Denzel Washington Was Actually Waterboarded During Filming of ‘Safe House’

denzel-washington-safe-houseWe’re all aware that our favorite actors don’t usually do their own stunts — not always because of a lack of desire, but because of insurance purposes.  Still, I doubt many A-list Hollywood actors would be willing to be actually waterboarded to prove their macho cred. 

Nonetheless, New York Magazine reveals that during the filming of Safe House Denzel Washington stepped up to the plate and agreed to be waterboarded for the film.

Waterboarding — for those of you that haven’t watched a minute of news in the last few years — is either a form of torture or an “advanced interrogation technique” (depending on your political point-of-view, that is) which involves strapping someone down to a board and pouring water over his or her covered face to simulate the horrifying experience of drowning. It has also been used as a training exercise as a form of advanced survival training in the military.  Overall, it’s regarded as a very unpleasant experience to say the least.

Following in the footsteps of Sylvester Stallone (who was waterboarded in The Expendables), Washington decided to do the stunt himself simply because, as he says, “I wanted to see what it would be like.”  

Though the two-time Oscar winner was only waterboarded for a brief time (five seconds, according to his co-star Robert Patrick), he swears by it’s effectiveness, revealing, “It’s strange. You can’t breathe in, because the water comes in, and it’s filling up your mouth. And that was just one time for a short time. Imagine having that done for 20, 30 seconds? You will give up the answers! You may not necessarily tell the truth, but you will tell [your captors] whatever they want to hear.”

I’m looking forward to a few more decades of powerful Denzel Washington performances, so I hope he doesn’t decide to make a habit out of doing dangerous stunts!  As they say, leave it to the professionals.

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