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‘Attack the Block’ Star John Boyega Talks New Film, London Riots and His Crush on a Certain Actress

John Boyega makes his feature film debut as Moses in the new film, Attack the Block. The sci-fi thriller takes a look at how a group of inner-city kids would react if aliens attempted to take over their neighborhood. The U.K.-born Boyega recently made a stop in Atlanta where he participated in a round table at Straits. He discussed being involved in his first film, London culture and the recent riots in his country. –amir shaw

How did you get started in acting?

I’ve acted since 5 years old. I’ve been acting professionally for two years. I’m 19 years old now. This was my first feature film that I auditioned for and I was able to get the role.

Did you study other films to get a sense of how to approach Attack the Block?

My performance was based on characters from season four of “The Wire.” The main characters I studied were Jaimie Hector, who plays Marlo; and Tristan Wilds, who plays Michael. Those are the characters that are brought to the film, with Moses having a British accent.

How has hip-hop influenced culture in the U.K.?

I think every ‘hood has a certain type of swagger. We witnessed the Biggie and Tupac era and that had a big impact. A lot of the music in America has a major influence over there. But we also have our own thing going on at the same time. So it’s a mix of both cultures.

Are there any actresses from the U.S. who have caught your attention?

I saw Meagan Good a few weeks ago and I didn’t say hello. I wanted to keep cool and I walked away. But she’s a secret crush. Tell her I said I love her.

What are your thoughts on the London riots?

The riots are upsetting. It’s affected the area where I live. I want to thank the young people who are taking their brooms and cleaning up their neighborhoods. It’s an unfortunate situation.