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Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington

Birthday: 28 December 1954, Mount Vernon, New York, USA
Birth Name: Denzel Hayes Washington Jr.
Height: 185 cm

Denzel Washington is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received three Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory (19 ...Show More

Denzel Washington
[on the 2002 Academy Awards and his win] - I didn't want to go to the Oscars. After Hurricane, I was Show more [on the 2002 Academy Awards and his win] - I didn't want to go to the Oscars. After Hurricane, I was like, "I don't feel like dealing with these people. I'm just not going to go." In order to protect yourself, you almost have to not care. So that night I didn't care -- and, of course, they go, "Here". Hide
Tony Scott was a great director, a genuine friend, and it is unfathomable to think that he is now go Show more Tony Scott was a great director, a genuine friend, and it is unfathomable to think that he is now gone. He had a tremendous passion for life and for the art of filmmaking, and was able to share this passion with all of us through his cinematic brilliance. Hide
(1995 quote) It was never my dream to be famous. I didn't start acting to be a movie star. I started Show more (1995 quote) It was never my dream to be famous. I didn't start acting to be a movie star. I started in the theater and my desire was to get better at my craft. It's still my desire. I don't consider myself a movie star, nor do I really have the desire to be one. I'm just an entertainer. An actor who works hard at his craft. Whatever labels people give me, that's not really me or part of my process. Come and talk with me again on my 50th birthday and I may feel differently, but right now, I'm just taking the lesson from one of my old teachers who said, "Don't be afraid to fail big.". Hide
[on Flight (2012)] If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage. I read tons of scripts, and I kno Show more [on Flight (2012)] If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage. I read tons of scripts, and I know it's very rare, but this is like a Eugene O'Neil play - the tears are on the page. Hide
(on what inspires him as an actor) I like to go to new places. To specify, it is to say that I like Show more (on what inspires him as an actor) I like to go to new places. To specify, it is to say that I like not knowing. I like knowing when I get there. I know when it starts coming around and it raises the hair or it doesn't. I was trained in the theater. So it was instilled in me as a young performer to take chances and not to worry about all that, because failure is a part of growth. If you're gonna fail, fail big and take chances. So I've done that, or I've tried to do that. Hide
[from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] Put God first: Everything Show more [from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] Put God first: Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It's a gift. I didn't always stick with Him, but He stuck with me. Hide
(on refusing the role in Amistad (1997)) I just didn't see myself in Amistad (1997). I ain't putting Show more (on refusing the role in Amistad (1997)) 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?". Hide
I started on the stage. I prefer the stage. I'd never thought that what has happened would happen. G Show more I started on the stage. I prefer the stage. I'd never thought that what has happened would happen. Get on the stage. You learn how to act on stage. Not in film, not in TV. [2015] Hide
(1998 quote on his long-standing marriage) She puts up with me. I think, also, in a way the travelin Show more (1998 quote on his long-standing marriage) She puts up with me. I think, also, in a way the traveling helps. We're able to travel together and also be apart sometimes. Not everybody gets to live like that. Twenty years now. It's like you start to pat yourself on the back when you look around you and you see that very few people have 20 years into a marriage. Hide
(when asked which does he call home, Los Angeles or New York City) I root for the Knicks. I root for Show more (when asked which does he call home, Los Angeles or New York City) I root for the Knicks. I root for the Yankees. Hide
[on working with young female co-stars] That ain't fair, really. Michelle Pfeiffer hasn't been findi Show more [on working with young female co-stars] That ain't fair, really. Michelle Pfeiffer hasn't been finding a lot of work recently because she doesn't like what a woman her age is offered. That's a real double standard. You get Sean Connery, who gets older and older, still playing opposite young ladies, but it doesn't work the other way around. Hide
[on where he likes to keep his Oscars] Next to each other. [on where he likes to keep his Oscars] Next to each other.
[on The Book of Eli (2010)] - We shot in New Mexico, and the environment definitely helped. It was b Show more [on The Book of Eli (2010)] - We shot in New Mexico, and the environment definitely helped. It was bleak. It got chilly and windy. The wind was the biggest deal. You'd have to wash the sand out of your nose and eyes. The world that the movie takes place in, the opportunity to do all this "Blade" kind of martial-arts stuff, working with the Hughes brothers -- it was an interesting combination of things. Hide
The acting coach Stanislavsky talks about cutting 90 percent. So you do research, research, research Show more The acting coach Stanislavsky talks about cutting 90 percent. So you do research, research, research, then you drop it and listen when you're in the scene and know who you are. You never know how it's gonna come around. That's why you go out there and find out. It's because you need the human beings that hook you into the character. Maybe I'm not as imaginative as the average actor. I need some kind of a hook sometimes. Hide
