John Boyega is a goddamn delight.
First off, the best things about the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker press tour have involved him in some manner. For example, there’s the time he wrote a hilariously heartfelt letter to his co-star Oscar Isaac, continuing the energy fans have for their respective characters, Finn and Poe.
Rabid(ly racist) Star Wars fans were big mad when he expressed (valid) criticism of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in regards to its failure to balance the character arcs of its new generational trio (Finn, Poe and Daisy Ridley’s Rey) in the same way the original trilogy did with Luke, Leia, and Han. Even still, his positive energy has added an extra layer of joy within an iconic fandom and has provided a unique bit of fun press for the films.
Most recently, Boyega decided to share a video where he interviewed himself called, “Boyega On Boyega,” a cute riff on Variety’s “Actors On Actors” series.
Boyega flawlessly encapsulated both perspectives of a press junket. I especially had to laugh at the overexaggerated reporter reactions and the interchanging notepads and index cards. Plus, he left us with this priceless quote: “In that perfection, I found the answer, because I just am.” I love him. I already rep Bodega Hive, so I might as well also rep Boyega Hive.
In my now yearlong tenure as Staff Entertainment Writer at The Root (OMG!), I’ve racked up a few press junkets under my belt. Oh, excuse my prior rudeness, but, hi, I’m Tonja Renée Stidhum, also known as Press Bae. You may have seen my smiley face at various press junkets such as this:
So, I know a little about the press junket life. In fact, allow me to take you behind the scenes. I present to you, a day in the life of a press junket (my friend Braxton has dubbed them #Tonjunkets):
You arrive ON TIME (in red) because you have to check-in 50 hours before your round of interviews actually begins. But, don’t fret, there is plenty to do! There is a bounty of food at your leisure to enjoy at the fancy hotel. Just be careful not to get any food stuck in your teeth because you’re going to be on camera. If you need a touch-up for makeup, there’s a lovely make-up artist on standby. After chatting with your peers about all of the international press tours you’ve experienced this year—including that one time you sat on a plane for 15 hours only to then return the next day—you stuff your face in your phone for a minute before you hear your name. You head over to the group of suites and sit in a row of chairs for—you guessed it—more waiting! Suddenly, it’s your turn! After shaking hands and waiting (yet again) for the talent to get their “last looks” in makeup, you start your interview and probably get 1.5 questions in before the producer gives you the “wrap it up” signal. Rinse and repeat with each slate of talent interviews. Wow, it goes so fast! Then, comes your last bout of waiting: you need to pick up those SD cards with all of your footage. Then, you take a cool photo in one of the activation booths and grab a bag of brand swag so you can stunt on the ‘gram. Fin.
What a life.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is currently in theaters.