John Boyega has become a vocal advocate for social justice, most recently making headlines for criticizing the way characters of color were handled in the recent Star Wars films. Now the actor is bringing the conversation of equality to the screen in his installment of Steve McQueen’s new anthology film series Small Axe. In Red, White And Blue, Boyega stars as Leroy Logan, one of the first Black officers in London’s Metropolitan Police Force. Facing adversity from all sides, Leroy (who, in real life, eventually rose to the rank of superintendent in the Met) grapples with the disapproval of his father, who was previously assaulted by local police, as well as the racist attitudes of his fellow officers, who make it abundantly clear they don’t have his back.
In anticipation of Red, White And Blue’s debut on Amazon Prime on December 4, Boyega spoke with The A.V. Club on this week’s episode of Push The Envelope. He discussed his advocacy, how much he identifies with Leroy, and moving on from Star Wars (even though the franchise followed him in a small way to Small Axe). You can read a few highlights from the conversation below, or listen to the full interview. This week’s episode also features a talk with Sound Of Metal’s Riz Ahmed.