Ethan Hawke Reveals Denzel’s Advice On Winning An Academy Award

In 2002, Training Day costars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke were Oscar-nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. Washington won, Hawke did not, losing to Jim Broadbent for his role in Iris.

Hawke said Washington provided some sage advice after he lost.

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“You don’t want an award to improve your status. You want to improve the award’s status,” Hawke quoted Washington during his appearance on Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace on Max. “That’s the way he thinks, and that’s what I’m talking about playing with Babe Ruth.”

The latter reference comes from Hawke previously comparing acting with Washington to what it would be like to play baseball with all-time baseball great Ruth. “I think when all is said and done, he’s the greatest actor of our generation,” Hawke said. “The Academy Award has more power because Denzel has a couple. It didn’t elevate who he was.”

Still, Hawke was asked, wouldn’t you have rather won the Oscar?

“No,” he said, then quickly reversed. “I mean, yeah, I guess. I was at the Oscars sitting next to Denzel Washington and nominated against Ian McKellen. I had already won. It was impossible for me not to see it any other way.”

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