Denzel Washington knows a thing or two about ratcheting up intensity in a scene. The man is one of the greatest dramatic actors alive, and be it in drama or thriller, the audience sweats when he gets up in another character's face. It's actually hard to imagine what it would be like to be a co-star in one of those sequences -- but Equalizer 2 actor Ashton Sanders recently explained his own experience while filming a scene where his character, Miles, is forced by Washington's Robert McCall to put a gun against McCall's said:
That scene in particular, I would say, is one of the most pivotal scenes in the McCall and Miles' relationship - that's kind of the climax of where we go. It was really important. Me and him were both really in it. We were both really excited to shoot that scene. We did it a couple of times, and each time was different - and really fun.
Rather than being intimidated by the passion of his multi-Oscar winning co-star, Ashton Sanders stressed that he actually had fun working opposite Denzel Washington in one of The Equalizer 2's more heart-pumping emotional sequences. You definitely can't see it on the big screen, as Miles looks as terrified as anyone would be forcibly holding a gun against someone's head, but on set there was apparently a different tone at play -- with the two actors being experimental with the approach under the eye of director Antoine Fuqua.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Ashton Sanders this past weekend and the Los Angeles press day for The Equalizer 2 -- which is his first movie since his key role in the Best Picture-winning Moonlight. In the action film, Miles is a neighbor of Robert McCall's, and one walking a razor thin line. While McCall tries to keep him on the straight and narrow and following his artistic passion -- keeping him busy with a paid project restoring a trashed mural -- there is also a gang working to try and initiate him. Needless to say, it causes a bit of conflict with the protagonist, who has a seriously unwillingness when it comes to seeing bad things happen to good people.
You can watch Ashton Sanders discuss his work opposite Denzel Washington and holding a gun against his head by clicking play on the video below.
The Equalizer 2 -- which co-stars Pedro Pascal, Melissa Leo, and Bill Pullman -- arrives in theaters this Friday, July 20th. We'll have more coverage of the filming coming your way in the next few days, but in particular be sure to stay tuned for my interview with Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua.