The seasoned actor recently tookÂ time out to coverÂ GQ’s October Style Playbook while filming his forty-second movie 2 Guns in New Orleans.
AndÂ while the designer suits (Giorgio Armani,Â SalvatoreÂ Ferragamo, etc.) in theÂ photo spreadÂ speak volumes, Washington had a few words of his ownÂ about hisÂ first stage memory, hisÂ friendship with Whitney Houston and advice to GQ’s African-American readers.
On his first memory of being
“I was around 7, 8, whatever I was. WeÂ did a talent show at the Boys Club. MeÂ and another guy, Wayne Bridgesâ€”God rest his soulâ€”he’s the father of ChrisÂ Bridges, Ludacris. We decided to be the Beatles. So we went to John’s BargainÂ Store and bought fake guitars and wigs and did ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’”
On remembering Whitney
“Whitney was my girl, and she had done so well in recovery. And that is theÂ toughest part about addiction. […] Whitney was such a sweet, sweet girl and really just a humble girl. You know,Â 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 andÂ Lenny [Kravitz], we were talking about her yesterday, and it’s more of anÂ example to me or the rest of us to keep it together. I was listening to her songÂ ‘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 wasÂ betraying her. She didn’t know that her body was aging quickly. She couldn’tÂ take it. Your body can only take so much. Some people survive [Hollywood andÂ fame], and some people don’t.
His words to
“Take responsibility. One of the things that saddens me the most about my peopleÂ is fathers that don’t take care of their sons and daughters. And you can’t blame that on The Man or getting frisked. Take responsibility. Look in the mirror andÂ say, ‘What can I do better?’ There is opportunity; you can make it. Whatever itÂ is that you choose, be the best at it. You have an African-American president.Â You can do it. But take responsibility. Put your slippers way under your bed soÂ when you get up in the morning, you have to get on your knees to find them. AndÂ while you’re down there, start your day with prayer. Ask for wisdom. Ask forÂ understanding. I’m not telling you what religion to be, but work on your spirit.Â You know, mind, body, and spirit. Imagineâ€”work the brain muscle. Keep the bodyÂ in tuneâ€”it’s your temple. All things in moderation. Continue to search. That’sÂ the best part of life for meâ€”continue to try to be the best man.”
Check out more pictures after the jump and read the full interview over at GQ!
Photographs by Nathaniel GoldbergÂ