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Star Wars’ John Boyega On How Blockbusters Are Like ‘Luxury Jail’ For Actors

January 26, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Finn John Boyega

John Boyega has experience with blockbusters thanks to his role as Finn in the Star Wars films, and he explained how such films can be like a “luxury jail” for actors. Boyega did a Q&A for his new film Small Axe: Red, White and Blue directed by 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen and was asked to compare how working on a big franchise contrasts with smaller, independent films.

“Being in a big franchise, it’s kind of like luxury jail sometimes for an actor when you want to do something else,” Boyega said (per CinemaBlend). “Because remember, in a franchise you’re working on one character for many years, which can starve your other muscles. And in wanting to be in something where I knew that I’d play a different type of role, a different type of man, and then knowing Steve through, we’re all a part of the same industry so I’d heard about Steve’s directing style, I was really really curious and excited to have the opportunity anyway to be a part of it. And when it came through I was on the tele like ‘this is my moment.'”

Boyega played Finn in all three of the most recent Star Wars sequels, and has been open about his issues with how his character was portrayed in the latter two films as well as how the studio handled the backlash against casting people of color in roles like Finn, Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), and Jannah (Naomi Ackie ). He has since said that he had a “very transparent” conversation with an executive at Disney over the matter, noting, “There was a lot of explaining on their end in terms of the way they saw things. They gave me a chance also to explain what my experience was like.”

Small Axe, an anthology of five films including Red, White, and Blue, is currently available on Amazon Prime.

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John Boyega, Star Wars, Jeremy Thomas