Ethan Hawke left his ‘Training Day’ audition angry at Denzel Washington

Even years later, training day stands as one of the most exciting detective films. Starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, it focuses on a day in the life of two Los Angeles narcotics officers, one of whom is corrupt.

Part of what makes it so good is the dynamic between Washington (Alonzo Harris) and Hawke (Jake Hoyt). Both actors brought their own spark and energy which translated beautifully to the screen. But Hawke admits things didn’t go so well at first.

Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke in a scene from “Training Day” | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

How the cast of ‘Training Day’ came together

According to Variety, the film was originally going to have Davis Guggenheim to direct and Samuel L. Jackson and Matt Damon as lead actors. But that combination eventually changed.

Per Screen Rant, Bruce Willis, Gary Sinise and Tom Sizemore were all considered for Alonzo before the role went to Washington, who reportedly asked to replace Guggenheim. After its release, director Antoine Fuqua stepped in and cast Hawke as Washington’s sidekick, citing Hawke’s “just become a man” quality in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

(The same report mentions that Tobey Maguire, Freddie Prinze Jr., Paul Walker, Ryan Phillippe and Scott Speedman were among those considered for the role of Hawke.)

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Reflecting on the film’s casting, Hawke told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Denzel and Antoine Fuqua really wanted me. The studio didn’t want me. I mean they like to tell the story. But obviously it was a big opportunity that everybody wanted or a lot of more popular actors than me at the time who wanted her. But Denzel really wanted someone who could play with him, you know. And he values ​​acting very much. And he was extremely interested in me for that part. And so they came and I had to do a screen test.

During testing, Hawke said, Denzel went “totally” off-script, which angered him. “Denzel totally strayed from the book during my test. And I walked out wondering if I should go back and tell them all to go to hell because you know, I felt like I was sabotaged because we didn’t do anything that was on the page. And I didn’t think it was just because he got the part.

While that wasn’t how he thought it would turn out, it wasn’t as bad as he thought, as he ended up being called back. “I was in Los Angeles, I was sitting outside about to… I was thinking of coming in and telling them to go to hell. And then I got the call saying yes, they – it went well spent, they want you. I was like, ‘Oh, they did?’

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Ethan Hawke revisits his “Training Day” role around 3:45 p.m.

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He then had a great experience with his co-star

Hawke went on to say that he “loved” working on the film, especially with Washington because he would challenge him.

“I like someone setting the bar high for crying out loud, you know,” he said. “I mean everyone is so complacent, you know, it’s like they’re waiting for Martin Scorsese to show up to give them permission to do a great job. Why not do it now? Why not do it with your friends, you know?

When the film was finally released in 2001, it received critical acclaim. Hawke and Washington were even nominated for Oscars for their performances, with Washington winning Best Lead Actor. The result makes this first experience all the more fascinating.

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