Tags: Hollywood | denzel washington | role | malcolm x | iconic | quotes

Denzel Washington as Malcolm X: 7 Quotes About Iconic Role

Image: Denzel Washington as Malcolm X: 7 Quotes About Iconic Role
(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Landov, file)

By    |   Monday, 16 Mar 2015 05:55 PM

Half a century after Malcolm X’s assassination at age 39, there’s still much to say about the criminal-turned-human-rights activist who segued from gangster to prisoner to spiritual leader to legacy.

Even the transfer of the icon’s storied life from folklore to film in one of Denzel Washington's most iconic roles bred its own water cooler-worthy discussion.

It was an odyssey marked by Hollywood politics, director Spike Lee’s notoriously provocative persona, and the striking parallels between the film’s subject and Washington — both preachers’ sons — clawing through racial barriers.

Malcolm X battled segregation and ultimately, and ironically, the Nation of Islam, while Washington fought to make a name for himself in predominantly white Hollywood. They were separated by space and time, yet fused on film in a performance that garnered an Oscar nomination and got plenty talking.

Here are seven quotes about Washington's iconic role:

1. “I don't see how you could tell the story and not be controversial. He was an extremist. That's how he lived his life. Rebelling against his parents, getting thrown out of school. Being the best at being the worst person he could be, and then turning himself completely around and becoming a man who practiced what he preached. An unbelievable life."
– Denzel Washington, discussing the then-upcoming film under its original director, Norman Lewiston, with model Veronica Webb in Interview’s July 1990 cover story.

Vote Now: Who Is Your Favorite Actor of All Time?

2. “Denzel Washington is at the heart of ‘Malcolm X’ with a performance that spans 20 years, that shows him moving from the West to New York to the world stage, that has him changing from a two-bit gangster to an inspirational leader, and that shows his inner odyssey from dogmatic racial separatism to a growing faith in racial harmony. The performance makes Washington the front-runner for this year's Academy Award.”
– Late film critic Roger Ebert, Nov. 5, 1992

3. “I had problems with a white director directing this film. Unless you are black, you do not know what it means to be a black person in this country.”
– Director Spike Lee, to an audience at the Graham Activities Center at Whittier College, as reported in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 26, 1992.

4. “Mr. Washington not only looks the part, but he also has the psychological heft, the intelligence, and the reserve to give the film the dramatic excitement that isn't always apparent in the screenplay."
Vincent Canby, The New York Times movie review, Nov. 18, 1992

5. “In fact, at times the film seems in danger of collapsing into the tedium of History Lecture For Beginners. That it never quite does is testament to the immensely powerful performance of Denzei Washington."
Tom Hibbert, Empire magazine movie critic who deemed the film “slightly tedious”  

6. “I play three-no, four-no, five, maybe more Malcolms in this movie. But they`re all one Malcolm, just different segments of him. See what I mean about it being the role of a lifetime?”
Denzel Washington, to Dallas Morning News writer Philip Wuntch, Nov. 27, 1992

7.
“He should’ve won.”
– Writer Tanvier Peart, noting Washington’s Academy Award nod in “The Business of Biopics: 10 Movies We Believed and The Ones We Didn’t” for Madame Noire, June 17, 2014

Vote Now: Which of These Actors Stands the Test of Time?

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Half a century after Malcolm X’s assassination at age 39, there’s still much to say about the criminal-turned-human-rights-activist who segued from gangster to prisoner to spiritual leader to legacy. The transfer of the icon’s storied life to film is one of Denzel Washington's most iconic roles.
denzel washington, role, malcolm x, iconic, quotes
563
2015-55-16
Monday, 16 Mar 2015 05:55 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved