I love Denzel Washington! He's probably in my top five leading actors of all time along with Leonardo Dicaprio, Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman, and Chris Pratt. Ok, I know that's more than five. And I've probably left some out. :)
Anyway, I was thrilled to watch this interview Denzel did with 60 Minutes at the end of last year. But the end of it gave me pause. Here's the exchange between Denzel and interviewer Bill Whitaker:
Bill Whitaker: So what’s next? I mean, are you enjoying this, directing?
Denzel Washington: I won’t be directing anytime soon.
Bill Whitaker: You will not be?
Denzel Washington: No. No.
Bill Whitaker: Going back to the acting?
Denzel Washington: What’s your first name?
Bill Whitaker: Bill.
Denzel Washington: Right. Put a “s” on it.
Bill Whitaker: Gotta pay a couple of ‘em.
Denzel Washington: That’s-- that’s correct.
Bill Whitaker: Acting pays the bills, so—
Denzel Washington: Acting pays the bills. Do what you gotta do, so that you can do what you want to do. I’ve just done what I wanted to do. Now I gotta get back to what I gotta do.
Let me tell you why this exchange gave me pause: my guess is that Denzel Washington has made a lot of money in his lifetime. That seems reasonable, right? So why does he need to do anything to "pay the bills"? Shouldn't he have more than enough to last several lifetimes?
So I did a bit of Googling and found several sites reporting on Denzel's wealth. This one says his net worth is $140 million. Another one says $190 million. This one says he makes $20 million per movie and has been in 54 movies.
So let's agree that Denzel has many, many millions of dollars. Probably at least $100 million, maybe much more. So again, why does he have to do anything to "pay the bills"?
It's probably because he's spending like crazy! Yes, you can spend it all even if you make a fortune! I've posted on this time and time again -- here's a list of rich people who lost it all, here's a piece on star athletes who lost over $1 billion, and here are stars who have lost fortunes. Why? Because they all couldn't control their spending.
And it's not just the fabulously wealthy. My post titled News Flash: $225k Not Enough to Live On links to a host of people who can't make it work on $100k, $250k, or even $1 million a year. Boo-hoo for them!!!!
Now I hope Denzel isn't in the over-spenders group since I like and admire him so much. But his comments lead me to believe he may be. And if that's the case, I'm really sorry.
What's your take on the issue?