Denzel in his own words. Ask me anything. Victoria's helping me out.

update: well, enjoy life, work hard, understand that between your GOALS, and your achievements, in order to ACHIEVE your goals, you must apply discipline, and consistency. In order to achieve your goals, you must apply discipline and consistency - and never confuse movement with progress. Because you can run in place and not get anywhere. Peace.

Comments: 3815 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

Maccas752248 karma

Your performance in Remember The Titans continues to inspire and motivate me to this day, Denzel. What inspires and motivates you in life?

_DenzelWashington2553 karma

Well, that film was really fun for me, because I've been a coach most of my life. I grew up in the Boys & Girls club, and I started coaching when I was as young as 12 - the coach quit, so they made me the coach at 12, and the kids were like 10, but I guess i had that ability... I really get a lot of pleasure out of seeing people do well. So that role, for me, was a lot of fun- although he was a tough guy. But I was living out one of my coaching fantasies, I guess! We all think, when we watch TV, that we could do a better job than whoever's on TV...

CaptainCourteous2037 karma

What film or tv role were you offered, turned down and then thought "damn, that would have been great!"?

_DenzelWashington3399 karma

Well, I turned down the movie SEVEN - but then when I saw it, I thought "Man, I made a mistake!" But it still had Brad Pitt!

GrandMasterT1948 karma

You portrayed an alcoholic perfectly in the movie "Flight". What did you do to prepare for that role to bring such realism to a person suffering from that disease?

Edit: Thank you kind stranger for the gold. My first ever.

_DenzelWashington2190 karma

Well, you know, I think it's something that affects us all, you know? If not first person, then someone in the family. But it was written by a guy who's been, I guess, sober for 15, 20 years, and directed by someone who's been sober for 20 years, so it was written very specifically, and really good scripts are hard to come by. Like SEVEN! So when I read it, I just knew, wow, this one is good. It's strong, but it's also very good. And I had to be a part of it.

GrandMasterT1700 karma

'2 Guns' with Mark Walberg was a really funny movie. Have you thought about venturing into more comedic roles?

_DenzelWashington2455 karma

I definitely have, you know? And that's something I'm always on the lookout for. Yes, absolutely want to do more. I actually have a script for a remake of UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT that Will Smith wants to put together, that's been written and that we're talking about. You can hit Will up and ask him what he's waiting for.

doinkypoink1503 karma

What can I do, Denzel, to get a perfect smile as yours?

_DenzelWashington2996 karma

It comes from the inside. Think good thoughts, be positive. I'll send you the number of my dentist...but think good thoughts. It starts in your heart.

mrshatnertoyou1377 karma

Denzel you have been married to the same woman for over thirty years and have managed to work in Hollywood for just as long. What do you attribute your success in being able to keep such a long lasting relationship in show business where divorce is a dime a dozen?

_DenzelWashington1888 karma

Well, you know, I don't know if it's show business that has a monopoly on divorce, it's just that you hear about it. I don't know what statistics are, or I don't know if people in show business have a higher rate of divorce, but I just think that you have to work at it. Not give up on each other. It's a commitment. It's not all the honeymoon, it doesn't last forever, so you work at it. And hopefully you're good friends first, that might help! Sometimes people get married for the right reasons. But I don't know that it's any higher in Hollywood... not necessarily. It's talked about, it's news, and "celebrities" make the news, so you hear about it more. I wonder if they ever did a comparison by profession, you know, bankers, accountants, actors, doctors, I wonder where show business would land, I don't think it would be at the top... marriage counselors! haha! They probably know better, right?

TheDuskDragon1289 karma

How the hell do you still look half your age?

_DenzelWashington2408 karma

Good genes. My mother is... maybe I shouldn't say her age. I come from a good gene pool. When I was young-young, it took a long time for me to be able to get into clubs, and my oldest daughter, she's mid-twenties now, she looks twelve or thirteen, so I think it's just genetics. And exercise, and eating right, but you know - Father Time is undefeated.

I-Molest-Sheep1091 karma

Denzel, you once said that you "Don't want movie-star friends", why is this?

