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January 31, 2021 1:37 pm

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CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 31, 2021 1:37 pm

In our cover story, Susan Spencer meets a pioneer in the study of stroke recovery. David Pogue explains the GameStop stock battle pitting Wall Street hedge funds against day traders. Mo Rocca talks with Mark Harris, author of a new biography of director Mike Nichols. Holly Williams profiles actor and Negroni-mixer Stanley Tucci. and Martha Teichner tells the story behind her new book, "When Harry Met Minnie," a true tale of puppy love and friendship. Mo Rocca guest hosts this week's "CBS Sunday Morning."

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Learn more at edwardjones.com. Good morning. Jane Pauley is off today.

I'm Mo Rocca, and this is Sunday morning. We begin this morning with a promising medical trial that's offering new hope to victims of stroke. Though still in its early stages, the procedure already might be called a stroke of genius.

Susan Spencer will explain why. At just 39 years old, Aaron Yulin became a stroke victim. Now at 41, he's become something else. Patient one in a groundbreaking study. So they're telling you we're going to put electrodes in your son's brain. Yep. And your reaction to this was? Honestly, I was terrified.

A potential game changer for stroke victims ahead on Sunday morning. Very good. That was very good. Lady Day was the nickname of the celebrated jazz singer Billie Holiday, who's portrayed in a new movie by another singer by the name of Day. We'll be hearing about that from Tracy Smith.

In the new film, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, singer-songwriter Andra Day is mesmerizing in the title role, but she was almost too afraid to take it. There's probably no better way to say this. I didn't want to suck, you know. And you thought you might suck?

I was certain that I was going to be terrible. Later this Sunday morning, the return of Lady Day. And then it's on to a legend of stage and screen, comedy and drama.

His name was Mike Nichols. And this morning, you'll learn more about his remarkable life. All right, Mother, that's it. Mom, just please tell me how you are.

I will send you a postage stamp to get it to nobody. Tell me how you are. How are you? I'm sick. Mike Nichols was already a famous comedian when he discovered that directing was his true calling. He always said that he walked in, sat down with the actors to read the play, and suddenly thought, this is what I'm meant to do. And boy was it ever. And I'm here. Coming up, the improbable life of Mike Nichols. David Pogue takes stock of a week of turmoil on Wall Street. Martha Teichner tells us the tale of when Harry met Minnie. Holly Williams is in conversation with actor Stanley Tucci. We've got Steve Hartman and more on this Sunday morning for the 31st of January 2021.

We'll be right back. A stroke can strike at almost any age with no advance warning. So no wonder some are calling a new experimental treatment for its victims a stroke of genius. Susan Spencer tells us all about it. Retired New Jersey school teacher Holly Uland and her son Aaron always have been exceptionally close. What sort of personality does he have?

Very compassionate, loves animals, has always been a tinkerer. Young and capable, Aaron seemed perfectly healthy until one January morning in 2019. I woke up to use the bathroom and I couldn't get out of my bed. I had to grab something to get out of my bed and then I got my two feet on the floor and I walked just a couple of feet and I fell down. I went to go down the hallway past his bedroom, found him in the floor, but he could not get up. You couldn't get up off the floor? No. This must have been terrifying.

Yeah. At just 39 years old, Aaron had suffered a stroke, paralyzing his left side. He tried to talk to me, but his words were all gargled and I was terrified that he'd never speak again. After four days in the ICU, he'd regained his speech, but not much else.

He then spent two months in rehab. We had one neurologist tell us that Aaron would never move his arm again and when we got in the parking lot, I literally put his face in my hands and I said, don't you even buy into that. How would you define a stroke? A stroke occurs whenever there is any problem with blood flow to the brain. The more common type is caused by some sort of blockage of an artery. Dr. Diana Zhang is a neurology professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In general, people assume that strokes happen only to older people.

