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Sofia Vergara, Greta Lee, Kate Cox Breaks her Silence About her Abortion Lawsuit in Texas

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
January 14, 2024 3:32 pm

Sofia Vergara, Greta Lee, Kate Cox Breaks her Silence About her Abortion Lawsuit in Texas

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 14, 2024 3:32 pm

Guest host: David Pogue. Tracy Smith sits down with Kate Cox for her first TV interview since the Texas Supreme Court ruled against her in her legal fight for an abortion; Also: Jonathan Vigliotti talks with actress Sofía Vergara, who transformed herself into a ruthless druglord for the Netflix series "Griselda"; Mo Rocca profiles actress Greta Lee, star of "Past Lives"; David Pogue meets the creatives behind the Broadway musical "How to Dance in Ohio," including autistic members of its cast; Robert Costa reports on Monday's Iowa caucuses; Lee Cowan visits the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo., whose newest resident is a Norwegian who's been dead for more than 30 years; and Faith Salie examines how a Vermont organization is recycling human urine as agricultural fertilizer.

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Visit audible.com slash wondery pod or text wondery pod to 500-500 to try Audible free for 30 days. Good morning. Jane Pauley is off this weekend.

I'm David Pogue, and this is Sunday Morning. In the year and a half since the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade, abortion has been front and center in the headlines almost daily. Less high profile are countless stories about how the court decision has impacted our lives, but one of those stories became very public not long ago after a woman sued Texas and then had to leave the state to end her troubled pregnancy. Kate Cox will be talking with our Tracy Smith.

It's so nice and quiet here, and it's hard to imagine that you guys were in the middle of this firestorm. It was heartbreaking. Kate Cox and her husband Justin were thrilled to be pregnant with their third child until they were given horrible news. That's when she told us the best we could have. A week.

A week for your baby to live. Later on Sunday morning, the very personal story behind a public debate. Sofia Vergara made us laugh in the sitcom Modern Family. Now she's playing a very different role, a ruthless real-life drug lord. She's talking with Jonathan Vigliati. It's a side of Sofia Vergara we haven't seen before.

She plays a drug kingpin in a world she was all too familiar with growing up. I know those people. I was surrounded by them. I know what they did.

I know what that kind of business can do to a family, to a person, to a country. Sofia Vergara and the story she needed to tell coming up on Sunday morning. Maraca sits down with Greta Lee, who has a breakout role in one of the year's most critically acclaimed films. I'll take you to Broadway for a preview of a groundbreaking new musical. And speaking of groundbreaking, Faith Salie tells us about the golden secret to a greener garden. And more this Sunday morning for the 14th of January, 2024.

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Savings accounts by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, member FDIC terms apply. You may recall Kate Cox, the Texas woman who made headlines when she sued the state for the right to have an abortion. Tracy Smith looks at how one couple's very personal ordeal has become a very public debate. So did you always want a big family? Yeah. How many kids? We argue about that. We both want a big family but I think what is your near number was like four?

That would be wonderful. Lifelong Texans Kate and Justin Cox were already parents to a young girl and boy when they found out last August that Kate was pregnant again. We have the two children that we absolutely adore and the thought of having the third one added to the family, it's incredible. But a series of tests revealed the baby that they were expecting, a girl, had trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder that causes severe developmental problems. According to a 2016 study, nine out of ten infants won't survive more than a year.

And for Kate and Justin's baby, the prognosis was even more grim. We asked how long we could have with our baby they thought, best case scenario. And she said she thought maybe a week. A week was the best case scenario. If she survived the pregnancy and the birth, that might be a week. And what that would mean as far as I didn't want to watch her suffer, it would be very hard. She would have had to be placed directly on to hospice. There's no treatment that could be done. Did you think your health, your life would be threatened if you went through with the birth?

Yes. We know a lot of the trisomy 18 babies don't survive birth. So I could lose her at any point in the pregnancy. There's risk of infection, risk of uterine rupture, and we want more children as well. So what does that mean for future pregnancies? The Coxes wanted to get an abortion, but in Texas, abortion is illegal. So Kate contacted the Center for Reproductive Rights, an attorney, Molly Duane.

She made it very clear that this is where her home was. She needed and wanted an abortion, and she wanted to be able to access it in her home community. I wanted to be here, close to home. I mean, it's the hardest thing I've been through. I wanted to come home, cry on my own pillow, hold my babies, be near my doctors. So I was really hopeful.

