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John Boyega – MovieActors.com

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Boyega in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

About John Boyega (1992 – )

Boyega was born in Peckham, South London, to Nigerian parents, Abigail and Samson. His first role was a leopard in a play at his primary school at the age of 5. Boyega went to church with his family every day. His father, who is a preacher, wanted Boyega to follow in his footsteps and join the ministry. He was noticed by the Artistic Director of Theatre Peckham, Teresa Early, who saw him act in a primary school play and invited him to join the theatre school for talented children between the ages of 9 and 14, after obtaining financial assistance from a hardship fund. He attended Westminster City School as a teenager. He later took part in various school productions and attended classes at Theatre Peckham. He was a performing arts student at South Thames College in Wandsworth and was active in theatre productions there, including the lead in Othello in 2010. Boyega also studied Film and TV at University of Greenwich.

Boyega trained at the Identity School of Acting in Hackney, and appeared in Six Parties at the National Theatre and Category B at the Tricycle Theatre prior to being offered a role in the 2011 film Attack the Block. In September 2011, HBO announced that Boyega had been cast in the boxing drama pilot Da Brick, loosely based on Mike Tyson's life. Boyega was expected to play Donnie, who is released from a juvenile detention centre on his 18th birthday and begins to examine what it means to be a man. The pilot was written by John Ridley, but was not picked up by HBO. Also in 2011, he acted in the film Junkhearts in which he portrayed a drug dealer who found some guns and tried to sell them.

Boyega was chosen by Fionnuala Halligan of Screen International as one of the "UK Stars of Tomorrow 2011" and appeared alongside two other actors on the front cover of that magazine in its July 2011 edition.

In March 2012, Boyega was cast in the film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book Half of a Yellow Sun.

On 29 April 2014, it was confirmed that Boyega had been cast as a lead character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was later revealed Boyega would play Finn, a stormtrooper for the First Order, who leaves the fascist military power after witnessing their cruelty in his first combat mission before joining the fight against them. The film was released on 18 December 2015.

John Boyega's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
2011 Attack the Block Moses
2011 Junkhearts Jamal
2013 Half of a Yellow Sun Ugwu
2014 Imperial Dreams Bambi
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens FN-2187 / Finn
2016 The Circle Ty

John Boyega's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
2011 Da Brick Donnie
2011 Becoming Human Danny Curtis
2011 Law & Order: UK Jamal Clarkson
2012 My Murder Shakilus Townsend
2013 The Whale William Bond
2014 24: Live Another Day Chris Tanner
2015 Major Lazer Blkmrkt (voice)
2015 Saturday Night Live Himself

Memorable Quotes

“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.”

“Hollywood has given me a great, warm hug.”

“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.”

“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.”

Did You Know

One of the reasons J.J. Abrams cast him as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) was because of his performance in the sci-fi/action/comedy Attack the Block (2011). Abrams is a big fan of the film.

His character Finn is featured on a Star Wars postage stamp issued in October 2015 by the UK's Royal Mail postal service.

Has a pet cat named Oluwalogan, often referred to as just Logan.

Was chosen by Screen International as one of the "UK Stars of Tomorrow 2011" and appeared alongside two other actors on the front cover of that magazine in its July 2011 edition.

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John Boyega in Attack the Block (2011).
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John Boyega in Half of a Yellow Sun (2013).
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Boyega in Imperial Dreams (2014).
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John Boyega in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Bottom picture with Daisy Ridley.