But he revealed at the Hollywood Reporter’s annual round table discussion that he wants his daughter Olivia to be like someone else.
You see, Olivia Washington is studying the arts at the prestigious New York University to become an actress. Daddy Denzel shared the same bit of advice with the audience that he shared with his little girl.
“You’re black, you’re a woman, and you’re dark-skinned at that,” he said. “So you have to be a triple/quadruple threat. You gotta learn how to act. You gotta learn how to dance, sing, move onstage. That’s the only place, in my humble opinion, you really learn how to act. Look at Viola Davis. That’s who you want to be. Forget about the little pretty girls; if you’re relying on that, when you hit 40, you’re out the door. You better have some chops.”
Sound advice, especially given that the competition for a solid role is fierce. Many of the same black faces are being recycled in Hollywood, as if no other strong actor or actress could play the same role (ahem… Nina Simone).
The issue of being a dark-skinned woman has never left the discussion table. The fact of the matter is, dark women across all racial lines, have historically been discriminated against in every industry, but particularly in media. However, like Viola, a standout, well-rounded performer can’t help but be acknowledged.
Stay strong sisters. There will come a day…