This is…Denzel Washington

“You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it.”

Sit back, relax and prepare yourself to read about the life of one of the most influential actors of all-time…

From the stage to the screen, there really isn’t anything that Denzel Washington hasn’t done. The child of beauty parlour owner Lynne, and Pentecostal minister Denzel Sr, by the early 2000s, Washington had become one of the greatest African-American actors of his time, sharing the mantle with celebrity icons such as Sidney Poitier and Morgan Freeman.

Following his graduation from Fordman University, his career began in the theatre, mastering performances in productions such as Shakespeare’s Othello and Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones. After performing on the stage, he moved to the screen, making his first Hollywood appearance in A Soldier’s Play in 1981. The close of the century was filled with fascinating performances by him in hit films such as Glory (1989), Philadelphia (1993), and Remember the Titans (2000). This did not stop him from making a return to the stage where he continued to take on performances in Shakespeare’s Richard III, Julius Caesar, and Fences, claiming his status as one of few actors who successfully tackled both the stage and the screen.

He directs too?!…

Of course, Denzel could not stop there. He has also made a fair share of contributions behind the screen. He has directed Antwone Fischer (2002) an emotional tale of about a navy officer harbouring secrets from his painful past, The Great Debaters (2007) a true story about a college professor and his student debate team and his most-well known film Fences (2016) about a father’s attempt to live his baseball dream through his young son. Having performed Fences previously on the stage, this was the perfect film for Washington for which he received several Academy Award nominations for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ (Viola Davis), ‘Best Actor’ (Denzel Washington) and ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’.

Frequent Collaborations:

Washington is also known for appearing multiple times on films created by both Spike Lee and the late Tony Scott. Washington has appeared in many of Scott’s films such as Crimson Tide (1995), Man on Fire (2004), Deja Vue (2006), The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) and Unstoppable (2010). Described by Spike as…

“the most intelligent actor on earth”

the pair have made several collaborations. And after seeing his performance in Malcolm X, I’d certainly have to agree with Spike on this one! The pair have a long list of movies together including, Mo Betta Blues (1990), Malcolm X (1992), He Got Game (1998), Inside Man (2006).

Favourite Films:

As well as being some of Denzel’s greatest films, some are my favourite films too, so if you haven’t seen them by now then get watching!!!

Training Day (2001) might be familiar to those of you who have read my previous post, Welcome to the Movies. If not, then I think it’s vital for you to know that I have mentioned this film on two previous posts up to now. Trust me. I wouldn’t do this for just any film.

American Gangster (2007) is arguably one of the best biographical films ever made. And to make it even better…it’s a gangster film! My favourite! Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Cuba Gooding Jr, Chiwetel Ejiofor – shall I continue?

Malcolm X (1992). From petty criminal to leader of the ‘Nation of Islam’. Who wouldn’t want to watch a biographical take on one of America’s most controversial figures; willing to get things done “by any means necessary” …

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