Into It: Jean-Michel Cousteau

What the underwater documentarian is reading, watching, and listening to.

tom ordway/ocean futures society


I'm reading the book that Ed Begley Jr., the actor, has produced [Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life]. He's on the cover and holding a light bulb. I know him – not well, but we've been at many events together. For example, he is telling us, and rightfully so, that if you have an electric car, you think you're doing the right thing. No you're not. Because you're plugging your electric car in a socket and that energy that is taking care of your batteries is coming from a power plant. And that power plant, in many instances, is powered by fuel, by oil. That's why, at least for now, hybrids are better because you create your own energy by driving.


I usually listen to jazz. Sydney Beckett, who moved to France because, as a black American, he felt poorly treated. I went to all his concerts in Paris, and he taught other people there.


I either like comedies or, coming from my youth growing up in Europe, I really like Westerns. I did see [3:10 to Yuma]. It was funny to see Russell Crowe play such a role! I've watched some of the [nature] documentaries from the BBC that [have] outstanding images, but I get bored very quickly because there is no story, so after 20 minutes I usually switch it off. But the images I'm jealous of. The quality of material they are able to collect is absolutely outstanding.

Jean-Michel Cousteau's "Return to the Amazon" airs on PBS, April 2. Cousteau's "Dolphins & Whales 3D" is on IMAX screens now.

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