Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, known for his roles in films like Training Day and Glory, professed his Christian faith in a recent interview promoting his new film, The Tragedy of Macbeth, wherein the actor questioned those individuals who “are willing to do anything to get followed.”
“I’m more interested in directing because I’m more interested in helping others,” Washington told The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, adding, “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?”
The Man on Fire actor continued, “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.”
Remembering his late father, who was an ordained Pentecostal minister, Washington recalled, “That’s what got my father, he couldn’t give up the meat and fried foods,” and asked Dowd whether she had read the Bible, encouraging the reporter to “Start with the New Testament, because the Old Testament is harder. You get caught up in the who-begot-who-begot-who thing.”
The infamous Macbeth curse was brought up — which, according to folklore, was cast by witches who “objected to Shakespeare using real incantations” and put a curse on the eponymous Shakespearian play.
Interestingly, legend says that the first performance of the renowned play was “riddled with disaster,” with the actress playing Lady Macbeth suddenly dying and left Shakespeare having to play the role himself. Ever since, it’s become somewhat of a tradition not to utter the play’s name in the theatre, as it could bring bad luck.
Regarding this particularly infamous curse, Denzel Washington said that he was not afraid in the slightest, fervently asserting, “I’m a God-fearing man. I try not to worry,” adding that “Fear is contaminated faith.”
The devout Christian actor also touched on the unhealthy relationship people have with social media platforms, questioning people who choose to focus too much on themselves in an attempt to garner attention from their online followers.
“The enemy is the inner me,” Washington explained, further elaborating, “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 renowned actor continued, “The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me,’” asserting that “We’re living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed.”
Denzel Washington then posits the question, “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.”
According to the Training Day actor, in heaven “there are going to be two lines, the long line and the short line, and I’m interested in being in the short line.”
“You have to fill up that bucket every morning,” Washington declared. “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.”
As the interview nears to an end, The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd asks the actor whether he “saw your share of glossolalia” growing up in the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ.
“Don’t play with God. Don’t play with God. You hear what I said? Don’t play with God. You heard what I said? Don’t play with God,” Denzel Washington replied to Dowd’s tone-deaf, uneducated question.
The Tragedy of Macbeth arrives in theaters on December 25th. It will also be available to stream on Apple TV+ on January 14th.
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