Malcolm and Marie: John David Washington Shares His Motivation For Taking Role

Malcolm and Marie star John David Washington shared his motivation for taking the role. Everything flipped around the world once the coronavirus pandemic took hold. In some new comments to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor explains that he had the drive to do something amidst that standstill. He was really enchanted with Sam Levinson’s script and signed on immediately. Malcolm and Marie famously was able to film in a single location with a skeleton crew and testing. It paid off for Netflix and the cast as their movie got instant buzz as one of the only new productions to come out during the quarantine period. Still, so much of the discourse around the film was initially shrouded in the mystery of the narrative. What viewers got was a harrowing portrait of modern relationships and how they function under pressure.

"Sam just started reading me the dialogue between Malcolm and Marie. They were beautiful words, but at the same time it was very disturbing hearing the confrontations Sam was describing. I started getting anxious and nervous because I didn't hear any stage direction — it was all dialogue." the star began. "Even with just those 10 pages, I knew I had to be part of it. It was something I desperately needed artistically."

"Everything had come to a halt and I was so desperate to work. When this came about, I felt like it was a godsend," Washington added. "It felt a bit like this might be the last thing I would do."

In a previous interview with Desus & Mero, the actor also shared more praise for the director.

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“I think Sam Levinson, the writer/director, he’s an incredible writer. So, all I had to do was follow the yellow brick road. That led me to the promised land, it dictated my movement, my cadence, and my tone,” Washington said. “So, it’s difficult. But, I really wanted to say these words. Think about the frustrations of people who look like us, in our industry as artists, that don’t want to get boxed in. Thinking about a lot of hip-hop artists. Our producer, Kid Cudi, he led a huge new genre when he was coming out. But people weren’t ready for it. I’m thinking about all these different people, all these different artists. That’s a universal pride thing. That’s a universal thing we all want to get out of ‘it.’”

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