EDIT: Oh my god Denzel acknowledge something I wrote

_DenzelWashington1794 karma

I'm glad you asked that. I'm not sure I said that. I said "I don't have" - what I was talking about when I said that is that my closest friends aren't movie star friends, not that i don't WANT movie star friends. And it depends on your definition of the word "Friend." My close friends are old friends, and none of them happen to be actors. I didn't mean that to say that I wouldn't befriend someone because they were an actor. I just, you know, my close friends are old friends. And it also depends on the word friends, and close friends. I have about 2, 3, 4 close friends. And a couple of them I've known since before I was an actor. I guess it sounded like a catchy thing to what the person wanted to say, and also most movie stars or successful actors are busy, so someone's off shooting something else while I'm shooting somewhere else... but it's never been my nature to make fast friends that I could truly call my friends.

Now a very, very good friend of mine is a musician. Lenny Kravitz. Wait, he just did an AMA? That's CRAZY. Did you mention to him that you were talking to me? That is crazy. So I got a superstar friend! Not a movie star friend but a rockstar! But it just so happens that none of my close friends are movie stars, for whatever reason, not because I didn't want them to be. If it was someone I knew from a long time ago, and they became a movie star, I wouldn't say that I wouldn't want them to be my friend anymore just because they became a movie star.

BigTalk451083 karma

Would you be interested in being the next James Bond?

_DenzelWashington3395 karma

The next James Bond? They better hurry up! Yes I would! Who's doing James Bond now..Daniel Craig! Did they shoot another one? Everybody should tweet Denzel is James Bond! Send it to the studio! We start the Denzel is Bond campaign today!

James Washington. Denzel Bond!

chasmang967 karma

Have you ever been approached to do an action film alongside Liam Neeson? I feel like that would be awesome to watch.

_DenzelWashington1428 karma

Actually, that could be interesting.

I won't say yes but that could happen one day.

JakeyBran951 karma

Hey Mr. Denzel! I'm a big fan of your movie "The Book of Eli", and I'm curious. How long did it take to learn the choreography for the fight scenes? And how difficult is it to actually perform those moves? I imagine there'd be a couple of takes!

_DenzelWashington1244 karma

There were a lot of takes. We worked on those fight scenes for a month. They were well-choreographed, and in fact, there's one scene where i think I fight 15 different guys at once - we actually worked it so I could fight 15 guys at one time! I did ninety percent, I don't know what percent, my own stunts, the stuntmen didn't have to do as much, but that was mostly me.

salmonderp837 karma

A lot of the marketing for The Equalizer has focused around the new Eminem song, "Guts Over Fear". Are you and Eminem fan yourself and if so, what is your favorite song of his?

_DenzelWashington1780 karma

Eminem, yes, and I like Nas, and Jay-Z. Eminem and NAS are real wordsmiths. So yes, I'm DEFINITELY an Eminem fan. Where's he been? Where you been Eminem?

UnholyDemigod763 karma

A lot of your roles seem to be a man who is always willing to do what it takes; someone who goes the extra yard when nobody else will, someone who will do the wrong thing for the greater good, etc. do you find that you emulate this persona, or is it just a character you are good at playing?

_DenzelWashington855 karma

Well, I'd like to think that I, you know, try to do the right thing. I don't emulate the character that I'm playing, this is life, I don't say "Oh, what would Robert McCall do" -but there's a part of me in every role i play. And there's things you learn, not just from shooting the movie, but also from the experience with the people you shoot the movie with. There are lessons learned from shooting movies, but I couldn't give you a specific example.

Hausenkamp686 karma

What are some hobbies of yours that people might not expect?

_DenzelWashington1826 karma

Well, I think I talk about boxing, I like to box. I don't have a lot of hobbies... My sports days are over, but I still box. And I've been fortunate to live through my kids through athletics, I had a son who played in the NFL, he's an actor now, he's starring in a new series for HBO called "Ballers" about football players. He co-stars with The Rock! So Look for him on HBO! I can hear him now, Dad, don't say that... but I'm a proud poppa, of all my children.

