New Delhi, April 4: He has twice played god on
screen, and now he's taking the small screen route to explore 'the story
of god' in a documentary series for which he paid a maiden visit to
India last year.
One of American cinema's most recognisable
figures, Morgan Freeman, says he's fascinated with the "differences"
that the country has to offer and that he'd love to return to film a
"I would primarily like to go to India and make a movie.
I'd like to be there for a while. Some time ago I had a great idea, a
great movie idea. It wasn't mine, it was someone else's. It wasn't well
thought out, but it was such a great idea and I would really like to do
something like that in India," Freeman told IANS in an interview during a
conference call with select Indian media.
During his tryst with
India for National Geographic Channel's "The Story of God", he visited
Bodh Gaya and Varanasi -- cities which are of religious significance --
to bring forth the nation as a melting pot of myriad religions, faiths
beliefs and traditions.
"India is an endlessly fascinating place
when you go from place to place to place to place and you see the
differences. For instance, all the places we were in, Bodh Gaya and
Varanasi, had fascinating differences. I think you would probably find
that all over India," added the 78-year-old in his distinct baritone.
who has left a lasting impression with his persona in movies like "The
Shawshank Redemption", "Seven", "Bruce Almighty" and "Million Dollar
Baby", visited seven countries for the series in a quest to find out how
religion has evolved through the course of civilisation, and how it has
shaped the evolution of society.
He visited iconic places like
Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, Mayan temples in Guatemala and the pyramids of
Egypt. In India, though, Freeman said he could not put his mind "around
the traffic" in Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the country which
he found "extraordinary".
"For me, I was a little surprised by
India... I was trying to understand how people associate with one god to
another. It was completely interesting and new."
sentiments also describe his journey into some of the world's key
religious sites, ruins of ancient civilizations, and in cutting-edge
science laboratories for the six-part series which will go on air on
April 15. Freeman, Lori McCreary and James Younger are the executive
producers of the series.
While religion is often seen as something that divides, the series illuminates the similarities among different faiths.
Did "The Story of God" affect Freeman's personal beliefs about the Almighty?
have been asked if my beliefs changed. I'd say no. But affected
personally? Absolutely! Learning these different cultures around the
idea of god was very fascinating," said the Academy Award winning star,
who found himself in a "spiritual limbo dealing with Hinduism because
for one thing, it seems to be a tough religion".
Is he a god-fearing person?
no. The god I believe in doesn't scare me, so I'm not god-fearing at
all," Freeman told IANS, adding that "if the job comes along, the script
is right, and the money's good", he will will play god again on the big
And every once in a while amid his busy schedule,
Freeman finds time to do documentaries such as this as he feels there's
"an obligation to make positive changes in the world".
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)