It was a special night for Denzel Washington as he was honored with the Hollywood Legacy Award at the 2017 BET Presents American Black Film Festival.
The Oscar winner received the award from his friend and “Fences” co-star Viola Davis. The two chatted only with “Extra’s” Renee Bargh backstage.
Denzel called it “a real treat” to have Viola there. The duo actually worked together for the first time in 2002, when Denzel made his directorial debut with “Antwone Fisher” and he cast Viola in the film. He smiled, sharing, “The first actress I've worked with and the last actress I've worked with. Seriously. It’s real joy, it’s all just a pleasure.”
The two also worked together on Broadway six years ago in “Fences,” and are now both hot commodities during awards season for their roles in the movie adaption. Viola said she is enjoying the journey "because I love the project so much. It could have gone the other way when you’re in awards season with a project you don’t like, but [the late] August [Wilson], Denzel, the cast, could not be more perfect.”
Both are getting ready for Sunday’s Oscars. Viola told Renee she has her dress picked out, and Denzel laughed and said, "I got my tux on!”
Washington also made light of his legacy award. “Yeah, does that mean I'm old… Is it a lifetime achievement?” Viola urged him, “Keep breathing.”
They dished on what their plan B would have been if acting had not worked out. Denzel said, “I always work with children. I work for the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA. So I'd probably be doing something [like that].” Viola said there was no plan B for her. “I'm so glad this worked out. I would've been a teacher. Or a slug.”
Denzel’s wife is a huge fan of Viola’s hit ABC show “How to Get Away with Murder.” When Renee tried to arrange a directing gig for Denzel, Viola responded, “I wanted to ask, but I gotta find the right time.” Denzel chimed in, “My wife could direct an episode because she knows everything about it.”