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19 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About John David Washington

Say hello to this rising star.

1. To start, John David Washington is actually the oldest son of fellow actors Denzel and Pauletta Washington.

2. He's a Los Angeles native and grew up in SoCal with his three siblings.

3. His first onscreen role was alongside his father in the 1992 biopic Malcolm X. He was only 9 at the time.

John David Washington posing in a red suit
Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images

He was known as "Student in Harlem Classroom."

4. When John David decided to get back to acting full-time and started auditioning for roles, he kept it secret from his family until he ended up getting cast in Ballers.

John David Washington on set
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Speaking of, John David had a recurring role as Ricky Jerret on HBO's Ballers from 2015 to 2019.

still from ballers on hbo
HBO

5. He once admitted that the first time he saw himself on TV, he fainted.

John David Washington on the red carpet
Danny Moloshok / Reuters / Getty Images

"I fainted," he revealed. "I got like, a shortness of breath. I couldn't handle it."

6. Some of the actor's other notable films include Christopher Nolan's Tenet...

Gregg Deguire / FilmMagic / Getty Images

...Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman...

still from blackkklansman
Focus Features

...and most recently, Netflix's Malcolm & Marie.

still from malcolm and marie
DOMINIC MILLER / NETFLIX

7. John David doesn't just having acting credits under his belt, he also has served as coproducer on The Book of Eli and Malcolm & Marie.

John David Washington during the 10th Annual AAFCA Awards
Rich Fury / Getty Images

8. He initially started playing football at the end of elementary school.

9. He goes by JD when he's with his friends.

10. He attended Morehouse College on a football scholarship and graduated in 2006.

John David Washington at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

11. John David had quite the football journey in college and holds the title of the school's all-time leading career rusher.

12. In 2006, John David was an undrafted free agent and joined the St. Louis Rams practice squad and stayed with the team for two seasons.

13. Outside of his NFL stint, John David also played for the UFL's Sacramento Mountain Lions.

14. The actor kept his love for football going and eventually played overseas for Düsseldorf's Rhein Fire. The international league was in association with NFL Europa.

15. John David's football career was cut short when he tore his Achilles tendon in 2013.

John David Washington at the GO Campaign Gala
Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images

16. He's been honored with numerous award nominations over the years, including the 2019 Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his role in BlacKkKlansman.

John David Washington wearing a maroon suit on stage
Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

17. His favorite films of all time include Dances With Wolves, Raging Bull, Man On Fire, Coming to America, and Glory.

John David Washington promoting BlacKkKlansman
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters / Getty Images

18. Finally, he considers his parents a huge source of inspiration.

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Brooke Greenberg / BuzzFeed

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