Acclaimed actor Denzel Washington has spoken movingly about his Christian faith, desire to honour God, and concerns about social media.
Washington, famous for more than 40 years of towering performances on stage and screen, credited “filling his bucket” with scripture, daily, to stay on track.
Talking to the New York Times (NYT) to promote his latest film, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Washington described himself as God-fearing and warned against the dangers of the digital age.
He said: “The Bible says in the last days — I don’t know if it’s the last days, it’s not my place to know — but it says we’ll be lovers of ourselves. The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me.’…We’re living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed. What is the long or short-term effect of too much information? It’s going fast and it can be manipulated obviously in a myriad of ways. And people are led like sheep to slaughter.”
NYT Journalist Maureen Dowd said that during the interview, Washington encouraged her to read the Bible. He said: “You have to fill up that bucket every morning. It’s rough out there. You leave the house in the morning. Here they come, chipping away. By the end of the day, you’ve got to refill that bucket.”
Washington, 66, also shared about his faith at The Better Man Event conference in Florida, in October. The father of four said: "Stay on your knees. Watch me, but listen to God,” adding: “I hope that the words in my mouth and the meditation of my heart are pleasing in God's sight, but I'm human. I'm just like you. What I have will not keep me on this earth for one more day. Share what you know, inspire who you can, seek advice. If you want to talk to one someone, talk to the one that can do something about it. Constantly develop those habits.”
Washington said that before he buried his 97-year-old mother this year, he promised her he would “attempt to honour her and God by living the rest of my days in a way that would make her proud. So that’s what I’m trying to do.”
He told the NYT: “If you don’t have a spiritual anchor you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression.”
Washington has been married to Paulette Pearson for 38 years. He and his wife renewed their wedding vows in 1995, in South Africa with Desmond Tutu officiating.