The actor talks about what went into The Equalizer, the cold hand of justice and life at 59
BESIDES being an award winning Broadway artiste, Denzel Washington has carved a niche for himself in Hollywood with the portrayal of real life personalities like Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and many more. The actor, director and producer has racked up two Oscars for his roles in films Glory and Training Day, and has been part of diverse films like Philadelphia, Remember the Titans, Crimson Tide, and Flight. Back in the 90s, nothing was hotter than Washington, who was known for his box-office pull, sex appeal and integrity. In his forthcoming film, The Equalizer, the 59-year-old will be seen fighting injustice and supporting the needy. More from the charismatic actor:
How did you prepare for the action sequences?
We started working on the fights with the martial arts guys very early on. We rehearsed for months prior, so by the time we got in that room, I knew what we were doing. I said from the start, ‘I don’t want some mindless guys running around shooting each other’.
Do you enjoy the action scenes?
I do enjoy the physical side of the job. I’ve been boxing for 20 years. I like boxing and I appreciate fighters and martial artistes. You appreciate their expertise and how good they are.
Do you think this film reflects contemporary fears in the way that we live in uncertain times?
I didn’t look at it in terms of what society feels, I just got into the part. But yeah, I guess it does. We want to feel like we’re important, number one, which is increasingly difficult to do. I think a hundred years from now, people will say, ‘What is the long term effect of too much information?’ We’ll look back at this era, and we haven’t worked out what the effect of no privacy is.
Do you enjoy acting more now than when you were younger?
Well, I’m in a place where I’m excited about empowering others. A lot has happened for me. It’s also about having big goals and taking chances, jumping out there and doing A Raisin in the Sun.
How was the experience of working on The Equalizer?
Well, it was easy but it was hard, too (laughs). It was physically demanding, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed collaborating with Todd Black and Antoine, so that part of it was easy—there weren’t any headaches, there weren’t any egos.
I had a nice conversation with Steve McQueen, saying we’ve got to work together one day. I’m going to executive produce August Wilson’s plays for HBO. No deal done yet, so it’s not set in stone.
How are your kids doing?
Well, one is starring in an HBO series—they shot the pilot, and he goes back to work in November. It’s called Ballers. His brother is going to study at the AFI; he’s a director. Then his other sister is on a producing track—she’ll be an associate producer on her next project. Our other daughter is an actress and she just graduated from Tisch, and she’s hitting the streets and trying to get a job. They all love film and theatre.
The Equalizer is scheduled to release today.
— Team Indulge