‘You Owe Me’: Why Denzel Washington Has These Blunt Words For Glen Powell When He Runs Into Him In Hollywood

Denzel Washington has acted as a role model for many actors in Hollywood, and he’s known for going out of his way to support the class of actors that came after him. It turns out Washington was a big supporter of Glen Powell’s at a young age, as the Top Gun: Maverick star landed one of his first roles on 2007’s The Great Debaters. Powell played a small role in the Washington-led film, but the Training Day star still acknowledges their previous collaboration in a funny way when they run into each other. 

Powell recently was interviewed on Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist where the actor chatted with the titular talk show host about his newfound rise to fame following the box office success of Anyone But You, and his humble beginnings. He revealed he landed one of his first roles while he was still in high school, playing a small part in The Great Debaters. Denzel Washington was the star of the movie and saw promise in the young actor, giving Powell the confidence to invest more in his craft. The 35-year-old actor reflected:

Denzel Washington really pushed me out of the nest a bit and said, ‘You should double-down on yourself. You should give this a shot. I’ve seen him since. He’s like, ‘You owe me. You owe me.’

While Washington doesn’t exactly need all the credit, instilling confidence in Powell to pursue acting as a career was essential to being where he is today. He hit some bumps in the road. For example, Powell threw party in Beverly Hills that got him evicted at one point; however, he still pushed forward and has been killing it in recent years. Some older acting vets may feel threatened by young, up-and-coming talent, but stories about Washington suggest he feels the opposite, supporting young talent when he can. 

The Oscar winner gained this reputation through a slew of heartwarming stories others have told over the years. He famously saw promise in a young Chadwick Boseman when he was lecturing at Howard University, and ended up paying Boseman’s tuition for an elite summer acting program the actor wasn’t able to afford at the time. Michael B. Jordan has also called Washington a strong mentor figure in his life, and has opened up about the support and advice The Equalizer star has given him over the years. Washington seems to invest in some of the best young talent, and Powell should be proud to be in that class. 

Washington undoubtedly chose the right young actor to encourage, considering Powell has achieved massive success over the last few years. In addition to rom-com hits like Anyone But You, he also was one of the stars of Top Gun: Maverick and Everybody Wants Some!! He is about to reprise his collaboration with Richard Linklater for Hit Man and will lead the all-star cast of Twisters this summer. Powell is considered to be one of Hollywood’s most bankable young(ish) actors, and I agree with Washington when he says Powell owes him big time. 

You can see Glen Powell in Hit Man, which will be available to Netflix subscribers on May 24th. You can also see Denzel Washington in Gladiator 2, which will hit theaters on November 22nd of this year. For more information on other exciting movies heading to cinemas and streaming in the near future, make sure to consult our 2024 movie release schedule. 

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