Actor Denzel Washington scared 'Safe House' crew with waterboarding stunt

Monday, 20 February 2012 08:34
washingtonDenzel_022012_optBY BOB HOLT

Actor Denzel Washington likes doing his own stunts in his movies. But most of Hollywood's A-list have limits.

In his new movie, “Safe House,” Washington plays a rogue agent for the CIA who is captured and taken to a safe house. During the filming, the Academy Award winner said he underwent actual waterboarding.

Washington said to Vulture, "I wanted to see what it would be like. You can't breathe in, because the water comes in, and it's filling up your mouth. Imagine having that done for 20, 30 seconds? You may not necessarily tell the truth, but you will tell your captors whatever they want to hear."

“Safe House” director Daniel Espinosa wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea of Washington doing the stunt himself. When the filming reached the time for the stunt man to enter, Espinoza said, according to USA Today, " Denzel looked at me and he said, 'Let's go.' I was terrified, but I let him go and I had to watch him do it."

Washington’s co-star Ryan Reynolds said the scene was hard for him to watch. "He went all out for this movie. It was disturbing," Reynolds said. "I felt like I was drowning."

Robert Patrick, in the role of getting information out of Washington said, according to the Daily Caller, “Some of the Taliban guys we got only hung in there for 18 seconds. Denzel lasted five; that’s pretty damn good.”

According to the Wrap, "Safe House" took in $39.3 million in its opening weekend February 10-12. Reuters reports that the film earned $6.5 million on Friday, the first day of Presidents Day weekend, and is on track to make over $20 million.