Denzel Washington wields Bible in "Eli"

Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:33pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Denzel Washington's latest role in "The Book of Eli" has him playing a wanderer in a nuclear war-ravaged America who leans on his Bible for guidance, and the actor says if he was in that situation, he'd do exactly the same.

The movie, which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, blends elements of old-style Hollywood westerns, in the form of desolate landscapes and frontier towns, and Old Testament spirituality -- a change for Hollywood studios which tend to avoid religious themes in modern, big-budget action flicks.

Washington's character Eli likes to quote Genesis and Psalm, when he's not slicing thugs with a sword.

In the movie, Americans have burned their Bibles as a disgusted reaction to the nuclear war, but there is one left. It belongs to Eli, who is on a mission to find people worthy of receiving it.

Two-time Oscar winner Washington said he tries to read the Bible every day, and that if he was in a post-apocalyptic world, the book is something he would "want to have."

"I think that faith is important, to listen to that still, small voice inside you," Washington told Reuters. "Not to be intimidated or discouraged by others and follow your life mission, to the degree that you can.

"My mother says -- it's interesting -- it's one thing to do good, but you must do good the right way," said Washington.

As Eli, Washington wanders the desolate countryside and finally into a frontier town, where the local overlord Carnegie, played by Gary Oldman, is desperate to find a Bible so he can use it as a weapon to influence people.   Continued...

<p>Denzel Washington poses during a photocall to promote his latest film 'The Taking of Pelham 123' in Berlin, July 21, 2009. The movie opens in German cinemas September 24. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>