John David Washington Shares He Truly Didn’t Think He’d Score ‘Tenet’ Role

John David Washington might be Denzel Washington’s son, but that doesn’t mean he thinks he’s a shoo-in. The former football player and actor Zoomed with Ryan Seacrest on Friday, September 10, and revealed he really didn’t think he’d land his latest role in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

Tenet follows a secret agent who embarks on a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent the start of World War III. The film is one of the first to return to select box offices amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously it was sort of disheartening because you work so hard on something and a year ago you had this idea of traveling the world, selling the film and people embracing Christopher Nolan and a certain roll-out but, … at the same time, the timing of it being out right is better than ever because it can give a great deal of hope to people or at least they can escape their reality for two and half hours,” John David, who goes by JD, shared with Seacrest while reflecting on the pandemic’s restrictions.

That said, JD didn’t see himself where he is now back then. In fact, he didn’t think he’d land the role!

“We didn’t talk about anything specific as far as it related to the movie,” JD recalled of the surreal meeting with famed director Nolan. “So, I was like, ‘Oh well, that was cool. I can say in my lifetime I got to talk to Christopher Nolan for two hours in his office. … [I was thinking] maybe he’s doing research for another character that he’s developing for somebody else.”

Find out what really happened and also why it was more physically demanding that his football career in the full interview above!

Catch Tenet out in select theaters now.