, you know, along the lines of run, don't walk to get to the theater to see this movie. Of course, not everyone ran to see it. Some Like It Hot landed on the National Legion of Decency's list of morally objectionable films. But now it's on other lists, like number one on the American Film Institute's 100 best comedies of all time.

And it's still as funny now as it was then. Hooray! Hi, Jerry. Osgood proposed to me.

We're planning a June wedding. This scene with the maracas in the hotel room, they had to time it so the jokes didn't get drowned out by laughter. You think he's too old for me? Jerry, you can't be serious. Why not? He keeps marrying girls all the time. That's why he put the maracas in. For precisely that purpose.

You need to be able to time how long approximately it's going to take an audience to finish their belly laugh so they can get to the next one. But you're not a girl, you're a guy. And why would a guy want to marry a guy?

Security. But beyond comedy, it was a film about reinvention, made mostly by people who had reinvented themselves. Marilyn Monroe was once Norma Jean Mortensen. Bernie Schwartz became Tony Curtis. And now the film itself has been reinvented on Broadway. The bones are the same, but it's definitely not just a rehash of the original, says director Casey Nicholaw.

I think the thing that made the movie special and that people loved is you were seeing these two movie stars dressed as women. And that was funny to people. And it's not, it doesn't fly now. And I don't want to see it now.

And I'm not really interested in doing that now, you know? But I think the discovery of these guys, while they have to do that to get away from the law, is what makes our show different. So if you can boil it down, what's the message? Well, the message is basically self-love and everyone being nice to each other. And here, just as in the movie, the musical score is crucial.

Adriana Hicks is Sugar Cane. I mean, you're taking over the role that was created by Marilyn Monroe. Were you a little intimidated? I was starting out because I didn't know what was going to be asked of me, especially being a black woman portraying an iconic white woman, you know?

So when you're coming into work every day, do you still get that seeing the marquee? It doesn't get old. Opening the stage door never gets old. Christian Borle and Jay Harrison Gee are in the Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon roles, and it's a workout for them every night. As the undertaker starts his spiel Please remind him we're a package deal The show is one dance number after another.

There's jumping, there's flipping, there's falling, there's chasing. And that's both a challenge and a welcome change for a cast who had to wait for this moment through the pandemic. And we did it! You know, we were all traumatized for years not being able to be on stage. So to be back and see those faces and see them laughing and see them happy, that's why we do it.

That and the money, you know? Jay Harrison Gee, who identifies as non-binary, sees his role as Daphne as his ministry, and his calling is to open minds. He points to a comment from a man in the audience overheard by one of the crew. And he said he was sitting next to this man and he was with some woman, and I did my song in Act 2. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

They applaud it and the man just turned to the lady and goes, I need to treat my son better. That's my ministry. That's why I do what I do.

I don't care about a review and a paper and a thing. It's reaching the hearts of the people sitting in those seats and you think just a little differently than when you came in the theater. It certainly is delightful having young blood around here. Personally, I'm type O. The movie and the Broadway show couldn't be more different.

A bunch of us girls are going to go for a swim. You want to come along? But in some ways, they both feel the same. Sugar, come on, let's play ball. Professor Noah Eisenberg. To see Jack Lemmon really becoming quite comfortable as Daphne. Yes, he embraces his inner Daphne toward the end.

And in fact, Harrison Gee who plays Daphne on stage says, all of us, we all have a Daphne inside us. It's an extraordinary performance. Osgood, I'm going to level with you.

We can't get married at all. And talk about extraordinary. The famous last line in the movie was just a placeholder until they came up with something better.

But Wilder kept it in after test audiences went wild. You don't understand, Osgood. I'm a man.

Well, nobody's perfect. Sometimes in Hollywood and on Broadway, you just never know what's going to be hot. She's a presenter at tonight's Oscars who's worn any number of hats.

Director, producer, actor. She's even been a desperate housewife. Now Eva Longoria is a host of a new TV series on the cuisine of Mexico.

Lee Cowan serves up our Sunday profile. People think Mexico's just about tacos and tequila. And today we're going to have tacos and tequila.

