S1: A bead of sweat slowly rolled down John’s temple as he expertly rolled his. A grunt of exertion pushed past his full lips, which turned up in a smile of satisfaction at a job well done. Perfect.
S2: Every time, he murmured, Tony, call. Yes, ma’am.
S3: All right. I’m gonna check Kerlin response. Tell your neighbor and say neighbor. I have got sweat under my boobs on my shirts. Listen, you know, it’s June. It’s GOC in June. Like who? We came indoors when it was still springtime.
S4: Right. And then, you know, even in May, there were still some brisk days, right? Yeah.
S1: And then summer arrived and sat its bottom down and said, no, I’m here now. So sweat is everywhere in every possible part of my body that has a fold. The sweat has accumulated, making everything a damp adventure in the world just moderately steaming. At any given point in time, which, you know, it’s all right. So the best place to be in now.
S5: You know, at least we are inside and we don’t have to subject too many people to our steamy fox.
S6: Oh, wow. That’s the name of the episode right there. Steamy fun.
S3: I said Nicole. We came back only last week and already things are ridiculously nasty already. But this week we have a first object that has been kind of like on the periphery of our lists.
S1: Every time we think about making the show, like, do we want to talk about this week? This guy has been on the for a hot minutes.
S5: Yeah, we’ve kept him on the list for quite a while and we kept going back and forth about when we were actually talk about him because. Right. You know, sometimes it’s just a scheduling thing. Sometimes it’s like I’m not really feeling my talking about this person today. It’s not personal. It’s just no, it’s more about our mood and our vibe.
S3: Right. And I’m for me also, there was a bit of a mild reticence because of the nature of my introduction to this person. It kind of felt a little bit like me. I don’t know if it’s a full fantasy. So in a way, this is a really solid way for us to talk about how thirst can evolve, actually. And I’m happy to have been brought round to the light side. And you’ll see what the meaning of that is, because, Nicole, you’re gonna reveal who authors objects to this week is our first object.
S5: This week is Young Tender John Boyega.
S3: You know what? Get the fuck out. I hate that you said young tender every time you say it in real life. I want to reach across a smack you on the arm. I you drop that on me without any warning. And I hate that you said that. I just put that on the table and make it clear. Young tender is horrifying.
S7: But I mean, that’s what he is. He’s not quite 30, you know. But you know, you know, he’s in his late 20s, but he’s just not 30 yet, you know?
S6: So he still is that hand version you’re doing right now. Like you’re putting a dry Robinson. You say that. Oh, my God.
S7: Yes. In my mind, rubbing the piece of steak that is John Boyega with an icy dry rub.
S3: You know what? I’m I’m slightly offended for the Nigerian and me, it’s kind of like you’re right to make it spicy. Well done. Yeah. Back to that. So, yes, there’s buckets. Get ready.
S8: We are going on an adventure known as John Boyega cynical.
S1: You were the first person in our shared document of first objects to write down John Boyega. And I kind of took a couple of steps back and I was like, I don’t know. Can you explain to me what it is about John Boyega that made you want to put him on the list in the first place of people to discuss on the show? Sure.
S5: Take a academic sip, begin. Then he strikes me as someone who is playful, yet knows when to get very serious and be kind of protective. And he also strikes me and I don’t know why. Like, I haven’t seen, you know, this really in anything about, you know, that he has presented to us. Huh. But he also strikes me as someone who would be. Maybe a little possessive, which I know this not. You’re not supposed to like possessive men or whatever, but I feel like casual or whatever. But I feel like, you know, if we were out, not even like at a club, but just something where it was like a large gathering of people and somebody, you know, maybe tried to approach me or gave me a look. You know, too long of a look. Let’s say that I feel like John will put his hand on my waist and me mug the dude, you know, like not not even try to confront or like yell or whatever, but just, you know, I this is my woman and I’m I’m here for that. Like, I just need, like, a little display of I want to keep what’s mine. And again, I know that probably that’s not very P.C.. You know, we’re supposed to be above that kind of thing. But no, I want a man who recognizes that he has something to lose and he’s trying to see, you know, keep it with him as long as possible.
S1: And that’s the difference, I think. I think what what gets construed as, you know, NBC is this thing of like somebody staking a claim. Right. Like you’re a piece of land which festival nobody owns land. And if any more people would come out of that way of thinking, a lot of problems in the world go away because low borders are bullshit anyway. But to focus on the thing about John, I get what you mean about wanting someone to claim you. Essentially, I want someone to know that I don’t know, maybe it’s incredibly self involved, but I’m like, yeah, that’s right.
S3: I found love motherfuckers. I found love. And here he is standing right next to me. And yeah, that had an on my hip that mean something. I get what you’re saying. I understand the urge.
S5: Yeah. And I you know, I don’t know necessarily if that is a part of Nigerian man’s culture when it comes to expressing.
S3: There’s a lot of cultural stuff that you want to know on a law that you don’t want to keep OK with that one, because I do know that Nigerian men are very proud of themselves, you know, and they’re very like, yeah, you know, a lot of self-confidence.
S5: Yeah. And I know that that’s also something that I like about him, that he is a very confident man and he seems he seems secure in learning what he needs to learn, because, again, like I mentioned, up top, he is young and he knows that he’s still learning and he’s still picking up stuff. But he is okay with admitting that, again, this is just from, like social media stuff that he’s done or whatever. But I like that. Also, I just think he has a beautiful smile. Yes. And I you know, that boyish mischievousness, but he just seems so. I don’t know if he would just be a really good time that we could play, fight and then play fight, you know.
S3: You know, the eyebrows down. Just stuff right now. Here’s the thing. Okay, Nicole, I didn’t feel any of that when you first put his name on the list.
