Denzel Washington has been around the block -- the Hollywood block that is. The 57-year-old actor, who is currently filming his forty-second film, has two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and a Tony Award. He knows a thing or two about the business, both the ups and the downs.
In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Washington discussed his journey as an actor and mentioned those who he's met along the way. One such person was Whitney Houston, who co-starred with Washington in the 1996 film "The Preacher's Wife."
Although the two had parted ways since the film, Houston was still his girl. Here is what Washington said to GQ's Michael Hainey:
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.
Houston died in February at the Beverly Hilton hotel the night before the Grammy Awards. Houston's official cause of death was determined as "drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use."
Although Houston's downward spiral into drug use and erratic behavior was publicized by the media over the years, Washington insists that's not the Whitney he knew. Her story is one to learn from and parallel against stories of success -- like President Barack Obama's.
"Well, the story's not told yet," Washington, who says that he is liberal in some ways and conservative in others, told GQ. "He's in the beginning of the third quarter. I don't know what his legacy is yet. He's the first—that's a part of it. Like Jackie Robinson. But it just wasn't the first game; it was lasting the whole thing."
Washington shot the editorial for GQ at R Bar in New Orleans, where he is currently filming "Two Guns" with Mark Wahlberg and Paula Patton, according The Times-Picayune.
Denzel Washington appears on the cover of GQ's October Style Playbook issue, on newsstands Sept. 25. Head over to GQ.com to read the full interview now.