Morgan Freeman isn’t one of those actors a director chooses so that his film will make money. He’s an actor who gets chosen so the film will get respect.
By my standards, Morgan Freeman has one of the three best voices in movies. (The other two would be Sean Connery and James Earl Jones.) So when he speaks, he carries an innate dignity that makes you pay attention to the character he plays.
Any actor would be fortunate in a lifetime to have had these three roles: Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy (Great American Things, November 4, 2009 – Academy Award nomination), Red in The Shawshank Redemption (Great American Things, June 29, 2009 – Academy Award nomination) and Eddie “Scrap Iron” Dupris in Million Dollar Baby (Academy Award winner).
Maybe you remember Freeman from his days as Easy Reader on the kids show, The Electric Company. He said he stayed there too long, lulled by the economic security it provided. It’s quite a career arc to go from such a limited continuing role all the way to multiple Oscar nominations. Very few people have the acting chops to make such a transition.
Before he made the film of Driving Miss Daisy, he appeared in the play during its off-Broadway run. About playing the character Hoke, he said, “All these Southerners would come back wiping their eyes and talking about how nostalgic it made them feel. How their grandmother had a chauffeur just like that. I was like, ‘Damn it! I made these people nostalgic for the good ol’ days!’ But, then, I had some black friends see it, and they said, ‘Oh, my grandfather was exactly like that.’ So that made me feel okay.”