S1: And that’s why he kept getting, like, pushed down further because I was like. The thing is. So everybody remembers that Jon’s debut was a movie called Attack the Block, which is kind of a classic. I haven’t gone back to watch it in a few years, but I remember watching it at the cinema and then again and again when it was on TV. I like watching it on DVD or whatever. Like it’s a really good movie. And he has this thing that is called presence. So he plays this young guy who lives in his day in London and he’s kind of like the leader of a sort of a motley crew of young black boys in inner city London. And it is fucking glorious. It’s actually a really lovely sort of love story, I guess, for many of us who grew up in similar circumstances, you know, the council block and just like the relationships that formed between people of your peer group, it’s kind of like solid. And it means something. Anyway, when I went to see that movie, I did so mostly because I love Joe Cornish who directed it, and I believe I wrote it. And obviously I didn’t know who John was. But my brother, my younger brother, my brother, who is almost a decade younger than me, auditioned for a part in that movie. And so whenever I see Attack the Block, whenever I think of Jambi, I got inextricably linked to that is my younger brother, who, like I said, is my brother and his 10 years, almost 10 years younger than me. And I kept thinking if things were slightly different, what if my brother had got a role? Maybe he wasn’t even playing the role that John played, but I don’t know, a tide that. So in my head, John is not dissimilar to my younger brother, who I could never fancy, obviously, because this is a Game of Thrones. So it’s been difficult for me to let John cross over from objectively handsome man into handsome man that I can. Fancy because he’s just tied to the idea of younger sibling, like he’s just like this cute man who I love. And, you know, I want nothing but the best for him. I want him to achieve all his dreams. I want him to just reach out and embrace the world and all that jazz. What do I want him to reach in and embrace me? I don’t know.
S3: I don’t know. So that was a problem for me. That was a problem, however. And this is the important part of the episode.
S1: My feelings have evolved. Oh, yeah.
S5: Yeah. I’m intrigued. I want to hear more. I want to hear more. What. What was the catalyst that helped, you know, those feelings change for you?
S1: I can’t say it was one thing. I think it was a number of things. So a couple of years ago maybe was actually three years ago, I interviewed John for a piece that I was writing about a movie that he was in called Detroit. It’s directed by Kathryn Bigelow. There was a period crime drama of an event that happened in America, in Detroit. It was, as we say, race related. And it had lots of officer involved shootings. But I went to a hotel, you know, how they do the press junkets and met up with him. We had, like, you know, 45 minutes of, like, rapid talk and trying to get all my questions and trying to engage the all that jazz. By the end of it, we had a little conversation because we were both two Brits, two Nigerian Brits, two Nigerian Brits in New York. And we had like a moment of like recognition of just kind of like, oh, I see you. You see me like, okay. And we ended up talking for like five minutes before, you know, the publicist, like, that’s enough. We have another person. Get out the vote. While we were having this chat. I said, you know, thanks so much for the interview, blah, blah, blah, you know, purely kind of like, you know, camaraderie and just joking around. I was like, listen, mate. Like, listen, I’ve already got you in mind. And I’m writing the female character that your character is to fall in love with. For this British Nigerian actor called added value added I who is luminous. She’s so talented and she’s so beautiful. And I want nothing but good things for her. Anyway, I mentioned this and John goes, Oh, yeah, I know I do like you.
S3: And I was like, sure you do. Like, why wouldn’t you? Clearly, all black Brits know one another. But he was like. I know her. Oh, my God. Yeah. Let’s do it. I want to do a romantic comedy. We had like a little chat. And by the end of it, I was like, maybe I should cast myself in this movie. And that was the beginning of me, kind of like, oh, wow.
S1: Because in the interview, he is so self-possessed. Exactly what you said. He’s so sure of himself, of his identity, while also leaving room for all the things he doesn’t know about the world. You know, and I feel like part of that is just like he said, it’s this young open thing of just like, well, the world is wide open. I’m just going to reach out and take a bite of it. And whatever I get is what I get. And I’m just going to keep going back for more bites. And I love that sense of just like. Oh, so. Yeah. So there’s that. And like I said in the interview. Listen, he was dressed very like a classic Uraba man. He was dressed nice. And I was like, that’s half the battle. Listen, he has such a nice suit like profile.
S5: It’s so nice in a lot of ways, suit me like objectively pleasing.
S3: He is not a tall, tall man. Yes, he is solid like a tree. He’s like a good again. This is me. I’m going to go forward your eyes. Sounds like forward to Rick. Yeah. Just yell it. Yes. You can make like a table that lost generations with, you know.
S5: When he came on the scene, obviously, he was much younger and, you know, I really do not try to rob the cradle. I don’t know why to do. You’re a responsible adult. Yeah. And then also, it’s just people younger than twenty five are just terrible conversationalists for the most part. Like I say.
S3: In your experience, yes. Except me, I was a sparkling conversation is at the age of twelve and I barely got better. Nicole. So there you go.
S5: But as he’s matured and has he’s had to deal with a fan base that loves and hates him, you know, that is holding him up to. Just impossible standards band ever changing and, yes, constantly moving the goalposts when it comes to him. I think that that has helped add to his maturity. Obviously, when you’re in Hollywood, you have to grow up fast anyway. You’re right to a certain extent. But that and then also, you know, he’s gone through some physical changes where not only did he start to get a little cut, which is fine, that’s whatever. But I like that he let his hair grow out and he started twisting his hair.
S3: Yes. OK. So let’s talk about that because. I I mean, you know, I like if you’re bold, you’re just fine with me. I say this all the time. You are the complete opposite. You want a hunk of hair? Yeah. Hold on. All that jazz. Yes. I will say John is one of those. Although when he let his hair grow, I was just kind of like, oh, is that because, again, I enjoy a cropped haircut. That’s good and solid. It means, you know, you’re you’re somebody who doesn’t have time for wishy washy hair out the nature of your neck. You missing doing shit. When he began to let his hair grow and he began to twist it. And at first I thought he was maybe like locking it.
S1: I don’t know what it was, but it was long hair and it added something to his face where again, I know hair is just hair. But I will say that I thought it was important that a young black man was out here and wasn’t doing the old whatever the clip a number is to get like, you know, a closely a closely cut head of hair. Yeah. And instead, he was kind of like, listen, I’m black. I get to do all sorts of shit with my hair. Yeah. So I’m gonna do it.
S4: Yes. And it didn’t seem to be for a role where he had to play, you know, bug number three. That goes to college or something.
S3: Right. Right. Or even like boho artists in Brooklyn. Yeah. It wasn’t none of that. It was just like I like I want to grow. I want to try. This is basically he did what black women get to do every day of our lives. Like, you know what, I fancy braids this month. And you do braids the next month. You’re like, no, a blond bob. And he was like, I’m gonna just grow my hair. And I was like, All right, bro. Do it.
S5: Yeah. And then he started getting like a little bit of facial hair less. You know, that helped. Yeah. He was really trying to be a grown man. And yes, he said, listen, I’ve been paying taxes a while now, actually. Right. If I bought my parents a house, I can grow my hair out young less.
