Hollywood actor of Nigerian descent, John Boyega, is currently in the country to speak to stakeholders on ways to improve Nollywood and also premiere his recent work, ‘Pacific Rim Uprising.’
In a chat with Saturday Beats, the actor revealed how he was able to break into the Hollywood scene with the movie, ‘Star Wars: Force Awakens.’ He said, “My life as a Hollywood star has been great and fantastic. In the long run, you are who you are and where you come from does not really matter. It is all about the audition and the process and that has been fantastic. I was able to get a role in Star Wars because I was persistent and auditioning for so many things and it just so happened that the movie was what shot me to prominence. I also had a connection with the director of the movie, J.J Abrams, so I had an understanding of the roles.”
Speaking on his new movie, ‘Pacific Rim Uprising,’ he said that he really wanted to shoot the opening sequence in Nigeria but could not because he felt the nation was not ready for such. “Because of the success of ‘Black Panther,’ Hollywood is ready for African stories and I think Nigeria has a lot of stories to share and they are ready to hear the stories. As an actor, I was inspired by seeing the movie but as a producer, I realised it means that they are ready to see movies about Osun, the Northern riders from Kano, and the other epic stories we heard of Nigeria in the previous centuries. At the early stages of this production, I really wanted to shoot the first sequence in Lagos, I wanted a monster to come out of the river and crash into the Third Mainland Bridge and destroy everything. It was an idea that I had because I wanted a Nigerian twin in one of the robots that they built themselves and I wanted it to have a worldwide appeal but the reality is that, is Nigeria ready for something like this? This has challenged me and I am going to come back and do something in Nigeria because I know we are ready,” he said.
The actor was quick to correct the notion that he had only recently begun to visit his fatherland. He added that he was still searching for a Nigerian girl to date but so far, he is still single. “To be honest I have been coming to Nigeria for a very long time; so it is nothing new to me. However, to be here on a professional level is very exciting to me. I am single and in search of a relationship in Nigeria,” he said.