ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

Colin Hanks, Jaden Smith, John Washington; it's out with the old and in with the young, as the next generation of Hollywood offspring begin to make a name for themselves (with the help of their own), so that they might one day usurp their world famous parents.

However, despite John David Washington's standout performance as Ricky Jerret in HBO's dramedy Ballers, nobody seemed to make the connection between him and his father, Denzel. When the penny finally dropped, the internet kind of lost its collective sh*t, blown away by the hairy hunk:

I'll be honest, I never quite connected the DNA dots either, but now I know the likeness is impossible to un-see. What's even more uncanny is Washington Jr.'s deja-vu-inducing voice. If you close your eyes during the following clip it's almost indistinguishable from listening to a young Denzel!

It seems that the apple didn't fall so far from the tree, though the young star's talent for acting didn't just materialize by accident - his father had been preparing him to follow in his footsteps from a very young age.

Back in 1992 he starred in Malcom X, for which his father earned an Academy Award nomination. Credited as 'student in Harlem classroom,' the young Washington can be seen below in his very first on-screen appearance, jumping up from his chair to declare "I’m Malcolm X!”

Later in life, John Washington took a break from the spotlight, producing his father's film The Book of Eli. He also pursued a brief football career, playing in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams, giving him plenty of inspiration to draw upon for his role in Ballers.

It must be nice for John Washington to have received praise from those ignorant to his lineage, surely easing some of that nepotistic paranoia. Living in Denzel's prolific shadow is no easy task, but the 31-year-old is proving himself to be a promising talent and is surely a face that won't go unrecognized again.


Latest from our Creators