Young Hollywood actor John Boyega has revealed that it was a conscious effort on his part to take projects outside of his Star Wars recurring role to prove his acting versatility and range. The British thespian made a big splash in the entertainment industry as one of the new characters in the current sequel saga of the space opera as Finn in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episodes VII - The Force Awakens, alongside Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver. And instead of riding the tidal wave of recognition and sudden fame that came with him stepping into the galaxy far, far away, the 25-year-old decided to keep himself busy by taking on varied roles before the grind for the next installment of the massive franchise went into the production.
During his down time between finishing the production and press activities The Force Awakens and shooting for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII - The Last Jedi, Boyega took on several other gigs including a pivotal role in the political period movie Detroit by Kathryn Bigelow and a part in James Ponsoldt's techno-thriller, The Circle alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. He also returned to his theater roots earlier this year by performing the titular role for Woyzeck at Old Vic Theater in London.
Speaking with THR, Boyega explained his decision to keep seeking acting opportunities in other projects different from his currently recurring one in Star Wars:
"I knew I wanted to work between the [Star Wars] films because I understand most of the population would probably be introduced to me through Star Wars, and not all of them would go back to see my early work, so there was obviously something to prove, in terms of versatility and the other stuff I could do."
If anything, Boyega's approach to show business reflects his overall mindset when it comes to taking his craft seriously. The young actor has also famously approached Robert Downey Jr. for advice regarding on how to stay grounded and focused in Hollywood despite all the temptations and power that comes with fame as some sort of mental preparation before his breakout role in The Force Awakens.
In a few months, after having two films and a stage play under his belt so far this year, Boyega will be back on the big screen as former stormtrooper turned freedom fighter, Finn, in the next installment of the Star Wars saga - this time, he has previously revealed that his character is now truly a "big deal" in the Resistance. The Last Jedi, which is directed and written by Rian Johnson is the second installment in sequel trilogy, will also mark the return of Luke Skywalker into the thick of things after his self-inflicted exile.
Even with his Star Wars gig still far from over, Boyega has already lined up his next career move, boarding the sci-fi monster picture, Pacific Rim: Uprising - a sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 project, Pacific Rim. But aside from just joining the cast, the British thespian will also get producer's credit which is a sign that he is also looking to broaden his Hollywood career beyond acting.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) release date: Mar 23, 2018