Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua team up for the fifth time in “The Equalizer 3,” which ties Fuqua with the late Tony Scott as Washington’s most frequent director collaborator.
Washington says there are many reasons why he looks forward to reteaming with Fuqua: “His spiritual maturity, his collaboration, his humility, his eye,” says the actor. “There was never a question about his talent, his experience. We’re brothers – I trust him completely, he trusts me, and I’m excited about our future together. The deeper he goes, the higher he’ll go, and I’m not talking about movies.”
Fuqua returns the compliment: “Denzel constantly surprises me because the environment changes. He’s like an athlete,” says Fuqua of Washington. “If Michael Jordan is playing against the Celtics, it’s one game. If he’s playing against the Lakers, it’s another game. Each situation Denzel is in, he’s so much in the moment of the character, that there’s times I’m discovering constantly, ‘What’s he going to do?’”
Watching Washington be “in the moment” of his character, in Fuqua’s words, is a unique experience. “I’ll go to Denzel to give him a note about something he did, and he’ll literally ask, ‘What did I do? What did I say?’ He’s so in the moment,” shares Fuqua. “So I tell other actors that they have to be in the moment with Denzel. Your instinct has to be heightened and you have to really listen. You can’t come in with preconceived ideas, because that won’t work. It’s just like a dance – Denzel will stick to the intention of the scene, but you must move with him.”
While waiting for “The Equalizer 3” to open in cinemas on September 13, let’s take a look back at the previous films that the critics-favorite duo have worked on together:
TRAINING DAY (2001)
Also stars: Ethan Hawke, Eva Mendes
Synopsis: Every day a war rages between drug dealers and cops on the streets of America’s inner cities. With every war comes casualties, none greater than 13-year veteran Los Angeles narcotics officer Alonzo Harris (Washington), whose questionable methods blur the line between legal and corrupt. Today Alonzo gets a new partner, idealistic rookie Jake Hoyt (Hawke), and Jake has one day – and one day only – to prove his mettle to his fiercely charismatic superior. Over 24 hours, Jake will be dragged into the ethical mire of Alonzo’s logic as both men risk their careers and their lives to serve conflicting notions of justice.
Fun fact: Washington’s portrayal of Alonzo earned him a Best Actor Oscar.
THE EQUALIZER (2014)
Also stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman
Synopsis: McCall (Washington) has put his mysterious past behind him and is dedicated to living a new, quiet life. But when he meets Teri (Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016)
Also stars: Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke
Synopsis: In Director Antoine Fuqua’s modern vision to a classic story, the desperate townspeople of Rose Creek employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns after the town falls under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.
THE EQUALIZER 2 (2018)
Also stars: Pedro Pascal, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman
Synopsis: Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed – but how far will he go when it is someone he loves?
And don’t forget:
THE EQUALIZER 3 (September 13, 2023)
Also stars: Dakota Fanning
Synopsis: Since giving up his life as a government assassin, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) has struggled to reconcile the horrific things he’s done in the past and finds a strange solace in serving justice on behalf of the oppressed. Finding himself surprisingly at home in Southern Italy, he discovers his new friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends’ protector by taking on the mafia.
The Equalizer 3 opens in Philippine cinemas September 13.