The press briefing podium at the Pentagon is the place good orators go to die.

For reasons unknown, anyone who stands on this particular soapbox under fluorescent lights seemingly has their energy sapped, their sparkle dimmed. So severe is this phenomenon that even legendary actor and voice of a generation, Morgan Freeman, was overtaken by the DoD briefing curse.

Freeman, an Air Force veteran who was the literal voice of God in “Bruce Almighty,” popped by the Pentagon to share some words of inspiration about his service and what it means to pursue one’s dreams.

Alas, his account of being an Airman was delivered with all the pizzazz of an Olive Garden server running through the daily specials. (Hint: it’s always pasta.)

Seemingly filmed in one swift take, the final edit includes several odd pauses as well as what appears to be one of its more exciting moments: a cough.

Freeman, meanwhile, is not the only celebrity to get the mundane Pentagon treatment. In 2019, KISS frontman Gene Simmons told a story about his family during World War II, which was similarly muted courtesy of the platform.

Ever the professional, however, the tinkling charm that only Freeman can muster still manages to shine through as he delivers a final line of, “Just like in the movies, in today’s military, you can be whatever you want.”

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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