Morgan Freeman: Ralph Nelson/Universal Studios
December 13, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Which actors need to break out of their stereotypes?

Which actors do you think need to break out of their current stereotypes? — Kevin
Two people that I adore now face that quandary. In comedies like Party Girl and The House of Yes, Parker Posey teased and beguiled with mod flippancy, yet her stylized attitude has congealed into shtick. She works it entertainingly enough as a haute vamp in Blade: Trinity, but really, she should consider going up for a serious role in a prestige period piece, where audiences could glory in her ivory beauty as well as the lost-girl undertow of her wit. Then there’s Morgan Freeman, who’s the moral center of every film he’s in — and that’s become a problem. I’m tired of seeing this great actor play the lilting voice of ennobled sanity. He first achieved big-screen notoriety in Street Smart (1987), where he gave a towering performance as a viciously brilliant pimp, and while I’m not advocating that he continue on that track, Freeman needs to free himself from virtue to play a role with edge, intrigue, and unfamiliar vibes.

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