Morgan Freeman: What I've Learned
The "Voice of God" shares five decades of wisdom.
BY EMILY ZEMLER | Mar 9, 2016 | Film & TV
Morgan Freeman's new film, London Has Fallen, is out. The 78-year-old actor, who will narrate National Geographic's six-part series The Story of God in April, shares what he's learned from five decades of work.
When I was around 21, someone told me, "Don't look for trouble." I try to follow that. But trouble is the easiest thing in the world to find.
I recently started playing golf. Golf is a really wonderful game because there's so much about it that's like life—you're never going to master it. It's a hard lesson because you struggle to improve. And yeah, you'll improve. But you're never satisfied with your improvement. Every improvement is just another ledge to the one above you and you just keep trying to climb.
I always wanted to fly. When I was a kid I made airplanes out of paper and would dream that I could fly. I had a lot of falling dreams and I'd never hit the ground. I always somehow levelled out. I finally learned how in 2002.
The hardest thing about learning to fly is learning to talk on the radio. You have to listen and understand what they said to you and what it means. Sometimes there's a lot of chatter because there are a lot of planes in the air and there are a lot of instructions, and so you're listening for your own. That's a good lesson, too.
Providence is going to somehow guide you in the direction you need to go. You have to find out what it is you want to do.
Acting has always come so naturally. It's not acting if you have to learn.
I grew up on stage. I was eight years old when I first acted. I belonged. From then on it was a forgone conclusion.
"Actor" was always my title. Next to my high school photograph it said "Actor."
I grew up in Mississippi and I graduated from high school there. Hollywood is a long way away. But there's always one thing in your favour: The bus runs. All you need then is a little courage. There are people who have never gone more than a couple hundred miles from where they grew up. And there are people like me. I am ready to go wherever. And that's the way I grew up—my mother was like that. You get on the bus and go.
I lived in Los Angeles when I first got out of the military and I spent a year walking. I didn't have any other way to get anywhere. I didn't know anyone to speak of. Then I bought a car and suddenly all the women said hello to me. It was a white 1951 Ford convertible. So do not try to live in Los Angeles walking. Get yourself some wheels.
I always thought that career comes first. Family is a support mechanism. It doesn't work the other way around.
One of the things I say to young people, particularly my kids, is: "You get what you want." I'm making distinction between "want" and "would like to have." What you want is what you're going to put on the refrigerator door. You're going to focus on that and get it. It's going to happen. It's unstoppable.
I don't think my voice is any different from any announcer's voice. You learn the rep and the rhythm. The more you use it, the better it is.
From: Esquire US.