Morgan Freeman chats about space, science, and the inspiration they provide for films and for the future.
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Skip the commercials support on Patriot on sponsoring to listen to every episode commercial free. Welcome to start off your place in the universe where science and pop culture collide. Startup begin right now, welcome to start or radio, I'm your host, Neil digress, Thyssen, astrophysicist and director of New York Cities, Hayden Planet, Miriam at the American Museum of natural history. In this episode of STAR talk. We feed a conversation with award winning actor Morgan Freeman, he came to my office is a hidden planetarium and we chattered about his interest in science and space exploration, in fact, Do we recorded this interview? We headed the radio studio for don't talk episode. Will we talked about assigns channel tv series through the wormhole, so
want to check out that show on our website Archive W W W. That start radio dot net Morgan Freeman through the Wormhole series, tackle some of the most intriguing questions and science today, including the birth of the universe, the art of life on earth, the quest alien life and the deep mystery. Dark matter Morgan. Freeman is not only one of those popular actors. In Hollywood today he's was the Academy award nominations for his performances in ST smart driving Stacy, the Shawshank redemption and Invictus He wanted Oscar in two thousand and five million dollar baby and he's also want a golden global ward and a screen actors Guild Award His other popular films include unforgiving, glory, seven, my favorite deep impact Bruce Almighty, where of course you please, God Batman, begins the bucket list. So I had to
skip that the many characters he's portrayed over his career and what role science has played in his life. More, do you play God twice you played the president one for United States in South Africa, you played a chauffeur and a convicted murderer. I could barely eke out my one cameo appearance and playing myself, so what does it take to have that? of breath, as to examine with anyone who who could wreck of that kind of resume You ask me to pat myself on the back. Admit to having been born with a specific talent. Not yours, If I have your mind, I wouldn't be doing this. Now we change back
because we need, as I think you are president- was the best president. I've ever seen million pieces of life and lit a guy one left for the devastation breaks. The waters reaches far in land as the Highland Tennessee Valley, the way farms, a town, forests,
skyscraper, but the water receded. The wave, your Europe and Africa, two million were lost, countless more left homeless, but the waters receded cities, but we are rebuilt and heroes die, but they are remember. We oughta them with every frequently with every feel so with every child with conflict and then teach to rejoice and would have been given our planet. Let us do you know. You say that you like me,
Where, were you said your boy to them as a kid? You had some force, then you'd land. This way, don't tell me you were kids, I wanna play God wonder no! No! No! No! No! I was a kid who says I want to be an actor What I'm gonna do I'm gonna be an actor. I am an actor. I would tell kids now Well? What are you gonna do when you grow up? I want to be an act was well in our view, are enacted. Okay, so that's is good and ass. It was. I can give you sending you habits, but their thousand actors who are waiting tables now, and so some of them pull this off and others don't. So. I'm just saying you play guy they came back for more so you're, really him archer. You want more proof island on the pillow often in the. Why that's all right, I believe you I just I don't understand why you chose me, you the world. So do I wonder why arc I mean that's like
our territory. He couldn't do that again, you do that. Would you do that let's just say whatever I do, because I love you Then you have to understand that this old building, an arc thing is only part of my plans. Here I need to settle into my house. I need to make impression at work your plans. What are you talking we're talking about an arc right? I mean an ark and argues huge. I don't even know where I would begin, I hear that a lot. It wanted the world, don't How to begin you know how to change the rules on one. The random kindness at a time from the highest levels of society to the lowest? You are portraying these characters convincingly, compellingly with warmth with compassion.
Can somebody learn learn that No. I don't think so. It's like art, I don't think acting is an art but is like. Aren't you can teach Painting the mechanics mechanics up to connect it. You could teach about it, the Duke you could starry night it the Duke Starry night. It now, and I can do it lying flat, but I can never dream it up, so in the purest form of art, that's gotta come from someplace deep within the nor can teacher yeah nothin. Saying that acting as an art, I don't think that's an artist after talent you're, not gonna discussion with people about my art will, I think, be an artist. You have to start with nothing and does that we always start for the swift, as somebody else's morning. Mother, that's a humble point of view, because most actors, they see themselves as the thing when somebody actually thought up, the movie thought up the script,
wrote the words down, but it is curious that we live in a society where the person portrays the art, he's the one who gets all the fame and glory the nature of the beast. So I think We have to this claim artistry as it is artists, son, but none? last summer better than others. That's all I'm saying and I got good one sitting next to me right now. That's all I'm saying you too! So I always ask What role did science play when you're a kid? Did you have good science teacher is: did you like it probably had great science teachers, but let's go back to your original question. What were you gonna beat when you were a kid? This is ignoring question adult always ass kids, when I'm gonna be a scientist in Europe, in my life and was never gonna, be us address for me ever since I was nine. I was given that answer.
