Denzel Washington loves the challenge of Shakespeare's words in 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'

'The Tragedy of Macbeth's' Denzel Washington says you can't bring Shakespeare down to your level -- you have to come up to his.
HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- Actor Denzel Washington is no stranger to Shakespeare.

He's now getting into, as the original work suggests, "double, double toil and trouble" while playing the title role in director Joel Coen's "The Tragedy of Macbeth."

The Oscar winner is a longtime fan of Shakespearean stories.

"It's the gift that keeps on giving. You have to unlock it. You have to meet Shakespeare where he is. You can't bring Shakespeare down to your level -- you have to come up to this level," said Washington. "It's a standard that your ordinary chops ain't enough to get you over!"

This version of Macbeth was written and directed by Joel Coen, and was shot in black and white completely on a soundstage. While you know you're watching a movie, there are times you might feel you're looking right at a stage.

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"He's a genius, man. I don't know what he was thinking, either. I'm just, you know, I'm glad that I'm in there!" said Washington.

Macbeth is a man who kills a king to take his crown but then must deal with the guilt and paranoia that follows -- along with some action along the way.

When it came to the props in the movie, ABC7's George Pennacchio wondered if the actor might have kept his king's crown as a souvenir.

"I forgot whether I did or not. I don't -- I think I did keep one. I think I did. I got to go, I got to go when I get home -- I'll let you know this evening!" laughed Washington.

"The Tragedy of Macbeth" is in theaters in limited release and streaming now on Apple TV+.
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