My dad assumed that he knew. “I knew you were going up for something, John!” My dad is Nigerian, by the way. My dad was like, “I’m so proud of you. Oh my gosh, you’re in Star Wars.” Mind you, he didn’t know what Star Wars was, he just watched all six films. And my mom is very sweet and is like, “Does this mean you’re going to be harmed? Does this mean you’re going to fight?” And I’m like, “Mom, it’s called Star Wars.” And she just goes “Okay.”
Anything can happen. A human being has potential to be egotistical and all those other things, but so far I’ve had peace in the fact that I’m not a child, I’m not being released into the world wide-eyed and it feels different.
I’m not one of the Harry Potter kids. I’ve had a life, I have friends, I have family who continue to support me and that’s something that makes this right easy. I was talking to my agent and I was like, “I’m genuinely happy right now.”
And that’s a benefit. The posters and trailers and this movie coming out is great, but when you’re genuinely happy during this process, that’s something that it feels like Zen.
Biggest Fear in doing Star Wars:
A lot of my fear existed during the auditions because auditioning for a Star Wars movie isn’t easy. The possibility of your life being forever changed is dangly in front of your face, but it’s not yours yet. So it feels awkward.
You can’t think about, “Oh this is going to be life changing” or any of that, you just have to think about the scenes. But because it was such a long time auditioning, when we got to filming, I felt more than ready. I burn and bleed Finn. He’s a character I love so much and a part of movie I loved exploring, so during filming it was like playing every day.
Working with Director J.J. Abrams:
Me and J.J., we had a previous friendship, so we knew about the prospect of us working together and that we would work well. But it’s such a long process it’s hard to trace back exactly what everyone was thinking. I was trying not to think about what Disney was thinking, what Lucas was thinking. I was just trying to go into the scene and nail it as much as I can.
Working with Harrison Ford:
I feel like I’ve said this so many times, but I’ll say it again. Harrison is my best friend. He wouldn’t say it, but that’s what he means. And we have a really cool relationship. One of the things I’m most excited to see is the relationship between Finn and Han Solo. They’re a dynamic duo that’s quite funny.
Finn has no respect for what he has done in the past, and in return Han is just Han. He’s rude, he’s straight to the point, and it allows for choppy dialogue and that’s kind of how me and Harrison’s relationship has been.
Chemistry with Daisy Ridley:
We had chemistry readings with each other. Daisy was cast before me, I came in late, and we had chemistry readings to gauge whether or not we worked together on screen and it really, really worked.
I don’t know why exactly. Daisy’s from London, I’m from London. We’re two laid-back people. We had great conversation, she’s a very lovable person, beautiful and stunning and powerful as Rey. It’s so funny because Rey is one of my favorite characters in The Force Awakens and there’s a natural, organic friendship that we have that translates onto the film in a very very nice way.