Drama king

Drama king
Actor Denzel Washington in Training Day (left, with co-star Ethan Hawke), Flight and Philadelphia.

Two-time Oscar-winner Denzel Washington has done seven action movies in the last 10 years alone, including Man On Fire (2004), The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009), Unstoppable (2010) and 2 Guns (2013).

His new movie The Equalizer, which opens in Singapore tomorrow, is also an actioner.

Yet Antoine Fuqua, who directed him in The Equalizer, says he "hasn't really gone down the action route".

"It is not really his thing. He is just a powerful dramatic actor who has become a movie star at the same time.

"Some people take the money and do all the big action movies, and then they think that later on, they'll do some real acting again. By that time, the audience is often a little worn out with them.

"But you see Denzel only once every year or two and then he'll go and do theatre. That's been key."

The Equalizer is their second collaboration, after Fuqua directed Washington to Best Actor Oscar success with 2001's Training Day.

It is drawn from a 1980s television show that featured Englishman Edward Woodward in the starring role, and with the intense violence contained therein, many would suggest it falls into the action genre.

But some would argue that Washington boasts an extensive filmography and that few of his movies could be described as out-and- out action pictures. Certainly, he would make that argument.

"What category a film goes into is for you to decide," says Washington, 59, in an interview with Life! in Paris. "I don't know what it means to call something an action movie; I don't think in terms of genre.

"I just develop the character. It's dramatic. I find out what my character does and why he does it."

His character in The Equalizer, Robert McCall, is a man with a shady past - he was a killer for the government but now lives a quiet life, working in a D-I-Y superstore.

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