Denzel Washington Says Bad Upbringing, Lack of Father Figures is Reason Why Many Young Men End Up in Jail

Denzel Washington's latest movie is "Roman J. Israel, Esq." (TAYLOR JEWELL/TAYLOR JEWELL/INVISION/AP)
Denzel Washington’s latest movie is “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” (TAYLOR JEWELL/TAYLOR JEWELL/INVISION/AP)

The Oscar winner says making the film did not make him more cynical about the justice system and, when asked about the prison-industrial complex, the “Malcolm X” star offered a surprising take.

“It starts at the home,” he told reporters at the film’s downtown New York premiere. “It starts at home.”

When prodded to expand on his answer, the 62-year-old Mount Vernon native replied: “It starts with how you raise your children. If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure.

“So you know I can’t blame the system,” he continued. “It’s unfortunate that we make such easy work for them.”

Washington came into the project with an insider’s edge on writer-director Dan Gilroy; he spars at the same gym as Jake Gyllenhaal, who starred in Gilroy’s critically acclaimed 2014 film “Nightcrawler,” and the actor gave Washington a full briefing on Gilroy.

“I got to learn a little bit about Dan in advance, and to see the great collaboration they had together,” Washington explained. “So it was easy, it was seamless and it was invigorating.”

(Washington declined to answer questions as to whether he or Gyllenhaal would win in the boxing ring).

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SOURCE: New York Daily News