Nate's preparation for the role of Henry didn't end with the debate camp—he gave himself the same reading list as his character. "D.H. Lawrence, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce—if it was mentioned, I read it," he says. Nate says he didn't want to have to act like he knew what he was talking about. "I wanted to be able to really know the period," he says. "To know these things."
Before filming began, Nate took on another assignment. "I read an article that said [Denzel Washington] required a character biography before the person goes on set," he says. So Nate started writing Henry's backstory, and by the time he was done, it was over 100 pages long! After a script read, Nate gave his opus to Denzel. "He looked at it [and said], 'Why do you write so small? You young people write so small!'" Nate says.
"Chicken scratch," Denzel jokes. "They can't write. No penmanship."