John Boyega and Patrik Giardino Go Epic
It’s impossible to miss John Boyega. The breakout star of the newest Star Wars trilogy, the headline lead of the new Pacific Rim film coming out later this month – not to mention the now cult classic Attack the Block that hurled him to fame in the first place. Boyega is everywhere these days, even the newest cover of Men’s Health shot by Patrik Giardino. The incredible intensity of Boyega’s new fame means he spends a lot of time in front of the camera – both for work and for editorials like this shoot with Patrik. But he’s still having fun. “He’s done it for a little while now but he’s not tainted from tons of years or being sick of everything yet. He’s very easygoing and can get into it really fast,” Patrik says. “That makes my job so much easier. And once you start seeing those frames on the computer and you get the nod from the publicist: it’s full steam ahead.”
Patrik and Boyega didn’t spend more than a couple hours together, but they maximized every minute. Plus, Patrik timed the shoot carefully to get the sun right between the late afternoon and sunset, so each moment the light was a little different but always gorgeous. “That’s very good time to shoot that time of day, and he was totally into it. That made it a lot easier because we had beautiful light and we were also a little bit lucky that day because we had dramatic skies because of a lot of cloudiness - which doesn’t happen very often,” Patrik explains. “It made him feel like he could just run around and not worry about the light or sitting still. I let him just to be free because no matter what the light looks cool.” That freedom let Boyega improvise and have fun, ensuring that every shot felt as authentic as possible.
Boyega’s resume reads like a veritable checklist of blockbusters, and Patrik was sure to keep that feeling going. The light is a part of that, but grabbing a rooftop location in Los Angeles adds a whole new layer. “The location helps a lot,” says Patrik. “He was open to do anything and he liked that feeling of not having to sit still, he loved that, which makes him open up a lot more. It’s almost like filming like a video camera: you shoot the whole time.” The results were a ton of pictures, each one more dynamic and epic than the last.