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Back Talk: Morgan Freeman

Jun 22, 2012 05:57PM ● Published by Anonymous

Megastar Morgan Freeman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but grew up in Mississippi, where he spends a lot of his free time. Free time, that is, when he’s not directing or starring in films. In fact, Freeman—practically a cinematic institution—has starred in almost one hundred films and has dabbled in production, direction, and naturally, narration.

He’s won both, a Golden Globe Award for 1989 film Driving Miss Daisy and an Academy Award for his role in the 2004 movie Million Dollar Baby. Freeman has been nominated for four other Academy Awards and for more Golden Globes, among other awards and honors.  

Having worked nearly 50 years as an actor on the big screen, Freeman is more than a household name, his career alone as spanned generations.

So imagine our pleasant surprise when we learned that in addition to his service to Hollywood, Freeman is currently playing a role that hits much closer to our home: the Honorary Advisory Board Chair to the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Freeman was inducted to the position in October, after former Chair Walter Cronkite passed away. When we learned of Freeman’s interest in one of Chesapeake Country’s favorite pastimes, we had to know more.

Annapolis is abuzz about the National Sailing Hall of Fame and we understand that you were recently named the Honorary Advisory Board Chair. How did you become involved with the organization?
I was approached by the National Sailing Hall of Fame who asked if I would be interested in filing the chair left in Walter's passing.

You must be interested in the organization’s purpose and mission—what ideas or values do you share, and what attracted you to the Board?
The program of qualified instructors teaching a safe, fun, and educational way of sailing, [and the idea of] getting people outside, moving, and breathing fresh air. It can be relaxing and challenging.

Your first sail was aboard a Lightning class dinghy near Stowe, Vermont in 1967. How did you become involved in sailing? How did you learn?
I had read about sailing and wanted to learn. I bought a sailboat and taught myself.

What do you currently sail?
A 43' Shannon sail ketch.

Where do you typically sail? How often are you able to get out on the water?
Lately work has kept me pretty busy, but when I do [sail] it’s in the Caribbean.

What do you enjoy about it? Are you at all interested in the competitive aspect, or do you enjoy it as a leisure activity?
Leisure activity. There’s nothing like being out in the open water, sailing and enjoying life.

You lead such a busy schedule, with award season wrapping up and several new films to be released: The Summer of Monte Wildhorn, We the People, The Dark Knight Rises, and Now You See Me. What is your favorite thing you’re working on right now?
Now You See Me with director Louis Letterier.

You’ve had at least 96 films, produced 11 titles, and directed one— do you have an all-time favorite role?
Street Smart as Fast Black (a pimp).

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