That's really what I thought about most going into this. Some of the people on this other side of the issue say, why not just have the baby naturally and whatever happens, happens? I want more babies. I talked with our doctors, and I didn't want her to suffer. I felt it was best for her, and I felt it was best for our family as well. We want to be able to have more babies.

We want to give siblings to our kids. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, 14 states, including Texas, have broadly banned abortion. The Texas law says there are exceptions for, quote, a life-threatening physical condition or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function. Did you think that Kate's case fell under that exception? Yes, and so did her doctor, right?

The problem is no one knows what that means. Major bodily function? What about a minor bodily function? Surely fertility would count as a major bodily function, but there's no clarity about this. In 2021, the year before the bans, there were more than 50,000 abortions performed in Texas.

Last year, there were just 40. The penalties Texas doctors face for performing an abortion are high. Fines of at least $100,000 and up to 99 years in prison, and there's more. Anyone who provides an abortion or aids or abets in the provision of an abortion is potentially liable for at least a $10,000 fine that can be filed by anyone in the world.

So if Justin drove Kate to the doctor's office for the abortion procedure, then he has aided or abetted. He could be liable for $10,000. At least $10,000. At least $10,000.

Correct. So far, no private citizen has successfully sued another for aiding an abortion, but the Coxes and their doctor didn't want to risk prosecution, so in December, when Kate was 20 weeks pregnant, they sued the state of Texas. We were asking for a court order to say Kate can get an abortion in Texas, and her doctor and her husband will be protected by that court order.

The district court granted their restraining order, but the Texas attorney general sent a letter to doctors and hospitals warning they could still be prosecuted if they helped Kate get an abortion, and he filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court. As the Texas Supreme Court is debating this, what are you going through? I mean, I didn't hardly get out of bed, stressed, you know, and I had a timeline.

I couldn't wait. So what did you decide to do? We had to go out of state. The Coxes had the abortion in New Mexico and said goodbye to a future they'd already been grieving. Her name's Chloe. Why did you feel it was important to give her a name? I gave her a name because she'll always be my baby. Her middle name is my grandfather's name so that she knew who to look for in heaven.

So she knew who to look for in heaven. On December 11th, while the Coxes were away, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the lower court's ruling. And what did the Texas Supreme Court say?

Essentially, Kate wasn't sick enough. And I think what that makes clear to me, and the fact that the attorney general fought it as hard as he did, is that the exception in Texas doesn't exist at all. What did you think when you heard their ruling?

It was crushing. I was shocked that the state of Texas wanted me to continue a pregnancy where I would have to wait until a baby dies in my belly or dies at birth or lives for days and put my own health at risk and a future pregnancy at risk. We reached out to the Texas attorney general and received no response.

My best wishes to you for restored health and peace in the new year. The Coxes received hundreds of letters of support, but Kate stayed away from social media where people on both sides weighed in, including former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. In the middle of this debate, Rick Santorum put out a picture of his daughter, who has trisomy 18 and is a teenager. Did you think there was any chance that your baby could have survived? You can't simply say, my child has trisomy 18, so yours would have ended up like this.

I think that's a little ridiculous. Every case is different, and ours was extremely, extremely bleak. It was as severe as it gets, basically. Texas say the holidays with their family gave them some time to get back to normal, and they'll soon try to have another baby. Molly Duane has another abortion case in front of the Texas Supreme Court, and she says she's hopeful. Ultimately, Kate Cox didn't prevail. She lost. But did she make a difference? She absolutely made a difference. She got the health care that she needed. She got an abortion.

But in terms of big picture, she brought people along on this journey with her, and she helped people understand the true human toll that abortion bans take on families. If you could do it all over again, would you do this again? Would you go through with the lawsuit again? I would. I've gotten to hear a lot of stories for other women. And I have a daughter.

I hope the law will be different one day. So if I had to do it over, I would. Amazon music or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Mo Rocca, and I'm excited to announce season four of my podcast Mobituaries. I've got a whole new bunch of stories to share with you about the most fascinating people and things who are no longer with us. From famous figures who died on the very same day to the things I wish would die, like buffets. Listen to Mobituaries with Mo Rocca on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. She's played any number of memorable characters in programs like The Morning Show, Girls and Russian Doll. Now she's starring in one of the year's most talked about movies.

Greta Lee is in conversation with Mo Rocca. Are you jealous of my babushka? I'm sorry I didn't bring you one. I should have brought you one.

