*The bed bugs news report about the prestigious Waldorf Astoria in New York did not scare away the cast of “Morning Glory.” Before getting to the heavy-duty subjects, I asked the renowned action hero Harrison Ford (“Indiana Jones” trilogies, “Star Wars,” “Patriot Games”) if it was more fun playing a hero without the action in “Morning Glory”? “No. No, it’s fun getting paid to tell stories,” he says. “It’s fun working with really talented people and trying to make something that is both funny and emotional, you know, that engages the audience in an emotional experience. And it’s also fun to run, jump, and fall down. But enough about me,” he presumed and looked to his co-stars to jump in.
‘MORNING GLORY SAYS A LOT ABOUT THIS ERA OF TV MORNING SHOWS AND HOW THEY PRESENT THE ISSUES, THE SPECTATOR ASPECT. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON IT?
PATRICK WILSON: Well, there is that one guy [he is referring to Linney Boyette, the Black man who has stood among the Today Show crowd for over 15 years] that’s always on the Today Show, right? He’s always standing there…
FORD: Just don’t buy whatever kind of soap they’re selling, you know. If you don’t like it, you go someplace else. But I think it’s not so much a question of Rush Limbaugh or any particular personality. It’s coming from us. It’s coming from the public. We are less interested in a depth of understanding of the issues that face us in common. We’re less active in terms of trying to create a national consciousness as we are in depending and describing what’s singular about us. There’s not that sense of community. And so we are exploiting divisiveness. I’m not a nationalist per se. I’m not, you know, I’m not talking as a patriot. I’m talking as somebody that wants to see the problems of our society addressed. And I think that depends on appropriate information delivered in depth.
WILSON: I mean, I feel like it will probably get back to impartial news reporting. Growing up the son of a news anchor, I feel like it kind of will get back to that and I agree one hundred percent with Harrison in that the information we receive is skewed. I remember when you didn’t have an opinion, when it was good to not know the politics of your newsman. That’s how we all grew up. I didn’t know the politics of my own father because he always told both sides of the story and I loved that because it made you choose, made you present the facts and choose your own [ideas]. But I rather have that sort of free speech than be in any other country where journalists are completely forbidden to express themselves. In Russia two days ago a journalist was beaten and his hands broken, all that kind of stuff. That’s the other side of the free speech issue-where there’s none of it.
FORD: See, he’s not just another pretty face [laughs].
HARRISON, YOUR CHARACTER IS VERY MUCH ABOUT THE DUMBING DOWN OF NEWS FOR ENTERTAINMENT VALUE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT PERSONALLY?
FORD: It’s worse than that, actually, I think. What I’m about to say does not apply to those people that do responsible newsgathering and real journalism. And there are those people out there. What I’m fearful of is the kind of political opinion disguised as news where people can go to have their prejudices confirmed. And there’s a whole branch of what passes as news that does that. Just whatever your political persuasion or your preconceptions are, there’s a show that’s going to come right down your pipeline and tell you you’re right and everybody else that doesn’t think that way is wrong. And that’s not news. That’s religion. And it makes me crazy. So, but that’s my personal opinion.
DIANE KEATON: I think what Patrick [Wilson] said about his father was the most important thing that anybody said all day today, which is his father taught him to think by not having an opinion. What he said is really, really invaluable. That’s the responsibility of a parent. That is your first role model in life because it’s very seductive to be caught up with Charlie Sheen, if you know what I mean? Right? It’s much easier to think about him than it is to think about such enormous issues, which are complex, like the health care bill, okay. That requires real thinking and that’s what we need the most in this country is to establish a way to learn to think. And to respect that. That’s what I think.
DIANE, HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH 50 CENT?
KEATON: Don’t you think I have a future? Come on, now. My moves were every bit as good as his, right? I mean like this [she does a hip hop move]? Like did I not get that? I got that. No, it was so much fun. That’s fun. Music is fun. I wanted to be a singer. In case you wanted the story of my life. I’ll tell you. No, it was the best. That was my favorite thing to do…
When all is said and done, Ford wanted to make sure no one walked away thinking they were mocking morning shows. “We weren’t mocking the good ones. We were mocking the bad ones. And the good ones are done well and are much to be admired. The people are a pleasure to work with. And what they do they make look very easy. So I’m not mocking the profession, in general. We’re just specifically talking about the lowest rated morning talk show in the history of television [in the film].”