All Articles Tagged "denzel washington"

“Empire” Star Trai Byers Says He Almost Quit Acting To Be A Pastor After Struggling To Find Work

February 26th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Trai Byers

As tormented as the character of Andre is on “Empire,” the opportunity to play the power-hungry son of Lucious Lyon on the hit Fox show is major for Trai Byers. The handsome actor has been very blessed within the last year or so. Not only did he land a big role on the show everyone’s talking about, but he also played James Forman in the critically-acclaimed film, Selma. But things weren’t always flourishing in Byer’s career. In an interview on “The Meredith Vieira Show,” he said that after struggling to find work as an actor in 2013, he was close to quitting to become a man of the cloth.

“In 2013 I did not work at all just contemplating what I needed to do if I was walking in my destiny or not. Is this what Trai wants to do? I am a big Christian so I always talk about that. Is this what God wants me to do? I really contemplated changing going into something else. I am very passionate about God and religion and I thought maybe I’m supposed to be a pastor. I don’t know. I was open to being used in any way that was aligned for me destiny wise and Empire came. Right after EmpireSelma came. Then to look later down the line to see Empire was premiering on Wednesday night, the same week on Friday Selma was going wide, like, you couldn’t time it like that.”

Vieira: “Did you believe it was a message?”

Byers: “Yes! Stay where you are [laughs]”

And the show has definitely blown up. Byers revealed how the cast found out they were given the greenlight for a second season.

“The core cast were on our way to the TCAs in Los Angeles, all on a plane together. It’s the Television Critics Association. So we’re landing in LA and this man sitting next to me, he has a baseball cap on, regular guy, unassuming guy. As soon as we land they tell us we can turn our phones on. He turns his on and says, “Hey, you know you were just picked up for a second season right?” I’m like, “Really?” I’m sitting in the middle, Yazz is in the front. Taraji and Jussie are across from me and Terrence is in the back. I’m like, “We just got picked up for a second season y’all” and the front of the plane just erupts. I’m sure we scared the mess out of the people in the back [laughs].”

Lee Daniels shared that he was trying to get Denzel Washington to appear on the show after the acting legend revealed that he loved it, so everyone is wondering, will we see Washington in season two? Byers hopes so.

“Wouldn’t that be great? I love Denzel. The show is huge. And with a huge show comes a lot of rumors. I couldn’t say whether he was or was not, but that would be great! Hopefully he does.”

Glad to see things working out so well for Byers. But if he ever does decide to give the whole pastor calling a try, I’m available to be a first lady! You were thinking it too…


Oh No! Bae Is Married?! Jesse Williams And Other Hollywood Hunks We’re Sad To Know We Can’t Have

January 30th, 2015 - By Asha Boston
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Can you remember the first time you laid eyes on your celebrity crush? That fine piece of man sauntered across your television screen and afterwards, you had to find out everything about him. So you hopped on Google, got to clicking, ended up on Wikipedia, only to find out that he’s married. Dang! Not that you ever really thought you would be able to make your crush an actual boo in real life, but a girl can always dream, right?

Well, here’s a list of 15 of Hollywood’s hottest men who we always have to remember are very much taken:

Source: Getty

Source: Getty

Jesse Williams

He’s good looking, educated, an activist, and seems like the type who would tell you that you look beautiful even with that bright pink bonnet on. However, the only woman who has the pleasure of knowing this for sure is his wife, Aryn Drake-Lee. The two met in NYC while Jesse was working as a teacher. He told USA Today that she’s been down with him since the very beginning:

“She’s been with me through all different facets of my career. She’s stuck with me through thick and thick and thick and thin.” The couple wed in 2010 and have a daughter named, Sadie.

“I’ve Got To Be A Part Of This”: Is Denzel Washington About To Appear On “Empire”?

January 26th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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When Denzel Washington’s acting career was first taking off, he did a few television movies here and there, and played Dr. Phillip Chandler on more than 130 episodes of the hit NBC show “St. Elsewhere.” But after two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Tony, and a slew of lauded performances over a career spanning more than three decades, could he finally make a return to television? If director Lee Daniels has his way, his good friend could be back on TV sooner than later.

When chatting with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daniels said that after watching “Empire’s” pilot, Washington seemed excited about the possibility of making an appearance in some form or fashion.

“Denzel hasn’t done television in 30 years. But he saw the pilot and said, ‘I’ve got to be a part of this.'”

