Can you move away from what you love? Well, looks like Denzel Washington once thought about it. Known as the greatest actor of the 21st century, Washington once contemplated walking away from acting due to his dwindling interest in the projects he was being offered.
During his four-decade-long career, the actor once found himself amidst doubts while staring at his uncertain acting career.
However, despite it all, Washington soon converted his disillusionment and disenchantment into a career-defining opportunity.
Denzel Washington: a journey from disillusionment to directorial passion
Fortunately, even though the two-time Academy Award winner was grappling with doubts and uncertainty, a 2002 project helped him convert this disillusionment into a pivotal career moment. In 2002, Denzel Washington directed Antwone Fisher, a Navy officer who is sent to Dr Jerome Davenport where he finds a new hope in life.
A still from Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher
In his interaction with Movie Hole, Washington shared how this venture helped him fall in love with acting once again, rejuvenating his passion for the craft. In a 2003 interview, he revealed,
“A couple of years ago I was really bored and I was getting some great roles but just thought I can’t do this anymore. Directing really helped to kick start me as an actor again because I was really tired of it.”
However, this does not mean that the actor did not encounter any challenges during the process. Washington admitted that he had to seek advice from fellow filmmakers when he was faced with the complexities of directing.
Denzel Washington felt that Antwone Fisher was not the ‘first film’ he directed
It’s true that Antwone Fisher marked the beginning of Washington’s journey as a filmmaker. Had it not been for it, the actor wouldn’t have helped other projects like The Great Debaters and Fences. However, despite the experience with his first directorial project, Washington felt that his movie A Journal for Jordan was a collaborative effort with Michael B. Jordan is the first movie he ever actually made.
Still from A Journal For Jordan
“In fact, I never enjoyed headlining and directing. I acted in the movies because I needed to in order to get the money to direct them. So now, for me, this feels like the first film I’ve directed, because I’m not in it. That’s the way I prefer it.”
A major reason why Washington feels that A Journal for Jordan is his very first directorial venture is that it was the first time he directed a movie alone.
While the $23 million grossing Antwone Fisher was a critically acclaimed success, receiving several awards including the National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, and Black Reel Award for Best Films among others, Washinton’s uncertainty during his first project made it one of the most frightening things that he had ever done in life.