BlackStarrLine665 karma

Mr. Washington! You are a very funny and highly charismatic man.

Why have you never hosted Saturday Night Live?

_DenzelWashington1422 karma

That's a good question! I need to do that!

It's not too late! They're still on right? They've been on like 30 years, right?

Call NBC and tell them Denzel needs to host!

oscarveli627 karma

Mr. Washington you are one of the best actors ever, who was your favorite actor growing up?

Edit: Wait a minute . . . tree fiddy? I ain't givin' you no tree fiddy, you goddamn Loch Ness Monster! Get your own goddamn money!

_DenzelWashington988 karma

Wow. Well, when I was little, you know, when I was a teenager, I was watching a lot of black exploitation, and Sidney Poitier... I didn't actually watch a lot of movies when I was a young kid. My father was a minister and I wasn't allowed to watch a lot of movies, so I didn't watch a lot of movies until my young adult years, which was at the height of the "blacksploitation" era, so Ron O'Neill, Richard Roundtree, SHAFT, those are the movies I dug when I was a teenager. Three the Hard Way, which we called three-fifty the hard way, because that's how long ago it was, it only cost $3.50...

rowmac89611 karma

How did the recent passing of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter affect you? Loved your portrayal of him in The Hurricane!

_DenzelWashington991 karma

Rubin was a great friend, and his partner (who helped him in the last years of his life, as I did, as well) brought me a great gift. I was doing a play on Broadway, and he brought me Rubin's midway championship belt that he won in 1963. So that's a prized possession of mine that I have in my house. He was a dear, dear person.

GrandMasterT607 karma

Mr. Washington, when filming for 'Crimson Tide', did you get to experience life on a real nuclear submarine?

_DenzelWashington1035 karma

Yes I did! I had the opportunity to go out on a sub, a real sub, and it's a lot smaller than you think. That's the great thing about my job, I get to be a boxer one day, a submarine captain the next, or in The Equalizer, somebody who takes things into their own hands.

scarborough817575 karma

denzel what is it like being the greatest actor ever?

_DenzelWashington1497 karma

I'll let you know when I find out! But thank you.

CaptainApathy419518 karma

What is one fact about you that would surprise most people?

What was it like being People's Sexiest Man Alive? Did it suck when you had to hand over the crown to Clooney?

_DenzelWashington2347 karma

Hmmm. I don't know? Trying to think of something... I do love classical music. Hopefully that wouldn't surprise people! I'm a closet comedian. Hahaha! I have a quick wit, I don't know if I could do jokes, but i'm a wise guy (not in the Italian sense).

Embarrassing. I mean, come on... alive? Embarrassing. I was like, come on now. And then when they pick the next person, are you like, second now? Is it just one year, and then you're what - it's like a Used Car, used Sexiest Man Alive dealership? The Almost Sexiest Man alive dealership? Who's the sexiest man now, Adam Levine? He sits next to me at the Laker Games. He's on the Voice? Who's this year's? It's November when they announce it... Can't you be the sexiest man for 2 years running? ALIVE... that's a mouthful... sexiest man alive. I didn't give the title to Clooney, they take it from you! I'm NEVER going to relinquish the title. I'm STILL the Sexiest Man Alive.

Make sure you write: I'm joking.

seismicor399 karma

I'm a big fan of Fallen. Would you consider starring in more horror movies? Are you a fan of horror movies? Can you tell us your favourites?

_DenzelWashington519 karma

Yeah, I would! I mean, I like them. Yes. Yes I would. Nobody's asked me!

_DenzelWashington747 karma

But I definitely would. When I was a kid, THE EXORCIST scared the bejeezus out of me. That was a crazy movie. Yeah, I'd love to do a horror movie. And why does the girl always fall down in front of the monster? She always trips and falls JUST in time for the monster to get her. What's up with that? Maybe that's just the old movies. Maybe she doesn't fall down as much any more.

zenithica388 karma

What song would you sing for karaoke?

