Why Denzel Washington returned as ‘The Equalizer’
The 2-time Oscar winner explains that making a sequel to the R-rated thriller was not a given.
Beverly Hills, California. – If you ask Denzel Washington for advice on how to create success in Hollywood, he will have no problem giving you a few tips.
The “Fences” star went with Fox News at the world premiere of his latest film, “Equalizer 2,” and dished on why he has decided this is his first sequel. During our chat, Denzel reflected on his humble beginnings as an up-and-coming actor, and remembered a moment that had a profound impact on his career.
“Continued. That is a word that someone used, continued – I don’t know what that means, you know,” said Washington.
The iconic film star said that his decision to take part in the “Equalizer 2” had less to do with the fact that it is a sequel to a successful photograph and more to do with the script.
He explained: “You write something, and it’s something that you’re attracted to or you read that you want to be involved with, and you either are or you’re not.
“No, it was not a no-brainer [to sign on for the sequel]. I had to read it and see. Just because we had success does not mean that I was interested in doing another. It still had a good story, is what it is. And, some people say that [it is] better than the first go-around. So, that went well.”
The two-time Academy Award-winner performs an intense role in the high-action film as a Lyft driver who moonlights as a government assassin, but the guidance and the giving back is an undertone of the film, and that is what resonates with him.
“That is what it is all about – learning. That is what it’s all about,” he said wisely. “Reaching back and sharing what you know. Someone did it for me. So, it should not here.”
Much of Washington’s success is attributed to his days performing on Broadway, and bridging the gap in the skills of theatre to film, and he recollected a central exchange he had with a Hollywood great that the form of his whole perspective on his career.
“I wanted to be in a play called ‘A Soldier’s Play,” that was a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and award-winning film and all that – and an actor by the name of Sidney Poitier came to the play. This was in 1981,” recalled Washington.
“And he came back stage and he said: ‘Who are you?’ and I said: “I am Denzel. And, he says, ” You’re good at. You’re very good.’ And man, what that means to you – I get chills like it was yesterday.
“He says that, and I wants ‘and if he says so, then [yes],” the actor recalled, nodding violently.
“In particular, at an impressionable age where, conversely, someone could destroy. And, in particular, just coming from a show in a vulnerable place. You just finished, and they said, ‘ehhh.’ You don’t want that. You don’t want that,” he added, laughing at the thought.