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  • Writer's pictureTHAheadline (Thai Lee)

THAheadline Highlights: Denzel Washington's Top Five Iconic Roles and Anticipates The Equalizer 3

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Denzel Washington, a two-time Academy Award winner, is a beloved national treasure. To celebrate his upcoming portrayal of Robert McCall in the final installment of The Equalizer, we've compiled his top five roles on the big screen. Look out for The Equalizer 3, which hits theaters on September 1st.

Denzel Washington in Training Day

“It’s not what you know; it’s what you can prove.” – Alonzo Harris

The movie "Training Day" is a gripping drama that features Denzel Washington as Alonzo, a narcotics officer, and Ethan Hawke as Jake Hoyt, a new cop, on his first day working in the inner-city narcotics unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Both men undergo a profound transformation by the end of the day. The film is widely regarded as one of Denzel Washington's best performances, with memorable quotes and intense scenes. It garnered several award nominations and earned Washington his second Academy Award for Best Actor for his unforgettable portrayal of Alonzo.


Denzel Washington in Fences

“Life don't owe you nothing. You owe it to yourself.” – Troy Maxson

Denzel Washington not only acted but also directed the critically acclaimed movie, Fences, alongside Viola Davis. The film is an adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play and tells the story of Troy (Washington), a 57-year-old working-class man who struggles to provide for his family and ends up becoming estranged from his wife Rose (Davis). The play originally premiered on Broadway in 2010, with Washington and Davis playing the lead roles. The duo reunited for the movie adaptation, which was later recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the top ten films of 2016. Fences garnered several award nominations, including four at the 89th Academy Awards, with Davis winning the Best Supporting Actress award for her remarkable performance.


Denzel Washington in Equalizer

“You gotta be who you are in this world, no matter what.” – Robert McCall

The movie The Equalizer features Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a man who tries to leave his mysterious past behind. However, when he meets a young girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) under the control of violent Russian gangsters, he cannot stay idle. The film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, originally did not have a backstory for McCall. Denzel Washington contributed much to the character's background, including McCall having obsessive-compulsive disorder. This collaboration between Fuqua and Washington resulted in a trilogy, with the latest installment, The Equalizer 3, releasing on September 1.


Denzel Washington in The Magnificent Seven

“What we lost in the fire, we found in the ashes.” – Sam Chisolm

In the movie, "The Magnificent Seven", Bartholomew Bogue, a greedy industrialist, takes over the town of Rose Creek in the Old West. The desperate residents, including Emma Cullen, seek the help of bounty hunter Sam Chisolm. The film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, is a remake of a 1960 Western with the same name. Both films are based on "Seven Samurai". Fuqua wanted to remake the film because the subject of tyranny and terrorism is still relevant today. Denzel Washington stars in his first Western as Chisolm. Despite not growing up watching Westerns, he was convinced by Fuqua to take on the role.


Denzel Washington in The Hurricane

“Hate put me in prison. Love's gonna bust me out.” - Hurricane Carter

Denzel Washington stars in a powerful sports biographical drama as Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. The movie tells the story of Carter's shattered dreams of becoming a middleweight boxing champion when he was wrongfully arrested and prosecuted, along with another man, for a triple murder in a New Jersey bar. The court sentenced Carter and John Artis to three life terms in prison. This film was nominated for many awards, including the Academy Award and SAG Award nominations for Best Actor which went to Washington. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his outstanding portrayal of Hurricane Carter.


Denzel Washington is a legendary actor. Don't miss Equalizer 3 in theaters on September 1, 2023.


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