Denzel: I Don't Know How to Be a Celebrity

The two-time Oscar winner also says he can't "carry the weight of the African American." So what can he do? Act.

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GQ

"I don't know how to be a celebrity," Denzel Washington told GQ in an interview in the October issue. Many adoring fans who saw his image on the cover of the publication would disagree, but the two-time Oscar winner, who also says he can't "carry the weight of the African American," has other concerns -- like simply becoming a better actor.

Read an excerpt from the interview here:

Do you have any code you live by?

I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word. I read something great yesterday. It said, "Don't aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference."

In some ways, you're a cipher. There's not much you put out there.

But that's not my job to put stuff out there. Sidney Poitier told me this years ago: "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.

So if they want to see you that way --

I've got my own things that I will and won't do, but it's not because I "carry the weight of the African-American something" or whatever. I can't. I'm an actor. First of all, I don't take myself that seriously. I take what I do seriously, and I try to do a good job.

Read more at GQ.

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