_DenzelWashington1032 karma


It would have to be some kind of a... my son used to sing I BELIEVE I CAN FLY, when he was little, and he couldn't say the words, and he would say "I BEWEEV I CAN FAWY." You know? All we had to do was start the song, and he would just start singing - "I Beweev I can touch the sky!"

dayofthedead204363 karma

Hi Denzel,

I’m a huge fan – thanks for doing this AMA!

As a part of your role in “American Gangster” did you meet the real Frank Lucas? If so – what did you think of the meeting?

My final question is – are you a fan of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” and if so who is your favorite character? Thanks again!

_DenzelWashington596 karma

I spent a lot of time with Frank. We rode all around Harlem. He'd come to the house all the time, telling me about his past and the business he was in, the regrets that he has. We spent a lot of time together.

Never saw the show! Never seen it.

seismicor334 karma

What movie genres do you like as a movie fan? Is there any genre you would like to explore but didn't have the opportunity yet?

_DenzelWashington994 karma

You know what? I'm on a Stanley Kubrick trip right now. I've just been watchin' all of his films. I watched FULL METAL JACKET the other day, CLOCKWORK ORANGE, I've always been a fan of Scorsese, but I've sort of been on a Kubrick trip of late. I don't know why. In the next couple of years, I think I mentioned I'm going to direct a film, so I've started to put that hat on and watch how other filmmakers put together their movies. Kubrick was a genius. And simple. I was amazed at how simple his shot selection was. He knew exactly where to put the camera in the right place, it didn't feel like it's been filmed, it feels like reality.

shivan21320 karma

Hi Denzel, will you tell us some good story from your cooperation with Tony Scott?

_DenzelWashington681 karma

Tony was the best. You know? Tony would, he would curse one second, and cry the next. He wore his heart outside of his shirt. You knew how he felt. He was a very passionate and great filmmaker. Totally unafraid. And I really miss him. I just put a picture up, of him, in my room, in my study in my house, and I actually had to cover it up because it was too difficult to look at him. It's almost like he was looking at the camera, like he was looking at me, and I just really miss him.

_DenzelWashington1373 karma

If anybody out there is struggling - please seek help. Don't take your own life in your hands. or if you know someone whom you think is struggling, then don't let it be said that you didn't do all you could do to help them.

unicorn10-10319 karma

What's your favorite animal?

_DenzelWashington623 karma

Hmm. I don't know! the first thing that came into my mind was a panther, but I can't think of a favorite. Probably something in the cat family.

_DenzelWashington660 karma

A leopard. A cheetah.

Tartantyco279 karma

How does it feel knowing that you're the only person to be defeated by a cat in a movie?

Edit: The movie in question is "Fallen", by the way.

_DenzelWashington701 karma


suckingoffsatan265 karma

whats your favorite icecream flavor?

_DenzelWashington809 karma

Oooh! Cherry Vanilla! If I had to pick 3: Cherry Vanilla is first. But then either Chocolate or Butter Pecan, Haagen-Daaz, or Mister Softee for those in New York, small cone. ORIGINAL Mister Softee, not the fake-out trucks! Mister Soft! Master Softee! They got 'em in New York! no, the original Mister Softee. Gotta be very specific.

JoylessMedic260 karma

I'm a C-17 crew chief and I enjoyed the movie "Flight." How much did you have to learn about being a pilot for the role?

_DenzelWashington544 karma

Oh, I dug it! I got a chance to work with Delta airlines, I got in their flight simulators - we simulated takeoffs, not landings, because we were crashing the plane anyways... like I said, I have a great job. I get to be a pilot one day, Malcolm X the next, I get to drive a train (which I got to learn on UNSTOPPABLE - I drove a train for 40 miles or something, you don't have to turn! all you gotta do is follow the lights and keep the speed right and it's a drill).

_DenzelWashington580 karma

Climbing on top of the train was crazy.

Bigassbird259 karma

Dog or cat man?

Also, congrats on never having made a bad film. Seriously, if you're in it then it's great. Even something like Déjà Vu which could easily have been a disaster was amazing.

Keep on being great Mr Washington.

_DenzelWashington954 karma

Dogs. Dogs.

