Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters today and John Boyega, a Black British actor from Nigeria who has been cast to play a Stormtrooper, says fans who take issue with the director’s decision to cast a black actor as a Stormtrooper should “Get over it.”
With limited showings last night that raked in $50 million, the new version of the 1983 cult classic created by George Lucas, is expected to bring in $200 million over the weekend.
And 23-year old Boyega, who says Iron Man himself (actor Robert Downey, Jr.) mentored him, is anything but apologetic about his role in the iconic blockbuster.
In an interview with V Magazine, he said, “I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it? You either enjoy it or you don’t. I’m not saying get used to the future, but what is already happening. People of color and women are increasingly being shown on-screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn’t make sense. All the films I’ve done have had a secret commentary on stereotypical mentalities. It’s about getting people to drop a prejudiced state of mind and realize, Oh shit we’re just watching normal people.”
Born and raised in London, Boyega began acting at the age of 5 and has since acted in a handful of film and television roles including Law & Order: UK (2011) and Attack the Rock (2011), for which he won the Black Reel Award.
In March 2012, Boyega was cast in the film adaptation of Chimamanda’s Ngozi Adichie’s book Half of a Yellow Sun.