Charlie Rose is in Los Angeles to interview Sean Penn about his controversial interview with Mexican drug lord El Chapo – an interview Mexican authorities say helped them locate and capture the fugitive. “I went to see [Penn] last night soon after I arrived, and I’m planning to interview him about his experience, and look forward to that as soon as all the things can be worked out. I have a thousand questions for San and all the people involved in this,” Rose told journalists during the CBS News panel at TCA.
The journalists had a thousand questions too, for Rose – which Rose declined to answer, understandably not wanting to do anything to scuttle the deal since the full interview hasn’t happened yet. Among the non-answered questions were his thoughts about El Chapo’s recent capture, whether Penn should have alerted authorities as to the drug kinpin’s whereabouts, etc. Mexican authorities said they were able to nab their guy thanks in part to Penn having traveled to Mexico to do his interview for Rolling Stone.
” I can’t speak to it and will not speak to it at this time, but I’m really looking forward to it,” Rose said, maddeningly, in answer to one such question.
Penn interviewed El Chapo, as Joaquín Guzmán is best known, over seven hours in person, with follow-ups via video and phone, starting last October while his subject was on the lam. It was the second time Guzmán had escaped jail. He was captured again last week after a gun battle.
“I can’t talk now,” Rose said more than once, though he did reveal he has a “whole range of people” he’d like to interview, and El Chapo is one of them. Which is not news, and yet will be widely reported this morning. “There’s not much to say other than it is a remarkable story,” Rose added, coyly.
Rose met with Penn for several hours last night. He said he’s waiting to get the “greenlight” from Penn who, he made a point of reminding reporters, “I’ve known a long time” having done a lot of interviews with the actor over the years. Last night, Rose said, he “went to talk to [Penn] about that” interview, and agreed to keep everything on the quiet until the actual interview airs. Rose said he thinks Penn will not do any interviews with other reporters “until we sit down.”
“He and I will have chance to explore a whole range things: the interview and the experience and how it came about. You can do that best in conversation over a period of time,” Rose said. The interview will play out over various CBS News programs, he said, parsing out crumbs. “Chris [Licht, EP of CBS This Morning] will look at it and know what right for CBS This Morning, and Steve Capus will look” and decide what segment works best for CBS Evening News, Rose said. “I hope we never lose that longform conversation. It is revealing. He knows how important it is,” Rose said of the Penn interview.
Penn’s secret interview with Guzman helped law enforcement authorities locate the fugitive’s whereabouts, a Mexican official told the New York Times over the weekend. More specificially, Penn’s interview and El Chapo’s having contacted other celebrities to pitch a biopic. Officials called off an earlier raid on Guzman’s hideout because he was holed up with women and children, the AP reported.