Denzel Washington Comforted Ethan Hawke After Losing the Oscar for ‘Training Day’ by Reminding Him That Awards Don’t Define Success

Ethan Hawke received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2002 Oscars for his outstanding performance in Antoine Fuqua’s crime thriller “Training Day.” Although he didn’t take home the prize, losing to Jim Broadbent for “Iris,” he gained valuable perspective from his co-star, Denzel Washington. Interestingly, Denzel won the Oscar for Best Actor on the same night.

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In a recent interview on Max’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” series, the host asked Hawke about a story he heard. According to the story, Washington leaned over to Hawke after the latter’s Oscar loss and whispered in his ear, “It’s better that you didn’t win. Losing was better.”

During the Oscars night, Hawke shared an insightful perspective on Denzel Washington’s mindset, stating, “You don’t want an award to enhance your own status. Instead, you want to elevate the status of the award itself.” He further emphasized that playing alongside a legendary figure like Babe Ruth is analogous to the experience of working with Denzel, where the Academy Award holds greater significance due to his numerous accomplishments. Hawke concluded by highlighting that the award did not define Denzel’s worth; rather, it served as a testament to his exceptional talent and impact in the industry.

During the interview, Hawke drew a comparison between Washington and baseball legend Babe Ruth, expressing his belief that Washington is “the greatest actor of our generation.”

Ethan Hawke expressed his admiration for Denzel Washington’s acting prowess and the impact it had on him. He reflected on the experience of working with Denzel and how it expanded his imagination. Hawke believed that observing Denzel’s complete imagination allowed him to delve into the intricacies of characters and their thought processes. This revelation opened up new possibilities and rooms within the acting profession for Hawke. Witnessing the level of dedication and depth that Denzel brought to his craft was truly inspiring for Hawke and fueled his passion for his chosen profession.

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Hawke has received four Oscar nominations throughout his career. He was recognized twice for his acting in the supporting category for his performances in “Training Day” and “Boyhood.” Additionally, he received two nominations for his adapted screenplay work on “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight.” When asked if he would have wanted to win the Oscar for “Training Day,” Hawke responded with mixed feelings, saying, “No, I mean, yeah, I guess. I mean, I wouldn’t.”

“I found myself at the Oscars, seated beside Denzel Washington and competing against Ian McKellen,” Hawke shared. “I had already achieved a victory in my mind. There was no way I could perceive the situation differently.”

Ethan Hawke is currently on a press tour promoting his latest directorial project, “Wildcat.” The film features his daughter Maya Hawke in the role of renowned novelist Flannery O’Connor. Scheduled to open in theaters across the United States on May 3, “Wildcat” has been generating a lot of buzz. For those interested in hearing more from Hawke himself, his full episode of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” can be streamed on Max.

Denzel Washington and Spike Lee are teaming up once again, this time to bring a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic film ‘High and Low’ to the big screen. This exciting project is being produced in partnership with A24 and Apple.

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MBS Staff
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