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« Doc Corner: 'The Most Dangerous Man in America' Goes Where 'The Post' Doesn't | Main | Mike Leigh at 75: On Wallpaper, Topsyturvydom and Empire »
Tuesday
Feb202018

In Defense of Denzel Washington in "Roman J. Israel, Esq."

By Spencer Coile

Last year’s Best Actor race was highly contentious. Due to an influx of coverage surrounding sexual harassment charges, many people became uncomfortable with Casey Affleck's frontrunner status. This led some Oscar gurus to prognosticate a spoiler victory for Denzel Washington for his Fences  passion project. How close the voting was we'll never know but Washington and Affleck were considered to be neck-and-neck at the end.

Still, Affleck was victorious, leaving many (most notably, Brie Larson) unhappy or furious. While the narrative is not exactly the same for the new Best Actor race, there is one common denominator: Denzel Washington.

This year, he is nominated for playing Roman J. Israel, Esq. in… you guessed it, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Though his film was not an Oscar favorite or hit in the way Fences was, it should not be denied that Washington is excellent yet again...

Roman is a savant lawyer who has worked behind the scenes for his legal partner of several decades. He prides himself on serving as an activist for the Black community and being good at his job, sticking to his routine and avoiding interaction with others. But when his partner unexpectedly dies, he is forced out of his chosen isolation and begins working for a huge law firm (run by Colin Farrell).

If this all sounds elementary, worry not. Dan Gilroy (of Nightcrawler) and Washington never take the easy way out with the story or character. The film is rich with complications and plot twists that keep Roman’s conflicts engaging and genuinely human. Importantly, the dialogue is always rapid fire and smart – almost to the point where you have to rewind just to remember what a character previously said. Roman J. Israel is refreshingly unafraid to challenge its audience and have them question the motives of the unreliable narrator. 

Which leads us to Washington’s performance as Israel. To call him complex would be an understatement. Riddled with eccentricities, Washington imbues the titular character with a healthy mix of arrogance, charm, and fear. He's instantly beguiling, sporting outdated suits and listening to retro funk; it’s hard not to fall in love with him. Though he is clumsy and bumbling, he's also fiercely intelligent. Roman constantly has to monitor his behavior during social interactions. Through all of this Washington creates a loveable, flawed man. 

Because Gilroy wrote his screenplay with Washington in mind, it's no surprise that that dialogue Washington utters feel so natural coming from his mouth. But interestingly, considering the “baity” nature of this character, Washington downplays all of Roman's potentially showier moments and concentrates on getting under the skin of this man. Rarely do we hear him raise his voice, nor are we subjected to scenes of him in court, passionately pleading his case. Just like the character, Roman J. Israel, Esq. is focused more on what takes place behind the curtain, and only in a few instances does Washington let us in.

One scene of particular note is a job interview Roman has with Maya (Carmen Ejogo) for an activist law firm. Feeling that the interview isn’t going well and that he won’t be hired, Roman discusses his past work and the passion he feels for what he does. During this monologue, tears falls down his face, but Washington does not call attention to them because Roman is trying to hide it himself. It just one of the deeply felt genuinely human moments that the film captures.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. was unfairly maligned upon its release at TIFF, leading Gilroy to go back and trim some time off of it. Even then, it wasn't particularly well reviewed and went unseen by the general public. This is truly a shame because the film offers more fascinating insight into race relations than several of our Best Picture nominees. However, we can still take solace in the fact that Washington was nominated for his masterful work as Roman. If there were Oscar justice, he would be in the conversation for the win, just as he was last year.  

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Reader Comments (32)

The film was better than I expected even if still flawed. And agreed with how it makes some better insights into race relations than some of the actual Best Picture nominees. Good, if not a great movie.

Was very very surprised by Washington's work in it though. Subtle, quiet but just as magnetic and commanding as his turn in Fences. It's a great, clearly complex performance by an insightful and smart actor. That he downplays so much of it only works to his advantage and makes the character and the film the more compelling.

He wouldn't contend for the win (for me it's Timothee and everyone else) but it's a great turn, absolutely deserving of his nomination and actually among his own nominations it's one of the better ones.

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAlexD

I liked him here and I am not a big fan of any of his nominations past 1999.

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Great performance by Washington as always but Gilroy doesn't know what to make with all his ideas. There is way too much details, too much story to tell, it just doesn't works in this format. This could have been a great mini serie.

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatrickVost

Casey Affleck deserved Best Lead Actor Oscar last year. He gave the best performance.

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I still think James Franco deserved the nod this year.

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

Glad to see this support. I heard some claims that people hated the performance itself, and it honestly made me wonder if they'd bothered to see the movie. This character is unlike anything Washington's ever played before, and I was so impressed how such an eccentric character could feel grounded in such a bizarre movie. Washington is one of our greatest actors and I'm glad we're seeing him back in roles where he can remind us of that. (I was not a big fan of his string of action movies over the last decade and a half.)

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

His loss last year was devastating. What a performance! This year, not so much, but the nomination is deserved. Chalamet should win.

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Agree this movie deserved better. Denzel is fantastic and the character he plays is captivating to watch. His interactions with both Carmen Ejogo and Farell are compelling, it's the plot that meanders. I agree with Spencer on the scene pointed out with Ejogo - very special.

It's funny that out of TIFF the same critics who didn't see any issues with 3 Billboards either ignored or trashed this film.... hmmm.

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

eurocheese: Somebody hasn't seen The Equalizer.
murtada: In one scene, not the one highlighted, this movie says more about the uncomfortable intersections between race issues and gender issues than ANYTHING in Three Billboards. (And gender issues and/or their intersection aren't even this movie's primary focus.)

February 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I'd honestly put this up there as one of Denzel's best performances - he's that good y'all

February 20, 2018 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

2/8: Marlon Brando
2/8: Jack Lemmon
2/8: Denzel Washington (plus 1 Best Picture nod)

He's in good company. No need to defend his performance. He deserves to be in the final five.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

*whispers* I think he was better in this than he was in Fences.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Why would his performance need defending? It's the best performance of the 5 nominated actors. He should be winning the Oscar (again, after last year). The article covers why in detail.

I suspect the frenzy to trash Roman Israel Esq out the gate at TIFF was in part motivated by the threat Washington represented. If the movie got really good reviews, there's no way he wouldn't be frontrunner to win, especially after his devastating robbery last year for Fences. It'd be a genuine race vs Oldman. The takedown of the film was supposed to elimnate Washington from the race. They didn't bank on Actors watching the film and recognising what a major achievement the performance was for Washington, which led to the SAG and eventual Oscar nomination.

A certain section of the cinephile/critical community seem to enjoy cock-blocking Washington from winning the Oscar again. He got no critics awards for Flight, despite incredible reviews. He got one or two for Fences, despite giving an indescriblely superior performance to Casey Affleck (who ludicrously swept the board). And no critics nominations for Roman J Israel, Esq (apart from the Black Critics Circle and The Womens Critics Circle).

If Daniel Day Lewis (the white Denzel, in terms of esteem) gave a trifecta of performances as incredible as Flight, Fences and Roman J Israel, Esq, critics groups would be falling over themselves to have him sweep the season foor each performance. Instead, it's left to his fellow actors (who recognise what great acting is) to now give him his due each season he's up for the award again (like last year's SAG win). It's a pattern now. Not sure the notion of a black man being a 4-5 time Oscar winning actor sits well with some.

Washington will have the last laugh though. He' s been blocked many times, but it's clear that he's beloved/respected enough to defintely win again. And he'll probably break Jack Nicholson's nomination record in the process.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenternino

I think critics genuinely disliked the movie (as I did) but they still gave Washington praises (they wouldn't if they wanted to elimnate him from the race). The dude is LOVED but he so rarely find hilmself in great, critically acclaimed movies, otherwise he probably would have a couple of nominations more and certainly a third oscar by now. But I agree, he's tremendous in Fences and he should have won. The nature of his character and the fact that he has already 2 oscars probably cost him few votes from winning against such loved film (and performance) as was Manchester by the sea.

