Denzel Washington, who turns 66
today, delivers life’s best lessons
Denzel Washington, who turns 66 today, is my favourite Hollywood actor. At my age, I don’t need a screen idol. I search for movies in which actors play characters that are defined by their grace, dignity, humanity and inner strength. And Denzel, with his dark good looks and dazzling white smile in a Cherry Blossom face, is that.
He’s got a release in January. It’s called ‘The Little Things’ and Denzel plays a burned-out county deputy sheriff with a eerily accurate nose for the “little things” who assists an LAPD detective to trap a wily serial killer. The film is a neo-noir crime psychological thriller. Which means a stylish Hollywood crime drama with a twisted dark wit.
I’m looking forward to ‘The Little Things’. No Hollywood actor plays the American cop in a good old police procedural with as much gritty realism and conviction as Denzel does. But his ability for consistently delivering good cinema is not the only reason why I like Denzel. I find his journey to becoming one of Hollywood’s most beloved and respected names fascinating.
Real heroes carve out their fame. Denzel had a rough upbringing and struggled through much of his schooling, falling so low in university that he was told to take a break. He did not. He pushed through and never gave up. “I don’t know what success means. I’m happy. For me success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me,” the actor once said.
To me, his best life lesson is: “Faith will get you to a point. Luck will get you to a point. But to achieve the kind of success you dream about, you need to work. There are no shortcuts, you can’t cheat life, just get to work and don’t stop until you reach your highest potential. Do what you have to do to one day do what you want to do. And the only thing stopping you from achieving your dreams are the stories you keep telling yourself that you can’t.”