“He kind of jumped all over me”: Denzel Washington’s Infamous Interview Left Interviewer ‘Shaken’ After Rubbing Equalizer Star the Wrong Way

Among her many celebrity interviews, Katie Couric recalled her chat with Denzel Washington as one of the most uncomfortable confrontations.

Denzel Washington’s Infamous Interview Left Interviewer ‘Shaken’ After Rubbing Equalizer Star the Wrong Way


  • Denzel Washington once made popular television presenter Katie Couric squirm after their interview. The Oscar winner ripped apart a question addressed to him by Couric, and proceeded to school her on her opinions.
  • Couric for her part, believed that her line of questioning was not wrong or inappropriate.

Apart from being a veteran actor of repute, Denzel Washington is widely considered a role model across the world. The Oscar winner has inspired audiences not just through his iconic characters, but also as a charismatic personality off-screen. Washington’s various opinions and quotes about acting and life have made people want to emulate him.

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Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington in The Equalizer

The Hurricane actor is also known to speak his mind frankly.  Not someone who minces words or backs down from a challenge,  Washington once made popular interviewer Katie Couric squirm while addressing the questions that were posed to him. The star took down the hapless host’s queries, making it one of the most uncomfortable interviews for Couric in her career.


Also Read: Chadwick Boseman Beat Legendary Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington For 1 Role That Got Him Global Fame

Denzel Washington’s Takedown Of Katie Couric Left Her Shaken

After decades in the business and a filmography that is the envy of many, Denzel Washington has earned the right to be regarded as one of the most influential stars in Hollywood. The actor’s off-screen personality and actions have also inspired fans across the world. While Washington’s candid and frank nature has been appreciated, popular television host Katie Couric was at the receiving end of the star’s sharp tongue.

Katie Couric
Denzel Washington once made Katie Couric feel very uncomfortable in an interview

Appearing in the Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino podcast, Couric was asked by the host about interviews that left her embarrassed. The television presenter recalled a particular interview that she had with Denzel Washington for The Manchurian Candidate which quickly escalated to a rather uncomfortable and forgettable exchange between the actor and her.

“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.”

The conversation turned so uneasy that Washington’s co-star Meryl Streep who was also part of the interview, looked like she would rather not have been present at the time.


Also Read: Denzel Washington Wouldn’t Work With Kevin Spacey as He Found Movie Script “Too Demonic”

What Did Denzel Washington Say To Katie Couric?

Television host Katie Couric has conducted many celebrity interviews in her career including an in-depth chat with Denzel Washington. Couric though, was not prepared for the turn the interview would take. The host recalled this conversation with the Oscar winner being one of the most uncomfortable moments in her life as a professional.

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington in 2004’s Dateline interview with Katie Couric.

Recalling the 2004 Dateline interview on NBC with Washington and Meryl Streep for the film The Manchurian Candidate, Couric talked about the various aspects of the political thriller before asking general questions about cinema. Addressing a question to the Training Day star, the presenter asked,

“Denzel, are you — do you feel— you know some people say Hollywood folks should stick to acting,”

Washington, who, according to Couric, had misunderstood the intent behind the question, took it as a persona jibe and decided to school his interviewer on her seemingly frivolous opinions on Hollywood. The actor said,


“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. 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.”

With every sentence that Couric used to explain herself, the Philadelphia actor countered her with his frank replies until the host was left completely bamboozled and uncomfortable by the end of the interview. Couric went on defend her stance and believed that her line of questioning was valid and correct.

Also Read: Denzel Washington Unintentionally Helped Brad Pitt Change Hollywood’s Perspective About Him by Turning Down $327 Million Worth Hit Movie


Written by Sharanya Sankar

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.