The Nigerian-British actor is taking Hollywood by storm…literally. John Boyega plays Finn, a storm trooper on the run, in the new film Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the 23-year-old is a force to be reckoned with.
He came into our radar after playing “Ugwu” in Chimamanda Adichie‘s adaptation of “Half of a Yellow Sun” where he played the role convincingly.
Here are a few things you didn’t know about the young star on the rise:
His father is a Pentecostal minister and his mother is a caregiver for disabled people and neither one is particularly fond of the Star Wars franchise.
“My parents are not interested in Star Wars whatsoever,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “They’re only interested in The Force Awakens. In terms of the rest, they’re like, “OK, cool, but you’re not in it.” Typical Nigerian parents.
He isn’t here for the people who don’t think Black people should exist in Star Wars.
“People of color and women are increasingly being shown on-screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn’t make sense.”
He was named of the “Sexiest Stormtropper” of 2015 in PEOPLE’s Men of the Year issue.
We can’t say we disagree–he’s giving us a little young Denzel. Hhheeeyyy John!
He isn’t shy about expressing his opinion on diversity and race.
“We see through the eyes of children that they’re not talking about race the way we grown folks are. They’re not talking about color or how much melanin is in someone’s skin. That should teach us something…we’ve been having a continuous struggle with idiots, and now we should just force them to understand—and I love the way I just used ‘Force’ there, by the way—just force people to see that this is the new world. There are loads of people of different shades and backgrounds. Get used to it.”
He does really great impersonations of his Star Wars cast-mates.