Having starred in such action thrillers as Virtuosity and The Siege, Denzel Washington admits that's not his fave film genre. "Action, I hate," the Oscar winner groans. "I don't like running around for two weeks without sayin' anything. Duckin' is not my forté. I don't care for fight scenes and hangin' off of stuff. It's just not for me. I'm getting too old for that stuff it hurts!"
Although the 47-year-old actor does take hostages in John Q opening Feb. 15 he focuses much more on emoting than gun-toting. As for doing his homework, Washington says it didn't take much research to play a working stiff stressed out by his family's lack of cash and health insurance.
"I worked in a factory before," he recalls. "I was a garbage man and I worked in the post office. So I remember. It's not that long ago... I still got my unemployment book, you know? So you kind of tap into that, and I'd like to think I'm closer to that type of character. I'm just a regular guy, as far as I'm concerned."
Still, Washington did spend some time working half-shifts at a factory, just to walk a mile in his character's workboots. But wouldn't celebrity gawkers keep him from getting a real feel for the place? "You gotta hang around for awhile, long enough for that to go away," he says. "At first, you're
the one being observed. You're 'the movie star' on the first day but by the fourth day, they're like, 'Hey, could you get that wrench for me?' People have to get their jobs done, and then you can go about your business and start watching what's going on."