Football Coach Coaxed Denzel Washington Into Film
The last thing movie star Denzel Washington wanted to do was make a film about a real person coming off the whirlwind of playing Hurricane Carter.
However the star of Hurricane quickly changed his mind about Remember The Titans when he met Coach Boone.
He explains, "In some ways I had to be convinced to do it. I was
sort of wavering back and forth about it. But really I think the
clincher was when I went to Alexandria and met Coach Boone and his
family and it was like going to visit one of your uncles.
"Then we got to talking about football which I loved and I've
coached for many years on every level but the high school and
college level. Once we got into the football I looked up five hours later and I was hooked."
Despite the recent trend of football movies like Any Given Sunday and The Replacements, Remember The Titans is about breaking the color barrier in school sports.
He says, "It's not really a football movie. What part of it is a
football movie is very different from those other films because
this is high school football. It's not about the condemnation of
the sport. The film is about how these young men change the way a
lot of people think."
Meanwhile, Washington stayed aloof from the rest of the
young cast in the upcoming film, who would party after a day's work because he wanted to maintain the respect of a football coach.
He explains, "you know I'm the coach and they're the players. If
you start hanging out and drinking beers and slapping five and
acting like something other than what you're supposed to be you
break down the barrier of that relationship.
"Not only that, I was twenty years older than these guys. What am
I gonna do? Run around with these young pups! And they treated me
with respect. And I gained their respect, and I like to think I
earned their respect."
On another note, In the wake of the recent political legislation to curb young people from seeing movies with violent images, Washington believes legislation starts with the parents.
He explains emphatically, "that is the responsibility of the
parents first and foremost. I'm not gonna take them off the hook.
It starts with them, period. If you don't do it, don't blame
"Yes children can still go to other houses but if parent was
doing their job; if every parent was even there. Parents, let's
start there. And now we got these problems and they go, `Oh well
they should legislate it.' How about raising your kids? How about
starting there? That's what I'm doing” – Robin Milling (WENN, New York).
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)