Hold on to your MF-in’ hats, because here we GO. (Oh, and as an aside? I could not care less what Daniel Craig/JamesBond are shilling. I don’t care if Mr.Bond now drinks beer rather than a martini. Just as long as I see Daniel Craig as much as possible, I’m pleased. The End.)
Denzel Washington is one of the best actors of our time, and one of the most famous men in the world, just don’t tell him that. The 57-year old two-time Academy Award winner sat down with Michael Hainey for the annual StylePlaybook to talk about his influences and why he’s not a celebrity.
Is there an actor who has influenced you? There’s a scene in The Godfather II. De Niro’s in a theater. And he’s looking back. It’s just a look. I don’t think I’ve ever imitated another actor, but there’s nothing wrong with learning from them.
Are there any roles you’ve turned down that you regret? 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. (OMG can you imagine Denzel and Brad together in a movie!)
In some ways, you’re a cipher. There’s not much you put out there. But that’s not my job to put stuff out there. 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.
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.
Training Day has become a new classic. A lot of credit goes to Antoine Fuqua, the director. He brought the gangster aspect into it. The script was more like a 2000 version of a Lethal Weapon kind of guy. That line “King Kong ain’t got nothin’ on me“—I made that up. The character’s ego, he just did not think he could lose. That was his problem.
What did you feel when Whitney died? Whitney was my girl, and she had done so well in recovery. And that is the toughest part about addiction.
Were you friends still? Not “talk every month” friends, but I talked to her from time to time. And that was a monster drug that got ahold 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.
Whitney was such a sweet, sweet girl and really just a humble girl. You know, they made her this thing. She had a voice, obviously, but they packaged her into this whole whatever, but she was really just this humble, sweet girl. Me and Lenny [Kravitz], we were talking about her yesterday, and it’s more of an example to me or the rest of us to keep it together. I was listening to her song “I Look to You.” It’s prophetic. Maybe I’m speaking out of line. Maybe she thought she could have one. And then the next thing you know, her body was betraying her. She didn’t know that her body was aging quickly. She couldn’t take it. Your body can only take so much. Some people survive [Hollywood and fame], and some people don’t.
You can read the rest of the interview with this GQMF when the issue hits newsstands September 25th.
Someone get me a tissue. My (other) Silver Fox, Dr. Drew Pinksy is super sick. I would have thought he caught the Hep C from one of his Pigpen-ish Celebrity Rehab patients **COUGH Leif Garrett Jason Davis COUGH**, but NO. My Dr. Dreamboat has been stricken with a nasty infection while on a second honeymoon with his wife, Susan.
“Pinsky, who left on Jan. 8 for a second honeymoon with wife Susan at a “secret destination,” came down with a case of Leptospirosis while away, according to his Twitter.
Following the honeymoon, which also celebrated the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary, he tweeted, “Spent the night as a patient in the hospital. Seems I may have picked up Leptospirosis in the West Indies. This is just brutal.”
Just look at how nasty Leptospirosis is, via Google Health:
Avoid areas of stagnant water, especially in tropical climates. If you are exposed to a high risk area, taking doxycycline may decrease your risk of developing disease.
Dr. Dreamboat? Doctor, heal thyself — we NEED you!
So, in researching this nastiness, I found out something interesting. In 2000, my son Alex and I caught Salmonella B (which is not the same as food-borne Salmonella). Alex caught it first. We almost lost him; the doctors and gastro-specialists couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. He was 16 and lost 25 pounds in four days. I LIVED at the hospital, helping him with everything, because Lord knows I couldn’t let the nurses assist my boy. I slept there and held his hand. It was truly horrifying. Finally, after test after test, the genius Dr. Sharma discovered what this devil of an illness was that had nearly killed my boy. It was a long, slow recovery for Alex.
Funny story: He was on a morphine drip, and felt the need to tell me EVERYTHING that he was pissed off at me about since he was a toddler. “Remember when you weren’t on time to pick me up from Kindergarten and they were gonna put me on the BUS??” Jaaayzus. This went on for about an hour…and I just bawled my head off…mainly because there were far traumatic things he was angry about, and I’m thankful he TOLD me.
So then Mama caught it. But since the entire county was involved (not even kidding) in Alex’s diagnosis, I was simply tossed in a QUARANTINED (read: HAZMAT SUITS!!) room and treated for six days. Mind you, I only lost five pounds. Psssssh. I cannot believe I just told all y’all about this grossness. So, yeah. Just know I spared you the REALLY disgusting details.