Tuesday 27 September 2016

Star Wars actor John Boyega storms into 'most influential' list

Published 19/01/2016 | 11:56

Star Wars actor John Boyega, singer Adele and actress Emma Watson have been named among the 30 most influential Europeans in the entertainment industry.

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In the first "30 Under 30 Europe" list, compiled by US magazine Forbes, the United Kingdom dominates the entertainment category.

A dozen of the 30 actors, musicians and sports stars are from the UK.

Other Brits on the list, which mirrors the long-established US version, include Game Of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke, Star Wars lead Daisy Ridley, tennis ace Andy Murray, athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill, singers FKA Twigs, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Florence Welch, and rapper Little Simz.

Representing Ireland are actress Saoirse Ronan, singer Hozier, and golf star Rory McIlroy.

Boyega, 23, said he decided to pursue his acting dream as a young teenager after discovering people "get paid for playing other people".

He said: "I just embarked on a journey of training and meeting new people, and I found myself going up for professional auditions, and I always wanted to do it, so it felt organic.

"When I found out about the reality of the acting industry... I was just like: Do you know what, I'm just going to go for it anyway."

Looking back on his audition for the part of Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he said: "I got a call telling me to come in to read in front of (director) JJ Abrams and Nina Gold, the casting director. My first audition was all over the place. Oh gosh, I hope they never reveal that first audition, I was so nervous.

"And then after that I was released into a whirlwind seven months of auditions, training, back-to-back meetings. I had to balance filming and secretly going to these auditions that I could tell nobody about, which was interesting. I didn't really believe it would be anything substantial until I got closer to the location."

The Forbes list entries were vetted by TV personality Kelly Osbourne, athlete and philanthropist Dame Kelly Holmes, and PR guru Alan Edwards.

Those listed have been recognised for their game-changing leadership, disruption of their field, and likelihood of changing the entertainment industry in the next half century.

The full list features 300 young innovators and entrepreneurs from across 10 categories, including the arts, industry, and technology.

Randall Lane, editor of Forbes, said: "Researching, vetting and launching our first ever 30 Under 30 Europe list was an incredible task.

"We scoured the continent to find the most talented millennials and, with the help of our expert judges, are proud to honour 300 of the most important young entrepreneurs, creative leaders and brightest stars in Europe right now."

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