After over 20 years in the business, Denzel Washington is still considered one of the best on screen. Still, he recognizes the plethora of talent coming up under his influence, including Michael B. Jordan, whom he believes is ready to take over Hollywood.
In an interview with The New York Times, Washington acknowledged Jordan’s progression as an actor and the comparisons they’ve received since 2013’s Fruitvale Station.
“When someone says you’re like your idol,” Jordan said, “It’s like: ‘Really? You see that in me?’ I’d only done that one movie. But then I started using it as motivation,” he said. “I wanted to pop up on Denzel’s radar. He’s the OG. If I could get recognition from him, I know I’m going down the right path, you know?”
Washington then chimed in with, “And here we are, Mike! Looks like it’s working out already!”
The Fences actor went on to say he’s ready to see more young people of color “win,” which is why he has no problem making room for Jordan.
“The way I see it, I’m in the service business now. I’m here to serve God, my family and young people of color in our business,” Washington said. He later added, “That’s why I’m here! That’s why I’m still in the race. And I’m passing the baton. What a lot of people don’t know is: When you pass the baton, you keep running behind the other runner, you don’t just stop. I’m like, ‘Make the turn, bring it home!’ I like helping people. I want to see them do well.”
You can read the full interview here.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.