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If Denzel Washington, my mother, and my father were all drowning, and I could only save two of them, I’d save Denzel twice.
I don’t say that out of spite for my parents; I say that because that’s just how goddamn important Denzel is to humanity. And to me. My mom is a wonderful woman but she doesn’t have any Oscars. My dad is great man but he didn’t help me remember the Titans.
Denzel has two Oscars, six Black Reel Awards, three Golden Globes, two MTV Movie Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 18 Film Critic Awards, a SAG Award, and a Tony. What do my parents have? Two college degrees, 11 Bruce Springsteen records, one great meatball recipe, and one annoying son. It just doesn’t stack up.
Some fellow cinephile friends and I were recently in a healthy yet heated debate revolved around one simple question: “Who is the greatest actor of all time?” Obviously, the clear answer is the dog who played Air Bud. BUT, if we’re talking about human actors exclusively, the answer is Denzel Washington. And it ain’t even close.
The man is a god. He’s like Jesus. And look, obviously it’s kind of offensive to compare Denzel to Jesus, but I’m just joking when I say that. Because obviously it’s unfair to compare Jesus to Denzel.
My only goal in life is to somehow become Denzel Washington’s best friend. How? I have no idea. When? Some day. Why? Because he’s Denzel Motherfucking Washington. Yes, I know he’s 40 years older than me, and we probably run in different circles, but fate finds a way.
My first introduction to Mr. Washington was when I saw Remember The Titans as a kid. He was the centerpiece of a powerful story, and he was the glue that held the film together, anchoring it with a phenomenal performance. I was obsessed with that movie. I don’t trust any dude in his early 20s who wasn’t obsessed with that movie as a kid. Same goes for Space Jam, Toy Story, and Schindler’s List 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Throughout the years, we’ve all seen his face in countless flicks, and he’s killing it every time. Whether it be fun and mindless action movies (The Equalizer, The Magnificent Seven, 2 Guns), serious dramas (The Hurricane, Glory, Malcom X), or heartwarming family comedies where Tom Hanks dies of AIDS (Philadelphia). He always steals the show with a stellar performance.
I’ll never forget the first time my dad showed me Training Day. Washington crafted an iconic performance as Alonza, a crooked cop. It’s a nuanced, complicated performance where he’s charismatic, fun, hilarious, intimidating, and terrifying all at the same time. There are two types of people on this earth: people who think Training Day is the best Denzel movie, and dumbasses.
Another career highlight was his incredible lead performance in Malcom X. Yes, the movie is like 19 hours long, but it’s a masterpiece. If you haven’t seen it, go find it and watch it by any means necessary (get it?! That was a #SmartReference, y’all). Same goes for American Gangster and the insanely underrated Mo’ Better Blues.
We don’t deserve this man. So if any of you dudes know Denzel personally, try to casually introduce me to him. I’ll play it cool and act like I’ve never even heard of the him, as a power move. Him and I are gonna hit the town, bond emotionally, and get some bitches.
King Kong ain’t got shit on him..