Like Father, Like Son: Denzel Washington's Kid Lands First Starring Role
Denzel Washington and wife Pauletta's son J.D. is hitting Hollywood. (Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup)
Get ready for a little more of that Washington charm.
John David Washington, the eldest of Denzel Washington's four children, is breaking into the family business, scoring his first major role in the HBO series "Ballers." The half-hour dramedy, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (it's his first big TV project, too), centers on the happenings of retired athletes living in Miami, and he'll play Ricky, a competitive and highly spiritual jock.
The role seems like a custom fit for the 29-year-old Hollywood newcomer, who goes by J.D., because he's a former college football player and had a brief stint in the NFL. Sidelined by an injury, he made the jump to acting. After all, it's in his blood: Denzel, who won Academy Awards for "Training Day" and "Glory" and is currently prepping for a stint in Broadway's "Raisin in the Sun," and his actress wife Pauletta's three other children — Katia, Olivia, and Malcolm — are also pursuing careers in various facets of the entertainment business.
In 1992, when he was 9, J.D. had bit role as a school boy in his father's starring vehicle "Malcolm X." In 2010, he was a co-producer in the superstar's post-apocalyptic thriller "Book of Eli."
But don't expect J.D. — who grew up in Los Angeles, attending Campbell Hall School in Studio City — to boast too much about his roots. When he was a starring football player at Morehouse College, he would often decline to participate in media interviews because he presumed they would be more about his dad than his downs.
ESPN in 2003. "He doesn't want to get attention that the other guys on the team are not getting just because of his father. John David is a very humble young man from everything I've seen. I'm sure John David is very proud to be the son of Denzel Washington, but he's also a Morehouse man as well.""Since I've known him, he has shunned away from media attention," his coach Willard Scissum told
"Ballers" will follow Johnson's Spencer Strasmore and Omar Benson Miller as Charles, who are former pro athletes looking for their next act. Rob Corddry will play financial advisor Joe and Troy Garity will be sport agent Jason.