John Boyega Laughs Off #BoycottStarWars’ Delusions of Grandeur
You’d think John Boyega might be worried about the impending scrutiny to follow his debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — or even the scrutiny he’s faced already, with racist trolls spreading crap online about how they can’t believe a black actor is a key protagonist — and a lightsaber-wielding force user to boot! Boyega assured The Hollywood Reporter that he actually wasn’t that stressed about the prospect of joining a franchise under such high-pressure circumstances:
I didn’t think of it. I am all about opportunity. I’m all about story. When J.J. signed on as director I was very much interested to come and read for him. It was just a matter of whether or not I could do the job, and apparently I could. For me, it’s just all about making sure that this is a really cool film. That Finn is the best character I can make him. In terms of it being a failure for some actors and all that stuff, it’s been a long time since the last Star Wars movie came out. I haven’t been scared with the risks and all that stuff. As an actor I wanted to do a great, great piece. As a fan as well.
Later on, the interviewer got much more specific: “As much as most of Star Wars fandom is warm and embracing, there is this strain of ugliness, this whole #BoycottStarWars movement, where people are upset that Star Wars has been co-opted by women and people of color. How did you feel when you first heard about it?”
Boyega responded, “The biggest movement so far is the fact that Star Wars probably beat Hunger Games in pre-sales eight times over. So my question is, how is that little other agenda doing?”
Boyega went on to stress that he didn’t consider the political implications of his role when the opportunity arose: “I feel like if I thought about that, my audition would not have been great. I would have been crying and making speeches halfway through the audition. For me, I went in as an actor.”
John Boyega’s level-headedness is pretty delightful to see — although of course, he’s not at all level-headed when it comes to his intense fandom about all things Star Wars. He’s been obsessed with the movies since childhood, although apparently his parents never understood why:
My parents are not interested in Star Wars whatsoever. They’re only interested in The Force Awakens. In terms of the rest, they’re like, “OK, cool, but you’re not in it.”
(via Uproxx, image via Tumblr)
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