Morgan Freeman Says Fame Ruined His Dream of Becoming 'Chameleon'

The 'Shawshank Redemption' actor reveals he originally wanted to be a 'chameleon' like his peer Robert De Niro but stardom eventually led him to a different path.

AceShowbiz - Morgan Freeman claims his stardom has left him "screwed" when it comes to being a character actor. Even though he started his acting career wanting to be a "chameleon" who could specialise in disappearing into roles and become unrecognizable, "The Shawshank Redemption" big-screen veteran, 85, started to be hired to portray one persona due to becoming an A-lister.

"When my career started in film I wanted to be a chameleon. I remember De Niro early on, doing very different parts. Almost unrecognisable as the same actor. I had opportunities like that," he told the Sunday Times.

"But as you mature in this business, eventually you become a star. Then you're pretty screwed in terms of referring to yourself as a character actor. You play a lot of the same type of role - people hire you and say, 'It's you that I want.' And you live with it."

Dad-of-four Morgan - who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as gym assistant Eddie 'Scrap-Iron' Dupris in Clint Eastwood's boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby" - has played Nelson Mandela, the US president three times, and God.

But he dismissed the concept of method acting, adding, "Learn the lines and they will speak for the whole job. On 'Shawshank' actors felt they had to go into prison to find out what that's like. Well, actually, you don't."

The "Driving Miss Daisy" star also said about what career he would have ended up in if he hadn't found fame as an actor, "People ask, 'What would you be doing if you didn't make it?' I don't know. Driving a limo? But I would be in community theatre. I would be acting. But along with guts it also takes luck. You need courage and serious luck. I credit my career with both."

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