Denzel Washington recently sat for an interview with Reuters to talk about his film “The Tragedy of Macbeth”, a new adaptation of the 400-year-old play.

He plays the titular role in Joel Coen’s black and white film version of the tragedy about a Scottish general who, spurred on by his wife, commits murder to access the throne.

“It just so happens as fate would have it I’ve never seen it. I wasn’t avoiding it. I just hadn’t seen it,” Washington said.

“I was fortunate in that Joel, Fran and I got together close to a year out from shooting and we started reading scenes together. We got to get into the material and ask questions and bounce off of each other and act a little bit and see how we all work together.”

“That’s pressure, huh? Can you imagine that – someone walks up (and says) ‘Look, it’s been a great play for 400 years. Don’t mess it up. Good luck,” Washington, who previously starred in a production of Shakespeare’s “Othello”, joked.

“I didn’t feel that pressure. It was going to be a good play, whether I messed it up or not. It’ll continue to be and it’s open to interpretation. That’s the great thing about Shakespeare … it’s been done every which way you can. So this was Joel’s idea.”