Cover Story

Ari Marcopoulos photographs John Boyega for HERO 30
Film+TV | 23 September 2023
Photographer Ari Marcopoulos

jacket and t-shirt both by BURBERRY FW23

Standing in solidarity with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, our cover feature with John Boyega is silent: the shoot completed before the action began. The award-winning British actor is currently supporting those in the industry being unheard and undervalued. The message is clear: act now.

Strength of conviction is inherent in Boyega’s mentality and craft. He criticised Disney for their reluctance to address racist abuse following the announcement of his Star Wars casting, and then the company’s sidelining of his role, and other characters of colour. It was a courageous move considering this was the franchise that propelled him to stardom, but one Boyega considered essential to address. This led him to a series of projects written and realised with nuance and backbone: portraying a Marine Corp veteran robbing banks in order to survive in Abi Damaris Corbin’s thriller Breaking, and King Ghezo in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical warrior epic, The Woman King. This summer, Boyega starred alongside Teyonah Parris and Jamie Foxx in Juel Taylor’s stylish and satirical celebration of the Blaxploitation genre, They Cloned Tyrone – a tale of identity, race and institutional power underpinned by a government cloning conspiracy. And in the pipeline, among others, Attack the Block 2 – back to where it all began for Boyega – the sequel of Joe Cornish’s 2011 genre-bending feel-good sci-fi romp.

top and trousers both by BURBERRY FW23

coat, jacket, t-shirt and trousers all by BURBERRY FW23

PRADA FW23; t-shirt by LE PÈRE; necklace by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS; ring by CARTIER

jacket by FERRAGAMO FW23; shirt stylist’s own; ring by CARTIER

Originally published in HERO 30. 

grooming JEREMY DELL;
barber LESHA LEE;
fashion assistant ZAKKAI JONES


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