Denzel: No Sympathy for Latest Role

updated 01/22/2002 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/22/2002 12:00PM

Just because he plays a financially strapped man who holds a hospital emergency room hostage because his young son needs an expensive heart transplant doesn't mean that "John Q" star Denzel Washington agrees with his character's vigilante tactics, reports PEOPLE. "I don't in any way condone what John Q did," Washington, 47, told reporters over the weekend, "because what he's saying is basically is that my son's life is more important than anyone else's in that emergency room. Even though he didn't have any bullets in the gun, someone could have dropped dead from a heart attack. It's a movie, but the bottom line is he could have gone to the county hospital." Washington, who is the father of four (two sons and two daughters, ages 17 to 10, with wife Pauletta), went on to say, "I imagine one would do anything for one's child. I mean, I would. I was in a car accident with my oldest son when he was just a little guy and the adrenaline kicked in because he got his leg jammed between the door and the seat. I snatched him up and got him out of there and he's screaming, and I'm like 'It's going to be all right,' and he's like 'No Dad! Put me down! I'm all right!' I was flipping out, and he was fine." "John Q," Which opens Feb. 18, also stars Robert Duvall, James Woods and Anne Heche. Washington says that after all of his dramatic turns of late, including "Malcolm X" and "Training Day" (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe as best actor; the award went to Russell Crowe for "A Brilliant Mind"), "It's time for a comedy." And that's something " Eddie Murphy and I have talked about." He notes, "I've got to be careful, because comedies aren't easy. I'd like to back door my way in there like (Robert) DeNiro, where he plays himself and somebody else is the real comedian."

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