Marion Curtis/StarPix for Focus Features(NEW YORK) — Denzel Washington is one proud papa. With the release of BlacKkKlansman, in which his eldest son, John David Washington, takes on the lead role of real-life detective Ron Stallworth — a black police officer who infiltrated the KKK– Denzel is more than ready to support his son’s meteoric rise.
“Yeah, they said that they had his billboard next to mine,” Denzel tells ABC Radio, recalling the moment when he first learned that his son’s BlacKkKlansman billboard was next to his own of Equalizer 2. “Imagine that. He showed it me the other day… I knew he was talented and…it’s happening.”
Thinking back to his early days as an actor, Denzel knew his son had potential. In fact, he even brags that John David had some early red carpet training.
“John David went to his first… red carpet at two years old,” Washington says. “I think three years old maybe? My wife said he was three or four or whatever it was. And he was talking about, ‘My Daddy’s in Cry Freedom.’
Laughing, Denzel continues, “You’ve got to find that footage. We gotta find that. But he wants to be good. And he’s doing it the right way and studying and just trying to grow as an actor.”
Of course, even with his son’s time as a NFL player for the St. Louis Rams, and now an actor, Washington believes John David will never lose his sense of humility.
“Some kids’ lifetime dream [is] to play in the NFL. Some kids, their lifetime dream is to do what he’s doing now. He’s done both. That’s rare,” Washington says. “He’s a good kid. And my wife has done a great job making sure he’s humble. She’ll still slap him upside the head.”
BlacKkKlansman opens Friday.
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