Can you ever think of the great Morgan Freeman as anything apart from being that jovial old grandfather figure with twinkling eyes? The Oscar-winning actor had made a fine career fitting in that mould, and being the benevolent figure to the hero characters, or being that hero himself.  Morgan Freeman Sex Harassment Claims: I Did Not Create Unsafe Work Environment, Assault Women, Says the Actor.

Returning to his goody-goody roles, Freeman, who began his movie career as an extra in the 1965 film The Pawnbroker, played a general Mr Nice Guy in many popular films. Most notable ones are Million Dollar Baby, The Dark Knight trilogy, The Shawshank Redemption (though he played a convicted murderer in the film), Unforgiven (little grey here), Invictus (as the late Nelson Mandela), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Glory, Bruce Almighty, Lucy, Driving Miss Daisy etc. Hollywood Legends Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones Unite for Comeback Trail – Read Deets.

There are occasions though, where he gave the nice guy act a break and took on negative roles. Like he is all set to make a grey character in the upcoming The Hitman's Bodyguard's Wife. On the occasion of his birthday, let's look at seven memorable times Freeman turned super grey in his career.

Hard Rain

Morgan Freeman in Hard Rain

Freeman plays Jim, the leader of a gang of robbers who ambush the protagonist, played by Christian Slater, leading to a violent chain of events in this 1998 thriller. While this is one of Freeman's more greyish roles, he is more of an anti-hero than a complete baddie.

Street Smart

Morgan Freeman in Street Smart

You want more negative, huh? How about this 1987 thriller that has him play a terrifying pimp named Fast Black, who has been accused of murder? Freeman earned his first Oscar nomination (for Best Supporting Actor) for his performance in the film.

Nurse Betty

Morgan Freeman in Nurse Betty

Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock play two hitmen who are in pursuit of a runaway woman, played by Renée Zellweger, in possession of the drugs they want. The black comedy has Freeman portray a killer, but like with Hard Rain, it isn't a complete negative role, giving his character some humaneness.


Morgan Freeman in Wanted

This 2008 action thriller, starring Angelina Jolie and james McAvoy, has Freeman as the head of the mysterious assassin group. The movie capitalises on the benevolent image the actor has built for himself, before pulling the curtain and showing him as the real villain.

Lucky Number Slevin

Morgan Freeman in Lucky Number Slevin

In this underrated crime thriller, Freeman plays a mobster called The Boss in war with a rival, played by Ben Kingsley, and how a mysterious assassin uses that to plot his revenge. The movie also stars Josh Hartnett and Bruce Willis.


Morgan Freeman in Dreamcatcher

This sci-horror film has Freeman plays a crazed army general who is hell-bent on massacring aliens and containing everyone who is exposed to them. Needless to say, this obsession doesn't bode well for him.

Now You See Me

Morgan Freeman in Now You See Me

Morgan Freeman plays Thaddeus Bradley, an ex-magician who has now made a career out of spoiling other magician's secrets. One such challenge leads to the death of a magician, compelling his son to come up the most twisted, elaborate trick to land him behind the bars. Unfortunately, the sequel ruins Freeman's negative turn in the first, revealing him to be a secret good guy after all. Hollywood just hates to make Freeman a bad guy, don't they?

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 01, 2021 05:24 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website