All the times Denzel Washington was real on film
After last year’s success with Fences, Denzel Washington is returning to the movie theaters with another movie. Roman J. Israel, Esq. is Denzel’s latest work and it’s coming to theaters next week. Written and directed by Dan Gilroy, Roman J. Israel, Esq follows the lawyer Roman J. Israel, who begins to manage a large law firm after his boss has a heart attack.
Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo and Nazneen Contractor are also in the cast, but for now let’s focus on Denzel. Or should I say one specific detail of Denzel’s career. His movies in which he played a real life character. Starting from Cry Freedom in the mid 80’s right until The Great Debaters, a movie that he also directed. He was civil right activist, a boxer, a football coach, drug trafficker in his movies and graced every single one of those roles with his usual charm, warmth and wit.
But for now… let’s look back at all the times Denzel Washington was real on film.
Cry Freedom – 1987
Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Josette Simon…
Fun fact about the movie: Denzel Washington was cast as Steve Biko after Sir Richard Attenborough saw him in an episode of St. Elsewhere (1982).
Malcolm X – 1992
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo…
Fun fact about the movie: After the assassination, all footage of Malcolm X is of the real man, mostly in black and white.
The Hurricane – 1999
Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger…
Fun fact about the movie: The picture of Malcolm X in Hurricane’s cell, is actually a picture of Denzel Washington from the movie Malcolm X (1992).
Remember the Titans – 2000
Director: Boaz Yakin
Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris…
Fun fact about the movie: The state championship game was played at 12 o’clock noon on Saturday, not at night as portrayed in the movie.
American Gangster – 2007
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor…
Fun fact about the movie: Ridley Scott recalls that this production was one of the most massive undertakings of his career. There were 360 scenes filmed in over 180 different locations.
The Great Debaters – 2007
Director: Denzel Washington
Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise…
Fun fact about the movie: The rapper Drake auditioned for a role in this movie.