I've decided that I would like to be Morgan Freeman when I grow up. Or at least the person that Morgan Freeman plays over and over again: self-possessed, thoughtful, cool in a slow-moving kind of way, gravitas with a hint of a smile.
It's the smile, I think, that gets me. I finally did see "The Dark Knight" last week, which I liked but didn't love. I do, however, love Lucius Fox, Morgan Freeman's character--especially in the scene when a Wayne Enterprises employee comes in to demand payment or he'll blow the whistle on Batman. Freeman/Fox looks at him for a beat, slowly sits up and leans forward, folds his hands together and says, "Let me get this straight..."
But it's the smile! Just a teeny tiny bit of a smile. It's not threatening. It's not humiliating. It's genuinely amused. It's a very self-assured authority that Morgan Freeman seems to carry with him no matter who he's playing. I don't know if that's really what he's like, but it seems like a good character to be able to manufacture when the need arises.
On the Internet Movie Database (imdb) Freeman is quoted as saying, "I gravitate towards gravitas." Man, I wish I did. I've got to work on my Easy Readerness. But gravitas: is it born or made?