When Eva Longoria invited us over to her Beverly Hills home for lunch, we assumed it was just that, lunch. But she also served up a bit of culinary history too. You know, Mexican cuisine is the only cuisine in its entirety protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage treasure.

Is that right? Yeah, corn, beans, chile, chocolate, vanilla, avocado. And of course, tequila. We're not going to get too drunk so your producers don't get scared. That's a ranch water cocktail, a drink Mosse was born in Texas.

Face that, that's for you. While that noodle dish, Fideo, is thoroughly Mexican, a bicultural menu just like Longoria herself. When I'm in the United States, I'm, oh, you're Mexican. And when I go to Mexico, they go, oh, the American.

I'm like, wait, well, yeah, I'm both. I'm 100% Mexican and 100% American at the same time. She was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, but her Mexican roots date back some 13 generations when the King of Spain, she says, granted her ancestors some land in what is now South Texas. We still have it.

We still have that land. If you look at an older map, it says Longoria Road. Longoria now spends about half her time living in Mexico with her husband and four-year-old son. You have to come here when you're in Mexico City. So when Stanley Tucci of CNN's Searching for Italy fame approached Longoria about doing her own international food series, she knew right where to go.

The people here are so secure in who they are and where they come from. Searching for Mexico, out later this month on CNN, is just as expansive and informative as its Italian counterpart. Wow. This cooked onions in the grease that's falling from the pork. It's amazing.

It's like a game changer. But she also hopes the series will offer a deeper message about valuing the often overlooked contributions of Latinos and Hispanics in general. Mexico! Mexico! This is the Academy Award Room. That's in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Screenplay, directing, best film, best movie. E.T.

's over here. Where she was quick to point out that in the acting categories, there's only been a handful of Latina winners. Latinos are 23% of the box office tickets sold. Do I think we should be more than 5% in characters on film? Yes. You know?

So, yeah, is it frustrating? Absolutely. It's easy to forget the role that made her famous, on ABC's Desperate Housewives, was really a big step toward diversity. Welcome to the neighborhood. Well, I am Gabrielle Solis.

Would it be better if we came back at another time? There weren't a lot of Latinas on network television back then, but her character, Gabby Solis, became a sassy, sultry superstar. This table is hand-carved. Carlos had it imported from Italy.

It cost him $23,000. You want to do it on the table this time? Absolutely. I quickly realized I was going to have a platform or a voice, and my mentor, Dolores Huerta, is the one that actually told me that. She said, one day you're going to have a voice, so you better have something to say. Down with racism! A model!

Down with sexism! A model! That's Dolores Huerta, who spent most of her life fighting for the rights of Latinos. Longoria had similar passions, but she didn't want people to listen just because she was a celebrity.

This is a movement, people! She wanted them to listen because she actually knew what she was talking about. This machine got me through my masters. Yes, she said, masters, as in degree.

She got it going to night school at Cal State Northridge while still filming Desperate Housewives. What did the other students think? They obviously knew who you were.

They were so generous with me. I mean, the big reason I wanted to get my masters was to better understand where we came from so I could help my community go to where they needed to be. In 2013, she graduated with that masters. In Chicano Studies. It was born from a derogatory term for a community that was seen as less than. And during the civil rights movement, we reclaimed it, and we said, you know what? We are. I am. I am a Chicano.

I am a Chicana. And action! When she began directing, she could cast Latino actors and hire Latino crews and do stories about Latinos themselves. This is the Cheeto factory that we built. Action!

Like her first feature film, Out in June. Ow, ow, ow, burn! Burns good or burns bad?

It burns good. It's called Flamin' Hot, a film based on the story of Richard Montanez, a Mexican-American factory worker at Frito-Lay, who claims his blend of homemade spices was the basis for the Flamin' Hot Cheeto. I felt in my bones nobody else could direct this movie. I felt that in my bones.

