Throughout his career, Forest Whitaker has delivered memorable performances in movies like Platoon, The Crying Game and the critically acclaimed TV cop drama The Shield. Then, in February 2007, he took home the Academy Award® for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland.
Not long after his big win, Forest signed on to help Denzel bring another true story to theaters. "I did a Hallelujah holy dance when yet another Oscar winner joined the cast," Oprah says.
Forest says he heard about the film while shopping at a mall in East Texas. "Somebody said, 'Denzel Washington had been here,'" he says. "It's a little small town, a little small community and I said, 'Really?' They said, 'He's telling the story about the debate team from here.'"
It wasn't long before Forest received a phone call from Denzel. "It just seemed like it was meant to be and it was pretty exciting," he says. "[Denzel] said he was going to do a great movie, and it was something special and I could help him. I was excited."
After admiring Denzel's work for years, Forest says acting alongside him for the first time was an amazing experience. On set, he says he also appreciated Denzel's directing style. "I think as an actor, clearly he knows how to deal with you as an actor," he says. "But when you see the way he paints this story with the images, it's pretty impressive."