The recent portrayal of a monarch has further elevated John Boyega’s standing as a Hollywood aristocrat. In “The Woman King,” starring Viola Davis as the formidable warrior commander Nanisca, the 30-year-old actor steals the show in a supporting role as King Ghezo. The film is inspired by the historical all-female Dahomey kingdom army regiment known as the Agojie, which served in the 19th century.
Boyega, who got his start in “Pacific Rim: Uprising” and “Detroit,” became a household name as Finn in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy despite resistance from some quarters, including racist fans of the franchise. On a video chat from the Toronto Film Festival this month, Boyega adds, “You’re witnessing the slight glass ceiling I’ve been able to break through.” With roles in “The Woman King,” the thriller “Breaking” (which came out last month), and the forthcoming Netflix mystery film “They Cloned Tyrone,” he continues to broaden his acting portfolio. He talks about the funny things that happened on set of “Woman King,” some words of wisdom Davis gave him, and his philosophy on how to become a respected actor.
There is a close relationship between respect and trust. Naturally, you want producers and directors to have faith in your acting abilities and dedication before casting you in a part. Yes, it can feel like an uphill battle at times. The world needs to see your skill, but the complexion of your skin and other factors can get in the way. But there’s education in making new friends with individuals who understand what you’re going through. You can track down individuals, including some influential figures who will recognize themselves in your story. One must travel to the destination in order to link the dots.