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Live Blogging: Leo & Oprah

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, OprahHere we go! Leonardo DiCaprio is on Oprah. She starts right into asking if he’s still into the environment. He mentions the eco-documentary that he’s working on call the 11th Hour.

Now they are going into Blood Diamond and why diamonds have issues behind them. I’m so happy to hear a different voice/accent from Leonardo!

LD: Politically charged film. Funded a lot of civil wars in Africa. For me it was very symbolic of what we do as consumers. “We don’t think about where it comes from.” We need to understand that when we do buy something we are making a statement. I didn’t know a lot about conflict diamonds or blood diamonds as they are called in this movie.

Next up: Djimon Hounsou

With all of these previews, I feel like I’ll have seen the whole movie before this show is over!

DH: The toughest film I’ve had to shoot.

O: First black African to ever be nominated…Did you think this would happen?

DH: No, I wanted to act…

DH: When I first here that he [Leo] would be attached to the story…It’s been the most gratifying journey…He has done so many things for me on and off set. Simple things like lending his house to receive my guests, his chef…Also, your friend Mandela. Leonardo said to Nelson Mandela, ‘Mandela, this gentleman here was assigned to play your life story at one point.

DH: When I read the first, second, third draft…

LD: A tremendous amount of research went into it.

DH: I grew up like that, in a big household…

O: Next, is the diamond industry doing anything to prevent the trade of blood diamonds?

O: Ed Zwick, director of Blood Diamond, is famous for his stunning films like Glory, Legends of the Fall and The Last Samurai. Ohhh, Legends of the Fall….I love that movie! (That’s what Oprah said, but I ditto that.) Here’s what the industry wants us to know about blood diamonds.

Kimberley Process was established in 2002. Voluntary. Today 47 countries meet the requirements established by the Kimberley Process. By buying conflict-free diamonds, you are helping the communities from which they come. HIV screening, educational, health care, are some of the things that have been established.

EZ: The public has been able, by virtue of their awareness, to change the world. Walk into a jeweler and ask to see a warranty or certificate.

Dr. Muhammad YunusO: My next guest isn’t a head of state, but he found a way to affect more than 100 million people. He’s the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Muhammad Yunus. He started lending micro-loans…around $100 each. No collateral necessary. Read more on Oprah’s site.

MY: I did a lot of little things. I saw how people suffer from the money lender, the conditions that they put on these people. Even if you don’t fail, you can never get ahead. So I went around the village and asked what people needed. 42 people, totaled $27 USD. I said I can solve this problem. It’s so small, I will just reach into my pocket. So that’s what I did. Then I saw that day after day that people were getting so excited to be free from the money lenders that we wanted to continue it. So far: over $6 billion in loans.

O: 58% of his banks customers have gotten out of poverty.

MY: We wanted to bring cell phones to the villages. We lent money to a woman so that she could by a cell phone. She opened a “cell phone business”. She lets people make calls from her phone and they pay her, and she makes a lot of money.

O: What will you do with the money?

MY: We will put it into a social business.

O: I know you hang out with Bono a lot (MY: Yeah), isn’t he a cool guy? He’s doing a lot of great work with his (RED) campaign.

Yunis also has a book, Bank to the Poor.

Now, the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.  (Site for their documentary.) With help from the UN, the group performs for other refugee camps. It is a rare moment of joy. One year later, the UN brings them to Sierra Leone for their first album. We’ll be back in a moment, you’re gonna hear the band, the band is here.

O: So I hear you’re opening for Aerosmith, that’s amazing! We take strength from your strength.

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