Is that the case? Anyone can have a stroke, even young people, and there is a concerning trend where there are more young adults suffering from strokes. Astoundingly, one American has a stroke every 40 seconds and 10 to 15 percent of stroke victims are only 18 to 49 years old.

As to why this happens. About 50 percent of the time when a young person has a stroke, we can't figure out the cause. The cause of Aaron's stroke is still a mystery, but the consequences are devastatingly clear. There is no regeneration of brain cells. Once you've had a stroke, the brain cells that have been affected are are dead.

For some patients, we offer intensive physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, but in terms of direct interventions that we can provide to patients, still none to to help them regain what they've lost. But Aaron is determined to regain what's lost, which is why he mastered a three-wheeler when he couldn't ride a regular bike, and it's why he said yes, but he didn't. And it's why he said yes to be patient one in a revolutionary study at Thomas Jefferson University. His mother wasn't so sure.

So they're telling you we're going to put electrodes in your son's brain. Yep. And your reaction to this was? Honestly, I was terrified, but I also knew it was Aaron's decision. And he did not hesitate?

No. He just kept saying, I want my arm back. So last October, with cameras rolling, doctors implanted multiple electrodes in Aaron's brain.

It took nine hours. We rehearsed this hundreds of times prior to surgery to know how we were going to do it, to know precisely where we were going to put it. Jefferson Health neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Rosenwasser is one of two lead doctors on the study. And the bright white spots are where there's the stroke.

Thomas Jefferson University neurology professor Dr. Mikhail Saruya is the other. What are these electrodes like? How big are they?

What do they look like? The electrodes for this study are incredibly small, about the size of a baby aspirin or a regular M&M, so smaller than a peanut M&M. And they just go into the surface of the cortex, the outside of the brain. What this is is basically an electrode array, and then it's a little bundle of wires that comes out.

And you can see, actually, one, two, three, four. And in a nutshell, the role of these electrodes is? The role of the electrodes is to record the electrical signals from his existing brain cells, take those electrical signals, and convert them into the movement that he desires to do. Move his fingers, move his hand, move his arm. In other words, Aaron's stroke damaged the connection between his brain and his arm.

Each one of those is going to connect to a different electrode. These electrodes repair it, sending signals from his brain to a motorized brace. And voila, Aaron can move his arm again. Very good. That was very good.

Yeah, do that a couple times. He's shown us that someone almost two years now, after a pretty significant stroke, can recover function. And it's just the beginning. There's so many things that we do that we just completely take for granted. For example, pick up a cup, or he said he has trouble zipping anything because he can't use that hand. How far do you think this technology can go in terms of people actually regaining fine motor skills?

Well, I'm not sure I'll be on this earth to see it, but I think we'll have people playing the piano and being concert violinists. Come on. Seriously? Seriously. That's amazing.

It is amazing. Aaron's electrodes were put in for only a three-month trial. But doctors see the day when, like a pacemaker, this technology will be wireless and implantable, eliminating the arm brace altogether. I think that is the goal, that in the coming 5, 10, 15, 20 years, we will have a medical device that will be available for people who've had a stroke so that they can go to their physician, their neurosurgery team, get this device. And however far they've gotten in their physical and occupational therapy, they can break through that plateau and keep going and restore movement. Your doctors think that this is potentially a game changer. Yeah.

It'll help other stroke victims and they can look at my stuff. Exactly. They call me the pioneer. You like that? Yeah. On Wall Street this past week, plenty of chaos. David Pogue explains why. Last week, you might've seen the headlines about something truly whacked out going on in the stock market, something to do with GameStop, this ailing chain of retail stores that sell video games. For no discernible business reason, its stock shot up hundreds of percent in a matter of days.

Allow me to present the explanation. You know the formula for making money in the stock market, right? Buy low, sell high. But it's also possible to make money when a stock goes down. This is called shorting a stock. You're betting that the company's stock will fall.

