Without a doubt, Denzel Washington is one of the best all time actors that Hollywood has had the privilege of allowing to grace the silver screen. Denzel manages to bring to life all the roles he plays, and his versatility as an actor has earned him a lot of love and respect. In addition to his great acting career, Denzel Washington has several interesting facts about him that reveal insights into whom he truly is.
With about 50 films under his belt Denzel is a true Hollywood veteran, and someone who commands respect within the industry. If you haven’t already seen classics like Glory and Malcolm X, then what are you waiting for? Go watch them now! For the rest of you sit back and learn something new about one of the great actors of his generation.
10. Denzel Does a Lot of Research Before Playing a Role
A role in a movie is not just any other gig for Denzel, it’s something worth a lot of research to understand the character that he will portray. For example, before featuring in the 1993 film The Pelican Brief, Denzel had to spend months interacting and going through the day-to-day motions with actual reporters of the Washington Post. Furthermore, he had an opportunity in the film to put his Drama and Journalism degrees to good use.
In addition, before playing his role as Malcolm X in 1992, Denzel played the same role in a production called When the Chickens Came Home To Roost. Denzel went through training at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center, in preparation for his role in Courage Under Fire, where took part in battle games, listened to Desert Storm audiotapes, qualified as a trained M1A1 tank handler and learned to use a 120mm firearm.
9. Denzel Was Undecided in College
Like many students out there battling with what they think they want to become and what their talents are driving them towards, Denzel had to go through a few courses before discovering what he wanted in life. Denzel had a desire to become a doctor, so he studied Biology in Fordham University. After a while, he changed his dreams and studied Political Science.
Since he was still undecided, Denzel dropped out of school for one semester to work as a director of creative arts at a YMCA summer camp. During the camp, Denzel discovered his talent in acting, and with encouragement from friends at the camp, he went back to college and graduated with a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Drama and Journalism.
8. Denzel Likes Performing Most of His Own Stunts
Though it is hard to tell when watching a movie, many actors have people performing their stunts for them. Having someone perform your stunts is acceptable, though an actor who performs all of his own earns him or herself a great reputation. Just like Jackie Chan, Denzel has performed many of his own stunts, in films such as the 2010 hit The Book of Eli, where he engaged in hand-to-hand fighting sequences. Denzel was back at it in the 2012 hit Safe House where he did most of his stunts, including the disorienting waterboarding scene.
7. Denzel Looks Great in a Military Uniform
A true follower of Denzel is able to conclude that if acting did not work out for him, the military would have been a perfect fit. Denzel has played six different roles as a military man, and in none of the roles did he disappoint, or fall short of bringing out the best of his character. Some of the notable appearances in the military uniform include his role in Courage Under Fire and in The Manchurian Candidate. In both the above movies, he plays the roles of Lt. Col. Nathan Serling and Maj. Ben Marco, soldiers whose lives go through life-changing fighting experiences.
6. Denzel Washington in Comedy and Remakes
Denzel does not strike someone as a comedian, owing to the badass roles he plays in most of his movies. However, in previous years, Denzel has been part of four rib-cracking comedies. Although he did not stick to comedy for long, it shows us that his versatility knows no bounds.
In addition, Denzel has had his fair share of movie remakes, with three of them being The Manchurian Candidate, Man on Fire, and The Taking of Pelham 123.
5. Denzel is a Scientifically Explainable Good-Looking Actor
In line with public opinion, a cover story article on a 1996 issue of Newsweek explained that Denzel Washington was a perfect example of beauty. According to the article, facial symmetry is a determinant in the level of attractiveness of an individual. Therefore, since Denzel at that time had an almost perfect facial symmetry, he qualified to be the perfect scientific explanation of good-looking. This article was based on a study of the perception of what people consider beauty to be, and judging by the reaction of Denzel’s women fans, the article and its findings was and still is right.
4. His Fingers Have No Praise Like His Face
Borrowing from the above conclusion where we learned that perfect beauty and a sense of symmetry have a lot in common, Denzel’s face and his fingers are miles apart. Denzel’s right hand pinky finger is bent at 45° outwards, owing to a basketball accident he went through when he was young. The finger starts to bend from the lower knuckle and it gives his hand an odd imbalance. Since his finger was not set back correctly, you will see him today with a crooked finger. However, this small accident has done no harm to his acting career, since people hardly notice this small issue unless they are really looking out for it.
3. Denzel has Numerous Awards and Nominations
His successful career has so far earned Denzel six Oscar nominations, where he won two awards; one for his supporting role in 1989’s Glory, and the other for best actor in 2001’s Training Day. Denzel is one of the few black actors to have won an academy award, and became the second in history after Sidney Poitier who won his in 1963. Denzel also has seven Golden Globe nominations, of which he won two, and has been nominated for ten BET awards, of which he won four. His role in the 2010 film Fences, won Denzel the Tony Award for Best Actor. Denzel has numerous other awards that are not in this list.
2. Denzel Has Turned Down a Few Successful Roles
Like many actors of the day, Denzel has chosen his roles carefully before signing on the dotted line. Some of the roles that Denzel turned down ended up becoming huge box office successes, roles he has looked back on and regretted not accepting. One role that Denzel regretted declining was that of a detective in an early 90s film called Se7en a role that Brad Pitt took up and became a huge success. Denzel was also the initial choice for the leading role in the movie Blade, which Wesley Snipes is famous for today. Also, Djimon Hounsou has a Golden Globe nomination from his role in Amistad, which Denzel also turned down.
1. Denzel’s Success Follows a Prophesy Foretold in his Early Years
If anyone has a reason to believe in miracles and prophesy, Denzel surely does. When he was young, a woman from his church wrote down a ‘prophesy’ about Denzel that we can all attest came true. This prophetess was known for her gift in the church and the community, and when she was at Denzel’s mother’s salon, she predicted that Denzel was one day going to speak to millions of people. Denzel carried the piece of paper containing the ‘prophesy’ for many years, and for sure, the woman’s prediction has come true with every release of Denzel’s movies. In addition, his award acceptance speeches and public appearances give him an audience of millions.