Dwayne Johnson heaped praise on his Ballers co-star John David Washington on Monday (03Jun19) as the young actor filmed his final scenes for the hit sports comedy series.
Washington scored his breakthrough role on Ballers and has been portraying American football star Ricky Jerret since the show premiered in 2015, but it appears he will be bowing out for good after a few more appearances on the upcoming season five.
Johnson, who leads the cast as a former NFL player-turned-financial sports manager, also executive produces the show, and on Monday, he shared video footage on social media documenting Washington’s last day on set as he gave his pal a “special goodbye”.
In the clip, the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star delivers a heartfelt speech about how far the 34 year old has come and his high hopes for the actor’s future after earning his first Golden Globe nomination for his critically-acclaimed role in Spike Lee’s 2018 movie BlacKkKlansman.
“When I think about our growth, not only as actors but also as brothers, this guy for sure will make us proud and bring an Oscar home one day,” Johnson told the cast and crew during a break in filming.
“That is a lot of pressure put on him… but… more importantly than his success so far just outside of our show Ballers, and more important than the fact that he’s going to go on and become even greater than he already is, is the fact that what I’m most proud of, he’s just the highest quality human being.”
He continued, “Thank you for going on this (Ballers) trip with me personally, and certainly with all of us here at your Ballers family. I got you, I got your back, I love you, I wish you the best of mana (energy), the best of spirit, of luck, and love in your future. Always here for you brother.
“Ladies and gentleman, that is a wrap on JD!”
Clearly touched by the moving speech, Washington, the son of actors Denzel and Pauletta Washington, expressed his deep appreciation for the kind words, and his gratitude to all of the cast and crew members for making his time on the show so memorable.
“This is the best job in the world, I truly believe that…,” he said. “I really appreciate everyone’s love and everyone’s passion for this, so thank you.”
Johnson captioned the post, “Love ya brother @JohnDavidWashington and see ya down the road (sic).”