Denzel Washington: ‘Celebrity Is Really Overrated’

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Sony Pictures

Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington says there’s an exaggerated hype around being a big-shot celebrity.

“My father worked 50 years for the water department, he was also a minister and he worked three jobs all the time,” Washington told the New York Post’s Page Six during the New York premiere of his new drama, Fences. “He made it, he was successful. Celebrity is really overrated — we don’t want anything to do with celebrity. I am an actor.”

The actor’s comments follow his sobering remarks earlier this month about the media’s penchant for spreading misinformation and “BS.”

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed,” Washington told the Hill. “Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you’ll get good at — including BS.”

Fences is the heavily Oscar-tipped film about a former baseball star turned garbage collector’s struggle with race relations and family drama in 1950s Pittsburgh. The movie was adapted from author August Wilson’s Broadway play of the same name.

“To take this play to the big screen means that it is an opportunity for millions of people to see it instead of thousands,” he said. “Wilson is a genius . . . it was a privilege, honor and a responsibility to bring his work to film.”

Fences, for which Washington earned a Tony award in 2010, is his third film in the director’s chair  after Antwone Fisher,  and The Great Debaters.

Washington told Page Six he’s planning to produce Wilson’s entire catalogue for TV, continuing next with an adaptation of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Fences opens in theaters on Christmas Day.


Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson


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