Denzel Washington was asked about the meme of his mustached face that has flooded the Internet since May of 2015.
At the time, Washington was in production on his current film The Magnificent Seven – a western that required him to grow a handlebar mustache – when he attended the Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight in Las Vegas, along with the film’s director Antoine Fuqua.
The facial hair mixed with his excited expression provided fertile ground for meme creators.
And the social media phenomenon did not go unnoticed by Washington.
At a press day for The Magnificent Seven in Toronto, entertainment host Xilla asked the actor what he thought about the memes.
“If I had my wallet I’d show you,” Washington said. “Because they didn’t know what I was doing. They didn’t need to know.”
“They know now,” said Fuqua, sitting next to him.
“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, talk about those who can. Let me say it again,” Washington said, raising his voice to interrupt Xilla. “Send that out. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, talk about those who can. Now can you? Or can you not? Are you just one who sits on the sideline to talk about other people or can you step up?”
The Magnificent Seven also stars Washington’s Training Day partner Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier as the “Seven” on the hunt for murderous land baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard).
In the film, a young woman, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) seeks out loner Sam Chisolm (Washington) after seeing him serve a warrant on a man he has been searching for. Emma pleads with him to help defend her small town Bogue.
“He has come to this town to do a job but he can see that the town is being taken over. And when Chisolm meets Emma he can see her fire,” Washington told Inquirer.net. “He can relate to her and her circumstances and I think he feels like this is his chance to set things right, to do something for her that he was unable to do in his own case, with his own family. I think he sees her resolve and her determination to seek justice.”
“He wasn’t able to serve justice in his own family and he now has this desire to right wrongs, to make evil people pay for their crimes.”