Five months after he made an impassioned speech about racial injustice at a Black Lives Matter protest in London, Star Wars actor John Boyega says he still worries his activism may cause him to lose out on future roles.
In a new interview with the Radio Times via The Guardian, the British-Nigerian star was asked if he had concerns about speaking out.
“Absolutely. I still have those thoughts,” he responded.
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However, Boyega — who appeared in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker — said he refused to remain silent following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.
“I’ve been stopped and searched,” the London native told the Radio Times. “And my dad, who was a Pentecostal minister, got stopped on the way back from church. I was little.”
In his June speech, Boyega fought back tears as he rallied protesters.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” he said at the time.
Despite his concerns about the potential fallout, Boyega will next be seen in the critically acclaimed miniseries Small Axe. The actor plays real-life London police officer Leroy Logan in the series from Academy Award-winning British filmmaker Steve McQueen.
Additional cast members in the BBC/Amazon series include Letitia Wright, Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, Rochenda Sandall, Alex Jennings, Jack Lowden, Micheal Ward and Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn.
According to Amazon’s description: “Small Axe is a collection of five original films by Steve McQueen set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s that tell personal stories from London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination.”
The project premieres Nov. 15 on the BBC and Nov. 20 on Amazon Prime Video. A new film will debut every Friday in the U.S. from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.