By all accounts, Montanez was a gifted marketer of Hispanic products. In fact, PepsiCo, which owns Frito-Lay, said he did help launch Flamin' Hot Cheetos, but the company also said we do not credit the product creation to him and him alone. Did that give you pause? No. You know, we never set out to do the history of the Cheeto. There's a lot of people in his life that said, no, no, no, ideas don't come from people like you, you know.

No, no, that opportunity is not for somebody like you. I've felt that. And she's using her name to make sure no one else feels that way. The evil Longoria who worked at Wendy's flipping burgers, she needed a tax break.

But the evil Longoria who works on movie sets does not. She's campaigned for both President Obama and Biden. And in 2014, she co-founded a political action committee. We're here with Latino Victory Project today, which increases Latino political power.

Have you gotten any pushback by being so politically active? Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. Yes. And I know you said you don't ever really want to run for office yourself.

Yeah, no. But with your platform and your education, why not? Here's the thing. The reality is you don't have to be a politician to be political.

And I think that's the biggest myth. People go, you should run for office so you can make a difference. I am making a difference. And it turns out she can make a pretty good cocktail, too. Thank you for lunch.

Thank you for coming over. It's amazing. Evil Longoria may have been a desperate housewife back on Wisteria Lane, but now she's desperate for change. And that's a road, she says, that never really ends. People always go, oh, my God, that show you did back then, that was amazing.

It must have been the highlight of your career. And I was like, yeah, but wait till you see what's coming. And they say, what's coming? I don't know. I don't know, but it's going to be good.

I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse. If the mark of a great school is the success of its graduates, then the Actors Studio is among the very best. Ben Mankiewicz speaks with Oscar winners Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn about its truly stellar history.

How am I going to play this guy? On this small stage in Los Angeles, maybe 20 feet from a seat bearing his name, Al Pacino tells me about one of his earliest movies. There's some chance you've seen it. I saw this film recently is why I can remember it. You feel like you've got to explain why you know the Godfather so well. Get rid of these.

For 25 years, I didn't look at it. Put your hand in your pocket like you have a gun. This scene with Pacino as Michael Corleone speaks volumes about Michael's mindset just hours after his father's been shot. He's cool, collected, yet capable of ruthlessness, all of it conveyed without saying a word. The secret is the giveaways when the guy is shaking and he just lights the cigarette, and he is aware enough to discover that he's not shaking. Michael's self-discovery is happening with the audience.

Yes, he's surprised, yes. Getting to that point is a process for Pacino, acting. I've got a hold on my angst. His craft. I preserve it. His passion. Because I need it. Is a constant education. I'm on the edge where I've got to be. How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice. You can't just walk in. So the same thing with the actor. There's one thing to have the desire, which is the most important, the appetite to do it. Pacino and generations of actors, directors, and writers began wetting that appetite here, inside this unassuming brick building of former church on the west side of Manhattan, the Actors Studio.

This was our place to go to, to have that feeling of belonging to something, that you were a part of something, that what you had chose to do with your life, which is so random and is so full of rejection, to have a place you could be accepted in and go to, you were somehow lifted by it. Consider the list of Actors Studio alumni. There's Paul Newman and James Dean, Sidney Poitier and Jane Fonda, Marilyn Monroe and James Baldwin, Jack Nicholson and Sally Field.

That's merely scratching the surface. The theater's up there. Al Pacino is the co-president of the Actors Studio with another Oscar winner, Ellen Burstyn. So what does this place mean to you?

Oh, God. It transformed me as an actress, but also as a person. That's Alia Kazan. Founded in 1947 by Alia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford, and Bobby Lewis, and for decades led by artistic director Lee Strasberg, the studio gives actors the freedom to take chances to experiment and allow creativity to blossom. At the heart of it all is an approach as famous as it is mysterious, the method. Is it fair to say that the method that actors learn here changed the business?

Revolutionized the business. It is a method of training the senses to respond to imaginary stimuli. It's Ellen Burstyn says to you how she perceives the method. I'm sure Harvey Keitel would tell you something different. Paul Newman would tell you something.