For the movie Glory (1989), before going out to shoot the whipping scene, I'm backstage in a room, a Show more For the movie Glory (1989), before going out to shoot the whipping scene, I'm backstage in a room, and I'm thinking, how am I gonna do this scene? All I did - you know people ask me, how did you prepare? - I say, I prayed. And I got on my knees and they were waiting for me, and I prayed. And then I prayed to all the spirits. I said, "Look fellas, ladies" and I'm talking about those who have been, and I said, "Look I don't know, I'm just rolling with you all. Just whatever happens, I'm going. And I said are you with me? Come on!" I'm serious! And I went out there and what hit me was, I'm in charge. Never put my head down. This isn't the first time this has happened to me, the character - and ,in fact, I had the guy build all the scars to put on my back - and I went out there with an attitude that I'm going to take this and not fold. But it hurt. And the tear was actually real. You know, you just allow it and you're thankful for it. It's not technical. It's not science. It's spirit. Hide
(on what he enjoys about making films) The magic. There's fun creating that magic. Bringing somethin Show more (on what he enjoys about making films) The magic. There's fun creating that magic. Bringing something to life, whatever. Putting together a character. The twists and the turns that people don't expect. So to sit around and talk about it before someone sees it is boring. I think there should be some mystery in it. Who wants to know everything about it? I think it ruins movies when you know everything about how the movie was made and put together. If you explain, it's like showing you the trick before I show you the magic. Let me explain to you how it works. All right, now come see the show. It's supposed to be magic. And being an actor is about creating that magic. Hide
(1995 quote) This "famous" stuff, I guess you can get caught up in it. You can even get caught up in Show more (1995 quote) This "famous" stuff, I guess you can get caught up in it. You can even get caught up in fighting it, pretending it doesn't exist. But it already alters who you are, just in the fact that you're trying to deny it. I just turned 40 and my wife and I had a quiet getaway. I didn't want a big party or anything. I just wanted to reflect on what I've done with the first 40 years and what I want to do now. I think I'm just starting to figure out how to do it, you know, how to simplify things in life. Around my birthday, I was listening to this motivational speaker, Les Brown, who made this analogy about ghosts around his bed. He was saying when you die, imagine you had these ghosts around your bed that represent your unfulfilled potential. Things that should have been done, should have been experienced. How many ghosts are going to be around your bed when your time comes? People can say about me or anyone, "Oh, you're great at this", but you have to look at yourself and say, "How do I feel about what I've done?". That's all that matters. Hide
[on being late for the 1987 Oscars] I was a mess. I don't know if I ate bad food or if it was too mu Show more [on being late for the 1987 Oscars] I was a mess. I don't know if I ate bad food or if it was too much tension, but I got sick. There was a huge traffic jam, and I remember saying "Look, it took me all this time to get here - I'm showing up in a limousine and I don't care how late I am." By the time I got there, there was no red carpet. Everyone was inside because the show had already started. Hide
Man gives you the award but God gives you the reward. Man gives you the award but God gives you the reward.
[on approaching 50] I have a friend who says "The first 50 was for them, this 50's for me." I like t Show more [on approaching 50] I have a friend who says "The first 50 was for them, this 50's for me." I like that. The weirdest part of it, or even the saddest part, is that you start to see people die. You go "Man! He wasn't even that old." I lost a friend recently who died of a heart attack. He was 58. When I was 20, 58 was old. It ain't now. Hide
[Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] While you're on y Show more [Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] While you're on your knees in the morning, say thank you. Say thank you in advance for what is already yours. ... True desire in the heart for anything good is God's proof to you sent beforehand that it's already yours. ... When you get it, reach back, pull someone else up. Each one, teach one. Don't just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference. Hide
Long ago, I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from Show more Long ago, I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me, spiritually and financially. Hide
(In 1998) Acting's like someone asking you for years to write the characters, but they write the boo Show more (In 1998) Acting's like someone asking you for years to write the characters, but they write the book. Hide
[Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] Just because you' Show more [Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] Just because you're doing a lot more, doesn't mean you're getting a lot more done. Hide
(1998 quote on his career) In any craft or artistic endeavor you want to do different things. You wa Show more (1998 quote on his career) In any craft or artistic endeavor you want to do different things. You want to go to different places, you want to find different ways to go about it. You may have your constants, but you're looking to go into new territories, new angles, new challenges. So that's how it is for me as an actor. I couldn't play the same guy eight times and I don't have to. I think I've said all of my career, I'm not a celebrity. I'm not a movie star. I'm just an actor who is more popular right now. I don't even know what a movie star is. And one of the reasons why I keep on going back to make movies that don't have such huge budgets is that it's not as much pressure. You feel like you can take more chances. Hide
(on having to do publicity) I'm an actor, so that's the bottom line. I'm not a marketing whatever. M Show more (on having to do publicity) I'm an actor, so that's the bottom line. I'm not a marketing whatever. My strength does not lie in marketing a product called "Denzel". That's not what I do. My strength lies in playing a part and hopefully entertaining and affecting people on some level. Now I'm not being naive. I know that marketing comes into play when you're spending 50 or 60 million dollars of other people's money to make a film. You have to be involved in marketing that product. But the publicity gets to be boring. How many times can I tell the same story? I understand the importance of doing publicity for a film, so I'm willing to do that, but I don't want to sit around talking about myself. That's not a great day for me. That's not my idea of fun. Hide
