A legendary actor himself, Denzel Washington has helped many younger actors and been a mentor in Hollywood to many. Years ago, he helped Power actor Omari Hardwick, who’d became close with the Washington family while working as a substitute teacher and football coach at a high school attended by his eldest son – John David, who’d go on to become an actor himself.
During his appearance on The Real in 2016, Hardwick said: “They gave me shelter when I did not have a place to stay,” referring to when a television series he had been cast in did not work out and he went broke. He added that at that time the screen legend and his wife Pauletta Washington came forward to help him as he was living in his car and “showering at the YMCA.”
Denzel may not have any advice for his son’s latest project, Tenet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hollywood has been shut down. No major productions have resumed production as of yet, along with most movie theaters around the country being closed due to governmental orders to help offset the rate of spread.
It’s rough especially on John David, as he’s the star of Christopher Nolan’s latest opus Tenet. The star turn from John David Washington alongside Robert Pattinson was originally supposed to be released on July 17th. After being pushed back due to the pandemic three times, eventually Warner Bros. just removed the film from its release schedule.
Denzel’s son John David is now a bona fide star, without his father’s help and standing on his own two feet, even with the delays of Tenet. It wasn’t always that way however, as Washington recently told fashion outlet Mr. Porter. Early on in his career, he was hiding his true parentage in an effort to control people’s perception of him.
“I was related to Denzel Washington,” he says. “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.”
In addition to mentoring others, of course his famous father has given him advice in his career. Washington also told Mr. Porter about the time that he’d found out he booked Ballers after leaving his NFL career with an injured Achilles.
“It doesn’t even guarantee you will make it, but if you don’t, you can almost guarantee that you won’t,” is what Washington said his father’s advice was when he told him he would be starring in the HBO series, which recently wrapped after a number of successful seasons.
While the release of Tenet is still up in the air, Washington also wrapped another highly secretive project we don’t know much about either, that was shot during quarantine. Malcom & Marie features actress Zendaya and was shot by her Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. In any case, there’s more John David Washington coming your way – ultimately proving that his strategy worked.