Before he was God, he was a telephone lineman. Ever since The Shawshank Redemption in 1994, Morgan Freeman has become the 'go to' guy for voice over narration, his calm, deliberate tones lending an air of authenticity to the proceedings. When he's not narrating, he's mentoring, fathering, or advising, usually playing some kind of wise authority figure, which helps explain why it was so easy to accept him as God in Bruce Almighty.

Freeman didn't start as an authority figure, though. He appeared in numerous stage productions in the 1960s before moving into television as a versatile performer on the children's show The Electric Company. Somewhere along 1971 he took a job as a telephone lineman in a commercial for a mouthwash company. What struck me as fascinating is that the cadence of his speech is very familiar: brief pauses, then melting words together. What's different is that the tone of his voice is higher. He was in his early 30s at the time; over the decades, his voice has deepened and mellowed into the voice that followed a thousand marching penguins. Watch the clip and see God just hanging around as a blue collar worker.
categories Features, Cinematical