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John David Washington has responded to criticism over the age difference between himself and co-star Zendaya following their latest film release, Malcolm & Marie:
The 36-year-old actor said he isn't 'concerned' about the backlash because it was, in fact, him 'learning from her'.
In a recent interview with Variety, when he was asked about 24-year-old Zendaya, he said: "People are going to see in this film how much of a woman she is."
He added: "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. I was leaning on her for a lot.
"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.
"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 [director] Sam [Levinson] and Zendaya brought both."
Many people have taken to social media to point out the age difference between the pair.
One wrote: "Anyways, my criticism of the film is that Zendaya could've gotten a male costar HER age. John almost 40 years old. It's tiring for me."
Another added: "I like what I see will definitely watch it but I am concerned about the age difference. I even googled it 12 year difference. She looks great in the role but."
Loved the Malcom and Marie trailer. I always love Sam Levinson. However, Zendaya's clear age difference kinda took me out of it. I think she'll kill it, but I feel an older actress like Tika Sumpter or Teyonah Parris would feel more believable
- rrrrr8909 (@rrrrr8909) January 8, 2021
Someone else defended the decision, saying: "I'd understand the ruckus about Zendaya and John David Washington's age difference if she was like 18 but she's pushing 25."
The chemistry is allowing me to look past the age difference in Malcolm & Marie cause at first I was like Zendaya and John as a couple??
- Miss Chris Dee (@misschrisdee) January 8, 2021
Malcolm & Marie focuses on the relationship between a director and his girlfriend, which is tested after they return home from his movie premiere and await critics' responses.
The film will be released on Netflix on 5 February.
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