‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’: Denzel Washington Said Filming Was a ‘Team Sport’

When an actor has a filmography as renowned and varied as Denzel Washington, every fan is bound to have their favorite of his ​​movies. The two-time Oscar winner has appeared in dozens of films since making his debut in 1981’s Carbon Copy. He’s become an action star, a dramatic powerhouse, and even a surprising comic talent. But for all Washington brings to the screen, he admits filming his latest movie, The Tragedy of Macbeth, was really a team sport.

Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand smile and look off-camera on the red carpet
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand | Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Denzel Washington leads ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ cast

The Tragedy of Macbeth sees Washington return to the works of William Shakespeare. The actor has starred in several stage productions of Shakespearean plays. But he also has a history of bringing Shakespeare to the big screen. Way back in 1993, Washington co-starred with Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, and others in Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing. Now he takes on a decidedly darker Shakespeare story.

The title of The Tragedy of Macbeth clearly doesn’t spell a happy ending for the titular lord, played by Washington. But for audiences intrigued to see the actor take on the classic tale, this is about as good as it gets. The film co-stars Frances McDorman as Lady Macbeth and features a supporting cast that includes Brendan Gleeson, Corey Hawkins, and Kathryn Hunter. Joel Coen — as in half of the famed Coen brothers — writes and directs.

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The Oscar-winning actor compared filming to a team sport

An Apple TV+ original film, The Tragedy of Macbeth might be named after Washington’s character. But the actor revealed in a recent video for IMDb that the film’s title is actually a bit deceptive. When asked who he guided him in building his character, Washington explained just what it takes to bring Shakespeare to the screen.

“You take your cues from the filmmaker, the director. And I was in a room full of great actors. So there was a lot of listening involved. It’s really a team sport. It’s called The Tragedy of Macbeth, but it’s a team sport. And people were coming up to the plate, knocking the ball out of the park. So you have to bring your A game just to keep up.”

Historically, actors have said time and again how collaborative the process is. And it’s hard to imagine a more vital circumstance in which that’s true than adapting the work of Shakespeare. After all, all his plays have been dramatized so many times, it takes a gifted group of actors to bring new life to the material.

How much is Denzel Washington worth?

Whatever Washington and company did on set must have worked. The Tragedy of Macbeth has received universal acclaim among critics. And the film sits squarely in the middle of the Oscar conversation, with Washington likely to get a ninth nomination for his performance. But in the meantime, fans might be wondering about his net worth.

Thanks to his acclaimed work as an actor, producer, and director, Washington currently has a total net worth of $280 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The site claims he earns between $60 million and $80 million each year, which is a testament to his body of work. And Washington shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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