Denzel Washington was recently named the greatest actor of the 21st century

By Claudia Harmata
January 18, 2021 09:20 AM
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Denzel Washington and son John David Washington
Credit: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

The best praise comes from those we love.

Over the weekend, Denzel Washington sat down with Access Hollywood to discuss his upcoming film in-theaters and on HBO Max, The Little Things. While chatting with Sibley Scoles, the actor got emotional when the correspondent revealed some sweet praise his son John David shared with the outlet about his father being named the best actor of the 21st century by The New York Times.

While speaking to Access last month, John David said "it's about time" his dad received the recognition. "I think he is one of the greatest to ever do it so it was a very proud moment for our entire family," the Malcolm & Marie star said about his dad.

"Wow. I'm speechless," a teary-eyed Denzel, 66, said after Scoles read him the quote. "I forgot what the question was but I'm speechless. I didn't know he said that."

The proud father then added, "Watch out for his sister. His sister is a great actor. Olivia Washington."

In November, the Times named Denzel the "Greatest Actor of the 21st Century (So Far)," with critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott writing that it was the easiest decision to make when compiling the list.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Golden Globe Nominee Denzel Washington attends a Q and A for 'Fences' at The Curzon Mayfair on December 12, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Paramount)
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Paramount

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"We wrangled and argued about every other slot on the list, but there was no hesitation or debate about this one," Scott wrote."Denzel Washington is beyond category: a screen titan who is also a subtle and sensitive craftsman, with serious old-school stage training and blazing movie-star presence. "

Dargis added, "He makes the job — by which I mean acting — look like breathing ... Washington can express anguished vulnerability, but he can tower like a colossus, looming over worlds like an Old Testament patriarch — it's extraordinary given the representations of Black masculinity onscreen not long ago."

The Little Things Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto
Denzel Washington in The Little Things
| Credit: Warner Bros.

The pair also praised the Training Day star's long and successful career in Hollywood as a "rebuke to the racist industry in which he works."

Denzel's next big screen appearance is in the psychological thriller The Little Things. The Oscar-winning actor stars as Deputy Sheriff Joe "Deke" Deacon, who is sent to Los Angeles for a quick evidence-gathering assignment only to find himself embroiled in the search for a serial killer.

Washington is joined by fellow Oscar winners: Rami Malek, who plays Sergeant Jim Baxter and Jared Leto, who plays the prime suspect in the case, Albert Sparma.

The Little Things hits select theaters and HBO Max on Jan. 29, 2021.