You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Debaters’ premieres in New York

Washington, Weinstein roll out the red carpet

NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story.

“The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to my mom. So I called her and said I love this project but Denzel has got to play Tolson.”

Finally they found a solution. “What happened was that Denzel wanted more money to make the movie. We were originally going to make it for $20 million so I gave him $4 million more and he acted in the film for free,” he said.

Pic’s Forest Whitaker said he understood Washington’s hesitancy about taking on two major roles.

“I haven’t done it in the past because I wasn’t confident about it,” he said. “One day … maybe.”

More Film

  • Cinema Audio Society 2018 Winners: 'Dunkirk,'

    'Dunkirk,' 'Game of Thrones' Win Cinema Audio Society Awards for Sound Mixing

    NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story. “The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to […]

  • Kazuhiro Tsuji Darkest Hour Makeup artist

    'Darkest Hour,' 'American Horror Story' Lead Make-up and Hair Stylists Guild Winners

    NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story. “The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to […]

  • Isle of Dogs

    The 10 Best Films of the 2018 Berlin Film Festival

    NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story. “The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to […]

  • Indian Actress Sridevi Kapoor Arrives For

    Legendary Bollywood Actress Sridevi Dies at 54

    NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story. “The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to […]

  • NMHC Impact Awards

    Aubrey Plaza, NHMC President Call Out Under-Representation of Latinos at Impact Awards

    NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story. “The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to […]

  • Emma Chambers'HOW DO YOU WANT ME'

    'Notting Hill' Actress Emma Chambers Dies at 53

    NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story. “The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to […]

  • Las herederas The Heiresses

    Berlin Double Silver Bear Winner 'The Heiresses' Sells Major Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    NEW YORK — While it wasn’t hard to persuade Denzel Washington to direct “The Great Debaters,” getting him to act in the pic was a different story. “The acting took a higher order of intervention,” Harvey Weinstein said prior to pic’s  Ziegfeld premiere Dec. 19. “At one point (Denzel) got so frustrated he said why don’t you talk to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content