I convinced that he will win his third oscar for his next brillant performance in a critically acclaimed, oscar friendly movie.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIbbiscuit

Ugh, still waiting for this film to be available on Netflix - it's at the top of my queue but the demand seems to be high: I keep getting my 2nd choice instead. It's the last of the nominated performances I need to see (performances and all BP nominees are where I'm an Oscar completest), but I'm also genuinely interested in it - esp in Washington's character. It sounds genuinely engaging, thanks for this excellent write-up!

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob

@Ibbibiscuit

Washington is the most ridiculously consistent actor of his generation. Maybe any generation. He's never less than solid (a trait shared by Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall), so never gets bad performance reviews. Because it's obvious to everyone he's always solid at a bare minumum. I

t's a bit late in the day for a majority of critics to start giving him poor performance reviews, because nobody would really buy it. It'd look incredibly suspicuous to claim this rock-solid actor who hasn't gotten a truly panned for a performance in a nearly 40 year film career, was suddenly stinking up the joint (though the clueless AA Dowd of the AV Club tried his luck by claiming it was a "rare bad performance" from Washington. Keith Ulhich of Slant used the exact same "rare bad performance" term as Dowd in his review, which makes me wonder if they were e-mailing each other to get their Roman J Israel Esq takedowns in sync). But yes, generally, Washington's performance was praised. The most effective way to take Washington out of a winning position is to downplay or outright trash his movie. People will buy that the movie isn't good, but not Washington.

Regardless of whether you thought it worked (I did), Roman J Israel, Esq was at worst a very honorable misfire. A 70 or 75% on Rotten Tomatoes would have been a fairer reflection of that movie's value, not 49% rotten or whatever it ended up with. It's absolutely no worse than generic, boilerplate oscarbait than Darkest Hour or The Post, which critics decided would pass with flying colors.

Roman J Israel, Esq is the type of intelligent reflective character study many critics claim Washington should be doing more than his action flicks. Yet they gave the movie weaker reviews than most of his recent action flicks. Then again, he's got zero chance of winning an Oscar for The Equalizer, 2 Guns or The Magnificent Seven (all Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). He could actually win an Oscar for Roman J Israel, so a lot of critics went in hard on the movie compared to his more disposable fare. I'd rather watch Denzel in 1 Roman J Israel, Esq, than a hundred 2 Guns.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenternino

Liked him, but Jackman should have had that spot.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Flawed film, great performance. Nothing to defend here, although it didn't make my own top five male lead performances of 2017. I'd really like to see the longer, original version version of the film. It's not a bad film and I wonder if the longer version was more cohesive.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterW.J. McKelvey

He was terrific, but I wouldn't have nominated him personally. There are too many performance this year that I would have swapped him for. Jeremy Renner in Wind River, Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger, Robert Pattinson in Good Time, Colin Farrell in either The Beguiled or The Killing of a Sacred Deer, just to name a few (and I definitely would not give him a win over Timothée Chalamet). It's still a superb example of what Denzel is capable of (though I prefer his performance in Fences, even though I still would have gone with Casey Affleck over him just slightly), so nothing to defend here. I guess one of the reasons people might be against this one is because it feels less inspired than other possibilities (the guy already has two Oscars and was nominated last year), but I was quite happy with what I saw from him in this film,

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Richter Scale: I saw many "film fans" on social media hating on Denzel's performance before even seeing it (apparently, many of them heard his film wasn't great, and that was enough). It was hilarious how many people were claiming he didn't deserve the Oscar nomination the morning after he got it, and clearly hadn't watched the film. Puts into sharp focus how many dishonest posers there are among so-called cinephiles.

Glad he got the Meryl treatment on this one, as he deserved the nod.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjuno

I really liked Roman J Israel, Esq., it`s not even close to what Dan Gilroy accomplished in Nightcrawler , it`s a messy, strange film that seems to exist in a different time and echoes a Sidney Lumet vibe, very dry, mature, long speeches, the film isn’t quite sure what it’s doing but it is never painful to watch ( Colin Farrel is very effective as he was in the great The Killing of a Sacred Deer and in the misfire called The Beguiled). And I say that not being a die hard Denzel Washington fan. Don`t get me wrong, I think he`s consistently excellent at doing what he knows howto do best:, loud performances ( his demeanor in Roman is refreshing). He`s a loud actor, as if someone is constantly saying "act harder, harder". Having said that , I do think he totally deserved his Oscar win for Glory and a second one for The Hurricane (his best performance , hands down). His heavy theatrical hand is all over Fences , thank God for Viola Davis. Flight was such a lazy nomination choice ( Ewan McGregor was right there waiting to be noticed for The Impossible) and I wouldn`t personally have nominated him again this year ( Gyllenhaal or Phoenix would be much better choices)

