Denzel Washington on enjoying Macbeth and the legacy of Sidney Poitier

Denzel Washington has been enjoying Shakespearean roles since he was 20. The latest is Lord Macbeth in Joel Coen’s new Apple TV+ movie The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Ahead of its launch this Friday, the 67-year-old actor sat down with Q host Tom Power to speak about working with Coen and Frances McDormand (who stars as Lady Macbeth), in addition to the latest demise of his pal and fellow actor Sidney Poitier.

Washington has mentioned a part of the rationale he took the function was to work with McDormand and Coen, who’re married.

“[Coen] is a genius. [McDormand] is another genius. Two sides of the same coin, you know? He’s putting it together and she delivers,” he mentioned.

“It’s just her energy coming into the room. She’s just a unique individual, first of all, and powerful and strong and talented. So that energy coming into the room lifts your game up immediately. Like ‘Oh, this is Frances McDormand. Like OK — right, here we go.’ You know? It’s fun. It’s exciting.”

A new tackle Macbeth

The extremely stylized rendition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth had been within the works for just a few years. The staff began filming in 2020, based mostly on a script tailored by Coen. It was shot in black and white with a really austere, virtually stage-like feeling on display.

“Shakespeare is Shakespeare. We [actors] have to step up. The standard has already been established, you know, ‘Can you handle it?’ is the question,” Washington mentioned.

“That’s the thrill of it. You don’t know. Just because Joel and Frances and I and Shakespeare were there doesn’t mean it’s going to turn out well. In this case, it did.”

The Tragedy of Macbeth will be obtainable on Apple TV+ on Friday. It was launched in theatres in Canada on Dec. 25, however cinemas are actually closed in lots of elements of the nation because of the pandemic.

Washington on Sidney Poitier’s legacy

On Jan. 6, legendary actor Sidney Poitier, who was one among Washington’s associates, died on the age of 94.

Poitier was the primary Black man to win an Academy Award for greatest actor, in 1964, for his efficiency in Lilies of the Field. Few movie stars had the affect Poitier did, and he was acknowledged with a particular lifetime achievement Academy Award in 2002.

That was the identical 12 months that Washington and Halle Berry made historical past by turning into the primary Black actors to win main efficiency awards on the Oscars.

That evening, Washington thanked Poitier off the top of his speech.

Poitier later remarked in 2014 that he was indebted to the work Washington had executed and grateful that he had “taken the concept of African Americans in films to a place where I couldn’t, I didn’t, and he has taken it there with the same kind of integrity that I tried to do and to articulate. So I thank him for that. He helped me that evening to a closing of my artistic life. He put the button on it for me. And I’m indebted to him.”

Washington mentioned he hadn’t heard Poitier’s phrases till his interview with Q.

“I’m at a loss for words,” he mentioned.

The pair first met when Poitier got here to see Washington in a play early in his profession and met him backstage to inform him he had loved the efficiency.

“[He] was grinning, you know, from ear to ear because it’s Sidney, and he came up to me and he said, ‘You know, you’re good. You are good.’ And I was like, ‘Yes, sir.’ You know, what do you say? ‘Yes, I’ll be better tomorrow,'” Washington mentioned.

“Just for him to say that — for a 20-year-old, 21-year-old actor, that’s all you want to hear. That’s all you need to hear.”

Listen to the total interview with Q right here:

Q19:20Denzel Washington on The Tragedy of Macbeth and the brilliance of Sidney Poitier

In a Canadian unique interview, actor Denzel Washington spoke with Tom Power about his flip as Lord Macbeth within the new movie The Tragedy of Macbeth, and what the legacy of the late Sidney Poitier means to him. 19:20

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