The Oscar-winning actor and his wife of 35 years,Pauletta Washington, hit the red carpet at the star-studded event held at the Dolby Theater, where Entertainment Tonight asked Denzel what he considers his biggest lifetime achievement.
Washington turned to his devoted wife and said she’s his “biggest lifetime achievement.”
The actor also opened up about being honored by the American Film Institute, and support from the stars who came out to help celebrate his career and legacy.
“I’m humbled, I’m grateful, I’m thankful… I’ve never done this before so I can’t really tell you how I feel,” he admitted. “It doesn’t feel like other times I’m on the red carpet. I’m usually promoting a film or at an award show. [Here] I’ve already won, I guess, so it’s different. It’s relaxed.”
The gala included appearances and speeches from Spike Lee, director Antoine Fuqua, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Hudson, Mahershala Ali, Michael B. Jordan, Cicely Tyson and Julia Roberts, to name just a few.
Boseman called Washington the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time).
“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” he said. “Not just because of me, but my whole cast, that generation stands on your shoulders.”
The biggest surprise of the evening was Beyonce, who came out to present honoree Melina Matsoukas with the Franklin J. Schaffner Award — see the Twitter video embed above. Matsoukas has directed some of the singer’s biggest music videos.