John Boyega Talks Star Wars: Episode VIII
John Boyega has found instant fame around the world for his portrayal of Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The fledgling star who helped ‘ The Force Awakens’ break numerous records at the box-office will return for Episode VIII, currently filming in Ireland with Rian Johnson.
After winning the Trophée Chopard award at the Cannes Film Festival, Vulture caught up with the 24-year-old British actor, who played Finn in the blockbuster smash hit. Boyega was asked a variety of topics about Episode VIII, Director Rian Johnson, co-star Kelly Tran and what the deal is with that Tom Hardy rumor.
Vulture: How has your life changed since Episode VII? Can you walk around London?
Boyega: Yeah! I was in Duty Free a few hours ago.
Vulture: Really? What did you get?
Boyega: I got some socks because I forgot my socks, and some moisturizer. [Laughs.] So it’s been fine. I get stopped sometimes; sometimes I don’t. But, you know, with that being said, there are still two more Star Wars movies!
Vulture: But you must be having the time of your life.
Boyega: It’s a collaboration of all those things. It’s fun, it’s hard work, it makes you happy, it challenges you, it’s all of those things mixed into one, but fundamentally because of the great group that we have that I’m working with, it’s a great experience.
Vulture: There’s a woman in Episode VIII, Kelly Marie Tran, who’s going to be breaking barriers like you did in The Force Awakens. [Boyega beams and nods vigorously.] She’ll be the first Asian person to play a major Star Wars character, but no one knows anything about her. What can you tell us? What’s she like?
Boyega: I love her. I love her. I think she’s fantastic. But she’ll tell her own story. I feel it’s always weird or wrong for someone the world hasn’t met, for me to come and start talking about her.
Vulture:Not even to say what it’s like working with her?
Boyega: She’s great. She’s freaking great, and I love her. I freaking love her. She’s fantastic. Seriously. She’s changed a lot in terms of perspective on just chemistry and industry. She’s a real cool girl.
Vulture: She’s changed you?
Boyega: Yeah, yeah! Her outlook. It’s a friendship thing in the sense of you meet someone and you’re just like, “I vibe with you. I feel like I’ve known you for years.” And that’s a very, very good thing.
Vulture: And you’ll be working opposite each other most of the movie, right?
Boyega: Girl, you know I can’t tell you that! [Laughs.] I don’t know what I can and can’t say. [It depends on] what beeps in my head whenever I … [He indicates that he has an explosive device implanted in his temple]. But she’s fully in the movie, she’s a great character, and I can’t wait for you guys to be introduced to her.
Vulture: And just to be the first Asian in a major role. You were kind of in a similar position in the last episode.
Boyega: Oh yeah! And that’s why I’m just here to enjoy the show. [He leans back in his chair.] Oh yes, diversity!
Vulture: It also reminds me of when you worked with Daisy Ridley. She was totally unknown, whereas you had some credits under your belt.
Boyega: Only slightly. I’d done Attack the Block. People knew of me.
Vulture: I’ve heard a rumor, which you can refute, that Tom Hardy may have come on set to do a day as a Stormtrooper who slaps your ass.
Boyega: Who slaps my ass? Wow! Did Tom say that?
Vulture: You know, just like how Daniel Craig came on as a Stormtrooper last time …
Boyega: Okay. Okay. Next time I go on set I’m going to release a helmet and see if Tom Hardy’s in there!
Vulture:How is working with Rian Johnson different than J.J. Abrams?
Boyega: Rian is his own man. You can’t compare the two. They’re of the same ilk, creatively, both talented. But two different guys, man. I really, really dig Rian, to step in like that. I hope we get to work together on something in the future, because he’s got a great artistic eye. He’s not Hollywood at all. This is a big Hollywood blockbuster film, but you know what I’m saying, with him behind the energy, you don’t feel like you’re on a Hollywood set. You feel like you’re in the midst of friends and people who want to work on something creatively great.
Vulture:We’re obsessed with Adam Driver, because it’s so funny that little kids who love Kylo Ren are going to watch him on Girls someday.
Boyega: It’s just a convergence of the same story. He’s fantastic. He’s great.
Vulture: Will you see movies in Cannes before you leave?
Boyega: I wish I could. I’m leaving tomorrow.
Vulture:What about at home — do you have any time to do anything other than play Finn?
Boyega: Oh, I go home and go to sleep. I. Go. To. Sleep!
With each interview, Boyega seems to give us more and more tiny bits of information about the film. He will reprise his role as Finn in Star Wars: Episode VIII, set for release in 2017.
You can check out Vulture’s full interview with Boyega here.
May the force be with you…