S3: That’s the bar that way. That was also very hard for me. I was like, you buy parents houses?
S6: Yeah. You buy my parents house.
S5: Where was he? Was it the Notting Hill Festival or something? He was one and on somebody.
S3: Listen, I was like, okay. That’s Carnival. Carnival is it’s magical for four for black Londoners. And John went out there and he had himself a time lesson and he knew what he was doing. Dallas, you see those confused people. When somebody somebody gives you a little something I yell at, actually, and you see in the high fashion. Yeah. John said, I know what to do. I’ve been preparing for this my whole life. And then he just did what needed to be done. And I’m proud of it, to be honest.
S5: And it was that was also one of the times that I saw the double standard, the hypocrisy of Star Wars fans. This is, you know, they get real touchy about this stuff. But once we saw John Boyega one and on this woman, Carnarvon. They were just like, you shouldn’t be doing stuff like that. Children are looking up to you. This is a Disney product. You should know better. And yet. And yet they were shipping. What’s that boy’s name? Adam Driver. They were shipping. Adam Driver and the others. Riddley? Yes. Is Ray? Yes. And at the time, there was still like this idea that they were brother and sister, that they could have been like another Skywalker, Luke and Layo situation, all this kind of stuff. They were fine shipping them to be real nasty about them and being like, it’s okay if they’re related. True love will, you know, pop a bar. So it’s like, OK, you can do fucking incest, but you can’t do a man on his private personal time enjoying some music and a little bit of somebody backing out up on him.
S1: Listen, beyond even the world of the potential incestuous situation. This is at the time, you know, no one knew exactly who Rae was and blah, blah, blah. Adam used to star in an HBO production called Girls. Right. And he did some things in Girls as that character who I think was also called Adam. Yeah, he did some stuff on that show. That is not even they’re not even on the same page as what Jon was doing happily consensually and enjoying himself at Carnival.
S3: So like this idea of it’s for children, where was that energy? Why didn’t why didn’t that disqualify Adam Driver from being in Star Wars? And to take it even further back, Ewan McGregor has never been in a movie where he doesn’t get his penis out. Why is he allowed to be in Star Wars then? Like, are we really going to pretend as though, like this was an even a little bit racially motivated, like so much of it was coded language. So much of it was like Finn just doesn’t feel blah, blah, blah.
S1: Um, listen, I’m a fan. I came to Star was a little bit late. I’m a fan of Star Wars. Not nearly as much as some of these people are. Mm hmm. And when I saw the black stormtrooper immediately, I thought, oh, this is gonna be some shit. And it was years and years of that shit.
S5: Years that’s still going on. Still is day.
S3: Listen, his contract is done and they kind of like another thing. And I’m like sadun no one cares like. But that’s the table, Joe. Yeah.
S5: His contract is done. So now he can give as good as he gets. You know, and they hate it. They hate that this man is giving not just that this man that this black man is telling them go cry about it someplace else.
S3: And when you ask me what the turning point is, it’s seeing John just say, hey, you suck your mother, you suck your mother, you suck your mother. There is nothing hotter. There is nothing hotter than this black man gonna be like. Let me show you how little I care about this pointless shit. Fuck you, fuck. Fuck your life. Fuck your hopes, fuck your dreams. Like that to me is essentially essentially that’s just like pouring lost directly into my eyes. Like I’m like injecting, injecting. If John I hadn’t finished typing that, I was like, eh, let’s go. I’d be like, okay, this shit was just hot to witness. He said, I’m done. I’m done being quiet. And that really just made me kind of sit up and be like, okay, well what else do you feel strongly about, John? I’m ready for him.
S5: He’s putting little video that he’s edited or had somebody in his crew edit this, like attacking. Now, I don’t want to say attacking, but again, he’s just kind of mocking the things that these Star Wars fans have been telling him. And so the idea, you know, for years, as soon as he took the helmet off the story and your helmet off and we saw this beautiful brown face listen.
S3: Sweating like anything in that desert. Yes.
S5: He’s like he’s been getting shit. And now he’s just like, I don’t have to take this anymore. I don’t and I won’t.
S1: And I think it’s actually a solid lesson in how many again, not to make this too heavy, but I often think about the number of times at any job anywhere in your life where you’ve been able to see a clear double standard and have had no power whatsoever to reject it, to rebuke it, to get out from underneath it. And I think John did this marvelous the haing essentially of biting his tongue. And the minute he was able to go about and say the truth of what that means and this is the thing, these kinds of interactions, they take their toll. Like I I’m a fan. I say this all the time. I come from multiple fandoms and I feel deeply for the characters that I identify with. I hope I do it in a manner that is respectful of the actor playing these characters. But essentially, I understand that there is a lot of passion. And when you feel your particular fandom. Doing something wrong. You want to make a point and say something about all this means that this means that or whatever. The fact is a bunch of Star Wars funds just never took to the character often. And they never were going to. And they still are never going to. And all that time, John just had to bite his tongue and be a good team player and just keep doing what he was doing and making fun and, you know, having a laugh on press doors and just trying to get through it. Because let’s not forget, Star Wars is one of the hugest franchises in history in terms of cinema. So, like, you don’t want to fuck up what is essentially a great big chance. Like, I don’t I think he could stop working if he wanted to forever and just live off the proceeds of this. Obviously, that’s a way you get into art, etc.. My point is he had opportunities from this movie that you definitely don’t want to fuck up. Right.
S5: And people tested that shit every single day for years, every day, even though his character fan is basically a police officer that realizes what I’m doing is fucked up. Let me quit this shit and go find my true purpose in life. There’s a calling out there for me. Let me find it right. For whatever reason. Once he started talking about things like Black Lives Matter, police brutality, racism, colonialism. The fans were just like, no, don’t talk. You shouldn’t be political.
S1: Right? It’s that. Shut up and dribble. Yeah. And it’s just kind of like, what do you festival? Have you fundamentally misunderstood what the Star Wars mythos is like? Fundamentally, do you understand this thing that you claim to be a fan of? Do you know what it’s about? So why on earth would you expect the actors portraying characters in this universe to kind of be like, well, you know, not really political, but anyway, what’s most arbitrary?
