"Any time you can celebrate with him, it's really fun," his granddaughter Alexis told PEOPLE
Family night out!
Morgan Freeman‘s granddaughter Alexis stole the spotlight on Monday night when she accompanied her famous grandfather at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 43rd Annual Chaplin Awards in New York City.
Alexis said she felt honored to attend the gala alongside her grandfather, who was being honored with the namesake award.
“Any time you can celebrate with him, it’s really fun,” Alexis told PEOPLE.
Freeman’s granddaughter said she credits the actor for instilling a strong work ethic within their family.
“He makes you a really humble person,” she said. “He makes you realize that you have to work for what you want. I really work hard for everything I do. I’m a teacher at the Dalton School, so I see him a lot more now that I live in New York. But, I’m just as busy as he is.”
She also recalled a few of her favorite memories growing up with Freeman, saying they simply loved to sit and enjoy each other’s company – and that still holds true today.
“We’ll just sit there and spend time together, whether we’re watching golf or sit in silence,” she said. “It’s just good to be in each other’s presence.”
Freeman, 78, looked every bit the doting grandfather as he and Alexis stuck close together and smiled for photographers as they walked down the carpet.
“She’s my granddaughter,” Freeman said lovingly when asked about Alexis. “She’s my baby girl’s baby girl.”
Later in the night, Helen Mirren awarded the actor with the 43rd Annual Chaplin Award at Alice Tully Hall. Before he took the stage to accept the award, a handful of his fellow actors spoke about working alongside Freeman and the legacy he’s left on the film industry.
“Morgan Freeman does not sound like God, God sounds like Morgan Freeman,” offered Matthew Broderick.
“Morgan, I wish I had your career,” joked Robert De Niro. “You’re president, you’re God, you’re Nelson Mandela. In the last year, I’ve been an intern, I’ve been a grandpa – and Bernie f—ing Madoff. Just maybe Morgan isn’t God, but in acting and in life, he is a God.”
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And finally, Mirren, 70, discussed the ease at which Freeman works.
“His natural charisma, that amazing voice, they inspire faith and confidence,” she said. “Most actors strive for authenticity. Morgan doesn’t seem to have to strive. He has it.”
When Freeman took the stage to accept the award, he joked that this marked the end of his career.
“I’m done,” he said. “They’ll have to get someone else to do the voice-over for March of the Penguins 2.”
“Of all these different films, all these different roles, all that travel, all those wonderful actors, was me livin’ the dream, just like now,” he concluded.