Cats, man, they're too independent. They piss me off. they play when they want, and then they turn their back on you. Dogs, you throw the ball, and they bring it back, tongue hanging out, tail wagging. Cats are like "Not right now, too busy." Definitely a dog man.

_DenzelWashington653 karma

Except when it comes to cleaning up after them! Cats win that!

cdmoura243 karma

Do you get to keep souvenirs from the movies you make? Can you tell us something you keep?

_DenzelWashington568 karma

I kept some swords from Book of Eli, sometimes I keep the costumes - I kept my glasses and hat from MALCOLM X. I did a play on Broadway called Fences, where i played an old baseball player, and i kept the bat. Trying to think of what else I got... those are things I can think off the top of my head. I have the tailor-made suits I wore in Training Day, I have those and the leather jacket. I go home with something.

davrone234 karma

Hi Denzel! Would you ever consider playing a Marvel or DC superhero? I personally think you'd be great as the Green Lantern or Luke Cage.

_DenzelWashington469 karma

Didn't they do the Green Lantern? With Ryan Reynolds! Too late! Green Lantern Returns? Isn't there a comic book, the Black Panther or something?

Sheriffnickgrimes229 karma

Mr. Denzel, in the film "The Preachers Wife" you performed a dance move called "the Popeye." How much work and preparation was put into performing that dance move?

_DenzelWashington389 karma

HA! I just did it in instinctively! I didn't prepare for it at all! I was trying to dance as bad as I could. You must be an older person, if you knew that was The Popeye. Yeahhhh, I haven't heard that, man that is going back. But that's what they called that dance!

_DenzelWashington436 karma

How old are you?

_Sensational_222 karma

Good day Mr. Washington. I am a huge fan of yours, and I am very excited that you are doing this AMA. I have always felt that you have the amazing ability to bring a movie into reality, from film to life. you are an inspiring person and an amazing actor. I have seen so many of your movies, so many favorites but I love more than anything The Book of Eli, The Hurricane, The Great Debaters and Philadelphia.

In 2011 you gave a commencement speech at Penn State University. The most memorable thing about that speech for me was when you said "If you don't fail, you're not even trying" which I thought was an amazing piece of advice. It was one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever heard, and whenever I need some motivation i stick on my headphones and I listen to it.

My two questions for you are:

  1. What was your favorite movie that you worked on?

  2. What advice can you give to the younger generations of today?

Thanks for doing the AMA!

_DenzelWashington442 karma

It was the University of Pennsylvania. And I need to go look at that speech again myself, you know?

But don't be afraid.

Don't be afraid.

If you're passionate about something, then do what you love. Not what you think you have to do. There's life, and then there's making a living. And life is short, so you want to feel passionate about whatever it is you do in life. And sometimes it requires great sacrifice, or you may not be as successful in some people's eyes, financially or otherwise. But do what you love, what you're passionate about.

And I don't have a favorite. I would never pick one, you know. And people ask me what my favorite movie is, I always say my next one, because I enjoy making the movie - each experience is different. And you may have, sometimes it's the character, sometimes it's the movie itself, sometimes it's the people you met, sometimes it's the filmmaker - I couldn't dare pick just one. I remember when I landed my first role, in a movie called Carbon Copy - and even before that, it was a TV movie, because I was still in college, and I landed a role in a TV movie called Wilma, I played a boyfriend who became her husband, and I couldn't believe it. You know, when you're young, when you're starting out, it's still thrilling but not quite like that. Wilma Rudolph was the fastest woman in the olympics in the 1960's. And probably faster than 90% of the guys too.

kevin0627200 karma

Favorite part of filming Training Day?

_DenzelWashington402 karma

I enjoyed, actually - there's a big speech I make at the end, where everybody's walking out on me - King John ain't got nothing on me speech. That section was interesting. And doing the research, because i got to spend a lot of time with Crips and Bloods, and kind of get under the surface and find out what they're about and all that kind of stuff.

Sakura_7193 karma

Who's your favorite superhero?

_DenzelWashington348 karma

That's a tough one. You know, I hate to take a look out the window and think I could jump out like Superman, like Clark... hmmm, I always dug Thor in the comic books. Somewhere between Superman and Thor.

