The actor-director talks reuniting the Broadway cast of 'Fences' for the film adaptation

By Nick Romano
January 13, 2017 at 12:46 PM EST
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Before directing and starring in this year’s Fences, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis fronted a 2010 Broadway revival of the August Wilson play that earned both of them Tony Awards. During an interview with EW, the actor described the film adaptation as “a family reunion” with the cast.

Stephen Henderson (Jim), Russell Hornsby (Lyons), and Mykelti Williamson (Gabriel) also starred alongside the Hollywood icons in both versions. “It was a warm feeling of, you know, seeing an old friend, and here we go, and it was all worth it and now here we are,” Washington explained. “And it was also about now catching up with Jovan, [who played] the young boy, Cory, [in the film] and the young girl.”

Washington plays Troy, a troubled working-class father trying to raise his family in 1950s Pittsburgh, while coming to grips with the choices of his past.

Davis’ reprisal of Troy’s wife, Rose, for the film yielded her first Golden Globes win. “It’s not every day that Hollywood thinks of translating a play to screen,” she said in her acceptance speech. “It doesn’t scream ‘moneymaker.’ But it does scream ‘art.’ It does scream ‘heart.’”

“We did the play it was a great success and then I wasted time for about four years,” Washington said of the journey from stage to screen. “I procrastinated for about three to four years, until I was backed into a corner and I said yes.”

Watch Washington’s interview in the video above.

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  • PG-13
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  • 138 minutes
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