S3: But by like, how does that work? It’s a very weird sort of expectation and it’s a larger expectation when you’re black, when you’re a woman, when you’re a person of color. But there are all these things that come with it. And John, I, I thought personally did that shit so gracefully, like he handled it like, you know, even when it felt like, ha, this character feels underwritten and marginalized even within this universe. This is where John just power through it like. Okay, well. And he will come up with jokes and would say, you know, like the press tools were a joy to watch because, you know, the kiss chemistry with Oscar Isaac was fantastic. And, you know, I love those behind the scenes photos. I mean, you know, videos of them just goofing around. Yes. Lovely. So, like, he was clearly having fun. Yeah. I like he and Daisy, like, clearly very good friends and like, you know, I loved all of that stuff.
S1: And it’s remarkable to me that you watch that movie. You know, the actor who’s playing this character, all of that stuff and you’ll take away is shut up an act. I just it betrays a fundamental in curiosity about the world and a wild disrespect on top of that. And of course, at the base of all of this low, it’s racism.
S5: Yeah. You know, all these people trying to tell him, you know, Finn and Ray should not be together. They weren’t supposed to be together or all this kind of stuff from the script. And he’s like, ah, do you have the script?
S3: Do you talk to a Nigerian device? By the way, ask a question with a gun. I’m sorry. Do you do have the script?
S5: I mean, like they’re telling him all the behind the scenes stuff and they don’t know anything other than what they’re piecing together through some tweets or something. So all this so-called fun sources. Right. Sit down. Right. But I just really I love that he’s just like, no, you’re not going to keep talking to me in any kind of way, you know? And there he is willing for a black actor, a young black actor, to be able to tell people that to say, you can’t talk to me like I’m shit. That’s right. That’s really important. It’s something because for like you said, we too often we have to just kind of sit on those things, sit on those feelings and those comebacks because we’re like, I can’t rock the boat. I can’t lose this bag. I can’t lose his job. But he was just like, no, my integrity is worth more than whatever Star Wars paycheck could be coming my way.
S1: Right. And I think he also did it to be very clear. You know, he also was able to do that on the back of so many other actors and black actors historically who had either bitten their tongues until they couldn’t any longer or, you know, were forced to say something. But I will say that he is getting to essentially step on the shoulders of giants because many a black woman has said something. Mm hmm. And it’s been terrible to the point of them essentially being disappeared from their own career. And he gets to kind of come in on a tradition of people saying something. And I’m proud of him for taking that baton and just running with it because it’s essential work and it’s costly work. Yes. And I think, you know, that he was prepared to take the potential hit of the cost of it is. Yes, very hot for my personal feelings. But also it’s kind of like the work of several other people ahead of him as well. He’s able to kind of take advantage of. And in fact, that kind of neatly dovetailed to the recent moment where he spoke at a Black Lives Matter protests in London. And he’s wearing like all black. And it’s it’s incredibly it’s an incredibly moving bit of video. I haven’t watched all of it because I’m trying to kind of channel my energies right where I can. But in it, there are you know, there was a bunch of, like, stills photos of him, like clearly with tears running down his face. And the bit that I’ve seen over and over is the bit of the beginning of the clip where he’s holding the megaphone and he says black lives have always mattered. We have always meant something. And I don’t know, like maybe was after a week of having seen image after image of people giving rousing speeches and blah, blah, blah. But that really kind of set me off that line of black people. We’ve always mattered.
S3: I just thought, oh, my God, John. Yes, we have. You’re right. And then he said that line in there where he was like, I don’t know if this is gonna basically, like, fuck up my money like that. Look, I don’t know what this is gonna do.
S5: Yeah. He’s like, I don’t know if this is gonna ruin my career. Right. Right, right. You know, he knows that he has to say something and it’s. It’s particularly striking when we see so many other celebrities, nonblack celebrities, who are, you know, they’re doing the very least that they can in order to show support lists or not.
S3: So we see you all, quote, tweeting what? You could say something. Yeah. Although on the other hand, I will say, if you said something and it was terrible, that would be just as bad. Right. Right. Leave it to the experts.
S5: Hey, there is a fine line, you know, where your silence can be misconstrued. You may be thinking your living room for other voices, but for some other people, it looks like you’re, you know, trying to stay neutral, which is still a side. There’s still a bright side. Right. But yes. So for John to know that his he’s putting his career on the line and he’s still moving forward with that, you know, for there are a lot of other people and like you said, like a lot of other people who have come before him who did the same work. It’s just really striking to see that in comparison to especially the rest of, you know, his Star Wars cast mates. I haven’t really seen too many of them say anything.
S3: I haven’t either. I don’t know what they’re doing privately, but frankly, I haven’t seen a bunch of people taking a ride or whatever.
S5: And I felt so bad because I sent you one of those pictures of John Boyega from from the protests.
S7: And I said something inappropriate, which I am not going to share. I’m not going to share on the record. It is in scripted chat someplace. But yeah, that was a great moment for me and my relationship from John. Wow. You said that to me.
S3: I believe I sent back a an emoji response and the listener can guess what that emoji face was doing.
S1: But yeah, I feel like there is something to be said for, I guess, the power of somebody having conviction and saying something that needs to be said and saying so clearly and concisely and unambiguously. That is both thrilling in terms of social justice and what that means for, you know, populations, but also thrill and privately inside people’s pants. And I think John really toed the line where I was kind of like, huh, this is helping to awaken someone politically some way. It’s also awakening. Signal drops.
S3: Yes, there was there was a feeling when I saw it, I was like, oh, I see. Okay. Oh, so you’re a leader. Leader. All right. Okay. Okay. Yes. I mean, he was he was crying. And there’s a man crying. The bar is so low.
S6: All of our feelings. He has feelings and he’s expressing them. Oh, my God. And, you know, haters will say it’s fake. You know, he’s an actor.
S5: Fine. Whatever. But now that looked real to me.
S7: Real to me. Like the emotion in his voice.
S3: He’s choked up. Yeah. And he’s going, like, a little bit hoarse and he has to coax pause every so often the collection’s all I listen. No shade to John. He’s not that good of an actor. Come on now. That was feelings that came out. Love you, John. Love you.
S1: Listen, I want to talk about his red carpet style. So a few episodes back, several episodes back, actually, we had wonderful guest, great honor in the studio, and she spoke about Stefan James, who also was a fine line in multicolored, absolutely gorgeous suits, who has a similar thing going on with the shoulders where you like whether suit wear it. And he does a fine line. Also in jewel tones. Yeah. Which, as we know, is catnip to dark skin, especially a dark skinned man. And John also has quite the track record of putting on either something in a jewel tone or an accessory that really takes it to the next level. Like, he’ll slip on a pair of loafers and I’m like, bitch. Yes.
