Katie Couric says Denzel Washington left her ‘shaken’ during tense interview
News anchor describes feeling uncomfortable when the Oscar award-winning actor pushed back on her 'Hollywood folk' and 'those people' comments
In a recent interview with the Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino podcast, veteran Today Show host and NBC anchor, Katie Couric stated that one of her more difficult interviews was with Denzel Washington.
Couric stated that the 2004 interview left her ‘feeling kind of shaken,’ after the conversation veered into politics.
The interview was a part of the press junket for the film, The Manchurian Candidate, starring Washington and Meryl Streep. The film is a political and psychological thriller about a congressman running to be vice president who is controlled by a global corporation.
In the podcast interview, Couric said, “He’s one of my favorite actors, but I remember walking out feeling kind of shaken that he had gone after me in a way that was completely … weirdly uncalled for.”
According to Couric, the interview went downhill quickly after she asked him if he agreed with the sentiment that “Hollywood folks should stick to acting.”
The Academy Award-winning actor replied, “I don’t know what Hollywood folks are, first of all.” Washington went on to say, “Hollywood is a town that has some stars on the sidewalk. I don’t know anybody from there … I’m not a ‘Hollywood folk.’ I don’t know who they are.”
Couric then tries to rephrase her question asking, “Are you one of those people that … ” at which point the Oscar-winning actor jumps in to interrupt with, “Ah, there you go. Am I one of those people? Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?”
“Am I one of those people? No, I’m not,” he told her.
Couric countered by saying, “No, are you an actor who would rather not … “
“No, I’m not that either,” Washington interjected. “I’m a human being. My job is acting.”
By that point, the entire interview was off the rails.
In the podcast interview, Couric says that the iconic actor may just have been having “a bad day,” and that he later sent her a generous donation to her colon cancer charity founded after the death of her husband, Jay Monahan in 1998.
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