Denzel Washington revealed that while shooting the forthcoming film, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” he and producer and writer Dan Gilroy prayed and read the Bible every day.
“God put us together,” the 62-year-old Academy Award winner told The Gospel Herald during a press junket at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles Saturday. “We prayed every day, we read the daily Word every day.”
He added, “Dan and I have been prayer partners in this whole collaboration…We were on the same page from day one. We know Who we work for, and we’re just trying to do our best work.”
Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” also starring actors Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo, follows an idealistic defense attorney (Washington) whose deeply-held beliefs are shaken when an unexpected series of events challenge his passion for helping the poor and disenfranchised.
“He is Old Testament, he knows the law, but, not to say he doesn’t have faith, but he has faith in the law,” Washington explained of his character. “His conviction was through the law.”
While the film isn’t “faith-based,” it’s chock-full of biblical themes, including sacrifice, (Roman gives up family, fortune, and reputation for the sake of a cause he firmly believes in), honor, and faith in the unseen.
“I speak now and I’m doing what God told me to do from the beginning,” Washington told GH. “It was prophesied that I would travel the world and preach to millions of people. It was prophesied when I was 20. I thought it was through my work and it has been.”
“My mother said to me when I was 59, she said, ‘Denzel, you do a lot of good. You have to do good the right way and you know what I’m talking about,'” Washington continued. “I don’t drink anymore, I don’t do any of those things. I’m all about the message, to the degree that I know it, and I’m unashamed and unafraid to share it!”
In the age of social media, Washington said it’s easy to lose sight of one’s convictions, as society is constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information.
“I was reading about this today in my prayer and meditation – it is so difficult to trust that Jesus died for our sins because the mind never shuts off, especially in this world,” he said. “We know, we know, we know, but we forget, moment by moment.”
He urged young people to ask themselves: “What is the long, if not short-term effect of too much information?”
“It’s accelerated now, it’s on steroids, it’s moving so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up,” Washington said of the social media age. “What happens to the part of the brain that figures things out? We better understand that we are addicted to this,” he added, holding up a cell phone. “It’s not its fault, it’s a magnification and a reflection of our own free will.”
Washington revealed that Pastor A.R. Bernard, senior pastor of Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York, once shared with him Daniel chapter 10 from the Bible, saying, “‘God puts leaders in place for a reason and a season.'”
“There’s a reason, you may not like what’s going on but the boss has a reason,” Washington said, pointing heavenward.
Like Roman, Washington urged millennials to hold fast to their convictions and share the truth of the gospel with a watching world — no matter how unpopular.
“I pray for your generation,” he said. “What an opportunity you have! Don’t be depressed by it because we have to go through this, we’re here now. You can’t put that thing back in the box.”
The actor went on to say that his father, who was a pastor, once “slapped him down” because he questioned his father’s predictions about the End Times.
“Each generation, we’re all guilty of it, we think it’s gonna happen when we’re here. We as a species, God’s children, have to go through this!” he emphasized. “We don’t know where we are in it [the End Times]’. We may think we’re at 10, but we may just be at one. None of us know, but we are going through it. And you, after we’re long gone, are going to have to go through. So at least be aware.”
He added, “I would say to your generation – find a way to work together because this is a very divisive, angry time you’re living in, unfortunately, because we didn’t grow up like that.”
“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” hits theaters on Nov. 22. For more information on “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” visit the movie’s website.