John Boyega is aware of the comparisons. He had to be – the actor is active on social media, and like his Breakup points out director Abi Damaris Corbin, it was even trending on Twitter at one point: “John is Denzel.”
Like in the thirties star wars Alum’s Simmering Performance In Real Life Drama Thriller Breakup reminds people of Oscar-winning living legend Denzel Washington (especially Washington’s performance in the similarly themed 2002 film John Q). Boyega stars as Brian Brown Easley, a former Marine who took bank tellers hostage and threatened to blow up the building due to frustrations over withholding veterans’ disability payments.
“I’m not involved in this conversation, man,” Boyega told Yahoo Entertainment when asked what he thought about his work being called Denzellian. “If that’s what they see, then it’s a blessing. Denzel is one of the best actors in the business. And I’m just getting started. So for me, I don’t have the time nor the stripes to even get involved in such a conversation.
“I will certainly thank God for such an opportunity.”
Her co-star Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth) was impressed with what she saw on set: “On day one, I was blown away by the work John did and all the energy he exudes,” she says. “He made it easy for me.
Boyega was an easy choice for Corbin and his co-writer/executive producer Kwame Kwei-Armah. “It’s really easy to congratulate yourself and say, ‘Yeah, yeah, we knew it was John and John was going to be brilliant,’ but I didn’t know he was going to be this good,” Kwei-said Armah.
Corbin first learned of Easley’s story in Aaron Gell’s 2018 Task and objective article “They didn’t have to kill him.”
“I was overwhelmed by it, it pierced my soul,” she says. “My father is a veteran, so I could understand what he went through with the [Department of] Veterans are so much better through Brian’s eyes. »
Breakup comes just weeks after President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act, designed to improve access to health care for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances and burning stoves during military service. But not before the law became a hot topic, with Republicans accused of playing politics with the law after initially voting against it. Dozens of veterans camped outside the Capitol until it was finally passed, with former Daily show host Jon Stewart becomes their most vocal supporter.
“The timing is amazing,” Beharie says. “And I really hope that will have an effect.”
“It should have an effect and certainly a conversation,” adds Boyega.
It’s deeply personal for Corbin.
“My dad has been waiting in those same lines for a long time, the same lines as veterans in front of the White House,” she says. “Sitting there with their candles, just praying that there will be a breakthrough, that there will be an opening, that the bureaucracy will step aside and that the heart of the matter and the words will match the actions. I hope that Watching our film will allow people to hear those calls.”
-Video produced by Kyle Moss and edited by Jimmie Rhee
Breakup opens in theaters Friday.
Watch the trailer: