Actor John David Washington is being showered with praise across social media for showing mad love to the most important Black woman in his life… his mother, actress and singer Pauletta Washington.
The BlacKkKlansman star recently sat down with the TODAY Show’s Craig Melvin to discuss his breakout role and what it was like growing up with a famous family. But when Melvin asked about his Oscar-winning father Denzel’s influence on his acting career, Washington had to set him straight.
“My father taught me how to hunt. My mother taught me how to love,” he said.
“She was on Broadway working. She paid for the first date, she paid the bill, paid for the cab ride,” the young actor explained.
“[She is] a classically trained pianist who went to Julliard. She’s a great artist in her own right and I learned a lot from her,” he added.
Denzel Washington’s blockbuster films have bagged billions at the global box office but as noted by ESSENCE, Pauletta has been featured in several projects as well, including Spike Lee’s Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It and she played Terri Angelou on the 90s television series The Parkers. She also performed “It’s In Your Eyes” for the soundtrack of the 1993 drama Philadelphia, which co-starred Washington along with Tom Hanks.
Washington recently joked that the secret to his 35-year marriage is doing “what I’m told” and keeping “my mouth shut,” the actor told PEOPLE. He also noted how much he appreciates how his wife has turned their house into a home and raised four “beautiful kids.”
“The difference between a house and a home, it’s a big difference,” he explained. “You can buy a house, but that doesn’t make it a home – and not to say a man can’t make a home a home, but my wife has made our house a home, and raised these beautiful kids and protected them and sacrificed for them. She did the heavy-lifting.”
And her son is here to remind folks to ‘put some respeck’ on his momma’s name.
Meanwhile, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman has earned $24.9 million worldwide and industry analysts believe any Oscar buzz could push it to $50 million.