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‘He Didn’t Talk Like That at the House’: John David Washington Recalls the ‘Magic’ of Seeing Father Denzel Washington Acting on Stage for the First Time 

John David Washington recalled the first time he saw his father, legendary actor Denzel Washington, act on stage. Washington shared the moment during an interview on the PBS podcast “American Masters: Creative Spark.”

Washington decided to become an actor as well and said that he was about 6 years old when he first saw his father perform in “The Tragedy of Richard III” in New York at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park.  

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – John David Washington and father Denzel Washington pose backstage at the play “The Piano Lesson” on Broadway at The Barrymore Theater on November 18, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

“Richard the Third. I saw my father on stage for the first time,” said Washington. “I was a kid. It was like a magic trick, you know, ’cause he didn’t talk like that at the house. And he just got on stage and he transformed into this other being with these words.”

Washington added that his father would often take him with him as he walked around New York City and recited his lines for the Shakespeare play.

“I remember he would walk me around, you know, the city when he was doing it, and recite the lines, and I always used to giggle when he said, I used to love the line ‘Now is the winter of our discontent.’ I never knew what that meant, but I just knew those words. And I felt so cool. I just thought it was magical.”

Washington decided to follow his father into acting and got his first television role in the HBO series “Ballers.” He quickly went on to star in films such as “Tenet” and “BlackKkKlansman.” 

Washington also recently finished his Broadway debut in the revival of “The Piano Lesson” by August Wilson. The revival co-starred another Hollywood legend, Samuel L. Jackson, and “Orange Is The New Black” actress Danielle Brooks. Jackson’s wife, actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson, directed the play. Interestingly, Denzel Washington is currently planning a film version of the play.

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