Celebrities of big and small screen fame came out to see The Equalizer 2 at the world premiere earlier this week at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. The black carpet was buzzing as Hollywood’s who’s who in film and television caught up with the press and each other about the highly anticipated return of Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua’s franchise and box office hit.
Many of Washington and Fuqua’s friends came out to support them and spoke to Shadow and Act about the impact of Denzel Washington’s work and how this was the first sequel in his long career.
Adina Porter, recently nominated for her first Emmy for her performance in American Horror Story: Cult, was one of the many notable actresses at the premiere. When asked about her most significant takeaway from Denzel’s performance as The Equalizer she said, “Denzel Washington ages really well [laughs]. I’m always thrilled to see how he transforms.”
Former MMA champion turned actor Jay Hieron, who plays a small role in the film, said he was honored to work with Washington, exclaiming, “He is arguably the greatest actor of all time.” Emmy-nominated Britney Young of Netflix’s Glow was also excited to see Washington’s first film after Roman J. Israel, Esq. She loved Chloe Grace Moretz in the first film, but thought it was great to see “Denzel kicking butt.” She said, “He’s goals.”
Seasoned actress Garcelle Beauvais came to support her former Flight co-star. When describing what she gets from Denzel’s acting and role in the last Equalizer, she said “For me, it’s how Denzel just dives into a character. As an actor watching him sort of evolve in these characters, it’s unbelievable. Having worked with him on Flight, when he shows up, he shows up ready. I’m so happy that he decided to do a sequel because he hasn’t done any.”
Kazy Tauginas, who plays Ari, one of the antagonists in the film, said he owns most of Washington’s films on DVD. “Working with him was like a dream come true,” Tauginas said. “He fully commits to every character that he plays. When I was able to work with him, I got to see someone who’s in character, just living as that character, which made it easier for me. I just matched the energy that he was giving me and we just went to work. I love his level of commitment, and that’s why we still see Denzel Washington headlining movies today.”
Vanessa Bell Calloway, whom we swear has not aged a day since she played Prince Akeem’s “Queen to Be” in Coming to America, said she came to support her longtime friend. When asked about his impact, Bell Calloway said, “Denzel is just a pro. He’s always been a consummate professional, so anything he does is always deliberate.” The sister-in-law of Antoine Fuqua and graceful godmother to his children continued, “He doesn’t do anything by happenstance. You just watch him, and you’ll learn a lot.”
As he returns to the silver screen as Robert McCall in The Equalizer 2, fans and friends agree that Washington further materializes his impact as one of the greatest actors of all time. The 63-year-old two-time Oscar-winning legend is only getting better with age. The same can be said about Antoine Fuqua, one of only 13 black directors to helm a $100 million film, as he continues to thrive as one of the top directors in the industry. The Equalizer 2 is his first sequel (he directed), and we are sure it will not be the last. We look forward to seeing more dynamic work from both artists in the future.