*Clint Eastwood has taken a lot of heat for his empty chair routine at the Republican National Convention, but Denzel Washington still has love for the star.

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“I have the utmost respect for him as an actor and as a director,” Washington said. “He’s my hero.”

Although Washington supported Obama in 2008, he He calls himself an independent and said in this election he isn’t committing to either side.

“I listen to both sides of the argument and try to make an assessment,” he said.

Washington was in Washington D.C. along with Olympic champion Michael Phelps and R&B singer Ashanti for an event sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of America.