Is­sues re­main rel­e­vant: ac­tor

Boyega wanted to chal­lenge self with ‘Detroit’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY MIKE HOUSEHOLDER

“Detroit’’ star John Boyega says his new movie may be set a half-cen­tury ago, but it ex­plores is­sues that re­main rel­e­vant.

“We’re deal­ing with sys­tem­atic racism. We’re deal­ing with so­cial un­rest. We’re deal­ing with an up­ris­ing. And these are sto­ries that re­flect un­til to­day — es­pe­cially po­lice bru­tal­ity,’’ Boyega told The As­so­ci­ated Press dur­ing an in­ter­view Monday.

The Lon­don-born ac­tor was in Detroit pro­mot­ing the film of the same name. Di­rected by Os­car-win­ner Kathryn Bigelow, “Detroit’’ is a drama about the 1967 riot. The movie, which opens Aug. 4, also stars An­thony Mackie and John Krasin­ski.

“I was at a point where I had done a few projects and I wanted to chal­lenge my­self,’’ Boyega said. “And when ‘Detroit’ came on my radar, it felt like a god­send to ob­vi­ously have this kind of project, this kind of script.

“But at the same time, Kathryn as a di­rec­tor, she’s unique in her process, and it just so hap­pens to suit me.’’

One of the “few projects’’ Boyega has done hap­pens to be one of the big­gest film fran­chises of all time. He starred as Finn in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens,’’ and reprises the role in the sci-fi saga’s eighth in­stall­ment, “The Last Jedi,’’ which is due out at the end of the year.

Asked whether au­di­ences should be ex­cited about the new “Star Wars’ film, Boyega laughed and said: ‘’Should peo­ple be ex­cited? Of course they’re go­ing to be ex­cited. You know, it’s ‘Star Wars.’ Yeah, they should be.”

Fol­low­ing the AP in­ter­view, Boyega and a few oth­ers ac­tors from “Detroit’’ set about pack­ag­ing food at Glean­ers Com­mu­nity Food Bank, pop­ping canned goods into plas­tic bags, all of which later will be dis­trib­uted to fam­i­lies through­out the Detroit area.

Boyega said he’s “here to help out. “You know, pack­age some food; be a pos­i­tive im­pact to the com­mu­nity.

“I think ‘Detroit,’ it’s not just a com­mer­cial movie. I think the in­ten­tion from the be­gin­ning was to be a part of the com­mu­nity and for this movie to have a pos­i­tive im­pact.’’

“Detroit’’ will have its pre­miere in the city to­day at the Fox The­atre.

AP PHOTO

This im­age re­leased by Annapurna Pictures shows John Boyega in a scene from “Detroit.”

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