John David Washington Addresses Criticism Over 12-Year Age Gap With ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Co-Star Zendaya

John David Washington co-stars with Zendaya in “Malcolm & Marie”, a pandemic-shot drama for Netflix that explores the relationship between a director and his girlfriend, directed by Sam Levinson (creator of Zendaya’s HBO hit “Euphoria”).

Given that the “Tenet” star is 36 and Zendaya is just 24, there’s been some backlash to the 12-year age difference, which Washington addressed in a new interview for Variety.

“I wasn’t concerned about it because she is a woman,” said Washington of the age gap.

RELATED: Zendaya And John David Washington Have A Love-Hate Relationship In New Trailer For ‘Malcolm & Marie’

“People are going to see in this film how much of a woman she is. She has far more experience than I do in the industry. I’ve only been in it for seven years. She’s been in it longer, so I’m learning from her. I’m the rookie,” he added.

“I was leaning on her for a lot,” Washington admitted. “Some of the stories she’s shared about what she’s had to go through with Twitter and everything. I appreciated her wisdom and discernment when it comes to this business. I admire that.”

According to Washington, he expects any criticism of the film to evaporate once people actually watch it.

“What I’m really excited for people to see when the film is released — they’re going to see how mature she is in this role. We’re talking about versatility, and Sam and Zendaya brought both,” he said.

RELATED: First Look At Zendaya And John David Washington In Netflix’s ‘Malcolm & Marie’

“Malcolm & Marie” will be released in select theatres in January and on Netflix Feb. 5.

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