Though Morgan Freeman first impressed Oscar voters in 1987’s “Street Smart,” his turn in “Driving Miss Daisy” as chauffer Hoke Colburn, a role he originated on stage, catapulted his career. Since then he has starred in two other Zanuck productions: 1996’s “Chain Reaction” and 1998’s “Deep Impact.” For the latter film, Zanuck approached Freeman directly to play the United States of America.
Matter of trust: “Producers are really a hands-on part of the moviemaking process. A lot of their job has to do with their humanity and how they function with people. Dick was always warm with talent…you feel like you’re with someone who cares about you and is protective…I learn from every producer, what to do and what not to do. What you learn from Dick is ‘what to do.’ Actors want to feel that their producer is honorable, a person who goes to great lengths to stay true to their word. A lot of times a producer can say things, and events work out differently than planned. That’s one thing as a producer you want to avoid.”
Mutual bonds: “Dick and Lili always struck me as being twins. Lili is very protective of Dick. She likes him a lot. They seem to have a wonderful rapport and business partnership.”