Bucket List, The : Morgan Freeman Interview

Do you relate to your character, Carter, since you're both big history buffs?

In that sense, yeah. I’m a crossword puzzle freak. So, this thing of trivia, I kind of share with Carter, not to the extent that he does it. I don’t have quite the retentive mind that he has. Obviously, he retains an awful lot of stuff ‘cause when he plays Jeopardy, which he does every day, he gets it all. He gets it. He got his, he knows them all. I’m not like that…too many little trivial things I haven't an absolute concept of, you know? There was a game we used to play, it’s geographical. Where are these little towns and in which country are they in? No idea. So, I only share a little bit of that.

Was that a little weird for you to see your own funeral in this film?

My character’s funeral. It’s completely separate from me. Okay. Caught that one. But, no, it doesn’t do anything to me because I don’t relate to my characters. I just do not relate to them. Once, they say, cut, wrap, that’s a done deal. I’m away from it. I’m gone. I’m done. Even at night, on day of shooting, we’d go in and we shoot, and when they say, cut, I said, I don’t know, I’m no longer connected to that character. When they say, we’re set, camera’s set, roll sound, I connect. They say cut, I disconnect, right? So, I can really. It gets to these places that it's a separate thing. It's really, really separate from me. I can't get there. It's like playing any role. You just got to separate from it. If you don't, you're gonna get into deep, deep trouble because I played God.

When you read the script, did you have Jack Nicholson in mind as your costar?
I think that my sense of the character of Carter was embodied in Jack Nicholson. I just felt in my soul that he would be the right choice for that 'cause he, you're right in your saying that it's really possible to just sentimentalize this thing into non-existence. And there is levity built in, but who best to bring it? Who best to do it in such a way that it doesn't denigrate the characters, right? It doesn't denigrate the story. My main man, Jack.