John David Washington won’t let you forget about his mom, Pauletta Washington

71st annual Cannes Film Festival - 'BlacKkKlansman' - Photocall

Before this year’s Cannes Film Festival, I really didn’t know that Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington, had become an actor. I knew he was a college football player and then a pro player, but apparently he turned to acting a few years ago when his football career faded out. He has his first lead role in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, and Spike recently told Time Magazine that he gave the role to John David because he (Spike) has known John David since he was a baby, basically, and he knew John David would do well in the role.

I honestly haven’t been paying much attention to the BlacKkKlansman promotion other than Spike’s interviews, but I’ll need to start paying more attention to John David, because he’s awesome. He was being interviewed about the film and the interviewer was just starting to make this big deal about how John David is “Denzel Washington’s son.” John David made sure to interrupt and make sure that everyone remembers his mother, Pauletta Washington.

When the Today interviewer brings up “the son of Denzel Washington,” this is what John David says:

“…And Pauletta Washington — who was earning more money than he was when they married… before they got married, she was on Broadway working. She paid for the first date. She paid the bill, paid the cab ride. She was a classically trained pianist, went to Juilliard…She’s a great artist in her own right and I learned a lot from her. My father taught me how to hunt, my mother taught me how to love.”

I love this guy now. His mom raised a great son. This is the kind of nepotism I can get behind.

You can see the full interview below, and the section about his family starts around the 2-minute mark (but the whole piece is great):

23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG)

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

36 Responses to “John David Washington won’t let you forget about his mom, Pauletta Washington”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Skylark says:

    I love this so much.

  2. MI6 says:

    This guy is also an awesome actor. I love him on Ballers.

  3. BooRadley says:

    Yes love that ride for his mom. Good boy!

  4. BlueSky says:

    That’s right! Put some “respeck” on my mother’s name!!!

  5. Jane says:


  6. Alice says:

    Damn right.

  7. IlsaLund says:

    Way to go John David…make sure Mom gets her due and recognition. This reminds me of a video I saw years ago where the son of legendary baseball player Lou Brock was being interviewed. The first thing he said to the camera was a shout out, “Hi Mom”. I laughed so hard.

  8. Esmom says:

    Love it. And I gotta say, I find him much more handsome than his dad.

  9. Nic919 says:

    He was really good in Black Kklansman. I actually didn’t realize he was Denzel’s son until after i saw this movie and while he sounds exactly like Denzel in this interview, I didn’t notice that in the film.

  10. Flying fish says:

    Well done, John David.

  11. Lightpurple says:

    He’s good in BlackKKKlansman, which is actually pretty funny, although the final few minutes, which focus on present day, are heartbreaking.

  12. Shelly says:

    I didn’t realize he was DW son until end of first season of Ballers. He really good on that show and makes THe Rock a better actor

  13. Truthie says:

    When I saw the movie, it didn’t matter whose son he is, he is just that good. The movie is amazing, Spike really hit it out of the park, bases loaded. I laughed, I cried, I was awestruck. It better be up for oscars, if there is any justice in this world.

  14. Bc says:

    Love him. To be fair, sons aren’t really tight with their dads. I hear he isn’t. Apparently, his dad was tough on him growing up and gentle with the girls (Denzel has admitted as much, as he is old school). This led to some resentment. He plays it off and deflects it in interviews by mentioning great names who visited his house, and in this interview , obviously genuinely, brings up his.mum ad praises her instead. I understand. I remember being (still am! Loved Equalizer2!) A huge Denzel fanatic growing up and learning how much Pauletta had sacrificed her career to be a home maker. I felt some resentment towards Denzel but I also realize he didn’t force her. I do remember a time in his career where he fell off the grid to raise his kids and didn’t have movies for years so.I guess he too has chipped in considerably. Can’t be easy being them but I respect their level of privacy especially Pauletta’s. John Washington sounds like a grounded guy and I like him lots. I’m just more into Chadwick Boseman right now and I love it. He got to Hollywood with a lot of hardworking , and a little help from Denzel himself (that story warms my heart every time, you really never know who you’re helping when you reach out to help) and he’s a great actor. I really enjoying watching him. Im glad more black actors are thriving in Hollywood and not just a restrictive list of one or two, like it was with Denzel and Will Smith. I’m excites to grow with them and watch where the future takes them. All the best to JW.

    • JoJo says:

      Some sons aren’t tight with their dads,some are.Just like some daughters aren’t close to their moms and some are.

    • Sage says:

      ” Apparently, his dad was tough on him growing up and gentle with the girls (Denzel has admitted as much, as he is old school). This led to some resentment.”

      Interesting, seems this is the same issue with Pitt and his sons.

  15. Mindy_dopple says:

    That last line almost made me cry. I love it so much.

  16. manta says:

    Domhnall Gleeson had a similar reaction with an interviewer who directed the conversation towards Brendan. While acknowledging his father, he made sure his mother got her due credit.

    Sweet from both of them.

  17. Deana says:

    Love this.

  18. Dee Kay says:

    It does not surprise me that John David Washington is very close with his mother, more emotionally close to her than he is to his dad. I know ppl in LA who are at the edges of the Washingtons’ social circle and who said it was well known that Denzel has women on the side. Pauletta dislikes it but tolerates it as long as Denzel keeps it quiet and the children never see or know about it (but come on, if there’s that much gossip in H’wood then of course at some point the children know, John David is himself a part of the industry now, there’s no way he doesn’t know).

    Btw John David is awesome in BlacKKKlansman and the movie overall is very strong. Not perfect (I always think Spike Lee can’t really write women characters or direct actresses very well), but well worth seeing.

    • Izzy says:

      I came here to say this. Too bad Denzel doesn’t show Pauletta the same respect in their marriage vows that he does in the press.

  19. Lilly says:

    Good for him! Thank you for being a wonderful son.

  20. Jamie says:

    Bravo! I am now a John David Washington fan.

  21. LaBlah says:

    I had no idea he was the son of either of them. He’s the only reason to watch Ballers, I actually pretty much hate the show, its just the sports version of Entourage and every bit as gross but I keep watching it for his character. He’s a good actor and obviously a good son too.

  22. holly hobby says:

    Aw. I love a man who loves his mama. The Washington family has great genes!