‘Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper’ Premiers on HBO and CNNCategory: Television
What do a legendary fashion designer/artist/heiress and a TV host/anchor have in common? If they are iconic designer Gloria Vanderbilt and popular CNN star Anderson Cooper they have plenty in common. Actually, they are mother and son. Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper is a new look at these two high-profile people.
“It was kind of surreal,” Cooper told the media about interviewing his mother for this documentary. “I mean, we all have relationships with our parents that change as they age and we age, but oftentimes, we don’t change the way we talk to our parents when we’re with our parents. And I think that’s kind of one of the messages of this film. This idea of leaving nothing left unsaid is something that I feel really strongly about. My dad died when I was 10. My mom’s father died when she was 15 months old. We both grew up with this fantasy that there was a letter out there somewhere – an idle letter from my dad somewhere out there, and that she had a letter from her father out there. And both of us still kind of secretly believe that letter will someday show up.” He added, “And I didn’t want to have that feeling with my mom.”
In the process of preparing this documentary, a treasure trove of old documents and pictures were discovered. Cooper acknowledged that he has been interviewing his mom for most of his life because he always wanted to be a TV journalist and took it upon himself to simply interview her. They discovered old footage of their early interviews and plenty of other personal items too.
“I was conducting interviews with my mom – the open of the film is some stuff that I shot on a beach with my mom, I think, in 1989 or 1990, the year I graduated college, probably the year after my brother killed himself. And I had totally forgotten about all this footage that I’d shot,” Cooper said with delight.
Cooper is excited to show viewers exactly what his mom is like. “My mom will turn 92 in February. Her birth made headlines. When she was 10, she was the subject of a really extraordinary custody battle. It was called ‘the trial of the century’ long before the O.J. Simpson trial was called ‘the trial of the century.’ And her entire life has played out on a very brightly lit stage, and I think this film is – the idea really behind it is – you may know her name, but you really don’t know who she is or what her story is.”
This project was as much for mother and son as it was for the viewers. “I know my mom in a way that I didn’t know her a year ago, or a year and a half ago, when we started this process. And we actually have written a memoir together that will be coming out around the same time of the documentary. And it was really an extension of this documentary, the idea being, changing that conversation that you have with your parent.”
“Well, I feel absolutely the same way,” Vanderbilt acknowledged. “We started communicating and became close in a way that we hadn’t before.”
About his mother’s life, Cooper conceded, “She comes from a time and a place that in many ways doesn’t exist any longer. The world that she was born into in February 1924 was this incredible world. She was born into this family which, on paper, was this incredibly wealthy family, one of the richest families in America, living in palaces, really, in these enormous mansions that they called cottages, but which are today open to the public, and they’re just extraordinary structures. And that kind of world, that kind of lifestyle just doesn’t exist.”
The film shows an exciting relationship between mother and son and is informative for viewers who think they know these two celebrities. Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper premiers April 9, 2016 on HBO and April 30, 2016 on CNN. It’s truly a story of family.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
Follow her on Twitter