Veteran U.S. news anchor Katie Couric is reflecting on the "uncomfortable" interview she had with Denzel Washington in 2004 to promote his film The Manchurian Candidate. Appearing on the Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino podcast Monday, Couric recalled Washington reacted in a "weirdly uncalled for" manner when asked if "Hollywood folks should stick to acting."
"I think he totally misconstrued a question I asked and kind of jumped all over me. It was so uncomfortable because he was doing it with Meryl Streep… I don't think I said anything wrong… I don't know what happened," Couric told Pellegrino. "I love him, I admire him so much. He's one of my favorite actors, but I remember walking out and feeling really kind of shaken that he had kind of gone after me in a way that was completely, weirdly uncalled for."
The 2004 interview in question seemingly spun into uncomfortable territory after Couric asked Washington if he agreed with the idea that "Hollywood folks should stick to acting" and not talk about politics. Washington took offense to the question, leading to a bumpy back-and-forth.
"I don't know what Hollywood folks are, first of all. ... Hollywood is a town that has some stars on the sidewalk. I don't know anybody from there … That's like calling you a 'type' of folks. I'm not a Hollywood folk. I don't know who they are," he said, according to PEOPLE, interrupting Couric again when she attempted to rephrase the question, aksing, "Are you one of those people that —."
"Ah, there you go. 'Am I one of those people?' Hm, isn't that interesting?" Washington said, adding, "No, don't stop. I heard what you just said. 'Am I one of those people?' No, I'm not."
Couric again attempted to rephrase the question. Asking, "Are you an actor who would rather not –," she was again interrupted by Washington, who slammed her phrasing and, stating, "No, I'm not that either." He added, "I'm a human being. My job is acting."
While Washington hasn't commented on the "uncomfortable" interview or Couric's feelings regarding it, requests for comment from several publications going unanswered, Couric said she believed he must have felt guilty afterwards. According to the journalist, who suggested that "he must have been having a really bad," the Oscar-winning actor later wrote a sizeable check to colon cancer organization.