John Adedayo Adegboyega is professionally known as John Boyega. He was born on 17 March 1992 in London to British Nigerian parents. He is an English actor known for playing Finn in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh film of the Star Wars series, and its 2017 sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Boyega rose to prominence in his native United Kingdom for his role as Moses in the 2011 sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block.
While acting in a play in his primary school at the age of nine, he was noticed by Teresa Early, the artistic director of Theatre Peckham, a learning theatre for young people who live in south London. After obtaining financial assistance from a hardship fund, he joined the theatre, spending his time there outside school hours between the ages of nine and 14.
Though his father had wanted him to become a preacher just like him, he was supportive of his son’s theatrical interests.
In 2003, Boyega started his secondary education at Westminster City School, where he took part in various school productions. Between 2008 and 2010, he attended South Thames College at the college’s Wandsworth campus to study for a National Diploma in Performing Arts. His activities at the college included playing the title role in the college’s production of Othello. He enrolled at the University of Greenwich to study BA Film Studies & Media Writing, but dropped out to focus on acting.
Boyega trained at the Identity School of Acting in Hackney, and appeared in Six Parties at the National Theatre and Category B at the Tricycle Theatre prior to being offered a role in the 2011 film Attack the Block. In September 2011, HBO announced that Boyega had been cast in the boxing drama pilot Da Brick, loosely based on Mike Tyson’s life.
Boyega’s other credits include historical drama film Detroit (2017), the science fiction film Pacific Rim Uprising (2018), four episodes of the television series 24: Live Another Day and the drama Imperial Dreams (2014). Boyega received the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2016.
In January 2016, Boyega formed his own production company, Upperroom Entertainment Limited. His company co-produced Pacific Rim Uprising (2018), the sequel to the 2013 movie Pacific Rim, alongside Legendary Entertainment. Boyega also starred in the lead role of the film, Jake Pentecost.