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Celebrity Getaway: Denzel Washington

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Movie: The Taking of Pelham 123
Celebrity: Denzel Washington

So let's start with where is your favourite vacation spot and why?
Wow! You know I've been so fortunate to travel I couldn't tell you what my favourite spot is ... probably where we have good friends. One place is Positano, Italy. We have good friends there, so that makes it just as much as the place itself which is magical. This summer we plan to visit … well, I'm not going to say for the press "there" [laughs] but Northern Italy and the Czech Republic.

What's your number-one travel tip?
After, make sure you have your passport! Um, it's watch the water [laughs]. I don't know, it depends upon where you're going.

Apart from the passport, is there anything else you never leave home without? Is that a commercial? What I never leave home without? Well on vacation, I never leave home without my family. I've never been on vacation without them, in 20-odd years.

You mentioned you'd been to Australia before. Did you have a favourite Australian travel experience?
You know, it was great! I went there for a short period of time. I've been there twice I think, but the last time I was there I met some local folks and we just walked the town — stopped in little teahouses. I said, "I don't want to see all the tourist stuff, just take me to the neighbourhoods. Where are the people?" So we walked all day and half the night. In fact, all night into the next morning. I remember having tea at some late-night place, I don't know where it was.

Which city?
Sydney. I haven't been to Perth and I haven't been to Melbourne. Pelham's director Tony Scott likes diving with the sharks in Queensland, up that way, the Great Barrier Reef. I don't know about that, I'm not trying to get in the water with sharks.

But apparently you like sailing, right?
Yeah, I went sailing on Saturday.

Where are some of your favourite sailing spots around the world?
I'm not a big sailor. I'm more of a motorboat guy, but I'm trying to learn. A friend of mine who's a brilliant brain surgeon, Dr Keith Black, is an avid sailor and I'm like his first mate, or whatever.

So getting back to the movie, what was the best thing about making it?
Getting a chance to meet John Travolta and working with him day in and day out, and just talking with him and everything with him. That was the best, well not the best part of it, but the new part. I don't want to hurt Tony's feelings ("I like you, too, Tony") but me and John had a good time together.

There's a difference between a remake and a retelling of a film. Can you please explain for people who may be familiar with the original version?
You know, I'm not familiar with the original one as I haven't seen it. But I know a lot is different because a lot of it we made up. My whole character is based on an actual person who works for the MTA [Metropolitan Transportation Authority]. A part of the story is based on an incident that happened to a real person [dispatcher Walter Garber] at the MTA, the whole thing with paying off the trains, picking a train and getting paid for it under the table. That was something that I'm sure wasn't in the original.

And in a nutshell what's this movie about?
John Travolta just gives me a hard time for two hours!

I'd pay to see that.
Yeah, yeah, he gives me a real hard time and he pays the ultimate price for it. Good guys win in the end. Even overweight good guys, who spill coffee on themselves.

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