S3: I also want to be the velvet of that low flow walk like he is so smooth with it. I love. I love watching him wear clothes and stand around. But I can’t take a photo. Take a photo. You’re going to need a photo. It’s not enough to see me. You want to remember this?
S5: He put out a video of him riding horseback. I can’t remember the context. Do you remember that? Where he. He’s on a horse?
S3: Yes. It was for an ad. I believe it was for Joe Malone fragrance. Yes. Yes, that’s it. Well, he’s way the billowing shirt. Yes.
S7: They just buy meat on the horse. No way. Between him and Winston Duke on the horse.
S3: I just listen to all the black men on horses to put them all on horses. I’m proposing another remake of Much Ado about Nothing. Swap out Denzel for. For John. Yes. I got Keanu and put in fucking Winston Duke. Like, I want everybody on horses. I want everybody in flesh toned breaches. Like, I want everybody to just I want to slow mo action shot of somebody galloping towards like this. I know what I like. Farm and his men on horses. And it’s like like you said, the thigh meat. I was looking and I was like, John. So what have you gained by making this? Because he knew. Oh yes. Listen, he said that’s where the shirt was like a button a little bit down. And I was I look at this black Mr. Darcy. Look at this black Mr. Darcy. Yes, I love that. And then he did another video where he’s written a letter with a coil. Yes. Again, like, he’s so much fun and he’s so light for all of his seriousness when he’s being serious, he’s so playful. And I respond to that like someone who is just like silly and like clearly understands what a joke is and how to make a joke and get. I just appreciate that. And in fact, you know, to go down a certain road, you know, at one point he made a joke that, again, the Star Wars fans were not happy with where he joked about the Ray character and his character and the Adam Driver character. Yeah. And was talking about, you know, potential plumbing works I a laying of the pie. And listen, when I heard that joke, I thought it was a joke and I laughed. And then there was all these conversations about how actually I was misogynistic and blah, blah, blah. And I think, you know what?
S1: There are many ways to read something. Jokes are, by their very nature, subjective. I laughed. I believe I think I’m not. I think baozi also loved. But again, you have to kind of investigate or at least interrogate the source of the alleged ire. And again, I’m not saying that it couldn’t have been read as a misogynistic joke. Obviously, I’m not the arbiter of jokes. But I laughed and I thought it was a I thought it was a clear case of somebody making a joke off the cuff.
S5: Yeah. And it was also him poking fun at how sacred, you know, certain fans treat Ray. And, you know, white womanhood. But we don’t have time to go into that.
S3: We didn’t have time with a mate. It’s best not to. But what I feel like there is something about Joan that understands that does a very subtle kind of like poking acid and then withdrawals like you come to your own conclusions far. But I said what I said, and I appreciate that. I feel like. Yeah, you’re right. This is a conversation that we can’t get into right now. But like Ray, as a sort of bastion of white womanhood is definitely part of the thing that informs how many of the fans reacted to any potential, you know, relationship between her and then even platonic. Right. Let alone romantic. Right. So I feel like that joke to me was also a sort of thing of just kind of like and whatever. Yes. And kind of move on with that. But again, who am I to say that maybe it’s because I fancy John. Who knows?
S5: I’m really interested to see what he does next.
S1: I’m already invested and I will be even more invested if it was John. Because, yeah, and again, I can’t I can’t get over it. I never expected to be doing this episode, Nicole, because I did not think that would come a time where I would fancy John by a bum like like everything else. 20/20 has been a year of surprises. Okay, Nicole. So we’ve had a little chit chat about John Boyega and how, for me in particular, has been an unexpected fancy and also how I’m drawn to, you know, his Yoruban bonus. His inherent Nigerian is like the Arabized misses the euro.
S3: Ryan him wants to build a kingdom, you know what I mean? Yes. Like old school shit. Yes. So when I was writing this week’s travel, I thought to myself, well, what can I.
S9: What is it that I’m trying to kind of focus on? And I think John provided it himself when he wrote a tweet recently about, you know, how black women praying for him is like a thing. And I just thought, it’s cheesy. Sure. Is it edging her tepary? Why not? But there’s something intrinsically true about someone who sees and knows the people who have his back. That I find very, very hot. Again, the bar is where Nicole inhale.
S3: Appreciate that. Appreciate that. Thank you. Okay. So with that in mind, this is my travel for John Boyega.
S9: And again, of course, in the home sphere, not least because that’s where I’ve been for the last nine hundred days. Okay, here we come. I’m ready. I spent the morning and early afternoon in the backyard in what John called my farmer’s getup. Also known as cotton dungarees and one of his sleeveless jerseys. I’d been pulling up weeds, pruning, tending to our small kitchen garden. I’d also been taking short naps in the hammock. John had installed only a few weeks back. Now, I was later rejuvenated by a hot shower. I was wearing my favorite linen dress, ready to order takeout for dinner. But then I followed my nose. The living room was met by a glorious sight. So this is what he’s been doing all day. I’m used. As I ventured further into the room, I could hear the laughter in his voice. When I heard John say behind me, yup, he’d move the coffee table and in its place with three or four throw blankets arranged. So the fringed edges criss crossed artfully to velvet floor pillows, usually a part of a stack in the corner of the room occupied twin spots. Side by side, he’d move the taller houseplants. So they frame the scene in a horseshoe. I turned around to look at John, but he was already moving. I could tell by his walk that he was proud of himself. Delighted to have surprised me. I got all your faves, he said, his voice husky as he gestured at the spread. He wasn’t wrong. Fried plantains cubed and gleaming. A small mound of fried rice. A silver bowl of snails sitting in a shiny pepper sauce. You’ve been working so hard, he continued. And I wanted to do something nice for you. I looked at him then his eyes bright with the achievement of making me happy. I felt an overwhelming rush of perfection that made my eyes suddenly wet. In an instant, Joan was in front of me, his hands cupping my face gently, eyes worried too much. He asked, thumb swiping up my cheeks. No, I replied through my smile. Exactly right.
S3: Are you wiping your eyes? What the hell?
S5: I like a little, you know, the little Goldilocks. This is just right. It kind of is right. You know, I like that.
