From Hollywood To Broadway

<B>Ed Bradley</B> Talks To Actor Denzel Washington

Say "Denzel" and most people know you are talking about one of the highest paid and most popular actors in Hollywood.

But 30 years ago, Denzel Washington was just another unknown, struggling New York actor. Now, he's playing the lead in a Broadway play and making standard union wages, a fraction of what he'd make in Hollywood.

talked to Washington recently, five years after he first interviewed the Academy-Award winning actor for 60 Minutes.
In his first interview with 60 Minutes Washington told Bradley about an incredible prediction that a woman in his mother's beauty shop once made about his career as an actor.

"I was looking in the mirror, and I saw a woman sitting across the room from me. And she said to my mother, 'Bring me a piece of paper.' She said, 'I have a prophecy.' This is the God's honest truth. I got the piece of paper, and I keep it with me all the time. And she wrote down -- she says, 'This boy is going to speak to millions of people,'" said Washington, back in 2000.

"I don't talk about that a lot. But I've kind of felt like, 'Well, maybe I have some job to do.'"

That prediction, Washington now says, took place 30 years ago. "And then, I started acting that fall," recalls Washington. "So it's kind of interesting, coming back now 30 years later, about 20 blocks from where I started."

Washington's career began on the obscure stage at New York's Fordham University. Today, he is headlining on Broadway, appearing in a modern-day production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." He plays Brutus, one of the leaders of a plot to kill Caesar.

Why did he decide to do this play now? "I thought it was a great opportunity to get back on the stage, to get back to my roots. I get so few opportunities to get on the stage, so when I do, I really like tackling Shakespeare, which is the toughest and the most rewarding," says Washington. "I mean, it took me 30 years, but I finally am doing what I wanted to do when I started."

"The actors I started with in college, we were all snobs," adds Washington. "And we thought we would, you know, make $600 a week on Broadway or whatever it was back then. We didn't think about going to Hollywood. That was some -- Hollywood. You didn't do that."

But Washington did, and it is his acting in those Hollywood movies that has made him a household name. He's been in more than 30 feature films, and has won two Academy Awards: best supporting actor for his portrayal of a runaway slave in the film "Glory," and best actor in 2002 for his performance as dirty cop Alonzo Harris in "Training Day."

His name has become synonymous with Hollywood box office blockbusters. Most recently, he played Maj. Ben Marco in a remake of "The Manchurian Candidate."

Washington has starred in seven films since he last spoke to Bradley.

"That's a lot of work," says Bradley.

"Is it?" asks Washington. "I mean, work is like, you know, garbage man is work. Acting is not work. Acting is a privilege and it's a craft, and all of those things. But it's not work."

"You get $20 million a film now?" says Bradley.
  • Rebecca Leung

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