January 2002
Denzel or Will?

Denzel or Will?

Eagles versus Da Bucs. (Pick the Bucs) Osama versus The West. Jay-Z versus Nas…you know the drill. Now here comes Denzel versus the boy wonder, Will Smith. The venue is the Golden Globe’s and one round of voting will allow someone to walk away with the Best Actor award. The other promising actor nominated is Russell Crowe (Beautiful Mind). Russell Crowe, undoubtedly, will give both Denzel and Will a tough test all the way to the Oscars.

In the court of public opinion, Denzel and Will occupy a Zen land in the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. They are film stars of the first right with each holding their own each time they glow on screen or Will touches the mic. I watched Will’s interview on Oprah and was appreciative of his respect for playing “ALI,” but I hope he was not serious when he said that he thinks he has climbed to his highest level of acting. Will should look at Denzel’s career and see that after Denzel rocked “Malcolm X,” on second down he came back and threw some Shakespeare on us in “Much Ado About Nothing.” Followed that outstanding performance with “Philadelphia,” “The Pelican Brief” and made Gene Hackman stand-down in “Crimson Tide.” If acting is what Will Smith really wants to do, he should keep on digging and finding those characters inside of him.

They are there. Just bring them out and then holler at Capitol Hill and put together an Exploratory Committee and kick off that Presidential or Senate bid. Why not? Ronald Reagan did it.

It’s so unfortunate that with the lack of honors bestowed on our acting greats, two of the best have to go head-to-head to win a little shine. Quite frankly, these men have integrity and personal conviction in what they do, so winning an award or losing will not make or break their core. It’s tough that Denzel didn’t win for “Malcolm X,” “Hurricane,” or “Cry Freedom,” but what’s more honorable is that he hasn’t broken stride. His latest performance as Alonzo, in “Training Day” was simply brilliant. Denzel the villain. Bad-ass Denzel. When the Academy voters do their thing, they have to truly recognize the level of transformation that Denzel underwent to make Lonzo a bad mu’ f***** – shut my mouth. And Will’s transformation was equally as brilliant, but this time around, Denzel should pull this one out by a nose. Or Russell Crowe will win for playing a smart mathematician. Hmmm. What a stretch. Yarn. The end.