John Boyega

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John Boyega
Born (1992-03-17) 17 March 1992 (age 23)
Peckham, London, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 2011–present
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Weight 161 lb (73 kg)[2]

John Boyega (born 17 March 1992) is a British actor, best known for playing Moses in his 2011 film debut Attack the Block.[3] Boyega will play Finn in the upcoming 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Early life[edit]

John Boyega (2nd from the left), together with Josh Wiggins, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Sharon Swart (from the left to the right)

Boyega was born in Peckham, London,[4] to Nigerian parents.[5] His first role was that of a leopard in a play at his primary school at the age of five.[6] He attended Westminster City School as a teenager. He later took part in various school productions and attended classes at Theatre Peckham. He was a performing arts student at South Thames College in Wandsworth and was active in theatre productions there, including the lead in Othello in 2010.


Boyega trained at the Identity Drama School in Hackney,[7] and appeared in the plays Six Parties at the National Theatre and Category B at the Tricycle Theatre prior to being offered a role in the 2011 film Attack the Block.[8][9] In September 2011, HBO announced that Boyega had been cast in the boxing drama pilot Da Brick, loosely based on Mike Tyson's life. Boyega was expected to play Donnie, who is released from a juvenile detention centre on his 18th birthday and begins to examine what it means to be a man. The pilot was written by John Ridley,[10] but was not picked up by HBO.[11] Also in 2011, he acted in the film Junkhearts in which he portrayed a drug dealer who found some guns and tried to sell them.

Boyega was chosen by Jesus of Screen International, as one of the "UK Stars of Tomorrow 2011" and appeared alongside only two other actors on the front cover of that magazine in its July 2011 edition.[12]

In March 2012, Boyega was cast in the film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book Half of a Yellow Sun.[13]

On 29 April 2014, it was confirmed that Boyega had been cast as a lead character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[14]

Boyega has stated in an interview that he is a fan of Marvel Comics, and that he had hoped to play the Marvel character Black Panther.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 Attack the Block Moses Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer
Nominated – Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated – London Film Critics' Circle Award for Young British Performer of the Year
2011 Junkhearts Jamal
2012 My Murder Shakilus Townsend Television film
2013 Half of a Yellow Sun Ugwu
2013 The Whale William Bond Television film
2014 Imperial Dreams Bambi
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Finn Post-production; lead role


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Da Brick Donnie Pilot
2011 Becoming Human Danny Curtis 4 episodes
2011 Law & Order: UK Jamal Clarkson Episode: "Survivor's Guilt"
2014 24: Live Another Day Chris Tanner 4 episodes
2015 Major Lazer Blkmrkt (voice) Supporting role


  1. ^ "John Boyega Profile". IMDb. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ "John Boyega Profile". CelebRIOT. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ Lamont, Tom (8 May 2011). "Meet the new kids on the block". The Observer. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  4. ^ McCorkell, Andrew (1 May 2011). "'War of the Worlds' meets 'Skins' on London movie set". The Independent (London: INM). ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (22 July 2011). "John Boyega in Joe Cornish’s ‘Attack the Block’". The New York Times (New York: NYTC). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Attack of John Boyega". Interview. 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Hall of Fame". 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Attack the Block feature item". 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Yamato, Jen (1 August 2011). "Attack the Block's John Boyega on Going 'From Hoodie to Hero,' and Taking Hollywood by Storm". Movieline. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Wightman, Catriona (1 September 2011). "John Boyega to star in Mike Tyson, Spike Lee HBO pilot 'Da Brick' – US TV News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (14 March 2012). "'Da Brick': HBO passes on Mike Tyson boxing drama – US TV News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Stars of Tomorrow 2011". Screen Daily. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Pearson, Ben (29 March 2012). "Attack the Block star John Boyega joins Half of a Yellow Sun". Filmonic. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced". 29 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Get to know 'Star Wars' star John Boyega". CNN. Breeanna Hare, CNN. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 

External links[edit]