As he heads back to the big screen in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” Denzel Washington sat down with “Extra’s” Tanika Ray to discuss the film, which has him playing a defense attorney whose legacy is put to the test when he agrees to defend an accused murderer.
In real life, "activist" is not a word that he would use to describe himself. He said, “I've never been an activist… I'm active. I mean, what is the definition of an activist?” Tanika answered, “I think you're always conscious that it's a response to things that are unjust.” Denzel commented, “I'm solution-based, not problem-stuck… So I'm like, 'Well, what are we gonna do about it?' You know? And I stay in my lane, so for that reason, I am proud of a film like 'Roman Israel.'"
“You know, as in my where I am in life now, I'm in service and I'm trying to be an advocate for good and change in thought, deed and action,” he added. “Doing what it is I do, but also how I live, just trying to not tell anybody how to live but trying to be a good example, you know? We've all fallen short of the glory and we're all a work in progress and, you know, just trying to do the best I can every day.”
Of those who are also pushing for progress like Colin Kaepernick, Washington raved, “You know, he's bold and he's paid the price and he's willing to pay the price. He's a strong young man. I give him a lot of credit because it's one thing to talk the talk but he's walking the walk and paying the price.”
Washington is already generating Oscar buzz for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” as he gets ready to return to Broadway in “The Iceman Cometh,” seven years after his Tony Award-winning role in “Fences.”