Katie Couric says she was “shaken” by an “uncomfortable” interview with Denzel Washington back in 2004.
While on the Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino podcast this week, Couric, 63, recalled the awkward Dateline interview — which involved Washington, as well Meryl Streep, during a promotional run for their film The Manchurian Candidate — after Pellegrino brought up the art of celebrity and political interviews.
“I just remember leaving it and thinking, ‘God’ … I don’t think I said anything wrong … I don’t know what happened. Anyway, I think he must have been having a really bad day, because he later wrote a big cheque to my colon cancer organisation, which I thought was super sweet.”
She said: “I love him. I admire him so much – he’s one of my favourite 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.”
The Dateline interview involved Couric asking Washington, 65, if he agrees with the notion that, “Hollywood folks should stick to acting.”
“I don’t know what Hollywood folks are, first of all,” he retorted. “Hollywood is a town that has some stars on the sidewalk. I don’t know anybody from there. So, I don’t — that’s like saying — calling you a ‘type’ of folks. I’m not a Hollywood folk. I don’t know who they are.”
“OK, all right, well, let me rephrase the question,” she responded. “Are you one of those people that —”
“Ah, there you go,” Washington interrupted. “Am I one of those people? Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?”
“Oh, stop, stop, stop,” Couric replied, to which Washington answered, “No, don’t stop. I heard what you just said. ‘Am I one of those people?’ No, I’m not.”
Couric countered by telling the star, “No, are you an actor who would rather not —”
“No, I’m not that either,” Washington added in response to being labelled an actor. “I’m a human being. My job is acting.”
A rep for Washington told Page Six the star has no comment.