The actor is primarily known for his acclaimed portrayal of real-life figures like Malcolm X and Steve Biko and fictional action heroes, but recently said that he finds villains much more enjoyable.
Washington told ET Online: "It's cliché to say, but bad guys have more fun. You can get away with more."
He went on to say: "In playing a real character who's heroic, you're kind of stuck. There's only so much you can get away with. But [the] bad guy can say anything."
It was recently reported that Washington may star in a feature film adaptation of 1980s television shown The Equalizer.
Washington co-stars with Ryan Reynolds in the thriller Safe House, opening on February 10 in the US and February 24 in the UK.
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Watch a trailer for Safe House below: