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John Boyega’s rise to fame #Detroit


In just a few short years, John Boyega has gone from a relatively unknown actor to a household name thanks to his starring role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Despite his rapid rise to fame, Boyega remains as grounded as ever. He stars this week in powerful race relations drama Detroit, so what better time to recap his rise to fame?

The beginning...

Boyega’s star potential was realised from a young age, as he was stopped by the artistic director of Theatre Peckham at the age of nine, and encouraged to join the theatre.

He attended the theatre between the ages of 9 and 14, before performing in numerous school productions as he grew older. After leaving school, he studied for a National Diploma in Performing Arts from South Thames College, and briefly enrolled at the University of Greenwich to study Film Studies and Media Writing, before dropping out to pursue his acting career.

Boyega’s first movie saw him starring as gang leader Moses in Joe Cornish's 2011 science-fiction comedy film Attack the Block, alongside Nick Frost and Jodie Whittaker. The plot centres on a street gang defending themselves from alien invaders, and received high critical acclaim at the time of release.

Boyega in particular was widely praised, and received several nominations including the Empire Award.

The big break

In April 2014, following a rigorous seven month auditioning process, it was revealed that Boyega had been cast in a lead role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Following widespread acclaim from both audiences and critics for his performance as Finn, Boyega went on to receive the 2016 BAFTA Rising Star Award and, five years after losing out to a certain Tom Hiddleston, gained the Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer.

Boyega’s love for Star Wars comes through in so many ways, not least his extremely enthusiastic reaction to The Force Awakens trailer.

The future

In January 2016, Boyega formed his own production company entitled Upperroom Entertainment Limited. Their first venture is to be a co-production of Pacific Rim: Uprising alongside Legendary Entertainment, with Boyega also playing the lead role in the film.

With a four-part adaptation of Watership Down set to air on BBC One later this year, and both The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Episode 9 still to come, it’s looking like it’ll be a long time before Boyega is absent from our screens. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

At least, as soon as James Corden and Jeffrey Tambor stop fighting over him.

Click here to book your tickets for Detroit and send us your favourite John Boyega moments @Cineworld.

And don't forget that a certain The Last Jedi arrives on 15th December...

Hannah Dixon is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.