And it looks like it might really happen. Daniels posted pictures on his Instagram account from a big dinner he had in Hollywood over the weekend at Giorgio’s at the Standard. Denzel was in those pictures, along with “Empire” cast members Jussie Smollet and Tasha Smith, friends Lenny Kravitz and Brandy, along with Common and even George Clinton (yes, Parliament’s George Clinton). Daniels is working hard to get Washington on board: “Trying to talk this one into doing a guest star on#empire #nextweekdinneronme”



Big stars slated to appear in this season alone include Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Naomi Campbell (who we saw in episode three), Mary J. Blige, Courtney Love, Lenny Kravitz, Foxy Brown, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, and even Patti LaBelle. But Denzel Washington? Now that would be a kick-ass episode! Fingers crossed!

Oh yeah, while you wait with your fingers crossed, check out a few more pics from Daniels’ recent chic and invitation-only dinner outings:

And yes,….EVERYONE has to wait for valet #anothernightinhollywood

A photo posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on


10 Biggest Box Office Winners Of 2014

December 31st, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Now that 2014 is just about over, the time has come to take a look at films that entertained us throughout the year. Yes there were some slow periods, but that doesn’t take away from the millions of dollars different films racked up at the box office. Here’s a look at the 10 biggest movies of the year.

What’s He Worth? Denzel Washington Lands On Forbes’ ‘Most Overpaid Actors’ List

December 29th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Denzel sitting down with British host Graham Norton. Courtesy of Wenn

Denzel sitting down with British host Graham Norton. Courtesy of Wenn

Denzel Washington was one of those trashed by execs at Sony as revealed by hacked emails in which said that Denzel couldn’t pull in an overseas market. Now, according to Forbes’ List of “Most Overpaid Actors” Washington might be getting paid more than he’s worth.

According to the new list, Washington lands at number eight on the list, which is topped by Adam Sandler. Sandler came in first place for the second year in a row.

For the list, Forbes looks at which actors bring in the lowest return on the film studio’s investment. “To come up with the list, Forbes uses data from its research for its Celebrity 100 list combined with Box Office Mojo data. They look at the last three movies of the biggest stars in Hollywood and calculate what they were paid and what the movies earned, to produce what is essentially a return-on-investment number for each star,” reports Black America Web.

Following Sandler were:  Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Ryan Reynolds, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Channing Tatum, Washington, Sandra Bullock, and Ben Affleck.

“We estimate that for every $1 Sandler was paid, he returned an average of $3.20,” the magazine concluded. “Sandler’s latest movie, ‘Grown Ups 2,’ was a hit but it didn’t do well enough to compensate for the losses from ‘Jack and Jill’ and ‘That’s My Boy.’”

Depp returned $4.10 for every dollar paid while Affleck returned $9.37.

For Denzel, it was $6.90 for every $1 paid. The only movie he had his year was The Equalizer. Last year he had Two Guns with Mark Wahlberg. And in 2012, he had Flight (for which he was nominated for an Oscar) and Safe House with Ryan Reynolds.

Latest From The Sony Hack: Denzel Won’t Make As Much Money Overseas Because Of His Skin Color

December 18th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Denzel sitting down with British host Graham Norton. Courtesy of Wenn

Denzel sitting down with British host Graham Norton. Courtesy of Wenn

Wait what?? Yes, you read that headline right.

The Sony dump of hacked emails continue, and today we have a message to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, a producer with the company, in which someone says Denzel Washington wouldn’t be a big moneymaker in the starring role of a Sony movie because he’s Black and overseas audiences wouldn’t be receptive to him. The movie turned out to be The Equalizer and, according to The Daily Mailthe movie made half of its money overseas. So that debunks that idea.

The author of the email blamed the expected lower box office receipts on “the racism of non-American audiences,” says the Mail. They went so far to suggest that the company should avoid casting Black actors if it wants to have optimum appeal abroad.

“Writes the producer of Washington, ‘Casting him is saying we’re ok with a double if the picture works.’ A double as opposed to a homerun,” says the paper.

The film made $191 million total, 47 percent of that internationally. The film was also directed by a Black filmmaker, Antoine Fuqua, FYI.

Box Office Mojo says Denzel has made more than $2.2 billion over the span of his career. The Equalizer was his fourth highest grossing movie. Number one was 2007’s American Gangster, in which he starred with a very diverse cast. That made more than $130 million in the US and more than $136 million abroad. American Gangster is a Universal movie.

