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Denzel Washington a 'Smooth Operator,' Talks Plight of Women in Hollywood, Needing to Stay Busy

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 13, 2012 at 4:05PM

The Guardian's interview with director/star Denzel Washington, whose movie "Safe House" shows his marquee value, reaffirms the man as one smooth operator. He shares details of his personal routine -- he boxes five mornings a week: "It's therapeutic for me. It's tricky, especially in LA, for an actor, and for a successful actor. Everybody else gets up and goes to work in the morning. So you need to make work."
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Washington, Safe House
SAFE HOUSE

The Guardian's interview with director/star Denzel Washington, whose movie "Safe House" shows his marquee value, reaffirms the man as one smooth operator. He shares details of his personal routine -- he boxes five mornings a week: "It's therapeutic for me. It's tricky, especially in LA, for an actor, and for a successful actor. Everybody else gets up and goes to work in the morning. So you need to make work." Otherwise, he warns, you risk "not being a part of the world. I thought I wanted to do that for a while, I tried that for a while, for about eight months maybe 12 years ago, and I thought: 'OK, this is not for me; I need to stay busy'."

He's staying busy with "2 Guns," set to shoot with co-star Mark Wahlberg and "Contraband" director Baltasar Kormakur, and he's also eyeing the script for a Thelonious Monk biopic: "I'm talking about it more, so maybe I'm talking myself into it."

He shares some insight into the plight of women in Hollywood, piqued by comments from his Broadway "Fences" co-star Viola Davis (whom he cast in "Antwone Fisher") on African-American actresses in Hollywood. "Black or white, there seems to be a cut-off for women. Don't have a couple of kids; you're out the door. They're constantly looking for the younger one, the younger one."

He adds: "For African-American women, women of color, it's doubly hard." His own daughter is studying acting and he tells her to watch Davis and to get on stage: "'Learn to be the best actor you can be, so that you'll always work, you'll be able to go from stage to television to movies.'"

In appreciation of Washington's work, ThePlaylist has the Five Best Denzel Washington Performances, which include "Devil In A Blue Dress." They state the case for a sequel here.

He talks to CBS News below:

This article is related to: Headliners, Interviews , Box Office, Directors, Genres


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.