Rock Center with Brian Williams Recap: Quvenzhané Wallis’ Candid Interview

Ever wondered what differentiates a good actor from the rest? Rock Center with Brian Williams shows us what it is through the eyes of the two stars of an Oscar-nominated film, Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry.

Quvenzhané and Dwight are Hollywood’s latest discoveries among a sea of artists in America. Both are practically new to the industry and hail from humble roots in the south. Ann Curry’s interview with the two shows a very candid nine-year old and a very poignant Dwight. Quvenzhané, who will go down in Academy Award history as the youngest nominee for Best Actress (to date) for her film “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, is obviously guided well by her parents. It is evident how she puts into heart the value of being “grounded” amidst the fame.

Dwight, a baker in New Orleans, proves his commitment to his role by digging deep on what it’s like to toughen up a child in the advent of losing his life. His quiet demeanor emanates through the screen as he tells how he got Quvenzhané’s trust via sweets. The two went on to become good friends off camera and the rest is history. This may have been a short interview but it just might be the most inspiring to date.

Ted Koppel features Gen. Martin Dempsey and his thoughts on several pressing issues facing him today. Gen. Dempsey made history when he became part and parcel of rescinding the policy of barring women from being in the battle field. Nicknamed “Chairman of the Board”, he is in reality the big boss of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and holds the highest rank in the military. The General keeps himself grounded by keeping the photos of the men who lost their lives when he was still in command in Baghdad.

Gen. Dempsey is tasked to ensure that Pres. Obama’s desire to lead America away from war activities will be delivered. He admits that although America’s war in Afghanistan should be complete by the end of 2014, he does not discount the fact that the threat of Al Qaeda will always be there. His efforts also include attending on the possibilities of cyber-attacks and how these can be countered to preserve the country’s financial and industry networks. On military leadership, Gen. Dempsey is now bent on re-emphasizing character. As he says, competence will always be the most important thing but character counts a lot.

Meanwhile, Brian Williams takes us around TV salesman Ron Popeil’s house. The man behind the Showtime rotisserie oven and the record holder for the most private stash of olive oil shows how he made it through hard times. Popeil’s drive to succeed stems from his younger days when he was literally hungry, had to endure an abusive relationship with his grandparents and his adult days of bankruptcy. He attributes his biggest success to TV, a medium which provided endless possibilities of racking up sales of $2billion.

Finally, Dr. Eric Topol provides a new way of seeing smartphones: one that can be used to monitor a patient’s vital statistics, enabling a physician to see the trends and eventually saving the person’s life plus hundreds of dollars on testing costs. Dr. Topol sees technology as an ally in the medical field, one which enhances the doctor-patient relationship. He estimates that his FDA-approved apps get rid of costs by 70% to 80%. Dr. Topol is not only a big fan of smart phones; he also practices what he preaches including living a healthy lifestyle amidst his busy schedule: something that his apps can contribute nowadays.

That’s our recap of Rock Center with Brian Williams today, 1/24/13. We’ll have another recap next week. Until then, please check out our Rock Center with Brian Williams archives HERE.

Image credit: Rock Center with Brian Williams