John Boyega Interview: Pacific Rim Uprising

John Boyega has made a name for himself in the sci-fi world with his breakout role in Attack the Block and then a giant leap into the Star Wars universe as the ex-stormtrooper Finn. Now, taking on an additional role as producer, John Boyega stars in Pacific Rim: Uprising as Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost, the man who cancelled the Apocalypse in the first film. John talks to us about being a fan of sci-fi films and reacts to the idea of being John Stewart in the DCEU.

SR: Not only did you land the lead role in this but you're also a producer on this, so how did you do that pulling double duty, and how early on in the project did you get involved?

John Boyega: I got involved when they had already hired Steve De Knight and they were in the early stages of putting the ideas together. There was a script, but the script was still changing and new ideas were still coming up, and then through into the casting process, then through pre-production, then filming and then all the way down to market, (Laughs) I mean, it's nuts to be involved in every single step, and every single process. It gives you an automatic respect for any film that makes it on to the big screen and has good distribution. You just think you know a team of people putting it together is nuts. It was a big juggling act but one had to be better than the other, so I was on top of the acting part. I had to be on top of it. Learning the whole script before filming was essential because a lot of the time I was called off to do other stuff. But it was it was good. It was a good process.

SR: That's amazing. That's incredible. Now,  it's no secret you're a big sci-fi fan.

John Boyega: Yes.

SR: What was it that attracted you to the Pacific Rim franchise, in general, to sign on to the project, to begin with?

John Boyega: I like the big giant mech movies having the appeal of the mechs not meaning nothing without humans. I think that connection is something that obviously they do in other mech films, the humans are the ones that make the robot but actually literal. Gypsy can do anything without two drift compatible pilots, and I love those rules, and I love staying within those rules, and that's something for me that was great to explore but also the subject of uprising. The uprising young people who are now faced with having to, you know, go up against an obstacle that's way the head of the time, you know, they're not ready for this, and then to see them, like, having to, clumsy, trying to save the world, that for me was just nuts, you know, something cool.

SR: Something you actually brought up, which is great, there's a lot of young actors in this and you're still young actor yourself, but you've done a lot of big-budget projects. Did you have any advice for a lot of these young guys?

John Boyega: Nah. Nah. You know what was said was so funny, man, I felt like, you know, over advising sometimes can be irritating and for a lot of people just starting out what they need is an ear. Someone that can listen and then you can, you know, express what you've been through in the industry and they can take from that what they will just because in entertainment everyone's path and distinct but, you know, we shared a few stories and went back and forth. As much as they learned from me, I learn from those guys as well, you know you know. Disciplined, you know, when I was that age, I wasn't doing that.

Both: [Laugh]

John Boyega: I wasn't doing all that. It's good.

Screen Rant: A lot of fans freaked out when you did AMA recently about you possibly wanting to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as either Blade or the DC Universe as John Stewart. At least this is what I have heard. A lot of fans have...

John Boyega: OH!!! Oh! Oh!

Screen Rant: So, would you be interested in joining one of these big comic book cinematic universes?

John Boyega: I mean, yeah! I mean, that wouldn't be a problem. I just don't know who.

Screen Rant: Well, there's John Stewart, the Green Lantern. Blade at Marvel.

John Boyega: They're doing a Green Lantern? (Negatively groans) Sss.. Hmmm.....Eghhh.... (Laughs) And Wesley, man. That's Wesley for Blade. I would want to see Wesley.

MORE: Charlie Hunnam May Still Return To Pacific Rim

Key Release Dates
  • Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) release date: Mar 23, 2018
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