_DenzelWashington820 karma

But you know who I really dug? When I was on vacation a few years back, and I sat, and I said I'm going to watch The Incredibles. MAN that is one of my favorite movies of all time now!

Did you ever see INCREDIBLES? I love that movie!

bpfink8181 karma


Thanks for doing this AMA, I'm a huge fan! One of my favorite films of yours is Ricochet from the early 90's. My question is what was it like working with John Lithgow and do you like his more serious or comedic roles?

_DenzelWashington255 karma

Well, he's a great actor, and one of the few actors that can do serious drama, and can do comedy. And it was a joy and a pleasure to work with him. That was many moons ago. I would love to work with him again. I think he's on Broadway again? A great actor. And a nice man.

Proud_Denzel180 karma

How would you describe your experience with the late Richard Attenborough while working on Cry Freedom?

_DenzelWashington288 karma

Oh, it was great. He was just such a sweet, nice man. A gentle person. And really gave me a lot of confidence at a young age. And that was my first Academy Award nomination, was Cry Freedom. Just a wonderful human being as well as filmmaker.

GetOffMySheet174 karma

Do you sing? It seems like you should sing. Try "Tiiiiiiiime is on my siiiide. Yes it is!"

_DenzelWashington510 karma

One has to recognize one's limitations.

_DenzelWashington477 karma

In my mind, I'm a great singer. For about 3 seconds.

ohheyaubrie162 karma

Mr. Washington - I am a huge, HUGE fan of your work. I'd venture to say I'm your #1 fan, and I am willing to fight for the title if necessary...

Why is it you can't seem to many ANY bad movies? Is there any movie you look back on and have regrets about?

Alternatively, if you could redo one of your movies as a different character in that same film, what movie would it be and who would you play? I would love to see the roles reversed between you and Clive Owen in Inside Man!

_DenzelWashington492 karma

Yes, but I would never say! Because that wouldn't be fair to the people that made the movie. And then there are films that I don't like, and then someone will come up to me and say it's their favorite movie. The movies belong to the people. You make them and you put them out there. For me, I love the process of making films. For me, my favorite film is always my next one.

adityasachdev151 karma

Hello, Denzel. Huge fan from India. 1)How was it like working with Tom Hanks? 2)What kind of music do you listen to? 3) Have you ever been to India? If yes, how'd you like it here? If no, do you ever plan on visiting?

_DenzelWashington414 karma

1) Oh, great. Tom is the best. Tom is the funniest, and most talented, I think I've ever worked with, one of the most. Just a great talent, and obviously, the world knows that.

2) Everything. I go from classical to NAS to whatever, Jay-Z, to R&B, you know. Sometimes I just put my iPod - I have multiple iPods with all kinds of crazy music on them - I might go from Led Zeppelin to Rachmaninoff - just all over the place when it comes to music. And it depends what mood I'm in -if I'm on my way to the gym, I want something up-tempo. I like 1970's music, Earth Wind & Fire. A lot of hiphop.

3) No, I haven't, and I would love to go. Are you inviting me? Meet me at the airport! Pick me up at the airport!

civilservant2011150 karma

Hi Denzel - Easy question(s). Have you ever been to Halifax, Nova Scotia before? What do you think of Canada when you visit? Thanks!

_DenzelWashington410 karma

I have been through Halifax, I think. But I've never spent any time there. Looks like it's nice, but to be honest, haven't spent any time there. And I am on my way to Toronto in about 45 minutes! I'll let you know when I get there. But we did The Hurricane there, John Q, we filmed the Bone Collector in Montreal.. I want to hit Calgary, go to Western Canada. I like Canadians, they're very civilized.

Ron_Tam113 karma

Hi Denzel! Thanks for doing this AMA!

Two questions:

1.) You recently did a stint on Broadway playing the main character in A Raisin in the Sun. What made you decide to return to theatre acting after so many years of making movies?

2.) You have been sentenced to death for a crime you did not commit. What would you choose as your final meal?

