EXCLUSIVE: Star Wars star John Boyega’s blockbuster new role

John Boyega is a man on the brink in Breaking!
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On the morning of July 7, 2017, Brian Brown-Easley entered a Wells Fargo bank in Atlanta to make a withdrawal. He handed the bank teller a note that read, ”I have a bomb.”

As panic ensued, Brian didn’t yell at the customers or demand bags of money – he let them all leave with the exception of two staff members.

He also said he had no intention of hurting anyone – he just wanted to be heard.

So what did he want? Precisely $892, owed to him by the Department of Veteran Affairs which had stopped his monthly disability payments.

Brian has been driven to extremes.

(IMAGE: Supplied)

At the age of 33, Lance Corporal Easley faced homelessness and was struggling with mental health. Now he was desperate, and this would be the last day of his life.

When John Boyega read the script, which was sent to him by screenwriter Kwame Kwei-Armah who also gave him his first acting job, he was instantly compelled to play Brian.

”It was almost a sign that I should do it,” John, 31, says of receiving the script from Kwame.

”I was emotionally drained by the time I read it; it was a journey and one I wanted to go on.”

John Boyega has been in three Star Wars films.

(IMAGE: LucasFilm)

John put on weight, shaved his head, wore glasses and a grey hoodie similar to what Brian wore on that fateful day. And there was a shift in mannerisms. Friends, family and even the hostages described Brian as respectful and quiet.

”I was fortunate to speak to his ex-wife Jessica and she heard the deepness in my voice and said, ‘make sure you’re soft. Brian has a softness in his voice’,” he says.

”I’m from south London. You hear me when I walk into the room, so those notes were so helpful.”

The result is a true departure from anything the actor has done before.

”I felt I disappear into this role,” he says.

WATCH NOW: John Boyega opens up about the ”Star Wars” curse. Article continues after video.

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”Breaking was actually playing on a flight I was on. There was a woman watching it – she was teary-eyed and kept adjusting the volume because she was getting shocked or scared in moments – and she would’ve seen me many times during the flight as we passed each other a lot. But she didn’t recognise me at all – and I helped her with her bags! But I didn’t say anything; I wanted to let her stay in it.”

While known for his role as Finn in the Star Wars franchise, John isn’t rushing back to the blockbuster films. Instead, he’s on a mission to do it all – in one form or another.

”It was important that in between episode eight and nine [of Star Wars], I did other things – whether that be a play or just a contrasting project,” John says.

”Some of us have heard about the ‘Star Wars curse’, when people don’t see you as anything else, so these roles after that are dedicated to exploring different things and people.”

”You have to embrace it all, and I’m really enjoying it.”

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