Back in 2004, Denzel Washington and Katie Couric had an interview about his movie The Manchurian Candidate and things didn’t exactly go smoothly. Washington appeared to be annoyed with some of her questions, but she said that — looking back — he was probably having a rough day, because he later sent her a large check for her colon cancer foundation.
As Page Six reports, Couric opened up about the uncomfortable Dateline interview.
“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 check to my colon cancer organization, which I thought was super sweet,” she said.
“I love him. I admire him so much, 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,” Couric added.
While she and Washington were chatting on the show, things took a turn for the worse when Couric asked him if he thought Hollywood actors should “stick to acting.”
He apparently took issue with being called a Hollywood type.
“I’m not a Hollywood folk. I don’t know who they are,” he said.
Couric tried to backtrack and rephrase the question in a different way, but Washington interrupted her, apparently still dissatisfied with the inquiry.
She tried to interject, but Washington continued, saying he wasn’t “one of those people.”
When the reporter tried one more time, the now 65-year-old actor interrupted once again to say that he wasn’t an actor.
“I’m a human being,” he insisted, adding that acting was just a career choice.
Couric attempted to ask the question one last time, inquiring if he was someone who would express his political views in public, to which Washington replied that he liked to say what was on his mind.
Her line of questioning came as he and his co-star Meryl Streep were discussing the ways in which politics and Hollywood had been merging in recent days. At one point, Washington and Streep got into a heated debate about how to interpret the Bible in relation to current events, in which Washington told Streep that she needed to “read the whole book.” From there, they moved onto discussing whether actors should get involved in politics, as an NBC transcript of the interview revealed.
Couric has faced new challenges in recent months, as she’s been confronted with questions regarding what she knew of her former co-host Matt Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct while they worked at the same network. She said that he was a good person to work with, so learning about some of the allegations against him has been difficult.