What did you all think when you first heard about this movie?
Lashana Lynch: Ooh. So many things.
Sheila Atim: I first thought, “I really want to see this,” because I first heard about the announcement of the film before I was even called in to … I was cast quite late, so I was like, “Oh, I can’t wait till this comes out,” and here we are.
Lynch: [When] I had a conversation with Gina, I remember thinking, “It could be me [or] could not be me. That’s fine. I’m just thanking you. I’m thanking you for doing it, thanking you for writing it, for getting it made, having it made now.” I know that we’ve had many years of wanting movies like this to be made, but nothing before its time. There’s clearly a reason why it’s dropping now. I was just grateful that it was a part of my life story to be able to witness this and to be able to exist in an industry as an adult [and] remember that it happened and have people have a conversation about it — not just a conversation, but [for] there to be change off the back of it. I was really happy to be a part of it but was just so happy for young people to see it and for different generations to see themselves within this movie. Yes.
John Boyega: Yeah. I second that.
John, you’re one of the few actors in this movie playing a real historical figure. How did you approach portraying King Ghezo?
Boyega: The first thing was collaboration, between research and then some conversations with myself and Gina [about] what she wanted specifically in this project. The rest is playing as an actor: imagination, character work, figuring out the arc between the first and the second act, and then letting the ladies do their thing. Then, having a good spirit [among] an ensemble cast. This is a cast full of so many different characters, so we all had to discuss each dynamic. It was consistently doing that until I came on set and met everybody else.