Denzel Washington has heaped praise on his young co-star in new film MAN ON FIRE - insisting she's one of the finest actors in Hollywood.

The OSCAR winner found himself in awe of little Dakota Fanning and admits only one other star has left him speechless with wonder - and that was GENE HACKMAN.

Washington says, "She's great. We were together a lot and we talked a lot. She's a professional and a very good actress. She's very bright and I think her parents have done a wonderful job in keeping her grounded. She's just a good young lady.

"Julia Roberts once said, 'We're ordinary people with an extraordinary job.' Well, she's an extraordinary young person. She was fun to be around.

"We improvised a lot. She was in character the whole time, and only twice in my career have I found myself watching the other actor when I'm in the scene and I'm going, 'Wow.' Once was with Gene Hackman and once was in a scene with her."

21/04/2004 02:29