It was Tim Robbins’ Andy Dufresne who pulled off the silver screen’s most famous prison break, the wrongfully imprisoned innocent man who “crawled into a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.” “.
But it was Morgan FREEMAN and that famous voice, deep and soothing, instantly recognizable, that told his story.
Nearly 30 years after its release, The Shawshank Redemption is still widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, propelling The Godfather to No. 1 on the IMDB Movie Database chart.
In an age of reboots, remakes and revivals, prequels, sequels and spin-offs, the story of what happened to Dufresne and Freeman’s character, Red, after they – spoiler alert 27 – turns reunite on this beach in Zihuatanejo has long been pondered by Shawshank fans. Was the Pacific as blue as it had been in Red’s dreams?
But Freeman, 84, told Sky News that while he wondered what it would be like to see the characters again, it’s probably best not to write “what happened next”.
“I think it’s best to do it in the head,” he says. “I really don’t think I would be interested in going back and trying to find that again. Although Tim and I still remain very close friends. »
Back behind bars to explore real prison escapes
Shawshank’s question arises as Freeman returns behind bars, this time to narrate a new documentary series about some of history’s most daring escapes, from Alcatraz Island to Mexican drug lord El Chapo.
The series also features the World War II escape from POW camp Stalag Luft III – on which that other famous prison escape film The Great Escape is based – and the UK’s Greatest Escape, in which members of the IRA escaped from Belfast prison.
Freeman’s company, Revelations Entertainment, produced the series, and the veteran actor says it’s a subject he’s been interested in for a long time.
“I just got into the inner workings of how a prisoner, someone in a maximum security facility, starts thinking, ‘how am I going to get out of here and then get through?’ Ingenuity gets to you, boldness even,” he says. “Dare to think you can and work on it, it’s just fascinating.
“If you think about the amount of effort and thought, the dedication it takes to escape from a maximum security facility. The first thing you think of is, no, that will never happen, you can’t do that. It’s like digging a grave with a spoon…and the most fascinating thing about one of them is the fact that they pulled it off.
“The problem is that getting out of prison is not getting out of it. It is solving a problem. They will eventually catch you and bring you back. »
From playing a convict to playing God
Throughout his career, Freeman has played a wide range of characters, with that famous commanding voice lending itself to leaders from American presidents to Batman’s business manager, Nelson Mandela, and even God. His bio on Twitter and Instagram is simply: “This actor whose voice you recognize. »
Has he ever thought of insuring her, like Jennifer Lopez would have insured her buttocks?
“No, I haven’t thought of that,” he laughs. “I didn’t think I needed to insure it. I don’t know what it means, to assure your voice… if I got hoarse, would I have money for it? I don’t think so. »
Freeman is also an Oscar winner; while he missed Shawshank (Forrest Gump cleaned up in 1995), 10 years later he won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a former boxer in Million Dollar Baby.
However, he says award shows aren’t really his thing these days.
“I don’t watch them anymore, and I don’t know who’s there,” he said. “I haven’t seen all the movies [nominated]. I’m a bit of a recluse now, so… [there’s] not quite the same fascination I remember having with awards. All. »
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Her screen work shows no signs of slowing down, however, with films such as The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Vanquish and Coming 2 America releasing in 2021 and several more slated for this year, as well as her documentary work with Great Escapes.
He says he wants people to know it’s not about giving “directions” on how to break out of prison.
“It’s fascinating to learn that human ingenuity exists in prison,” he says. “But, you know, we still have courage, we still have dreams, we still have daring, we still have desire. And the desire to get out of a maximum security prison that pushes you the way these stories tell us they are pushed, is truly fascinating. »
Great Escapes With Morgan Freeman will premiere in the UK at 10pm on February 23, on Sky HISTORY
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Morgan Freeman on New Prison Escape Show Great Escapes, Leaving the Shawshank Redemption Alone and Walking Out of the Oscars | Ents & Arts News Sky News