Denzel Washington talks about his Oscar nomination while launching his movie "Flight" in the UK
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 17, 2013) (REUTERS) - Denzel Washington braved the bitter winter chill in London on Thursday (January 17) to promote his new movie "Flight" at The Empire cinema in Leicester Square.
Washington has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor section for his role as a hero airline pilot who is struggling with alcoholism.
To date, he has been nominated by the Academy six times and won two acting Oscars, but he told Reuters on the red carpet that it's not something he takes for granted.
"No it feels good," he said.
"To be recognised and to be honoured it's a thrill. It's very difficult to get one of those five slots so you know," Washington added.
The film follows Whip Whitaker (Washington), an airline pilot who makes a miraculous landing and saves the lives of most of the 102 passengers and crew.
But a problem arises when it transpires that Whip was over the legal alcohol limit during his heroics and the authorities soon become aware of the issue.
As the investigation into the crash begins, Whip's drinking becomes more uncontrollable.
The film has also been nominated for one other Oscar. John Gatins is up for the Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen).
"When I read it, it was so good. I've a great agent and he sent it to me and he said it was something really good," Washington said on the red carpet.
"So it was a no-brainer. I mean when I read it I went 'wow.' As soon as I finished it, I said to him 'Make a deal," he added.
Washington put on weight for the role to make his performance more realistic. When asked at the premiere how he felt after finishing the role he simply replied "Bloated. I didn't put on that much weight, I just didn't exercise and ate a late night meal every night."
The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis who is best known for feel-good movies like "Forrest Gump" and "Back to the Future." This is a departure from his usual style, as it deals with emotionally damaged people, alcoholism and religion.
Zemeckis told Reuters at the premiere: "That's really the bonus of making the film, so many people have come close and said this movie has affected my life. And when that happens - it's very rare - but it's a good thing."
Washington too has had people react strongly to the movie.
"Quite honestly, you know, I've had people talk even today doing interviews. People talking situations in their families. There's always one. We've all got one. We've all got an uncle in the back we don't want to talk about," Washington said.
Sharing the screen with Denzel Washington is British actress Kelly Reilly. She plays Nicole, a heroin addict who is desperate to get clean before she accidentally kills herself. After a chance meeting with Whip in the hospital where they are both recovering, they end up living together.
Reilly praised Washington's portrayal of a struggling alcoholic at the premiere.
"I think one of the hardest things to act is drunk. It can be done so badly. It's so difficult to do it very truthfully and there are scenes where he's almost pathetic and comical at the same time and incredibly vulnerable and for my character, she's grown up with a very violent alcoholic character and for her it was frightening because you never knew what you were going to get," Reilly said.