John Boyega worried that his Black Lives Matter speech could still damage his career

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: John Boyega gives speech at the Black Lives Matter protests

John Boyega has said he's still worried that his impassioned speech at the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer could have damaged his acting career.

In an interview with the Radio Times, the Star Wars actor was asked about whether he believed there could be consequences for his speaking out.

“Absolutely. I still have those thoughts,” he said.

“I understand, looking from the outside in, it might seem ‘oh, you’ve been in this and you’ve been in that.’ But how many actors do you know who have been in big franchises? It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to have stability for the rest of your life.”

Actor John Boyega speaks at a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Hyde Park, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
John Boyega speaks at a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Hyde Park, May 25 2020 (Credit: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

Boyega was among thousands who took to the streets in June, following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis on May 25.

Speaking through a megaphone, Boyega came close to tears as he told attendees of the protest in Hyde Park that 'black lives have always mattered'.

Read more: Boyega apologises for “badly worded” comments about trolls

“We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” he said.

“I’m speaking to you from my heart. I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this but f**k that.”

Boyega in Small Axe (Credit: BBC)
Boyega in Small Axe (Credit: BBC)

Among Boyega's latest work is in the Steve McQueen-created anthology series Small Axe, one episode of which finds him playing the role of a black police officer in 1980s London, and how as a child, he experiences police harassment.

Boyega said that he also experienced harassment when he was young.

Read more: Boyega prompts Star Wars fan debate with Jedi claim

He went on: “I’ve been stopped and searched. And my dad, who was a Pentecostal minister, got stopped on the way back from church. I was little. Everybody knows, especially if you grew up in Peckham, somebody who’s gone through the darkest scenarios with the police.”

Small Axe premiere's on BBC One on 15 November.

Watch: Steve McQueen’s new min-series Small Axe