Denzel Washington Talks About Preparing For His ‘Safe House’ Role

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safe-house-denzel-washingtonDenzel Washington might have built his well-deserved reputation on dramatic roles in theater and film — he won his first Oscar for his role in Glory — but Washington has also played some scary, tough dudes — like his character in Training Day, for which Washington won his second Oscar. Washington appears in a similar role opposite Ryan Reynolds in Safe House, as rogue CIA agent Tobin Frost.

Washington admits that the role is a bit of a throwback to intimidating characters he has played in the past, pointing out, “Safe House was an opportunity to revisit ways of working that I used to do.” 

Though Washington wanted to immerse himself in the role, he purposely avoided doing research on CIA agents.  He explains, “I didn’t want to do a lot of CIA research because Tobin Frost wasn’t CIA anymore. He hated everything about the CIA, and I wanted to discover his dark side.”  Instead, Washington focused on studying sociopaths, which he felt ultimately Frost was.  He says, “Scott [Stuber, the film’s producer] gave me some great books to read, one of which was The Sociopath Next Door, which became my bible that I would refer to in developing the character. I felt Tobin was a sociopath. When you think ‘sociopath,’ you think violence, and the majority of sociopaths aren’t violent but they want to win and manipulate. I thought he was a great liar, a great manipulator and perfect for the CIA.”

Washington definitely pulled it off  — I have even found his cold stares on the movie’s posters that are hanging in the subways around here intimidating!

Safe House opens in theaters on February 10.

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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