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By Heather Wadowski | March 15, 2002

Denzel Washington has been classified as many things, including “One of the Most Beautiful People in the World” by People Magazine. Empire Magazine seconded that notion and went a bit further by calling the 6-foot-tall actor “One of the Sexiest Stars in Film History,” ranking Washington number 77 out of 100. Even Newsweek has used Washington to demonstrate the perception of beauty, using a scientific explanation to state why he is considered to be such a handsome man.
Besides being one of Hollywood’s most attractive actors, Washington is also one of the most talented and sought-after. Since making his acting debut on television in the late ’70s, Washington has starred in close to 30 films over a 20-year time span and even appeared on the hit TV series “St. Elsewhere.” He has achieved both critical acclaim and audience approval for his work, winning two Golden Globe awards for his performances in “Glory” and “The Hurricane” and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Glory.” Most recently Washington won the AFI Film Award for Male Actor of the Year thanks to his part in Warner Brothers’ Training Day, a role many believe could finally win him his first Oscar for Best Actor. While it may look like Washington has a long career ahead of him as one of Hollywood’s leading actors, he has other plans– he wants to direct.
While this statement may seem a bit absurd, those on top of Washington’s extra curricular activities are well aware of the movie he has just finished directing. The film is not only is Washington’s first attempt at directing a feature film, but also features him in a type of role he hasn’t been seen in for quite some time– a supporting role.Unlike most actors, Washington has been lucky and usually only gets cast in leading or co-starring roles. His newest picture, the suspense-drama John Q, is no different. In the film, Washington plays a father whose left with no options but to take a local hospital hostage in a desperate attempt to get his son the treatment he needs to survive (and that their insurance won’t pay for) when he comes down with a fatal heart condition.
When I caught up with Washington just moments before the Golden Globe Awards last month, Washington was more than happy to talk about how his real life role as a father of four effected his performance in John Q. As we talked about whether or not he condoned the actions of his character, we also discussed some moments in his own life where he didn’t have health coverage and his opinion on the way the health care system works today. We also discussed Washington’s future in Hollywood and whether or not he plans on spending the remainder of his career in front of or behind the camera. Finally, Washington discussed what exactly the Best Actor Oscar means to someone who’s not only been in the business for as long as he has, but also has already been nominated for the honor twice. Whether or not Washington finally walks away with the Gold this March, one thing is for sure — the Academy can plan on seeing a lot more of Denzel Washington in the future…
Get the interview in part two of DENZEL WASHINGTON’S TRAINING DAYS ARE OVER>>>

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