by Rachel Ogbu
Now one of the most celebrated cast member of the record breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Boyega was born on March 17, 1992 in Peckham, London, England.
He broke out on the movie Attack the Block(2011), and then Imperial Dreams in 2014 but acting started for him early.
He had roles on stage at the Theatre Peckham, a local performing arts centre for talented children aged 9 to 14. When he was 16, he began to study performing arts at the South Thames College and later Identity School of Acting in Hackney, London.
In 2011 he was selected as the Screen International one of the “UK Stars of Tomorrow” and in 2015, he was cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Personal Quotes (33)
‘Attack The Block’ is an alien invasion film set in South London. It’s about a group of kids who are some petty thugs, who have to find the hero in themselves, when they attack.
I remember my manager telling me, ‘Be myself, be humble, keep rooted, keep God first’. Those words were very helpful.
My dad is a minister, and my mum is a worker with the less fortunate and the disabled. They’re Nigerian natives. Their first language is Yoruba, and their second language is English.
My dad’s a Pentecostal minister, meaning that he’s full of charisma. If he’s telling a story about Noah’s ark, you best know each tiger is going to be having their own little conversation and narrative.
Acting careers don’t come out fully formed – not unless your name is Jaden Smith and your dad has done it all.
Film is just a great medium to express yourself and a great environment to work around.
I know my movies. I love my movies.
Hollywood has given me a great, warm hug.
Being robbed hurts – not physically, but from what it does to your pride.
I like my women very green; you know, eco-friendly.
I’m a Michael Bay fanatic.
I’d like to be in anything that tells a good story and has an interesting character.
I’m a comic reader and a manga fan.
I love London. I’m a London fanatic. That’s my city.
I’ve been getting diverse roles.
There is a level of appreciation for brothers and sisters in the hood.
The scripts that I’ve been getting are of epic proportion. People want me to lead the big armies.
There’s a difference between living somewhere and being part of somewhere.
The ‘block’ in ‘Attack the Block’ is not just a physical thing. It’s people; it’s families.
Portray the world for what it is, and you will find truth.
In this life, it’s not hard to do wrong.
‘Junkhearts’ is a great story.
I’ve had plenty of lessons about film acting and theatre acting.
My biggest challenge is to not do urban movies for the rest of my life, those alpha hoodies.
In the States, you have a little bit of freedom to audition for different kinds of roles.
It’s amazing that people still feel, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a black guy.’ We’ve been here for a long time; let’s get used to it. Let’s get used to other cultures.
I’ve been acting since I was 5 years old, from primary school to secondary school, did training at drama school, which was the big thing for me because they trained me, put me out into the industry.
Normally you hear about Southeast London, and you hear about all the stuff that goes on down there, all the negative things, and the tabloids kind of stay away from all the positive things that happen that I see every day, which kind of outshines the negative.
You know, urban culture is fun; it’s lovely.
You know, we all can do bad, and we all can do good.
Some people feel fulfillment from a bitter end – it gives them some sort of sense of reality. But, when you’re dealing with reality, I feel like films should discover the part that is happy.
I watched season four of ‘The Wire.’ They have subtle performances that they do through their eyes. You could watch season four with the audio off and still understand what’s happening through their eyes.
Who wouldn’t want to be in ‘Star Wars?’ It’d be great.