Washington was promoting his remake of the “Manchurian Candidate,” along with costar Meryl Streep and director Jonathan Demme.
Couric recalled things going left after she asked Washington whether “Hollywood folks should stick to acting.”
“I don’t know what Hollywood folks are first of all,” Washington responded. “Hollywood is a town that has some stars on the sidewalk. I don’t know anybody from there. “
He added, “I’m not a Hollywood folk. I don’t know who they are.”
Couric tried to reframe the question a few times, including asking him, “Are you an actor who would rather not…” but Washington cut her off.
“No, I’m not that either,” he said. “I’m a human being. My job is acting.”
Couric said during the podcast that the experience was “uncomfortable” and said she believes Washington “totally misconstrued a question I asked and kind of jumped all over me.”
“I don’t think I said anything wrong,” she said. “I don’t know what happened.”
The Emmy winning interviewer chalked it up to Washington having a bad day and said he later wrote a generous check to the colon cancer foundation she founded.
“I love him, I admire him so much,” Couric said. “He’s one of my favorite actors, but I remember walking out and feeling really kind of shaken that he had kind of gone after me in a way that was completely, weirdly uncalled for.”
CNN has contacted Washington’s representative for comment.