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Denzel Washington shares the secret to a long-lasting Hollywood marriage: 'Shut up!'

Wonderwall, Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 12:31pm (PDT)
  • By Jessica Wedemeyer with reporting by Taryn Ryder

    Denzel Washington's success story includes two Oscars, a pair of Golden Globe Awards, and more blockbuster hits than you can count on your fingers and toes. But perhaps the actor's most noteworthy accomplishment is his long-lasting marriage to his wife of almost 30 years, Pauletta Pearson Washington.

    The duo met in 1977 on the set of TV movie "Wilma," in which they both had small roles. The part, Denzel's first on-screen performance, may not have won the young actor any kudos, but it did help him land his future wife's love. They wed five years later, on June 25, 1983.

    So what is the secret to their relationship's longevity? According to the actor, it's a two-step process: "Do whatever my wife says, and keep my mouth shut!" he told Wonderwall at the Los Angeles premiere of his latest film, "Flight."

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    In exchange for his obedience, Pauletta has supported her husband throughout his ever-blossoming career, putting her acting ambitions aside to focus on raising the couple's four children. But that may not be the case for much longer!

    "She's sort of branching out now that the kids are out of the house," Denzel says. "She's working in New York now and getting her career back on track."

    While his leading lady is gearing up for her career comeback, Denzel has been cozying up (on camera, at least!) to stunner Nadine Velazquez, with whom he shares a love scene in "Flight."

    "We get all kinds of naked and it's great," Nadine said of the intimate scene. "He's such a professional, he makes everything just easy."

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    But Pauletta apparently has no reason to fear. For her loyal hubby, smooching a sexy model is just another day at the office. "It's not intimate or anything like that," said Denzel of what can be one of the most uncomfortable moments for an actor. "Love scenes are very technical. It's you and 29 other people in the room. … I remember an actor said years ago, 'Don't be upset if I get excited and don't get upset if I don't.' It's very technical!"

    Regardless of his on-screen proclivities, when the cameras aren't rolling, it's obvious what Denzel's true priorities are: "He's always with his family," said co-star Brian Geraghty.

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