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Black Hollywood: Denzel Washington brings the heat as ‘The Equalizer’

Denzel Washington attends '2 Guns' New York Premiere at SVA Theater on July 29, 2013 in New York City.
(Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Denzel Washington is a proven versatile actor. From Broadway to the big screen, the Oscar-winning actor has proved over and over again that he can transform into just about any kind of character. The “Training Day” star does it again in the upcoming film “The Equalizer” based on the classic 1980s TV show. In an interview with USA Today published on April 22, Washington talks about the perks of playing an action hero.

In the film, Washington plays Robert McCall, a former black ops commando who comes out of retirement to save a young girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who is kidnapped by Russian gangsters. Playing a character who doesn’t want to kill, but will when he has to, Washington is able to bring the heat when its time to turn vigilante to save those who need his help. Director Antoine Fuqua, who worked with Washington on the set of “Training Day”, said his ability to turn on that vigilante switch is impressive.

“There’s a switch that (Washington) turns on that’s just scary. There’s a sustained intensity even in casual mode, like a panther. If it’s turned against you, you’re going to be in a bad place,” said Fuqua referring to Washington’s version of McCall.

Although it is an action film, Fuqua strays away from overuse of guns in the film because he wanted the focus to be on Washington’s physical performance. That’s why moviegoers will only see believable action sequences in which Washington performs himself. It is this action, along with the overall story of the script that intrigued Washington o the film and not any familiarity associated with the popular TV series. He also couldn’t turn down an opportunity to work with Fuqua again.

“The title doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s the material. It’s a classic story, the innocent girl and the guy coming to save the day and kick some butt. You’ll get some popcorn and escape for a couple hours.”

If the movie is a hit, it will also give Denzel Washington a shot at creating a potential action franchise, but as Washington points out, “the audience will decide that.” He says the business part of it will have to take care of itself before they can start looking down the road to sequels.

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