Typecast as: Wise old man
Notable examples: The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en, Bruce Almighty, Million Dollar Baby
Morgan Freeman is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood right now, but you would have to be blind not to realize that he has been typecast as the go-to guy in any movie that needs an older sage for the hero to lean on. His most famous entry into this pigeonholed role was in The Shawshank Redemption when he played Red, the wise best friend to Tim Robbins’ character. Since then, whenever a main character needs a voice of reason or wisdom to get him through their journey, producers jump to cast Freeman.
In Jungian archetype terms, the “Wise Old Man” is essential in myth, and to be honest, we don’t mind Freeman’s typecasting. He plays each role brilliantly, and he even manages to inject something unique into each. For example, his role in Million Dollar Baby stands out from his role in Se7en, even though they both exist for similar storytelling purposes. In fact, we don’t know how we would feel about Freeman leaving his comfort zone, so for everyone’s sake we hope he stays in it.