John David Washington Talks the Success of Black Men


In an interview with BET, actor John David Washington urges black men to be “relentless” and “passionate” when pursuing success.

“Do your research” Washington tells BET. “Do your research. Back that passion up with the hard work, in the actual work that it takes to get whatever you want done. If it’s acting then pursue a class, I guess now you have to do it virtually. Pursue a class and get your skills together. I’m constantly trying to work on my skills, keep a Shakespeare monologue on me at all times. It’s just the hard work mentality that I’ve always had. “

As a trailblazer in young Black Hollywood, Washington urges Black creatives that their time to shine in the industry is now.

“It’s a time for us right now, a great time for African Americans, especially in this industry to shine. More and more of our stories are being told and being greenlit from these studios. There’s an opportunity for messages to get out there for great medicine to be injected in our communities through the artwork, through what we do.”

Washington is currently starring in Christopher Nolan’s thriller espionage, Tenet. Washington plays a CIA agent assigned with the mission to travel in time and stop the start of War World III. The former college football player tells how certain scenes in the movie tested not only his athletic capabilities but his fear of heights.

There’s a fight, a fight sequence in the Rotas vault,” says Washington “which was pretty significant. It took about 10 days to shoot all that. Every take, I was like, ‘I can do this,’ like every time. But the one that sticks out the most is Mumbai, India, when I had to jump off of one of the tallest buildings in the city, had to jump over the balcony. ‘Cause I’m not good with heights, I’m just not. And of course, I’m telling Christopher Nolan, ‘No problem, I’m good with heights, this ain’t nothin’, you know, we good.’  So that took a lot of prayer before the jump.”

Click here to read Washington’s full interview with BET.