Everybody has their own approach to things, and they all can do it here. The method transformed acting in America. The New York theater crowd saw it first on Broadway in 1947. A Streetcar Named Desire announced the electrifying arrival of one man, Marlon Brando. Hey, Stella! Stella, you know, remember that scene? Well, if you isolate it, you will not see an actor. You will see a tornado. His performance changed everything.

It did. I would say he was the closest that I've ever seen to an acting genius. I just remember what Huey Long said, that every man's a king, and I'm the king around here, and don't you forget it. The method is many things to many people.

It's Daniel Day-Lewis staying in character when the cameras aren't rolling, Robert De Niro becoming a real cabbie to prepare for Taxi Driver, and Nicole Kidman remaining in character for five months on the Hulu show Nine Perfect Strangers. What the method is really about is truthful acting. Isaac Butler is the author of The Method, how the 20th century learned to act.

In that post-war moment, you have this younger, rebellious generation that needs a way of speaking the truth, and The Method was very, very attractive to that younger generation that was feeling oppressed by the kind of conformity of the late 40s, early 50s moment. Why won't anybody here tell me what's happened to him? I have a right to know if he's hurt, if he's been in an accident. I want to know if my husband is all right.

Your husband is dead, Mrs. Coburn. Lee Grant is a very good actor. Yeah, I mean, both Lee Grant and Poitier. That's actually my favorite scene in the movie. There's others that are more famous, but that, for my money, is the best acted scene in the whole movie. What strikes you about the performances in that scene? These two characters have a conflict that's playing out both internally and externally.

Would you leave me alone for a few minutes, please? Poitier's character needs to comfort this woman, he needs to get information out of this woman, but as a black man in the South, he's also got to protect himself in that moment. Meanwhile, Lee Grant's character is overwhelmed with emotion. She does not want to show it to him.

At the same time as a human being who's grieving, she needs comfort. And you see all of that conflict play out. I'll tell you, walking up these steps when you're going to audition is one of the most terrifying experiences you can have. To become a member of the Actors Studio, applicants must endure multiple auditions. Once they're in, they're members for life.

They pay no dues. But those auditions are grueling. Just ask Justin Marcel McManus. It took me two years, and just as soon as I got on the stage, I got it.

I was like, yeah, this is what I need, to have a safe space, to be around people who understand the work, all the legends who are here. You can feel it when you go up to the stage. That lights something inside of you.

Oscar-nominated actress Carol Kane has dazzled audiences in both drama and comedy. Liar! Liar! Get back, witch! I'm not a witch, I'm your wife! She's been a member for nearly 50 years. The thing that keeps coming into my mind over and over is permission to make mistakes.

It's really rare that there's an environment which allows you the freedom to make mistakes and not be judged. They don't call them classes at the studio. They're sessions where actors perform in front of other members who then assess the work. Pacino's first session was in front of the godfather of the actors' studio.

Lee Strasberg was the moderator. He looked at the card, and he saw in the card a guy named Al Pacino. Nobody ever called me Al Pacino because P-A-C-I-N-O, it's a silent C-H, and nobody knows that unless you know the language. You say, Pacini. I would have said Pacino. Pacino, yeah.

Pacino, and he pronounced it right, so I said, he's got my heart. For the first time in its 75-year history, the actors' studio lets Sunday Morning inside to document a session moderated by Ellen Burstyn with Justin Marcel McManus. I'm just trying to be better. I don't know.

And Leland Gant on stage. I never learned, so how could I teach you? The sessions have been shrouded in secrecy, never before captured by an outside camera. Can't use me as an excuse. You got to step up.

Until now. Justin, how did it go for you? It was successful.

What does that mean? I wanted to come in here, respect him, but also tell him how I felt. You kind of got what you came in for, and then what were you doing for the rest of the scene? Yeah. You kind of jumped the gun on yourself. When you come here, you just work.

Did you feel relaxed? You can work on whatever you want, and that's what I want. I want that freedom to just do anything. On TV or film, I'm going to get cast as the handsome black guy, but here I could be a woman.

I could be a dog, and it doesn't matter because I'm doing it for a reason. That's so nice to see you work, Justin. Thank you. You have a beautiful future ahead of you, I think.

Next 75 years. What's your sense of the future of this place? It is an essential service to actors, and I hope that the actors that have been trained by this generation will continue providing this service to the acting community because it's essential. There was something about the Actors Studio which brought me, I guess, I've arrived. I belong in this world doing this. This is my community. This is my community.

They've accepted me. Yeah, exactly. Among the nominees at tonight's Academy Awards, our own contributor, Josh Seftel, for his documentary short, Stranger at the Gate. And while we're rooting for him, Josh must await the judgment of the Motion Picture Academy, and of course, his mom. Wait a minute. I don't know if the phone will stay like that.

It really looks like it could fall over. Oh. What do you think about the Oscars? Do you like them? Yeah, I do, especially this year. How do you feel about this year's nominees so far?

To be honest with you, I've only seen, like, of the major films, Fablemen, and I want to see that one about the two Irishmen. Uh-huh. The short documentaries, I know a lot about. Uh-huh.

At least about one of them, which is yours. How did you find out that my film got nominated? The day that they were going to announce it, I had on my TV, and I was getting more nervous by the minute when they said short documentaries. One came up, and then another came up, and I said, this isn't looking good. And there you were. You were nominated, the fifth one.

Stranger at the Gate. Whoa! I was so happy for you, and I just wish there was somebody here that I could have screamed with. How many people have you told about it? Everybody, and nobody could believe it, not that you're not great.

There's these websites that tell you what your odds are of getting nominated, and the odds that we had were 100 to 1. Oh, my God. What's my film about? It's about how kindness overcomes hate. That's a good way to put it. The story is incredible.

It's almost hard to believe. What celebrities do you want me to talk to at the Oscars? Brad Pitt's pretty cute.

Do you have a message for him? Hi, from your mom. George Clooney. I really admire Meryl Streep. If you see Steven Spielberg, tell him that I had lunch with his mother at the Milky Way restaurant that she owned in LA.

He was quite a lady. Do you have any messages for Malala? She's our executive producer. I admire you, Malala, and thank you for supporting my son's film. Keep doing your good work, Malala.

Do you like saying the word Malala? Yeah, it's kind of nice. What advice do you have for me at the Oscars? Iron your shirt. Why do I not usually iron it?

Yes, you don't usually iron it. Just know whether or not you do or don't win doesn't change how wonderful the film is, and it'll just be like a feather in your cap if you win, but you've already got the cap. What kind of cap is it? Baseball cap. Huh. Steve Hartman This Morning has a story that could be the stuff of movies. It's karaoke night inside the Sigma Kappa sorority house at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and here amongst all the dancing queens and their teens, we found one stationary sister in her 40s, Tiffany Eckert, America's most unlikely sorority sister.

In so many more ways than one. I still miss you every day. Tiffany's husband, Andy Eckert, died in the Iraq War.

This is his wedding ring. Years later, I did a story on their son, Miles, the little boy who found a $20 bill in a Cracker Barrel parking lot and then gave it away to an airman he saw in the restaurant. Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad. Miles' tribute to his father deeply touched the nation. But there was another story here, one that has gone untold until now. Just a few hours before my husband was killed, he called home from Iraq and he said, no matter how long it took, I had to get an education, and he made me promise that I would, and then he told me I love you more than anything in this world.

I'll call you tomorrow. It was the last promise she ever made to him, and the only one she hadn't kept. Tiffany says she barely made it through high school and now had little kids to raise on her own. College was out of the question.

But those kids grew up, so three years ago, she decided to not only enroll, but to immerse herself in the full college experience. You can't focus on the negative because you'll always be in the pit. It's easier to claw your way up when you're reaching for the sunshine.

That's how you get out of the hole. You know, she's helped me so much and she's inspired me a lot, and I know she's inspired a lot of the other girls in the chapter. There's definitely not one person she hasn't made an impact on.

Absolutely. Including, Tiffany hopes, the most important person. I go back to that last phone call, and I think he's really, really proud of me.

She graduates next month. Love you. Promise kept. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 16:07:02 / 2023-03-12 16:24:29 / 17

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