Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Oliver Stone Interviews Vladimir Putin: Accept No Substitutes

cbsnews |  Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone is known for such films as "Born on the Fourth of July," "Platoon," "Wall Street" and "JFK." He also wrote the screenplays for "Midnight Express" and "Scarface." Over his career he has also interviewed controversial figures like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

For his latest documentary, the Showtime series "The Putin Interviews," Stone was granted extensive access to the Russian president. Stone interviewed Putin more than a dozen times over two years. No topic was off limits. 

In one conversation from February 2016, Stone asked Putin about the candidates in the United States' presidential election:
Stone: "You do realize how powerful your answer could be; if you said subtly that you preferred X candidate, he would go like that [indicates nosedive] tomorrow, and if you said you didn't like Trump or something, right, what would happen? He would win. You have that amount of power in the U.S."
Putin: "Unlike many partners of ours, we never interfere within the domestic affairs of other countries. That is one of the principles we stick to in our work."
On "CBS This Morning" Monday, Stone said he first got to know Putin during production of his film about Edward Snowden, released in 2016, for which he interviewed the former NSA analyst in Moscow nine times. Stone also asked Putin about the Snowden affair and his point of view on it, "and one thing led to another."

Stone said he was invited by Putin to conduct the interviews. 

"I think he needed to be heard fairly because I'm not going to be an editor; I'm going to let him speak," Stone said. "And his point of view is not heard; you don't hear him in Russian in the West; you hear a dubbed voice, and sometimes a dubbed voice can be very harsh."
The four-part documentary series debuts on Showtime June 12.