Inspire U: The Podcast

While filming his starring role in the new movie “Flight,” which opens November 2, actor Denzel Washington plays a pilot who’s lauded for landing a crashing flight, but then comes under fire when it’s discovered that he had alcohol in his system at the time of the incident. His character, Whip Whitaker, is considered by many to be an alcoholic. So this would’ve been the perfect opportunity for Washington, who revealed in a 1986 interview with Essence that he was giving up alcohol, to hit the bottle hard — but that’s not what happened. Instead, Washington, who now says he only “semi-quit” alcohol back in the ‘80s, gave up booze for all 45 days of filming.  “We’ve all tied one on,” the 57-year-old says in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “But if I had been drinking while I was shooting, it’d be harder to stay disciplined, just to get up in the morning. You are a little more hung over, grouchier. I knew this was an excellent opportunity, and a really good story. So it was something I wanted to do right.” Still, Washington is quick to note that his teetotaling policy wasn’t permanent. “But I haven’t given it up forever.”

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