At 64, Denzel Washington is already a legend in Hollywood, and now, as the actor who dazzled us in GloryTraining DayMalcolm X, and Philadelphia (just to name a few) prepares to accept the American Film Institute’s 47th Life Achievement Award, he’s looking back on an extraordinary career.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Washington is currently working on producing a series of August Wilson’s plays, the first of which, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, whihc is currently is in preproduction for Netflix.

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But in the sit down with THR he admits that despite his prolific work in film, theater is still, and will probably always be his first love.

“Theater. That’s where I started,” he explains. “Actually, it was a practical thing: I started acting in college, not because I wanted to act in movies but because I was looking for something to major in. I’d tried everything else and found I had some ability [as a performer]. The first play I ever did was a musical and I found out I couldn’t sing, and then I did Eugene O’Neill’s Emperor Jones, and the second [drama] I ever did was Othello. I wanted to be James Earl Jones and make $650 a week on Broadway.”

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Although the industry vet may often get the spotlight, he explains how acting has become a family business mainly due to his wife, actress Pauletta Washington.

“I’m not a film buff,” he admits. “I think the reason my children have gotten in the business — two of my kids are actors and one is a producer and one is a director, in fact an AFI graduate — even more than that their dad is an actor, is that my wife is a film fanatic. I like film, and I watch more film leading up to when I’m directing than any other time, because I’m studying. I’m directing the movie Journal for Jordan next year and it’s a love story, so I just started looking at different movies like Brief EncounterComing Home. I’ll end up watching a lot, but for a reason.”

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As for the rumors that he might be filming Macbeth he responds, “We’re doing it. Joel Coen is writing it and he’s directing this one without his brother [Ethan]. And Frances McDormand is playing Lady Macbeth. We’re shooting next year.”