John Boyega: Actor modelled for student Getty stock images before Star Wars

Before actor John Boyega was the face of the newest Star Wars film, he was the face of college-bound teens in stock photos for Getty Images.

One of those photos depicts several smiling students standing in a line looking forward to the future.

About five or six years ago, the stock photo provided by the Getty Images ended up in a promotional poster for UNL’s Career Services office, UNL spokesman Steve Smith said.

“Who knew a fairly innocuous photo would turn out to have one of the biggest stars in the universe on it,” Smith said.

A handful of posters remain on campus, directing students to counselors prepared to help them plan their route through college and into the job field.

Chris Schmidt, the London photographer who took the photos for Getty, commented on his Facebook page about capturing Boyega before he became a star.

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I did an education themed stock photo shoot with a bunch of teenage students,” he wrote. “It turns out John Boyega did quite well afterwards. The force is strong with this one.”

On his Twitter profile Friday, Boyega said the shoot helped him achieve his teenage dreams — long before he could star in one of the highest grossing movies of all time.

“Yep. Used the money for new trainers,” the British actor tweeted, referring to shoes. “The Air Force 1s lasted about 3 years.”

UNL has no plans to remove the photo, Smith added, but university officials are relishing in the attention of the rising star.

“Before he was a big deal in the Resistance, he was a big deal here on campus,” Smith said. “We’ve joked about putting a velvet rope up and charging admission to see the poster.”

Christopher B. Taub

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