Morgan Freeman confirmed that he dined with President Obama Wednesday night and revealed that he and a "bunch" of others spent the evening talking about new details of the "Obama Presidential Center," which is his take on a presidential library that will be opened after he leaves office.
In a wide-ranging interview with "Larry King Now" on Ora.tv, Freeman also opened up about his relationship with Obama and what he thinks about the controversy over the lack of diversity in this year's Academy Award nominees.
Freeman was seen leaving the BLT restaurant just blocks from the White House at the same time as Obama Wednesday night. Others dining at the restaurant at the same time tweeted photos of Obama, along with Tom Hanks and Freeman at the restaurant.
The White House at first refused to confirm that Obama dined with Freeman and Hanks, and wouldn't say who else attended the dinner either. Freeman, 78, wasn't so tight-lipped with King.
"We were there to start helping him design the Obama Center…we're not going to call it a library. It's going to be called the Obama Center," he said, smiling.
"[Obama's] anxious to make it so that when people visit, they come away with maybe a little incentive to take part in the process more," he said.
He also told King he's a "big fan" of Obama's and would help him on whatever he needs.
"I'm a big fan – ever since I read his book, 'The Audacity of Hope,' he's had me at his hip pocket. Whatever he needs, if I could provide it, he's got it. He knows it."
When he leaves office, he president has said he plans to expand the nonprofit "My Brother's Keeper" he began last year, and has pledged to make helping young men in impoverished communities his life's mission. Freeman, however, appeared to be referring to Obama's presidential library and possibly the millions in fundraising needed to build it.
Freeman, a Hollywood icon for his roles in Driving Miss Daisy, the Shawshank Redemption to his depiction of God in Bruce Almighty, donated $1 million to a pro-Obama super-PAC in 2012 and also narrated an ad for him that year.
Just this week, Freeman also narrated an ad for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign.
An Academy Award winner who's been nominated several times, Freeman also said he's "not quite sure there is a diversity issue" with Oscars' night this year in Hollywood, despite the controversy over no blacks being nominated for awards this year.
"Thee fact that there were no blacks nominated for an Academy Award, ok, fine," he said. "We've had many of years when there aren't. But there were no Asians either."
"I think if we're going to talk about diversity in movies, let's not talk about the Academy Awards. That's the outcome, that's the end line. We need to go way, way back…we need to go back to who are making the movies, who are directors, the producers, people who are behind the cameras…that kind of thing…it's not the Academy Awards."
Freeman and Hanks are both Academy Award-winning actors. Freeman received his in 2004 for a best supporting role in the blockbuster film Million Dollar Baby. He was nominated four other times, including best actor nominations for his role in Driving Miss Daisy and the Shawshank Redemption.