I left mine at home. It's my fault. It's very old Hollywood. Oh, thank you.

Yes. Before 2023, Greta Lee had built her career on a wide range of supporting roles as the rollicking birthday party host in Russian Doll. Happy birthday, baby. As the entitled gallerista in Girls. How old are you?

Two, four girl. But for the creve and intrigue of the gallery, I'm going to tell people I'm 22. As a millennial and very fashion forward boss uncowed by her anchors in The Morning Show. This, of course, is the new, well, new to you anyway, president of UBA News, Stella Bach. Oh, hi. Yeah, it's great to meet you. Oh my God, you're a baby. That's a compliment. I would kill for that skin.

Thanks. But the film role that's vaulted the Los Angeles born Lee into awards contention has her doing something she didn't expect. Did you ever imagine that you'd end up acting in Korean?

Never. In past lives, the 40 year old Lee stars as Nora, a playwright who left Korea as a child. There is a word in Korean Indian.

It means providence or fate. Do you believe in that? That's just something Koreans say to seduce them. Now living in New York, Nora reunites with her Korean childhood crush.

And it's complicated. I think I have a lot of feelings about my Korean-ness. My speaking Korean is something that is so personal. Like I really had categorized that completely separate from work, essentially. It's hard to emote in a second language, right? Yes. You cannot use any of your former tricks.

You cannot use them in a totally different language, in a totally different culture. And that also was so incredibly terrifying. Not that Greta Lee would have even thought of shrinking from a challenge. For as long as she can remember, she's been looking for that break. I was such a ham and I was constantly performing for the family and trying to cast myself as the lead in all of these shows.

The oldest of three born to parents who emigrated from South Korea, Greta performed everywhere she could, including at the local Mervyn's department store. I had some aspirations to become a Liza Minnelli-esque cabaret star. And why not? Yeah. That's a pretty great aspiration. It's sort of exactly what I'm doing.

Is that not apparent to anyone else? Soon after graduating from Northwestern University, Lee landed on Broadway, where we met in 2007, as castmates in the musical, the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Greta played the overachieving Marcy Park. What did you think your career was going to be? What were you hoping? The future seemed wide open and I think that was a very validating moment for me. I had dreamed of becoming a real kind of stage actor. And then to be able to do Spelling Bee, I thought, OK, this is great. I'm the Philip Seymour Hoffman of my generation, surely.

Well, not just yet. After the play closed in 2008, Lee ended up working for a time at a New York City restaurant and as an MTV fashion DJ. So one big trend we saw at the movie awards were embellishments. Before making her way back to the stage, where Lena Dunham took note and wrote Lee into the show Girls.

All my money has been going to the space and publicity and my parents are ready to murder me. It's just so freeing to be on the bus, you know? Other stars who saw something special in Lee included Amy Schumer, Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler. They were able to create these characters for me that stepped outside of a certain box of maybe what you would assume for someone who presented like myself. I got to play a full spectrum of very wild sort of women, which I think, yeah, it's no accident that it comes from women.

Including past lives writer and first time director Celine Song, herself a major awards contender this season. He's your childhood sweetheart. And it's not like you're going to run away with him. Are you? Definitely.

I'm going to throw away my life here and run away with him to soul. The movie has changed Greta Lee's present life in ways she could only imagine before. I'm having this experience now where I'm connecting with audiences. I'm at the grocery store, you know, I'm like picking out my cereal and someone will stop me and say, oh my gosh, I saw past lives and I'll start to cry. And to receive all of that, yes, is entirely overwhelming. Has this movie made you rethink your future?

Yes, which is so exhausting at this point in my life. I had already made peace with maybe the fact that I wasn't going to have an opportunity like this, that it just wasn't in the cards for me. And then this happened.

To have all of this happen has completely ruined everything. Many put their hope in Dr. Serhat. His company was worth half a billion dollars. His research promised groundbreaking treatments for HIV and cancer. Scientists, doctors, renowned experts were saying, genius, genius, genius.

People that knew him were convinced that he saved their life. But the brilliant doctor was hiding a secret. Do not cross this line that was being messaged to us. Do not cross this line. A secret the doctor was desperate to keep. This was a person who was willing to coldheartedly just lie to people's faces.

We're dealing with an international fugitive. From Wondery, the makers of Over My Dead Body and The Shrink Next Door comes a new season of Dr. Death, Bad Magic. I'm Laura Beale. You can listen to Dr. Death, Bad Magic, exclusively and ad-free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in the Wondery app. We do.

