Morgan Freeman Reveals the Phrase That "Exemplifies" Mike Nichols

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Morgan Freeman

In The Hollywood Reporter's tribute to the late director, his 'Country Girl' star recalls the term that would "stop conversations" once uttered

This story first appeared in the Dec. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Morgan Freeman starred in Mike Nichols' production of The Country Girl in 2008.

One phrase, one term, that he liked to use whenever we ran into a wall — he would say, "We'll have to leave that the way Jesus flung it."

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It stops conversations. It stops it right there.

"We'll have to leave that the way Jesus flung it."

All right, we'll move on now. We'll talk about something we can solve.

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I remember where we were the first time I heard him say that. We were in a rehearsal hall, and I can visualize it. I marveled at the phrase. That exemplifies him. It's a phrase that seems to be his absolute own.

Read more from THR's tribute to Mike Nichols:

Aaron Sorkin on Mike Nichols: "The Most Talented Person I Have Ever Known"

Glenn Close Reveals Mike Nichols' Final, "Touching" Words to Her

'Birdcage' Actor Dan Futterman Recalls Mike Nichols Breaking Into Fits of Giggles on Set

Emma Thompson, Rita Moreno on Working With the Director

Tom Stoppard on Mike Nichols: "The Pleasantest Person to Be With"

How Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky Became Mike Nichols: A Timeline

Critic's Notebook: Todd McCarthy Reflects on the Film Career of Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols: A Giant of the American Theater