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Kidsday interviews actor Morgan Freeman

Actor Morgan Freeman who stars in the new

Actor Morgan Freeman who stars in the new movie "Dolphin Tale" with Kidsday reporters, from left, Kiersten Pugliese, Jess Koester, Troy DiLeo and Anthony Guerriere at the Warner Bros. screening room in Manhattan Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Mullooly

We saw the movie “Dolphin Tale” starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr. and Nathan Gamble earlier this week and loved it! We thought it was exciting and inspiring.

Sawyer (played by Nathan) finds a dolphin that is severely injured. She was caught in a crab trap and it damaged her tail. She is rushed to a marine hospital where it is decided to amputate her tail because it had too much dead tissue. Winter (the dolphin) never gives up the fight and finds a way to swim even without her tail. Unfortunately this way of swimming is not healthy for her because what’s left of her tail is not moving correctly.

Sawyer meets a doctor who designed a prosthesis for his cousin who was injured in the Iraq War. Sawyer asks the doctor if he can help save Winter’s life. Dr. McCarthy makes Winter a prosthetic tail.

It was an amazing story. If you like animal stories, you, too, will love this movie. There were parts that will make you laugh and others that will make you cry. We think this was a wonderful movie and it is one we will never forget.

RATING 5 (out of 5) smiles

On Tuesday we went back to Manhattan to talk with Morgan Freeman about his role in the film and his acting career. While waiting for Morgan, we actually got to hold one of the prostheses that Winter used!

How old were you when you became an actor and what inspired you to become an actor?

When I became an actor, I became an actor when I was born. I knew I was an actor by the time I was 12 years old. I wasn’t inspired to become an actor. I was inspired to try and get into the movies as an actor, by going to the movies. The first movie I saw I was 6-1/2 years old and I saw the original “King Kong.” It terrified me.

We read you sail. Have you ever encountered a whale?

Yes, off Nova Scotia. It was a summer day we had gone up there in August and it was a very calm day; no wind at all. We just sort of drifting without going current. We were near the Bay of Fundy and there were four of us onboard and I had the 30-foot sloop at the time, this was about 1974 and astern of us this whale sort of surfaced and vented. And it’s right behind us. It was as big as the boat. So we were kind of nervous to say the least because the whale just sort of sat there for a moment and then it very slowly sank and started toward us. And we thought, OK if it touches us, we’re all going to drown because it’s just going to turn the boat over. It didn’t. It just went under us and we never saw it again. That’s the only time I encountered a whale.

What do you like better, acting on TV shows or movies?

Movies, movies, movies. Because all my life I wanted to be in the movies. That’s what I wanted to do as a kid and a young man growing up. I didn’t really get to be a movie actor until I was nearly 50 years old. So that’s a long time to wait.

Did you learn anything from this movie that you’ll always remember?

A “Dolphin Tale”? I’ve been asked that question before and my answer is actually no. I don’t think I learned anything that I didn’t know before. I guess I’m like a lot of people if I see documentaries and things like that that feature dolphins, I watch. And that’s when you learn stuff.

Is it hard working with kids, adults or animals?

It’s harder to work with animals. Now I’ve done two movies almost back to back with kids and since I started acting as a kid, myself, I have this different feeling about kids than W.C. Fields did. People say in these interviews, well you shouldn’t work with animals or kids. Well, that’s nonsense. Kids are terrific actors. If you wanted to be an actor, you would be great. Do you want to be an actor? You don’t know. You don’t know what you want to do.

What was it like playing God in the movie “Bruce Almighty”?

Now interesting you should ask that. It was fun. Jim Carrey, funny, funny man, really hard working actor and we had a lot of fun together doing that one. But playing God is no different than playing Joe Blow. It’s not like all of a sudden you can make things happen as a God like creature. I’m just an actor still. So nothing to it. Make sense?

What is it like being famous and is it easy living a normal life?

Being famous is what I live for. You want to be an actor, you got to be famous. They go altogether. But, no you don’t live what you call a normal life. Because I can’t walk out on the streets now. I can go to restaurants, but I’m careful which ones I go to. People want to get you, they want to touch you, take pictures you.

What awards have you won and what award are you most proud of?

I think I’m most proud of the Screen Actor’s Award because it’s the best looking statute. I have won a lot of awards. And of all the awards I have not won was the Tony Award. I got a nomination, but I didn’t win the award.

What was your favorite movie and why?

I think my favorite movie, there’s two parts to your answer. I have a favorite character and I have a favorite movie. My favorite movie, was a movie called “Glory.” It was a story about the Civil War and black soldiers, who nobody in America ever knew there were black soldiers who fought for the Union in the Civil War. There were black folks from the South in the Civil War. This was a complete new information for the American audience, I think is what we really need, lots of information we need to know that we don’t know. The character, however, was the bad guy I played in the movie that launched my movie career called “Street Smart.” I played a bad guy.

Is there anyone in history that you would like to play on the big screen?

Yes. I maybe getting too old to do it now, you know in growing up one of my favorite genre of the movies was westerns. Loved cowboys. But I never saw any black ones. It’s like why? I know they did exist. They were there. So historically there’s was a deputy United State Marshal, who worked for Judge Isaac Parker. Now Judge Isaac Parker was sent by the Federal Government to the frontier, which at that time in the mid 1880’s, just prior to the 1880’s the frontier was Fort Smith, Arkansas. And beyond that was Oklahoma territory, which was Indian country. All the outlaws liked that because there was no law to speak of in that territory. Isaac Parker was sent there from America Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny at that time meant settlers. Settlers were going to be able to go there and set up farms. But they couldn’t do it because those outlaws were running around killing people and doing dastardly things in Oklahoma territory. Isaac Parker was sent there to clean that up. He hired about 200 deputy U.S. Marshals. One of the most famous was a guy named Bass Reeves and I always wanted to play him. And again, talk about American history nobody knew about. And I think that’s part of my job. How’s that for an answer?


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