There's only be when you grow, I said Astro physicists and they walk away right. Stop the conference as you want, but ok, I think you have some sensitivity to science that most people don't and I'm trying to probe then I've always been more interested in astrophysics, men and the size of biology are you not just saying that cause you're sitting in my office here at the hidden planetarium outcome, so the universe caught your fancy using the idea of physics, just physics I was in a school for a very few minutes emerged fell from high school. And there I had a physics class and being very excited within their plans. I was a student gimme. A test but I'm like a sea but in everyday class. You feel in the physics habitual in physics. Anyone I had all these questions. Someone asked a question. I get any
and everyday class activity. I was doing great and I think it was doing because I was had these questions. I still have them. Your cosmical curious Cosmic Lee curious? I read a cosmos cars. Carl Sagan got our saying in the army just completely galvanise get when you were a kid before they became out not only I was I was my twenties authorities when animals are commendable and I make my photos of it well sure that's interesting, because Cosmos treated signs differently from other books. Signs as it as a human activity? stimulate your soul of curiosity. I signed the stimulated mine and the idea of look in deep into space. Looking into cardinals, having some under standing of distances. And numbers The next thing you start going is wondering listen for us to care, for you ask and what does it all mean yeah
does it all mean one of a cat? You look up there and you think, while he's just up there and then get some smattering of knowledge at the nearest star red light years away. Something like that We can also ensure that system that for light years away and allows area from the sun, okay, so hydrogen the six thousand miles per second, you multiply that out a staggering exactly six trillion miles per like year time. For twenty four trillion miles away, and so can you even simply going there, but the gallant the right to the nearest, the native backyard backyard. Bacco yeah to clarify for using as a kid you had a curiosity, but it didn't we. Really become philosophical to you until after Cosmos, yeah. Ok, I gotcha You were primed to receive their prime to receive right, ok, cause you're, physic friendly before then my right now, Here's another realisation, though I think that anything
when time can imagine they can do right and so how have you brought this to bear on your life, stairs, If you imagine that you wanna may ever ask yourself. Why are you sitting here as an after a physicist are very well known and accepted after a physicist? how'd. You manage their from nine, yet I imagined it. You imagined I met, but I didn't imagined that I would stop the rotation of the earth or reverse time when I was sensible, think about what if I was imagining so I would modify the word, not anything you can imagine. I think anything you can imagine doing you can do what did archimedes say this year me a place to stand a lever and bulk from place to stand I can't move the earth, that's what he said. Well it so that's actually good sort of philosophy of life. If you have high ambitions, yeah have them because I knew it
Imagine if you can do it and while you are to take an exam administered by the state. Just your basic skills and the quality of education. That is that and I want to tell you what the people out there are saying about you and what they think about the genesis They say you are inferior. Are you white people, Isabel going to say we say we swam,
we rise. We we made our fake together measures. What people out there who go back to New York in Syria, maybe you're spool, may have been What you can turn lie for you, I'm gonna consider singing all of the ads on this shell there's just one
and where to get out of hearing there go to patriarch arms last star, talk and sub. Where does at the five dollar level or higher to listen the star talk ad free. You can download all current episodes into your favorite podcast player and never we're here. Another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not have to hear me saying if you support us at Patria, dark coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I mean just saying, Welcome back to start a new the grass Thyssen in this episode of startled we're featuring a conversation with the award winning actor Morgan Freeman in this part of the interview we talked about, the many movies appeared in over the years in which science is celebrated and Sidra, potential that site