It's a little complicated, but the basics go something like this. When the stock is high, you borrow shares from your brokerage and then you sell them. Now, of course, technically you still owe those shares to your brokerage. So you wait for the price of the stock to go down and then you buy them back for much less money. You return the shares to your brokerage and you just made money.

Unless, of course, the price of the stock went up in the meantime, in that case, you're in trouble. Wall Street doesn't like GameStop much. After all, who's buying video games in a physical store anymore? So the hedge funds had shorted GameStop, bet against it.

Then last week, they met their match. If you look at Reddit, namely the forum Wall Street Bets, which has more than 2 million subscribers, there are dozens of forums with traders encouraging each other to push shares higher. People want to take risks and they want to make some money. Jamie Rogozinski started Wall Street Bets, a forum on Reddit.com in 2012. It's a place where amateur investors talk about quick stock bets. They tend to be snarky, funny, a little reckless. They're not looking at it as, I'm going to lose my money.

They see this as I'm purchasing the possibility of making money with a non-refundable ticket. So last week, a funny thing happened. These amateur investors on Wall Street Bets began to buy up GameStop stock, driving the stock price up, egging each other on.

It went bananas. More than 130% on a single day. We don't see things like that on Wall Street. Jill Schlesinger should know.

She's my colleague, a CBS News business analyst. She's witnessed how the big brokerage houses refer to mom and pop individual investors, also known as retail investors. Behind closed doors, they call the retail investors the dumb money and they'd call the institutions, the hedge funds, the private equity people.

That was the smart money. The interesting part of this story is that the cost of trading is so low, executing a trade is so easy that you can all of a sudden harness the power of the dumb money to go up against the smart money. Now, remember all those big New York hedge funds had to buy GameStop shares from the market in order to return it, and all the buying they did wound up driving the price even higher. Pretty soon, some of the Reddit investors had made millions on paper and the hedge funds were in desperate trouble.

One of them, Melvin Capital, had to borrow almost $3 billion to cover its GameStop short. The internet went crazy. The little guy had beaten the fat cats. There was a sense of hoorah, look what we've done. We've just knocked over a huge hedge fund and we're just a bunch of no nothings amateurs.

Feels good to have one of these guys get knocked down. By the way, it wasn't just GameStop. Something similar is going on with other lame duck companies like AMC, the movie chain, and Blackberry. The SEC is investigating and the story is still unraveling.

But some aspects of this tale, Jill Schlesinger says, won't change a bit. David, for as long as I've been in this business, there are two dominant forces. There is fear and there is greed.

And there is nothing that will legislate that or regulate that away. You got me into your house, you give me a drink, you put on music, now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won't be home for hours. So? Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Movies like The Graduate helped make a legend of the late director Mike Nichols. A man of many talents, he lived a life worthy of a movie all its own. As the author of a new biography tells us. A Mike Nichols film. Over 50 years, those words became something of a promise that we were about to see ourselves at our best. What do you need speech class for? You talk fine. At our worst, put down, touch that phone and I'll bite. And I got rabies. And at all those complicated, all too human places in between. Blood on my wig, on my clothes, all my makeups come off.

Do I have any eyebrows left? Mike's approach as a director was make it real, make it recognizable, and go toward the people, the talent, the actors, the writers that you love. His own tale began improbably, says Mark Harris, the author of a new biography about Nichols. Mike Nichols' life story is the story of someone who started with the odds pretty well stacked against him. As he explained to Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes, when he was born in Berlin in 1931, Nichols wasn't even his name. It was Michael Igor Peschkowski. And it was Michael Igor Peschkowski and Michael Igor Peschkowski. And my father was a doctor and he was Russian. And when we came to this country, he said that by the time he spelled his name, the patient was in the hospital.

So he changed it. Nichols' Jewish family fled Nazi Germany just before World War II. Mike was just seven and spoke barely any English. Not only that, Mike was hairless. He had a childhood reaction to a vaccine that resulted in the loss of all of his hair and his inability to grow hair. He was bald for his whole life. He was bald since he was four years old. So a refugee, English as a second language, being bald from a very young age. I mean, he must have felt like an outsider.

