Hoda Kotb interviewed Denzel Washington on the Today show Tuesday (January 11th) about his new role in The Tragedy of Macbeth and on the passing of legendary actor Sidney Poitier. Poitier died last week at the age of 94.

“I haven’t had time to reflect,” Washington told Kotb. “You know, we had a 40-some-odd-year relationship, so I’m still digesting all of that and he was the beacon. He was the one we all followed and it was an honor to be able to call him a friend.”

When Washington won an Oscar for Best Actor in Training Day in 2002, he honored Poitier. “Forty years, I’ve been chasing Sidney … I’ll always be chasing you, Sidney. I’ll always be following in your footsteps. There’s nothing I would rather do, sir. Nothing I would rather do,” he said.