That's value added. Listen to The Late Show Pod Show with Stephen Colbert wherever you get your podcasts. Lee Cowan is taking us to a hotel high in the mountains of Colorado where a notable guest is now in residence. Those majestic elk aren't the only unusual guests to wind up at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. In its nearly 115 years, it's hosted everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to the Titanic's unsinkable Molly Brown and more recently, author Stephen King. If these long, narrow hallways look creepily familiar, it may be because the Stanley is where King was inspired to write The Shining.

Hello, Danny. The hotel haunting the director Stanley Kubrick turned into a horror classic. Here's Johnny! But the Stanley was also haunted by something else, decades of financial woes. It was in bankruptcy when hotel entrepreneur John Cullen found himself the latest in a long line of supposedly cursed proprietors to invest in this creepy place.

I don't know if I need to celebrate or cry, but here's Johnny. He knew he had to capitalize on the hotel's ghoulish reputation. You've got a big surprise coming to you. So he fixed up Stephen King's actual room.

You can now stay in it. And he built a hedge maze right out front. Just like the one where Jack Nicholson finally met his frozen end. And in keeping with that frozen theme, Cullen got another idea. In 2022, he asked the mayor of Estes Park for permission to allow one very special guest to check in, a man who'd been frozen himself for 30-plus years.

And she goes, Cullen, you know, I've seen a lot of weird out of you in the last 25 years, but this reaches a new level of weird. His name was Bredo Morstol. He died in Norway in 1989, but his remains ended up about an hour away from the Stanley, here in Nederland, Colorado.

Here I am. Unceremoniously laid to rest in that tough shed, frozen stiff. So is that the casket? That is the casket. Every two weeks since the early 90s, people like Brad Wickham have been rotating in and out, hauling more than 1,000 pounds of dry ice up this mountain.

I can't believe you do this all by yourself. All to keep Grandpa tucked in for his eternal winter's nap. From what I understand, he was a very kind gentleman, and you could just tell that he was the glue of the whole family.

And still is, in a way, I guess. Yeah. It's a practice called cryonics. Bredo's grandson, Trigve Baug, lived in this house, and he believed that by keeping his grandfather frozen in the backyard, doctors of the future might one day be able to clone or even revive him.

At the worst case, this is essentially a form of burial, but it's also for research. James Arrowhead is co-CEO and president of the nonprofit Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, where hundreds of patients, as they call them, are patiently waiting, frozen in liquid nitrogen, not a box filled with dry ice in a tough shed. When you heard the story where you're like, this is just wild, right? I just thought it was weird.

It is bizarre. Grandpa's grandson was forced to move back to Norway. He was deported for overstaying his visa, and he had to leave Grandpa behind.

Oh, boy. But Grandpa hasn't exactly been alone either. Here's to you, Bredo. Our own Bill Geist went to pay his respects back in 2003.

All right, here we go, here we go. He learned Grandpa wasn't forgotten. He was actually being celebrated with an annual Frozen Dead Guy Festival. Why, if it weren't so creepy, it'd be almost heartwarming. It's almost like a frozen Burning Man, if that actually can be in one sentence. It eventually became so popular, Nederland couldn't handle the crowds anymore, but its gallows humor fit the Stanley perfectly. And Cullen moved it here.

A little humor, a little fun, a little beer, a little bit of attitude, but all in good spirit. But what's a Frozen Dead Guy Festival without the Frozen Dead Guy? Cullen needed the festival's namesake, and let's face it, Grandpa needed an upgrade.

So this past August, with his grandson's permission, Grandpa Bredo was moved by a team from the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. He was driven to the Stanleys' old ice house, removed from his aluminum casket, put in a sleeping bag, and then submerged head first in liquid nitrogen. What does he look like? Damn good.

Yeah? He looked better than embalmed people. He's now the centerpiece of a small exhibit on the science of cryonics here at the Stanley. He gets visitors every day. Hi, John. As for John Cullen, well, he's now sold the Stanley, but he's proud of its ghostly legacy. After all, he linked a fictional Frozen Dead Guy to a real one, and he managed to find the perfect hotel guest, one who never complains and will never check out. Ice cooler movie Frozen Dead Guy. Come on! In our newest season, you'll hear even more intimate first-person accounts of how regular people have overcome remarkable circumstances, like the man who went to jail for 17 years for accidentally shooting the person who tried to save his life, to a close friend of the infamous scam artist Amanda Riley. These haunting accounts sound like Hollywood movies, but I assure you, this is actually happening.

