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Denzel Washington opens up about friend Whitney Houston's addiction

Nathaniel Goldberg / GQ

Ahead of his upcoming film "Flight," Denzel Washington caught up with GQ magazine and discussed a variety of topics, among them his friend Whitney Houston, who died in February.

"Whitney was my girl, and she had done so well in recovery. And that is the toughest part about addiction," Washington told the magazine of his "Preacher's Wife" co-star. "That was a monster drug that got a hold of her, it was a mean one. You can’t go back to that one. Nobody beats that."

Cocaine was a contributing cause to Houston's death, according to the L.A. County coroner. Washington continued, "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."

Slideshow: Denzel Washington

Another subject Denzel tackled during the interview was that of celebrity; although Denzel had his breakthrough role on "St. Elsewhere" 30 years ago, he's still something of an enigma. Few details about his personal life have gone public, and that's something that's been intentional, Washington tells GQ.

"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."

The full interview can be found in GQ's October issue, on stands Sept. 25.

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