Denzel on his upbringing, 9/11 and staying humble
London: Oscar winning star Denzel Washington has opened about his life and revealed what has made him the man he is today.
At 55, Washington is keeping his age at bay with strict regime of weights, boxing and swimming. The only clue as to his age is a distinguished smattering of grey in his hair.
The strongest influences in Washington’s life were his parents’ work ethic and his father’s church.
“It was nothing special – just a hard-working family. My father worked all the time and he preached at weekends. In my generation nobody saw their father. That’s how life was. He encouraged us to go to high school and then get a job. My mother wanted us to go to college. She wanted more for us,” a news daily quoted him as saying.
Acting is something he ‘fell into’, he said.
“I was studying medicine at college, but found out quickly I didn’t want to be a doctor, as I wasn’t smart enough and I was just bored.”
Aged 20, he began taking drama classes, before starring in productions of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones and Shakespeare’s Othello, which earned him rave reviews.
When asked about his views on 9/11, the actor said, “Islam isn’t to blame for 9/11. Radical factions or aspects of it are to blame. It’s like saying Christianity is responsible for its radical aspects. Everyone has to just be aware of what they’re receiving. It’s not always the truth.”
Washington says that wealth holds little attraction for him.
“My religious instruction has taught me that money doesn’t buy happiness. I once heard a pastor say, “You’ll never see a removal van behind a hearse – you can’t take it with you.” So what you have and where you’ve been doesn’t help in terms of who you are. The question I’m interested in is, “Who have you helped."