Just a few hours before Denzel Washington received the Donostia Award at the opening gala he gave a press conference at the Kursaal. He was accompanied by Antoine Fucqua , the director of The Equalizer, the film that opened the Official section yesterday, as well as of Training Day, that earned Washington an Oscar for best actor thirteen years ago: “a great success that gave us both a lot of opportunities.”
He spoke in very positive terms about the time he spent having worked with Richard Attenborough on Cry Freedom, as it had been his first time in Europe and Africa and that Attenborough had been a really sweet man who he missed dearly.
He also acknowledged that although it might appear that he had recently been restricted to only working in thrillers, he had in fact been involved in directing and producing as well as doing a lot of theatre, which was his first love. What he loved about theatre was the fact that you got a response every night: “a live energy that you can’t duplicate in cinema.” If he had to give any advice to upand- coming actors, he’d tell them to get on stage first and learn the fundamentals; something he’s encouraged his son and daughter to do, (both have followed in their father’s footsteps.)
As for whether he had been typecast ultimately as a blue-collar everyman, he said that he was just “an ordinary guy with an extraordinary job.” He had been blessed with playing all kinds of roles and he had no regrets about any of the choices he had made, whether good or bad. “Everything I’ve done has led me here to San Sebastián.”
When asked whether it was a burden to represent the black community, he replied that he was proud to be an Afro-American and that hopefully he was an example to up-and-coming talents, and that it was, of course, a great honour to be recognized for the work he had done by receiving an award here in San Sebastián. A.O.