Morgan Freeman as Othello? No, Thank You

AI-generated image of Morgan Freeman interviewing himself
Morgan Freeman interviewed by … Morgan Freeman (AI-generated)

If you start listing actors famous for their voices, two things are guaranteed to be true — Morgan Freeman will be on that list, and most of them have done Shakespeare. Patrick Stewart, Orson Welles, James Earl Jones, Alan Rickman …

… but wait, where exactly is Morgan Freeman on that list? I hadn’t stopped to consider that he’s done no filmed Shakespeare. There are plenty of clips from his recitation of Seven Ages of Man from As You Like It, but that’s not a stage performance. But as far as I can tell, that’s it. You can find clips of James Earl Jones’ King Lear, or even Alan Rickman as Tybalt. But I find no performances by Mr. Freeman.

He does have some history with Shakespeare, though:

In the late 1970s, the largely unknown actor played the title role in Coriolanus and lent support as Casca in a production of Julius Caesar before returning to the world of Shakespeare over a decade later for a run of The Taming of the Shrew in 1990 as Petruchio.

What are his thoughts on Othello, you may ask? Oh, he has thoughts:

Freeman didn’t hesitate when asked if he had a least favourite role from his lengthy and distinguished career: “Yeah. Othello. Played it on stage. Don’t like it.” Refusing to hold back, he even voiced his disdain for the work itself. “Don’t even like the play. I’ve seen it a number of times, but I hate it myself.”

Well ok then! Maybe we could get him as King Lear?

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