Former TV anchor Katie Couric said that she was left “shaken” during a 2004 interview with actor Denzel Washington.
Couric was asked on a podcast if she was ever suddenly surprised by anyone she interviewed during her news career.
“I had a very uncomfortable interview once with Denzel Washington about the remake of ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ … I think he totally misconstrued a question I asked and kind of jumped all over me,” Couric told the podcast this week, according to Yahoo.
Couric added that “it was so uncomfortable” as Washington’s co-star, Meryl Streep, looked on during the interview. She was referring to an interview on “Dateline” in 2004.
“Denzel, are you—do you feel—you know some people say Hollywood folks should stick to acting,” Couric asked him.
“I don’t know what Hollywood folks are, first of all,” Washington replied. “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.”
Couric, in attempting to rephrase the question, asked, “Are you one of those people that…”
“Ah, there you go. ‘Am I one of those people?’ Hm, isn’t that interesting?” Washington said. He then added, “No, don’t stop. I heard what you just said. ‘Am I one of those people?’ No, I’m not.”
When Couric attempted to elaborate, Washington said, “I’m a human being. My job is acting.”
Speaking about the interview, Couric said on the podcast, “I just remember leaving it and thinking, ‘God, I must have … I don’t think I said anything wrong, I don’t know what happened,'” according to People magazine. “Anyway, he must have been having a really bad day, because he later wrote a really big check to my colon cancer organization, which I thought was super sweet,” Couric said.
Couric said that while Washington is one of her favorite actors, she was upset by the interview.
“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,” she said.