John Boyega is still a young guy, but nascent in the world of blockbusters he is not. Playing Finn in the new Star Wars movies, he's now a key part of arguably the biggest franchise in the world, and has, in proverbial terms, seen how the sausage is made. That said, he was only a star in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, which made his recent work on Pacific Rim Uprising a very different experience. Why? Because it's the project with which he is making his producorial debut. Boyega recently told me,
You're much more exposed to the ins and outs of the workings of setting up a production like this when you're producing as well as acting. A lot of the challenges on set are much more consistent. You hear about the potential things that could slow down a schedule, so it affects the experience of the whole thing, but it's beautiful. You meet filmmaking in its raw form. It's transparent and you know everything, and that to me is a different experience than obviously working as just an actor. But it was fun, I loved it. I really, really enjoyed it.
The work of an actor on any movie is generally all about showing up places and waiting for the cameras to roll, but that wasn't John Boyega on the set of Pacific Rim Uprising. He has taken a step up in the film world, earning his first producer credit -- and I had the chance to talk with the young star all about it when we sat down earlier this month for the new blockbuster's Los Angeles press day. It turns out that he actually got a real thrill from the experience, as he grasped a stronger appreciation for all the immensely hard word that goes into the making of a massive project.
Interestingly, though, it wasn't just a job that helped him learn about money and scheduling within the movie industry. I followed up with John Boyega asking if the new job had a certain influence on his performance as Jake Pentecost in Pacific Rum Uprising, and it turns out the answer is yes. According to Boyega, it was immensely helpful just to be able to see all of the footage that was coming in at the end of every day, allowing him to track his own turn in the blockbuster and keep his mind on the character. Said the actor/producer,
We get rushes every day. We're going through takes every day, and we're getting rough edits as soon as possible. So knowing how the body of the movie is shaping up to be, you know the way in which the character should go to a certain extent -- what you want to convey much more. And that affects the whole thing.
It should be noted, however, that there was one area where of the producer job where John Boyega didn't exactly go overboard. During our interview, I also asked if it put him in a position to call shots and make certain demands, but apparently "authority" wasn't something he was overly pushy with. Instead, it was much more about open communication with the filmmakers making everything happen, and helping everything get done in the best way possible. Boyega explained,
I don't articulate 'authority.'... But what it is, is that you're in a position to collaborate with the idea makers, and give them your ideas. You go back and forth, and you shape up the movie through collaboration, and through teamwork. So that's something that's been very, very enjoyable.
You can watch John Boyega discuss his Pacific Rim Uprising experience and making his producorial debut by clicking play on the video below!
Having created his own production company, UpperRoom Productions, John Boyega is clearly looking to expand his career in the film industry -- and it all starts with Pacific Rim Uprising. You'll be able to see the new, finished blockbuster this Friday in theaters everywhere, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our interviews with the cast and filmmakers behind the movie!