Yes. Mike later credited his style of comedy, which was very observational, with how he had to learn how to be a kid and learn how to be an American by watching other kids. At the University of Chicago, he began coming into his own, performing in plays, and struck a near instant connection with fellow student Elaine May.

Mike saw Elaine in a train station. He sat down and he pretended that he was a secret agent and she was a secret agent. And she picked right up on it. It was like two people discovering they spoke the same secret language and they were really inseparable after that. It was an improvisation.

It was an improvisation before people would even use the word improvisation. Their brand of observational comedy soon made Nichols and May very famous. He and Elaine May were only in their mid to late 20s when they kind of took off overnight.

It's just suicidally beautiful tonight. Their sketches, like this one about the awkward negotiations of two teens on a first date, became classics. They performed on Broadway, grew weary of the grind, and decided to part ways for a time. Nichols needed a new gig. Playwright Neil Simon needed help with his new comedy. Mike realizes that he's a director and this is what he's meant to be on day one of rehearsals for the first play he ever directed, Barefoot in the Park. Nichols directed Elizabeth Ashley and a young Robert Redford, not to play for laughs, but to play it as truthfully as possible. He wanted you to believe that you were watching two people almost spying on them in the privacy of their own sixth floor walk-up studio apartment and that was something people really hadn't seen before. The play was a hit and Nichols won a Tony, then another for The Odd Couple, and at the ripe old age of 33 he headed west. For his film directing debut he's directing two actors that were sort of famous.

Right, the first time behind the camera. What a dump. Mike Nichols takes on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Hey what's that from? What a dump.

How would I know? With indisputably at that time the world's most famous couple, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. How the heck did he even know what to do?

Mike would say that he didn't know what to do. Yet he wasn't shy about making demands, like filming his adaptation of the controversial play in black and white. A thousand years of you has been quite enough. But his bedside manner with his superstar couple ensured that the studio said yes. It was a critical and box office triumph.

Oh god. For his next film, The Graduate, Nichols cast an unknown, Dustin Hoffman, for his dark comedy about an aimless college grad having an affair with an older woman. Mrs. Robinson, do you think we could say a few words to each other first this time?

I don't think we have much to say to each other. It won Nichols an Oscar and awakened a whole new generation of moviegoers. The Graduate, by the end of its run in theaters, it had become the third highest-grossing movie in American history. It was by far the most important friendship that I think I ever had.

He was sort of the apotheosis of the arts and of wit and of generosity. How about it Susan? What are you so afraid of? Not you. For 1971's sexually provocative Carnal Knowledge, Nichols cast his longtime friend Candice Bergen.

I don't think I can do it. I was so young when I did Carnal Knowledge, I didn't even know what it was about until I saw it again at Mike's house 10 years later and I went, oh my god. By then, Nichols was accustomed to living large. He made a lot of money. He liked to do that. Caviar and foie gras and chateau y chem. He loved luxury, he loved affluence.

And Arabian horses. I think he felt insulated by money. Mike Nichols had flops, more than a few, but the theater always welcomed him back.

I have an education, I got a PhD I can't do shit with, you know, so I stay high so I don't get mad. He brought a little-known Whoopi Goldberg to Broadway after first seeing her perform in a tiny theater, Harris writes. Nichols went backstage to meet her and burst into tears. Sometimes people ask me what makes Mike different than other directors and loving talent so much that you burst into tears is a Mike thing, it's not a director thing. With 1983's Silkwood, Nichols began a longtime collaboration with Meryl Streep. He said Meryl woke me up, what did he mean? When he started to work with Meryl Streep, an angel is a belief. I think he met an actor completely naturally in sync with his approach as a director.

How do I make this real? When he was 56, Mike Nichols married, for the fourth time, journalist Diane Sawyer. There was the mic before Diane and the mic after Diane. She brought out the best in him which was great. And just when most careers begin slowing, his once again flourished.

