You know when you're trying to fall asleep and you just start thinking about every bad and weird and embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you? Quarantine is basically just one long version of that, and even Katie Couric has some professional moments that make her want to dive under her pillows and never come out. While appearing on the Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino podcast this week, Couric reflected on a Dateline interview with Denzel Washington for his film The Manchurian Candidate that resulted in a tense back and forth about Hollywood tropes and identity.
When asked whether or not he believed “Hollywood folks should stick to acting,” Washington took offense, per Page Six.
“I don’t know what Hollywood folks are, first of all,” he said. “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 rephrased the question:
“Are you one of those people that —”
“Ah, there you go,” he cut in. “Am I one of those people? Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?”
While Couric attempted to clarify her question, Washington remained frustrated, even distancing himself from being referred to as an actor.
“I’m a human being," he said. "My job is acting.”
Over 15 years later, the interaction still baffles Couric.
"I remember walking out feeling kind of shaken that he had gone after me in a way that was completely weirdly uncalled for," she said on the podcast. "I just remember leaving it and thinking, 'I don’t think I said anything wrong … I don’t know what happened.'"
She revealed that bad blood didn't remain between the two professionals, since he wrote "a big check" to Stand Up To Cancer, which she co-founded.
“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," she added.
I'll be honest: This encounter makes my recurring middle school memories seem not so bad.