Eastwood, Freeman back in saddle for `Invictus’

Nelson Mandela made it clear that Morgan Freeman was the man he would want to play him in a film.

When it came time to play Mandela in "Invictus," Freeman told producing partner Lori McCreary that he had two men in mind to direct the film, which dramatizes Mandela's partnership with a South African rugby star (played by Matt Damon) to rally their post-apartheid countrymen behind the team's underdog quest for the 1995 World Cup.

"I said, `I can only think of two. Clint Eastwood, and then there's Clint Eastwood.' He's the best director I know," Freeman says of the filmmaker who gave him a plum role in "Unforgiven" and an Academy Award-winning part in "Million Dollar Baby."

Freeman's comment comes moments before Eastwood enters the room for a joint interview, amiable banter and wisecracks ensuing as the two longtime friends and colleagues talk about their third collaboration.



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