The Oscar winner admits he was about to swallow his pride and hit the streets of the Big Apple behind the wheel of a yellow cab when good fortune came his way.

"The thing that kept me from becoming a taxi driver for the longest time was the total embarrassment of driving a cab in New York and then having somebody I know get in it," he tells WENN, "but I did have to do it.

"I was on the very verge of going to the taxi and limousine service and getting a chauffeur's licence when I got a job on Harry & Son from Paul Newman."

The role of Siemanowski in the 1984 film led to other parts and just five years later, Freeman was starring in back-to-back classic movies such as Driving Miss Daisy and Glory.