Some people love to name drop, John David Washington is not one of those people.
In a recent interview with Mr. Porter, David Washington revealed when he auditioned for a role, he purposely hid the identity of his A-lister father, Denzel Washington. And it’s not because of shame but because “I saw how people changed when they found out who my father was,” he told the publication. “I used to lie, saying he was a construction worker or in jail, just to have some sense of normalcy.”
Washington wanted to get roles on his own merit and not by his talented bloodline.
“I felt like there was no way people would take me seriously, even if I was good,” he said. “They would always judge me. So I hid who my father was. I guess I was protecting myself.”
Washington landed his first major role in 2015 in HBO’s Ballers alongside Dwayne Johnson. And it wasn’t until years later that everyone found out who he was, by then he had established himself as a talent to watch.
Following his stint on that show, Washington made his feature film debut as the lead in Spike Lee’s Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman. He earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in the 2018 film.
Fun fact, both Washingtons have now worked with Spike Lee on great, iconic films.
When asked about what he dreams his legacy will be, Washington said, “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.”
For the Washingtons, talent runs in the family. John David Washington’s mother Pauletta Pearson Washington, is a revered stage actress with movie credits that include Philadelphia, Antwone Fisher and more.
His younger sister, Olivia Washington, is following in the stage footsteps of her parents. She recently starred in Kenny Leon’s all-Black adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”
What’s up next for Washington is starring Christopher Nolan spy thriller Tenet. The film centers on two international spies. They are to use a unique technology of time reversal to stop World War III from occurring at the hands of a mysterious threat.
Due to the pandemic, the film’s release has been delayed a number of times. Its new release date is Aug. 26 for the UK and other international territories and then in the U.S. on Sept. 3.
Following Tenet, Washington will star in Malcolm & Marie opposite Zendaya. There are no details of the film’s plot yet but it is said to be in the vein Netflix’s Marriage Story. This film however has a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now.