Denzel Washington is known for portraying police officers in his films, so why not ask a real-life police office for advice on how to bring the character to life?
As it turns out, the actor did just that years ago, going to Detroit Police Chief James Craig for help.
Washington’s ride-along in the 1990s with Craig back when he worked in Los Angeles helped shape his portrayal of cops in all of his police roles, Fox 2 reports.
“Denzel called me, and I didn’t know it was him,” Craig told Fox 2. “He said ‘Hey man.’ I said hey man? and (he said) ‘Denzel, Denzel Washington.’ And it was kind of a shock to me.”
Craig was reportedly a bit blown away when Washington gave him a ring so many years later. “The most amazing part is the fact that he remembered that encounter, and it framed an impression of what we do – that one encounter,” Craig said.
As the story goes, Washington wanted to follow a Los Angeles cop to prepare for his 1991 film, “Ricochet.” A mutual church friend hooked him up with Craig.
That ride-along lasted for a lengthy eight hours. Washington says what really stood out to him was how Craig responded to a call of a mentally ill man with a gun.
“(He said) ‘How you de-escalated the situation to me, that’s what defines who you are and what the vast men and women who serve in police and military,’ and so that meant a lot to me,” Craig said.
Read the full interview with Craig via Fox 2.