Reconnecting with old friends can bring on a wave of emotions. Recently, veteran actor Denzel Washington was left stunned and seemingly warmed over after he reconnected with a Chicago great-grandmother he’d met nearly five years ago. Their original encounter resulted in a heartwarming viral moment.
During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” the host surprised the star with a video call with Juanita Hubbard, the then 87-year-old with whom Washington appeared in the resurfaced clip talking and laughing with as they stood on Hubbard’s porch in 2017.
The New York native was in town visiting the South Side area of the Windy City when he went in search of a barbecue restaurant he used to frequent as a child. Washington stopped at Hubbard’s home, as he was looking for the place where cousins of his used to live, subsequently giving the woman the surprise of a lifetime. “I’m not gonna let you go,” Hubbard told the actor at the time in a video recorded by her daughter.
Washington, visibly shocked to see Hubbard again, threw his arms in the air and began blowing kisses toward her on the screen. The woman, who pointed out she was wearing the same shirt she had on during their initial introduction, reflected on the day, telling audience members as luck would have it, she was “only in the house to receive a refrigerator.”
Hubbard, now 91, said she was waiting and saw a “big truck drive up.” What she didn’t know is that she was minutes from being face to face with Washington.
“I don’t know; my daughter said ‘Here Denzel.’ I didn’t believe her, and I don’t know how he got up on the porch that quick,” she said. “It’s like an angel just flew up, and I jumped up, and when I knew anything, I was holding him, telling him I wasn’t going to let him go.” A wave of “awww” flowed throughout the audience.
When asked if any of her friends were jealous of her meeting up with the actor-director, Hubbard said everyone was happy. “They are still calling me asking me when have I heard from him. I never heard from him since then,” she added teasingly. “I’m thankful that I got in touch with him today.” Washington defended him, saying she never gave him her number. The conversation continued as they spoke about barbecue and more.
Washington is currently on a press run, promoting his new history drama/thriller, “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” directed by Joel Cohen. The film also stars Frances McDorman, Corey Hawkins and Moses Ingram.
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