In a conference call ahead of Awesome Con next weekend in Washington DC, John Boyega aka FN-2187 spoke to the media about all sorts of things from his early beginnings on Attack the Block, to his favorite cosplay costume (Sasuke), his love of anime to his preparation that went into his character Jake Pentecost in the new Pacific Rim 2 film.
But it was him discussing his role as Finn in the Star Wars universe which of course is why we're all here. He was asked about Finn's break from the ranks of the First Order and how we were reminded that underneath the Stormtrooper helmets and armor are real people with real stories. When discussing Finn's backstory, he had this to say...
"The big thing was that we didn't get a chance to really go back to Finn's day to day life as a Stormtrooper. For me what I wanted to convey is that a person that had been done. He had to stay quiet and try to submit to a movement he truly didn't believe in deep down in his heart. And playing that in the beginning was very cool and people felt like they got to go on this journey with him and they believed his conviction to take a stand and leave. If you read the extended Star Wars: The Force Awakens books you read about his rivalries between certain Stormtroopers and how he was always just so different. That's explored various ways in the different formats. Those are the kind of things I wanted to know, those facts, so that I could portray that and have that memory at least as a character."
In the behind the scenes documentary, The Director and the Jedi, John was quick to point out how impressive Rian Johnson was in particular how he dealt with the incredible amount of pressure he was under directing a Star Wars film. Talking about the pressure to play Finn he commented on how long the pre-production is and how that helps calm any nerves, "With The Force Awakens we had so much time during the auditioning process that the role was already built up" he says. "By the time I got the fourth or fifth audition I felt like I knew who Finn was and I felt like I knew how I was going to perform exactly."
Working with J.J. Abrams from the beginning was also very helpful with the pressure especially when it came time to developing the character and going through the process of building Finn from the ground up...
"By the time you're getting into principle photography you know exactly where the character is going to go. So being so heavily involved especially with J.J. bringing us in and being able to discuss and rehearse it makes for an easier transition."
One thing that stands out for John is the interaction with the fans in the Star Wars universe as he himself is a long-time fan. Being able to discuss Star Wars minutiae with the fans is something John is clearly fond of especially when it comes to Star Wars video games. He discussed the odd sensation of seeing himself in video games as a long-time fan, especially now that he's in them...
"When I went onto Star Wars: Battlefront I didn't think when part II came out I would be a playable character, it's strange. It's a real cool thing and definitely one of the perks of the job that I really didn't think about first getting into it. There's something about killing myself in the game that will always be a bit creepy."
We did manage to get a few Episode IX details out of him before he had to go. He told us he's been given a note to start training and prepping for a July start and while he hasn't read the script yet he did say that the final in the trilogy will be an "all-out war". I can't wait!
So, look for more from John Boyega next weekend at Awesome Con and check back here for all the Star Wars excitement from the nation's capital!
Till next time...MTFBWY.
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