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.