How Robert Downey Jr. Mentored Star Wars’ John Boyega

John Boyega recently shared how Robert Downey Jr. helped him prepare himself for the fame onslaught before Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens rolled out in 2015. At that time, the British actor was not yet a household name, but already had a slew of small roles both on the big and small screen. Downey Jr., on the other hand, has been flying high and enjoying tremendous career success as the Marvel Cinematic Universe founding superhero Iron Man since 2008.

Coming to the big league in Hollywood, Boyega was worried about being blindsided with the effect of the glitz and glamor on actors - especially so for young and upcoming ones like him. Determined not to fall into the trap of being a one hit wonder, the actor took it upon himself to reach out and seek advice from people he thought were able to maintain their core values despite having fame and money from their show business status. His mentorship hunt landed him with Downey Jr., and if there's anyone to talk to in the business about not being carried away with ambition and ego, the 52-year-old is arguably one of the best out there.

Related: John Boyega Approves of Finn/Poe Fan Fiction

Boyega admitted that prior to his initial contact with the veteran actor, he did not have any personal connections with him whatsoever. In a new cover story for GQ, the 25-year-old revealed that he just took a risk by asking his agent to hook him up with Downey Jr's agent to see if he could get to meet him. This was just before The Force Awakens was released in theaters and Boyega thought, “it was time for me to sit down with someone who's been through the extremes of Hollywood and to be given some tips as to how to stay stable.” 

While Downey Jr. was obviously a perfect mentor in success and fame management due to his current Hollywood stature, his bad history in the industry, on the other hand, makes him a more dynamic advisor - staging one of the greatest career comebacks in the business. It's not a secret that for a time, the Chaplin star squandered everything that his younger self had achieved career-wise by partying too much, developing substance abuse habits and ultimately landing in jail. Marvel Studios took a risk by casting him as Iron Man in their pioneering film and fortunately everything paid off - something that he no longer takes for granted.

Now, the two actors operate under the same Disney umbrella (Downey Jr. with Marvel and Boyega with Lucasfilm) - both appearing at the recently held D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Downey Jr. is currently busy working on Avengers: Infinity War and untitled Avengers 4, reprising his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man for the 8th and 9th time, respectively. Meanwhile, Boyega eventually turned out to be the star that he is supposed to be - becoming one of the key leads of the current Star Wars sequel trilogy. But he does not forget to venture into other projects like appearing in the upcoming Kathryn Bigelow period crime drama, Detroit, as well as, performing on stage as the titular role for the theater play, Woyzeck.

Boyega is set to be back in the shoes of his former Stormtrooper-turned-Resistance fighter character named Finn later this year in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi. The film is directed by Rian Johnson and will mark the official return of Mark Hamill as the iconic Jedi Luke Skywalker, as well as, the last outing of Carrie Fisher's General Leia Organa before the actress' untimely passing last year.

Next: What We Learned About Star Wars: The Last Jedi At D23

Source: GQ

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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