S3: Thank you. I was thinking of Goldilocks. But I guess. Yeah. That’s exactly correct. Yeah. I got to go. Thanks, Lucy. See. Nicole is such a professor. She’s like. I love big influences here. Classic fairy tale. I really like that one. I’m glad. I’m glad. I’m glad to hear you say that. I really and truly, especially in these times, I really do live to delight you. So you are delighted that half my work is done, but I am excited to see what you’re going to cook up because I feel like it’s going to be a departure from that. What I. Whatever it is I just did, I feel like you’re going to do something now. And I am. Lokey stressed, but also incredibly excited to hear what’s going to what’s going to happen next. Oh, boy, there’s so much pressure. I know it’s not pressure. It’s encouragement. I love you like John Boyega loves black women.
S5: Okay, well, I’m just gonna I’m just gonna get into it. And all I will say to preface this is, you know, seeing him out in the streets, it sound like an alley cat. Oh, no. I just mean, you know, seeing him with his megaphone, you know, that was very moving for me.
S3: Was it moving? You want to say? Yes. Okay, okay. I can just check in. Don’t get a shot with me. I was asking a question.
S10: You should have let me come with you. I say softly as I reached for him. John drops his keys and megaphone on the hallway table that holds his hand up toward me away. Wait, babe. He tells me, his shoulders rounded with weariness in a way I’ve never seen before. I should take off these clothes and shower before you touch me. I understand, but it stings a bit. He sees my hurt and raps. Careful fingers around my wrist. His eyes are swollen from crying and all the tears he’s yet to release. His voice is tender, as he tells me, to let him take care of me first. I don’t want to expose you to anything any more than necessary. Let me shower. Then you can fuss all over me like I like you. He sends me a wink and I can’t help but smile. I curl up on the couch and doze a bit while he’s in the bathroom. Now that he’s home, I feel safe enough to close my eyes. Then he quietly joins me, settles his head in my lap. His hair still damp and sighs. John and curls his fist and opens his palm against my knee. I begin to resettle his twists and his voice cracks when he first tries to talk. I need you to stay home, he says. And I feel the heat here on my leg. I needed you to stay home in case something happened and you had to call my parents. I needed. I needed to know you were safe. He squeezes my knee lightly. I stay silent. And he tells me what he saw. He tells me the fear of his career ending can’t compare to the fear of nothing changing. I keep my fingers busy in his hair. And when he finally signs the breath of the unburden, I begin to massage his scalp, letting the soft pads of my fingers tell him he’s safe now.
S6: We’re safe now. But she better write me my activist Broncho right now.
S3: And they call me. Yeah, they call Perkins. Yes. I am disgusted with you.
S5: You know, there’s going to be all kinds of quarantining, revolutionary black life matters, love stories happening. I feel like, you know, I could do that and I could do it.
S3: Well, you couldn’t listen. Well, Parker, if you are listening, I know you’re out there producing movies and what not. Sir. Good, sir. There is at least an original article, though, literally just got read that Nicole herself can adapt if there’s any producer listening and someone’s kind of like, well, dang, I wouldn’t have to call him a John Boyega. We can call him. I don’t know Sam adequately, whatever, but I am very, very ready to watch that movie. I needed you to be safe, bitch. What. Wait.
S5: You know, I just wanted to see that love for black women that he talks about. I needed to see that, you know. And so I believe you wrote it.
S3: Yeah. Yeah. And if you build it, Nicole, they will come.
S6: We are 12 years old. I don’t know about you, but I feel alive right now.
S5: You know, not to toot our own horn toot toot. But we did that with Easter apples.
S3: I’m just saying. I am just saying. Nicole. Wow. What. What an honor to share space this week. What a travel. I know some real doozies, but this one really like I’m sweating my my armpits a very down. But it’s not because I’m in a hot closet. It’s because I felt some real feelings. I mean, you know, John Boyega what I’m use. What. What. What abuse. What abuse. Oh wow. Okay. Well, listeners, listen. I personally know who I’m voting for. And it’s not me. So you feel free to vote how your heart moves you. But we’re going to give you a day to let this settle on your spirit. And then on Friday, we will post a poll on our Twitter, which is at first aid kit. And yeah, you can pick which of your fave Jones is the Joan who prepares a feast in the living room or the John who cries tenderly hot tears in your lap after attending a protest. The choice is yours. Oh, wow. I’m off to. I’m off to. I don’t know. So a little bit rock. A little bit. I think about John Boyega. Wow. Nicole, I am. I’m shakin. Wow. Bless you. Thank you.
S11: First aid kit is a slate production produced by Show Vincent an us, them and it would and Nicole. Our music is by Tanya Morgan. You can follow the show on Twitter at First Aid Kit. Plus, we’re on Tumblr at Thursday kit podcast that Tumblr dot com. You can send those questions there and we might even answer if you’d like to live. Tweet your listen. Please use the hashtag T AKP Odey. That’s Ford. And feel free to send us e-mails about how much you love us to first eight kids at Slate dot com. You can also make use of Arthur familiar service. Just send us a short and we mean shorts. That’s less than a minute. Voice note via email. Once again, that address is Thursday. Kick at Slate dot com. We’ll be back again next week. In the meantime, be sure to keep wearing your masks and stay safe. Bye bye.
S3: All right. Welcome back. First aid kit plus listeners, nice to see. Hello. I always feel like we start this sounding like radio hosts from, like, the 90s. Hi there and welcome. You listen to smooth jazz and bam, like it always feels that way when we’re doing this. This beginning bit anyway. Nice to see you. To see you. Nice. We are here and this week, Nicole. We are looking back at the 90 days that we have been in duels.
S4: We both just had to give like this is really deep shouldered sigh just like dropped our shoulders down. My posture is so bad right now.
S3: I don’t think it’s ever going to recover from this period. I don’t know how to say anymore. I think I don’t have to eat any more. It’s just been this has been like real kind of like pleasurable to an extent. And then after awhile, you kind of like. Huh? These are skills. I’m just not going to get back to the European people anymore.
S5: So we’ve been you know, we’ve talked about the stuff that we’ve been binge watching or just the things that we’re finally getting around to. Now that I do want to say now that we have time, because really we don’t have time like we’re still do, you know, our lives are still going for. But we also have other stuff happening on top of everything.
