As soon as John Boyega walked into the room with a smile, brown leather jacket, a backpack that he later admitted he didn’t know why he had on and a Sprite can, I was intrigued. Not having known much about him prior to the interview, I wasn’t prepared for how awesome he was.
It didn’t take long before I became a John Boyega fan girl…how could I not be? John Boyega is fun to be around (you’ll see based on his responses which were all so animated!). Check out what he had to say about working with Harrison Ford, Using the lightsaber for the first time and more!
3 words to describe Finn (his character)
Conflicted; charismatic; temporary bravery.
What it was like working with Harrison Ford
Do you know, it’s so funny. Me and Harrison are obviously best friends. He would tell you that. We go way back. It’s ridiculous. And we formed a really interesting relationship that really has influenced the Finn and the Han relationship, because the first thing I said to Harrison when I met him- I walked up to him and it’s like, hey, I’m Harrison Ford. And I was like, you look good, man. He was like, well, what did you expect?…From then, that influenced the way in which Finn sees Han. It’s like, oh man, yeah, gramps is cool. And Hans is kind of like, dude, I’m Han Solo, have respect. And there’s no respect whatsoever. But I think that Hans sees a young Han in Finn, and so they form this bond, and it’s going to be so hilarious when you see their duo, and the lack of respect for each other, but the undertone love that they have is pretty cool.
The relationship between Finn and Poe
When Finn escapes the First Order, he crosses paths with various different characters and Poe is one of them. They definitely have a brother relationship. Finn finds a friend in Poe, and Poe represents what Finn wants to be. Poe is very definite in his position of who he fights for, what side he’s on, and Finn is more in limbo…Finn is kind of like, okay, I don’t want to fight with the Stormtroopers; I don’t wanna fight the resistance; I kind of want to get away, but I have to and Poe gives him a lot of clarity on who he is as a person.
His reaction when he put on the Storm Trooper outfit for the first time
I did like the way my glutes looked. (He is hilarious!)
…it was a good experience, because something like that kind of makes it so real that you’re involved in this universe. When you put on the costume, it’s the final kind of step of becoming a character. You put on the costume, and you see yourself as a character that isn’t you, and so that is something that was quite profound.
On using the lightsaber for the first time
Oh, that was a good day….
The color of his lightsaber, if he had one in real life
My lightsaber would be rainbow colors so they’d know I was there. I’d be like, whooo! I’d be all over, switching, interchangeable, confuse them a little bit and flash modes, and disco mode. I’m about peace, I’m not trying to get into fights with no one.
Most inspiring thing about his character
I think that what’s so inspiring about Finn is how complex he is. He’s a Stormtrooper who has never really experienced individuality, and I think that we always know Stormtroopers to just be one unit, and we’ve never, ever had a Stormtrooper take off his helmet for us to see who he really is. All you’ve ever had is the lead characters in disguise…I find that iconic to me as a fan, to be able to actually talk to one of those.
I always felt sorry for those Stormtroopers, man. It’s like they send them out just to be shot and I’ve always wanted to say, man, you know what? There must be a different career for you, mate. Finn is the first Stormtrooper to actually go, you know what? I need a new job. So it’s really cool to experience a Stormtrooper in that sense
Characteristics he has in common with his character
I think I’m quite funny, to be honest with you…
But it was hard to channel Finn. For seven months I was auditioning for the part, and one of the reasons why I feel it was so long is because it’s really hard to channel the character without enough content. We weren’t allowed a script. We couldn’t take a script home. So I’m having to work with J.J. as if we’re playing one of those mime games, and you have to guess what he’s saying…J.J.’s having to explain without giving away the whole story. So it has been a lot of me trying to find the extreme versions of myself along with obviously, a great script and making a fictional character.
Reaction of when he found out he had the part
It was in a café with J.J. (Abrams)…and he told me face-to-face. I thought he was going to tell me I didn’t get the part because J.J.’s that nice. I’d auditioned for seven months, and I feel like if he was going to tell me it didn’t go my way, he would’ve invited me to a dinner and just go, “you know what? At least you get a free meal”.
Favorite Star Wars character growing up
…I was more of a Han dude. I wasn’t really into Luke like that. It’s not because he wasn’t a good character, it’s just because I like the characters that represent human beings in these kind of projects…if any of us were in the Star Wars universe, we wouldn’t be Luke. We wouldn’t be trying to fight – naw, hell, naw. I’m trying to live, I’m trying to be Han. I’m trying to make money; I’m trying to survive. The only reason why I would be brave is to save my own life, alright? I’m not trying to do any of that stuff, and so those are the characters I really relate to, the Hans…
Training for his role
…Hand-to-hand combat (Lightsaber training), specifically me and Adam (Driver – Kylo Ren) had to do the choreograph scenes together…Me and Daisy had to get our cardiovascular skills up, and that was treacherous…it was fun because now filming the scenes, you realize why the training was so intense because the scenes are literally practical effects on the real locations, so there’s no time to slack.
On not using a stunt double for the explosion scene (we’ve seen on the trailer)
That was me. That was all me. That was all me, all right? I was fantastic. I mean, with explosions like that, there are health and safety regulations and all those things, but while we were on set, I didn’t think I expected them to be that big. I just remember J.J. saying, “okay, John, we’re going to do this scene and, just run. Do the dialog. Have fun. Great. All right. Cameras; action”. I’m running, and I look at Daisy, and see that everyone’s backing up. J.J.’s going further and further away. They put a plastic cloak over the camera; people putting goggles on and hats. I looked at Daisy like, why?, how come we? and they called action, and then I realized, what? And if you watch the scene, I’m actually legit freaking out. I’m too young to die like this! But it was definitely fun…
What makes the Star Wars movies and story so timeless
In my opinion, I just think it’s the continuous dialog between fans. Fans have the ability to make a whole press conference on probably two minutes worth of footage…There’s only been six films, but if you look at the fandom, it reflects as if there’s been twenty. I think it’s because there are different ways in which you can experience Star Wars. You don’t necessarily have to watch the films. You can just have the merchandise and just know it from there. So there’s several ways that you can be a Star Wars fan, and I think that’s different than any other property.
What Star Wars: The Force Awaken props he’d like to keep
…what I am going to do is go back and write a long list- the Storm Trooper helmet, the rebel jacket- the leather jacket, and the saber. That’s what I’m going to go back and get.
See! Do you get why I am now a John Boyega fan girl?
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!
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*Thank you for the images Mom Start!