‘It’s like walking a plank’: Letitia Wright and John Boyega embrace the craze for Marvel and Star Wars sets

John Boyega and Letitia Wright have known each other since meeting 13 years ago at the Identity School of Acting in London; Later, both of them appeared in Steve McQueen’s series “Small Axe”. Boyega’s 2022 film included roles in Abi DaMaris Corbin starred in the Sundance movie “Breaking” and the Gina Prince-Bythewood movie “The Woman King.” Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the tragic loss of series lead Chadwick Boseman, Wright took up the mantle of hero in Ryan Coogler’s blockbuster Marvel movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

John Boyega: We’re not going to do this the way everyone else does, because we have a history.

Letitia Wright: Yes, we do. I always remember seeing you in the hallways heading into class and wondering about your process. I remember that as a group we always go to McDonald’s and inspire each other. Someone said to you, “What’s your next TV show?” The first thing I said was, “I want to shoot a feature film.” You’re thinking ahead – in the “Star Wars” worlds.

Boyega: I loved that environment. After class, we go to McDonald’s and talk about what we are experiencing today. It is something exceptional. Wakanda Forever, Your Newest Project Coming Out: How Do You Feel? It’s a big movie, it’s a huge experience.

I have seen: Being in the first movie, doing the Avengers movies, has trained me to think of it only in terms of craft, not to overthink it. Did it affect people? Did I do my best? Did I tell the truth? Then the numbers and things that happen…

Boyega: I know those are some big numbers. We came from the theatre. They don’t want to tell you about the theater box office – you’ll probably quit. We walked into the movie not knowing what they were going to do after Chadwick died. How did you deal with that through the filming process?

Alexi Lubomirsky for Diversity

I have seen: The first movie – because of the love and appreciation we received from audiences when they saw the ways T’Challa surrounded women who were just phenomenal – that was the inspiration for this movie. It was an opportunity to express my love for Chad. I miss my brother. I want him to be here, but at the same time, I have to honor him with my personality and my talent, and I have to do something that can make women all over the world proud.

Boyega: Chad – Everyone knows what kind of guy he is, especially if you had the blessing to meet him. How do you proceed now?

I have seen: It is a hard pill to swallow. The day it happened, I can remember it as if it was yesterday. If I could go back and look back on that day and just erase it… just to be with my brother, I would give anything in the world just to have it.

Boyega: Do you feel like you are looking at yourself as a different person?

I have seen: There is a process. There is growth. I feel like we are growing into what we were always meant to be, and our peer group is very narrow. We can get to each other very quickly. If you run into a bit of a pickle, we’ll send that text, “Hey, get back in the fold. Get right.”

He talked to me about Breaking, because I saw it on the plane.

Boyega: Did you see him on the plane?

I have seen: I wanted to see it on the big screen, but the tour of life. The way you moved your hands, the way you spoke – it’s really chameleon-like.

Alexi Lubomirsky for Diversity

Boyega: We had a two-week shift from when we confirmed the role to when we were shooting. He was hitting the ground running. My father collected a lot of research. We had to dig deeper into who this guy was with such a short amount of time. And this indie budget — we didn’t get Wakanda Forever. It felt like a theater on a movie.

I have seen: I love that. This led to him playing the king in “Woman King”. When you first read this text, how did you feel?

Boyega: This is the closest I’ll get to a “Black Panther” movie. So there was this link. I was like, “I’m closer to Wakanda.” And then it was about Gina Prince-Bythewood, our director, who wrote me this letter, and it felt like a call to action. But I also knew that I would be wearing robes. I am a Nigerian – I must wear cool, colorful robes. So there is a fun element to it.

I have seen: To see ourselves that way, from auditioning to being able to step into the arena of black characters at the center of some of Hollywood’s most incredible stories…

Boyega: It’s the dream. Whether it’s me and you… and with Daniel Kaluuya, there’s a unity, and a way that we help each other out as actors too, that I think a lot of people don’t know about.

Boyega: When we had our last conversation, we were on the phone for four hours when I was in New York, and I don’t know if you were shooting Wakanda Forever…

I have seen: Yes, I was.

Boyega: you clockwork. When you’re doing something huge like Black Panther – how do you deal with your location awareness?

I have seen: It’s crazy. I try not to take advantage of its size, because it’s like walking a plank to the end, and the second you look down, you’ll fall. The way I navigated it is just by focusing on one thing, which is good stories. If I focus on that long enough, I can build a legacy, and then I can look back on it. Of course I want to enjoy the moments.

You also made Breaking, right? So how do you manipulate?

Boyega: You make your sister help you. And your sister schedules things based on what she knows about you. We knew what we were aiming for, but we didn’t know how it would actually go. You can just run on the ground.

I used to be on a “Star Wars” set. In between, they would pull out a convoy of cars that would just pop out of nowhere. There was a tent in the distance, and all the producers would go to the tent. And they were debating what color the lightsaber should be! You really inspired me. They are involved in conversations that will change cinematic history. I want to do that. I have a creative perspective, and I’d like to share that with the public.

I have seen: Take me back to Star Wars.

Boyega: It was a process. Until getting the role – a good nine month audition process. Especially with Disney, in terms of finding the right person: third callback, fourth callback, fifth callback. At that time, I was still staying with my mom and dad. I’d come home to the apartment, stressing through these nine months, because I’m like, “Will my life change or not?” Not only is the role a great opportunity as an artist, but a potential life change. Oh man, that’s what they were talking about on season 4 of “Entourage.” This is the real deal. JJ Abrams being a confidant definitely changed me, but in good ways — being flexible about certain things, understanding different points of view. And then, through misfortunes and fortunes, I can advise and give my point of view, and people take what they want from it. But it was long. And you have to keep silent about it.

I have seen: yes. All secrets.

Boyega: Obviously, I saw your movie. I’m a Marvel fan, so I’ll be staying for the post-credits. And it’s an important scene that gives us an idea of ​​the direction the Marvel Cinematic Universe is headed in and is important to you, in terms of your path as an actress. How does it feel to be part of a historic moment?

I have seen: The post-credit scene for me is another extension of the ways we wanted to honor Chadwick – especially the role of T’Challa. In the film, which Chadwick wrote before his death, there is a father-son journey. Reading it, I felt like we had to find a way to carry on the legacy of what T’Challa meant to the world, especially to young black people. This scene spoiled me.

Boyega: How many children have you auditioned?

I have seen: two. Then the Divine came. His name is divine. He had a little Chadwick Mohawk. Lupita Nyong’o and I kept looking at each other like, “That’s the baby.” This scene is beautiful because it represents what the future will be like.

Boyega: To me, on a low level, I was thinking: “Letitia will pay the mortgage.” I was like, “She’s still there. She’s not defeated.”


Design mode by Jack Flanagan


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