John Boyega, who shot to fame for his performance as a rebel Storm Trooper in two “Star Wars” movies, has revealed his plan to challenge #HollywoodTooWhite. He’s starting his own production company to influence the projects he works on and promote diversity.
“Black Panther” proved once and for all that African-American actors are bank at the box office in roles other than gangsters, outlaws or Antebellum-era slaves.
His first project is the new sequel “Pacific Rim: Uprising.” He’s one of the producers through his company “UpperRoom Entertainment.”
“That’s why I set up my own production company, making sure you have an influence on casting and several different things – trying to make sure it’s not just a conversation, it’s also actions, real work,” he explained, adding:
“The aim is to work to a point where it doesn’t have to be this much of a big thing or a big conversation, we should be able to watch things that reflect our world, that have much more interesting choices, and more diverse choices for casting, without it being a debate. So for me I’m just working towards that moment in time and doing my little piece.”
Forming his own production company has been on his wish list for a long time. But he finally had the money after his breakthrough role as Finn in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” He also starred in follow up: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
“I always wanted to set up my company but I didn’t because I didn’t have the funds for it,” he told Britain’s Sky News.
“So I waited until that ‘Star Wars’ cheque cleared and a debt was paid – various T-Mobile phone bills – I waited for that to be cleared until I re-invested in myself,” said the British actor.
He said it took a lot of research to set up the company, and He’s still learning on the job.
“Before any real money gets in to a situation [it’s] best you know about it, but I’m still learning as I go along, knowing that there are different ways of doing things and communicating. Each producer has their different style, some are involved more than others, just learning how the different dynamics work for me has been the surprising thing.”
While he’s enjoying having a different role on his projects, John has ruled out directing for the time being.
“As a producer you have to rely on the creative vision of your director, but at the same time obviously you’re there to help advise and help steer them in the right direction, but actually directing is so much more,” he said.
“Even as an actor it’s just so much more so I would have to be qualified for that, properly.”
“Pacific Rim Rising” is currently in post-production. Check out the trailer below.