John Adedayo Adegboyega, professionally known as John Boyega, is an English actor and producer who gained recognition for his role as Moses in the sci-fi comedy Attack the Block
(2011). Boyega, achieved international recognition for essaying the character of Finn in the acclaimed movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(2015), the seventh film of the Star Wars franchise. He has also appeared on several TV shows including Law & Order: UK (2011), Major Lazer (2015), and Watership Down (2017). Early Life
Boyega was born to Nigerian parents, Samson and Abigail, in Peckham, London. Boyega developed interest in acting as a child and one of the first roles that he played was that of a leopard while he was at his primary school. At the Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, Boyega actively participated in plays and was eventually caught the eye of Teresa Early, who was the artistic director of the theatre for young people living in south London, Theatre Peckham. Boyega was only nine then.
From the age of nine until he was 14, Boyega joined the theatre on a hardship fund and would spend his time there after school hours. Although, his father wanted Boyega to become a teacher, he was supportive of Boyega`s interest in theatre. Later, in 2003, Boyega attended the Westminster City School where he participated in several school productions. He then attended the South Thames College from 2008 to 2010, pursuing a National Diploma in Performing Arts. During his time at the college, he essayed the titular character in the college`s production of Othello. Boyega had also enrolled at the University of Greenwich in order to study BA Film Studies & Media Writing. However, he dropped out of the college as he wanted to focus on his acting career. Before making his debut on the silver screen, Boyega trained at the Identity School of Acting in Hackney, London. Theatre Career
Boyega appeared in the play Six Parties at the National Theatre and in Category B at the Tricycle Theatre. Movie Career
Boyega made his feature debut in 2011 with Joe Cornish
`s sci-fi horror comedy Attack the Block
. The actor essayed the character of Moses, a loyal teenage gang leader and received critical acclaim for his performance. Renowned film critic, Roger Ebert in his review praised the performance delivered by Boyega. He was nominated for several awards for his act and won the Black Reel Award for Best Actor. In the same year, he appeared in Tinge Krishnan`s movie Junkhearts (2011), essaying the character of Jamal. A couple of years later, he played the role of Ugwu in the movie Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) which opened to mixed reviews at the box office.
Boyega gave another convincing performance in Imperial Dreams (2014) directed by Malik Vitthal. The movie which had a world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival was released as a Netflix original on 3rd February, 2017. Essaying the title character of Bambi, the actor once again saw critics praising his performance with Chase Whale of the Indiewire stating: "John Boyega first wowed audiences with his dynamite performance in Attack the Block. Once again playing the anti-hero, Imperial Dreams is another victory lap for this young actor, who`s going to go on to do big, big things". Banking on his performance in Imperial Dreams, the actor went on to bag the role of Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
, the seventh installment of one of the most celebrated film franchises of all time, Star Wars. The role turned out to be one of the most prominent roles of his career. Being nominated for several awards, he won the BAFTA Rising Star Award. He essayed the role of a stormtrooper, who decides to rebel against the First Order. His 2017 releases include the movies The Circle
directed by James Ponsoldt
, Detroit directed by Kathryn Bigelow
and the Star Wars: The Last Jedi
directed by Rian Johnson
. In 2019, he reprised his role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
, the epic finale to the Star Wars saga.
In 2011, Boyega appeared in four episodes in the TV series Becoming Human. He was also seen in Law & Order: UK (2011) in the episode `Survivor`s Guilt`. In the next couple of years, the actor appeared in two TV films My Murder (2012) and The Whale. The year 2014 saw him appear in 24: Live Another Day.
One of his most substantial roles, came with the animated TV series Major Lazer in which he voiced the character of Blkmrkt. In the next few years, he appeared as a voice actor on Tinkershrimp & Dutch (2016) and Watership Down (2017).