U.S. Markets closed

Denzel Washington reveals why he passed on 'Seven' and what he swiped from the Oscars

Denzel Washington is one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation, equally adept at rigorous drama, sweet romance, and no-nonsense action. It’s the latter vein in which he’ll be working with this weekend’s The Equalizer 2, the first sequel of his long and illustrious career, which will find him revisiting the character of Robert McCall for another tale of urban vigilante justice. And as he tells Jamie Foxx in the latest episode of Off Script (presented on Yahoo Entertainment by Grey Goose), that’s really him on-screen pulling off those hand-to-hand combat moves.

“I do a lot of them,” Washington informs Foxx during their amusing sit-down ahead of Friday’s release of The Equalizer 2. While Washington lets it be known that he’s not going so far as to jump off buildings, the actor is nonetheless confident that the follow-up — which features a finale set in a hurricane — is going to please fans, if early word he’s heard is any indication. “Everybody that’s seen it says that it’s better than the first.”

While McCall is a role that seems tailor-made for Washington’s charismatic and imposing presence, he tells Foxx that he has let a few choice parts pass him — including one that especially bugged him at the time. “I turned down Seven,” he says with a grimace on his face. Offered the young-cop character that was eventually played by Brad Pitt, he confesses, “I thought the script was too demonic! Then I saw the movie, and I was like, ‘Ah, I blew it.’”

Foxx also gets Washington to open up about a particularly funny run-in with a Hollywood legend at the 1988 Oscars: Sean Connery, who that year was up for Best Supporting Actor (for The Untouchables) against Washington (for Cry Freedom). “He comes out to present an award, and got a three-minute standing ovation — for presenting an award,” remembers Washington. “I went to get the coats.” Not that he departed empty-handed. “As I’m leaving, I see the back, where they’re getting the food ready for the Governor’s Ball. I see a big tray, I’m like, ‘I’m leaving here with something.’ … Then my mother told me to get the flower arrangement. True story.”

From Washington’s fondness for Cardi B (“I love her!”), to his advice to his movie-artist kids (“You want people to go, ‘I can’t wait to see him.’ Not, ‘Oh I see him everywhere’”), to his belief that giving audiences less is sometimes more (“I think if you drink too much water you’ll drown. You want to keep some mystery”), Washington’s visit to Off Script is a must-see. Check it out above.