John Boyega Interview: "The Biggest Perk So Far Is Being Let Off A Parking Ticket"

A five minute chat with the galaxy's most conscientious stormtrooper

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As the joint lead In the decade's (probably century's) biggest film, John Boyega's Hollywood stock is at an all-time premium, and now the 23-year-old Peckham-born actor can add an EE Rising Star nomination to a career that has gone from indie to blockbuster in little more than a year.

We caught up with the stormtrooper turned restistance fighter to talk Harrison Ford, fashion and strange fanmail.

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Did you have any difficulty speaking with an American accent in the film? It seemed very accomplished.

I didn’t have to think too much about Finn’s American accent, I’d already learned one for previous roles, so it felt natural coming back to it for Star Wars. I felt like it fitted the character well.

Were there any particularly tough days during filming? The pressure must have been huge.

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There were definitely days where the pressure and schedule was gruelling, but it never felt like there were ‘tough’ days to get through, it was Star Wars after all!

Who was your favourite actor to work with on set?

All the actors on set were incredible, but working with Harrison (Ford) was a dream come true. The way he approached the character of Han Solo and his craft in general was so impressive.

There's been quite a bit of Oscar talk surrounding Star Wars, has this come as a surprise to you at all?

Of course hearing Oscar buzz surrounding Star Wars is flattering, but when you’ve spent such a long period of time focusing on a film, the last thing you think about is awards. I’m just happy it’s out and doing well.

Do you have any work goals for the coming year? What's next?

Even though Star Wars has only just come out, I’m trying to carry on working, I’ve recently finished a film with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks (The Circle) and I’m signed up to do voicework (For new Nickelodeon series Tinkershrimp & Dutch) I don’t want to let the dust settle too much.

Any starstruck Hollywood moments?

There hasn’t been a celebrity starstruck moment for me yet. The only real one was walking onto that set the first day and realising what we were about to start.

The perks must be good. Are there any that have stood out so far?

The best perk so far, is that I was let off without a ticket when I parked on double yellow lines in London the other week. The lady recognized me and just let it go, which was nice of her.

In terms of fashion, are there any brands you have your eye on right now?

There’s a lot going on right now, but I’m finding the time to enjoy fashion. Obviously your Burberrys and Versaces are great, but I like to keep my eye out on up-and-comers and designers doing more obscure things too.

What is the strangest gift you've been sent by a fan?

The strangest thing a fan sent me, has to either be a bottle of soda from America with a letter saying ‘I love you’, or a cap from Japan which had Samurai in Japanese written across the front. I was flattered, but I’m not really sure what it was meant to symbolise.

John is nominated as one of the EE BAFTAs Rising Stars. You can vote for him here.

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