Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim and John Boyega on royalty and warriors

What did you all think when you first heard about this movie?

Lashana Lynch: Oh. So many things.

Sheila Atim: At first I thought, “I really want to see this,” because I first heard about the film’s announcement before I was called… I was chosen quite late, so I thought, “Oh, I can.” Let’s wait for it to come out,” and here we are.

Lynch: [When] I had a conversation with Gina, I remember thinking, “That could be me [or] couldn’t be me. This is fine. I just thank you. I thank you for doing this, thank you for writing this, for doing this, for doing this now.” I know we’ve wanted films like this for years, but nothing ahead of time. Obviously there is a reason why it is crashing now. I was just grateful that this was part of my life story, to be a witness to this and to be able to exist in the industry as an adult. [and] remember that it happened and ask people to talk about it – not just talking, but [for] there to be a change from the back of it. I was very happy to be a part of it, but I was so happy that young people saw it and different generations saw themselves in this film. Yes.

John Boyega: Yeah. I support it.

John, you are one of the few actors who plays a real historical figure in this film. How did you approach the image of King Ghezo?

Boyega: The first thing was collaboration between studies and then some conversations with me and Gina. [about] what she wanted specifically in this project. The rest is acting: imagining, working with the characters, defining the arc between the first and second act, and then letting the ladies do their thing. Then in a good mood [among] acting ensemble. There are so many different characters in this cast that we all had to discuss every dynamic. It was like this all the time until I came to the set and met everyone else.

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