Interview: Denzel Washington
Denzel on filming in New Orleans: Iâ€™m glad to have been a part of getting the film community back in there. I went all around the city. I saw tremendous devastation, and there was a lot of listening to peopleâ€™s stories of what theyâ€™ve been through.
(Can you believe this cat is 52?)
Here, two-time Oscar-winner Denzel Washington, an icon who needs no introduction, talks about his latest movie, DÃ©jÃ Vu, where he plays Doug Carlin, an ATF Agent who travels back in time to prevent a crime and ends up falling in love with a beautiful woman, Paula Patton, heâ€™s trying to save.
BSN: How does it feel to still be a sex symbol at 50?
DW: [He fakes snoring] I donâ€™t know anything about that. Iâ€™ll be 52 in December. Turning 50 made me realize that this is not the dress rehearsal. I was already sort of in that mind set before that, but it really hit home to enjoy every day, to try to lead and live a good life, a healthy life, and to keep things simple. Sex symbol? I donâ€™t think about it. I donâ€™t even know what any of that stuff means.
BSN: What about generating screen chemistry with your co-star, Paula Patton?
DW: What about it? [He laughs]
BSN: How did a virtual unknown come to be your co-star?
DW: Well, Tony Scott [the director] said, â€œI got this girl. You donâ€™t know her. She hasnâ€™t done anything, but sheâ€™s right for the part. After I read with her, I wasnâ€™t nervous, but I was just like, â€˜Well, she hasnâ€™t done anything.â€™ But he was right. Sheâ€™s a lovely girl, a sweetheart. And she has that quality that you want to care about her, or take her of her.
BSN: Have you ever had premonitions in real life like your character in Deja Vu?
DW: You know what? I had an odd one today. Iâ€™m going to get the mail out of the mailbox, and Iâ€™m standing out on the street by my front gate when I had a feeling somebodyâ€™s going to drive by. So I just stood out there. I just had a feeling somebody was coming, so I decided to stand there for a minute. And it wasnâ€™t ten seconds before a white truck goes by. Then it stops, and backs up. And itâ€™s Eddie Murphy, and he gave me the whole scoop on Dreamgirls.
BSN: Whatâ€™d he say about it?
DW: He said that Jennifer Hudson is stealing the movie. Have you seen it yet?
DW: Does she steal it?
BSN: She sure does, even though he and Beyonceâ€™ and Jamie Foxx certainly hold their own.
DW: He said she stops the movie. And they applaud. As was the case with Jennifer Holliday, like I saw on Broadway. That was an amazing moment in the theater.
BSN: The same thing happened at my screening. A standing ovation during the movie. What was it like filming DÃ©jÃ Vu in New Orleans?
DW: Iâ€™m glad to have been a part of getting the film community back in there. I went all around the city. I saw tremendous devastation, and there was a lot of listening to peopleâ€™s stories of what theyâ€™ve been through. Thereâ€™s a long way to go there, so I was happy to play a part, in some way, of helping by spending a little money down there and putting people to work.
BSN: Why is it that you only do dramatic roles? Are you just that serious a person?
DW: Thereâ€™s a clown in me thatâ€™s waiting to get out. [Laughs] A lot of people have said to me, â€œWhy donâ€™t you do more comedies? Youâ€™re real funny. People donâ€™t get to see that side of you.â€? I think itâ€™s been eking out in my films more and more, especially Inside Man where I improvised a lot, and there were some funny lines that came out that werenâ€™t written.
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