Denzel Washington found fame by starring in countless movies and projects throughout his years in Hollywood. With The Equalizer franchise to his name alongside Man on Fire and Flight, Washington is also the recipient of several accolades and awards.
This fame didn’t come to him easily as Denzel Washington often found himself being ignored by the hotshots of Hollywood. The actor revealed in an interview that he once tried to become a hero in a Shakespeare play but veteran actor Morgan Freeman turned him down during his initial days.
Denzel Washington in a still from Equalizer
When Morgan Freeman Turned Down Denzel Washington
Admittedly, it was somewhat of Denzel Washington’s fault too. After graduating from acting school, the actor joined the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. During the practice of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Coriolanus, Washington, and Morgan Freeman had a quick exchange.
Freeman was going to portray the titular character in the play while Denzel Washington was portraying the role of a minor character. This opportunity, however, allowed the actor to cross swords with Freeman during the play. Talking about his interaction, Washington stated on The Kennedy Center that he tried to become the hero of the play by asking Freeman to suffer some wounds from his sword!
“I had a scene where I had this three-hit sword fight with Morgan. And of course, I thought the play was all about my character. So I went up to Morgan and I said: ‘I think maybe I could wound you, cut, slice’. Morgan looked at me with that Morgan Freeman gaze, you know the one I’m talking about, that serious look.”
He further continued,
“He said to me: ‘First of all, what’s your name?’ I said: ‘You don’t know me, I’m Denzel’. He said: ‘Alright, Denzel. We click the swords three times, click click click. I stab you, you fall down, and you die. Quickly’.”
Well, the tables turned around since Denzel Washington starred in the 2021 movie titled The Tragedy of Macbeth as the titular character and was even nominated for an Oscar for the iconic portrayal.
Denzel Washington Was Nominated For An Oscar For Macbeth!
Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)
Being one of the greatest tragedies of William Shakespeare, Washington starred in the 2021 film titled The Tragedy of Macbeth. Starring in the titular role, Washington found revenge in his own form after he was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Well, turns out the actor was indeed born to star in Shakespearean tragedies. The Tragedy of Macbeth, with a rating of 7.1/10 on IMDB is available to stream on Apple TV+ in the U.S.