Separately but related, we brought up the question of international appeal when we sat with Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan in January. They are the director and star of Fruitvale Station, the film based on the shooting death of Oscar Grant in the Bay Area. The film was a critical and box office hit, a surprise for an indie film about a local incident. But the pair, as well as the rest of the cast, traveled to Cannes to showcase the film and got raves.

We wrote at the time:

“We had an idea that people from the Bay Area would get it, but farther? People were swarming Michael [B. Jordan], barely speaking English,” Coogler said of the overseas experience. “It was extremely gratifying.”

“There was concern about a black director and a black film. But it’s about humanity. Cannes solidified that. The standing ovation was gratifying,” Jordan continued.

The world is ready to see all kinds of stories and actors on the big screen. The question is whether the studios are ready to bring it.

Denzel’s New Movie “The Equalizer” Takes The Weekend Box Office

September 29th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Denzel Washington’s latest action/thriller The Equalizer topped the weekend box office with $35 million. This is the third-best premiere showing for Denzel. American Gangster is number one opening at $43.6 million in 2007; and Safe House is number two at $40.1 million in 2012.

The Equalizer, about a “former commando living a quiet life in Boston when the disappearance of a prostitute acquaintance (Chloe Grace Moretz) lures him into a battle with the Russian mafia,” is another collaboration between Washington and his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua. According to The New York Daily News, it’s loosely based on the 1980s show of the same name, and a sequel is already in the works with thoughts of making this a franchise. The movie had been projected to score somewhere in the $25 million range for the weekend, so it exceeded expectations. It was helped by its showing in IMAX theaters.

Denzel is turning 60 in December, which puts him up there with Liam Neeson and The Expendables in terms of the new trend towards older male action heroes.

That older demographic falls in line with the audience; 65 percent of those people who saw The Equalizer this weekend were over 30 years old. In terms of gender, the audience was more evenly split, 52 percent male and 48 percent female, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Rounding out the top five in order are: last week’s number one, the young-adult adaptation of the book The Maze Runner ($17.5 million); the animated family move The Boxtrolls ($17.2 million); the adult ensemble comedy starring Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda This Is Where I Leave You ($7 million); and the family movie Dolphin Tale 2 with Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr. at $4.8 million. No Good Deed with Idris Elba and Taraji P. Hensen fell from the top spot two weeks ago to number six with $4.6 million.

In case you haven’t seen the trailer, here you go.

That Was You!? Small Roles Big Celebrities Had In Your Favorite Shows And Movies Before They Were Famous

August 26th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Everyone has to start off somewhere, and some of the biggest stars we’re into now were scraping and fighting for roles and big opportunities back in the day. Here is a list of 15 famous folks who had small roles in some of your favorite shows and movies, and you didn’t even notice (cause they weren’t famous yet of course).


Jennifer Love Hewitt in Sister Act 2

Before becoming one of the big teen stars of the ’90s, Hewitt played a makeup-obsessed student in the popular sequel and had the chance to show off her vocal talents with the cast (she did try to put out an album in ’96…).

On Their Grown Man: 15 Of The Sexiest Salt And Pepper Celebrities

July 4th, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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Finely groomed gray-haired men are proof that as males age, they just look more distinguished, more elegant and, in general, more like they’d know how to make you feel like a woman. Here are 15 salt and pepper celebrities we wouldn’t mind growing older with (if they were all single).

 Guillermo Proano/

Guillermo Proano/

Dennis Haysbert

Everything about this man says distinguished gentleman and though it’s sometimes hard to believe celebrity endorsements, whenever we hear him on AllState commercials we really do feel like we’re in good hands.

15 Of The Greatest Basketball Movies Ever Made

April 29th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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The NBA playoff season is heating up with the Miami Heat looking to three-peat while fighting off championship contenders such as the Oklahoma City Thunders, Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets. In honor of this exciting time of year, we take a look at some of our favorite basketball movies.

"He Got Game pf"

He Got Game

Spike Lee and Denzel Washington have collaborated on several films together including his 1997 film He Got Game. Washington played Jake Shuttleworth, a prison inmate and the father of the country’s top high school basketball star who was granted a one-week parole release to convince his son to play for the governor’s alma mater. Real life NBA player Ray Allen made his debut into film as the star player Jesus Shuttleworth but he wasn’t the only hoops star cast in the movie. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Rick Fox, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Bill Walton also appeared in the film.