_DenzelWashington505 karma

1) Well, when my children - I first returned, I did a Shakespeare in the park, back in 1990, and then I was gone for 15 years until 2005. I did Julius Caesar. And the main reason was because you do 8 shows a week in New York, and I couldn't commute to LA. I didn't want to be away from my wife and my children for that long period of time in their lives, it's 5, 6 months. So until they got old enough, I didn't do any Broadway shows, but as of 2005, I've done 3 in the last few years - in 2010, I did FENCES, and I just finished A RAISIN IN THE SUN. And in the next 3 or 4 years, I plan to go back, if not sooner.

2) I'd fight it to the end. I'm not going to give in. So I wouldn't even be thinking of a final meal. That would mean I gave up. If I'm innocent, I'm going kicking and screaming the whole way. My final meal would be whomever's trying to put the handcuffs on me!

BrodyApproved91 karma

Training Day has always been my favorite movie of all time.
What's your ideal breakfast?

_DenzelWashington251 karma

oOh-wee. I like a good omelet. When I feel like being a slob, I love french toast. But I like a great omelet. And I like a simple breakfast, a little diner, with bacon and eggs and hash browns, some real good greasy funky hash browns, a little OJ, a cup of coffee, I'm good.

JGoodwillieV86 karma

Denzel, I am about to get married. What is the best advice you have for marriage?

_DenzelWashington311 karma

Oh - if you're a guy - two phrases. One is "yes, dear" and the other is "honey, you're right." Be patient. Be good friends first. And stick together. You gotta work at it. I've been married 31 years. It's not all a honeymoon, it's not all flowers and roses, but if you're friends and partners and committed, you'll be okay. And everybody's got advice for you - don't listen.

MarijuanaMajority79 karma

"Training Day" showed a lot of the corruption and violence inherent in the illegal drug trade. Do you think ending the drug war and legalizing some of these drugs, particularly marijuana, can play a role in helping to clean up some of these issues and make communities safer, similar to how ending alcohol prohibition took away a big source of revenue from organized crime?

_DenzelWashington126 karma

Well, one of the differences, with alcohol, it was American-based, so we had, more, I guess, control over the flow (no pun intended). The drug trade is a whole different animal. First of all, there wouldn't be a drug trade without a customer. And there are a lot of customers. And it's an international issue, for the most part. I guess a lot of marijuana is grown in the United States... I guess we'd have to track the statistics in Colorado and see if marijuana-related crime has gone up or down, it's a good guinea pig for that.

thecodguy174 karma

How was working with Mark Wahlberg on 2 Guns?

_DenzelWashington217 karma

Fun. Nice guy. Really, really good guy. He's my neighbor now! He's always got like 15 things working. He's sellin' water, he's the most hustling guy I've ever met, whatever you need he's got it, you can watch that show, Wahlburgers. I watch that show. I like Mom. And I like his brother that owns the burgers, he's a real regular guy, I like him. They take care of mom, they seem like a real tight family that talk about how they didn't have enough to eat in Baahston.

ynmsgames72 karma

What's the weirdest dream you've ever had?

_DenzelWashington179 karma

I had a weird dream last night! I was being chased by something bad, and I woke up and I was like "Man, what was that?" I had the Running Man dream, my wife told me "You were running last night" So I don't know if I was running away from something or running towards something. She says sometimes I run.

indigowine72 karma

Hi Mr. Washington. Big fan of yours. Have you ever wondered why your name is Denzel?

_DenzelWashington231 karma

Because my father's name is Denzel!

Actually, it's pronounced Denzel, and I had to pronounce it Den-ZELL so that I could tell I was being called - so if she was calling for "Denzel" my dad would show up, and if she was calling for "Den-ZELL," then I would respond. Denzel Hayes Washington Junior. So I'm Denzel. But I'm a junior.

wabysaby63 karma

What famous movie lines do you use in real life? IE "may the force be with you."

_DenzelWashington110 karma

Ahaha! I don't know! I don't know that I use any - not regularly. I'll be back. Was it Butch Cassidy where they kept saying Who are those guys? I'm trying to think if there's anything I say from my own movies...

teddylike59 karma

Hi Denzel! What are your favorite pizza toppings?

