It seems astonishing that it’s been 15 years since Antoine Fuqua‘s Training Day first set movie screens ablaze. Detective Alonzo Harris was a huge departure from the types of characters that Academy Award winner Denzel Washington had previously taken on, and as a result, he took home the Oscar for Best Actor. It’s also the film that thrust Eva Mendes into the spotlight. You might know the iconic film well, but here are 9 facts you never knew about Training Day.
1. Denzel Washington grew that goatee for a very specific reason.
Training Day is inspired by an LAPD corruption scandal from the ’90s. Denzel Washington decided to grow a goatee for the film because he wanted to resemble, disgraced LAPD officer Rafael Pérez,who was central in the scandal.
Fuqua selected Ethan Hawke for the role after seeing him on Reality Bites. Fuqua said of Hawke, “There’s something innocent about Ethan, he’s such a nice guy…but there’s something in his eyes, that tells you he’s seen something.”
3. The founder of the Black P. Stones Bloods street gang was on set for all of the filming that occurred in his LA neighborhood.
He allowed producers to shoot there in exchange for casting gang members in the film.The Jungles in LA is one of the most notoriously gang controlled areas of LA and they had never allowed a movie to be shot in the area before.
4. Washington has said that Detective Alonzo Harris is his favorite character of all time.
The man is legendary after all.
5. Training Day was Eva Mendes’ big break.
Prior to starring as Sarah, the mother of Alonzo’s child, Mendes had small roles in a few movies, but at 27 years old, starring opposite 47-year old Washingon she was thrust into the spotlight. The duo worked together again in Out of Time two years later.
6. Washington made up his infamous King Kong line on the fly.
“King Kong ain’t got shit on me.”
7. Training Day originally had a completely different ending.
Originally, Alonzo was supposed to get away with his crimes. However, Washington called the ending a cop-out and urged Fuqua to reconsider it. In the end, Alonzo dies a bloody and violent death because according the Washington, “the wages of sin is death.”
8. The word FU*K is said 211 times in the film.
That’s a ton of fu*ks to give.
9. CBS is debuting a Training Day TV show in 2017.
…..we’re not sure how we fell about this one.