steam. Plots can offer those get your movie career. Forgive me for leaving out the ones where science was not a theme starting off. You narrated com, the voyage, the I'm ex film, which was produced by some of my very close, his colleagues- and that was my first I'm hearing you as a vote. By the way- and that was ninety- ninety six or seven. I think it was It might be nineties, you didn't see itself as redemption, yes you're the voice of that, but I think of you as an actor that not the narrator. But yes, I see anguish in areas right now. You're gonna pass some idea. He slew. Let me slide on them, so that was the first time I heard what your voice could do in that context and Edward perfect match your voice and the universe, and
I'm acts was, of course, the only slightly likely since the universe is a big place. We can easily get lost so we'll need signpost. To give us a sense of state after bans ring is one meter why the crowd is ten times wider, ten metres across larger by one power of ten. Now, with every step, every ring we, ten times, father from Venice,
and our view of the universe is ten times wider. One hundred metre rings around Saint Marks and one thousand meters, one kilometer, the city centre, as I will speed increases for steps for powers of ten reveal all the islands of Venice, the Adriatic Sea and the mainland of northern ITALY. Six steps taken Europe from Central ITALY to the Balkans, and so we can see the entire planet. Our whole spits steps on our journey, eight thousand Jim and we pass the farthest reaches of human trafficking. Give me visualize the past of the mine planets taken their orbits around the sun at fifteen steps from Saint mocks sway. The entire solar system comes into view, and the fifteen insteps fifteen pounds of tat we can see the sun is just another star from here on. Our voice will be measured in light years, the distance like travellers and an entire year. Only now do we fly past. Our nearest neighbor sties almost five light years away. The same journey at the speed of today's spacecraft with last one hundred thousand years, the country of origin is like a kind of an eye max version of the powers of ten journey. You zoom out from earth to the edge of the universe and back at the centre of an atom, show the choice and happy they challenge for that question. In March of the penguins, which had that science will take it a science, I think tat, tat science, biology, Bio here, it's it's ecology, and I will give you that, like that, I really liked. You know, I think, at the time I was penguins out. You know, because I saw happy feet and its authors
How many penguins can a man take them? I had to buy the put a whole am I penguin viewing for, while they're just you know no sense to say I'm not a finger, and then you did some environmental clips legal one earth, I think, was one of them and so sweet your man about science. I think anyone will claim you whether but that's deep with any, whether not just your next gig because I think it is important to have the least that association I and I I don't claim to have a knowledge towards scientific anything except dad you you're an outbreak. You remember that movie with that people are like virus that was was killing piano insights February chain reaction that you ain't, deep impact and extra did. You in Batman begins eyes next day tech guideline next big, but not everybody has next gigs that celebrate science. The way these films do well see you just putting you just putting that,
gather went pattern recognition as a crime of the announced. So data here, you're me, that's what I'm doing your town may well. Ok, so I will ignore what you said. That is just an accident that you like these movies, are our connect, my own damn dots and say these lit. Ours is not a coincidence, at your and more sites movies and other actors are. If I try to find you know Let me cite movies is shown Connery Bit in or You know, I know you do. You're Amazon Oh that's! True, jobless certain for cancer and now ok he's got one of a robber Deniro no, no, he was in a way. He was this guy within a coma, not a coma. Oh, are you turn around awakening awakening so whether or not it was just your next gig, I have to say I enjoyed all the signs of movies you been in specially been with. The asteroid
because, as we know, these things out there, and so it's not just now. Here's a serious issue is like there's some real stuff going on here and it's a wake up call shot across our bow. If you will- and I gotta say I enjoyed you as the tec- dude in it Lucius for Wayne Industries, supply and bad man with his bullet Proof Cape in his, do dad's hook who doesn't love the doodad, so those are the same as all convincing and meaningful roles, and I will take you as a science geek honorary science gate for those roles in those hey. What we see that they too have thereby accepted. I take the honor and honourable geek isn't quite like knighthood bird as best we can do for you in America on it. So Let me ask, as an actor do think science makes compelling drama. You ve had some lonely. Oh yes, yes, yes, some of our most compelling dramas have been around science.
