This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 4 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Steven Seagal is one of the most recognizable action movie stars in the world, and his films have grossed — get this — more than $2 billion worldwide.
But what you may not know about the actor is that, for nearly two decades, he has worked as a deputy with the Jefferson Paris Sheriff's Office, and now a new A&E television series is tracking Steven on the job in Louisiana.
Let's take a look.
STEVEN SEAGAL, ACTOR: Carjacking. We're trying to catch the perpetrator.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're blocked in.
SEAGAL: Where you at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't forget he's got a gun.
SEAGAL: I got him. Taser. Taser, taser.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taser, taser. Everybody off. Taser. Taser, taser. Everybody off.
SEAGAL: Everybody calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Handcuffs.
SEAGAL: Calm down. We got him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get against the car. Spread your legs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And I'm joined now by the star of "Steven Seagal: Lawman," which airs on the A&E television network, Steven Seagal.
How are you?
SEAGAL: I'm great, man.
HANNITY: I'm a big fan of yours. I love the movies that you do. And as I'm reading your background, I'm stunned. I am shocked.
Well, first of all, you have a seven-degree black belt. Tell us about that.
SEAGAL: I've been studying martial arts since a young boy and went to Japan in my early youth and lived there for almost 20 years. And certainly got a few black belts and was the first non-Asian in Japan to teach the Japanese. I had my own dojos and taught people for a long time.
HANNITY: All right. You know, what's amazing about this is usually when somebody's involved in — I don't know, any — Hollywood actor or any famous person is involved in something such as you have been involved in for 20 years, we usually know about it. How did you keep it kind of under the wraps for such a long period of time?
SEAGAL: Well, I mean, you know, for example, I've done charity work all around the world. I have a huge orphanage and organization in Africa called "Save a Million Lives," where we feed and take care of children who have been orphaned from AIDS.
And I have many things like that going on around the world that I just — I don't invite the press when I do things. Because I do them because I love God and I love mankind. And I'm trying to help people.
And it's sort of the same thing with being a deputy sheriff down there. I do it because of my love for people and the community and wanted to serve the community, protect people who need help and get the bad guys.
HANNITY: And obviously you're getting the bad guys there. And you also, with the sheriff's deputies that you work with, you teach the martial arts. You're an expert marksman. I've been a marksman most of my life, too.
SEAGAL: Maybe you could teach me.
HANNITY: I don't know about that. But I was — I went to New Orleans, and what I would say to my friends when I got back is television and the images we saw never captured...
HANNITY: ... the level of devastation that was going on down there. So probably, as a result of all of that poverty, now there's crime that follows. Is that what has happened?
SEAGAL: It is. I mean, the housing was devastated. And my opinion, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. It's very, very difficult now. The infrastructure has been seriously damaged. Many of the people didn't come back. And there's problems with housing, infrastructure, jobs. It's still very, very serious. Difficult situation down there.
And so one of the reasons why I decided to do the show is because everybody told me this would really help post-Katrina New Orleans, and I wanted to do that.
HANNITY: You know, I got to imagine, and I guess we'll see this in this TV series, as let's say you arrested me and I look up and I'd be like, "Steven Seagal?" Does that happen?
SEAGAL: It has happened, yes. It has happened. A lot of times they're too busy, you know, getting arrested to know what's going on. Or getting taken down or whatever. But once in a while they recognize me.
HANNITY: It's sad. You know, you talk about you do a lot of your charitable works for your faith, your belief in God and humanity, and you want to make the world a better place.
HANNITY: But — but when you're doing that job, you're seeing the darker side of the human experience.
SEAGAL: I mean, you see both, brother. You see both. You see some of the greatest people you've ever seen in your life, putting their own lives at risk to help people. And then you see the other people who are predators trying to eat whatever they can.
HANNITY: Yes, it's pretty frightening out there.
What is it — what do you see the root cause of a lot of this? One of the things I like, I was telling you before, I watched "The Gladiator" with my son. He's only 11 years old. I watched "The Patriot" with my son. I watched Mel Gibson. I watched a lot of your movies with my son.
And because it seems like in a lot of ways, you know, masculinity has been diminished. Somebody that stands up for what's right, takes on the bad guys, beats them up, knocks them down. And to me, those were the heroes I grew up with.
HANNITY: And it seems like that's almost being diminished in society. Do you see that?
SEAGAL: You're asking two questions. First of all, you're asking what the root of all of this is? And I say, believe it or not, the root of tremendous increase in violence in the streets and the degeneration of — you know, really society as we used to know it, believe it or not, is family and upbringing.
Most of the kids that I meet in the street are serious hardened criminals that I meet in the street, never had a mother and a father to love them, to protect them, to teach them right from wrong and lead them out of crime and gangs and stuff like that.
And two, you know, to answer your second question, I feel that many times when people love action movies, and love the kind of movies where the bad guys get the comeuppance, that's primarily, in my opinion, because the judicial system is such that half the time, our law protects the bad guys. And it's very, very hard to convict — harder and harder to arrest and convict serious criminals because of the judicial system and the way it's leaning now.
HANNITY: And my mother didn't feed me Twinkies as a kid. And therefore I'm not responsible for my actions.
SEAGAL: That's how I answer, you know, both of those questions.
HANNITY: Good job. Well, listen, it's great to see you. And we'll be looking forward to seeing the show.
SEAGAL: Thank you so much.
HANNITY: Appreciate you being with us.
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