Star Wars Actor John Boyega Says Back-To-Back Films Made Him ‘Exhausted, Frantic And Paranoid’

today4 August 2022

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British star John Boyega has revealed he thought about quitting acting as he powered through numerous projects in recent years.

John, known for his role as Finn in the latest Star Wars trilogy, told Men’s Health that a number of back-to-back films and a stage role left him feeling “exhausted, frantic, and paranoid”.

The films, including a Pacific Rim sequel and Star Wars: Episode VII, were part of a period where he had no time off, according to the magazine.

“You’re tired by your own dream, what you love,” John said.

The actor, who described a hiatus he took to “recharge,” told the magazine his “battery power” has been ambition.

That battery power, however, has pushed him to wear himself down before.

“It’s tiring and it’s stress, and then dealing with the fact that you eventually have to perform,” John said. “There are many different ways careers can exhaust you, but the artistic way is unique.”

He also weighed in on racist comments Star Wars actor Moses Ingram, who is Black, received after playing Reva in this year’s Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.

John himself faced racism after playing Finn in Star Wars, telling GQ in 2020 that he was the “only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race”.

“Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying, ‘Black this and Black that and you shouldn’t be a Stormtrooper.’ Nobody else had that experience,” John said.

“But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.”

John told Men’s Health his experience helped bring the racist attacks against Star Wars actors of colour “to the freaking forefront”.

He said Star Wars production company Lucasfilm will now “make sure” actors are well supported if they face criticism.

“I’m glad I talked out everything at that time,” John said of his willingness to speak out about the remarks fans sent him.

He also revealed he got advice from Robert Downey Jr., who suggested he would find who he is in the film industry.

“It might be rocky, but you’ll come out the end with a solid identity. That’s literally what happened to me,” John added.

Help and support:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI – this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.

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