Well, that's I'm glad you feel that way, because I think there's many more signs stories to tell heavens I'm tired of law dramas in cop. I'm sorry, I'm tired. You know the world how many more and lawyer stories can you give us around and we do nothing. We can go into more science based drama even comedy you're funny, so the universe is funny. I just reveal that fact. While people have to know website before they get, and if we don't talk about, they never will. Then everyone s deep and that's the Does that lay before us all? Well, be we artist her scientists? Let us step up to it. So, great, that you agree that science can make compelling drama. Could give a really good example, I read that Michael frightened book. The Andromeda strain that was all, may I read that ass, I was. I was struck by that book, real
so I really want it came back in the seventies yeah. But here, in my estimation, a way to ask scientific questions and impose answers. In very dramatic Do science series on drama Series: it's strictly on science, which has an unknown yet not crying. Oh, it has now I've seen. Investigations are closest thing to it: yeah yeah, yeah bones and it's a testament to what you're saying how successful the series has been. I don't know and strong innocent motives in different cities and what helps I think. Make the science meaningful? Is that even bedded it in a social clause? we'll contacted here. Some people have ways they have access points. We do the exact same thing with signs with deep silence. Astrophysics would be awesome, so you titillated by this. I am too
I gotta go to jump out of science. You can expose young people to buy doing this kind of stuff is amazing, some of your catalogue of movies that had science themes of any one of them is triggered you to think more deeply about that particular topic. After deep impact. Will you saying to you? Let me read up on these asteroids see how true the script is no, I read my level with Roma back in the sixties. That's what I'm saying goodbye snapped. Also you, you didn't need You ve been set you off on asteroid. No, you away! You know what you mean asteroid away back way back, because this was an asteroid that kid ITALY, and ITALY was no more. Made a catastrophe like than that probably the only time that we'll call releases? Yes, we're All differences are forgotten because you have a common enemy. We have a common enemy in space
though in Bamiyan begins. When you are tech, do do. Did you thank tee? I want one of these. I want a few of these. And I want to live like this, and I want did you have now? deep impact. We use energy. Let me read up on these asteroids see how true the script is. No barrier read my neighbour with Rama back in the sixties. That's what I said shake, so that means you are drawing the line between science fiction in real life, no I draw a line between science fantasy and we're like that's good,
thank you no makes so I will serve a vast infantry Kerala by we reinforce joints terrorism, the subtle stop a knife bulletproof thing, but a screenshot. Why didn't put it into production being didn't think of soldiers? Life was waiting hundred grand. So what's your interest in it must remain a borrowing for still lacking Spurlock cave timing expecting around a much gunfire these days. When our talk, radio continues you have worked. My conversations with his ward was an actor Morgan, Freeman.
Welcome back to start operating. I'm the grass Thyssen did this episode of slaughter featuring a conversation with a ward winning actor Morgan Freeman many people might not realise that, in addition to being a famous actor he's an air playing pilot, and so I had to ask him what led him to take flight. And how far their ambition has gotten him you becoming aviator in later years. Yet that seems like you, dont want gravity to keep you on earth this but that is too that sounds like a sound like Eu Islam, tighter Gimme, your gimme, the hell off the earth's surface. I always wanted to fly always headline dreams have falling dreams when if we hit the ground level off within what is for say about that,
did you talk to you very soon, also your forward with a new level of you, although I know that this difference
That means you grew wings, timber away that, if grew the power of flight, ok, knowing no angel stop at all no yo yo level off clue myself up. I wanted to fly from early on and and I realize that morning fly jet planes and their fight, a pile of us all, movie romance. So many years later, though I had a dream. To learn how to fly the hell, were you when you learn how to fly sixty five about man at any? complain, yeah, yeah, aeroplanes. Three points for planes were one plain: do that the other doesn't know the awfully sorry. I did a stupid question. The latest one that leaves one. I have flies show me a picture on your blackberry down who that's sweet I'd better than anything. My class, It was a an estimated thirty. I let it again. I Swearingin S thirty question thirty rancor sound.
