2017 has been the year, or more accurately, will be the year of John Boyega. The British actor was catapulted into the spotlight with his starring role as Finn in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the kind of exposure which has lead him to nab a place in Kathryn Bigelow’s new film Detroit.
In a recent interview with NME, Boyega spoke about how topical Detroit is to modern audiences.
“This movie is no longer an escape from our reality – it’s an in-depth look at it. You go outside and hear the same things are still going down. You watch Detroit knowing there’s a part for you to play right now. It’s not a film where all that injustice is ended and done, it’s asking you: what’s your role in this? I’ve questioned myself on that and understand I’ve failed at meeting those responsibilities, even just in clarifying it’s not a responsibility for me to shoulder.”
Boyega also had some things to say about social media’s effect on how we consume news.
“I feel like if you have the truth it doesn’t necessarily give you the right to say it, if the intentions and the goals aren’t right. There’s a new reference of mine and you guys can have it: ‘clickbait clarity’. That’s where a lot of us are getting our information from now. There’ll be a funny, funky title the media puts out for us. We click on it, gain clarity, look at a video and then we just react, showing passion or some form of regard for an issue. We all know that really, deep down, it’s just temporary. After five minutes, you’re on to the next thing. But Detroit forces you to have an in-depth conversation. Not only with the people you’ve seen the film with, but with yourself. That’s what makes it so intriguing – your mind is taking in scenarios from different perspectives. I hope there’s more of that rather than just reactions on Twitter.”
The actor also hinted at what we can expect from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi:
The friendships are there, strong bonds that get tested. The Force Awakens set up these new characters of Finn, Poe and Rey, and everything is moving forward. Star Wars fans have demanded much more clarity and you’ll get that.”
Detroit is playing in cinema’s worldwide.