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Morgan Freeman on The Bucket List

Published January 4, 2008 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros Pictures.
Many actors talk about their extensive preparation for characters. Marlon Brando was known for his method, Johnny Depp is known for picking up observations and Robert DeNiro just plain transforms himself. Morgan Freeman plays a man dying of cancer in The Bucket List and he did none of the above.

Morgan Freeman's Bucket List

"What you’re doing always in any acting situation, is acting," he said. "You’re not trying to live the character. If you are, you’re gonna get in deep trouble I think. Playing a character who is dying or gonna die, no, you just do it. I don’t have any sense of my own mortality. I reject any thoughts of my own mortality. What’s to think about that? I like the premise of the movie. It ain’t about that. It’s about living."

Even with the simple characteristics of his character, Freeman just winged it. "I’ve never been a mechanic. Oh, yes, I have. I was an electronics technician when I was in the Air Force, in my teens. But throughout my life, what I have been is an actor, a pretender. One who gets a real kick out of make believe. So I don’t think I’m that close to this character. Also I’m, knock wood, outstandingly healthy. So aside from being six foot two and black, and I have a family and the wife and stuff like that. But my answer to that is no, I don’t think I have that much in common with the character.”

Jack Nicholson joins Freeman on a buddy journey to make the most out of the last year of one's life. Though it was their first meeting, Freeman felt familiar. "I’ve been dancing with him since the beginning. I know his rhythms, I know lots about him just from watching his work. I’ve known him ever since Easy Rider. I’ve seen just about everything he’s ever done."

The Bucket List The Bucket List

The Bucket List The Bucket List

The Bucket List The Bucket List

The Bucket List The Bucket List

What Freeman did not know was that Nicholson had a say in every script. I found out he was a writer. I didn’t know he was a stinkin’ writer. I knew he was a great actor. He came up to me and said, 'I’m probably going to drive you crazy because but I work. I love nights angsting over little things in the script. I will be doing that and talking to you the next day.' Fine, my joy is you. What you do in your off time is your business. He writes lines for himself. He’s a great shaper, I think, of material, because he looks at commas, periods and colons and semi-colons, and they make the difference."

The Bucket List is out in theaters now.

For the trailer, stills, review and more movie info, go to The Bucket List Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros Pictures.

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