Two-time Academy Award winner is adding another trophy to his collection. Arguable the greatest actor of this time, Denzel Washington was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the AFI Gala last night. To celebrate the momentous occasion, many Black stars flooded the event such as Spike Lee (who presented the award), Beyoncé, Ava Duvernay, Chadwick Boseman, Issa Rae, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Foxx.
Standing before an audience, Jamie Foxx impersonated Denzel, “I just tried to do something different. When I told him, I got a mariachi band, he went: ‘Okay. Okay. Let’s see this mariachi’,” doing what he does best. Fellow Oscar winner, Mahershala Ali said, “Mr. Washington’s arrival was a seismic moment for my generation. It was hard to articulate the pride we all felt in seeing one of us as a leading man working at the highest level."
During his acceptance speech Washington stated, “If nothing else, I am living proof of the power of God. Anything you think you see, and you think you know where it comes from, the opportunities that I have been afforded, I have been given by the grace of God.”
The AFI Awards will air on June 20 on TNT, followed by encore presentations on sister network TCM.
Spike Lee and Denzel began their work together during Mo Betta Blues. Spike who has worked with many great actors and actresses called Denzel the Greatest of All Time, saying, “We are talking about the G.O.A.T. We are talking about Michael Jordan. We are talking about Frank Sinatra. We are talking about Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. That is the rarified air that Denzel Washington lives and breathes in.”
The names mentioned above are cemented in history; young and old know these names and now they will know Denzel for all of his great work. At 64, he has much more left in him. Currently, he is gearing up to play Macbeth, which will begin shooting next year. If you would like to see the AFI Awards, they air on June 20th on TNT.