DJE: David James Elliott
R: Regis Philbun
C: Carrie Ann Inaba, Guest Co-Host
R: Our next guest is well known for his starring role in the hit series, JAG. Was on it for a long, long time. So please welcome a versatile actor in both television and film. Here's David James Elliott.
(Loud Applause and Greetings)
Hey, how you doing? Oh my gosh. Good to see you again.
DJE: You haven't aged, you never age. (R/Well look at you!) What are you on?! (Laughter)
R: Oh my gosh. It's good to see you, David.
DJE: Nice to see you, Regis.
R: You know, the last time you were on, you were on JAG I think, right?
DJE: That's right.
R: But even before that, you began as a rock-and-roll guy, right? Did you have a little band or something?
DJE: Just trying to make a living, Reg. (Laughter)
R: Yeah, sure, of course--whatever it takes. But you had a band up there in Canada?
DJE: I did, yeah, yeah, I did.
C: Were you the singer, or what did you play?
DJE: I was the lead singer. I played guitars and..... (C/Sweet)
R: Do you still sing?
DJE: Not today (laughs). (R/Aw, give us a.....) I don't know where you're going with that, but..... (laughs). Yeah, I do around the house. (R/Good for you) They usually let me go in a little room and close the door, and sing by myself in my house.
R: You know it's just amazing--I was saying to Carrie Ann--that it's amazing what happens to people in this business. Here you start out with a group, you're own group, you're a singer, and all of a sudden, you become.....And she says, wherever it takes you is where you're destined to be.
DJE: Yeah, you started off dancing and singing to begin with?
C: Yes, he debuted on Dancing With The Stars, actually. (Laughter)
DJE: And now you have your own show (laughter). I wanted to know, do you ever come in grumpy? 'Cause you just seem like the nicest, happiest guy. So I was asking them backstage, "Isn't Reg ever grumpy?"
R: No, as a matter of fact, I am the nicest guy you'll ever meet (laughter). Honest to God, I am.
C: So wait, we hear you just got back from--where were you?
DJE: I was in the Amazon. I was in the Ecuadorian portion of the Amazon.
R: Taking a vacation with your family, but you decided really to make it a historical vacation.
DJE: Yeah, yeah.
R: Let's take a look at some of these pictures. Are they in the right order?
DJE: (First pic) This is the Chief of the tribe. We stayed with this tribe.
R: You went deep into the jungles of Ecuador?
DJE: We stayed in one of the most pristine bio-diverse areas of the Amazon. (R/Uh huh.....)
C: Where is this?
DJE: In Ecuador.
R: And how were you received by the Chief of this family?
DJE: He was a wonderful guy. He brought us into his house. This is his home (pointing to pic). This is his bed, Don't know if you can see that. They sleep on these planks of wood. These are his children. Beautiful guy. This (2nd pic) was the shaman (the woman in the middle). We went and had a clearing. That was quite a process.
R: The shaman is like the...(pauses)
DJE: The shaman is the doctor. If you get sick, you go see the shaman, and she works her magic.
R: And anybody can go into the jungle there and meet folks like this?
DJE: Well, we had to fly in. It was like about an hour and a half flight deep in. We obviously had somebody who arranged it. It was set up, and we went and stayed with them.
R: Was it everything you thought it was going to be?
DJE: And more! (Regis/Yeah) Yeah. (Regis/Really exciting, huh?!) Yeah, it was very interesting. (Pointing to next pic) This is me and the Chief. We had our faces painted.
R: What's the Chief's name, 'cause I'd like to meet him.
DJE: I--you know--
R: You don't know the Chief's name? (C gasps in fun/Oooo)
DJE: I knew it on the day, Reg. Thanks for setting me up! (Laughter) Hopefully he's not watching!
R: He's not as nice a guy as I am.
DJE: No I can be grumpy..... (Laughter)
R: You took your two sons there, right? (next pic)
DJE: No, my daughter and a son. This is my 7-year-old boy with our guide, the Achuar guide.
R: He must have been in heaven, your young guy there.
DJE: Oh he had a great time (Regis/must have loved it) Oh yeah. And this is the Chief's son here, playing with one of his toys (next pic) He had this knife......
R: One of his toys--A razor sharp knife!--Yeah.
DJE: You know (C/Is that okay?) I would have taken it away. The Chief didn't seem to mind, so maybe.....this is the heir to the throne. (R/Wow) (C/Really? Wow) It's an amazing, unbelievable place.
R: Could they speak -- could they understand what you were saying?
DJE: No, we had an interpreter. And we sat and drank--they drink this thing--you know women do most of the work, and the men do a little hunting. And the women--they start the day making this drink. It's basically fermented saliva
R: Fermented saliva?! Who's saliva?
C: Their saliva.
DJE: Yeah, they chew this root, and they spit it into a big bowl, and it ferments, and they drink it all day, you know.
R: Okay. Sounds like fun. (Laughter)
DJE: So you had to drink some of it (C/Wow) It was interesting to drink.....
R: Wow, what an experience! How long did you stay there?
DJE: Two weeks.
R: Two weeks you stayed there?! (R/Wow) (C/Wow) Something you'll always remember.
DJE: Always remember! You know, it's a phenomenal place. And it's--not to be a downer--but it's--we're really up against it. It is disappearing at a rate of the size of 7 football fields per minute.
R: Per minute? (DJE/Yeah) Isn't that a shame. The whole.....
DJE: By the end of this century, they say it will be gone.
R: Oh gosh.
C: Oh that's terrible. Is there any way we can help?
R: But they're happy.
DJE: They're happy. And you know--and here's another thing. I'm sure most people don't know, and I didn't know, is a 10 times worse than the oil disaster in the Gulf, happened in the Amazon not far from where we were staying.
R: 10 times worse than the..... What was it, oil?
DJE: A worse oil dump. (R/Oh, an oil dump) Big oil down there acting with impunity. Certainly the time has come for us to.....
R: And here they are not bothering anybody, and all effected by it.
DJE: They're all terribly effected by it. And that's why we went down, to see what it WAS like. And then we went to this disaster site.
R: Well, that can speak to a lot of incentive--you know, do the same thing with their family. Take a look at the world--it's all there.
DJE: That's what I thought. (Applause/Break) We'll be right back with David James Elliott.
R: David James Elliott's new show on ABC called "Scoundrels". It's about a family.
DJE: Yes. A typical American family.
R: A family of criminals.
DJE: A family of criminals.
R: And you are the Dad (DJE/Yes Sir) But they caught you and sentence you to a long prison term, right?
DJE: That's what happened. That was not what I assumed was going to happen when I went to court that day. However, I got a little surprise (R/They got you, they nailed you) Yeah, they got me.
R: So they're putting Dad away (DJE/Crime does not pay) So what happens to the family when you're in there?
DJE: Well, Virginia Madsen plays my wife (R/Right) and she thinks that maybe she wants to step up with a new family plan of going legit (R/Oh ho) much to my chagrin (R/okay, alright) and I'll have none of that.
R: Well, this is really a different -- is it a comedy, a dramedy?
DJE: It's a dramedy.
R: Aha--some laughs.
DJE: Yeah, it's based on a hit show in New Zealand called "Outrageous Fortune", which is already a big success over there, so I think maybe ABC thought it could work for them.
R: Yeah, yeah, why not. "Scoundrels". So let's take a look at you in action now, okay? (DJE/Thank you, yes) You're in jail, and you're being visited by your wife, played by Virginia Madsen. Take a look at "Scoundrels"
R: Kinda scary! (C/Oooo--dramatic!) Anyway, "Scoundrels", Sunday night at 9 o'clock on ABC. Good luck, David. Great to have you here.
C: Nice to meet you.