You do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse, you do Marsha Graham, Marsha Graham, Marsha Graham. The bird cage was one of his biggest hits. You see before you a happy man. And in 2012 he won a Tony, his tenth, for directing Death of a Salesman.

A salesman has got to dream, it goes with the territory. By the time of his death two years later at 83, the outsider who mined real life for comedic and dramatic gold was the embodiment of the Hollywood A-list. And says Candice Bergen, a cherished friend. A few of us had a dinner for him after he died, a celebration of Mike. It was hard to keep it to 300 people.

I mean really we struggled. And every one of the people at the party, he had been instrumental in helping them in their career or in giving them money. He had been a very good friend.

And you thought, wow, it wasn't just me? It happened this past week, the loss of two great stars. Cloris Leachman died Wednesday. As a dramatic actress, she won an Oscar for The Last Picture Show. But it's for her comic roles that she'll be best remembered, including Young Frankenstein opposite Gene Wilder. And CBS's The Mary Tyler Moore Show, where her portrayal of Mary's neighbor Phyllis won her two Emmys.

Thank you, Bobby. Cloris Leachman was 94. Harlem-born Cicely Tyson was a powerful performer and champion of civil rights. She played a sharecropper's wife in the film Sounder. Believe me, the children and me will do the cropping.

We have to. And she won two Emmys for her portrayal of a woman whose life spanned both slavery and freedom in a CBS television movie. Tyson spoke with our Gayle King just days before she died. I made up my mind that I could not afford the luxury of just being an actress. I would use my career as my platform. Tyson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

She died Thursday at 96. This is Intelligence Matters with former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell. Bridge Colby is co-founder and principal of the Marathon Initiative, a project focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. The United States put our mind to something we can usually figure it out.

What people are saying and what we kind of know analytically and empirically is our strategic situation, our military situation is not being matched up with what we're doing. Follow Intelligence Matters wherever you get your podcasts. When Harry Met Minnie. It's a new book by our own Martha Teichner. That's a bittersweet story of canine love. A story only Martha herself can tell. You're supposed to think about the film When Harry Met Sally, which was also a love story set in New York City.

That's Minnie on the left, Harry on the right. They really did cuddle like that. But the story isn't just about a romance between two bull terriers. It's a kind of only in New York fairy tale I found myself part of. Because it's true, the happily ever after part is messy.

But it does start, as so many fairy tales do, with a magical bit of serendipity. Here, early on a Saturday morning, in the summer of 2016, at New York City's largest farmers market. A little rambunctious. This is Roxy. Where certain dogs and their people show up at the same time every week, including another bull terrier.

They really put a big, big joy in my heart. Suddenly, I spotted an old dog walking acquaintance I hadn't seen in a year or two, and had never seen at the farmers market. Stephen Miller Siegel, with his golden retriever. I walked up to you and I said, hi, Martha, you know, how are you? Where is your other dog? A few months before, Goose, Minnie's companion for most of her life, had died. You said, I'm looking for an older male because Minnie is lonely.

And it was almost as if like the heavens had opened up. Why? Because Carol Fertig, a friend of Stephen's for 30 years, was dying of liver cancer, the result of living practically next door to ground zero in the aftermath of 9-11. Nobody wanted her 11 and a half year old dog, Harry. She had made me promise that if we couldn't find a home for Harry, that I would put him down, which was an extremely difficult conversation to have with her. If I'd been standing somewhere else, if I'd been there at 845 instead of 830, if it had been raining and Minnie and I had stayed home, Stephen would not have seen us.

And none of this would ever have happened. I Googled Carol Fertig. Her apartment was featured in Elle Decor magazine. She was a big league designer of many things. When Carol walked down the street, people noticed her. She was bigger than life.

