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Edward Norton Shares Insight On Making Obama Film

Ellen Degeneres had actor Edward Norton on her talk show on Thursday.  The actor had just returned to the United States from a Christmas Holiday trip to Indonesia.

Ellen warned Norton she was covered in "blanket" which she had been showing off right before he appeared onstage.  He told her not to worry about it and that "we'll work on it throughout the interview."

(Image of Edward Norton - - All Rights Reserved)

She then welcomed him "back to our country, you've been gone for awhile.  Huh?"  Ed replied "For Christmas vacation I got about a month off and I went down.  My father lives in Indonesia.  Yeah, So I went.  He's been doing conservation work in Asia for almost a decade.  He lives on Bali which is really a tough life."  Ellen agreed "oh that's a shame."

Norton "I chase him around on his adventures.  He (his father) has been doing reef work, conservation on reefs.  So we get these opportunities to go diving with a lot of his marine science teams and things like that.  Our whole family scuba dives.  So this time we went further out than we've ever gone.  The far Eastern part of Indonesia by Papua, New Guinea."

He showed a photo of where they visited and it was a breathtaking sight to behold.  He showed a circular group of islands called the Raja Umpah Islands."  He said to Ellen "I know you like fish."

He showed Ellen a lot of photos he had taken including a "very cool starfish you can only see at night."  He pointed out that he "looked for the blue Tang (fish) for her but he couldn't find them."  He also said "these are some of the most intact coral reefs in existence."

He also showed a photo of his sister's finance who was drunk and mugging for the cameras.  He also showed Ellen an unusual "very strange kind of sea snail."  Ellen said "and this is the kind of stuff we're losing and that's why you're seeing stuff there."  Norton "it is."  Ellen "you're seeing it because no one's distrubing it."

The actor showed a photo of a lacey shark.  He said "this is a tassled woebegone shark.  Do you see all the lace?  He's sort of the Stevie Nicks of sharks."  He pointed out "there are so few sharks in that area because they have been so fished out of the water for shark fin soup and shark fins.  It's horrendous."

He also discussed his work on the film, which is out on CD, "By The People, The Election of Barak Obama."  Ellen asked "you started following Barak before he even announced (his run for the presidency) right?"  Edward said "I did, yeah.  We had these two filmmakers who proposed this idea to use of making a film about a freshman Senator's experiences in politics and we proposed it to then Senator Obama as a six year project to just check in with him throughout his term in the Senate.  And try to introduce younger people to politics through this."

He continued "and they (Obama) agreed to that and we were going along for almost a year and nine months before he declared his candidacy and then we found ourselves unexpectedly with this really extraordinary opportunity to sort of stay inside his campagin and amazingly he and his advisors allowed us a kinda unprecedented access to the innerworkings"

Ellen "because at first they were resistant and saying no"  Edward "they were and then they let us have this incredible access"

Ellen then showed a clip of Mrs. Obama talking to the cameras about all the issues they had to face with the idea of running for the Presidency.  She talked about concern for the family and taking the girl's needs in consideration.  She also talked about security.

Edward also talked about the upcoming Martin Luther King Day and how it is being called that National Day Of Services and dedicated as a volunteer day.  He explained how he went ahead and put a soundtrack together with a lot of wonderful new tracks by amazing artists like Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend, Bruce (Springstein) and lots of great people who contributed to the soundtrack.  He noted "all the proceeds are going to support work on The Gulf (New Orleans)."

Ellen pointed out "they still need it."

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