'Roman J. Israel, Esq.' is Denzel Washington like you've never seen him before
WATCH Denzel Washington on why he loves the character in his newest role
Denzel Washington plays a gifted, borderline savant defense attorney in his new film "Roman J. Israel, Esq."
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Washington stopped by the ABC News studios to talk about the role, which has been lauded by film critics, including Peter Travers who called it "one of his best performances, like you've never seen him before."
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- Denzel Washington appears on Popcorn With Peter Travers
“I love Roman,” Washington said on "Popcorn With Peter Travers." “It’s a character that when I look at it, when we were editing and I’m watching it day after day, I was like, 'I like that guy.' And I felt like I’m looking at someone else.”
Washington plays the defense attorney who shows extraordinary talent in a focused area, but is challenged in many other aspects. He said the character, who he described as a gifted loner, forced him to step out of his safety zone.
"He’s alone and lonely," Washington said. "He’s a bit of a savant, very bright, very accomplished with law and legalese, [but] lacks social skills. He’s a bit slow when it comes to relationships and things."
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Peter Travers asked how a Mount Vernon, New York upbringing may have influenced Washington’s acting career.
"I’m an ordinary guy with an extraordinary job," Washington, 62, told Travers. "I’m proud and happy to have been born and raised in Mt. Vernon, and the friendships that I had there, and the way I was raised, and the people that I was raised with. I like going back up there. I keep waiting for somebody to wake me up and I’m still working at the post office."
Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Denzel Washington in the video above.
"Roman J. Israel, Esq." is in theaters everywhere.