Follow This Is Actually Happening on the Wondery app or wherever you get your podcasts, and you can listen to This Is Actually Happening ad-free on Wondery+. The curtain's going up on a musical breaking new ground on Broadway, both for its characters and the actors who play them. Let us know what you want to bring. Clinical psychologist Emilio Amigo runs a counseling center for autistic people in Columbus, Ohio, and he had a big idea. Many of my clients never went to their homecoming or prom because they weren't welcomed, it would have been a disaster. And I'm like, how many of you guys would love to go to a big formal? Hey Joel, are you interested in a date for the Amigo Spring formal? Putting on a prom involved teaching his clients new skills, like dancing. You hear the music, Chris?

Do you hear the pace of the music? And asking someone out. Want to do the formal together? That'd be nice, Chris. I would enjoy that. Their journey was the subject of a 2015 documentary called How to Dance in Ohio.

What's getting older means more awkward situations. That story is now a Broadway musical. All of us who work on the show get messages from autistic individuals saying I've seen myself represented on stage.

That, to me, that's what we do it for. Sammi Cannold is the show's director, but she wasn't its first one. The show's original director was the legendary Hal Prince, and he very sadly passed away in 2019.

Prince was the director of shows like Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Cabaret, and many Sondheim musicals. Hal's granddaughter is autistic, my brother is autistic. For him, the show was very personal, for me the show is very personal. Going places I am Going places But How to Dance in Ohio isn't just about autistic people. Tommy we've so much in common All of the autistic characters are played by autistic actors. A lot of feedback from people saying I don't think you're going to find the actors that you're looking for. You mean there aren't enough Broadway caliber people with autism?

That's what they were implying, right? And we could have cast the show three times over. There is this saying, if you've met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person. You are now meeting seven autistic people.

Ashley Wohl, Imani Russell, and Liam Pierce are among them. I think you picked the perfect three people because all three of us are so different. I was diagnosed to be on the spectrum when I was five. I was a junior in college May of 2021. And I was really excited because I finally had a word for something that I think I knew about myself internally for a long time. But I didn't have the language for it.

Today is Friday! Autism comes in a huge variety of forms. It's described as a spectrum for a reason. The great enemy of someone who is autistic is social anxiety and anxiety. And that comes from I don't know what to expect, I don't know what I'm supposed to do, I don't know what to say. Moving forward time keeps moving forward People like me are more sensitive to a lot of different things.

Like lights or sound. You have a very good work ethic. But what you need to learn from us is work etiquette.

Okay? I think another thing when it comes to being autistic is the concept of masking. Which is sort of having to hide the movements that we do or the sounds that we make.

Or having to speak at times that you don't want to speak to make other people feel comfortable. The actors were encouraged to blend their own expressions of autism with their characters. Sam and Kendall, our director, was very open and supporting of being like if you on stage feel the need to let out your energy or like show your excitement in your own individual physical ways that you do outside of this rehearsal space, feel free. The rehearsal process offered unusual accommodations for the cast and crew. Someone will say I have a sensitivity to scented soap.

And then our company management team will say okay, we're going to replace all the scented soap in the building with unscented soap. And so it's hundreds of little things like that. For autistic show goers with sensory sensitivities, the show offers cool down areas, sunglasses, and headphones. And for non-autistic audience members, there's a message. Do I only exist on this planet to make somebody else feel inspired?

The characters in the show explicitly saying we don't want to be objects of pity. We don't want to be inspiring. At the same time, there's probably not an audience member who doesn't say it's about people with challenges succeeding, which is inspiring. I like to pose the question is your feeling of inspiration just infantilization? They're so inspiring because they're autistic, but they did that. Autistic, but they did that. The point that we're making is it's not an in spite of. It's a yes and. It's not that our disabilities are the hurdles.

It's other people's expectations for us that are the hurdles. This book is full of phenomenal facts, the kind that I really enjoy. How to Dance in Ohio has earned itself an army of fans. The very first preview, the seven of us came on stage to do the prologue, standing ovation for like a minute and a half. I said hi, welcome, and then I couldn't get the next line up. I was like, wait a minute. We haven't done anything yet.

We haven't earned this. And I was like, what? It is so cool, just like at our stage door and stuff of like young kids who have come up to be like, I'm autistic, too. And I'm like, like, whoa. But some of the biggest fans are the real people from the documentary.

