Denzel Washington’s Son John David Didn’t Tell Him About His Acting Aspirations Until He Landed His 1st Major Role
Five years after landing his first major acting role in a series, “Ballers” star John David Washington, is now sharing how he kept his acting aspirations from his award-winning father, actor Denzel Washington.
Before acting, John David Washington was a professional football player. After graduating from Morehouse College, he later signed with the then, St. Louis Rams ( now the Los Angeles Rams). After bouncing between the NFL Europe and the United Football League, John David Washington retired from football after suffering a torn Achilles tendon. Because he could no longer play football professionally, John decided to pursue his next passion, acting. He says:
“A part of me felt like it got shot and killed, it got assassinated. All of that was fear based on not knowing if what I thought was my destiny, if I’m even worthy enough to claim it. It was time to go up onstage.”
The 35-year-old actor stated that he was aware that going into a field (acting) where your family is well-known, could lead to “second-guessing and constant comparisons.” Rather than asking his father Denzel Washington for help, John opted to keep his acting auditions a secret from the majority of his family, outside of his mother, actress Pauletta Washington. It wasn’t until he landed a role on HBO’s Ballers, which took nearly 12 auditions, did he inform his dad about his desire to be an actor. He said:
“There was disbelief.”
“[He] kept asking questions like ‘For HBO? Like Home Box Office Entertainment? Who? Really? But what’s it called? The Rock?’ He just kept asking questions like ‘Is this real?’ I guess he had to check it with his agents to make sure it was real, and he was happy for me, and then he said exactly what I was going to do anyway, but ‘As soon as this is over, you gotta go learn. You gotta go learn how to do this.’”
In 2015, John Washington debuted his character “Ricky Jerret”, a professional football player for the Miami Dolphins, on HBO’s Ballers. Not only was the series well-received by critics, but it also became one of the most-watched comedies on HBO. Due to season one’s success, the series would continue to go for four more seasons, until it was abruptly canceled in 2019. During that span, John also landed his break-out role in the BlacKkKlansman, which was produced by Spike Lee. The film earned an Academy’s Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.
The same year that John’s first major series would end, he would also land his next movie role. It was previously reported that the BlacKkKlansman actor would be in Christopher Nolan’s latest project. The film was originally scheduled to be released on July 17, 2020, but due to the current coronavirus pandemic, that date could be pushed back.
What do you about John not telling Denzel about his acting auditions? Let us know in the comments.