The news of Tony Scott’s tragic death has left many shocked and saddened. It’s been well-reported Scott had a strong connection with movie star Denzel Washington – an actor he collaborated with five times throughout his career. Washington has worked with no other director more than Scott – which over the years has begged the question…why?

Richard Horgan over at Fishbowl LA uncovered a 2010 interview between the late director and Movie City News’ David Poland.

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Poland asks Scott what it was about Washington that led the two to connect on so many projects. Scott’s answers shouldn’t surprise anyone:

“He’s great at what he does…and I always think ‘I’m going to go somewhere else other than Denzel…’ and I always come around and [choose him].’

“And each movie…if you look at all the movies Denzel [has starred in] between us…he’s always managed to find a different aspect of his personality that we’ve honed.”

“So you look at who he was in Crimson Tide, you look at him in Man on Fire, and you look at him in Unstoppable – it’s all part of who Denzel is but each time you hone that different aspect.”

Later in the interview, Scott also talked about the making of Man on Fire  and how he initially had Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro in mind for the role of John Creasy.

It never happened.

Scott ran into Washington at the acupuncturist and the rest is history.

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“And I said ‘God this must be a sort of connection’,” Scott admits to Poland.

In an interview the same year with Empire Magazine, Scott described his reasoning behind the frequent collaborations in much simpler terms:

“Because he delivers,” Scott told the magazine during press junket coverage of his 2010 film Unstoppable:

“He likes a director who’s prepared, I’m prepared. And I love what he does in terms of his craft because he knows exactly…by the time we come to shoot he knows exactly because he internalizes everything but he still communicates everything very similarly.”

“He’s tough because he’s always reaching for a difference. He’s always trying not to repeat himself and I do the same. So I think we both do the same.”

Washington and Scott teamed up first for 1995’s Crimson Tide, which also starred Gene Hackman. Next came 2004’s Man on Fire, followed by Déjà Vu two years later and The Taking of Pelham 123 in 2009.

Unstoppable was Scott and Washington’s final movie together.