We were like mothers playing matchmaker. And long after Harry and Minnie actually fell in love, we kept on playing because Carol and I quickly became close friends. She designed a special coat of arms for Sir Harry Fertig and made one for Minnie, too. Only fitting because Minnie thought she was a glamorous movie star and maybe a princess. One night, Carol came to dinner fairly early on when she was still feeling pretty well and she pulled out of her ever-present Mary Poppins huge carrier bag this.

It had belonged to her first bull terrier, Harry's predecessor. Carol said, Harry wanted Minnie to have it. And I said, does it upset you to give away your treasures?

And she said, no, it gives me pleasure. The gift of her friendship was the greatest of the treasures Carol gave away. To among others, the women from her apartment building who used their games of mahjong as an excuse to dress up, all of them eager for news from Carol about the dogs. We all watched that happen as if it were a soap opera.

I mean, we were glued to our screens. Any time she would get an email from you, she would be like giddy, like a child. As Carol got sicker, Lisa Hushin and two other members of the group took on the thankless job of caring for her. I called them the three graces. Carol made these gold leaf wreaths that we all wore for tokenite. Carol had told us that she was dying and that's why we all held onto these wreaths. Because I think that is when you know that it's not going to be forever. It was over so soon. I had Harry for 16 months and then he was gone, too. When I took Minnie to the farmer's market in October, she hadn't been up to going for a long time. Ever the actress, she rose to the occasion as if she knew it would be her last great performance.

Less than three weeks later, she was dead. I didn't want my New York fairy tale about puppy love and unexpected friendship to end. So I wrote about it. And now, thanks to one more uncanny coincidence, I have girly, but that's another story. High fives for friendship are front and center in this week's offering from Steve Hartman. Every week, Andy Gullihorn goes for a walk.

And every week, about a mile and a half away, his friend Gabe Scott does the same thing at the same time. They walk toward each other and when they meet, it's the weirdest thing. Clap, snap, high five. Then, often, they simply walk home. The whole exercise, their way of saying hi. You realize people have telephones and you can just call your buddy.

You're right, we should have been doing that this whole time. And picking up the phone is great. But I've got a friend who literally will walk through the rain and the snow just to give me a high five.

And I wish everybody could feel that feeling. Andy and Gabe are musicians in Nashville. They met at a concert in 2000 and became friends. They got together on occasion, but not as often as they would have liked. So they invented this bit of silliness seven years ago as a way of guaranteeing they see each other at least once a week. So this is the high five journal. Andy has a log of every encounter, including the one that was nearly their last.

It was high five number 312. Gabe was hospitalized with a severe form of encephalitis. It caused his brain to swell and robbed him of his past. I pretty much forgot my life. Your whole life?

Yeah. And that's when his buddy Andy, now a virtual stranger, came to visit. I said, well, Gabe, this is going to sound really weird, but I need you to do something for me. Give me a high five. And he was like, okay. When the moment happened, my body just did what it's been doing for years. Clap, snap, high five.

That was in September. Since then, a lot of his memories have returned, but few more cherished than this silly tradition, which doesn't seem quite so silly anymore. It's really special to have something, have a memory of something. To have something that's this consistent in my life, that means this much. Andy even wrote a song about their ritual. So take a walk with me on Monday morning.

It's a reminder that going out of your way for someone is still the straightest path to an everlasting friendship. He's a many-faceted performer with much to say about movies and more. Stanley Tucci is in conversation with our Holly Williams. I feel English when I'm walking through here. Do you really feel English? Yeah, and I speak English when I walk through here, too. Oh, really? Yeah.

Just the language, not the accent. We track down the very funny, very charming Stanley Tucci in London just before Christmas. Tucci is that actor who you've seen everywhere, often stealing scenes, sometimes entire movies. It's earned him a cult following, though Tucci claims he doesn't understand it.

Yeah, people are saying that now. I don't know what that is. I think it means that you have people who watch a film for you, even if you're not in the starring role. I guess that people really like the variety of the performances. And that's what I sort of revel in. I love that. From an ideal husband to Meryl Streep's Julia Child. You can teach in our kitchen. True.

