John studied a national diploma in performing arts at the College’s Wandsworth Campus between 2008 and 2010. A promising actor from a young age, his talent was spotted early by his tutor who chose him to play the lead in a production of Six Parties by William Boyd. This college performance won him the chance to perform at the National Theatre’s annual youth scheme, Connections, which led to Boyega acting in various plays at London’s Tricycle Theatre.
Head of Creative Industries, Andrew Cowan said: “It’s fantastic to see John succeed, although his tutors were always confident he would have a bright future. During his time at South Thames College John demonstrated great commitment, tenacity and talent, making the most of every opportunity. His achievements have inspired many of our past and current students so hopefully more of our alumni will follow in his footsteps.”
Despite being relatively unknown until the Star Wars cast announcement, audiences are set to become more familiar with the rising star when he appears in 24: Live Another Day which premieres on Sky 1 this month. It’s not the first large project he has worked on. While studying at the college, John juggled studying with his filming commitments for 2011 sci-fi feature film Attack the Block. Shortly after its release, he returned to the South Thames College to talk to current performing arts students about his experience.
Speaking at the time, he said: “College helped me a lot to get to this stage. I remember doing all kinds of drama games and ballet which helped me to get physically fit. I was very lucky our tutor entered us for the Connections competition which we performed at the National Theatre. That was the breakthrough for me.”
Star Wars VII opens galaxywide on Friday 18 December 2015.