Denzel Washington stars in the dramatic feature film Fences, based on August Wilson’s 1985 play. Hollywood pundits predict Washington’s performance will earn him his seventh Academy Award nomination. To help promote the film, Washington sat down for an interview with Bill Whitaker of 60 Minutes. During the segment, the two men visit the set of Fences in Pittsburgh where Wilson grew up.
Fences is Wilson’s best known play for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. He wrote 10 plays which collectively are known as the Pittsburgh Cycle or Wilson’s Century Cycle. Fences is the sixth, set in the 1950s. Washington plays Troy Maxson, an African-American former baseball player in his fifties who’s struggling to provide for his family as a garbage man after being released from jail for an accidental murder he committed during a robbery. In the original Broadway play, James Earl Jones portrayed Troy. Five years after Wilson’s death in 2005, Fences returned to Broadway in 2010. Denzel Washington played Troy and Viola Davis played his wife Rose; both won Tony Awards for their performances. (Viola Davis plays Rose again in the film.) Washington’s interview with Whitaker will air on 60 Minutes on Sunday, December 18 at 7:30pm on CBS.