The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 5, 1997 · Page 66
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 66

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, October 5, 1997
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Page 66
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FREE ADVICE , "You can regret all you want. What does It change? It just causes a sore inside you that festers. Next thing you know, you're dying and you don't know why." You can't plan it all: "People think, 'We're going to follow this plan step by step, and it's a done deal.' But it's been said that no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy." We're all in this together: "Some of our social problems today have to do with an ignorance of our own history. I don't mean a particular [racial] group. What I lack, you lack. What causes me pain will eventually cause you pain." Be calm at sea:-people get seasick because they're hungry, exhausted or frightened. You have to eat, rest and figure out a way to handle your fear." Audiences and movie execs now think of Freeman only in heroic roles, he says. "Bogart and Cagney stopped playing bad guys later in life,... I'm stuck being a good guy now. It narrows the scope of your work." ASK IHILMAN IOH AUVICl Freeman will write or call one reader who seeks advice. Write by Oct 12 to "Straight Talk," RO. Box 3455, Chicago, III. 60654 (e-mail: talk@usaweekend.com; fax: 312-661-0375). Zaslow Is an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times Co. Straight Talk By Jeffrey Zaslow ci The veteran actor didn't get his first starring role till he was 50, but that didn't discourage him. "You ought to be glad about your life, whatever it is." M ANY PEOPLE measure their relevance by their accomplishments and fame. Actor Morgan Freeman, 60, could do that, too. He's in a Beverly Hills hotel, discussing his upcoming movies, including this week's Kiss the Girls, and his celebrated roles in Glory, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Seven. But Freeman says he tries not to let fawning fans, solicitous movie executives or Oscar nominations alter his perspective entirely. "I feel insignificant here in Hollywood, because this is make-believe." A millionaire movie star who talks like this could seem disingenuous. But like the dignified characters he often plays, Freeman senses that importance isn't realized through arrogance or narcissism. He says he never watches his old films. "I don't like looking at me. Besides, it's not helpful. I suppose that's because I grew up [acting] in the theater, where you don't look at yourself except through the eyes of the audience. The audience tells you how good you are." Freeman didn't land his first lead movie role, in Street Smart, until age 50, but he learned not to use career highs and lows to measure his self-worth. For 10 years, he's had to live with a question respected film critic Pauline Kael asked in a New Yorker article: "Is Morgan Freeman the greatest American actor?" The answer doesn't matter to Freeman. A veteran sailor, he says that just being alive, out on the sea, with the birds and the fish, is the greater gift. "You ought to be glad about your life, whatever it is," Freeman says. "I've got all my fingers and toes. My eyesight is good. My smeller works. Of course I'm happy about my life, because I'm still here." Freeman can be out on his boat, just a tiny speck on the ocean, and feel his importance growing. "The reality is that you're as significant as a mountain or a star. Out at sea, when I'm surrounded by dolphins, whales, sea eagles... I'm as significant as they are. "We're all coping with the elements. We're all living there." ca TW* wwfc Morgan Freeman plays a police detective and psychologist in Kiss tfie Girls, co-starring Ashley Judd. Up next: Steven Spielberg's Amistad; Hard Rain. , 919 * EDITOR: Mveil BuU«r<) t PUBLISHER: Chtrtlf QlvrtcUon * VICE PHWIMNTJ: p«r* Btrtw, Ml Co»W»y, Ctrgl KMOtr-Wito, Beth UwitWt.TIUMMt MelHl ' 6»««ttfl 8i»: Amy Elsman Senior Editor: Dan Olmsted Sent* Amttot* Editor: Brenda Turner AM«cl«te EOJtori: Gayle Jo Carter, Carol Clurman, Patricia Edmonds, Constance Kurz, Lorrle Lynch, Kathleen McCleary Copy Chief: Tom Lent Cosy EdMfln Terry Byrne Mate A Otttrve* Ow E*on Pamela Brown RMMrtwn: M. Franco Salvoza, Cesar G. Soriano ^KsrW tttiHtft*. Mfchste Hatty, Miranda N. Walker mMWmWfSOma Fred Barnes, Ken Bums, Jean Calper, Roger Cossack, , , , Stephen Coyey, George Foreman, Monlka Gunman, Florence Griffith Joyner, Stephanie Mansfield,Tom McNichol, Jill Nelson, Cokle Roberts, Steve Roberts, Tabltha Soren. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Greta Van Susteren, Jeffrey Zaslow •""• Art Dinctor Pamela Smith AHMAD} Art Director: Clay Auch Ptwto Dwk: Molly Roberts, Cindy Sorgen-Eldw Technology (ttntger: Treva Stose Office Stiff: Kate Bond, Brenda Nelson fBQEH Di, ortQ , Nw MedjTcHercK Casselman EOttoriil: Vln Narayanan, Amelia Stephenson AdvertlUng: Casey Shaw liVHII|IHIi)»)lilBBBI 53S Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022 ""*""" —- — - - S USA WtEKEND Th» mwiHMrin* Am»rto« respond* to MMblbIM IIIDIIB!ll)liBH|lHHa 1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22228-0012 TgWT 1-800-4I7-29W «*• tftamtt*.to MMUH,twlMt*M* u,$ft WiEliMP • Oct. 5-61197

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