After his game-changing part as the first black stormtrooper and rave reviews at the Old Vic, John Boyega is now one of Britain’s biggest acting exports. But it’s his strict Peckham upbringing that keeps him real — and helps him define a new kind of fame
We all look for a mentor from time to time, but John Boyega never expected his to call out of the blue from Hollywood as he was driving through Forest Hill, southeast London. Not recognising the number, Boyega pulled over. It was Robert Downey Jr.
“When I was starting out, I didn’t really know what to think and I wanted to get some advice,” Boyega, 27, says. “I was a huge fan of his. I think our agents spoke, and then he called me up out of nowhere and we had a good long chat. He was, like, ‘Next time you’re in LA, come to the house.’ And I went to his frikkin’ amazing house — and Orlando Bloom was there eating pancakes. I stayed