Morgan Freeman takes on the role of Nelson Mandela in the upcoming film Invictus. To celebrate the release of the film which has been hotly tipped for Oscar success we’re going to take a look back at some of Morgan Freeman’s finest roles. From his early work in Driving Miss Daisy to his upcoming portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Invictus which will no doubt be remembered as some of his finest work. Invictus is in cinemas 5th February
Hoke Colburn – Driving Miss Daisy
This 1989 feature won four Academy Awards including best picture but Morgan Freeman was only nominated for his role as Hoke Colburn, a chauffeur who develops a relationship with a Jewish lady he works for. It deals with race issues of the time and was taken directly from a stage play. Probably the role that really got Morgan Freeman noticed by the industry and remains one of his finest performances to date.
Azeem – Robin Hood: Prince of Theives
Not exactly one of his most notable roles as an actor but his portrayal of Azeem was a highlight in this blockbuster adaptation of the story of Robin Hood. The film won a series of awards from BAFTA’s to Razzies which was a reflection of the critic’s view of the film. Freeman didn’t receive an award other than the MTV award for best on-screen duo, which he shared with Kevin Costner.
Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding – The Shawshank Redemption
This led to another Oscar nomination for Freeman but, unfortunately no win and his definitely one of his finest performances. After the murder of his wife, Andrew Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sent to Shawshank Prison. During his rough time inside, he retains hope and gains the respect of his fellow inmate, long time convict “Red” Redding, a black marketer, and becomes influential within the prison.
Lt. William Somerset – Se7en
Starring alongside Brad Pitt, he plays Lt. Somerset a detective working on murder investigation where a killer leaves a trail of victims all related to the seven deadly sins. The film also starred Kevin Spacey and is probably most memorable for a rather gruesome ending involving Gwyneth Paltrows head and a box.
Eddie ‘Scrap-Iron’ Dupris – Million Dollar Baby
In collaboration with Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby won him the Oscar for best supporting actor. Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is a struggling old waitress from a very low class family and with a dysfunctional family who decides to make a difference in her life through boxing. She convinces hardened boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) to coach her and be her manager, with the support of his old partner Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, who really sees her potential as a boxer.
￼DCI William Cabot – The Sum Of All Fears
When the President of Russia dies and his replaced by a man with a cryptic past, it puts the United States on alert to rising Cold War fears. When the CIA suspects that renegade Russian scientists are attempting to develop more mobile nuclear weapons, East-West tensions over flow. CIA director William Cabot sends his best agent, Jack Ryan into action. What Ryan discovers is that terrorists are planning to provoke a war between the U.S. and Russia.
God – Bruce Almighty
In one of his more light hearted roles, Morgan Freeman really set the mark for himself by taking on what was in many ways his biggest role ever; God. Bruce Almighty stars Jim Carrey who after questioning God’s power is put in his place to teach him a lesson. The film also starred Jennifer Anniston and Steve Carrell who went on to star in the not so great sequel Evan Almighty.
￼Lucius Fox – Batman Begins
In Christopher Nolans phenomenally successful re-imagining of the Batman franchise, Lucius Fox is Bruce Waynes official weapons and gadgets expert. He’s responsible for the cape, the utility belt and most importantly, the Batmobile. Without Lucius Fox there is no Batman. Morgan Freeman reprised his role in the even more successful Dark Knight.
The Boss – Lucky Number Slevin
Part of a stellar cast including; Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis and Sir Ben Kingsley Morgan Freeman plays The Boss, one of two rival crime boss, seeing him avoid the usual good guy roles to play ‘the bad guy’. A case of mistaken identity lands Slevin (Josh Hartnett) into the middle of a war being plotted by two rivals The Rabbi and The Boss.
Nelson Mandela – Invictus
Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.
For more information on INVICTUS visit to www.invictusmovie.co.uk