The Woman King: John Boyega Talks Impact Of Latest Film On Future African Representation

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British-Nigerian actor John Adebayo Bamidele Adegboyega, known more commonly as John Boyega, has come quite a long way in the film industry since his break out role in the British sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block in 2011. Since then, he’s gone ahead to star in several films like Pacific Rim Uprising, Breaking and, most notably the Star Wars sequel trilogy as Finn. His latest feature film, the historical epic The Woman King has just been released to critical acclaim and it looks like there’s no slowing the actor down anytime soon.

The Woman King, tells the story of the Agojie, an all-female military regiment of Kingdom Dahomey, a West African kingdom that ruled for over three centuries in a territory that sits in present day Benin, John Boyega plays the role of King Ghezo, the reigning king of Agojie. The film tells the story in a very traditional sense, accurately depicting African history and cultures in ways seen in only very few Hollywood films before it.

In a recent interview with Pulse.ng, when asked about the future of African representation in Hollywood and the impact of films like The Woman King on Nigerian film industries, Boyega expressed optimism that the film would inspire similar projects with black filmmakers being fully involved.

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“I feel like, hopefully, it (The Woman King) will kickstart more projects in which Africa and actors, especially Black actors, performers, directors, producers from the States and the UK can collaborate to make more stories like this.”

“This movie was shot in South Africa. South Africa has a great infrastructure to support a film in the process like this. Hopefully, The Woman King would motivate us, especially Nigeria, to hopefully create an infrastructure that will see a synergy of more Nollywood actors and Hollywood actors all mixed within the same kind of project.”

The Woman King has been positively received by critics with many praising Viola Davis’ performance dubbing it a “career-best”. It currently has a certified fresh rating of 94% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

The Woman King is currently showing in cinemas in Nigeria

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