Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington said this month in an interview that he hopes to “please God” with his new film, A Journal for Jordan.
In the interview, Washington, 66, told Religious News Service that he is a believer and that he often led cast and crew in prayer as he directed the film. He added that the “spirit of God” is an important part of the film.
“The spirit of God is throughout the film,” Washington told RNS after admitting that he often led prayer circles on the set. “Charles is an angel. I’m a believer. Dana’s a believer. So that was a part of every decision, hopefully, that I tried to make. I wanted to please God, and I wanted to please Charles, and I wanted to please Dana.”
The movie stars Michael B. Jordan as real-life Iraq war veteran Army Sergeant Charles Monroe King, who was killed in action in 2006. His wife, New York Times writer Dana Canedy, wrote an article about a journal King wrote that he left behind for their son that detailed the fallen soldier’s deep faith. Canedy’s article was eventually reworked into the book that forms the basis for the film that Washington signed on to direct.
Washington, who noted that he helped build the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, also told RNS that he is very mindful about putting God first in his life and work.
“I try to make sure I try to put God first in everything. I was reading something this morning in my meditation about selfishness and how the only way to true independence is complete dependence on the Almighty,” the Malcolm X star said.
Washington has been increasingly outspoken about spiritual issues in recent years. In September, he told a crowd at a Christian men’s conference to pray daily, “listen to God,” and remember that “strength and leadership” are “God’s gift to us.”
A few months earlier, The Training Day star also blasted people who attack the police and soldiers.
“I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives. I just don’t care for people who put those kind of people down. If it weren’t for them, we would not have the freedom to complain about what they do,” Washington said in an interview.
A Journal for Jordan opens in theaters on Christmas Day.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.