John Boyega has outlined why he chose to star in the Small Axe film series following his performance as ex-stormtrooper Finn in Star Wars.
Last month, filmmaker Sir Steve McQueen released an anthology film series on BBC called Small Axe, following the lives of West Indian immigrants living in London throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
The third film in the series, which is titled Red, White and Blue, follows a man called Leroy Logan (John), who decides to become a police officer after witnessing his father being assaulted by two officers.
John, 28, said he felt ‘hungry’ to take on a role like this one, having starred in the blockbuster Star Wars sequel trilogy since 2015.
‘I was hungry for a role like this at the time,’ he said.
‘Coming off a franchise, I was at the crossroads of, you know, the big question: “What is he going to do next?”’
Speaking to entertainment database IMDb, John explained that he looked forward to depicting a character who is ‘so grounded’, while also being supported ‘100 per cent’ on the project.
‘To have this as an opportunity and to play somebody so grounded, but then to know that artistically I would be given 100 per cent support to do my job as effectively as possible,’ he said.
‘Every day is worth a little bit of toughness, a little bit of weight of a role.’
When asked whether he had any reservations about playing a police officer, the Pacific Rim: Uprising actor said that he didn’t.
‘No, not at all. These characters are not me, so my job is to portray somebody I’m not,’ he stated.
‘So I like and enjoy stepping into the shoes of others.’
John added that the ‘complication’ of the role ‘attracted me even more.’
‘This is a meaty challenge with a very solid director,’ he said.
Leroy, who was born in 1957, was a founding member of the Black Police Association, in addition to being the organisation’s chair for 30 years.
All five films from the Small Axe anthology series are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.