John David Washington is continuing to make a name for himself in Hollywood as a talented actor thanks to roles in movies like “Monsters and Men”, “BlacKkKlansman”, and the upcoming movie “Tenet”.
“I’ve been loving it,” he told The Journal when talking about having family time with his parents. “My folks are good housemates. They’re fun. I actually feel like the parent sometimes.”
Washington wasn’t always committed to acting, considering he would always be compared to his famous father. “I was related to Denzel Washington,” he explained. “I saw how people changed when they found out who my father was. I used to lie, saying he was a construction worker or in jail, just to have some sense of normalcy. I felt like there was no way people would take me seriously, even if I was good. They would always judge me. So I hid who my father was. I guess I was protecting myself.”
To escape his dad’s shadow, Washington took a different route and joined the NFL out of college. “And I kept getting jobs,” he said, describing his success. Washington was signed to the St Louis Rams and then the California Redwoods. “So, I was like, I’ll keep going. I’ll stay in character.”
Eventually, Washington’s football career came to an end when he injured his Achilles tendon in 2013. Luckily, within a year, he was able to land his first big role in the HBO sports comedy “Ballers”. Washington’s says the secret to his craft has always been hard work. “It doesn’t even guarantee you will make it, but if you don’t, you can almost guarantee that you won’t,” he said.
Washington now hopes to inspire the future generation with his movies. When showing off a “Tenet” shirt sketched by his stylist Samantha McMillen’s six-year-old son, Washington said, “That’s the kind of impact I would love to have.”
He continued, “This kid sees an African-American man in a movie, he’s not looking at colour, he’s looking at what inspires him. There’s so much medicine in these films. Hopefully, my work will speak for itself, like the early De Niros and Leonardo DiCaprios. Their work speaks for itself. That’s how I’d like to live.”