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By Darron Smith
Denzel Washington is nominated for another golden statue, an Oscar, to add to the two he already has for “Glory” and “Training Day” at this coming Sunday night’s Academy Award show for his role in “Flight.” In an interview with the Guardian, the actor declared, “Actually, even within the industry, I don’t have any actor friends. My friends are old friends. One’s an ex-music guy, the other’s a restaurant owner and the other’s an ex-pro ballplayer.” Washington when on to explain, “Because I don’t make friends! Maybe I’m not a butt-kisser, maybe I’m not a schmoozer. I’m not about to go to a party to try to get a job. And then when you have children, the other friends become other parents. We’d coach baseball or basketball. My wife and I were raised right. I don’t want movie-star friends. And being African American, there were no big movie stars to hang out with anyway, not when I was starting out, they were just the third guy from the back! For whatever reason, I never befriended any white actors.”
Washington’s public relation official clarified on the Guardian story, “I sat in on this interview,” the rep said. “The part they failed to mention was after he said ‘never befriended any white actors’ he mentioned ‘except,’ and then listed Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, etc. They cut the rest of the thought out. The rest is fine though.”
Washington went on to clarify that his attitude had less to do with his opinions of his fellow actors and more to do with the current environment of celebrity in America.
“I’m a working actor!” he declared. “What’s a celebrity anyway? Paris Hilton’s a celebrity. I’m just a working actor.” Washington credits his religious convictions as a source of strength in his life and work. While some actors opt for the glitz and glamour of the robust Hollywood lifestyle, Denzel Washington is content being the guy next door.