The Equalizer 3 was a reunion for stars Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning, nearly two decades after they worked together in one of Tony Scott’s best thriller movies – Man on Fire. In the 2004 movie, Fanning is the 9-year-old daughter of a rich family in Mexico City, and Denzel Washington is her bodyguard.
When Man on Fire was released, Washington was full of praise for his young co-star, telling IGN; “She’s a bright young woman and she’s just a joy to be around. You can’t not like her. Dakota is a child, but she is a wonderful actor. And that’s what we were doing together: acting. I don’t know what a child actor is. She’s an actor who’s a child.”
“We were together a lot, just the two of us, especially in the car, so there’s a lot of time to talk and joke. It was just the way you get to know anyone else. She’s a very engaging and interesting person and a very smart young woman. You start having little conversations. She’s very professional.”
Fanning said that she passed the time on set by making a gift for Washington’s wife Paulette. “I knitted Denzel’s wife a scarf. I have been knitting for about a year. I love it. When I knitted for Denzel’s wife Paulette, I did hers in two days so I didn’t get sick of it. But normally, if it is a thinner yarn, it takes a really long time.”
Fanning recently told ET that Washington had continued to be part of her life; “I’ve obviously, you know, known Denzel for a big part of my life, and one of his daughters is one of my closest friends, so I’m always in the loop. He has always been so good to me and kind to me, and I feel such a connection to him because he’s known me for so long. It’s most people’s dream to get to work with him once, so to get to work with him twice at different stages in my life is a real treat.”