John David Washington—star of BlacKkKlansman and Tenet—has been lighting it up onscreen with increasing frequency in recent years. The son of Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington, Washington's hauled in nominations at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards in his own right. He's also one of the few actors to make the rare leap from NFL football player to full-fledged movie star.
On the eve of his newest release, Malcolm & Marie, we asked Washington for a watchlist of his favorite movie performances. The actor told us that narrowing his picks to only five films “under-represents many of the performances I love, but these are the answers that come to mind.”
Check out Washington's all-time favorite performances below.
On Robert De Niro's Jake LaMotta: "The combination of hypermasculinity and vulnerability—all rolled up into one very emotional person—was very inspiring to watch."
On Heath Ledger's Joker: "He made awkward and strange behavior look so cool and almost healthy."
On Denzel Washington's titular performance: "It is almost impossible to play someone who is so well-known and memorable. I have never seen anyone embody the spirit of someone who lived the way Denzel did."
On Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Randle McMurphy: "The fact that Jack Nicholson isn't crazy in real life is what makes that performance untouchable."
On Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook: "I loved it because of his accent. He made a character that's supposed to be despicable so love-able. I found myself feeling sorry for him and rooting for him. He needed a hug."