Couric said the terse exchange was “completely, weirdly uncalled for.”
Katie Couric recalled an awkward interview with Denzel Washington that occurred back in 2004.
During her guest stint on the latest “Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino” podcast, the news caster revealed she was taken aback while chatting with the Oscar winner for his film “The Manchurian Candidate.”
“I just remember leaving it and thinking, ‘God — I don’t think I said anything wrong.’ I don’t know what happened,” she explained. “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.”
The “Dateline” interview, which included Meryl Streep and director Jonathan Demme, fell apart after Couric asked Washington how he felt about the saying that “Hollywood folks should stick to acting.”
“I don’t know what Hollywood folks are, first of all,” he replied, according to Page Six. “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,” Couric responded. “Are you one of those people that –”
“Ah, there you go,” the actor interrupted. “Am I one of those people? Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?”
When Couric attempted to diffuse the situation by saying, “Oh, stop,” Washington plowed ahead.
“No, don’t stop,” he said. “I heard what you just said. ‘Am I one of those people?’ No, I’m not.”
Couric attempted to rephrase the question again, as she said, “No, are you an actor who would rather not –”
“No, I’m not that either,” Washington chimed in. “I’m a human being. My job is acting.”
The terse exchange left the news anchor confused, as she recalled during the podcast.
“I love him. I admire him so much, he’s one of my favorite actors,” she said. “But I remember walking out feeling kind of shaken that he had gone after me in a way that was completely, weirdly uncalled for.”
TooFab has reached out to Washington for comment.