_DenzelWashington185 karma

Well, see, I'm from New York so I like a classic pizza. I like 'em basic, good, italian, thin-crust pizza. I'll have Chicago deep-dish every now and then, but I'm from New York, so a real thin crust pizza. No pineapple and chicken, i don't know what that is, it's a casserole - pizza is mozzarella, tomatoes, you gotta do it the right way. I'm a pizza snob.

JGoodwillieV39 karma

Coffee or tea?

_DenzelWashington130 karma

Coffee! I make my own, every morning. Fresh beans, crush the beans, my wife gets all the beans, she's got like 20 bags in the freezer and I make my coffee. That's my idea of cooking, that's all I cook, coffee.

zenithica36 karma

Do you own a onesie?

_DenzelWashington84 karma

A onesie? No, I don't wear pajamas!

Singh59632 karma

Favorite place for a vacation?

_DenzelWashington70 karma

Oh man. On a boat. Somewhere on the water. Gotta be somewhere near the water. By the water, in the water, on the water.

fl0wra1n31 karma

Good afternoon Denzel, big fan here. If you were to walk into a bar I was in, what drink should I buy you?

_DenzelWashington59 karma

Something with grapefruit!

gritsareweird30 karma

In the movie 'Glory', did you just conjure those tears on cue, or did you have to bite your lip or something?

_DenzelWashington61 karma

No, that was just happening in the moment. And it was just one of those moments, and the director captured it. I don't think it happened again, I think it happened all in one take. And the whip was wet and it was starting to hurt. So some of that was real. I was telling the guy "don't be a chump," and he started to hit me hard, but it was just acting.

legendaryme1122 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! Would you rather fight a horse sized duck, or a 100 duck sized horses?

_DenzelWashington89 karma

A horse-sized duck? Or 100 little horses? I want the horse-sized duck so if I win, I can cook him. The duck's gotta go.

ovary_act20 karma

Hey man, I'm glad you're here. As someone in your situation, how do you find good friends? I imagine it could be difficult to find trustworthy and cool people to befriend. Do you ever kick back with normal people? Or do you feel you can you only hang out with other celebrities that understand your lifestyle and can relate to it?

_DenzelWashington34 karma

I actually don't hang out with any celebrities. My closest friends are old friends. And my real close friends, none of them are actors. And you know, some I've known since before I was an actor, and some since, but when you say "friends" - what's the definition of friends? Most of my close friends are old friends.

Nilbop16 karma

Hey Mr Washington, thanks for doing this AMA.

What do you think is your most overrated performance?

_DenzelWashington31 karma

You know, I don't really look at myself. I watch the movies ONCE so that I know what I'm talking about, but I don't really study them... I'm more excited about what I'm going to do, than what I've done. I don't really analyze. I've said it earlier, but movies belong to the people, so movies that I don't think were as good, people have said it's their favorite one of mine, I don't grade them, I don't rate them. Plus it wouldn't be fair to the filmmaker.

_DenzelWashington34 karma

I remember sitting in a screening - I forgot what movie it was - I sat there in a big audience, and I thought "Oh man, this is my work, this is terrible." And then as the lights went up, people were coming up to me saying "Wow, this is the best work you've ever done" and i was like "Thank you, I knew that..." You never know!

two_off7 karma

What are your favourite aspects of being each of an actor, a director, and a producer?

_DenzelWashington11 karma

Well, they're sort of all intertwined. As an actor, just being able to portray the different roles, to walk into these different lives, you know? Like this guy in The Equalizer, or Malcolm X, or to do something silly - as a director, to just collaborate and put great talent around you, not just the actors but cinematographers, editors, music, it's a total collaboration with every aspect of the filmmaking process. And the producer part comes into play with both of them. As an actor, you're producing a character. As a director, you're producing a film! You're making a film. And then there's different kinds of producers - there are creative producers, I look at myself as one. There are producers that go out and raise the money (I'm not that guy). There are people who are very good at that. I didn't have to go out and raise the money to make the films.