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Despite the unusually cold and rainy weather, the programme "Coffee with…" drew its biggest audience at its last session on Saturday. The reason? The program, part of the Sarajevo Film Festival, hosted Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman for a one-hour chat.
Freeman is currently in Sarajevo as the Festival’s guest of honor, and his latest movie “Invictus” was set to close the Festival on Saturday night.
The "Coffee with..." programme kicked off with talk about „Invictus“, for which Freeman has garnered his fifth Academy Award nomination. In the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, Freeman plays former South African president Nelson Mandela.
"At the time Mandela’s autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” was published, someone from the press asked him who he would like to see play him in a movie. And Mandela said that he would like Morgan Freeman to play him,“ explained the actor, who first met Mandela in his house in South Africa in the mid 1990s.
The chat continued with talk of other collaborative projects between Freeman and Eastwood, which date back 15 years to their first joint film project, “Unforgiven”.
Freeman told the audience that he had never considered any other career. “I always wanted to be in the movies,” Freeman said, despite achieving stardom only later in life, in his forties. He also recalled his most memorable audition, which took place in the mid 1960s when he auditioned for the role of a ballet champion in the musical “Hello Dolly”.
During his decades long career, Freeman also directed a movie in 1992 in Zimbabwe about the life of black South African policeman in the apartheid state.
At the end of the chat came questions about Freeman's time in Sarajevo. Responding to an audience member's question about what he enjoyed most in the Bosnian capital, Freeman was treated to loud applause for his reply: "you have the nicest looking ladies“. He also said that he found Sarajevo charming and that he is having fun.
Freeman admitted that he had not watched any Bosnian films, after which the director of the Sarajevo Film Festival, Mirsad Purivatra, said that he would make sure to show him some before the actor heads home.
“I drank the water from the fountain in the city centre and you know what they say about that… they say I will come back,” Freeman told the audience as the programme came to an end.
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Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin…