If you haven’t already fallen in love with John Boyega, you will after you read this interview. John plays Finn, the first Stormtrooper with a story, in the new STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. During the #StarWarsEvent, we had the pleasure interviewing John, and belly-laughing through the experience.
It was refreshing to see how a fan of the franchise is handling the celebrity that comes with being a part of the Star Wars Universe. To make sure you get the full affect of John’s personality, I left all the “laugh tracks” within the interview. You need a visual of how much we giggled. Because, we did. A lot. Enjoy!
photo credit: MomStart.com
When you first put on the Storm Trooper outfit and saw yourself in the mirror, what was your reaction?
John: I did like the way my glutes looked [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]. 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 that is something that was quite profound.
What was your first impression when you raised your lightsaber? How was that experience?
John: Oh, that was a good day. There are these kids who actually make the technology for the lightsabers; they’re quite young. They brought it in this black case, opened the case, and I picked up the lightsaber He [the young child] was just looking at me and you can see how holding the lightsaber captures the imagination of onlookers. I was definitely egotistical that day.
How does it feel to be a part of a franchise that sort of stands for generations?
John: It feels really cool and quite weird at the same time. You don’t think about all of those specifics when you’re auditioning because it’s all about booking the part. Then also, you don’t think about that while you’re filming because it’s about the reality of the scenes. But the characters don’t know that they’re in a Star Wars movie that will change people’s lives. So they’re in their reality. I remember being with my driver in the UK when we’re going to set, 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 [AUDIENCE LAUGHS].’
And I just thought, oh yeah, that’s an interesting thought. It’s quite surprising to be a part of that.
photo credit: MomStart.com
What was the first thing that you did when you found out that you actually got the part?
John: 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 [AUDIENCE LAUGHS].’ But, it worked out well. I told my agent who I’ve known since I was sixteen, and then 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.’ [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]
What kind of training was involved for the lightsabers?
John: Hand-to-hand combat. Specifically, me and Adam had to do the choreograph scenes together. Finn has a lot of shooting and running, especially with me and Rey. 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 literally practical effects on the real locations, so there’s no time to kind of slack.
When asked about that famous explosion scene in the STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS trailer, John told us that scene was all him.
John: That was all me, all right? I was fantastic. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] 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. coming and saying,
‘Okay, uh, John, we’re gonna do this scene and, just run. Do the dialog, and uh, yeah. Have fun. Great. All right. Cameras; action.’
And I’m running, and look at Daisy, and see that everyone’s backing up. J.J.’s going further and further away, [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]. They put a plastic cloak over the camera; people are putting goggles on and hats, [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]. If you watch the scene, I’m actually legit freaking out [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]. I’m too young to die like this. But it was, it definitely fun- those scenes.
How has your life changed since that [first] trailer came out?
John: you know what? It’s so strange. This process has been so gradual like. Yesterday night, I took an Uber to the movie theater to see Creed. I watched Creed; loved it; I was on the streets, shopping with my boys on Hollywood Boulevard. There was a car show last night, and I went to that and no one recognized me.
But, I’m enjoying it now. I realize that my life is gonna be different in terms of scheduling. I’m traveling a lot and, I don’t get time to be at home as much as I want to. But, I can pass through Times Square and see my beautiful face on the screen. But it’s really strange how that all works.
Did you play with a lightsaber when you were a kid?
John: I did. But 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. Hell naw, I’m trying to live! [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] I’m trying to be Han. I’m trying to make money; I’m trying to survive.
And the only reason why I would be brave is to save my own life, all right? [AUDIENCE LAUGHS]
Want to read more? Check out part 2 of this interview: Gramps Han, Rainbow Lightsabers and More with John Boyega.
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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS arrives in theaters everywhere on December 18th!