Denzel Washington’s triumphant performance in Spike Lee’s 1992 biopic perfectly represents the tightrope actors must walk when playing an iconic figure. His multilayered performance in a 1981 off-Broadway play called When the Chickens Come Home to Roost, written by Laurence Holder, gave Washington a stable foundation to continue building upon when he revisited the role a decade later. He even accepted that his character in the hit film had shades of his father. Washington has an almost preternatural ability to become Malcolm X.

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington

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Malcolm X‘s Argument Scene Reminded Denzel Washington Of His Father

Denzel Washington‘s real talent for acting was hidden from the audience until 1989’s Glory, for which he won an Oscar for playing a Civil War private. Or in Malcolm X. Talking about Malcolm X, Denzel Washington shared an incident from the sets.

In an unforgettable scene in that film, Malcolm and his wife, Betty Shabazz played by Angela Bassett, argue in their bedroom about his standing in the Nation of Islam. Then, in a tense dialogue exchange, Malcolm proclaims, “Don’t you raise your voice in my house!”

Denzel Washington
No Other Actor Can Do What Denzel Washington Does in Malcolm X.

Washington shared what made him remember that scene. He revealed, “What’s interesting about that line is that it made me think about my father.” “I don’t know if he actually said that, those exact words, but I remember him sounding like that.” 

In an another interview with GQ, Washington clarified that he wasn’t disappointed with his father, instead he said, “Everyone I grew up with didn’t have a father. I had a father. My father was a decent man. He was a very spiritual man and a gentleman.” Washington, described his mother as the toughest woman and that he is more like his mother.

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Denzel Washington Remembers Last Moments With His Father

In an episode of the pastor’s show, Denzel Washington shared an intimate moment with T.D. Jakes. Washington opened up his last moments with his father, who was a preacher that died of multiple strokes. While working on Malcolm X, Washington recalls being called to come to see his father.

At first sight, he was caught up in the moment and decided to give his father a kiss. His father, who was suffering from the effects of the strokes, did not react well. Washington said, “I had never kissed my father, and he had never kissed me.”

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington with his father.

In one of the previous interviews with GQ when Washington was asked if it was hard being the son of a preacher, he said, “As a child, no. He wasn’t a taskmaster, but there were certain things you couldn’t do. He had his own church, and it was a long Sunday, because you had to be there all day.” 

He added, “I never shed a tear for my father. That sounds like a book or a song. I never did all through the funeral and all that. There was no connection.” Denzel Washington’s parents divorced when he was just 14.

Also, read- “You don’t remember when you met me”: Denzel Washington Doesn’t Remember Meeting a Kid 15 Years Ago He Never Realized Was Drake.

Source: Variety

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