Voice Acting

Interview with Morgan Freeman Sound A Like, Larry Davis

During VOICE 2010, I happened to meet a very interesting person who has the amazing ability to sound like one of the most beloved and universally recognizable voices working today.

Larry Davis, a professional voice over artist, is a man of many talents, including being able to sound like Morgan Freeman.
We got chatting after the Diversity panel and I’m excited to share my conversation with Larry about his work and how he has come to be known for delivering Hollywood style reads.

A Voices Interview with Larry Davis

VOX: When was it that you discovered you could imitate Morgan Freeman?
Larry Davis: I was watching Shawshank Redemption with friends at home in the summer of ’08 and I was doing the Morgan impression. One of my buddies said, why don’t you put a little sample of that on your VO demo. I did the next day, and then within just a few days, my phone started ringing.

VOX: What was the first “Morgan” style gig you ever booked?
LD: It was a non broadcast narration of some kind, honestly I don’t remember the details. I do know that it was very “story teller” and I remember that the client was thrilled.

VOX: How often are you called upon to record using the Morgan style delivery?
LD: 4 – 5 times a week. It’s amazing to me how many people love this sound. I love this sound, which is why I do it.

VOX: Have you run into any legal issues pertaining to your work as someone who is a sound-a-like for a celebrity?
LD: I haven’t because I’m not claiming that I am Morgan in the work, I just kind of sound like him. I would never represent myself as Morgan. I am a story teller.

VOX: Have there been any gigs that you have done that Morgan had turned down previously?
LD: I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my agent said that I got some Visa ads that he didn’t want to do originally, I think he changed his mind though.

VOX: Are you ever required to do auditions for work that needs a Morgan Freeman style voice or are you simply hired straight away based upon your demo?
LD: I do several auditions every week that call for a Morganesque sound. I also get booked right off my demos several times a week.

VOX: What are the biggest challenges you face as a Morgan Freeman sound-a-like artist?
LD: I think of myself as a story teller who has some of the same qualities in my sound as Mr. Freeman. I don’t really feel any challenges, I just have fun acting.

VOX: How do you get into your “Morgan” voice?
LD: I think about my audience (one person) who needs to hear the message and just imagine how it might sound coming from a great talent like Mr. Freeman. I just let it flow. I know God is very involved.

VOX: Have you ever had an encounter with Morgan Freeman? If not, what would you say to him given the opportunity?
LD: No, I’ve never met him. I’d love to tell him how big a fan of his I am. I believe he’s one of America’s treasures. I watch every movie he’s in and make sure to learn something new when I see the movies over again.

VOX: I know that sounding like Morgan Freeman is only one element of your artistic voice talent. What else are you working on and where would we know your voice from?
LD: I’m the worldwide voice of Yahoo, I’ve done skits for Jimmy Kimmel, Fox Sports, Subway, Six Flags, McDonalds, NHL, Eckrich Sausage, PGA tour and LOTS more.

VOX: Where do you hope your career takes you next?
LD: I want to continue teaching VO to my students here in LA and keep doing voice work that makes me happy. I feel very fortunate to be doing what I love everyday. I love being behind the mic performing so much. I can’t imagine my life without VO. I’ve been doing it since I was around 5 years old… I always did crazy characters for my friends in school, TV commercials when I was a tween and into my teens, radio shows all over the US and full-time VO since 2006. I know I’m one of the lucky ones whose dream came true.

VOX: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us, Larry?
LD: I’d just like to add that anyone who can act can do voice over. It’s not about your voice, it’s about conveying a message. Work on your craft everyday. Take VO lessons from great teachers and talent who work everyday. Read books, take acting lessons and work on the “real you” sound. Then once you have that locked, start exploring the characters and styles you want to perform. This is a fun business, so enjoy it. I hope to work with you soon. Check me out and drop me a line – www.larrydavisvoice.com

Any Comments?

Thank you to Larry for joining us and I hope you learned something new today. Are you a celebrity sound a like? Feel free to add a comment for Larry here or share your own experiences.
Best wishes,

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  • Avatar for Kevin Charles Minatrea
    Kevin Charles Minatrea
    June 22, 2010, 10:25 am

    I had the fortune of working with Larry for a short while in Houston radio before he moved to LA. He is an amazing talent!

  • Avatar for Julie Williams
    Julie Williams
    June 22, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Wow. I am blown away by his talent…his versatility…and his Morgan-esque demo! Please, tell me it’s really Morgan on the VISA commercials!!! I love him… but I would NOT know the difference between Morgan and Larry if I had to choose.

  • Avatar for Judy Goldberg
    Judy Goldberg
    June 22, 2010, 7:30 pm

    I had the pleasure of meeting Larry at the VO 2010. He is such a sensitive, caring man. There was no attitude, just an outpouring of useful information that he was more than happy to share with me. He deserves all the good that comes to him.

  • Avatar for Herb Merriweather
    Herb Merriweather
    June 23, 2010, 1:12 am

    I had the honor of talking with Larry before and after the Diversity panel at VOICE 2010…he’s a tremendous talent who does a heck of a lot more than Morgan Freeman with his voice! A very giving, nice young man…

  • Avatar for Mitch Krayton
    Mitch Krayton
    June 23, 2010, 6:04 pm

    I believe that if you are impersonating a person’s voice who turned down a gig, your are capitalizing on the fame of that someone else. Neither you nor the advertiser have the right to go against the celebrity’s wishes. You have have to declare on the spot that your celebrity voice has been impersonated and even then you may still owe them a royalty. They could still sue to stop you from using their likeness if they so choose. The likeness of a celebrity, including their voice, is a brand-their intellectual property-and it is what they sell to make a living. Just ask Elvis, Norma Jean and Sinatra.
    It is one thing to do a parody which is perfectly ok, it is quite another to impersonate and have people misled to think you are someone you are not. I am not a lawyer, I just play on on TV.

  • Avatar for Stefania Lintonbon
    Stefania Lintonbon
    June 24, 2010, 4:04 am

    What a nice demo Larry has. I enjoyed listening to it. His Morgan Freeman is soooo close. But I can tell the difference. There’s one little note/undercurrent that Morgan’s voice has that’s not in this one. I heard it immediately. But, who cares! Larry’s great. Well done you! 😀

  • Avatar for Diane Warner
    Diane Warner
    June 25, 2010, 3:42 pm

    Larry is an amazing, incredible talent and so easy to work with. In addition to the talented impersonations, if you don’t hear just the right voice for what you’re wanting, he will develop one just for you, like he did for my company.
    Mitch K., let me know when you decide to formally challenge all the celebrity impersonators on the planet as I’m sure you are not being conveniently selective in your criticism……..right?

  • Avatar for Jebb Smith
    Jebb Smith
    January 18, 2011, 2:18 pm

    He is the voice of More Than Freeman adverts for a UK insurance company!

  • Avatar for Jim
    February 16, 2011, 8:13 pm

    Larry Davis is NOT the voice of More Than Freeman. Comedian/voice actor Josh Robert Thompson (“The Late Late Show,” “Family Guy”) is the voice and face of More Than Freeman.

  • Avatar for Christina Smith
    Christina Smith
    July 26, 2012, 2:14 pm

    Larry Davis is a TRUE talent through and through. He is more than just that one celebrity voice, all of his work is amazing. Well done! I’d love to work with you on a project some day.