Los Angeles – (AFP)
Since Shakespeare created Macbeth four centuries ago, no one of Denzel Washington’s caliber has portrayed him. The two-Oscar-winning star, considered one of the most important actors of his time, received nominations for most upcoming film awards for his role in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”, which is available as of Friday via Apple TV +.
The age of Denzel Washington, 67, and Frances McDormand, 64, who played Lady Macbeth, may seem a hindrance to the birth of an heir to their kingdom.
“They are tired and older,” Washington told AFP, explaining that the time that passes plays a big role in this version and pushes the two characters towards evil and madness. He adds: The two characters think as follows: Our time has come, and this is our right. Give it to us.
Would the actor who fights enemies with the sword twice in the movie have played this role differently twenty or thirty years ago?
Washington answers with a smile: I may have used my physical abilities more, and my current disability would not have reached my knees at this point in my life.
The fact that Denzel Washington is black, and like him, Corey Hawkins, 33, who plays his enemy in the movie Macduff, does not fit the historical context of a story supposed to take place in Scotland during the eleventh century, but this detail is not new in Macbeth’s quotes; Orson Welles, for example, made a version of the play in 1936 in which all the heroes were black.
Washington says during a panel discussion with the press: We are certainly diverse and I think this is excellent, adding: In my humble opinion, we must reach a point where we should not talk about diversity as if it were a strange thing.
He adds: “These young people, whatever their skin color, whether black, white, blue or green, are very talented and highly skilled, and that is why they have reached this stage.”
“I can’t change my skin or my hair,” says Hawkins, “but what I can do is be as good as I wasn’t expected to be.”
Producer and director Joel Coen chose to make his film in the black and white, semi-square format that was adopted at the end of the silent cinema era, with minimal sound effects, giving the film a flavor of early Hollywood.
And cinematic versions of “Macbeth” by major directors such as Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa and Roman Polanski have previously been shown. Washington asserts that he has never seen any of these copies; Rather, he deliberately avoided it so that he would not think that he would be able to make a better version of it.
The actor, whose character in “Macbeth” is calm before falling into anger, ambition, and then madness: “I did not want this to affect my performance, so I accepted the role with my imagination and a new look.”
Macbeth was not the first character Washington played for Shakespeare; He even played the role of “Julius Caesar” on Broadway, and appeared in the movie “Match Add About Nothing” directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Corey Hawkins hopes minority boys will want to check out Shakespeare’s work after seeing the other black actors in the film. “This work might spark their curiosity,” he says. And he continues: “Yes, blacks love Shakespeare. We love him without knowing it because there are so many references to him in the songs and the cultures we love.” “We have Shakespeare as much as everyone else,” Hawkins says.