I'm smiling, but I usually don't smile. Director Sammy Cannold introduced them on opening night. Please welcome the real life Drew. It was a really crazy, awesome, surreal experience to be able to like look at him and be like, hey, thank you for existing, because my entire life and what I do here every night is because of you.

Dr. Amigo kind of liked it, too. You've seen the show, have you? Yes, a few times. I'm counting right.

It's about 13. Do you think the documentaries and the Broadway show help your clients in any way? Every day, because it's a story about them. It builds our self-esteem. It builds our sense of significance. So on the great spectrum of art, when we look back historically, what will this show have represented? Oh, How to Dance in Ohio. That was one of the beginnings.

Yeah, that was one of the beginnings. I hope that in 10 years, it's no longer a big deal that there's seven autistic actors in a cast. Like, OK, so that's great. Let's go.

Let's start working on a play. Steve Hartman this morning has the story behind the story of our newest national holiday. At the age of 97, just stepping out of a four by four is a major accomplishment. But Opal Lee has taken much greater strides than this with no plans to sit anytime soon. We don't have to sit around and wait for the Lord to come for us.

In fact, he's going to have to catch me. Opal is a retired teacher and lifelong community activist in Fort Worth, Texas. She's mostly known for her successful campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday. But what is lesser known is how that fire in her belly came to be. Back in 1939, when Opal was 12, her family moved into a house that stood right here in an all white neighborhood. They'd lived here just five days when a mob showed up. What did the mob do to your house? They tore it asunder. They set stuff on fire.

They did despicable things. The family moved away and moved on. They just wanted to forget the horror until eight decades later, when Opal Lee decided the time had come to remember it. So she looked up the address, found out the lot was still vacant and owned by the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. CEO Gage Yeager took Opal's call. He listened to her story, but then told her she could not buy that property. He said, well, we won't sell it to you, Opal, but we'll give it to you.

There's no option for anything else. What did you think when you heard that? When I get happy, I want to do a holy dance, but the kids say I'm twerking, so I don't know what to do. And she still hadn't heard the best news. Gage also offered to work with donors to put a house on her land for free. Her plans are done, and he hopes to have it ready for Opal to move in by her 99th birthday. I want you to know that I've got a God who has been so good to me.

I think if I ask, he'd let me have a couple more years. Request submitted. Give me my dog. How really the little girl thinks because she can scream, she can get away with everything. And I can scream too. She may be best known as the star of a popular sitcom, but Sofia Vergara is now playing a crime boss.

She tells Jonathan Vigliati all about it. You insult a woman's driving and you use the air bunnies. You do that to me and I kill you. I want to show you that it's not important what other people think.

What is important is that you stay true to yourself. For 11 seasons, this is how we've come to know Sofia Vergara. You two work this out or you kill each other. As the feisty and hilarious Gloria Pritchett in the ABC sitcom Modern Family. Jane, did you put the key in my bag? No. I won't be mad.

In order to prove a point, I may have- I knew it! Three years after the series ended- Let's get to work. Vergara is back with something completely different. There's a lot of women.

Don't leave the man, but not the life. I swear. I know what I'm doing. All my focus was that people were not going to see Gloria Pritchett.

That's what I wanted people not to see. I think it was after five minutes watching you as Griselda. Gloria, Sofia disappeared. So this offer is because you don't want to deal with us.

It's because you don't think that we can do this. In her new role, the 51-year-old is a chain-smoking, bat-swinging, gun-wielding killer. Griselda, the Netflix series out later this month, tells the real-life story of Griselda Blanco, a single mother of four, and a notorious cartel leader. She was this Colombian woman in the 70s and the 80s that actually took over the drug-dealing business, not only in Colombia, here in the United States too. I mean, for me, as a woman, I was fascinated. How did she become even more ruthless, more horrific than any man?

Blanco was among the first drug lords to bring cocaine to the American masses. Called the Black Widow, it was rumored she ordered the deaths of hundreds of people. When I thought of Griselda, I wanted her to be like Tony Soprano. I wanted her to be a character that people didn't hate, even though it was a bad guy.

How you doing? For the character, Vergara changed the way she walked, talked, and even looked. Prosthetics. You use one. Yeah. The nose. The nose, the teeth were horrific.

