Washington's passion for acting saved him from criminal life

And the 54-year-old actor believes that his ambition to become an actor saved him from a life of crime, Contactmusic reported.

The 'Training Day' star plays a man who takes a bribe from a hijacker in his upcoming movie, 'The Taking of Pelham 123', said that he could connect with the character because it resembled his earlier life.

"I believe I have been that guy. Not recently, but you don't forget. I'll never forget what it feels like not to eat, no matter how much food you get. I agree that it's not quite the same situation, because he (character) has taken money and I haven't done anything like that.

But the humiliation, that's happened in the boxing ring when you are getting beaten up.

And we've all done a small crime... Oh, I've been very bad," said Washington, who grew up in Mount Vernon of New York suburb recalled.

"We all used to ride the trains together. Sneak on the trains, jump the turnstiles, go to town and hang out. I don't see them so much any more. But when I did Julius Caesar on Broadway, one showed up at the play.

"He had been in the penal system for 28 years and he asked for my help, so I helped him get a house. At least, I hope he bought a house. The second one died. The third one is a chef doing okay. And I am the fourth one," the actor said.

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