John Boyega, who played Finn in Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy, recently discussed what it was like working on the franchise.
As reported by CinemaBlend, Boyega did a Q&A promoting his TV mini-series Small Axe.
In the Q&A, Boyega compared working on Star Wars to a luxury jail.
He stated, “Being in a big franchise, it’s kind of like luxury jail sometimes for an actor when you want to do something else.”
The actor elaborated, “Because remember, in a franchise you’re working on one character for many years, which can starve your other muscles.”
Boyega then discussed why he wanted to work on Small Axe with director Steve McQueen.
He stated, “And in wanting to be in something where I knew that I’d play a different type of role, a different type of man, and then knowing Steve through, we’re all a part of the same industry so I’d heard about Steve’s directing style, I was really really curious and excited to have the opportunity anyway to be a part of it.”
“And when it came through I was on the tele like ‘this is my moment,'” Boyega added.
YouTubers Kneon and Geeky Sparkles of Clownfish TV reacted to Boyega’s comments saying, “He’s basically well-paid, but he can’t really go anywhere. Gilded cage.”
However, Boyega starred in a number of roles outside of his Finn character from Star Wars, who he first portrayed in The Force Awakens in 2015.
In 2016 he played a character named Dutch on the TV series Tinkershrimp & Dutch. Then in 2017 he played Ty in The Circle. Also in 2017 he played Dismukes in Detroit.
In 2018 he starred in Pacific Rim: Uprising as Jake Pentecost. He would then go on to play Bigwig in the Watership Down TV mini-series in 2018 as well.
While he played the character for about 5 years in Star Wars, he certainly didn’t seem to have been completely restricted by his contract, and he was able to flex those acting muscles in role outside of Finn.
And if Boyega is indeed criticizing Disney for their treatment of him, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s put on Disney on blast.
Back in September 2020, the actor spoke with GQ where he stated, “You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything. [But] what I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
He added, “Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam DriverYou knew what to do with these other people, but when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know f*** all.
Boyega continued, “So what do you want me to say? What they want you to say is, ‘I enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great experience…’ Nah, nah, nah. I’ll take that deal when it’s a great experience. They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I’m not exposing anything.”
Back in June 2019, Boyega also responded to a fan who wrote, “John Boyega is the most useless character in the current Star Wars franchise but you don’t here him say anything at how bad that writing is.”
Boyega wrote, “I have those discussions on set.”
Then a few months later in November 2019 he would respond to another fan who wrote, “They really did Finn dirty. He has the most interesting backstory of all the new characters and they decided to push him to the side instead. It sucks.”
Boyega wrote, “I really didn’t know how many fans felt this way.”
What do you make of Boyega’s recent comments comparing to working on franchises like Star Wars as “luxury jails?”