I interviewed Denzel Washington this week. I love Denzel… Not like I want him to mount me like an effortlessly cool, down-to-earth, yet untouchably noble stag and leave me panting but guiltily satisfied with my quivering hooves splayed on the ground (I’m the doe in this scenario) but I feel actual overwhelming admiration for his skill, respect for his body of work and the iconic characters he’s played but also an unexplainable fondness for the man. Which is ridiculous, because I don’t bloody know him! I interviewed him at the UK premiere of his new movie Flight, for which John Gatins’ screenplay is nominated for an Academy Award, as is Denzel himself for Best Male – if he wins it’ll be his third Oscar and his second in that category, pretty good going. For the first time in my life, I identified with the hordes of fans who line the barriers at any premiere, screaming and waving and often seemingly thoroughly stressed and almost crazed by the situation, I was not on their level but I was, I admit, excited as Denzel approached.
I interview a lot of famous people and have never been ‘star struck’ – that’s not strictly true, I was turned into a weak-kneed gibbering marionette of sycophancy when I met former Spurs captain Ledley King on New Year’s Eve 2011 but that wasn’t at work and my reaction was due to my own sad obsession with a man who, by movie star standards, isn’t that famous. Anyway bar that I’ve never been overtaken by the mania that possesses some and I think it’s because nothing brings home the ‘normalness’ of someone incredibly glamorous than seeing them in person, because they’re totally out of context. Tom Cruise didn’t shoot his way in to a heavily guarded compound and crash through a window prior to our interview, he walked over and his nose was red because it was chilly. Dustin Hoffman didn’t scream and plead while Sir Laurence Olivier tried to yank out his toothy pegs but rather walked over like a lovely little fella and we had a chat. It was the same with Denzel. He wasn’t Detective Alonso Harris, nor was he Frank Lucas or ‘The Hurricane’ but he did exude a certain aura and it wasn’t his fame that impressed me but rather his presence. He had the air of a man totally at ease with himself, in control and innately worthy of respect. I argued a few weeks ago that Tom Cruise had a certain Hollywood ‘X Factor’ and Mr. Washington has one too although of a different kind and it reinforced my feeling that some people, as human as they are in person, are born to be immortalised on screen.
Moving on, how f*!#ing good is The Hunger Games!? I’ve cottoned on to this one late but I’m hardly the target demographic. I devoured each book in 100 page-plus chunks, experiencing a fervour I’ve not known since I first read Harry Potter or dare I say it Lord of the Rings – that’s right girls I’m a rock and roll wild man! I also fell in love a bit with the central protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, who is strong, self-sufficient and naughty, both in the sense that she’s unwilling to follow the rules laid down to her if they don’t coincide with her own noble moral sensibilities and in the Danny Dyer sense that she’s a right bloody minx! A refreshing change from the stunted tedium of the Twilight series and from the moaning sack of annoyingness that is Bella Swan and every character in Twilight and such a superior role model for young people and more specifically the young women who make up the core fans of these franchises. So go on ladies, admire Katniss, emulate her and lads… watch out.
Finally, in the most important saga in Anglo-American relations since Churchill tried to convince Roosevelt to end his policy of US isolationism and bring America into WW2 to avoid a Nazi hegemony in Europe, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are never, ever, everrrrr getting back together… Except they might be, at the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes this weekend, after the scintillating news that they might be staying in the same hotel!!! Well that’s that then, I can honestly say I have never stayed in any hotel where I haven’t shagged every single guest, any pets or wild animals on site and anything with a suitable orifice that I’m left alone with for more than 2 minutes 28 seconds.
I’ll keep you abreast of any developments, if you haven’t already very slowly and without a thought for correct spelling, ended it all by repeatedly bashing your forehead into the keyboard at the sheer banality of it all… lksdvfnlkvnvlsad;ldsl’l;vmnbhjdvf@dzfzzdf … Owww.
First published on IAmMusic.TV, 24th Jan 2013