December 10, 2009 9:15am EST
"I want to see Catwoman. I have (a casting) idea, but it's just an idea and I'm going to keep it to myself." THE DARK KNIGHT star MORGAN FREEMAN wants to see the feline villain resurrected for the next BATMAN film.
December 07, 2009 6:15am EST
"He is the best director I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Now why is he such a good director as far as actors are concerned? Because he doesn't direct! He hires you to do the job and then gets out of the way! He's a facilitator." MORGAN FREEMAN is full of praise for actor-turned-filmmaker CLINT EASTWOOD, who directed his new movie INVICTUS.
December 07, 2009 3:49am EST
Agence France Presse is reporting that South African actors are up in arms over the casting of Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Winnie, an upcoming film by veteran South African director Darrell J. Roodt.
The Creative Workers Union of South Africa said using foreign actors to tell the country's stories undermined efforts to develop the national film industry, AFP reports.
At a heated press briefing in Johannesburg on Saturday, the union and a group of actors said local and international producers must follow the right consultation procedures before "bypassing" the law and bringing international work and actors to South Africa, The Citizen reported.
"It can't happen that we want to develop our own Hollywood and yet bring in imports," the union's president Mabutho Sithole said, according to The Citizen.
The union said it would push for a meeting with the departments of arts and culture and trade and industry as well as home affairs.
Union secretary general Oupa Lebogo said in local newspaper The Times, "This decision must be reversed, it must be stopped now. If the matter doesn't come up for discussion, we will push for a moratorium to be placed on the film being cast in South Africa. We are being undermined; there is no respect at all."
Hudson, an Oscar winner for Dreamgirls, was cast in the role last month.
The criticism comes just days before the opening of Clint Eastwood's Invictus, a drama about Nelson Mandela and South Africa's 1995 rugby World Cup victory.
Morgan Freeman plays the president and Matt Damon is the rugby team captain, although no references were made to that film and its American actors in the round of union comments cited in articles about the Hudson upset this weekend.
December 05, 2009 4:00am EST
The actor, who endured a stint in the U.S. Air Force as a young adult, began learning to fly in 2002 and quickly went on to earn his pilot's licence.
Freeman, now an expert in the skies, recently bought his first jet - and he's christening the aircraft by taking it on a journey around the world.
He explains, "I'm flying from here (U.S.) to South Africa. Then, since we've got some business down there, we're going to Botswana... then we're going to go to Kenya, northern Kenya, because we've been invited to visit a local tribe.
"The reason we're doing all this is because I've got my own plane. Brand new. Me and my co-pilot (will be flying it)."
And Freeman brags his plane is fully fitted with such up-to-date equipment his jet would likely put other celebrity pilots and their planes to shame.
He adds, "I started flying in '02. I've got everything that the law requires (fitted to my plane), and then some."
Freeman joins a select high-flying club - Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank and supermodel Gisele Bundchen are all keen pilots.
December 04, 2009 6:15am EST
The Driving Miss Daisy star has won acclaim for playing Mandela in Clint Eastwood's new movie Invictus and he admits he came to the role very well prepared.
Freeman, who first met Mandela in the early 1990s, tells Parade magazine, "He told me he wanted me to play him in a movie someday (and) I said, 'Then I need access to you, and I need to be able to hold your hand.' He said, 'We'll do that.'
"So anytime we were anywhere in proximity after that, we'd schmooze. I've always been preparing for the time I stepped in front of the camera as him. The luckiest part of my entire existence is finding this script and sending it to Clint, and then he said, 'Yes.'"
December 03, 2009 12:15pm EST
Clooney, who plays a corporate downsizer in the film, also tied for Best Actor with Invictus star Morgan Freeman, while his co-star Anna Kendrick was named Best Supporting Actress and writer/director Jason Reitman picked up the Best Adapted Screenplay prize.
The National Board of Review's film picks have been golden in recent years - the panel's choice for best movie went on to win the Oscar for Best Feature in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
The NBR's awards will be handed out at a gala in New York on 12 January (10).
December 03, 2009 4:00am EST
Damon lends his voice to the documentary, which airs in America on 13 December (09), and he executive produced the project, which also features Morgan Freeman and Sean Penn, among others.
And he reveals he has a big link to historian Howard Zinn, whose writing inspired the film: "I moved next door to Howard's house in Massachusetts when I was four. My brother and I would see the light on in his house while he was up late on his old typewriter, banging out chapter after chapter of A People's History of the United States, which is the textbook we later used in high school."
December 02, 2009 6:30am EST
The Queen Oscar-winner will be presented the Career Achievement Award at the festival's award gala on 5 January (10), at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
The festival was founded in 1990 by the city's then-Mayor, singer-songwriter Sonny Bono, who turned his career toward politics before his 1998 death.
Event organisers say Mirren will receive the honour "for her large and distinguished body of work," calling Mirren "one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation".
Mirren will join other honourees including Morgan Freeman, who will also receive a Career Achievement Award, Mariah Carey, who will receive a Breakthrough Performance Award for her new film Precious, and Anna Kendrick, who will receive the Rising Star Award.
The 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival runs from 5-18 January (10).
November 25, 2009 4:00am EST
The 79-year-old is disgusted by the lack of interest young Americans display in world events.
The Oscar-winner's latest film Invictus tells the true story of South African president and civil rights leader Nelson Mandela.
And Eastwood admits he's hinging his hopes on star Morgan Freeman to deliver a dose of harsh reality to absent-minded teens.
He tells America's GQ magazine, "(The U.S. is) becoming more juvenile as a nation. The guys who won World War II and that whole generation have disappeared, and now we have a bunch of teenage twits...
"The world needs this kind of story nowadays. It's just...everybody's so screwed up. It seems like our country's in kind of a morbid mood, because of the recession or whatever."
November 25, 2009 4:00am EST
The veteran actor-turned-director recently wrapped filming on Invictus, which will see Morgan Freeman tackle the role of the legendary politician, alongside Matt Damon.
But the movie is facing a challenge from Oscar-winner Hudson, who has signed on to play Mandela's wife Winnie in a movie about the famous politician's longtime spouse.
Hudson admits she is delighted to have landed the title role in Winnie, which is directed by veteran South African filmmaker Darrell J. Roodt.
She says, "I was compelled and moved when I read the script. Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I'm honoured to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told."