S4: So what we’ve been trying to escape all of that pressure and responsibility, let’s say that instead of like, that’s more accurate.
S3: Well done. Nicole. Yes.
S5: So the other night I watched Lovebirds starring Isa Ray and Kumail Nanjiani.
S3: Okay. So, Nicole, this movie came out a couple of weeks ago and I watched it literally on the day that it landed on Netflix. So it was one of those movies that was supposed to have like a really nice theatrical debut. It was going, you know, the kind of thing that you want to look at, box office numbers and blah, blah, blah. And people had been interested in it because this was a rom com and I didn’t have a white person in it, which is.
S7: Right. Yeah. That pregnant pause.
S3: I think rom com, they think nice white ladies rights. And even when we think interracial couples, there’s always a white person. Right. Right. White. Yes. Yeah. And the lovebirds were supposed to be like this. I was I had personally look forward to go into the cinema to like, support it. And because, you know, I like EESA so, so much. And I’ve been support any zuberi since Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl on YouTube. Yes. Same. Right. So I while every time she’d had like a big thing I’d like. Oh that’s my cousin NESA. Look at us West African cousin supporting one another. Like it’s it never. I always go, you know, I just I just want to be there to watch it. So I’ve been looking forward to it. And then, of course, it got like distributed by Netflix instead. And I watched the opening night. But you just got round to it, Nicole.
S5: Right. I finally watched it. And it was so cute. It was so good. I laughed out loud, far more than I anticipated. Yeah. I mean, not to say that I thought it was going to be a bad movie or anything. I just didn’t know what to expect, you know.
S4: And I think that was because there is often so much riding on movies like this where you have speaker, you know, people of color. Again, this interracial relationship. And, you know, it’s another. You know, we’ve been seeing more couples on the run movies late, Ray. You know, there’s some sort of mistaken identity or some sort of situation with the police and stuff like that. And then I remember someone on Twitter said that this was a queen and slim, but funny or something like that.
S7: And I was just like, I don’t know, how did it go? Every everything in both movies. So I why is it so funny?
S5: I just didn’t know what to expect. All right. I designed the movie, opens up with Jibran. Was Camille’s character and Leilani ease’s character?
S3: They’re actually amazing names. I just want to say beautiful names. Lalani. I’ve loved that line. Is such a good name. Such a good name. Anyway, it opens up on what is clearly the morning after.
S4: Right there. They’ve, you know, gone on a date. It went well. And what are you for? Is it worthwhile? And Sobran walks up on her to give her a farewell kiss. So just like, you know, whatever. And the way that Kumail walks up on Isa and then walks his. Party into the kiss, like it’s not just a here’s our mouth touching. Kind of. Yes, he is saying if this kiss go someplace else, I’m ready. You just let me know. OK, so that leg.
S3: Why that little windup is essentially the core of today’s first aid kit plus, which is we need to talk about Kumail Nanjiani, because I do not fancy this man. I have never fancied him. I’ve been like, oh, I see. I see what people are seeing. I’m not mad at it. Right. But it’s not it’s not lifting the lid on my particular plot. Right. Right, right. There’s no no steam, nothing boiling over over here. But, you know, I understand. I see it. I can see that the hop is on. I can see flames. But I’m not getting burned on this pot like I knew that. All right, Rams. Then I watch the lovebirds. Yes. And again, I don’t even think I fancy him outside of this film or even outside of certain moments in the film. Right. But every so often, every so often, I’d be like, rah.
S7: Is it because. OK, let’s back up. You recently got very cut.
S4: Like he went through the superhero workout routine in order to prepare for the internals. Right. And when he had this big body reveal on his Instagram and, you know, he was talking about body image and stuff like that in here. What it took for him to get to this very fit figure was like, OK, great. I appreciate you being honest about how, you know, how expensive this process was, how inaccessible this process was for most people. All of that. Yes. You look, you know, for a fact.
S5: Yeah. You know, you look relatively good. Put that again. Like we just said, that really didn’t do much for me.
S3: No, we I remember this because, you know, on Twitter, people would be like, oh, what do we all think about this? And both you and I were kind of like, God bless him. Right? I grabbed it to everybody else who’s feeling like go with God. Enjoy yourself. Like, you know that. You know that me and I’m good. And Joy, love lasts. Whatever you need, you can get. I’m happy for you and I again, this understanding that, yeah, he’s cool. And in that photo that they release, like, I feel like they put like a vat of baby oil on him, like, listen, bitch glisten and he is listening. So again, a lot was done to get. And I get all of that. It didn’t move the needle one iota.
S5: Not it either then or. Yes, Jibran, even before I saw that kiss scene, I texted you. I was like, oh, his hair is doing a lot.
S3: Yes. My favorite things to receive from Nicole. I like life life watching like messages, which is kind of like. Hold on, just press play. And I’m like, all right, let’s go. Like, I strapped myself in. I’m like, we’re about the size of banks. And the techs kept coming and I just kept replying. I think I, I think more than once I just replied farm fulfilled. Yes. Because I was just trying to be like, well, you joined me finally because I saw this weeks ago and I was waiting for you. I really felt like that. I was letting the meme. I was what you know, you got the dough like I really was at the door. Like, when you get here, we can talk. And then you got here. Oh, my gosh, the hair, the hair, the kiss, the way he walked up on technique. Oh.
S5: Then they were in the car and he was driving. So we kept seeing his profile and he knows bitch. Yeah. I have seen his nose before. You say, you know, I use eyes. Yes it yes. I used to watch him on Franklin and Bash but his character pin da pin da was a hypochondriac. He was nervous. Many, you know, he was not someone who was positioned as being a first object. Right. Because you had Mark Paul Gosar and the other dude. Breckin Meyer. Yeah. Breckin Meyer. They were the hot ones we were supposed to be looking at. Right. Not this South Asian man. No Pakistani man. So I mean. But I saw him and I was like, oh, you know, again, recognize that I thought that he was attractive, but still just like not someone to move me beyond that. Yeah. But in the lovebirds where he is driving this car and we see his profile and then nose.
S3: Oh, my God. You know, I love about with the nose. I’ve said this often. It’s it does a lot for me personally. And also I had seen his nose before. And again, I was like, huh, I guess that’s a nose. Good job breathing out of it, sir. And then I watch the lovebirds and I was like, it’s a nice no, let me text. Matters is what I’m gonna say here. That’s the full time context you need, like the beard, the hair framing. Yes, jumpers. They gave him such good clothes in this movie. He has. I mean, honestly and surely they were like, how do we make clothes work for you as opposed to against you? And then they dressed him accordingly. And then sorry to just point out this very obvious thing. Seeing him alongside Isa, I was like, are you sure this this is beginning to make sense? Grow.
