The second season of the History Channel’s hit docuseries, Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman, is underway in Natchez and Mayor Dan Gibson thought the 85-year-old’s presence was an incredible opportunity to honor him as a Mississippian, patriot, actor, and friend.
Gibson said he will never forget the experience he had as he presented Freeman with a Key to the City of Natchez.
“His charm and love for people were far more than I’ve ever imagined. I’ll never forget it,” Gibson said. “I’ve been a fan of Morgan Freeman all my life. I can’t even begin to count the movies I’ve watched that he starred in. Among his films are my favorite movies.”
Gibson said he personally wrote the language on the certificate that was presented with the key to Freeman because he wanted to honor the five-time Academy Award nominee and one-time Academy Award-winning actor for being a wonderful person and friend to the Magnolia State.
“His voice has become a household voice to so many across our world,” Gibson said. “Most exciting was just to have a wonderful conversation with a wonderful man. His warmth, his love for Mississippi and his love for Natchez made the visit one I will never forget.”
Gibson thanked Freeman and his production company for choosing to film in Natchez and also Tate Taylor and John Norris of Crooked Letter Pictures for encouraging him to come here.
“It means jobs and business for hotels, restaurants and other vendors,” Gibson said. “It would not be happening were it not for Tate Taylor and John Norris. They’re the ones who have brought all of these productions here.”
In the series, Freeman explores real-life prison breaks that have captured the attention of the public. Famous escapes from Alcatraz, Dannemora, Pittsburgh State Penitentiary, and other locations are recreated with actors playing key roles and interviews with some of the prisoners themselves, their families, their cell mates and the guards and prison employees that tried to prevent the escapes.
Some of the greatest stories ever told began behind bars and no one knows that better than Freeman, the iconic actor and director behind the series as the host and executive producer. His velvety voice and commanding screen presence in the eight-part series are reminiscent of his character in Shawshank Redemption, one of the most impactful and well-known prison break films.
The show is also hiring local people as cast members and extras. Email [email protected] for casting inquiries.