NEWS > ENTERTAINMENT > MORGAN FREEMAN TO PLAY WISE OLD MAN IN NEW MOVIE
MORGAN FREEMAN TO PLAY WISE OLD MAN IN NEW MOVIE
January 11 2010
Hollywood, CA – In a town that seems to thrive on youth, a career like Morgan Freeman has had is a true anomaly. With people like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Miley Cyrus, and Dakota Fanning millionaires before hitting puberty, having success later in
life in Hollywood seems almost anathema to the philosophy of the town. That’s exactly the career that Freeman has had though, whose career really didn’t start to take off until he was in his fifties. Since then Freeman has become one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood, becoming even a movie star in his own right, destroying concepts of ageism with each success.
It was 1989 that Freeman broke through with roles in ‘Lean on Me’, ‘Glory’, and an Oscar nomination for ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. 1989 was also the year that Freeman turned 52-years old. Those roles weren’t his first, and he had even had an Oscar nomination two years earlier, but it was that year that the unlikeliest of stars was born. Since then Freeman has starred in a series of box office smashes like ‘Unforgiven’, ‘Seven’, and ‘The Dark Knight’ which have all propelled him to the heights of stardom normally reserved for people a third his age. Now in his seventies Freeman has a wealth of roles before him and, taking yet another twist in his strange career, will play a wizened old man with strong advice for the confused yet good hearted lead.
“Now that I’ve come into my twilight years I feel it’s time to finally start acting my age. I feel like I can lend a lot of weight to movies by playing the advisor, kind of the guy who has been there and done that and can pass that wisdom onto the next generation. Any roles I choose in the future are going to reflect that,” said Freeman in an exclusive interview. “When I think back to those big roles, and even roles in movie like ‘Bruce Almighty’ and ‘Deep Impact’ I realize that I can play a different part in telling the story. I don’t need to be the lead, not at my age, but I can still help tell the story in this new way.”
Freeman cited his role as Nelson Mandela in the recently released ‘Invictus’ as inspiration for the change in philosophy.
“Freeman has made a career out of being the old man who can play a little younger and that has served him well. It’s very heartening to see him make this active effort to play his age, to go into his golden years with grace and dignity. So many actors try to play young for way too long but thankfully Freeman isn’t trying to do that,” said Scrape TV Entertainment analyst Tracey Temple. “Given his weight and presence in most films I think it will be very easy for him to transition into this role as the wise old man imparting wisdom. He’s got this kind of gravitas already which will lends itself to that kind of role.”
Freeman’s role in the upcoming ‘Red’ is believed to be his first under this new philosophy.
“He showed in ‘Invictus’ that he has the ability to play that role and while his performance in that film wasn’t perfect, I imagine that he will perfect it very rapidly. An actor of this strength and that has been able to perform this variety of roles will undoubtedly be able to take on this new type of performance very readily,” continued Temple. “And I’m sure it will secure him many more roles. There are few actors out there that are even able to perform those types of roles so he will have a lock on them.”
In a related story, Samuel L. Jackson who has enjoyed a similar late-in-life success has vowed to only play tough guys with a sense of humour and clever catch lines.
Samantha Dryden, Entertainment Correspondent