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Bruce Lee disciple trained Denzel Washington for '...Eli'

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington would do anything for a movie role and for his latest movie 'The Book of Eli', the 55-year-old learnt martial arts from a student of the late Bruce Lee.

2010-03-12T12:33:00Z
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New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington would do anything for a movie role and for his latest movie 'The Book of Eli', the 55-year-old learnt martial arts from a student of the late Bruce Lee.

He teamed up with Jeff Amata, a disciple of Danny Inosanto who was Bruce Lee's student, to learn martial arts.

'Jeff Amata trained me and I worked with Danny a bit. And after five, six months, we started stretching, moving and doing stuff with our eyes closed and got into the whole vibe,' Washington said in an e-mail interview.

The movie, which opened to mixed reviews when released in the US on Jan 15, is releasing here March 19. Directed by the Hughes brothers - Albert and Allen, 'The Book of Eli' is a post-apocalyptic action film. Washington has co-produced the film, which also stars Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis.

The actor drew from personal inferences for the movie while working on his character.

'We did a lot of work, a lot of sessions with Allen and myself, and my son and the writer. I walked through it page by page. We did a lot of rewrites. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with my own personal experiences.

'I knew that there was a lot of work to be done on the script and I knew that I needed to help to do it. I just felt like I needed to be a little more hands on with this one,' he added.

Asked him, does he still practices martial art, Washington said: 'No, of course not... There's a part of me that definitely wants to continue but then there's the actor part that also says okay, I've got to put that down. I'm not that guy now. I've got to play another guy.'

Made on a $80 million budget, the 117-minute movie was distributed by Warner Bros in the US, Entertainment Film Distributors in Britain and Columbia Pictures in some international territories, including India.

Washington was also all praise for Oldman.

'I loved working with Gary. Gary's one of the best. We had a lot of fun... He's the best of our generation so it was a real joy when he signed on. I was real excited about that,' he said.

The 55-year-old also denied studying other post-apocalyptic movies for this one.

'No, I didn't. I usually take that approach - not to look at them - so that whatever I come up with, at least in my mind, I know I came up with on my own. I don't want to start looking at other films and go 'Oh, I can't do that',' he said.

'I don't want to be hemmed in by the possibility of doing exactly what somebody else did,' he added.

Washington's future projects include 'Unstoppable' and 'Inside Man 2'.

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