S5: And the way he looked at her like good when they were doing their little flirty thing at the very beginning. And then, you know, we have a little time, Skip, so that we see that it’s been four years since that first date. And that went well. Yeah. The date that went well. And they’re living together, but they’re also having, you know, some communication issues and maybe it might be time for them to break up. Right.
S4: So that’s, you know, a little extra storyline in the middle of all of this. Right. But when they’re teasing each other with that. I know you kind of tease that, you know, happens in relationships is, you know, people after four years.
S5: Yes. And the way he just looks at her, like when he’s ready to kiss her, she’s like with that look. He’s like, look. Oh, my God. He looked at her like he never wants to stop looking at her right now.
S3: The only view that he will ever need. Yes. That ship moves me and I feel like again. Does this think she does? I was looking I was I bet you have chemistry with this, the whole thing. I was just kind of like, what is going on? Like, what I loved about them was just the ease of it. Like it didn’t feel like, oh, these are two actors, even though I know them to be actors like him. I just love the warmth. It felt to me like they had had a really good time on set. I don’t know what the intimacy coordinator situation was on the set or whatever, but they seemed to be a sort of engendered actual friendliness. You know, the thing we were saying about, you see, you speak to man and you think, well, if you don’t like women. Right. And you can see it even when they’re not saying anything. And the flip is true. Like, you can see people and kind of be like, wow, you like women, maybe a bit too much, but you like them. Right. And what I loved about the chemistry between Kumail and Aissa was this idea that. Huh? I think they became friends, at least for the duration of this like this. There’s a comfort to it that I just found really kind of put me at ease. And it helped me, like, buy in to just how like, yeah, this is a couple who has been together for years. Like this is a couple that has experienced some ups and downs. They choose each other, but it’s getting harder to keep choosing one another, you know. And I loved how much history you could just tell from the body language. And that’s before you even get to like the script. Like there was just so much in the way they moved. And like you said, watching him just like be in her space. So with so much ease, I was like, wow, that is one of those small things that you would notice if it was off. Yes, I you notice if it’s on and it’s so on here that you can’t not notice it. Yes.
S4: And the screenplay itself, so obviously they have, you know, as a couple, they’ve been experiencing some communication issues and then they’re on the run trying to figure out what’s happening because they’ve been involved in this crime and somebody is after them and there’s all this kind of stuff happening. But they still have this communication between them where they let all this stuff out. They let out all the issues. You know, he admits that he’s jealous of one of her colleagues or whatever. Right. She admits that she’s frustrated with his lack of ambition or whatever, you know, that kind of stuff. But the thing that really stood out to me was each time that Isa had to do a wardrobe change and they were in the same room together. He would just look at her and just admire her.
S5: Yes. We don’t get that enough in these movies. Like, okay, sometimes, you know, when the woman is coming downstairs for prom. Right. Or whatever was the big reveal. Yes. Yes. When they’re going to like some big fancy thing. Yeah. Wow.
S1: You look stunning. You took your glasses off and let on your hair.
S4: Yes. But they’re in the middle of like a pharmacy, you know. And she is putting on a unicorn ridiculous look stuff in order to, like, disguise what she was wearing and to be more comfortable on the road or whatever. And he’s just like, you look beautiful. Like she’s you know, she’s like I look like I’m covered in unicorn vomit. And he’s like, No, no. Yeah.
S3: You look at the polls when he just kind of like, wow, I can’t believe this is my person. Yeah. And it just it really moves you. And the thing that got me also was just like you said, these are not moments that we are used to in many rom coms. Like it’s always like it is always a big reveal. I loved how much there was a lot of looking. And our good friend Alana Bennett spoke about this, talked about it a lot on Twitter about the importance of looks in rom coms. And he would give her all. Well, even when she wasn’t looking, he would look at her, which again is one of my favorite looks is when you’re looking at someone and they can’t see you looking and you’re just like you’re just like enjoying everything about them. And I just I don’t know. The whole thing moved me in a way that I never thought I could be moved by Kumail Nanjiani. So shout out to everybody involved because it feels like it was a group effort. And I’m grateful. Me and my food, we thank you. Like I really thought to myself, like. Huh. Okay. I didn’t if I’m going to fancy you out of this movie, but at this moment, I live here and we are doing okay.
S5: Right. Because even this one moment where he gets dressed up and Isa gets to admire him and we don’t often get that for me. We don’t often get that when the man has a big reveal that the woman is like, you know, struck speechless. So we had that and he looked really fucking good. Yeah. In that turret, it was like dogs all the time.
S3: It was like a midnight blue. Was a D.A.. Listen, again, we’ve said this on the show multiple times. Any man of color, black, brown and white or anybody. If you put on a jewel toned situation. Bitch. Oh, really? And Shirley, baby, it’s yours. All yours. So raise a red light especially. But it’s yours. Like it does. It does the work of just like a T.. It’s it’s like having a stylist in a suit. It just makes you instantly. You just the richness of your skin tone is just kind of like, hi, I heard there was a jewel policy going on. I’m here. It is such a simple, effortless way to just spruce up the whole thing. I really make you do a double take, like always the area. All right. Right. Right. So either way. I mean, listen, and again, I feel like so much of the reason why he was able to give her those looks is because Isa also I mean, I’ve never seen such smooth brown skin like this.
S5: And I tweeted, I was like all of her leading men love her because the looks from lackies in the photograph, Kendrick Sampson on insecure less than a mile. Like, I’m not saying that there’s anything happening. No, no, no. But whatever chemistry that she’s able to develop with her co-stars. Yes, it shows. Yes. Shows. Yes. Cemile like. Wow. Wow.
S3: As as a one time fancy, I’m not my doctor at all. And I encourage all of our listeners to just, you know, pop on Netflix one evening and just see we’ll see how you feel. We I know we’re not alone. I just want to point that out. We are not like we. This is I know a lot of people feel the same way. So if you do, please drop us a line. Let’s talk about that.
S5: E-mail us at Thursday. It’s late dot com. And tell us if you have the hots for QMI after you watch lovebirds.