Freeman stars as Sheik Ilderim in the remake of the 1959 classic starring Charlton Heston. Freeman’s Sudanese sheikh character backs Huston’s character in his quest for freedom. This new Ben-Hur features a more multi-cultural approach and to explain it nobody better that his protagonist; Morgan Freeman.
Q: What an amazing cast accompanies you in Ben-Hur
Answer: Yes, I can’t be in better company. We talk about legends of Hollywood. Perhaps the best thing I can say about all of them is that there were no dramas, we were a team, each with its own personality. We had the opportunity to develop a good friendship since the moment that we met.
Q: Why was necessary to make this remake?
A: We are not really doing a remake, I think this is more of a reimagining. While that's a story about revenge, this is a story about hope and love and forgiveness and redemption.
Q: Is ageism something that bothers you in Hollywood?
A: We assume that in Hollywood there are only young actors, but it is not true. What's important is not the age that you have but how you live your age. The actors do age according to their generation and thus they can play characters according to the time in which they live. Age is a number and we have the possibility of playing all ages as we get older. You feel what you feel, the years are somewhat arbitrary, I like to pass my days playing golf and some days I feel ninety and others I am back to the fifties. Everything depends on the day.
Q: You become wiser with the years?
A: No, I didn’t change much. You're supposed to be wiser, you gain maturity but still keep the manias, insecurities, good and bad features that have accompanied you throughout your life. One can always grow, evolve and change if is willing to do so
Q: Is technology part of your existence
A: I'm terrible with gadgets; I don’t know what to do with them. They do not interest me much. I have a partner in my company who is a computer whiz and whenever I need something I call him. Yesterday I could not turn on my television in the hotel because it said "no signal" and really didn't know what to do (laughs)
Q: Do you take care of yourself?
A: Life is short. I never thought I would get to my age and truth be told I try to take care of my lifestyle. Sometime ago I did not care so much, yet I dared to jump from a second floor, but the years pass and suddenly you find yourself looking back. Nobody realizes how quickly life escapes, so it is important to appreciate every present moment.
Q. You said that you always get along on the set with the actors. Not even a moment of tension when you did Las Vegas with Michael Douglas and Robert de Niro?
A: We are adults who like to live freely no matter the time of day, night and morning. When four movie icons with an average age of seventy gather in the caverns of a study to discuss a new project there is the possibility that growls are heard, but are the result of poor digestion
Q: Do you think about your legacy
A: Of course. But I do not think about getting older, I have intention to continue creating characters for long. There was a time when I used to get angry inside me because I couldn’t live my life the way I wanted, but I now I am more to careful and try not to get angry.
Q: Do you speak Spanish?
A; Por favor, nada más. That’s it. But I like the sound of it
Q: Have you read any Spanish authors?
A: One of my favorites things to do in life is reading, and answering to your question I will say yes. I have read Lorca, Neruda, Borges; those are the ones that come to my mind right now
Q: Please describe yourself as an actor
A: As an actor I am not intellectual but intuitive, I perceive the requiring interpretation reading the script and if I do not understand a page I will ask the director to explain it to me. If the writer does not make me understand the story, forget it, I will not play that script as simple as that.