To prepare for his role as an alcoholic pilot in the movie “Flight,” two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington joked, “I just drank every day. I was drunk every day of shooting.” The actor was speaking last month to a packed house at a Q&A following a screening of the film put on as part of Backstage’s “Evening With” series, co-sponsored by SAG Foundation. He was joined by the film’s screenwriter, John Gatins, and co-stars James Badge Dale, Melissa Leo, and. Nadine Velazquez.
While Washington is all but assured his sixth Oscar nomination for his performance as Capt. Whip Whitaker in the film, the rest of the cast is also earning raves—particularly Dale, who appears in only one scene in the film, as a cancer patient who dispenses some wisdom to Whitaker. Dale, who was given the opportunity to audition for several roles, spoke about his choice to pursue the part known as “Gaunt Young Man,” even though he wasn’t technically right for it.