John Boyega says he once met some Americans who were “confused there were black people in London.”
In a new interview with The Radio Times, the Star Wars actor said he doesn’t think enough people speak for black British culture, which is one of the reasons why he started his own production company.
“I’m black British and I’m from London. And that in itself is something that the world doesn’t know about yet,” he said.
Recalling the time he was in the United States promoting his 2011 movie Attack the Block, Boyega said: “I met American people – civilians of a first-world country – who were confused that there were black people in London.”
He added: “That’s why entertainment is so special, it’s a great chance to bring people together and open them up to things they haven’t seen before.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Boyega discussed working on the forthcoming Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe, in which he plays Leroy Logan, one of the first black Met police officers.
“The series is about the Afro-Caribbean experience and the Windrush generation,” he explained. “It’s the untold stories that made the London we have today and the moments in history that can get erased.”
Director J.J. Abrams revealed last month that the script for the upcoming Star Wars film leaked after a cast member left a copy of it “under their bed.”