The relationship between fathers and sons “of art” must not be simple: the constant comparison, the small but present competition and perhaps even the difficulty of untiing oneself from a surname whose weight makes it difficult to take flight. And if the father has the surname Washington and the name Denzel, then the weight can seem almost unbearable.

And so it can happen that a quoted sentence can reveal much more than what some might expect. It happened in front of Access Hollywood’s microphones during an interview for the promotion of Denzel’s latest film, The Little Things: At one point, the correspondent revealed to the actor the comment made by his son John David on the news that the New York Times had named him the best actor of the 21st century.

To those same microphones, in fact, John David had said: “It was time for him to receive that recognition. I think it is one of the best ever so our whole family was proud of this recognition.” “I am speechless,” Denzel said in front of his son’s compliments and was deeply moved. “I had no idea he said such a thing.” Because even fathers, sometimes, need to hear the compliments of their children.

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