January Review Star: Denzel Hayes Washington Jr.
December 28th, 1954
Mount Vernon, New York, USA
People say, ‘Congratulations, you finally got the Oscar’, and I have to correct them: ‘Actually, it’s my second one. I won for Glory (1989) in 1989.’ Some people say, ‘Yeah, but that was for a supporting actor role’ but for me, it’s the same thing.
Standout Roles: Training Day, Glory, Deja Vu, Man On Fire, Out Of Time, American Gangster, Remember The Titans, The Hurricane, Fallen, The Bone Collector, Courage Under Fire, Devil In A Blue Dress, Virtuosity, Philadelphia, Crimson Tide, The Pelican Brief, and Malcolm X
Why He Rules: He just keeps on making great movies decades after decades. He’s one of those rare actors that makes a role interesting simply because he’s in it. He commands our attention each time he is onscreen and we obediently give it. In return we get movie moments that last forever.
It’s simple: You get a part. You play a part. You play it well. You do your work and you go home. And what is wonderful about movies is that once they’re done, they belong to the people. Once you make it, it’s what they see. That’s where my head is at.
Tom Hanks said working with Washington on Philadelphia (1993) was like “going to film school”. Hanks said he learned more about acting by watching Denzel than from anyone else.
He first studied Biology in hopes of becoming a doctor, then switched to Political Science then to a Journalism/Drama major in college.
He is the first African-American actor to receive two Academy Awards.
He turned down the role of Detective David Mills in Se7en (1997), which is also the role he most regrets turning down.
Named Gene Hackman, Angelina Jolie, and Dakota Fanning as the most talented actors he has ever worked with. He still wants to work with Martin Scorsese.
“I just didn’t see myself in Amistad (1997). I ain’t putting no chains around my neck. I’m not in the mood right now, too edgy. It just wasn’t for me. I’m not having it. I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s what happened then, but how about me cutting everybody’s head off and end the movie there?’” (on refusing the role in Amistad (1997))
Body Of Work
- Inside Man 2 (2010) (in production) …. Detective Keith Frazier
- Steinbeck’s Point of View (2012) (announced) (rumored) …. Tom Redding
- Unstoppable (2010/I) (post-production)
- The Book of Eli (2010) …. Eli
- The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) …. Walter Garber
- The Great Debaters (2007) …. Melvin B. Tolson
- American Gangster (2007) …. Frank Lucas
- Deja Vu (2006) …. Agent Doug Carlin – ATF
- Inside Man (2006) …. Detective Keith Frazier
- The Manchurian Candidate (2004) …. Ben Marco
- Man on Fire (2004) …. Creasy
- Out of Time (2003/I) …. Matthias Lee Whitlock
- Antwone Fisher (2002) …. Dr. Jerome Davenport
- John Q (2002) …. John Quincy Archibald
- Training Day (2001) …. Alonzo
- Remember the Titans (2000) …. Coach Herman Boone
- The Hurricane (1999) …. Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter
- The Bone Collector (1999) …. Lincoln Rhyme
- The Siege (1998/I) …. Anthony ‘Hub’ Hubbard
- He Got Game (1998) …. Jake Shuttlesworth
- Fallen (1998) …. John Hobbes
- Courage Under Fire (1996) …. Nat Serling
- Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) …. Ezekiel ‘Easy’ Rawlins
- Virtuosity (1995) …. Lt. Parker Barnes
- Crimson Tide (1995) …. Lt. Commander Ron Hunter
- Philadelphia (1993) …. Joe Miller
- The Pelican Brief (1993) …. Gray Grantham
- Much Ado About Nothing (1993) …. Don Pedro
- Malcolm X (1992) …. Malcolm X
- Ricochet (1991) …. Nick Styles
- Mississippi Masala (1991) …. Demetrius Williams
- Mo’ Better Blues (1990) …. Bleek Gilliam
- Heart Condition (1990) …. Napoleon Stone
- Glory (1989) …. Pvt. Trip
- The Mighty Quinn (1989) …. Xavier Quinn
- For Queen & Country (1988) …. Reuben James
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