Denzel Washington is truly an actor’s actor, inspiring a generation while continuing to be one of the most bankable names in Hollywood. He’s done epic drama in films such as “Malcolm X”, action in blockbusters like “Man On Fire”, and now he takes the lead once again in complicated drama “Flight”, directed by “Back To The Future” filmmaker Robert Zemeckis.
He portrays a pilot with a serious drinking problem who becomes a national hero after a plane he is flying goes into free fall, and he steers himself and his passengers to safety. “It was an interesting opportunity for me as an actor” he remarks on playing the role. “I had the opportunity to take part in various flight training exercises for that side of the character, and then the rest was really in this wonderful script.”
There was also the opportunity to work with Zemeckis, a legendary filmmaker who has been out of live-action filmmaking for a while. “He was great” the actor affirms, “it’s nice to have that; a director who will let you approach the role in your own way and has the same passion for the project that you do. The trust we had in each other was very important.”
The film has been nominated for two Oscars at this month’s Academy Awards, including a nomination for Best Actor for Washington’s lead performance. He’s certainly no stranger to Oscar, having won two ‘Best Actor’ awards already. However, with so many great actors in the running for that award (including Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”), how does he rate his chances? “Oh, I don’t know” he shrugs, before adding “it still feels good to know that people appreciate what you’re doing.”
Finally, having played a lawyer, a train driver, a spy, a politician and a detective to name but a few, are there any professions he would still like to play on screen. “”I don’t know. What’s left? Milkman?” he says, laughing.
What Did James Think?
Washington is on fine form playing a pilot whose heroics in saving his passengers from a deadly crash uncovers a sinister truth both about his life and the way tragedy is dealt with in both the media and business worlds. Despite his performance, “Flight” meanders too much over the course of the story and by the time we get to the rather unsatisfying climax you’ll be leaving a little unfulfilled.
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