John David Washington addresses criticism of age gap with co-star Zendaya

Washington insist that the age criticism didn’t bother him

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John David Washington may be over a decade older than his costar Malcolm & Marie costar, Zendaya but he says he was the rookie on their set.

Washington received criticism do to their age difference. He is 36 and Zendaya is 24, but in an interview with Variety, he says he learned so much from her and that he needed to do this film.

Zendaya John David Washington Netflix thegrio.com
John David Washingon and Zendaya combine forces for a ‘Malcolm and Marie’ for Netflix. (Photos: Getty)

Read More: Zendaya admits pandemic was ‘first time’ discovering identity outside of work

He insist that the age criticism didn’t bother him.

“I wasn’t concerned about it because she is a woman,“ he tells the publication.

The trailer of the film recently dropped and some Twitter users couldn’t help but notice the difference between the two actors.

“I wanna like the malcom and Marie movie because I think it’s probably beautifully written, but like the age gap between Zendaya and John David……..is obvious,” said one user.

He adds, “People are going to see in this film how much of a woman she is. She has far more experience than I do in the industry. I’ve only been in it for seven years. She’s been in it longer, so I’m learning from her. I’m the rookie. I was leaning on her for a lot. Some of the stories she’s shared about what she’s had to go through with Twitter and everything.

I appreciated her wisdom and discernment when it comes to this business. I admire that. What I’m really excited for people to see when the film is released – they’re going to see how mature she is in this role. We’re talking about versatility, and Sam and Zendaya brought both.”

Zendaya thegrio.com
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The film was shot back at the beginning of the pandemic. He goes on to discuss why he decided to go through with shooting despite the state of the country.

Read More: Zendaya makes history with Emmy win for ‘Euphoria’

“I felt comfortable. I felt safe. But I felt the need to do this so much that I was willing to risk it,” says Washington. “We were in the facility, on a ranch, which was this beautiful resort, with plenty of space. Everybody had their own cabin; we had to get tested before we got there. We got tested when we got there. And then we tested a day before we checked in. Nobody was on the ranch except for us. So as long as nobody left the facility, I felt safe.”

As previously reported by theGrio, Netflix wrapped up a deal acquiring the rights to Malcolm & Marie for a $30M last September. It is the largest amount paid for a film acquisition out of a film festival, according to the Daily Mail. In this case, it was the Toronto Film Festival, which was largely virtual this year.

34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival -Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG
SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 05: John David Washington attends the Virtuosos Award Presented By UGG during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 5, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The romantic drama is directed by Sam Levinson who is also behind Zendaya’s HBO series Euphoria. In a statement, the director boasted about Netflix and pulling off a movie production in strange times.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my Euphoria family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” says Levinson. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

In the film, Washington plays a filmmaker and Zendaya is his girlfriend. The couple begins their evening at a big movie premiere but things quickly turn left on their ride home when the couple starts discussing their past relationships. The conversation becomes more intense than either expected, challenging their union.

Catch the trailer below.


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