John Boyega Interview: ‘Detroit’
During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), John Boyega describes “Detroit” as a film that “explores race relations in a very specific way that mirrors what’s going on today.” Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, this Annapurna Pictures release recounts the 1967 Detroit riots, centering on the murder of three black men during an all-night raid at the Algiers Motel. Boyega plays Melvin Dismukes, a security guard who gets caught in the middle of the horrific incident. “Unfortunately, it’s been 50 years since those events, but we’re still having the same conversations, and it’s just as sensitive as it was back then.”
Although the events at the Algiers Motel remain murky, Boyega did extensive research to prepare for the role. “Despite the fact that I didn’t know specifically what went on at the Algiers Hotel, I did know about the uprising in Detroit,” he divulges. He gleamed the most from his meeting with the real Dismukes. “I spoke to him,” he reveals, “just getting to know him at first, getting to know the kind of man that he is, and at the same time, just getting to know him as it relates to this specific event.”
Boyega first came to prominence in the film “Attack the Block” (2011) He shot into superstardom after playing Finn in the mega-blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) He will next be seen in the followup “The Last Jedi,” out this Christmas, and in “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” a sequel to Guillermo Del Toro‘s 2013 sci-fi hit. He was the Rising Star Award winner at BAFTA in 2016.