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John Boyega Shares His Star Wars Casting Story in This Adorable Animation

Come for the Boyega, stay for the hologram Leia J.J. Abrams.

boyega star wars finn

Imagine you’re a struggling actor living in London, when you get an email from J.J. Abrams who wants to meet with you. Then imagine sitting across the table from J.J. Abrams as he tells you that you’re about to star in the next Star Wars film. John Boyega shares the story of how he found out he got cast in The Force Awakens in the BBC Two series Black Hollywood: ‘They’ve Gotta Have Us’.

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Luckily for us, the BBC chose to combine Boyega’s storytelling with an animated version of the events, and the results are delightful.

Boyega shares the story of the day he was cast, when he received an email from J.J. Abrams asking him to meet up. Boyega, who was chilling at home with a girl he was dating, wanted to seem busy so he told Abrams he was at an art exhibition (we would have done the same, honestly). He then took an expensive cab ride, which maxed him out, to the restaurant where he meets up with Abrams.

When Boyega sits down, Abrams asks him if he’s ready to be a leader, and Boyega responded yes. While Abrams say silently, Boyega struggled to pitch himself for one last audition, before Abrams interrupted him to tell him that he’s the new star of Star Wars. Boyega states that he felt time freeze in that moment, and that he knew he would have to start saying to goodbye to his old pre-Star Wars life.

In another clip from the episode, Boyega discusses the racism in the film industry, saying “my experience in this industry has always, and through no fault of my own, brought me back to race.” He talks about the controversy surrounding the Chinese movie poster for The Force Awakens, which features an insultingly smaller image of himself than the U.S. and U.K. posters.

Boyega was unaware of the poster change until fans alerted him on social media. In response, Boyega said, “You know what? It don’t matter how small you want to put someone on the poster. A LOT of people are going to go see Star Wars, and my black face is going to be running throughout that WHOLE thing.”

Boyega is so charming and relatable in both clips that it’s easy to see why he was cast in the series. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until December, 2019 for the third installment in the new Star Wars trilogy.

(via SyfyWire, image: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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