Talk about going all out for a role. While filming his thriller Safe House, in theaters Friday, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington says he endured a torture session that included actual waterboarding.
“I wanted to see what it would be like,” he tells New York magazine. “It’s strange. You can’t breathe in, because the water comes in, and it’s filling up your mouth. And that was just one time for a short time. Imagine having that done for 20, 30 seconds? You will give up the answers! You may not necessarily tell the truth, but you will tell (your captors) whatever they want to hear.”
Denzel Washington was bent on doing the scene himself, less-than-enthused director Daniel Espinosa reveals. “I went up to Denzel and told him, ‘Time to go, now is the moment where the stunt guy kicks in,’ and he looked at me and he said, ‘Let’s go.’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘I’m sure,’ ” Espinosa says. “And I was terrified, but I let him go and I had to watch him do it.”
Co-star Ryan Reynolds adds that it was hard for him to watch, even in character.
“Denzel Washington went all out for this movie. I would definitely not like to be waterboarded. It was intense. Disturbing,” Reynolds says. “I had sympathetic pain. I always get sympathetic pain. I wish I didn’t. I felt like I was drowning.”