Morgan Freeman is known for his calming voice and presence on-screen. But the veteran actor, 79, found himself in an unnerving situation in December 2015 when his private plane had to make an emergency landing.
“The last time I was nervous or anxious was about a year and a half go when my plane crashed,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I was anxious as it was happening but I had some time to contemplate it.”
The Oscar winner had been traveling from his home in Mississippi to Texas to shoot a segment for the series The Story of God.
“We had blown a tire on takeoff, and I knew that the [emergency] landing was not going to be fun or easy,” Freeman says. The plane, carrying only the actor and the pilot, made a controlled forced landing and veered off the runway at Tunica Airport in Mississippi.
“I’ve been in a lot of sticky situations,” the actor says. “I’ve stared death in the face a few times and didn’t scream or anything — just said, ‘Well, this may be it.’ ”
Asked about the last time he was moved to tears, Freeman revealed it was when Barack Obama was elected President. “I was home in Mississippi watching on TV. I never did meet them,” joked the actor, who visited with the Obamas several times over the years. “We haven’t done that yet.”