About The Production (Continued)
Antoine Fuqua helped prepare Washington and Hawke for their roles by taking them to meet people in some of L.A.'s most notorious neighborhoods, including
gang-bangers and drug dealers. "I wanted them
to really get a sense of this environment, to feel the texture of the world, to see how it is for common people just living their lives in the middle of these war zones," he says.
Fuqua also encouraged both leading men to confer with several law enforcement consultants on the project. "This was extremely important to the film, letting Denzel and Ethan hang out with cops and really see what they are thinking and feeling and what they might be capable of," Fuqua explains. "They got to see that people like Alonzo really exist, cops who seem like the nicest, most caring people you could ever meet but when they get out on the streets, are scary and dangerous. They're dealing with the worst of the worst, and that's what they can become."
Technical consultants were used to help maintain authenticity throughout the production. Michael Patterson. a former member of the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department, served as the film's police consultant. San Francisco undercover police consultant Paul Lozada worked with Denzel Washington to explain the finer points of life as an undercover narcotics officer. Shiheed "Bone" Sloan gave the film the street's perspective as the technical advisor on gangs.
Says Paul Lozada: "I wanted Denzel Washington to understand what it's like for real, what it is to he pumping fear, to be part of a drug raid and feel the intensity, the chaos, the adrenaline high, the energy. I wanted him to know that you have to really be on your game or it can quickly turn sour. The thing is that in these situations, you can't hold back or hesitate even a little because it will cost you your life. You gotta be on it if you're gonna do it because we're playing for keeps out there. When you understand that, you can understand why some guys turn into Alonzo."
Adds Michael Patterson: "What I wanted the actors to know is that almost everybody comes out of the Police Academy wanting to make a difference, wanting to make their city a better place. But, unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way. It turns out there are a lot of very gray lines out there and it's a little too easy to get into big trouble."
Rounding out the cast of Training Day is an ensemble that includes Scott Glenn, Cliff Curtis and Tom
Berenger. each known for the intensity of their varied and notable performances. Playing some of the film's most colorful, street-wise characters are several heroes of the hip-hop and R&B worlds, including Snoop
Dogg, Dr. Dre and Macy Gray — each of whom writes songs about communities similar to the areas where Training Day takes place.
Snoop Dogg plays Sammy, a gangster confined to a wheelchair. "I think this movie is something that needed to come about," Snoop attests. "We've had so many gangbanger movies, it's time to see what's happening with the police. I think it's important to see that not all police are bad, just like not all gangbangers are bad, but there are some who cross the line."
Musical sensation Macy Gray makes her feature film debut as the Sandman's Wife. "I like that the characters are so in your face and that it moves so fast," Gray says. "I couldn't put the script down, so I knew that was a good sign." Gray also liked "that it's a real street movie. It really gets into the heads of the police and their mentality and their power. I think people will really be intrigued by that."
The casting reflects the filmmakers' emphasis on street authenticity. "I'm interested in people who have seen some things in life, and these people have seen it," says Antoine Fuqua. "They will be memorable." Says David Ayer: "I think the supporting cast adds a lot of spice to the movie. Snoop is hilarious — he just clicks
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