Acclaimed actor Denzel Washington has no patience for those who think acting is like going to war, he said during a recent Director's Roundtable discussion by the Hollywood Reporter.
"People talk about the difficulty of making a movie and I'm like, send your son to Iraq, that's difficult,” Washington said during the interview. He was joined by Mel Gibson, Oliver Stone, himself a Vietnam War veteran, Barry Jenkins, Damien Chazelle and Mira Nair.
When asked about his first job, and his worst, Washington talked about working as a garbageman as well as a postman, before hitting on a much larger theme and one that has distanced Hollywood celebrities from the everyday folks who go see their movies:
“It’s like when people talk about the difficulty of making a movie, and I’m like, send your son to Iraq, that’s difficult,” the Oscar winning actor stated. “It’s just a movie. It’s like relax. I don’t play that precious nonsense. Your son got shot in the face. That’s difficult. Making a movie is a luxury. It’s a gift, it’s an opportunity, but most importantly it’s a gift.”
Washington’s comments are a far cry from the way some actors have referred to the challenges they face on set. In 2013, Tom Cruise likened his work on “Oblivion;” which filmed in Louisiana, Iceland, New York, and California; to a tour to Afghanistan
"That's what it feels like." Cruise reportedly said of his job, comparing it to serving in a warzone. "And certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal."
Acting, while a challenge, is nothing like serving in a combat zone. Washington’s words should help Hollywood keep things in perspective.
“Don’t get it twisted, it’s just a movie,” Washington said. “It ain't that big of a deal.”