Don't mess with Denzel Washington. The 59-year-old Oscar winner may be the butt of many old man jokes in his new action thriller The Equalizer, but he's still got it.
"It's alright, it's alright," Washington says about the zingers. I caught up with Washington at the Toronto International Film Festival where he was promoting the Antoine Fuqua-directed film. Washington plays a retired deadly CIA operative who brings himself out of retirement to help save a teen (Chloe Grace Moretz) forced into prostitution by the Russian mafia. Washington is so not worried about aging in Hollywood.
"Look, Clint Eastwood is 80-something, I think, and he's still directing," he said. "We don't have to retire. Gene Hackman retired when he was about 80. James Earl Jones is headed back to Broadway. He's gotta be closing in on 80, I guess. Morgan Freeman, too," Washington continued. "So you don't have to. No, it's actually good. I'm in the right profession." And then he began touching his knee. Washington laughed, "I started rubbing my knee. That is interesting. I started rubbing my knee! I can jump—I just can't come down. It's true, but that can happen at 20, 30."
In other words, it's also time for Washington to play James Bond! He actually started an impromptu campaign to play 007 when he was asked about taking on the iconic role by a Reddit user during an AMA on Friday. "The next James Bond? They better hurry up! Yes, I would! Who's doing James Bond now...Daniel Craig! Did they shoot another one? Everybody should tweet Denzel is James Bond! Send it to the studio!" he replied to user BigTalk45. "We start the Denzel is Bond campaign today! James Washington. Denzel Bond!"
During our chat at TIFF, Washington also talked about his son John David Washington's leap into acting. He has his first major role coming up as The Rock's co-star in HBO's Ballers. "When he started talking about becoming an actor, he said, 'Dad, your shadow's so big,'" Denzel said. "I said, 'You ever heard of Kirk Douglas?' and he said, 'No.' I said, 'You've heard of Michael Douglas?' He then said, 'Of course.' I said, 'Alright then, don't worry about any shadow. Google Kirk Douglas and then come back and we'll talk about shadows.'"