Academy Award winner and 9-time nominee actor Denzel Washington was recently interviewed by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd about his new film “Macbeth” scheduled for release on Christmas Day.
The interview began as expected, with the acclaimed actor discussing his role within the film, when the subject suddenly pivoted to Denzel’s much publicized religious convictions.
It should be noted for those who are unfamiliar with Denzel’s background, long before he memorized his first acting lines, young Denzel was memorizing scripture. His late dad, Denzel H. Washington, Sr., was an ordained minister and gospel singer, so faith is a highly important topic in Washington’s life.
Despite the pervasive culture of Hollywood, the iconic actor describes himself as “a God-fearing man.”
During the 30 minute free-wheeling interview, Denzel continued talking about scripture and what God expects of him while on earth. He also revealed that his 97-year-old mother died a few months ago, and he promised her that he would “attempt to honor her and God by living the rest of my days in a way that would make her proud. So that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Denzel added, “I’m more interested in directing because I’m more interested in helping others. What I do, what I make, what I made, all of that, is that going to help me on the last day of my life? It’s about, who have you lifted up? Who have we made better?
“This is spiritual warfare. So, I’m not looking at it from an earthly perspective. If you don’t have a spiritual anchor you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression.”
Sounding more like his preacher father than the acclaimed actor, Denzel laments, “That’s what got my father, he couldn’t give up the meat and fried foods.”
Turning to Dowd, he asks, “Have you read the Bible? Start with the New Testament, because the Old Testament is harder. You get caught up in the who-begot-who-begot-who thing.”
The 66-year old three-time Golden Globes winner then begins talking about the cultural divide that currently exists within America, along with a self-obsessed society.
“The enemy is the inner me,” he said. “The Bible says in the last days, I don’t know if it’s the last days, it’s not my place to know, but it says we’ll be lovers of ourselves. The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me.’
“We’re living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed. What is the long or short-term effect of too much information? It’s going fast and it can be manipulated obviously in a myriad of ways. And people are led like sheep to slaughter.”
Denzel Washington gets personal about his faith in a New York Times feature about his upcoming film “Macbeth” — going so far as to encourage the writer, Maureen Dowd, to read the Bible and a daily devotional. He also warned her to not “play with God.” https://t.co/ddK2Lnn1Xr— FAITHFULLY MAGAZINE (@faithfullymag) December 10, 2021
Denzel then draws a parallel between heaven and hell stating, “there are going to be two lines, the long line and the short line, and I’m interested in being in the short line.”
He advises Dowd to read The Daily Word, which delivers an inspirational message each day. The website also has an app you can download.
Washington tells Dowd, “You have to fill up that bucket every morning. It’s rough out there. You leave the house in the morning. Here they come, chipping away. By the end of the day, you’ve got to refill that bucket. We know right from wrong.”