John Boyega: Star Wars and me

John Boyega auditioned for seven months to land a role in the biggest film franchise of them all. Now he’s the most loved ex-stormtrooper in the galaxy. The Star Wars actor tells Ben Hoyle about growing up in south London, sofa surfing in Los Angeles to save money – and making it as a world-famous star and producer by the age of 25

John Boyega at the Japanese premiere of Star Wars: the Force Awakens in Tokyo in December 2015Getty Images

The Times, 

You knew that John Boyega was different as soon as he dived over the back of his agent’s sofa.

It was October 20, 2015, and the young south Londoner was catching his first glimpse of the full-length trailer for Star Wars: the Force Awakens. The film would be the first in the franchise since Disney paid George Lucas $4 billion for the company, Lucasfilm, that owned Star Wars.

The trailer was a masterpiece of blockbuster marketing. Around the world Star Wars devotees swooned at a silver-haired Han Solo hugging a weeping Princess Leia, at Darth Vader’s crumpled mask, at R2-D2, Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon all being back in action. Everything was meticulously planned and choreographed to provoke the biggest possible global emotional response.

Everything,…

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