Fame & Fortune: Laurence Fishburne

Bankrate: What is it about that role that moves you so?

Laurence Fishburne: It's just delicious language, and also it's incredibly difficult. It's an emotional roller coaster, and it's very difficult to ride. So that resonated for me a lot.

I would have to say, this last piece I did, "Akeelah and the Bee," playing Dr. Larabee, resonated for me a lot because of my own relationship with my daughter. I think what has happened for me is that I've been fortunate enough to meet the right roles at the right times in my life, and therefore I'm able to do some different things. Because as we go through life, we change. Sometimes it's in subtle ways, and sometimes we have sweeping change.

I've been fortunate enough to really have met up with the right roles at the right times. "Thurgood" is a perfect example of that. "Othello" was a wonderful thing to happen as it did, as with Sterling in "Two Trains Running," as with Morpheus from "The Matrix." It was the perfect time for me and this character to meet. It was very auspicious timing.

Bankrate: I would imagine that "The Matrix" is the project for which you're best known. How did it feel being part of a genuine phenomenon?

Laurence Fishburne: It's really amazing. I think subconsciously I might have been striving for something like that most of my career. People were asking, "how has this changed your life?" five minutes after the movie came out, and it's impossible to know five minutes after something like that happens. Now that it's been almost 10 years since the first "Matrix" was released, I understand a little bit more about how it has changed my life, but I don't have a full understanding of it, because it's going to affect my life for a very long time.

Bankrate: So what is your understanding at this point of how it changed your life?

Laurence Fishburne: As Morpheus, I became a part of the collective consciousness, because the movie presented these archetypal characters that resonated at the level of subconscious.

Bankrate: And DVD took it even another step.

Laurence Fishburne: Exactly. This was a collective consciousness. If you think about our generation, who will Sean Connery always be? James Bond. So it's the same kind of thing. It doesn't mean he's not Sean Connery, but for me and you he's the only 007 there will ever be. So it's kind of that thing.


For a lot of people, I'm just Morpheus. I have the ability to be more than that, I need to be more than that for me. But if that's what other people need me to be, if that's what other people decided I am for them, OK. Cool.

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