Morgan Freeman has spoken of his "quiet love affair" with longtime collaborator Clint Eastwood, hailing the Dirty Harry star the best director of our time.
Freeman has teamed up with Eastwood on a number of occasions in films like 2004's Million Dollar Baby and Invictus in 2009, and now The Dark Knight star has opened up about the pair's lifelong artistic partnership, revealing Eastwood will always have a special place in his heart.
During a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired on her new TV show Master Class on Sunday (22Jan12), he said, "I have worked with a number of excellent directors but my favourite of all, I think the best of them all, certainly for me, is Clint Eastwood. When he made his mark with Sergio Leone's movies - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More - he established himself as this tough guy. But then he directed and acted in a movie, Play Misty for Me, and it was a whole other Clint Eastwood. Vulnerable... and I began to see somebody else there."
And Freeman really started to see the magic of Eastwood when they worked together on acclaimed western The Unforgiven.
He added, "It was like we'd been doing it forever. It was just that easy. He was very fast and very, very easy to work for and work with. And so that started it (the partnership).
"He's no nonsense, he's very quick. He's got a lot of talent... When we (the producers and I) started developing Invictus we said, 'Well who should we get to direct?' and I said, 'I can only think of two people: Clint and Eastwood.' So we called him and he said yes.
"All three of these episodes have just been nothing but pleasure for me. I have this great admiration for him as a man, and as a talent, I know how I feel about Clint Eastwood, and I know why I feel the way I do about him. It's just a quiet love affair."