I had plastic from here to here because we needed to cover. My eyebrows are very thick, and I wanted me to disappear, and I think that was one of my features that is very strong. Making Griselda a reality began back in 2012, when she was connected with director Andy Baez and creator Eric Newman for their work on the Netflix hit Narcos.

I want the honest truth from you. When you first heard that Sofia Vergara, best known for Modern Family at the time, was interested in playing a murderous leader of a cartel, what did you really think? I was nervous.

Why were you nervous? As a director, I was nervous because Sofia is a national treasure in Colombia. I'm from Colombia, and then suddenly she's taking this very brave stance, this big leap in her career to do something dramatic. Sofia is an empire builder. Sofia has built herself into an industry.

I believe that anything she truly sets her mind to doing, she will do. The result is a gritty portrayal and cautionary tale of the true toll of narcotics, which hits close to home for Vergara. Unfortunately, I grew up in Colombia during the 70s, 80s, and 90s where narco traffic was moving. I know those people. I was surrounded by them. I know what they did. I know what that kind of business can do to a family, to a person, to a country. An estimated quarter of a million people were killed during Colombia's decades-long drug war. Among the casualties, Vergara's own brother, Rafael. My brother was killed during that time. My brother was part of that business. I know what it feels like.

I know what that world is. Vergara grew up in Berenquilla, Colombia. Her father was a cattle rancher and her mother a homemaker. At 17, she was discovered on the beach and cast for this Pepsi commercial. They wanted me to do it, but I was in a Catholic school, so I was very, very worried that the nuns were going to get super upset because it was on a bathing suit on the beach. That commercial was a launching pad to stardom, but for a time Vergara thought success meant losing her accent. I realized that when I moved to LA, I'm like, I'm going to fix it. It didn't happen no matter what, and then it was like not letting me get anything done when I would go to auditions because all I was thinking about was my pronunciation and not about the acting. So the moment that I said, you know what, let's see if I get anything, just being myself and I did. And she continues to do it as an actress, producer, entrepreneur, and judge on America's Got Talent.

When you arrived here in the United States, do you ever imagine you build this kind of career? No. I'm very happy, very grateful because it's been more than I thought it would be.

But with all of the success, there were challenges, including this past year when she announced she and Joe Manganiello, her husband of seven years, were divorcing. And the world took notice when that happened. Yeah. Did you expect that? Yeah, of course, you're out there and people know that's part of being a celebrity. I knew it was going to happen.

You can't hide those things. How did you overcome that? It wasn't bad. I have to say the press was very respectful and very nice, and I thought that they were going to invent more things, you know how it usually is, and I was surprised.

They kind of just said what it was and that was it. And, you know, I've been moving on. Moving on and moving forward.

Sofia Vergara in a whole new light. It's been a wonderful life, but of course you have to work. You have to work more than anyone if you have an accent like me. And, you know, you have to prove yourself more if you're a minority.

You have to be more serious because you might not get that many opportunities. It hasn't been easy, but, I mean, it's been amazing. Last month, California became the second state in the nation to allow specially treated wastewater to be used for drinking and other household needs, which brings to mind a recycling effort underway in Vermont that, we admit, defies easy description. Faith Salle on job number one.

Music Here's Lissa Schneckenberger performing for us. And for the plants in her Brattleboro, Vermont garden. The tomatoes seem happy. So do the bees.

And this may be the reason why. Here is Lissa enriching the garden with her own family's urine. When we tell people about it, they're mostly confused.

They're just like, what, why, what? Welcome to the world of pea cycling, where urine is not considered waste, but liquid gold. If you meet someone new and they say, what do you do? How do you answer? Yeah, I say I work at an organization that's developing ways to turn human urine into fertilizer.

That organization is called the Rich Earth Institute, and Abe Noe Hayes is its co-founder, along with Kim Nace. People are usually a little taken back, but then I just kind of, I give them the real quick, there's nutrients in your urine and we are figuring out how to capture those and use them in agriculture. How many pea jokes do you deal with on a daily basis?

Pea jokes are constant. But to Nace and Noe Hayes, the concept of saving and reusing human urine is a serious endeavor. So what is in urine that plants need? Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other trace minerals that come through our body as we eat our food and then use the toilet. How much urine are you collecting at this point? About 12,000 gallons a year.

Researchers around the U.S. and the world are studying urine recycling in Sweden, in Switzerland, in France, and in South Africa and other countries, and the Rich Earth Institute regularly offers educational webinars. What do you think would surprise people the most? That it is clean, that it doesn't look gross, and it doesn't smell.

