Mr. Movie Man himself graces the cover of October GQ giving us every bit of dapper Dan.*swoons* I love it. When the list of great actors goes out you can bet that Washington will always be listed, I mean who does flock to the theaters when one of his films is debuting. Check out this great interview with GQ as DW talks Mitt Romney, the importance of Faith, and some roles he wish he had not turned down. Great read!
On staying out of the public eye: “Sidney Poitier told me this years ago: ‘If they see you for free all week, they won’t pay to see you on the weekend, because they feel like they’ve seen you. If you walk by the magazine section in the supermarket and they’ve known you all their life, there’s no mystery. They can’t take the ride.’ My professional work is being a better actor. I don’t know how to be a celebrity.”.
On Mitt Romney: “When I see him, he’s always uncomfortable. You can see that uncomfortableness. Forget about his being Mormon. He hasn’t said anything about his faith.”
On roles he regrets turning down: “Seven and Michael Clayton. With Clayton, it was the best material I had read in a long time, but I was nervous about a first-time director, and I was wrong. It happens.”
On Whitney Houston: “Whitney was my girl, and she had done so well in recovery. And that is the toughest part about addiction. …That was a monster drug that got a hold of her, it was a mean one. You can’t go back to that one. Nobody beats that. I look at people — and I don’t think I’m speaking out of line — Sam Jackson, I’ve known for thirty-some-odd years, he was down at the bottom. And he came all the way back. And when he cleaned up, he never looked back. But he can’t have that beer, because it might lead to the tough thing.”
On the code he lives by: “I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word. I read something great yesterday. It said, ‘Don’t aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.’ ”
You’ve worked with Gene Hackman. Any other titans you want to shoot with?
All of ‘em. Anybody whose last name ends in an o. De Niro. Pacino. I cut my teeth watching them. Going back to the idea of learning things from other actors—Laurence Olivier was an outside-in kind of guy. He’d find a handle, something on the outside. The Method guys were inside-out. I use a little bit of both. For Mo’ Better Blues, I’ll pick up a trumpet. Not “Oh, what is the emotional innards of a jazz musician?” Hurricane? Start boxing. Sometimes it starts on the outside. Sometimes on the inside.
When the Denzel biopic is made, what would an actor need to have in his performance to make you say, “He got me”?
That suggests I know what it is, and I don’t want to know what it is. That’s part of the mystery. It is what it is. I don’t go, “I gotta make sure I put some of that Denzel Washington-ism in the movie.” I don’t want tricks. I don’t want to lose my mojo.
When you were playing Malcolm X, you said one of the things that helped you “get” Malcolm was noticing that he was always pointing.
That was one of the keys. It wasn’t the key. He does a lot of that. And he didn’t say “against,” he said, “a-ginst.” So I started throwing in extra “a-ginst”s, because it made me feel like I was in rhythm.