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The Real Reason Morgan Freeman Decided To Take On TV

Morgan Freeman has had quite the extensive career. His performances are those of legend, whether it be his Oscar winning performance in 2005’s Million Dollar Baby or his nominations for performances ranging from Driving Miss Daisy to The Shawshank Redemption. His distinctively deep and smooth voice is a sound that can calm us on even the most stressful days, but the actor, who has no problem finding work in blockbuster big films, has recently branched out to the smaller screen, and he has the perfect reasoning for his decision.

The legendary actor was a guest on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show last night, and spend his appearance chatting about his work as a TV actor. When asked why the award-winning actor decided to work on television despite his major success with the big screen, Freeman’s response was simple (via THR): “It pays too”.

Freeman’s most recent project places him in the role of chief justice of the Supreme Court in CBS’ Madam Secretary. Freeman will appear on the Season 2 premiere of the show of which he is also the executive producer to. The actor explained that upon auditioned for the role, the director “liked [him] a lot” so he was given the job. When Colbert asked Freeman who the director was, the actor whipped, “me”. Television roles are certainly not new to the actor, who was a part of the original cast of the 1970s children’s PBS series, The Electric Company, but it is definitely not a regular occurrence for the actor nowadays. He told Colbert:

We were thinking about just branching out a little because there's a lot of good stuff coming up on TV and there's an awful lot of outlets, so why not?

There’s no doubt that many of Freeman’s most devoted fans will be thrilled to see him take the small screen, especially in such a powerful role. Playing chief justice of the Supreme Court is certainly fitting for the actor who has also portrayed other top leaders in branches of the U.S. government. In 1998’s Deep Impact, Morgan Freeman took his turn playing the President of the United States, while in 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen the actor played Speaker of the House. Not to mention, if you’ve played God before, you pretty much are guaranteed to know how to portray a powerful figure.

Madam Secretary is executive produced by both Freeman and Lori McCreary. Created by Barbara Hall (Judging Amy) it follows Elizabeth Faulkner McCord (Téa Leoni), a college professor and former CIA analyst who is promoted to the U.S. Secretary of State. Morgan Freeman is guest starring on the premiere of Season 2. There haven’t been many details divulged on the length of Freeman’s appearance, but it said he will be appearing in a scene with Leoni’s Elizabeth McCord. You can check out Morgan Freeman on the small screen in Madam Secretary’s season premiere Sunday at 8 p.m ET on CBS.