Thirteen years after creating one of cinema’s nastiest villains, corrupt cop Alonzo Harris, “Training Day” star Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua have teamed up on another gritty thriller, “The Equalizer.” The film, which opened Sept. 26, is a more violent adaptation of the 1980s CBS series.
What makes Denzel different than other A-list actors you’ve worked with?
He gives his heart to the project. There’s no ego. It’s not ‘Oh the coffee’s not right’ or ‘I’ve got to jump on my private jet.’ He’s there 24/7. He had lunch every day with the entire crew.
You box in your spare time. Why do you enjoy the sport?
I leave the ring calm. Any aggression I have, I get it out in the ring or on the bags.
You make a lot of hard-R movies. Why do you like that genre?
I’m not attracted to violent material. It’s just that if I read something I want to do and it’s supposed to be R-rated, I don’t believe I should filter the violence for the story.
Did you watch “The Equalizer” on television?
No, I was watching “Miami Vice.” (“The Equalizer”) was more my grandmother’s show. It was this British guy in a suit and a Jaguar. It was not part of the world I was living in.
The movie’s version of Robert McCall is less suave and more deadly. Why the change?
People want heroes they can relate to. The guys in the ’70s — the Charles Bronsons, the Clint Eastwoods — they played real characters. They weren’t just playing superheroes jumping off buildings and running up walls.
Will there be a sequel?
The audience will decide that. If Denzel wants to do another one, I’m there. It’s such an interesting character. It could be more international. This is a guy who could work in Home Mart one day, or go blend in while living in Italy. There’s room for development and evolution.