Actor Morgan Freeman explores the afterlife in new documentary series

Actor Morgan Freeman produced and hosts The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman.
Actor Morgan Freeman produced and hosts The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman.PHOTO: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNELS/MILLER MOBLEY

Actor Morgan Freeman travels the world to learn about the mysteries of creation in his new documentary series

It could be awkward and perhaps nerve-racking when actors come face to face with the people they portray on screen.

But it does not seem to be a problem for Morgan Freeman - not even if the character he meets happens to be God.

The 78-year-old, who played God in the comedy Bruce Almighty (2003), would be downright comfortable with the idea of meeting God.

"If I were to meet my version of God, I would probably say something close to, 'Yo, homie, how's it going?'" he tells The Straits Times jovially in an international roundtable telephone interview.

"I think we would be very familiar. We could speak on very familiar terms."

In his new television documentary series The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman, he travels around the world to learn more about everything from the mysteries of creation to the possibilities of an afterlife.

If I were to meet my version of God, I would probably say something close to, 'Yo, homie, how's it going?'

ACTOR MORGAN FREEMAN

It premieres on National Geographic Channel (StarHub TV Channel 411 and Singtel TV Channel 201) on Sunday at 10pm.

Some of the major religious sites Freeman visits are Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, India's bodhi tree, the pyramids of Egypt and the Mayan temples of Guatemala.

On top of hosting duties, he is also a producer of the six-part programme.

Signing on to this project was a "no-brainer", he says.

"It's a growing, long-term curiosity about life in general. What it is? Why it is? Why are we here? Questions like that sort of drive me around sometimes, and then we got the opportunity to explore questions of life, creation, religion and God.

"It's not something you can say no to."

These are subjects that he has discussed and researched over the years, sharing at length his take in many interviews, as well as exploring the ideas in the documentary television series Through The Wormhole (2010), where he talks to scientists about whether there is a creator of the universe.

While the Oscar winner has not singled out a particular religion that he identifies with, it is known that he believes in the concepts of God and faith.

Doing the new series has affirmed his own belief in the existence of God.

"I had a brain scan in Philadelphia to find God in my own mind. When you pray or meditate - does your brain change? It does and there was evidence," he says.

He adds that regardless of one's religion, or lack thereof, the series is one that will speak to all.

"Being a non-believer does not necessarily put you outside. There are so many people in so many different walks where God, or the belief in God, is not the central thing in life.

"But people do believe in life and some in the afterlife. We are asking questions here that we think are fundamental to anyone, whether you're a believer or non-believer."

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• The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman premieres on National Geographic Channel (StarHub TV Channel 411 and Singtel TV Channel 201) on Sunday at 10pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'Exploring life and afterlife'. Print Edition | Subscribe