John Boyega’s Friends Thought That He Was Just An Extra In ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

John Boyega

When John Boyega went on set every week to film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his friends thought that he was only an extra in the much anticipated film.

On Friday, Boyega told Jimmy Fallon in an interview on The Tonight Show that when he took his friends to the London premiere of Star Wars, they were very surprised that he had such a big part in the movie.

“I took them to the London premiere and after the premiere they were just like, ‘Yo, John, I never knew you were in the movie for so long – I thought you were an extra!’ I’m like, all this time I was leaving from Monday to Friday, what did you think I was doing, man, for two years?”

Jimmy then showed footage from the London premiere of Star Wars of John and his friends, who were all obviously very excited to be celebrating their friend’s success.

Keeping the celebrations going, Boyega told Fallon that he planned to make stops around New York at different showings of Star Wars to surprise fans and thank them. John said that he was very grateful for everything, and wanted to give back to the fans.

“I’m gonna go over to a few theaters in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and I’m gonna meet some people, you know, just say thank you. This is big, and I feel the love, I really, really do.”

Peoplereports that Boyega was true to his promise. An Instagram picture shows John talking to people in a theater at a screening of Star Wars. Reportedly, Boyega showed up to Williamsburg Cinemas in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday night. The theater shared the picture on Saturday morning of John speaking to the audience at the screening.

According to Time, Boyega also revealed to Fallon that he had lied to director J.J. Abrams during the audition process for Star Wars. When Abrams was giving the part to John, he emailed the actor asking him, “where are you?” Boyega wanted the director to think he was actually out doing something, so he told Abrams that he was at an art gallery. The truth, however, was that John was actually sitting at home.

“It took seven months to audition and then J.J. sent me an email that was like ‘where are you?’ I lied and told him I was at an art gallery, when I was at home. Listen, in my defense I told him that because, you know, you don’t want a director thinking that you’ve got all the free time in the world. You want him to think that you’re up to stuff. So I told him ‘yeah, I’m at an art gallery, I’m not waiting to hear back about your movie J.J.!’ “

Boyega has been pretty busy promoting Star Wars. In addition to his interview with Jimmy Fallon and his appearances at New York movie theaters, Boyega made an appearance on the Graham Norton Show, where he challenged David Beckham to a Lightsaber duel. MTV reports that though Graham was the instigator of the duel, John was more than willing to face-off with the soccer star.

It all started out when Norton pulled out two Lightsabers, and asks Beckham if he had any sword training. As soon as Beckham confirms that he had in fact sword trained for a movie he will be in, Boyega jumped up to challenge him. David wielded a red Lightsaber, and John a blue one. The battle didn’t start, though, until Boyega yelled his battle cry, challenging the soccer star. Boyega delivered only one, very slow strike, and the battle was over.

Go see more lightsaber battles with John Boyega in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in theaters now.

[Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP]