There are few actors that can upstage legendary Oscar-winning thespian Morgan Freeman.
But of course that’s exclusively including human actors. In his latest movie, Freeman’s co-star is a dolphin.
“That’s why they play such big roles (in our lives),” said Freeman recently about the animals’ natural acting ability. “And it’s like they’re doing their own thing — you don’t know if they’re trained to do this stuff or if they’re showing off. I’m fascinated by them because I’ve seen them do stuff like that in the wild.”
Specifically, Freeman is talking about Winter, the charming subject and star of this Friday’s release of Dolphin Tale, an inspiring story of a young marine mammal that was saved with the use of a prosthetic after losing its tail in a tragic accident.
“I think this is a particularly special dolphin,” insisted director Charles Martin Smith. “She has so much personality and she’s such a character. She’s basically the equivalent of a human 10-year-old … when I first started working on the script for this I sat with her for three days and watched her and (observed) all the things that she does that I could write into the script.”
Among those traits included some interesting human-like habits and even an affinity for human contact. For Freeman, it was an agreeable improvement on some of his previous co-stars.
“I worked with a bear one time and the guy said ‘don’t look him in the eye’. That’s a note I need — don’t look the damn thing in the eye,” laughed Freeman. “(Winter) has been in this aquarium for most of her life and even if she was wild, it wouldn’t bother me because somehow it appears that (dolphins) have the same kind of affinity for us as we have for them.”
Morgan Freeman on his love of animal movies: “The first book I ever read was about a horse — Black Beauty — and I was lost in animal stories after that,” said Freeman. “We have a kind of symbiosis with animals that we interact with.”