Its past years, it's been buying airplanes. After I came to the conclusion: then I could no longer apply commercially. Just got to be Oh my god, look who's here, yeah yeah, it's so out of the celebrity prevented at what you're saying sidebar fraction Ilona ships in these companies and that turned out to be expensive. So remember how this works. You are a participant in the total ownership of a fleet of planes right and the plane comes available to you when you need is a taxi. Exactly is always one at my Beck and call is not like. I call Dell, we don't have available. Ok, they can Yet they come get you, but it's expensive paying it shows how well you didn't. Last move back bedroom, I have to remind that actors. Don't have steady jobs,
they go move in a movie and you got a budget that stuff out when I first started working, I get a job on stage and I think are man. Now I can, I can get by stood close, get caught up in all my rent, you'd. Do that and you realize that oh wait a minute. They just mounted place clothing, three sides, I don't ever lose sensitivity to. I steady gig right that's how you need some time to get trapped in a steady job to like Then don't show all your trap, that's right! They are, then, you know grow! groundwater, what a delicate That is a very fine line. De la ok, you need the money to keep this access to planes that what happened? Well when I learned how to fly at just one, but my own outline and
Eliza, ok, I'm on our planet. I can go anywhere, I wanna go, but I couldn't get there in reasonable time, so the buyer more airplane. A better and better playing who so then that turned out to be not possible either about up poignant and about into a twin engine, airplane ass, small twin engine, seneca and fluid to California from Mississippi, took today's today. Two days This lock do you can get through security, usually sooner than today's, yet an irregular airport bought a bigger. That's a bigger twin engine. Baptistin driven aircraft and that the flying time down dramatically, but it still took nine hours.
That's. It was like limber guenaud. Have you on a plane for half a day? You know how to go away. You sat a few of us is the main thing when that, because you had meteor fuelling for private checks, would like then I say: ok, this won't do, though, about a jet. There you go, I'm gonna cut three hours off flying time. Still, six, I was no subsided, worry about blood clots. My legs, staffing is no longer here, saw a bottle of bigger jet and still had to stop the fewer than in this plain I got when does it this beautiful? When you just show me on your black thereat whenever I so there? That's your baby, my baby! That's you! maybe so, for you don't want to be in control of year, move and emotion through space and time? Do you have a dream about commanding a starship?
got some time on hands. I tell you all about it, so I can answer. Yes, Yes, I, yes, you do about it. And, yes, you know just amateur you why? Ok, we have access to all the Sea Clarks Book, one, never with Rama and I'm the holder of the seriousness of them just that one. But therefore, so My fantasy of commanding the starship is commanding endeavour, which is the ship use two minor issue with this craft as moving toward Do as in entered our solar system was an alien thing. Yet the author and hooker hooker so you're dreaming yourself into science fiction rules collateral. But after we do cause, you see roles hey. I could do that or I could be absolutely So is this appears to be like that per
if they ever make them we're gonna make that you are going to make them aware how that's what you mean. You really said. I think she's recently had access to it. I have to ask whether you like it when you bought the rights of the book maybe someday access to it is code forward for you bought the right also right, because you want to be that commander on that shit. I have as our red that book somewhere back in the sixties. I always thought of the movie. Since you bought the rights the book you can be whatever damn actor in a story you all right. So the other thing that has happened is abandoned. I've got this producing partner with very enabling so I've been in, That's a good kind of partner to Hell, yeah arrival. Abu, look for that! Ok make their common sooner rather than later. That only task you have that's really. Really hard and making move is harder than getting. Money is getting a script, a good spirits,
script yak movies rise and fall in that having GOSH absolute, and I think we ve got a mature enough in our specialists backs to now no longer have the special effects. Save a movie story. Gotta be sought out. I got to see you gotta word after him, he's gotta work when startled radio continues will have more. If I conversation with the award winning actors, Morgan Freeman. Broken back to the other groups in this house. Start or with victory. Conversation with your award winning actor and smooth as butter voice. Morgan Freeman this last part of our interview we talked at length about
based exploration and the possibility of alien life. I got an email from one of our friends at either Massa r J p out. They invited me to come and watch the landing of in, Mars probe there's nothing more thrilling than the launch of any space probe and their landing. These are the two critical points, of course, as there it is months and months on route, all this anticipation and waiting for the first signal that waiting for it to call home when you get that signal people pop the champagne corks then you're on another mountain part of my amazement. Is that everything? in this universe is moving, not standing. Still, so when you shoot at something there's a lot o, calculations. You have that's an under appreciated fact and I'm glad you brought it up because your launching a spaceship from a moving sorry,
I fought on earth to another moving platform. And you have to aim it for where the target is, but weird failure will be when it gets their nine month of a Marsh nine months. Wow. Ok, nobody! Nobody appreciate, I'm glad you pirate added! The other thing is that incredible thing is that Voyager is now outside the solar system. You got it is cross over out of the influence of the sun and his entered interstellar. Voyager, launched in the nineteen seventies, then you might remember. The Voyager spacecraft has will plaque on the side of information that, in ITALY, an alien might decode and learn about, as some people are kind of afraid of that prospect of you. If you simply return address out now, some people will give out their email address and you are given their givers return. Dress
so you worried that aliens common sucker brains, I I'm with Clark Arthur she Clark yeah. I bet Thank the universe is populated with Northern Europeans, you mean of the milk that, upon reaching strange civilization, destroy everything, Kilmer kill him up, like God, sorted out. Yet Take their kinder gentler species everywhere, even though you have no data to back them up you wishing that this is true. Well, why not wish that we? we got up if it does do another, So we not terrified of something does show. So these are by now asking questions, so you want, Nineteen sixties, peace next to be the aliens I don't think your big. You saw the close and countless course here.