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEder Arcas

Not a fan of this film or Denzel's work in it. I can see what he was going for, but to me it just came off like a weird robot. Definitely a different character for him, though.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Eder Arcas: I agree Flight was a kind of lazy nomination choice, but Ewan McGregor for The Impossible would have been an even lazier one. JGL for Looper? Jean-Louis Trintignant for Amour? Frank Langella for Robot & Frank? Gyllenhaal or Michael Pena for End of Watch? Karl Urban, even, for Dredd? That's what "not lazy" nomination choices look like. Should Ewan McGregor have a nomination by this point? Absolutely. Trainspotting over Billy Bob Thornton. Moulin Rouge! over Sean Penn or Russell Crowe. Beginners over Clooney. But forwarding The Impossible as a choice that ISN'T lazy is naked desperation, not justifiable reaction to the work presented.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Volvagia- How on earth an actor of the caliber of Ewan McGregor being nominated for delivering a performance with a sledgehammer emotional punch in one of the best films of 2012 would`ve been a lazy choice? Not just criminally underrated , he`s overlooked over and over again ( Moulin Rouge, Little Voice, anyone?) Washington nomination for Flight felt lazy because it was Washington giving us a variant on the character he played in Training Day: the uniformed authority figure with some serious off-the-record habits in an enjoyable but far from memorable film.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEder Arcas

Fuck the undervaluing of Denzel Washington from people who insist it has everything to do with something other than the obvious.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Flight was a great nomination. At this point, people are just taking Denzel for granted, because he's always great. Any other actor does what Denzel does in Flight, they'll say he probably deserves the win, not call it a lazy nomination.

The internal conflict and self loathing of Whip Whitaker in Flight was masterfully conveyed by Denzel. It's what acting should be all about. I thought only Joaquin Phoenix was better than Denzel of the nominees that year. I don't see any real similarities with his Training Day performance. He's playing the Devil in human form in Training Day. In Flight, he's a man that's broken and in denial and suffering. In Training Day, he's just a swaggering amoral sociopath. The guy in Training Day isn't going to admit he drank the vodka on the plane at the inquiry. He'd lie though his teeth and laugh about getting away with it afterwards. Two totally different characters.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjuno

Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time, Period.

That's actually the name of a podcast. But I think it's also a legitimate statement/opinion. I think he's probably the best (male) actor ever, which is hard for some admit, as acting has always been seen as the artistic form that white people dominate. Yes, black people can sing with unmatched soul like Aretha or Marvin Gaye, but the greatest actors are supposed to be white (whether Brando or Daniel Day-Lewis). If a black guy is the best actor ever, then what are white people supposed to be the best at?

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLorax

Lorax- I have no idea where you are from or why a conversation about an actor`s talent ( or lack of) gotta be about race or gender. An incredible actor IS an incredible actor, period. The same goes for musicians, directors or any other professional. That is not what is being discussed or even implied here. You`re just doing yourself and Denzel Washington a disservice by triggering an argument that has nothing to do with art, with whom loves art and enjoys debating about it. An unnecessary and tawdry remark.

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEder Arcas

Eder Arcas: I was just riffing on 3artful's comment about people undervaluing Denzel because of the obvious (and I'm pretty certain by obvious, 3artful meant his race).

