Denzel Washington: “I Don’t Want Movie Star Friends” Because “I’m Not a Butt Kisser”

Denzel Washington Larry Busacca/

Denzel Washington steers clear of Hollywood hobnobbing whenever possible. In a Jan. 24 interview with The Guardian, the Flight actor told the British newspaper that he doesn't spend much time with his celebrity peers.

"Even within the industry, I don't have any actor friends. My friends are old friends," Washington, 58, admitted. "One's an ex-music guy, the other's a restaurant owner and the other's an ex-pro ballplayer."

When Washington was asked why he doesn't keep in touch with his colleagues, the acclaimed actor laughed loudly. "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," the actor explained. "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."

Washington added, "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."

(The actor's rep later clarified his statements made in the interview, telling Yahoo, "I sat in on this interview. 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.")

The two-time Academy Award winner — known for his roles in Glory, Malcolm X, Philadelphia, The Hurricane, Remember the Titans, Training Day and Inside Man — said he's uncomfortable with the idea of being famous.

"I'm a working actor!" Washington — up for another Best Actor Oscar for his work in Flight — exclaimed. "What's a celebrity, anyway? Paris Hilton's a celebrity. I'm just a working actor."

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