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Denzel Washington went into the production of “The Tragedy of Macbeth” practically blind, the star said about his experience on the Apple TV+ film, having previously not seen a full production of the play.

The Apple TV+ production of “The Tragedy of Macbeth” has enjoyed many nominations for awards, with Washington up for an Oscar and securing a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for his role. However, the veteran actor didn’t have that much experience with the play ahead of its production.

Aside from parts of a TV version of the play, he told Variety that he had never seen a production of “Macbeth” in its entirety. Furthermore, after being cast in the film, he avoided watching performances by Ian McKellen nor Orson Welles.

In fact, Washington admits he had only read the play in the last two years.

Washington ultimately took the role as it was an opportunity to work with “three of the greats, namely William Shakespeare, filmmaker Joel Cohen, and Frances McDormand, who plays Lady Macbeth.

Four weeks of rehearsal were considered a “luxury” to Washington, which commenced production in winter 2020, though COVID-19 shut it down midway. The downtime meant “we got to rehearse it like a play, which was great.”

The minimalist appearance of the production design added to the performance for the actor. “It felt quite comfortable because it felt like a stage. That made it easier, I think.”

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