John David Washington used to lie about being Denzel Washington’s son

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 05: Actors Denzel Washington and son John David Washington attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on December 05, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Actors Denzel Washington and son John David Washington attend a basketball game, 2018. (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

John David Washington used to lie about being the son of Denzel Washington, just so he could experience some sort of “normalcy.”

Washington admitted as much during his recent interview with Mr Porter, saying that he used to tell people that his father was a construction worker or was in prison when he was trying to fight his way up the ladder in the film industry.

The Tenet and BlackKklansman actor decided to take this approach because he was worried people wouldn’t take him seriously as an actor and would instead just judge him on being the son of the Oscar winner.

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“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.”

JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action epic "TENET," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Warner Bros.)
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action epic "TENET," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Warner Bros.)

“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.”

Washington has actually spent a lot of time with his father and mother, actress and singer Pauletta Pearson Washington over the last few months.

Read more: John David Washington didn't tell dad Denzel he was pursuing acting he landed first gig

The 36-year-old has living back in Los Angeles with his parents during the Coronavirus pandemic, even sleeping in his childhood bedroom, rather than in Brooklyn, where he usually calls home. He has clearly enjoyed being back at home, too.

“I’ve been loving it. My folks are good housemates. They’re fun. I actually feel like the parent sometimes.”

Washington has still been incredibly productive during the pandemic. He filmed Malcolm & Marie under quarantine conditions, while he has also been busy promoting and waiting for the release of Tenet, too.