The 66-year-old brushed away tears and admitted that he had not shed a single at his mother’s funeral.
Denzel Washington discussed his aim to commemorate his mother’s legacy through his art during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
When talk show host Stephen Colbert, 57, mentioned Washington’s prior statement that “a son is a mother’s first true love” and questioned how his work pays honor to her legacy, the actor began to cry.
“A mother is a son’s first true love. A son, especially that first son, is a mother’s last true love,” Washington began before he took a moment to compose himself. “That’s… I’m getting choked up. Sorry.”
“You know when I knew that? When I saw my son John David Washington handle my wife,” he laughed. “I don’t care what he does, she’s going ‘alright baby.’ That’s when I realized that bond.”
“[Mother] was there for everything and she went home,” before asking Colbert for a Tissue, he wrapped up his thoughts.
Denzel began to wipe tears from his eyes as the talk show host presented a photo of Washington and his mother at the 1990 Academy Awards, where the actor had won “Best Supporting Actor” for his role in “Glory.”
“This is terrible!” exclaimed the 66-year-old, who admitted that he had not shed a tear at his mother’s funeral. “I don’t know, I guess I saved it up for you! For crying out loud!” Washington joked when asked why he didn’t think he cried during the funeral.
“A son who believes himself to be his mother’s favorite has a lifelong confidence that nothing can shake,” the host said, quoting Sigmund Freud’s idea on a mother’s favorite son and the correlation to his confidence.
Denzel then revealed that he didn’t know if he was his mother’s favorite, but that “I can tell you that I gave her the worst time.”
He ended his remarks by encouraging the audience to embrace and adore their mothers.
On June 14, 2021, Washington’s late mother, Lennis Washington, died at the age of 97. Lennis was born in 1924 and grew up in Harlem, New York, according to her obituary. In 1949, she married Rev. Denzel H. Washington Sr., and they had three children: Lorice, Denzel, and David.
Indeed, any man can love any other woman but one thing is for sure: his heart will always be entangled with that woman who loved him first before the world—his mom.