Did you walk out of that movie? Looking up idea of drove out too, Basically, there was no light. I wanna be abducted. I want him to come. Every time, I'm alone out on this guy said, come on out there you go so so that makes you feel safer. In a universe where you just might get a visitation. Let's go back to burn down again formatting eritrean downer right. So he went around the world family ancient artifacts and structures he couldn't explain it and he didn't think anyone back then could have figured out how to do it, so he figured, intelligent hailing from another planet came to earth and directed them. Yes, that's what he thinks he also thinks that there are depictions among some of the sculptors in drawing ancient societies that depict displaced people. Some of these lines have figures the helmet. Space home at here here and now.
This is an idea that if there are visitations They are benign, so you invoked as evidence that's not an ever this- that there are benign aliens but that we can think of them as, but, if you think of him, ok, now here's the thing, it was the northern Europeans who embraced the industrial revolution, giving them the power to cross the oceans and the weaponry to I think we all want to the ocean, for they did it with verve okay. So here's my point: if the alien civilization, the one that is rush basis crossed the ocean of space, the one who are in two conquering are more likely to be the ones to have the spaceships so maybe there's a selection effect is a bias in terms of who's. Gonna come your first. What is going to be the talk? Ok, let's turn the peace, an ex are still there saying, combine around a campfire. Let's turn it around here. What if we are the ones
who are managed to get out there to another world first. What? If it's us so do it are we gonna go with guns and guns drawn? We find some materials that was about God. You know what Stuff is worth pointing out the natural resources right. Are we gonna do what we want and we Europeans did before. We ve seen that playbook multiple tabs manifest destiny, That's our oil, not yours as our goal, not yours, Difference here would be, the humans would be the invaders if we did that, The question is: how would they view Lange on later peaceful planet. We would have to get there and find out you first, you go so you, given the Spock symbol with the Vulcan being Level probably I live long and fast, but you re not here because that can mean what you dont know is whether that Vulcan live long and prosper. Signal could mean, you don't know what the cross cultural, meaning that hand gesture writes about. We know
That there was a universal signed. That means I am alarmed and what is their openings? I would hope universally that's why I mean trapped with a bomb behind repairing just after accidents just in Canada as its aim, the military trust but verify. How do you feel about Gaza weeding out wanted to go? De Mr President, dear Mr President, dear World cut the defence budget to the bone, take back money and give most of it to NASA. Oh, what is it that has ever improved the human condition exploration. And what have we got now wearing a jack nano. We have the universe we have our own universe right here in the solar system? Everything we need to know about it.
I think we could be out there doing it was so well, it's meaningless to send a human. Tomorrow's is too much bob and training. Keep humans alive on Mars. Ok, I don't see the humans bilbil but but since deep, the frontier move keep moving, that's the end of my interview with award winning actor Morgan Freeman you ve been listening to star talk, radio, fully funded by the National Science Foundation. I near the grass case, as always until Next I wish you'd listen restored, talk, commercial free joint start,
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-25.