Web exclusive | More from the Michael Moore interview
On accuracy in his films. Moore: Do you think the NRA would have loved to sue me? Q: Not at all, especially after that Charlton Heston interview...
More from Michael Moore — on accuracy in his films.
Moore: Do you think the NRA would have loved to sue me?
Q: Not at all, especially after that Charlton Heston interview.
A: Right, exactly. But my point is that, so I only had one lawsuit of "Bowling for Columbine," and that was from the brother of the Oklahoma City bomber. Remember him in the film? He goes to show me his gun under his pillow. And then in "Fahrenheit" there was only one lawsuit that came out of that and that was against NBC for a piece of archival footage that I put in the film and he was upset that NBC gave it to me. He was in the archival footage. That's it. What people disagree with is my analysis of things, and those who disagree with that have the right to do that. But I want everyone to know when I state a fact, it's a fact. And if I show you pieces of anecdotal evidence, that anecdotal evidence is based on the facts.
Q: The day I saw "Sicko," there was news of a Los Angeles woman who died on an ER floor while calling 911 and begging for help. What the hell? I've never once seen that on "House."
A: It's funny, it's a scene that I left on the cutting room floor. I actually had a scene in the movie encouraging them, when that happens when they go to the hospital, and the hospital won't help them because they're either not insured or they're not in an in-network hospital, that they should call 911 and report an attempted murder.
Q: For instance, you talk to people who've had nothing but good experience with Canada's socialized health care, but I know someone whose Canadian dad has to wait months to see specialists and endures substandard care.
A: Ask any American what they've heard about the Canadian system and they're going to repeat what you just said — long waiting lines, substandard care, doctors aren't happy, they move to the United States. Right? We've heard this story over and over again. What we haven't heard is the other side, and that's why my films exist, to give you the other side. I know you've heard that other stuff.
People said to me with "Fahrenheit," how come you didn't show all the atrocities Saddam committed? Ummm, because the network news is telling you that every five minutes? I mean I'm assuming you know that he's a bad guy, so now I'm going to spend my time in my movie telling you why even though he was a bad guy he had no plans to bomb the United States and he had nothing to do with 9/11.
I have a scene in the movie where I go in this Canadian waiting room and this woman says, "We have our problems with our system, and we complain a lot about it." And I said I know, I understand. you're Canadian. I put that in there to acknowledge that the Canadians themselves are the first to complain about their system. But the man who is sitting next to her who's had problems with his father having to wait? You should have asked him if his dad would trade his Canadian health insurance card for your health insurance card at The Seattle Times.
Q: You may be the only documentarian to have acted with Vanessa Redgrave (in "The Fever"). How was that for you, and did you get brain freeze from all the ice cream you ate in the scene with her?
A: (Laughs.) They actually aired that? Wow. Jeez, I haven't seen it. First of all, to be sitting there doing a scene with what some would consider the greatest living actress in the English speaking world, that's only a losing proposition for me.
Q: I think you ate your ice cream every bit as well as she did. It was Method.
A: They just kept pouring the ice cream on us. But I did notice she was taking much smaller spoonfuls than I was. And we're filming that scene in downtown Zagreb in Croatia, so I had no idea what they kept — I mean it looked like ice cream, but it was what they called Croatian ice cream, so I had no idea what they were doing to me. I do remember the next day on the plane on the way back to the U.S. not feeling very good.
Q: You make a lot of powerful people angry. Do you travel with security?
A: A: Occasionally it seems when I show up in certain places that the Weinstein (film) company has hired security guards for me. Do they know something I don't know? (Laughs.)
Q: I think any accident you had might appear suspicious.
A: (Laughs.) It was funny, last night we were in San Francisco at a screening of the movie and some guy in a tie-died T-shirt stood up and said, "I have some Vitamin C if you'd like it." And the whole audience instantly erupted into "Nooo! No, don't take it!"
Q: Did you go there on the up-and-up with all the i's dotted and t's crossed when you went to Cuba, or do you feel like you're being targeted?
A: Obviously I'm being targeted, but the law is very clear that journalists can go to Cuba. You don't need to apply for permission or get a license or anything. And we're making a documentary. It's a nonfiction film, it's a work of journalism.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.