I have seen some claims that Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding (played by Morgan Freeman) from The Shawshank Redemption was actually just a figment of Andy's imagination. Is there any evidence to this claim in the movie? Or is there any more evidence in the source novella? I can't find any reputable citations to that effect after looking deeper.

  • 5
    doesn't he physically interact with multiple other people in the prison?
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 23:12
  • 5
    Is anybody real?
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 23:16
  • 7
    "I have seen claims" <-- Where have you seen these claims?
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 23:18
  • 5
    He's a figment of Stephen King's imagination. So is Andy. 8-)} Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 23:21
  • 8
    And Andy also imagined Red's parole hearings? And got all those items that Red supplied him from thin air? Honestly, like Mooz says, if we start asking this about characters like Red who are obviously around and part of the plot, we might as well ask if any supporting character in the history of cinema was real.
    – Walt
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


No, Red was very real (within the context of the story), as acknowledged by the warden and both prison guards in this scene where they take him down to Andy's cell to question him over the disappearance.


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