Morgan Freeman: the complex last years of the actor who said yes to Qatar

He once recounted that the voice with which the world knew him had not been a natural gift. “He had a very thick southern accent,” he acknowledged to his interviewer, television host Conan O’Brien.

Born in Tennessee and raised in Mississippi, the actor adjusted his record in California while studying at Los Angeles City College. An instructor taught him diction and voice development, until he found the timbre with which he became popular in movies like Driving Miss Daisy (1989) and The unforgivables (1992).

The same loud voice that was heard this Sunday at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar. The 85-year-old interpreter was the main figure of the appointment held at the Al Bayt Stadium, assuming the responsibility of delivering the message that the organization wanted to coin at the opening.

US actor Morgan Freeman, left, sits on the stage at the opening ceremony prior to the World Cup, group A soccer match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

“What unites us is greater than what divides us. We are one big tribe and the Earth is our store,” she posed. “Together we can make the call for all of us to unite. This is a call to the whole world. Soccer unites people and nations. There is a common thread of hope and respect. Soccer expands the world, unites nations in their love for this precious game. What brings nations together brings communities together. We all have a football story, and Qatar too.”

In a ceremony lukewarmly received by viewers and experts, the inclusion of Freeman was the most striking along with the presence of singer Jungkook, a member of the South Korean band BTS. Both artists broke with the string of refusals that the organizers would have received from figures such as Shakira, Dua Lipa, Rod Stewart and some others that until now have been kept in reserve.

the star of Dreams of liberty Up to now, he has not spoken publicly about the reasons that led him to take the proposal, but his willingness to accept the risk – of receiving criticism for going to a venue that is questioned for multiple reasons – can be understood in light of the most recent journey.

Five-time Oscar nominee (once winner, for Million dollar Baby, by Clint Eastwood), the actor has spent some time on mostly forgettable projects. One of his most recent premieres was hard to care for 2 (2021), a film in which he shared the bill with Salma Hayek, Ruan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson that went unnoticed in theaters.


Before, in 2019, he led Angel has fallenthird part of the action saga in which he plays Allan Trumbull, president of the United States who faces multiple and imaginative threats.

Apart from the bullets and the spectacular sequences, he has done several projects with colleagues of his generation or close generations, including a special participation in the third and final season of The Kominsky method, the Netflix series starring Michael Douglas. He has also added to his filmography films with limited distribution and a role in the series alone (Prime Video) that did not transcend either among the public or the specialists.

The most recent years of the actor have been defined by a reduction in his public appearances and few interviews with the media. Under these terms, his trajectory has continued after the shock he faced in 2018. CNN published an article in which eight women denounced that the interpreter made “inappropriate comments” on set or in the offices of his production company, adding to the wave of entertainment personalities named as responsible for similar acts.

“I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected, that was never my intention,” Freeman replied in a public statement. The case did not have a major impact, especially after one of the alleged victims pointed out that a video cited in the publication had been “distorted.”

Since then Morgan Freeman has not publicly referred to that accusation and has preferred to maintain a more sober profile. Until this Sunday he appeared in Qatar to raise multiple questions from viewers around the world.