John Boyega: 'Acting isn't the done thing where I'm from'

John Boyega has only ever starred in projects that have something to say.

John Boyega broke the mould when he became an actor, as it wasn't the done thing where he came from.

The British star hails from south-east London, in an area known for its crime rate. Despite it not being a district brimming with Hollywood ambition, John was never mocked for his performing dreams, which included taking tap and ballet classes.

"Where I'm from, no one knew how to get into the entertainment industry," he admitted to Britain's GQ magazine. "They knew how to buy a cinema ticket, but that's about it

"No, they didn't (tease me) actually. But I picked good friends. We were similar."

Having a good support network, including his family, meant he was able to fulfil his dreams. And when it came to acting roles, John didn't concern himself with small TV roles in British shows like The Bill and Casualty, which has become a rite of passage for many English stars including Russell Brand and Orlando Bloom.

"I only wanted to do things of a certain level," he explained. "That say something. Every one of my things, they're saying something. Those shows aren't."

The decision paid off, and after impressing in films like Attack the Block he's hit the big time with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His role as Finn has even helped the 23-year-old land an EE Rising Star BAFTA nomination.

Winning the part was no easy feat though, with the audition process taking seven months.

"Ha, no (it's not that shocking it took so long)," he laughed. "I mean, (Disney buying the franchise for) $4 billion, it makes sense looking back. But at the time I was like, OK, can you guys make your minds up, please?"

He also had to keep quiet to his parents, who he lived with at the time, about his secret auditions.


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