*As great an actor Denzel Washington is, even he can suffer from a case of hesitancy.
Such was the case when Diahann Carroll pulled out of playing the family matriarch in the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.” In Washington’s eyes, the production itself would’ve been a challenge for anyone to pull off, even him.
“Diahann realized she just couldn’t handle it, physically. If we live long enough, we’re all going to come to that place where we go, like, ‘OK,’” the actor told The Huffington Post. “Even I had my doubts in the beginning. Can I remember all this?”
Fortunately, the doubts were only temporary. Denzel has since gotten the upper hand as he stars in the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun.”
“It’s just a great opportunity — that’s how I look at it,” Washington said. “It’s like getting back to your roots. It’s going good. But around about the 70th show, I might be going, ‘What am I doing?’”
Set in 1950s Chicago, “A Raisin in the Sun” focuses on the Younger family as they anxiously await a $10,000 insurance check and argue over how to spend it.
Washington plays Walter Lee, a chauffeur who dreams of opening a liquor store. The entertainer’s role was first made famous by Sidney Poitier, who played Walter Lee in the original 1959 production and 1961 movie version.
The “Raisin In The Sun” revival marks a return to Broadway for Washington since his Tony Award-winning turn in “Fences” in 2010. Not surprisingly, every preview of the show has been sold out, with top premium tickets selling for as much as $348.
To prepare for playing Walter Lee, Washington went to Poitier to talk about the role. The Post noted that Washington personally filmed Poitier acting out scenes with his cell phone.
For more of Denzel Washington’s interview on the “Raisin in the Sun” revival and Sidney Poitier, click here.