Garrett Morris Shares Tips with His On-Screen SNL Portrayer

Celebrating a Legacy of Resilience and Achievement

by Zain ul Abedin
Garrett Morris Shares Tips with His On-Screen SNL Portrayer
© Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Lamorne Morris is stepping into a significant role, and he's poised for the challenge. During the recent American Black Film Festival Honors in Los Angeles, Garrett Morris, an original member of the Saturday Night Live ensemble, shared insights with PEOPLE on the guidance he offered to Lamorne Morris (who is not related to him) for his portrayal in the eagerly anticipated SNL-themed movie, "1975." Garrett, celebrated at the event for his contributions to entertainment, emphasized the nuanced dynamics Lamorne must encapsulate in his performance.

"He has to embody someone who navigates the complexities of interacting with younger individuals," Garrett, now 87, remarked. Reflecting on his tenure at SNL, he recalled being 39 amidst a cast freshly graduated from high school or college, highlighting the racial and generational contrasts that shaped those experiences.

Garrett candidly discussed the challenges he faced on SNL, particularly in securing writers who would craft roles for him, a struggle that underscores the racial dynamics of the era. He acknowledged Chevy Chase and Alan Zweibel for their support, noting the slow progress in overcoming these hurdles.

His conversation with Lamorne, 40, reassured him, as Lamorne intends to portray an older Black man's mentorship and interactions with younger colleagues. This approach resonated with Garrett, illustrating a shared understanding of the role's depth and complexity.

Garrett's Reflective Triumphs

The honor at the American Black Film Festival was a moment of reflection for Garrett, who expressed his gratitude for being recognized alongside industry luminaries like Jeffrey Wright, Taraji P.

Henson, and Mara Brock Akil. This recognition, coupled with his recent Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiling on his 87th birthday, marks a period of significant accolade for Garrett, who remains humbled and grateful for these milestones.

Garrett's journey is not just a tale of personal triumph but also a candid examination of the challenges he faced, from battling addiction to overcoming a life-threatening gunshot wound. His anticipation to share these stories through an autobiography promises a deeper dive into his remarkable life and career, offering inspiration and insights into the resilience required to navigate the entertainment industry's complexities.