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Premieres & Events

"Talk About Déjà Vu"

By S.T. VanAirsdale

I dropped by the Ziegfeld Theater Monday night for the premiere of the latest Denzel Washington/Tony Scott collaboration Déjà Vu, where the actor dutifully spoke with every last reporter on the red carpet while the director -- along with stars Val Kilmer and Jim Caviezel and the Greatest Living Producer Not Named Weinstein, Jerry Bruckheimer -- sped off the press line after a few mintues like one of his plots. Thus I was only able to corner the two-time Oscar winner into explaining what it is that makes actors want to work with Scott -- hardly the world's most respected filmmaker but one who has nevertheless coaxed repeat perfromances out of everyone from Tom Cruise to Brad Pitt to Gary Oldman and -- in Déjà Vu -- Washington and Kilmer.

Yes, you've been here before: Denzel Washington handles the red carpet at Monday's world premiere of Déjà Vu (Photo: STV)

"I trust him completely," Washington told me. "He's a briliant filmmaker. He's dedicated, he's thorough, he's easy to work with."

A fan hoisted her camera over my shoulder. "I guess I gotta smile." Washington smiled. "How's that?" A flash went off and the smile slowly faded as he reconsidered Scott -- not on purpose, one must presume. "I'd work with him again any time."

OK, well, I cherish their partnership and everything (I do!), but I also had a little more pressing concern drawn straight from my nightmares: We had just seen Scott fly by in his standard-issue faded pink ballcap; I begged Washington to resassure me that the filmmaker's on-set fashion sense had improved since he sported the unfortunate Days of Thunder-era yellow diapers pictured below.

No. He. Didn't. Tony Scott joins a clearly revolted Don Simpson and, to their left, Robert Towne, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tom Cruise on the Days of Thunder set , c. 1989 (Photo: Stephen Vaughan / Paramount Pictures)

Washington glanced at the copy of the photo I handed him. "That's not..." He did a double-take. "That's not right."

No, really. That was actually in The Times last week.

"What was that?" Washington asked. "1980-some odd?"

1989, I think.

"Well, he's still got the pink hat," he said, then joked, "Which one is Tony?"

So it hasn't improved since then?

"He still wears that jacket!" Washington said, pointing at Scott's fisherman's vest. "You know what it is? I don't know about the shorts, but you know. Creatures of habit. What's the word? Not 'luck,' or whatever. But he does have his sort of uniform. Shorts. Talk about Déjà Vu."

Oh, man. Staying on message and everything! This guy is good, as is his movie -- albeit in a kind of anachronistic summer junk kind of way, writes Reeler critic Vadim Rizov. Check out his review here.

Posted at November 21, 2006 12:01 PM

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