He spoke with the Associated Press about his humble return to the theater. Washington explained why he chose this particular play to mark his time onstage.
“It’s just a great opportunity – that’s how I look at it,” said the 59-year-old star. “It’s like getting back to your roots. It’s going good. But around about the 70th show, I might be going, ‘What am I doing?'”
In preparation for the role, Washington went back to his training and “poured himself into the work, filling two composition books with notes and leaving every page of his script highlighted, underlined or annotated.”
The last time audiences saw the Training Day star on the Great White Way was 2010 in August Wilson‘s Fences. That turn earned him a Tony Award to add to his impressive awards collection.
For his current role, Washington was not going to rest on his laurels since he was playing the role originated by the legendary Sidney Poitier both onstage and on film. To make sure he was on track to honor Poitier’s work, he went straight to the source to work on the material. In fact, “when Poitier rose to act out scenes, Washington pulled out his cell phone to film it.”
While Washington’s body of work is growing, the one thing that hasn’t expanded is his ego. The actor decided to trim his bio in Playbill because it became too much.
He explained, “It was really blowing my own horn. I don’t need to advertise. I got the part.”
For Washington, it’s all about the work, not about the credits.