Lounging in a small chair, chatting and laughing with the students of The Cinema School in The Bronx, it was not overtly obvious Antoine Fuqua has a $50 million dollar film coming out tomorrow. By looking at him or listening to him speak, you wouldn’t have guessed he’s been making the rounds in New York, talking up his newest film “The Equalizer” and posing for countless photos and signing autographs. He was totally cool and collected.

Antoine Fuqua took time out of his busy schedule to visit students in the Bronx who are being mentored by The Ghetto Film School organization.  Fuqua is known for directing “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013) and “Training Day” (2001) and now his latest film “The Equalizer,” starring Denzel Washington will be out this Friday. 


The Q & A was held in a classroom at the school, and rightly so, Fuqua took the group to school with his sheer experience and undeniable talent – he’s done many music videos, hundreds of commercials, and several feature films across his two decade long career. Answering questions that ranged from his start in the industry to inspirations and favorite actors, Fuqua gave thoughtful, useful responses. Here are some highlights:


On working with Denzel Washington for a second time:


“Trust is the first thing, trust is most important as a director and actor. Full trust and be able to feed off each other, and also know that he’s going to show up ready and prepared and you got to be ready and prepared. Then we collaborate well together. By the time we get to the set, we’re gone- everyone’s got to catch up to us.”


For ‘The Equalizer’, Denzel contacted Fuqua about doing the film, rather than Fuqua asking for Denzel to act in it. This is Fuqua’s first digital work.


On working in the music video industry:


“The music videos are interesting because music videos, especially back then [the ‘90’s], we [David Fincher, Michael Bay] were students, doing commercials and all these different of things and music videos are whole different language [than narrative films], and it’s a good thing, technically, to learn some things about the camera, the lens, the movement, the rhythm, the pacing, get used to your crew, and tell a story in a short amount of time.”


On shooting an action film:

“Action must tell you something about the character, and it can’t be unnecessary. Natural dialogue must come from the actor. If they are a bad actor, you’ll have a tough time. One thing about dialogue is- it’s called motion pictures- it’s about movement, emotions, body language, so one thing I sometimes do is shoot a scene without the dialogue first. If the feeling is communicated through the action, then it works. You’ll be surprised with what happens, the discovery. Do something to convey that message; you realize you don’t have to say something when they just do it. Dialogue must be truthful.”


‘The Equalizer’ comes out tomorrow September 26, 2014 in major theaters and in IMAX.