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CONNECT THE WORLD

Interview with Morgan Freeman

Aired June 3, 2010 - 16:49:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST (voice-over): Very few of Hollywood's elite can claim his cachet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN FREEMAN, ACTOR: Do you have any children, Mr. Meeks (ph)?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Whether he's playing a cop, the president or Evan Almighty...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "EVAN ALMIGHTY," COURTESY UNIVERSAL PICTURES)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who are you?

FREEMAN: I'm God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: -- Morgan Freeman never fails to delight audiences around the world. The big screen legend began his acting career in the 1960s on the Broadway stage and in film, earned his first Oscar nomination as a pimp in 1987's "Street Mart." He was nominated four more times and won an Academy Award for his performance in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "MILLION DOLLAR BABY," COURTESY WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES)

FREEMAN: You're the smart one. You're the one learning Greek. Hope is a dangerous thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Freeman has starred in more than 60 films, with hits like "Shawshank Redemption" and "Batman."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "INVICTUS," COURTESY WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES)

FREEMAN: How do we inspire everyone around us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does he want?

FREEMAN: I think he wants us to win the World Cup.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And more recently, portrayed Nelson Mandela in the movie "Invictus."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THROUGH THE WORMHOLE," COURTESY THE SCIENCE CHANNEL)

FREEMAN: A unifying man that created you, me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Today, he's working on a series with the Science Channel entitled "Through the Worm Hole."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "EVAN ALMIGHTY," COURTESY UNIVERSAL PICTURES)

FREEMAN: Universe. I'm God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: A voice recognized the world over, Morgan Freeman is your Connector of the Day.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: And I caught up with him while he was in New York and I started off by asking him about the new series.

This is what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREEMAN: We examine the idea of the space-time continuum, the fabric of space-time. We examine the idea -- the whole idea around creation, i.e. Is there a creator or was -- is our existence strictly just a crap shoot, just a roll of the dice and here we are.

ANDERSON: Why did you decide to take on this -- this new project?

FREEMAN: I guess I've always had a -- some -- at least from high school days, the idea of physics, of life itself.

Is there really a God?

Are we created by some intelligence or, as the scientists are asking now, is this all really a cosmic crap shoot and we may be the only life forms that we're ever going to encounter, we are never going to encounter another life form?

We're desperately looking for others, because it's a big question that exists amongst all scientists and, I'm sure, a lot of -- of people in the religious area, like, is there -- is there an answer, really, to this, you know?

ANDERSON: All right. Well, listen, Keira has asked a really interesting question and one I want you to answer: "Do you think," she says, "more resources should be invested in exploring outer space, for example, or should we spend more time discovering resources or working the resources that we have here on Earth?"

FREEMAN: Today, given the circumstances that we find ourselves in vis-a-vis the oil spill in the Gulf, it has been pointed out that we know more about outer space than we do the ocean. So it might -- it might behoove us to spend a lot more time, if we're going to be doing what we're doing here, getting a little bit more knowledge.

ANDERSON: Yes, you make a very good point. All right. Listen, Robert Anderson has written in, my namesake. "You play," he says: "many roles of very influential people." And he reminds us that you've played God, and, indeed, Nelson Mandela. And he says: "How do you prepare for these roles?"

FREEMAN: Well, I've played -- I -- I prepared for Mr. Mandela by studying him. I've known him for many years and was given access to him because it was known by him and I and me -- known by me...

(LAUGHTER)

FREEMAN: -- I knew that I was going to play him one day.

(LAUGHTER)

FREEMAN: I can't figure it out.

ANDERSON: "Invictus" -- talk to me about the film "Invictus".

What did the great Medeva (ph) think of the movie?

FREEMAN: Yes. We screened it for him in Johannesburg. And he was sitting on my left watching the movie. And I was watching him out of the kind of corner of my eye. But when I came on screen the first time, he leaned over to me and said, "I know that fellow."

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: Lovely. You obviously got on.

Fred Hall has written to us, Morgan. And he says: "Which of your movies are you proudest of?"

FREEMAN: I think I'm probably proudest of "Glory," the Civil War movie, because this was history and it was unknown history. And a lot of people saw that movie and told me they -- they wept because they were so ignorant of those facts. So that's -- that's a good thing for me.

ANDERSON: How about this one from Nick, Morgan: "What is your biggest weakness?," he asks.

FREEMAN: I -- I suppose it's probably the idea of confrontations. I don't like confrontations.

ANDERSON: L.H. has written to us. And he or she says: "Tell me your motto which guides your life and how would you advise that we pursue our dreams?"

FREEMAN: Well, first, have a dream, because I think dreams -- I think dreams pursued are dreams that come true.

ANDERSON: A great answer. A great answer.

Samuel Weeks has written to us, saying: "You have one of the unique voices in Hollywood. I'd like to know how you think your voice has impacted your career."

FREEMAN: Gee, I -- the whole idea of this voice thing sort of has me confused. I don't think it's all that great myself. But others seem to, so I -- I -- I accept that. In a way it does sort of -- it helps feed me...

(LAUGHTER)

FREEMAN: -- (INAUDIBLE) me.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: It's made him a lot of money.

Our next Connector of the Day has also tried her hand at acting, but she's best known as the socialite who hasn't let her fame go to waste. Tomorrow, we're going to talk to the hotel heiress, Paris Hilton. She is a reality TV star, a well known personality on the celebrity circuit. Now -- well, now she's putting her talents into charity work for U.S. soldiers.

If you've got anything you would like of -- to ask her on your behalf, send us in your questions. And do remember to tell us where you're writing in from. Head to CNN.com/connect. That is tomorrow.

END