February 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLorax

I'm more in line with The BAFTA voters who have nominated Washington exactly zero times. Although I do agree with the Oscar voters when they nominated him for Malcom X. In fact he should have won for that movie instead of Al Pacino for the god-awful Scent of a Woman. Other than that I would not have nominated him for anything else, like the BAFTAS. I find his acting approach to each of his characters to be essentially the same (a combination of anger, arrogance and showiness). Also, I have never forgotten an interview Bronson Pinchot gave to AV Club where he described working with Washington in the film Courage Under Fire as "one of the most unpleasant human beings I’ve ever met in my life" :

"That [movie] was a low point, because Denzel Washington was behind the incredibly cowardly bullshit of “This is my character, not me.” He was really abusive to me and everybody on that movie, and his official explanation was that his character didn’t like me, but it was a dreadful experience. I spent my salary on time with my shrink just for helping me get through it...I’ve never taken abuse again. And I wasn’t vile or anything, it just ripped out of me. Denzel Washington cured me forever of thinking that there is any amount of money or anything that could ever, ever make it okay to be abused. The script supervisor on that movie said it’s like watching somebody kick a puppy. He was so vile. And after that, I just would never endure it again."

Some time later he elaborated in an interview with Vulture by stating "...and I would like to amend my statement by saying I found his willingness to be ungenerous, unkind, knowingly hurtful both mentally and physically to myself and the crew to be the saddest misuse of stardom I have ever experienced or hope to experience."

It's a great interview (one of the best I've read). His words about Tom Cruise on the set of Risky Business are equally devastating But his experience with Washington has always stayed with me. Before reading that interview a friend of mine was working at the CityTV studios, here in Toronto (where I live) as a host on a talk show. Anyway, one night at a birthday party where I, my friend, and his staff attended, the subject of 'worst celebrity experience' came up, and it was unanimous for them all that Washington was the worst experience of any other guest. The word "diva" was thrown around a lot and as well as "arrogant", "unpleasant" and "condescending". I never thought much about his acting before these two experiences, but I think I thought even less about his acting afterwards. He just seems to be that guy he plays in real life, and not acting. But, at any rate, clearly BAFTA voters have no love for him either.

Here is the Pinchot interview should anyone want to read it. Needless to say, he has nothing but fond memories of working with Tom Hanks:

https://www.avclub.com/bronson-pinchot-1798218088

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIshmael

Ishmael: So his acting is a combination of anger, arrogance and showiness, eh. Sounds like almost every acclaimed actor ever (especially those tortured genius types like Marlon Brando, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Al Pacino and Daniel Day-Lewis). Denzel is in good company. Funnny you mention BAFTA, because they are institutionally racist, so I wouldn't go using them as some sort of ideal measuring stick for Denzel's worth as an actor. Huffington Post just posted a damning artiicle of BAFTA's historical racism yesterday (and Denzel was mentioned in the article a lot). The statistic of that organisation when it comes to race are damning. Here's the article

THE BLOG
Bias At The Baftas: The Stats Behind Diversity
95% of the nominees for Best Actor were white - the same percentage as for Best Actress
21/02/2018 16:48 GMT | Updated 15 hours ago
Denzel Washington is one of the most celebrated actors to have ever come out of Hollywood. He has won practically every award worth winning: two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, one Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Tony. He’s even been nominated for a Grammy.

Despite all of this success, however, Washington has never been nominated, let alone won, a BAFTA. Whilst his exclusion by the British Academy is surprising, it is unfortunately, according to analysis Jo Kandola and I have carried out into the BAFTAs, typical of the experience of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) actors.

We examined eleven award categories: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Rising Star, Best Director, Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay and the Fellowship. The first five categories could be considered to be in front of the camera and the latter six, behind.

First the good news. Every male BAME nominee has gone on to win Best Actor; an impressive 100% conversion ratio. The bad news is that only five have ever been nominated. Three of the winners were black, one South Asian (from the Indian sub-continent) and one from East Asia.


95% of the nominees for Best Actor were white - the same percentage as for Best Actress. Unlike their male counterparts, however, no BAME woman has ever succeeded in winning the award.

There are a number of factors that could explain why there is such disparity. Firstly, we could be witnessing bias on the part of BAFTA voters. It’s difficult to determine the ethnicity of the voting members, but to its credit, BAFTA has tried. In 2016, BAFTA’s 7,500 members were sent a survey to complete on an anonymous and voluntary basis. The results revealed that 41% of respondents were female, 13% from minority ethnic groups and there was a median age of 52.

