Does it get any better than Denzel Washington? Washington, 57, gave a rare interview while promoting his new movie Flight, where he speaks out about Whitney Houston, obstacles of becoming a celebrity, his first job and his father’s influence. The exclusive interview accompanies a beautifully shot editorial in which Denzel is outfitted in Salvatore Ferragamo, Tom Ford, Alexander Olch,Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Brunello Cucinelli, Calvin Klein, Alexander Olch. All I can say about this editorial is that Denzel was made for those suits. I mean how beautiful is this man? The October issue of GQ hits newstands September 25th.
On Whitney Houston’s addiction problems, Denzel says 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.”
On his first job: I was a paperboy. I was maybe 9. I faded on that quick. There’s no money in it. I was 11 or so when I started in the barbershop. That was great theater. Professional liars in a barbershop. There were a lot of father figures in there. I was there with grown men. You know, saying grown-men things. Listening to men talk and lie. I learned to hustle.
On his first acting job: I remember something to do with Fruit of the Loom, but I don’t think I got that. I did a Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks. And I did a Burger King with Jeff Daniels. Or was it Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks with Jeff Daniels? That was ’77.
On Hollywood titans he wants 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.