March 2003
Dreamcatcher : An Interview with Morgan Freeman

Interviewed by Nicole L. Williams

Dreamcatcher: An Interview with Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is one of a handful of great actors who have yet to be rewarded by the Academy for his work. Although he has been nominated for his work in “Street Smart”, “Driving Miss Daisy”, and “The Shawshank Redemption”, he’s gone home empty handed each time. That doesn’t seem to bother him. He’s a man who wants to keep working with good actors on good projects. It seems that every year, there’s always one film that Morgan has a role in. For the most part, he has the part of the elder statesman or “father figure” in a film. Last year, he played that sort of character in “High Crimes” and “The Sum of All Fears”, but once in a while, he would have a role we don’t expect him to play. Such is the case with his film “Dreamcatcher”, based on the Stephen King novel. In an interview with, Morgan spoke to me about his character in the film.

NW: Is your character Kurtz darker and crazier in the book?

MF: I didn’t read the book so I don’t know.

NW: What is your perception of his character in the movie?

MF: I think he’s suffering from a syndrome where you have been doing one thing a little too long. His autonomy is out of hand. He’s thinking now that he’s got a license, he has a mission.

NW: Do you see a parallel to the apocalypse now character, because in that book the main character’s name is Kurtz, the same as your character in this film?

MF: Because of the name there is a fleeting semblance, but no not really.

NW: This is a very unusual film for you to take.

MF: I hope so.

NW: Is that what attracted you?

MF: Yeah, That and I like Larry Kasdan’s work and I like him. We had a sit down dinner before we agreed to do this together and I really took to him. That and the fact that this is a departure type role for me, and fun to do.

NW: It was a departure for him to as well, did that add to the attraction?

MF: Yeah, he was looking for the right people to play these roles.

NW: This guy is so gung ho and so completely over the top, it must have been fun at some point?

MF: Yeah, you let go, because that’s where he’s headed. He controls all this fire power and nobody’s overseeing him, you know, like Patton in WWII. This guy is a pit-bull w/o a leash.

NW: What do you think of aliens? Do you think they exist?

MF: I can’t get into that part. I really don’t think that there are aliens. I mean when you fly over the country sometimes you look down at the ground at things and wonder how did they get there. But the idea of aliens, knowing what interstellar travel would take in terms of time… I can’t know everything, but I personally at this moment think it is a long stretch to imagine that there are aliens here on the planet. You could tell me different, you could speak a language I’ve never heard before.

NW: I am curious about the look of the character, the hair, the eyebrows, did you have input on that?

MF: I got input on everything you see me do.

NW: It was such a great look for a guy like that.

MF: You like that? Bless your heart. You’re always looking for somebody to say, “Why the hell did you do that, I couldn’t get into the movie because I kept getting mixed up with your eyebrows.” But you liked it, so there it is. Your word carries more weight.

NW: What was “Dreamcatcher” for you, an alien movie, psychological movie, or a friendship movie?

MF: What if I said paycheck? No. It’s not a friendship movie. This guy isn’t into friendships so much, he’s a savior. He really thinks of himself as saving humanity. It’s very important to him. He’s been instructed with this mission and must do it.

NW: And he’s very much of a loner because of this?

MF: Well, you know, when you get messianic that’s it, it’s hard to be anything else.

NW: Did you say messianic? That’s funny because you’re also this year playing God in Bruce Almighty, how was that?

MF: That was great, just a knockdown drag out laugh.

NW: I understand you were a member of the Air Force; did you get a chance to fly the helicopter you flew in the movie?

MF: I actually flew the helicopter for real but it never left the ground. I love to fly, but I am not a helicopter pilot.

NW: How was working with Tom Sizemore?

MF: It was great. Everybody I work with works with me the same way, we just go and do the job. Tom is great. I was watching something the other day that I didn’t realize it was him, (in the movie) “Heat”. So he’s really a terrific actor. If you’re working with terrific people, that’s it, the bottom line.

NW: Do you have an opinion about the war?

MF: Yeah don’t you?

NW: Do you think that celebrities should be talking about their thoughts?

MF: I think everybody should.

NW: Lastly, I wanted to ask you about a project you’ve had on your plate for about three years, the adaptation of Arthur C. Clark’s book, “Rendezvous With Rama”. Where are you at with that?

MF: The problem is the script. We are having trouble trying to get someone to understand the exploratory aspects of the book rather than blood and guts. It’s not in limbo. We’re pushing hard at it constantly. We have a director. We don’t have a script.

NW: Thanks

MF: Thank You