Morgan Freeman Visits Queen City

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Morgan Freeman says he has won plenty of awards in his successful career as an actor, but this award, he says, means just as much as all the others. He says it's a great feeling to be home and to know he's appreciated here in Mississippi.

As anticipated, a large crowd showed up for a chance to see legendary actor Morgan Freeman in person, but it turns out he was just as thrilled to see them.

"I was so happy to see so many of you here and I'm very very honored that you are here," said Freeman.

He told the crowd listening to his every word that there is nothing like coming home, but he says it took years for him to realize that. His parents left Mississippi when Freeman was a young man, though they eventually moved back. H said when he would return to visit them, he knew he was home.

"I noticed every time I came home, that's what it felt like," Freeman said.

Though, Freeman is known across the world, and has a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he says the attention he gets in his home state is different.

"I'm 74 years old in three weeks. I grew up here. So, now here in the 21st century, I'm home and I'm treated as royalty. Same as anywhere else here at home, it has a special flavor, sort of a mutual admiration thing going on," said Freeman.

During his a news conference with media, Freeman said he was asked about his favorite roles..One of those is from the movie, Invictus, the story of Nelson Mandela, directed by Clint Eastwood, Freeman's favorite director. For that movie he said that he had direct access to Mandela.

"I then, soon after, was put in close touch with and told him if I would ever play him I needed access; I needed to hold his hand, study him up close and he made that happen. Everyone made that happen," said Freeman. "I had quite a few years of study, getting to know my subject there. I've never had more fun making a movie."

As for making movies, Freeman says his next role will be in the latest of the Batman series, coming out in 2012.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on May 10, 2011 at 03:10 PM
    I wasn't there and I don't know why MAEC and/or this Legends Magazine (???) didn't have things more organized. Unlike some others, I am so glad we have places in Meridian like the Museum of Art, Temple Theater, Riley Center, Little Theater, Meridian Symphony, etc. Good entertainment is seldom free--it would be great if it was, but it isn't.
  • by Brent Location: Meridian on May 9, 2011 at 06:13 PM
    Three stars sitting on a sidewalk no one uses... In 20 years no one will even know why those stars are there.
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2011 at 12:57 PM
    The Riley Center has nothing to be ashamed of! They were simply the location that the Ms Arts and Entertainment Center (MAEC) rented to hold the event. I agree it was not handled properly AT ALL but don't take it out on the Riley Center. Address the MAEC and Legends Magazine!!
  • by John Location: Meridian on May 9, 2011 at 11:05 AM
    Shame on you Riley center! Elitism as it's worse.
  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2011 at 07:06 AM
    The MAEC helped bring Morgan Freeman to Meridian. The private reception held inside was held by Legends Magazine. They're the ones who sent out the invitation list. They're the ones who should be contacted with any complaints about invitations, etc. This group rented out space at the Riley Center. The Riley Center had nothing to do with these events except rental of the space.
    • reply
      by Bill on May 9, 2011 at 11:04 AM in reply to
      They could always say no... If the Klan wanted to meet in the Riley center then the Riley center would be just as guilty... Allowing a group of rich people to host a "rich only" event is just as bad.
  • by Restating Location: Meridian on May 9, 2011 at 07:05 AM
    ATTN FUNNY and DILLARD: Please go back and actually READ ALL OF THE COMMENTS. The Riley Center was the location. The event was a MS Arts and Entertainment event. MAEC was in charge...NOT the RC. Folks, please read before posting inaccurate information!!!
  • by Really? on May 9, 2011 at 04:53 AM
    Mr Freeman is like any other "Star". If he wanted to speak to any of us "common folk" he would. He only came because he was being honored. He doesn't give a rats ___ about any one person in the crowd. Stop whining and get a life.
  • by Funny Location: Meridian on May 8, 2011 at 08:52 PM
    Whoever runs the Riley Center should be fired. The Riley center was built to service the community, not the 1 percent of rich people.
    • reply
      by Peabody on May 8, 2011 at 10:15 PM in reply to Funny
      They do service the community the way we said they would. A weeks pay to take the family to see a show but it's not just for the rich.
    • reply
      by Sheri on May 9, 2011 at 07:37 AM in reply to Funny
      I recently took my daughter to a performance at the Riley Center on Friday her ticket cost $10.00! BTW, I am going to the X-Factor auditions there tonight for FREE!!! Wow,Got to be rich to afford a $10.00 and FREE ticket. I by no means am rich and I will continue to support arts in Meridian at the Temple an the Riley Center!
  • by Dillard Location: Meridian on May 8, 2011 at 03:59 PM
    It was very shameful to see how Morgan Freeman was sheltered from the common folk of Meridian. The rich people of Meridian kept him in the Riley center away from everyone. Riley center lost my money.
    • reply
      by Mike on May 9, 2011 at 07:42 AM in reply to Dillard
      How did the Riley Center lose your money when it was a PRIVATE funciton put on by the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center. Wedding Receptions (PRIVATE FUNCTION) are held at the Riley center. Should you be allowed to attend a wedding reception if not invited?
      • reply
        by Amazed on May 12, 2011 at 06:25 AM in reply to Mike
        What they did was like advertising a big Wedding Reception bash on TV and in the newspaper and every other media outlet you can think of, then telling the same market you've been targeting with those ads that they can come and look and be "fillers" so it looks good on camera, but they're not invited to the party.
  • by Anonymous on May 8, 2011 at 04:32 AM Under the "About MAEC" you can find a list of the Board of Directors if you want to follow up on Voice of Reason's comment. I'm not sure if these folks get paid anything for serving. I know of other board of director groups who work tirelessly for very little stipend or nothing. It would be interesting to know if the MAEC folks draw a salary for their efforts.
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