Not only a master of narration but also an outstanding actor and director, Morgan Freeman has been a part of the movie industry for almost six decades. The Lean on Me actor is one of the most beloved actors around the world as he has constantly given memorable and iconic performances throughout the years. Although he could have had an outstanding career in voiceover and narration in a documentary series, the depth and authenticity that he brings to the characters make the films memorable and iconic.
There are a plethora of things about Morgan Freeman that make him a great personality, but what makes him an influential person is how effortlessly he does everything. He had joined hands with Gene Hackman to give some of the most iconic films of this generation. However, Freeman was furious with his Unforgiven co-star for a very specific and valid reason.
Morgan Freeman Was Furious With Gene Hackman for Retiring
One of the most important traits of working alongside a talent like Morgan Freeman is that he elevates the work of his co-stars. Hence, when he worked alongside Gene Hackman, the audiences were charmed by the performances that they had done together in numerous films. The Dark Knight actor has enjoyed working with Hackman and has time and again stated how much he has enjoyed working in movies together.
However, there was a moment in Freeman’s career, when he was furious with the Hoosiers actor because of his decision to make the retirement call back in 2004. During an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, he shared that one of his most important traits as an actor is that he listens, and Gene Hackman told him to answer some questions honestly, and if Freeman doesn’t, his answer will hurt him.
“The essence to me of acting is listening. Gene leaned into my ear and he said, and I’ll paraphrase this, ‘I’m gonna ask you some questions, and if your answers don’t match up with the answers that I’ve already got, I’m gonna hurt you.’ I believed him.”
Freeman added that despite enjoying working with Gene Hackman, he was extremely upset with him after he announced his retirement.
“He’s retired! Silly man. You take talent like that away from me! I’m not happy about that.”
Morgan Freeman’s fury was justified because they shared a close bond and numerous iconic scenes. Moreover, people miss watching Hackman on the silver screen, so to some extent, the discontent was justified.
Morgan Freeman Thinks Driving Miss Daisy Was a Big Mistake
When the Bruce Almighty actor started acting in the film in the 1960s, it wasn’t till the 80s that he secured two roles that helped him enjoy fame and recognition in Hollywood. The first film was Glory with Denzel Washington, and the other was Driving Miss Daisy which won four Academy Awards. Despite the 1989 film, which earned nine Oscar nominations, Morgan Freeman called the film a “big mistake” in a 2000 speech at a BFI event via The Guardian.
“I think the big mistake was Driving Miss Daisy, actually. The character caught on – this wise, old, dignified, black man that once people get an iconic…some characters become sort of bracketed, identifiable – you and him. People come up and cry and stuff and everywhere you go they’re going to expect some aspect of that character out of you and if you disappoint them too many times…”
Bruce Beresford’s film was deemed to be commercially and critically extremely successful. However, Freeman does not consider his role in the film his favorite, when asked which movie he was “most proud” to have been cast in, he answered:
“I think so, well for me, Glory is a film that I am absolutely most proud of as a work. It did everything I think a movie can do: it entertains; it instructs; it says something about the human spirit and vision; it covers a wide spectrum of positive things that we have the opportunity or the mandate to do as people who can influence large numbers of people who are thinking.”
While his role in Driving Miss Daisy helped him launch to stardom, he regrets it, as he has a deeper understanding of characters and films than the critics, something which the people would even agree with.
Unforgiven can be rented on AppleTV.