John’s portrayal of ex-Stormtrooper Finn was key to reboot installment Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but became less central to the plot of its two follow-ups – and he went public with his disappointment in a GQ interview this summer (2020).
He had previously revealed that he had buried the hatchet with Disney chiefs, but has now detailed how Kathleen offered him support once he had outlined his case to her.
“So I got on a phone call with Kathleen Kennedy and she verbally showed support and we got to have a really nice, transparent, honest conversation that is beneficial to both of us,” he tells BBC News.
“I think these kinds of conversations, you can go into the realm of sounding like you’re just trying to save your own career, but what is great now is that it is a conversation that anyone has access to.
“Now people can express themselves about this knowing that any character we love, especially in these big franchises like the Marvels and Star Wars, we love them because of the moments that they are given, we love them because of those moments, and they’re heroic moments that these producers all decide for these characters so we need to see that in our characters that are maybe black and from other cultures.”
In his chat with GQ, the Attack the Block star accused Disney bosses of marketing his character as, “much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side,” and made a similar point about Finn’s on screen love interest Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran.