Denzel Washington Gave Ethan Hawke the Best Advice After Oscars Loss

They starred in 'Training Day' together

denzel washington ethan hawke advice
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Ethan Hawke just revealed the priceless advice he received from Denzel Washington after losing the 2002 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. 

In a new episode of Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?, the talk show host questioned Hawke about his now-famous interaction with his Training Day co-star Washington, who reportedly said, “It’s better that you didn’t win. Losing was better.”

ethan hawke denzel washington advice training day
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Hawke admitted that Washington had a positive outlook on the situation, adding, “You don’t want an award to improve your status—you want to improve the award’s status. That’s the way [Washington] thinks.”

Hawke explained, “The Academy Award has more power [now] ‘cause Denzel has a couple. It didn’t elevate who he was.”

The 53-year-old actor revealed that he already felt like he had won because he was nominated against fellow A-list actors, including Ben Kingsley, Ian McKellen, Jon Voight and Jim Broadbent (who won the award).

“I was at the Oscars sitting next to Denzel Washington and nominated against Ian McKellen,” he said. “I had already won. It was impossible for me not to see it any other way.”

Hawke continued, “I think when all is said and done, [Denzel is] the greatest actor of our generation.”

ethan hawke denzel washington advice training day
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Hawke went on to compare Washington to Babe Ruth. “I imagine, if you loved baseball, it would be interesting to see how Babe Ruth tied his shoes. You know? How he thought about various pitchers. The whole process,” he added. “But what creates that is a tremendous amount of energy and thought, what creates those moments. And once you see somebody working that way, there’s all these other rooms that you can go into in the profession.”

Well said, Ethan. 

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...