Morgan Freeman has almost reached the status of “legendary” actor at this point. The man has given us so many great performances over the course of his career that it’s hard to pinpoint his best work. Films like Street Smart, The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en, Driving Miss Daisy, The Dark Knight and Million Dollar Baby, which finally earned him the Oscar he deserved for the longest time, have more than proven his worth. And he rarely, if ever, disappoints.
Now, with Oblivion, he gets to work in a genre we often don’t see him in: science fiction. We can only say so much about Freeman’s character of Malcolm Beech without giving away some of the movie’s biggest secrets, but you can rest assured that he gives the same great performance we have come to expect from him time and time again.
Oblivion also marks the first time that Freeman and Tom Cruise have appeared on screen together, and at the film’s recent LA press day, Freeman talked about what it was like working with the megastar as well as what excited him about this particular project.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: Do you and Tom Cruise have different ways of working while on set, or did you find that you and him work similarly?
Morgan Freeman: I don’t know. I think everybody works the same. Preparation very often may be different, but you cannot work differently. You have to say the words that were written on the page and you have to make your marks. That’s the work.
We Got This Covered: Oblivion has something positive to say about humanity in a way that many other science fiction films right now don’t. Without giving anything away, could you talk about that?
Morgan Freeman: No (laughs). I mean if I talk about it I’m going to give something away, aren’t I? But I will give it a shot. One of the things that does stand out in this film is the love story. It’s not like ones that we’ve seen before. And then there’s the awesome technology. This is one (science fiction movie) unlike many we’ve seen prior. It’s very intelligent and extremely creative. Joseph (Kosinski) designed these doggone toys that are awesome. Those drones are things you can’t believe, but there they are.
We Got This Covered: In Olympus Has Fallen you let Gerard Butler do all the dirty work while you played your usual authoritative character, and in Oblivion you got to play with a machine gun. What was that experience like, and was that your decision to shoot the machine gun?
Morgan Freeman: No, no, no. I don’t make decisions like that (laughs). That was written in (the script) that my character gets up there and mans the machine gun. That’s the writer’s thing, not the director’s. It was fun. There were dual 50 calibers on that tractor, and I had never fired 50 caliber machine guns before.
We Got This Covered: What was it about Oblivion that made you want to do it?
Morgan Freeman: Tom Cruise. It’s a Tom Cruise movie. If I was going to be a truck driver hauling supplies, I would’ve taken the job. I’m one of his huge fans, have been for I don’t know how many years. I know that at this point I’m not going to be offered a minor role. If you compare the script to the movie, they don’t compare. The movie is so much more than what you can read on the page. It’s a big science fiction film with Tom Cruise, so it’s hard to go wrong.
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