A One on One with Ballers Star John David Washington

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John David Washington at the Ballers Season 2 Premiere Red Carpet
John David Washington at the Ballers Season 2 Premiere Red Carpet

Photo Credit: Dorothy Hong / Team Epiphany

If you watch HBO’s Miami-based Ballers, you’re surely familiar with the NFL heartthrob Ricky Jerret–aka John David Washington in real life. The young star takes after his famous father, Denzel Washington, oozing charm and charisma both on screen and off. His character surely won you over on the show, even through his early bad-guy antics at the beginning of Season 1.

As the show progressed, Ricky Jerret grew on viewers even more as he began to let down the barrier of his tough exterior and work through some of his personal issues to grow emotionally, allowing viewers to understand the real man behind the facade. In the final episodes of Season 1, Jerret confronted his deadbeat dad via national television, calling him out for abandoning him during his childhood. Later, Jerret was confronted by his father following the interview, where he shockingly responded by taking pride in Jerret’s success, claiming he can be attributed to his son’s accolades for “putting that chip on [his] shoulder,” to make him work harder.

Following Sunday’s debut of the hit show’s Season 2, we’re curious to see where this leaves Ricky Jerret and the evolution of his character. So far, we saw a glimpse of Ricky attempting to continue down a better path, planning to throw a small birthday party (with his father still hanging around). However, toward the end of the episode, things take a turn for Ricky when he discovers Alonzo Cooley gets the Dolphins contract that was supposed to be for him, a harsh reality dawning on him that he may have to leave Miami.

For a sneak peak into what’s in store this season, we caught up with John David Washington on the Ballers Season 2 Red Carpet premiere. Here’s what he had to say:

HL: We saw a lot of emotional growth occur within Ricky toward the end of last season. Can we expect to see that carry over into this season?
JDW: Absolutely. And we’re going to see how he handles his business, because the reality is that the NFL is a business and I hope that the young athletes and aspiring professionals watching can take note and learn how to protect your interests and protect yourself, to keep yourself safe and to do the best thing for you and for your family.

We’ll wait and see what that means for Ricky in Season 2.

John David Washington at the Ballers Season 2 Premiere Red Carpet
John David Washington at the Ballers Season 2 Premiere Red Carpet

Photo Credit: Dorothy Hong / Team Epiphany

Washington also gave us his personal scoop on filming in the Magic City.

HL: What’s your favorite part about filming in Miami?
JDW: The food! I love it. Also, the people.

HL: What was your favorite Miami spot to film?
JDW: All over. Story was interesting…E11even was great–you really had to focus on your job (laughs) at E11even.

HL: Do you think Miami is accurately portrayed in the show?
JDW: (laughs) I think so. No exaggerations there. Whatever you see, this is what’s up. This is how it goes down for real.

HL: Three words to describe Miami.
JDW: Hot. Passionate. Lovely.

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