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Sidney Poitier to Denzel Washington: Choose Wisely

Turning Down Racist Role May Have Changed Denzel's Career: For the Better

(SNN) – Denzel Washington, leading man and heart throb to a vast audience, once received wisdom through some mentoring from Sidney Poitier. After receiving a role in a movie Denzel himself jokingly calls, “Da Nigga they couldn't kill,” a role that saw the hero of the story, an African American, survive a beating, torturing and hanging, Denzel turned it down.

But before he threw away a $600,000 dollar role, he called a friend for advice.

The advice; Poitier told Denzel, “The first, two or three or four movies you do, will dictate how you are perceived in this business.” Sage advice from a veteran performer, an artist who has lead the way for many other African American actors in the business.

Not falling into the lure of the Hollywood’s Blaxploitation Era, Denzel went onto bigger and better things, “Cry Freedom” (1987), “Glory” (1989), “Malcolm X “(1992), “Philadelphia” (1993), “John Q” (2003) and the “Book of Eli” (2010) to name only six of fifty-three movie credits to his name.

In this candid clip from 2010, Denzel recalls that moment in his early career when the wrong decision could have changed his life, and ours for that matter.

Photo: Some Rights Reserved by Aktiv I flickr photostream, The Sage nor this artivle endorsed. The original image can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: The above article is provided for entertainment purposes only. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Entertainment and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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