How Denzel Washington Brought Fences from Broadway to the Screen

Denzel Washington from Fences
Denzel Washington from Fences

Denzel Washington Talks Going from Broadway to Big Screen in Fences

The Broadway revival of “Fences” in 2010 enjoyed great success, with more than 100 performances and a best actor Tony Award for Denzel Washington as Troy Maxson, the former baseball standout who wound up as a garbage collector struggling to support his family in 1950s Pittsburgh.

Still, Washington took his time making a film version of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1987 play.

“It was another two-and-half, three-year process of me getting up the nerve … to get ready for the film,” he tells Made in Hollywood Reporter Patrick Stinson.

The issues?

“Getting my head around it,” Washington says. “Should it be me doing to do all of this?”

In the end, he decided it should be him. “I knew the material as well as anyone because we did 114 shows.”

Fences Returns Broadway Revival Stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis

It was the right call. Also starring  Viola Davis from the Broadway run, plus newcomer Jovan Adepo as Washington’s son, Cory, this major Christmas holiday release has garnered rave reviews and Oscar buzz.

“August Wilson wrote a masterpiece that touches you wherever you’re vulnerable spot is,” he says. “For some you’re the son in that play, in that movie. For some you’re the father. For some you’re the wife. For some, you’re the daughter. There’s something there for everyone. We’ve all seen something like this in our live and had to deal with it.”