Silent Archimedes

Denzel Washington plays the same character over and over again

Posted by silentarchimedes on September 29, 2008

I haven’t seen a Denzel Washington movie in a long time. The last one was probably Training Day. I am realizing why. It seems that in all his movies he plays the same character and I’m getting mixed up in which movie was what. Is it just me or does Denzel Washington play the same character over and over again? I mean just look at his mainstream movies since Devil in a Blue Dress!

For an actor who is known to have such range and be in so many critically and publicly acclaimed movies, you would think he would play a wider variety of roles. Of his 22 lead movies since 1995’s Devil in a Blue Dress, Washington has played a character that has some sort of police, federal or armed forces authority influence 15 times! That is close to 70% of the time! When you factor in his other authority roles as a drug lord in American Gangster, football coach in Remember the Titans, and police drama in John Q, Washington plays some sort of authority role 82% of the time (18 of 22 films)! Not to mention that Inside Man 2 has been announced.

The final question becomes, is Denzel Washington typecasted or does he prefer to play such roles? Why change? All his movies are highly rated and he’s still considered a great actor, for the most part. Crimson Tide continues to be one of my favorite movies.

22. 2009. The Taking of Pelham 123 Lieutenant

21. 2007. American Gangster – drug lord

20. 2007. Great Debaters – poet

19. 2006. Inside Manpolice detective

18. 2006. Deja VuATF agent

17. 2004. Man on Fireformer federal agent

16. 2004. Manchurian CandidateArmed Forces Captain

15. 2003. Out of Timepolice chief

14. 2002. Antwone FisherNavy psychiatrist

13. 2001. Training Daypolice detective

12. 2001. John Q – blue collar worker

11. 2000. Remember the Titans – football coach

10. 1999. The Bone Collectorpolice detective

9. 1999. The Hurricane – boxer

8. 1998. Fallen police detective

7. 1998. He Got Game – convict/father

6. 1998. The SiegeFBI Agent

5. 1996. Courage Under FireArmed Forces Lt. Colonel

4. 1996. The Preacher’s Wife – angel

3. 1995. Virtuosityex-cop

2. 1995. Crimson Tidenavy officer

1. 1995. Devil in a Blue Dresswar veteran

It seems like the really great actors are the ones that excel at a wide variety of roles. Ed Norton is a great example of this.

One Response to “Denzel Washington plays the same character over and over again”

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