‘Star Wars’ Actor John Boyega on Staying Humble in Hollywood

GQ hangs out with 'Last Jedi,' 'Detroit' star on his home turf.

July 18, 2017 9:38 am
'Star Wars' Actor John Boyega on Staying Humble in Hollywood
John Boyega attends the 2017 Olivier Awards with Mastercard ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on April 09, 2017 in London, England. (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Im/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered in theaters in December 2015, only a choice few knew who John Boyega was.

Now, the actor who portrays Finn, the Stormtrooper who defected from the dark side, is an international superstar, and will reprise his role in this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and break his space orbit for a lead turn in upcoming Kathryn Bigelow movie, Detroit.

GQ recently sent correspondent Anna Peele to South London to interview the star, whom it calls one of “Hollywood’s least ‘Hollywood’ stars.”

Here are our favorite moments from the feature below.

-That famous scene from the Force Awakens‘ teaser trailer, where Boyega is lying in the middle of the desert, looking sweaty and scared, was actually born of awkwardness. “Every time I’d move, the plastic would pinch my armpits,” Boyega told GQ. “I’d rolled onto my bum, pushed up with my arms, then got onto my knees, struggling to get my thighs up. The sand was moving, and it was a struggle. I was out of breath. It was hot as hell. But I got my back up. And then I came into shot.”

GQ‘s Peele notes the exact moment when Boyega realized he was a star: On the red carpet at the 2015 premiere of The Force Awakens, when in an unscripted moment, he blurted out, “I’m a boy from Peckham, and I’m in a Star Wars movie!” (The South London district is made up of mostly immigrants and working-class families).

-Of his stardom in the famous franchise, Boyega is very modest: “Star Wars will always be the star of Star Wars.”

-Before The Force Awakens opened in theaters, Boyega asked his agent to set up an informational interview with Robert Downey Jr., so he could better understand fame. (They had waffles.) And then Orlando Bloom showed up out of nowhere. So he asked them romantic advice. They advised him to find a woman who “understands” his career choice.

-J.J. Abrams picked Boyega for the part, partly because of seeing him act in Attack the Block, an alien invasion movie that also stars Jodie Whittaker, Doctor Who‘s first female Doctor.



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