RED, WHITE and Blue, the third film from Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology, shows on BBC One and iPlayer this Sunday.
It was little intricate stuff, the music he liked listening to, the kind of stuff he got up to with his wife, what the vibe was like in London
The film tells the true story of Leroy Logan, played by John Boyega, a young forensic scientist with a yearning to do more than his solitary laboratory work.
Soon after he sees his father assaulted by two policemen, he applies to become a police officer; an ambition borne from the hope of wanting to change racist attitudes from within.
First, Leroy has to face the consequences of his father’s disapproval, then the blatant racism he finds in his new role as a despised yet exemplary Constable in the Metropolitan Police Force.
Talking about his portrayal of Logan, Boyega, who was able to meet and get to know the former police officer he’d extensivley researched, enthused: “
“I loved meeting Leroy. What was fantastic about it was that we had the chance to really just break bread and talk in a casual environment,” explains Boyega.
“I invited him to a spot that I usually go to. Just talking to him about his life, there were parallels, like he had worked in youth clubs and youth centres that I had been to as a kid and I had benefited from, like the Damilola
“I was able to ask so many questions that he answered with such honesty,” Boyega continues.
“I really appreciated that because I was able to see certain things and make adjustments. It was little intricate stuff, the music he liked listening to, the kind of stuff he got up to with his wife, what the vibe was like in London.”
The role of Leroy Logan also demanded that Boyega be his fittest physically in addition to be being well researched.
“I try and keep physically fit anyway and trained hard during the entire process, but there was one day when it was just 100 per cent physical stuff and that kind of embodies Leroy’s time at Hendon, training to join the police force.
“It was the old-school bleep test which I hadn’t done since
secondary school – all push-ups, sit-ups and boxing,” Boyega explains.
“And with Steve, it’s not like ‘We’re going to cut here and make it shorter.’
“For me, during that training, you were able to see how physically fit Leroy Logan was. He embodied perfection.
“I was winded and tired most of the time, but I had to have an expression of complete and absolute calm because Leroy was a beast when it came to keeping fit.”