‘Star Wars’ actor John Boyega joined Black Lives Matter protesters in London on June 2 and delivered a passionate speech in support of George Floyd, who died in America after police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for close to nine minutes.
“I need you guys to understand how painful this [expletive] is! I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing!” a tearful Boyega said into a megaphone.
“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! I ain’t waiting!”
The British actor, who rose to fame as Finn in Disney’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (2015), has long been berated online for being outspoken, particularly around issues of anti-black racism.
“Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but [expletive] that!” Boyega continued, to the supportive cheers of fellow protestors.
Hollywood actors and directors have now thrown their support beyond Boyega and expressed their desire to work with him.
Mark Hamill, Boyega’s ‘Star Wars’ co-star, wrote on Twitter: “Never been more proud of you, John. [heart emoji], dad.”
Meanwhile, ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’ director Jordan Peele, responded to Boyega’s ‘career’ quote with this: “We got you, John.”
“I would work with John Boyega and I urge other Non-Black creators to affirm that they have his back as well,” wrote Oscar-winning director Matthew A Cherry (‘Hair Love’). His tweet garnered dozens of replies from creatives virtually lining up to work with Boyega.
Charlie Brooker, the creator of ‘Black Mirror’, responded: “I would crawl through a barrel of broken glass to have John Boyega even so much as *glance* at one of my scripts.”
‘Two and a Half Men’ actor Jon Cryer wrote: “Ummm... dunno about you, but I would be damn lucky to work with John Boyega.”
Filmmaker and actress Olivia Wilde also chimed in.
“I would be honored to work with @JohnBoyega and can only hope to have the chance. We’ve got your back, John. Don’t hold back,” wrote the ‘House’ actress.
‘Hamilton’ creator Lin Manuel Miranda also replied to Cherry, writing: “Oh god I WISH, Ojalá! From Attack The Block to this day!” (Boyega’s earliest film was 2011’s ‘Attack the Block’.)
Seth Grahame-Smith, the producer behind Stephen King’s ‘It’ and the screenwriter of the Lego Batman Movie, wrote: “Any project. Any role he wants.”
Rodney Rothman, the co-writer and co-director of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse’, had an immediate offer.
“I have something great I would offer him today. Tell yer agents man,” tweeted Rothman.
‘Baby Driver’ director Edgar Wright said he would love to work with Boyega again.
“Have before and would again, in a heartbeat. So proud of John today,” wrote Wright.
Jack Thorne, the playwright who wrote ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ for the stage, tweeted: “I have worked with John Boyega (on Woyzeck at the @oldvictheatre) and would cut my hand off to work with him again. A magnificent talent.”
Paul Feig, director of ’Bridesmaids’, ‘The Spy’ and ‘A Simple Favor’, joined the chorus of support.
“My hand is up high. It would be an honor to work with John,” he wrote.
On May 25, Floyd’s death was recorded and shared widely online and has sparked protests around the world, including but not limited to all American states, France, Palestine and the UK.
Chauvin has now been charged with second degree murder, after it was raised from first degree murder.