“There were times when we didn’t need to talk; we both knew where each other was going,” says Fuqua. Fuqua directed Washington’s Oscar-winning performance in “Training Day” and has since wanted to work with the actor again. 13 years later, he’s gotten his wish. He reteams with Washington in “The Equalizer,” a film that takes its title from the ‘80s television series and shares its central premise – a man, highly trained, who can “equalize” the odds when they are stacked against the helpless.
“Part of what I discovered in ‘Training Day’ is that I can read something on the page that sounds like an action piece, and I know that Denzel will see the acting in that – he can take an action beat and create great drama, as if it’s a dialogue scene,” shares Fuqua. “He’s unpredictable, in the best way possible. Working with him was like getting that rhythm again. It’s like musicians who start to play again and you start to hear that rhythm again.”
Also starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo, Washington plays McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him to lead a quiet life, but when he meets a young girl under the control of Russian gangsters he comes out of self-imposed retirement with all guns blazing. “There was a lot of violence and chaos in his life,” says Washington. “He’s damaged goods and is working real hard to blend in and fit in and has done some awful things in his past that he is not proud of. He meets an innocent young girl who he finds out is being abused and he decides to do something about it. I liked the idea that he wasn’t just some mindless super guy who goes around kicking butt.”
Most recently, Fuqua released the box-office hit “Olympus Has Fallen,” starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman. Other film credits include “Brooklyn’s Finest,” with Richard Gere and Don Cheadle and “Shooter,” with Mark Wahlberg. It was his powerful drama “Training Day” that earned Washington a Best Actor Academy Award in 2001. “The trick with directing Denzel is letting the camera roll because he is unpredictable in the best way possible,” Fuqua continues. “With an actor like him, you don’t want to rush as he brings so many nuances and details to the character.”
by Samantha Ofole-Prince