Ethan Hawke Shares Denzel Washington's Whispered Words Post-Oscar Loss

Denzel Washington's wisdom transcends beyond mere accolades.

by Nouman Rasool
Ethan Hawke Shares Denzel Washington's Whispered Words Post-Oscar Loss
© Ferda Demir/Getty Images

In one of those moments when the veil falls away, speaking with great sincerity and humanness in an interview for "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?" on Max, Ethan Hawke recounted this anecdote from the 2002 Academy Awards, where he was in the running for the Best Supporting Actor for his role in Antoine Fuqua's "Training Day." Hawke didn't win but went on to express the wise and comforting words that came from his co-star, Denzel Washington, and resonated with him to this day.

"You don't want an award to improve your status. You want to improve the award's status," whispered Denzel Washington, Hollywood bigwig, and two-time Oscar-wint by him- self, to Hawke. It gives an idea of how much importance Denzel Washington attaches to awards serving the real cause of taking one's contribution to the arts further than merely adding personal glory.

Hawke, musing over Washington, called him "the greatest actor of our generation," and said Washington's awards, which include his best actor Oscar for "Training Day," have actually made the Oscars a little more respectable, not the other way around.

Washington's Guiding Mentorship

It's not the first time Washington is reported to step in with advice at critical moments. His advice became the undertone of the 2022 Oscars in consoling Will Smith after an on-stage altercation with Chris Rock.

Washington's role in defining mentorship and giving a philosophical understanding of fame and honours has established him as the perennial starring figure in any conversation about professionalism and integrity in Hollywood.

Washington's moments of mentorship are drawn from a reservoir of experience and industry respect. Ten Oscar nominations alone speak of a career: a testament to the indelible mark he has made on film. Meanwhile, Hawke has moved on to something of a more multi-hyphenated career since acting: he now turns to a new role behind the camera.

He is now preparing to release his directorial debut film, "Wildfire," which stars his daughter Maya Hawke as the legendary novelist Flannery O'Connor. While he may have lost out on an Academy Award, Hawke is still very much a Hollywood figure with a slew of acting and writing nominations, all of which attest to that very same sense of multi-hyphenate talent that Washington himself embodies.