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Best Actor – Denzel Washington, “Training Day”

Film: Training Day

Previous wins for role: AFI actor of the year; best actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Previous Oscar wins/nominations:

Nominated for Best Actor, The Hurricane (1999)
Nominated for Best Actor, Malcolm X (1993)
Won for Best Supporting Actor, Glory (1989)
Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Cry Freedom (1987)

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Character bio: Washington’s first foray into villainous territory, his turn as errant police detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day was frighteningly nuanced. As a bad guy–but an “I-can-see-his-point” bad guy– for the first half of the movie, he keeps you on your toes in a way that makes it unclear whether you should be for him, against him, or against the entire police department. By the end of the film, though, Washington’s Alonzo changes so subtly, you hardly know what’s happened until it’s all too obvious that he’s all-bad, rotten to the core, with a mean streak a mile wide.

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