The Spotlight: Denzel Washington explains the pressures of portraying historical figures, shares some advice from Sidney Poitier and lends his own
Denzel Washington has some pretty decent range.
He's proven he can play just about anything but his portrayals of historical figures are his most memorable.
Speaking with IMDB, Washington was asked about the added pressures of playing well and semi-known individuals.
"Probably in the case of Malcolm X, more than any other character I played, there was a pressure, because he was known," Washington said. "Frank [Lucas] (American Gangster) wasn't as well known. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter to a degree. But Malcolm X was the most pressure. Yea, no question. Ultimately, you gotta do what you do, but in the case of Malcolm X I had done a play about him already and we had great success. So I knew I could do it.
"In an odd way, there's more preassure when it's not a real or historical character because you can't Google it. There's no information. You've got to create it. It's more fertile territory but you better come up with something."
Now in the fifth decade of his career, Washington was asked what advice he'd give a younger version of himself.
"I had the great fortune of having Sidney Poitier come to [a young Denzel] and he gave me that advice. One thing being, if they see you all week for free they won't pay to see you on the weekend. I've lived by that, professionally. What would I tell a young person now? Keep doing theater. You really learn how to act on stage, not in film."
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When life is so good that your sun and stars is in your city...you lose your eyes and gain 5 grins 😁 (and gins) where until now they'd only been one... (*grins- there's always more gins) 🍸 @prideofgypsies YOU ALWAYS MOTHER OF DRAGONS MAIN MAN 😍🐲 #lookoutjonsnowdrogosgotyournumber #happinessishere #hawaiianhakahunkoffunshutsdownlondon 💪🏻🥂🏆
Might be kinda tough.
There should be new episode of got every week 52 weeks a year.— Ansel Elgort (@AnselElgort) November 3, 2017
He's having fun.
See you on EBAY.
The McRib sounds real good right now.— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) November 4, 2017