Who knew that Stormtroopers have a fantastic sense of humor? I would have never guessed it until I met John Boyega, but he is absolutely hilarious. And ok, so I don’t really know that Stormtroopers have a sense of humor, in fact I doubt that John Boyega’s character Finn has much of a sense of humor from what I have seen. But what I do know is that by the end of my John Boyega Star Wars interview, I laughed so hard my sides hurt.
Although his was the first face we saw when the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser debut, John Boyega told us that for now he still goes through life unrecognized. We assured him that would change very soon. A prospect that seems to excite him as he tries to wrap his head around the whole idea.
It feels really cool and quite weird at the time because you don’t think about all of those specifics when you’re auditioning because it’s all about booking the part, and then you don’t think about that while you’re filming because it’s about the reality of the scenes. The characters don’t know they’re in Star Wars movie that will change people’s lives — they’re in their reality.
But I remember being with my driver in the UK when we’re going to, and he was just like, “You know what, mate? When you die, you’re not gonna be really dead because you’re gonna be everywhere anyway.” And I thought, “Oh yeah, that’s an interesting thought.” So it’s quite surprising to be a part of that.
With his thick English accent, John Boyega answered questions about the movie and his character with ease and humor. Talking to him was like sitting at a dinner party talking to a friend, except that this guy is about to be a mega star – with a thick English accent I might add.
I did like the way my glutes looked.
On a more serious note he added,
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 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.
But I think it was really all about the glutes.
I think what’s so inspiring about Finn is how complex he is. He’s a Stormtrooper who has never really experienced individuality, and I think we always know Stormtroopers to just be one unit, and we’ve never, ever had a Stormtrooper tale off his helmet for us to see who he really is. All you’ve ever had is the lead characters in disguiseand for me I find thaticonic to me as a fan, to be able to actually talk to one of those.
Because I always felt sorry for those Stormtroopers, man. It’s like they send them out just to be shot andI’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.”
Conflicted, charismatic and I’ll do it as a joint word — temporary brave.
In addition to getting into character John Boyega had to get into shape, really good shape for the role.
Hand-to-hand combat. Specifically me and Adam had to do the choreograph scenes together. Finn has a lot of shooting, running, especially with me and Ray. Me and Daisy had to get our cardiovascular skills up, and that was treacherous. But it was fun because now filming the scenes, you realize why the training was so intense because the scenes are on the real locations, so there’s no time to slack.
But all of that training still didn’t mentally prepare him for the big stuff – like massive explosions.
That was me. That was all me. 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 don’t think I expected them to be that big. I remember J.J. saying, “Okay John we’re gonna do this scene and, uh, just run. Do the dialog, yeah. Have fun. Great. All right. Cameras; action.”
I’m running, and I look at Daisy and see that everyone’s backing up. J.J. is 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. If you watch the scene, I’m actually legit freaking out. I’m too young to die like this. But it was definitely fun — those scenes.
I was in a café with J.J. and Larry Kasdan, and he told me face-to-face. I thought he was gonna 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 gonna 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.”
But, you know, it worked out well and I told my agent who I’ve known since I was 16, and then I randomly told a taxi driver. I was like, “You know what, I’ve just been cast in the new Star Wars.” And he said, “All right, mate.”
Although John Boyega’s dad had never seen a Star Wars movie before his son landed the role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John had been a fan since he was a kid and first saw all of the action in Phantom Menace.
Apart from death and taxes, the fact that I’m gonna be Star Wars fan for life is pretty much guaranteed.
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. 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. Han is kind of like, “Dude, I’m Han Solo, like, have respect.” And there’s no respect whatsoever. But I think that Han sees a young, Han in Finn so they form this bond, and it’s gonna be so hilarious when you see their duo and the lack of respect for each other, but the undertone love that they have is — it’s pretty cool.
If there was one moment that best described our interview with John Boyega it was his answer to the question “If you had a lightsaber in real life, what color would it be?”
My lightsaber would be rainbow colors so they’d know I was there. I’d be like, whooo! I’d be all over the place switching interchangeable. Confuse them a little bit and flash modes, you know, and disco mode. I’m about peace. I’m not, I’m not trying to get into fights with no one.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Opens In Theaters December 18
Do you have your tickets yet?
For more Star Wars: The Force Awakens coverage, don’t miss my post yesterday filled with pictures from the press conference. And stay tuned for more Star Wars all week.
- Daisy Ridley Star Wars: The Force Awakens Interview
- Harrison Ford On Returning To Star Wars 30 Years Later
- Star Wars The Force Awakens Press Conference Photos