(on making movies) It's simple: You get a part. You play a part. You play it well. You do your work Show more (on making movies) 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. Hide
[Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] You'll never see Show more [Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] You'll never see a U-Haul truck behind a hearse, I don't care how much money you make, you can't take it with you. ... It's not about how much money you have, it's what you do with it. Hide
Acting is just a way of making a living, the family is life. Acting is just a way of making a living, the family is life.
(1998 quote on his career) With four children I have to maximize the work I do now financially. It's Show more (1998 quote on his career) With four children I have to maximize the work I do now financially. It's like I have to do one film for financial reasons, as opposed to when I was single, or before we had all of these children. I find that I'm not as good at not working as I thought I would be. I get itchy. My wife also says I'm only good for about three weeks of downtime. But I'm learning a decent pace now. I try to take four or five months off between jobs. Hide
[on what roles he would like to redo] Probably Shakespeare. I did "Othello" in college, and "Richard Show more [on what roles he would like to redo] Probably Shakespeare. I did "Othello" in college, and "Richard III", and those are the two roles I'd like to revisit. Movies? There's a couple I wish I hadn't done. I won't say which ones, but there are a couple of mistakes there. Hide
(when asked what prompted him to go to Hollywood) The only way I'm going to L.A. is with a job. (when asked what prompted him to go to Hollywood) The only way I'm going to L.A. is with a job.
I remain thankful for the gifts that I've been given and I try to use them in a good way, in a posit Show more I remain thankful for the gifts that I've been given and I try to use them in a good way, in a positive way. Hide
I'm very proud to be black, but black is not all I am. That's my cultural historical background, my Show more I'm very proud to be black, but black is not all I am. That's my cultural historical background, my genetic makeup, but it's not all of who I am nor is it the basis from which I answer every question. Hide
[on shooting action scenes] I have to try and find a way to remain positive because those days are b Show more [on shooting action scenes] I have to try and find a way to remain positive because those days are boring to me, really, just hanging off the side of a building, fighting or grunting. Hide
People say, "Congratulations, you finally got the Oscar", and I have to correct them: "Actually, it' Show more 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. Hide
[on Training Day (2001)] - My son talked me into doing that movie. He was like, 'Dad, you've never d Show more [on Training Day (2001)] - My son talked me into doing that movie. He was like, 'Dad, you've never done anything like this'. I just hadn't been asked before. The only film that was sort of dark that I'd turned down was _Se7en (1995)_. They offered me the Brad Pitt part, but I was like, "This is so dark and evil." Then when I saw the movie, I was like, "Oh, shoot". Hide
[on the supposed factual inaccuracies of The Hurricane (1999)] - I heard that. We'll never know, wil Show more [on the supposed factual inaccuracies of The Hurricane (1999)] - I heard that. We'll never know, will we? The film was touchy because people were murdered and a lot of people felt that Rubin did it. So you're opening old wounds. Malcolm X (1992) was more dangerous, but The Hurricane (1999) might have been more controversial. Hide
[on Philadelphia (1993)] - [Director] Jonathan Demme said to me, 'Look, we don't want your character Show more [on Philadelphia (1993)] - [Director] Jonathan Demme said to me, 'Look, we don't want your character to go 360 degrees. It's not like by the end of the movie he's leading a gay and lesbian parade'. If we'd done that, it would have let people like this character off the hook. But at the end, he touches [Tom Hanks' character] -- and that's huge for him. [Pauses, then laughs] I used to mess with Tom. He was barely eating at all, and I would put out, like, 200 Almond Joys in his drawer to give him a hard time. I'd pretend to sneeze and all these Snickers would fall on the ground. I'm sure he laughed all the way up to the podium when he won the Oscar. Hide
[on the whipping scene in Glory (1989)] - I remember walking around before that scene, just praying Show more [on the whipping scene in Glory (1989)] - I remember walking around before that scene, just praying and calling on the spirits of all the slaves, because I didn't know how to play it. I was like, "Okay, fellas, just tell me what to do." And I went out there with an arrogance. I spit on the ground. I had this attitude and this strength -- it all came out of this meditation. It wasn't calculated. It was organic. That whip actually hurt, but I was like, "Don't let him win." Hide
[Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] Don't be afraid t Show more [Excerpt from his commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of Dillard University] Don't be afraid to fail big, to dream big, but remember, dreams without goals, are just dreams. And they ultimately fuel disappointment. I try to give myself a goal every day, sometimes it's just not to curse somebody out. Hide
Denzel Washington's FILMOGRAPHY
All as Actor (118) as Director (3)
Denzel Washington Denzel Washington'S roles
Private First Class Peterson
Private First Class Peterson

Pvt. Trip
Pvt. Trip

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter
Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter

Alonzo
Alonzo

Bleek Gilliam
Bleek Gilliam

Robert McCall
Robert McCall

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