Denzel Washington improvised “A lot” of training day
Denzel Washington starred in many memorable roles, but none are perhaps more legendary than his Oscar-winning performance in training day. According to Washington, however, much of her role in the film came via improvised dialogue.
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Speaking during a recent BBC appearance The Graham Norton Show to promote his recently released film Macbeth’s Tragedy, Washington opened up about his role in the legendary 2001 film and revealed that he improvised much of the role.
“A lot,” Washington said when asked how much of his role he improvised. “I don’t know, 40%, 30%. Or I added things. I shouldn’t say improvised from start to finish… but I was figuring it out as I went.
Although Washington did not reveal which parts of the film were improvised, earlier interviews with Antoine Fuqua, the film’s director, note that the character’s most iconic moment in the film was mostly improvisation. In a 2019 interview with Vanity Fair, Fuqua revealed that Washington improvised most of his famous “King Kong” speech from the film.
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“The King Kong moment came out of Denzel,” Fuqua said at the time. “I remember that moment because we were doing the scene, and he just started to leave. I remember looking at the cameraman and saying, “I hope you understand because I don’t think we’re going to have this again. Denzel walked up to me and said, “Whoo, I don’t know where that came from. It was exhausting for him. You saw him just go over there to that place.
Washington’s improv worked out well for the actor, as he was rewarded for his work with his second Best Actor Oscar thanks to his role. While Washington probably made no improvisations in Macbeth’s Tragedy, the actor still put in a commendable performance that could earn him another Oscar nomination.