However, over half of the members (54%) didn’t respond, making it difficult to draw any firm conclusions from this particular study. This type of approach is not considered unusual in many organisations, and so the poor response to BAFTA’s survey unfortunately tells a tale in itself. In an industry where people will publicly declare their liberal, open-minded and tolerant attitudes, the fact that less than half could be bothered to take part in an effort to identify potential problems makes it hard to believe that they would endorse anything more proactive.

Another area to explore is nominations. When black actors were first cast in films, they would regularly be found in highly stereotypical roles, such as The Mammy - a black female slave, whose role is to look after the children of her owners.

As times have changed, these highly defamatory depictions became unacceptable to white audiences. Now though, a new set of rules appears to be in place. Our BAFTA analysis of the BAME winners and nominees in the front-of-camera awards suggests that to be considered, they needed to be performing what we term a race-related role, i.e. no-one other than a minority could have played it.

The successful BAME actors and actors were also likely to be portraying real people. The five winning Best Actor performances, for example, were for Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi). Ray Charles (Ray), Idi Amin (The Last King of Scotland), Solomon Northup (12 Years a Slave), and Dith Pran (The Killing Fields).

The advice to BAME men would therefore appear to be that if you want recognition for a performance, play a real person. As the Denzel Washington conundrum reveals though, having played the lead in several biopics, there is still no guarantee of an award.

BAME women, comparatively, have a much better chance of gaining a Best Supporting Actress award. BAME women comprise 7% of the nominees in this category and 17% of the winners, having won on eight occasions. However, there is clearly still bias at play, considering that most of the roles in which BAME women have succeeded could be considered race-related.

Part of the reason for the longevity of stereotypes in film, and the media more generally, is that the majority audience had an understanding, albeit racist, of the characters and so had no difficulty believing in them. This norm appears to have been replaced, however, with black and minority actors playing famous people. It’s an improvement but one that is still limiting the roles that are available to minorities.

My final point though, is that the nominations and the awards are nothing more than a reflection of bias in the industry and the people who are lucky enough to work in it. In his opening monologue as host of the 2016 Oscars ceremony, Chris Rock welcomed everyone to “the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.” He went on to say, “You see all these writers and producers and actors? They don’t hire black people and they’re the nicest white people on earth!”

Racism has changed. The ‘old-fashioned’, overt racism that was a feature of the film industry many years ago has not gone away, but has been replaced with something that is seen as more acceptable. In actuality, however, ‘modern’, more subtle racism is just as exclusive. And it’s carried out by ‘nice’ people.

This still doesn’t completely explain the Denzel Washington but may go a long way to doing so.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/bias-at-the-baftas-the-stats-behind-diversity_uk_5a8c54cfe4b0d2548d37c483

As for Pinchot.... the guy sounds overly sensitive, and not made for dramatic movies with serious method actors. He even admitted Denzel was a method actor, and his character wasn't supposed to like him, and he acted out that way on set "in character". Dakota Fanning, was like a 7 year old girl when she worked with Denzel on Man On Fire, and Denzel was even beng "method" with her. He didn't really talk her until they were supposed to start shooting the scenes where they bond, then her started acting like her surrogate daddy. Tony Scott told Fanning not to get offended if Denzel was ignoring her for a bit, because that's part of his process to keep things real and spontaneous. And Fanning, being the little pro that she is said, "it's OK, I've worked with Sean" (meaning Sean Penn, another very Method guy on I Am Sam). It makes Pinchot look pretty bad that a 7 year old kid could cope with Denzel's intense method style on set, while he's crying like a baby.

Most actors admit Denzel isn't on set to make friends and takes the work ultra seriously, but almost every actor that works with him say they come out better for the experience, as his focus, dedication and professionalism is legendary. I can literally find20-30 testimonials from co-stars who say they loved they experience of working with Washington (even on the Pinchot movie Courage Under Fire, Matt Damon and Lou Diamond Philips have gushed multiple times in interviews about working with Washington on that movie). Pinchot should probably stay in his lane, which are sitcoms and Eddie murphy comedies.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMorgna

Jesus, those BAFTA statistics are awful.

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrane

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