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Denzel Washington’s Training Day role wasn’t written for a Black actor

Denzel Washington won his second Oscar for thriller movie Training Day, and he credits action movie director Antoine Fuqua with building the role for him.

Denzel Washington won an Oscar for thriller movie Training Day

The 2000s movie Training Day remains one of the most impressive entries in the exceptional Denzel Washington filmography, with the thriller movie handing the actor a plum role as corrupt cop Alonzo Harris.


It’s rare that Washington plays a bona fide movie villain, but he managed to win himself an Oscar for breaking bad in the detective movie. Two decades later, it’s one of his most memorable roles – and certainly stands among his best movies.

Antoine Fuqua directed Training Day and has since gone on to work with Washington on the action movie franchise The Equalizer.

Washington told The Hollywood Reporter it was Fuqua who transformed Training Day into the unique movie that it became, comparing the initial screenplay to Lethal Weapon and saying Fuqua reshaped it to suit him.

He said: “I don’t think it was written for a Black guy. It was more like a plaid-shirt [wearing] guy with beer bottles in the back. Antoine was the one that brought gangster to it.”

Washington also recalled how their relationship began when he saw Fuqua’s debut ‘90s movie The Replacement Killers and decided that “if he can shoot and I can act, I thought that would be a good combination”.

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Given the fact Washington now has nine Oscar nominations, as well as innumerable other big screen successes, it says a lot about Training Day that it still stands as a gem in the pantheon of Denzel Washington movies.