Known more for his outstanding performances than his public persona, two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington recently opened up to GQ in an extensive cover story interview. The 57-year old "Safe House" actor spoke out about presidential candidate Mitt Romney's "uncomfortableness," as well as why the public doesn't need to know much about his personal life beyond his movie career. "Sidney Poitier told me this years ago," Washington told GQ. "'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."
The leading man also addressed the death of Whitney Houston and her ongoing battle with drug addiction. "Whitney was my girl, and she had done so well in recovery," he told the magazine. "And that is the toughest part about addiction. ...That was a monster drug that got a hold of her, it was a mean one. [...] 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."
As far as regrets, Washington proved that even an actor as successful as himself has made the wrong bet on a script every now and then. When asked whether there were any roles he should have accepted in retrospect, he pointed to the breakout films "Seven" and "Michael Clayton." He and the interviewer continue on to speak at length about the church's role in the actor's upbringing, and the role that Black fathers need to play in their childrens' lives.
"One of the things that saddens me the most about my people is fathers that don't take care of their sons and daughters," he told GQ. "And you can't blame that on The Man or getting frisked. Take responsibility. Look in the mirror and say, "What can I do better?" There is opportunity; you can make it. Whatever it is that you choose, be the best at it. You have an African-American president. You can do it. But take responsibility. Put your slippers way under your bed so when you get up in the morning, you have to get on your knees to find them. And while you're down there, start your day with prayer