Actor Joe Morton never wants to pigeonholed into playing a certain type of role. The 70-year-old actor did Broadway, worked for James Cameron in “Terminator 2” and now plays a minister on CBS’s new show “God Friended Me.” Morton and Brandon Michael Hall star in an uplifting drama about an atheist who sees his whole world changed when he gets a friend request from God. Morton believes this show comes at a perfect time in our society.
“In the show, I play a minister and my son is an atheist. We don’t get along at the beginning of the show, but by the end of the show, we agree to disagree,” Morton said in a recent studio interview with CBS Local.
The first episode of the show was seen by 10.2 million people after the season premiere of “60 Minutes” this past Sunday. While the show hits on religion in the name and some of the storylines, Morton says that is just the entry point into a much larger conversation.
“The show is about a belief in the human spirit and that we are all connected,” said Morton. “We are living in a time where we forget that. Asking someone for help is not something that happens on an average day.”
Morton prepared for this role by studying Michael Curry, who was the minister at the Royal Wedding and the first African-American man to lead the Episcopal Church. The actor’s willingness to take risks in his work is one of the many reasons he’s sustained a consistent career in Hollywood and on the stage.
“When I first started, it was a time when a lot of African-American actors were given parts like pimps and drug dealers,” said Morton. “I decided that wouldn’t be for me. I wanted to put together a string of characters that just happened to be black. Because of that choice, I’ve consistently played good guys.”
Episode two of “God Friended Me” returns to CBS on Sunday at 8pm EST/PST. Morton hopes people enjoy this program as much as he has.
“This is a feel good show, it comes right after 60 Minutes and I think you need to feel good after watching 60 Minutes,” said Morton. “The mosaic of all of us together is a lot stronger than this stained glass mosaic with all the separations between us. I hope people take away that we are connected and that if we help each other, we might live in a slightly better world.