*On the Wednesday, September 14 edition of “Tamron Hall,” powerhouse actor John Boyega joined Tamron in studio with flowers in hand ahead of Hall’s upcoming birthday.
The British actor discussed his roles in both “The Woman King,” in which he stars opposite Viola Davis, and “Breaking,” one of Michael K. Williams’ last film projects before his tragic death.
During the conversation, Boyega shared why he needed to take a break from acting to focus on his mental health and detailed his unforgettable experience working with Williams.
Also on today’s show, Michael K. Williams’ nephew Dominic Dupont was joined by co-author of William’s newly released memoir“Scenes From My Life,” Jon Sternfeld, to discuss the great legacy the actor left behind. Dupont recalled the difficult day he discovered the body of his uncle and discussed how he continues to cope with the great loss. Tamron also detailed her last memory with Michael, sharing why they were both brought to tears.
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John Boyega on what led him to take a break from acting at the height of his career:
“I guess you know, [you] get into a career where you’re successful and thank God for the opportunity. But then the responsibility comes. Now you have to do the job, right? And you have all these other sides of your life that don’t stop – your personal life, my relationship with my parents, you know, spiritual life – all these things, but the career has such a footprint in our day-to-day lives, in our goals and how we even live, that sometimes we get so fixated into the career and we deny other aspects of our lives…It was consuming me. The schedule was back-to-back. I didn’t compartmentalize in the right way, and I didn’t have that balance.” He added, “At the end of the day if I, you know, reach new opportunities and I’m not the best that I can be then I ruin the potential of where I could’ve gone to.”
Boyega on the aspects of his downtime that he cherished the most:
“It’s the reading, it’s the listening to music, it’s the silence when you wake up in the morning. Being able to hear your own thoughts. Organizing things, sometimes we have so many aspects of our lives that we haven’t even organized, that we’ve left for years and it’s piled up on us. So I could organize my life. I could make more intentional goals.” He continued, “I just felt free to be me in a free environment to naturally heal – for my body to do its thing, for my mind to do its thing and recoup and be ready for the next stage.”
Boyega on collaborating with Michael K. Williams on one of his last films:
“I had to ask him a good number of times, I wanted him to be on it so badly. I’d watched him in ‘The Wire,’ I’d watched him in ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ and I was just like if this man who has empathy running through his eyes and the skillset to change and become any character could give me the opportunity and star alongside [me], I would be grateful. And he just turned up like, ‘Yo, I got you bro.’”
Dominic Dupont on finding his uncle and how he’s grieving the loss:
“It was difficult. I want to thank the people who supported me through this process. I want to thank you [Tamron] for doing the show today. Finding Michael like that, you know, I had the support of my wife who was present, but it’s been extremely difficult for us to process losing him. What we’ve been doing to deal with that is surrounding ourselves around family who care and friends who support us through this process. But by no means has it been an easy feat to deal with.”
Tamron reflects on one of her last encounters with Michael K. Williams:
“I shared with you [Dominic] the last time I saw him. I’m in Brooklyn, I’d gone to a restaurant. And all of a sudden I hear, ‘What are you doing in Brooklyn?’ And I look up and it’s Michael. And I had the mask on and he’s like ‘I knew those eyes.’ And the next thing I know, we were crying, both of us. And I’m like ‘why are we crying?’ But I think he knew and I knew what we were crying about, and it was: he was struggling. He was struggling, but he still had a smile and then named 15 restaurants I should go to. And that was Michael. He was raw and you saw the pain, but you saw the joy at the same time.”
Following are highlights for Tamron Hall for the remainder of the week. Please note: lineup is subject to change.
Thursday, September 15: A broadcast exclusive interview with Michelle Branch, on her new album, “The Trouble with Fever” and recent headlines. Plus, “Growing Up Hip Hop” star Angela Simmons opens up about body positivity and her unedited bikini picture that went viral.
Friday, September 16: Celebrate Tamron’s Birthday with Tamron’s Golden Comedy Hour! Comedians Zarna Garg, Dulcé Sloan and Erin Maguire join the fun and give one Tam Fam member a shot at living their wildest dream – performing stand-up on national TV.