And the privacy thing too, that was a surprise to me. It's totally quiet. So there's no flush. There's no flush. That's because Lissa Schneckenberger uses a very special toilet with two compartments. Toilet paper and solid waste go in the back and then urine goes in the front.

So there's two compartments, both go into separate compartments downstairs in these collection tanks. Rich Earth comes with a big truck and a big hose, and they empty the urine tank twice a year. How much urine have you saved?

It's a lot. And if you don't happen to have a special toilet, the Rich Earth Institute offers this low-tech portable urinal. Now, would only a man use this? No.

Men can use it, but women can also squat over this. Rich Earth also makes it easy for donors to deliver their liquid waste to a downtown depot. As you can see, the process requires no pouring.

I think it's pretty great. Kevin O'Brien is a community tool librarian who's been bringing his urine here for three years. For me, it takes me about a month to fill up a five-gallon jug, so I kind of come to the depot about once a month to donate. Although I want to reach towards a goal of donating 100 gallons a year.

Those who do receive a lovely certificate from Rich Earth. So the urine comes in, goes through this system. Urine is typically free of harmful bacteria, but if it gets near solid waste, that could lead to disease. So Abe Noe Hayes says that all of the urine that Rich Earth collects is pasteurized to federal standards. It's clean? It's heated up, pathogens die, it cools back down, and then it leaves the machine. And then Arthur Davis transfers the clean urine from the huge storage tanks to his truck's containers, around 1,000 gallons at a time. It's actually about four tons. On his big yellow truck, with the custom license plate, Davis oversees the entire collection and distribution process. We're dealing with chemistry, we're dealing with biology, we're also dealing with psychology of people.

Because people have all kinds of thoughts about it. Ready for ya! Today, he's delivering to a true believer. Noah Hoskins, owner of the Bunker Farm. Hoskins says his grazing fields are thirsty for pee. If you are taking nutrients out of the ground, you need to be replenishing those nutrients in some form or another. A lot of pee cycling is still in the research and development phase.

A pH of 4.66. But Kim Nace and Abe Noe Hayes imagine a bright yellow future. You're kind of asking for a cultural change. We're not asking people to do something that's difficult. You just use the toilet. That thing you just did, that was great. You made something useful, and you made something that's going to do good in the world.

You're like, oh really, I did? Oh yeah! It's the first big test of Campaign 2024, tomorrow's Iowa caucuses. Robert Costa previews what lies ahead. Hot dog with ketchup and mustard? Okay.

Thank you so much. The Iowa caucuses are tomorrow, so you might wonder why I'm here in lower Manhattan. It's because this year the presidential campaign trail runs through courthouses like this one. In Washington this past week, attorneys for former President Trump argued in federal court that an ex-president should be immune from prosecution, arguments that seem to get little love from the judges.

I feel that as a president you have to have immunity, very simple. A ruling could come in days, though it could be appealed to the Supreme Court. Hinging on that decision is the Justice Department's case against Trump for attempting to overturn the 2020 election. Also on the docket, a federal trial for mishandling classified records, Georgia state charges of state election interference, and in New York a defamation suit, plus trials over hush money payments to a porn star, as well as real estate fraud. What percentage of your time these days is spent on your campaign?

What percentage is spent on your legal issues? Well, see, my legal issues, every one of them, everyone, civil and the criminal ones, are all set up by Joe Biden, crooked Joe Biden. They're doing it for election interference, and in a way I guess you'd consider it part of the campaign. Trump blaming his legal woes on conspiracy theories is just further evidence that they are more than a sideshow. They are a reckoning about what a Trump return to the White House would say about the country.

While Iowans caucus tomorrow, the nation will also pay respects to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yet Trump's incendiary rhetoric on race, immigration, and on political revenge has only helped cement his lead in polls with Republicans. As Iowa plunges into arctic weather, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hopes to dent Trump's lead, while also battling former Trump ambassador Nikki Haley. Haley has her sights set on New Hampshire later this month, hoping to benefit from Chris Christie's departure from the race. Trump allies tell me that this courthouse, where his businesses have been in the spotlight in a civil fraud trial, is now his center of the political universe, a place the candidate believes fuels his grievances and those of his supporters.

And all of these court appearances underscore the stakes for Trump and the nation. I'm David Pogue. Please join Jane Pauley when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Visit our survey at Wunderly.com slash survey.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-14 16:10:51 / 2024-01-14 16:30:57 / 20

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