Interviews / Movies

Interview: John Boyega Suits Up for ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’

It’s been five years since Jaegers and Kaiju battled it out and in Pacific Rim: Uprising, it’s time for Round 2.

John Boyega (Finn from the latest Star Wars trilogy but also the excellent Attack the Block) stars as Jake Pentecost, the disillusioned son of the first film’s lead played by Idris Elba.


On how he became involved with Pacific Rim

I had set up my own production company and went to Hollywood to introduce myself. One of the scheduled meetings was at Legendary [Pictures and] we talked about various projects. At one point, they said, “We’re looking to do a sequel to Pacific Rim. Would you be interested in taking a look at a few things?” I said, “Yes! Of course!” and we went in to the room next door where they had this incredible concept art on display with me in this incredibly designed suit. They cornered me, I have to say!


On his approach to creating Jake Pentecost

Jake’s personality is nuanced and conflicted. He grew up in the shadow of his father, Stacker, and he’s battled with living up to the family name. He had aspirations of becoming a Jaeger pilot. This is his journey to becoming a hero. I decided to create him based on how I saw myself at 16 — a cocky kid with a little bit of mismanagement.


On balancing producer and actor roles for the film

Being a producer was interesting because any decision I helped make outside the character affected the role. When it came to casting the other actors, when it came to set pieces, action sequences, dialogue, it was all a jigsaw puzzle in which I had to make decisions and give opinions to support the character I felt needed to be created.


On the film’s breakout star Cailee Spaeny

Cailee’s innocence allowed for this fresh way of approaching her breakout role. That’s something that she handled very well. As much as I’ve done, I learned from her and we genuinely had a strong bond and great chemistry.

Pacific Rim: Uprising is in theaters now. Get your tickets here.


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