Why Star Wars' John Boyega Says He Won't 'Take The Money And Shush' In Hollywood

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Actor/producer John Boyega catapulted to stardom when he made his Star Wars debut in The Force Awakens. His former Stormtrooper Finn became one of the heroes of the sequel trilogy, and his tenure in the galaxy far, far away came to an end with The Rise of Skywalker. Since then Boyega has been using his platform to speak about social injustice both within and outside of Star Wars, and the 28 year-old actor recently revealed why he's not content with simply taking a paycheck and keeping his mouth "shush" moving forward.

After The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters last December, John Boyega began speaking more freely about what it was like working on the property, and the negative side to playing Finn. He's revealed the racist backlash he faced from the fandom, and used his platform to speak about the Black experience. Boyega recently explained why he won't be happy to "just take the money and shush" moving forward. Despite this reportedly being the expectation, the actor/producer won't put up with that status quo, as he went on to explain,

People need to go up there and reflect what’s real. Sometimes you get angry, sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes I’m right. Be human, rather than having to get into a space where you’re successful but then you have to lose your identity. That’s whack. No one’s doing that, especially not my generation.

Being a film and TV actor can be a difficult job, partly because you're expected to immerse yourself in another person's mind. But promoting big blockbusters can also require actors to compromise part of themselves in order to appeal to the widest demographic of audiences. And John Boyega seems determined to continue using his voice and platform without fear of losing his true self.

John Boyega's comments to the Associated Press help to show exactly how he's thinking about his career and place in the world a year after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's release. He spent the past 6 years immersed in the Star Wars franchise, filming and promoting each installment of the sequel trilogy. And now that his schedule is open, he's intending to continue speaking truth to power and being authentic.

Star Wars fans can re-watch John Boyega's tenure in the Star Wars franchise on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Over the past year, John Boyega has made headlines for his honest comments about his time in the Star Wars franchise, as well as issues like the Black Lives Matter movement. While battling some Star Wars fans online, Boyega shared what it was like working as the first leading Black actor of the franchise. This includes online backlash, and not feeling supported by the studio. And after going viral, the actor was able to have an honest conversation with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy about it.

And while John Boyega was originally worried that his activism might negatively affect his career, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. What's more, plenty of filmmakers have come out to support the actor and express their interest in working with him in the future. We'll just have to wait and see what comes next for Boyega, and how he continues to use his platform.

John Boyega can currently be seen in the TV series Small Axe, and he's got a few film projects coming down the line as well. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.