After a career spanning 50 years and more than 100 roles running the gamut from a prisoner to the President and a gunslinger to God, Morgan Freeman is still one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors. The Oscar winner for Million Dollar Baby also won raves for The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, Amistad, Driving Miss Daisy, Glory, Se7en, Invictus, and a trio of Batman flicks, to name a few, and there’s much more to come.
While lending his distinctive voice to countless documentaries, he’s added producing to his resume in the last decade or so, both in film and TV, including the Science Channel series he hosts, Through the Wormhole, which begins its fifth season June 4, and the CBS fall series Madam Secretary. At 76, an age where most guys want to kick back a little, Freeman has no desire to slow down, and he told us why.
You’re working on several movie and TV projects for this year and next. Why do you work so hard?
I like what I’m doing. It’s not like David Letterman, who works every day and maybe gets a day off sometime. That’s not my situation. But you know what happens when you stop going?
I’d like to get an Academy Award for Best Picture, for my production company. That is within reach.
We’ll see you next in Life Itself on July 4, Lucy in July 25, and Dolphin Tale 2 in September. What are you most excited about?
Life Itself, because of Diane Keaton, [who plays] my love interest.
What’s coming up this season on Through the Wormhole?
We’re talking about some heavy stuff, the genetic properties of poverty—is it genetic? That’s one of the early episodes. We talk about zombies—zombies are all over the place now, but they are real. The show has all sorts of stuff that piques my interest, stuff I want to know, want to ask, and talk about. There’s a whole team of us that comes up with ideas.
You’re producing the new fall series Madam Secretary, with Téa Leoni. Do you like that behind-the-scenes role?
I do. You get to tell stories that you want to tell.
Is there a chance of you making a guest appearance?
Not much, no.
With so many memorable movies, what are you most proud of?
I don’t have one yet. I’m still waiting for that to occur.
You did a movie called The Bucket List. Do you have a bucket list?
I’d like to get an Academy Award for Best Picture, for my production company. That is within reach. I want to go to Russia. I’d like to learn two or three languages. I speak a little bit of Italian, most of the Romance languages. Portuguese, I can stumble along in. I want to learn Chinese, but it’s a tough one. I want to learn Spanish because so many people in this country speak it. But I don’t have that long a bucket list, because I’ve done what I’ve wanted.