Denzel Washington 1

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Information about Denzel Washington 1

Published on March 4, 2009

Author: RoyalTee



This is my cover story on Denzel Washington. I attended the movie premiere of "American Gangster" at the Apollo Theater in Upper Manhattan in New York. Harlem was abuzz with massive star power.

cover story DENZEL Unparalleled Dignity Words by Terry Shropshire Images by Hiltron Bailey for Steed Media Service “Well, I can say for one, of all those films that you mentioned, there [are] no black people in any of them,” says the two-time Academy Award winner. “So for one, this is a Harlem story about a guy who’s a kingpin, a different kind of kingpin. The situation is basically the same, different movies of course, the business was the same. But this is different; it’s dealing with a guy from Uptown.” Washington’s family is also from Uptown (his mother was born in Harlem and he was raised in nearby Mount Vernon, N.Y.), which partially explains why locals treat him like a priceless artifact. After three decades in the business, Washington is accustomed to such genuflection whenever he ventures out into public . What is not so well-known is the universal admiration he garners from those in the industry. There is something about the man known simply as Denzel, that after Mass Appeal having worked with him, actors emerge from the collaboration as if they’ve experienced a religious conversion. And we’re Black America has long been fascinated by the not just talking about B-level, talented Mr. Washington … but so has everyone else. Here are some of the roles that have helped nebulous schlebs panting over Washington transcend the color barrier. Washington like lapdog flunkies. These are longtime moviemakers Glory (1989) N and thespians that often Pvt. Trip provide unsolicited testimony to EW YORK – A battalion of ominous black storm clouds, teeming Washington’s singular greatness. Much Ado About with atmosphere-altering motives, invades the airspace above Upper Two-time Oscar winner Tom Nothing (1993) Manhattan and menacingly sizes up the world-renowned Apollo Theater. Hanks (Forrest Gump) called Don Pedro of Aragon The sun, which threw down a blanket of warmth just moments earlier, his work with Washington on beats a hasty retreat behind the horizon. These aerial intruders seem Philadelphia like “going to The Pelican Brief intent on mocking this most momentous (and rarest) of occasions as it prepares Harlem film school,” adding that he (1993) and the world premiere of American Gangster for a torrential thrashing. learned more about acting from Gray Grantham But for all of its pretense and posturing, the clouds merely belched some minor Washington than anyone he ever precipitation, opting instead to survey the sensational spectacle below. There were enough met. Last year, two-time Academy Philadelphia stars in attendance to decorate a Christmas tree in Times Square. The requisite contingent (1993) Award winner Jodie Foster, who of hip-hop stars were orbited by a constellation of hangers-on, and flanked by female Joe Miller starred opposite Washington in groupies with enough meat on them to feed a pride of lions for a week. Inside Man, fawned over him like Denzel Hayes Washington Jr., regal in presence and resplendent in appearance, looked Crimson Tide a teenager with a crush, saying (1995) at least 10 years younger than his 52 years. The acclaimed actor approached the red “he is simply the best actor I’ve Lt. Commander Ron carpet following a palatial procession of family, friends and dignitaries which included; ever worked with.” Hunter his wife of 24 years, Pauletta (Pearson) Washington, Diddy, Jay-Z, TV empress Barbara And who will ever forget Walters, Method Man, L.A. Reid, Judge Greg Mathis and Rev. Al Sharpton, as well as the frenetic, one-woman Courage Under Fire A-list thespians Diane Lane, Armand Assante, Josh Brolin and Cuba Gooding Jr. Notables cheerleading campaign Julia (1996) like Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, comedian Damon Wayans, and Mel Gibson came Roberts engineered to help (in Lt. Colonel Nathaniel out to the Los Angeles premiere a week later. Just before the red carpet tent was closed, her mind, anyways) Washington Serling Washington and those massive walls of humanity called his bodyguards escorted the local bring home the Oscar for Training hero to the pandemonium behind the barricades to shake hands with his frenetic fans. Day in 2001. “He is the best The Bone Collector When they saw their “Denzel” coming, they unfurled bloodcurdling screams that were loud (1999) actor of this generation, hands enough to halt birds in mid-flight. Lincoln Rhyme down. I cannot absorb living in a The fact that organizers chose to hold the premiere and afterparty in Harlem was world where I have an Oscar for Remember the Titans shocking to most reporters, who are accustomed to the more ostentatious hotel palaces Best Actress, and Denzel doesn’t (2000) further south in Midtown Manhattan. Another departure from convention was the decision have one for Best Actor,” Roberts Coach Herman Boone by Hollywood moguls to shell out big money to make the film, American Gangster, about told People magazine that year. African American crime figure Frank Lucas. Detailed extensively in national publications, “He should be on his third Oscar Training Day Lucas’ real-life story is astonishing to most, because of the sheer depth and scope of by now, and that might not be (2001) his international empire and the absolute audacity of his will. Frank Lucas was a ‘70s- enough.” Alonzo era gangster whose meteoric rise in the international heroin enterprise elevated his status His extraordinary acting skills above that of the Italian Mafia — even to the point that some of the mafiosi worked for him. alone aren’t the only justification The Manchurian So when Washington is asked about where American Gangster falls within the pantheon for the level of respect he Candidate of classic gangster films (i.e., the Godfather trilogy, Goodfellas, Scarface, etc.), he speaks (2004) receives inside and outside the about this crime of omission in the nation’s history. Ben Marco industry. True, Washington has 18 november 08, 2007/

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