Denzel Washington says his gifts were given by the ‘grace of God’

Actor Denzel Washington attends the premiere of “FENCES” in Manhattan, New York City, on December 19, 2016.
Actor Denzel Washington attends the premiere of “FENCES” in Manhattan, New York City, on December 19, 2016. | Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Academy and Tony Award-winning actor and director Denzel Washington continues to give God the glory for his many talents, most recently as a guest on the fourth season premiere of a late-night comedy talk show. 

In the 23-minute video interview on Showtime's “Desus & Mero,” hosted by podcasters Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, Washington speaks of his love for NewYork, pizza, his upcoming film “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” how he prepares for his roles and what he’s learned after the many years in Hollywood.

During the conversation, the New York native testified that by the “grace of God,” he was “given the natural ability to act.”

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Washington said despite having the natural ability, he still had to study to be as good of an actor as he can be. 

"That's why I did," He said. "And it paid off."  

Later in the video, Washington was asked to name "one of the most important lessons in Hollywood that everyone should know."

“One of the most important lessons in life that you should know is to remember to have an attitude of gratitude, of humility, understand where the gift comes from,” Washington advised.

The actor assured the young men that everything he’s done, “It’s not mine, it’s been given to me by the grace of God.”

He encouraged everyone to use what they have “to help others,” as he said he has done.

“You’ll never see a U-haul behind a hearse,” Washington assured. “Egyptians tried. What did they get? They got robbed!”

Washington often uses his U-haul analogy. He shared it during his commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.

Washington expounded on the quote in a 2014 conversation with young actors posted on actor Tyrese Gibson’s Facebook page.

“You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. Now, I’ve been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life. I can’t take it with me, and neither can you. It’s not how much you have but what you do with what you have,” he told the actors.

In a 2017 interview with The Christian Post, Washington shared part of his Christian testimony, saying that when he was 20 years old, “it was prophesied that I would travel the world and preach to millions of people. 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!”

“So you have to be unafraid and unashamed to share it in the way your millennial generation knows how,” he told this CP reporter at the time. 

In September 2021, Washington was among the featured speakers at “The Better Man Event” hosted by First Baptist Orlando. He engaged in a sit-down discussion with one of his spiritual mentors, Pastor A.R. Bernard of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“In every prayer, all I hear is: ‘Feed my sheep.’ That’s what God wants me to do,” Washington, a father of three, shared. 

The actor said his response is often, “What’s that mean?” But “what I found out in the last couple of years is there are all kinds of sheep.”

“So that’s why I talk to experienced shepherds to help guide me,” he said.

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