Denzel Washington is the personification of ‘Classy’ and the projects he chooses to star in are enough proof for the statement. With films like The Equalizer, Training Day, The Little Things, and more, Denzel Washington has proved time and again why he deserves to have his name taken amongst the finest actors of Hollywood.
However, despite his rocketing fame and huge fan following, Denzel Washington, too, has regrets about his career. Hard to believe, right? The actor once revealed that he was offered the lead role in Seven (1995), the role that eventually went to Brad Pitt. While Denzel Washington didn’t grab the opportunity in front of him, he later went on to star in yet another similar serial-killer film, The Bone Collector, opposite Brad Pitt’s ex-wife, Angelina Jolie.
Missing Out on Seven is One of Denzel Washington’s Biggest Regrets
A still from Seven
Directed by David Fincher, Seven follows an incredibly unique storyline of a serial killer going after people and committing murders based on seven deadly sins. However, Brad Pitt might not have gotten the chance to prove that he was more than just pretty-boy roles if Denzel Washington had decided to hop on board.
Washington revealed that he was offered Pitt’s role in the film but turned it down, which ended up being one of the biggest regrets of his professional life. Talking to GQ in 2012, the actor was asked about the roles he regrets missing out on. To this he replied,
“Seven and Michael Clayon. With Clayton, it was the best material I had read in a long time, but I was nervous about a first time director [Tony Gilroy], and I was wrong. It happens.”
Washington did not say why he turned down Seven, however, the reason could have been similar to that of when he turned down Michael Clayton. Back then, Fincher was not the popular name he is today and he had only directed Alien 3.
Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in The Bone Collector
Washington then had a chance to fix his mistake by starring in a similar film, The Bone Collector with Angelina Jolie. He missed out on Seven and the film did well at the box office and received generous reviews from critics; he was not going to make the same mistake again.
Unfortunately, luck was not in his favor as The Bone Collector received majorly negative reviews. It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 28% and made $151 million at the box office. Compare it to Seven’s 83% and $327 million and you have a clear winner.
Denzel Washington Knows He “Blew It” with Seven
Brad Pitt in Seven
In an interview with Playboy Magazine, Washington elaborated on regretting missing out on Seven. He stated that he blew the opportunity which is true to some extent because the film did wonders for Pitt’s career.
“Seven was brought to me years ago. I said no. Brad Pitt wound up playing the part. Go figure. I blew that one…In general, I’ve never been one to go after stuff. I’m not out schmoozing.
There are enough roles out there for me, and they seem to come along regularly enough. Since my recent Oscar win, I’m getting more offers, though there’s a lot of garbage out there, too. It’s always hard to find good material.”
While Washington has been absolutely perfect in every role of his, we honestly cannot see someone else in Pitt’s place screaming, “What’s in the box!?”
You can rent/buy Seven and The Bone Collector on Prime Video.