You can teach on television. To a deranged serial killer in The Lovely Bones. Because I just built this thing over here and I want to get a second opinion. Do you mind taking a look? A role that won Tucci an Oscar nomination and now Supernova in which he and Colin Firth play a middle-aged gay couple. I told you no matter what happens, I did not want to lose control of my life. Tucci's character is suffering from early onset dementia.

I'm losing control. One of the things that's interesting is that the sexuality of the two main characters is not a theme in the film at all. It's a universal love story.

Yeah. People are starting to come around and understand that love is just love. If you had one wish in the world, what would it be?

I wish this holiday wouldn't end. Tucci helped get the film made, including sending the script to his friend Colin Firth. Having played a number of gay characters, you know, you want to do it so that it's what you should do with any character. You just want to be truthful to it. It's been muted, but there has been criticism from some quarters saying that gay roles should be played by gay actors. What do you make of that? I have difficulty with that. I think that acting is all about not being yourself.

If we were to use that as a template, then we would only ever play ourselves. I think what we need to do, we need to give more gay actors opportunities. People who are gay have only recently, in the last few years really, have been able to say, I'm gay and I'm an actor, and I can play straight roles and I can play. They always had to hide their sexuality so that they could play the leading man or the leading woman. Tucci was born in a suburb north of New York City to an Italian-American family.

He started his career on the stage, but was hungry for roles in film and television. What he didn't want, he told us, were the parts playing violent mafiosos normally offered to Italian-American actors. I didn't want to play that person all the time. It's not interesting. There are brilliant movies made about the mafia, but you can't. You can't.

How often do they come along? Most of them are just sort of cheap rip-offs of the brilliant movies. In frustration, he says, he co-wrote, co-directed and starred in Big Night, a very different type of story about Italian-Americans. This is what the customer ask for. Make it, make the pasta, make it, make it, make the pasta.

Come on, let's go. Two immigrant brothers struggling to survive in the New Jersey restaurant business in the 1950s. The film also starred some of Tucci's family recipes.

What is that? The film helped get Tucci noticed and was also just the beginning of his very public obsession with food. I grew up in a family that put great importance on food and it was everything.

It seemed to be just about the only thing we talked about. Tucci has authored two cookbooks, has a food memoir on the way and recently filmed a series on CNN about Italian food in Italy. How good a cook are you out of 10? With certain dishes, 11. With a lot of stuff, I'm okay.

I'm an okay cook, maybe a five. At 60, Tucci seems to be savouring his success. But he's also experienced horrendous loss. His wife Kate, the mother of their three children, succumbed to cancer at the age of 47. You never stop grieving. You never stop grieving. And it's still hard after 11 years. Still hard. And it will always be hard.

But you can't let it. And she would never want any of us to sort of wallow in that grief and let it take over our lives. She would never want that.

She wasn't like that. In recent years, he's found love again with Felicity Blunt, a British literary agent, who's also the sister of Emily Blunt, Tucci's co-star in The Devil Wears Prada. And his very British wife and their two young children is also how this quintessential New Yorker ended up living here in London, where he's enjoying yet another cult moment. He posted an Instagram video of himself mixing a Negroni for his wife during lockdown, which quickly went viral.

Your wife, Felicity, that will never happen. Followed by more cocktails garnering millions of views. Why do so many people want to watch you mixing cocktails? I have no idea. Do you really have no idea? No, honestly, I don't. I don't.

Why do you, why do you think? Tell me. You know, I don't want to be inappropriate, but they are, they're quite sultry, some of these. Yes, really?

Yes. Yeah, there were always a lot of sexual comments. How do you feel about that? I was very flattered. But it was great.

I mean, you're incredibly flattered when people are just sort of going gaga over you. I'm Mo Rocca. Thanks for listening and please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. For more from this week's conversation, follow the Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 23:21:13 / 2023-01-28 23:36:35 / 15

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