Playing kiss and tell with Morgan Freeman

“The Magic of Belle Isle,” starring Morgan Freeman, is available on Demand.

He may have just celebrated his 75th birthday — “It feels good to still be here,” he says with a laugh — but Morgan Freeman isn’t jetting off into retirement. Even though his summer is about to become jam-packed thanks to the release of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Freeman still had time to sneak in a quiet family drama, “The Magic of Belle Isle.” In it, he plays a writer — but off-screen, too, he says, he loves to get his creative juices flowing.

“I wish I could write,” the veteran actor tells Metro. “I wish I could sit down and write a screenplay or a novel. I get these great ideas — like half the world does, you get a great idea and you think, ‘Oh, I gotta write that down,’ and then you sit down and start writing, and by page two you’ve covered everything.”

Freeman says he likes to write “whatever comes to mind,” though he doesn’t keep a journal “because the next thing you know you’re gonna be bragging to yourself.”

For “Belle Isle,” the actor teamed up with Rob Reiner, who directed him in “The Bucket List,” and took on the challenges of a former novelist who lost his inspiration. It was a role, he says, he could infuse some of his own life experiences into.

“[I've been] uninspired, angry, terribly upset over my plight, completely out of control of my own life and drinking too much,” he says. So what’s it take to get Freeman out of a funk? “Generally, in my case, it would be Providence,” he says.

In the film, though, it’s two special relationships that bring him happiness: one with an inherited dog, and one with his next-door-neighbor, played by Virginia Madsen, whom he calls a “great kisser.”
In fact, Freeman says, Madsen is only one of a couple leading ladies who Freeman has ever puckered up to on-camera.

“I’ve not been what you would call a romantic lead,” says the star, who has played God and the president, among other powerful figures. But Freeman himself admits that always playing to viewers’ expectations “gets a little boring.”

“When someone says they wrote something with me in mind, I’m not quite sure what they mean — having me in mind as an actor or having me in mind as a character that they’ve seen me play. You always want to do something new, something that you have not been all your life associated with.”

‘Batman’ beyond

We asked Freeman if he really thinks Christopher Nolan will end his Batman storytelling after this third installment.
“I don’t think it’s going to end at three, but I think Chris is done. I mean, historically with superheroes, No. 4 doesn’t work.”


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