Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning reunite in The Equalizer 3, nearly 20 years after they first shared the screen together in Man on Fire.
“[Denzel] would look at me [on set] and just go, ‘She’s a grown up now,'” Fuqua recalls.
Washington, 68, reprises his role as former government assassin Robert McCall in the final film of the Equalizer trilogy. As he gets ready to go up against the Mafia in Italy, he enlists the help of a young CIA analyst, played by Fanning, whom he’s never met before.
“She’s challenging [Denzel] in the scenes,” Fuqua says of the 29-year-old Fanning. “It was fun. It was probably one of the most pleasurable things to see.”
As for how the highly anticipated reunion came to be, Fuqua reveals Fanning’s agent called one of the producers of the film and said she was interested in the role. Fuqua remembers he immediately set up a meeting.
“We went to lunch, I loved her, fell in love with her of course,” he shares, “and I called Denzel after, I said, ‘Dakota Fanning?’ He said, ‘Absolutely, grab her, snatch her up.’ It was pretty cool.”
Equalizer 3 was also a familiar reunion between Fuqua and Washington being the fifth film they’ve done together. Fuqua says it’s Washington’s ability to completely embody a character that sets him apart from other leading men in Hollywood.
“There are very few actors who are on that level,” the Training Day director explains. “He’s just one of the greats, he’s a GOAT.”
Washington first played Robert McCall in the 2014 film and Fuqua says the Oscar-winning actor is still up for all the action scenes — maybe too up for the action scenes.