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John Boyega and Juel Taylor talk new existential thriller ‘They Cloned Tyrone’ : NPR


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There’s loads happening within the new Netflix movie “They Cloned Tyrone.” Tyrone Fontaine, performed by John Boyega, is a drug seller who loves his mother and his little brother, and he has a number of conflicting emotions about the way in which he makes his cash besides that, very early on within the film, he realizes that completely none of that backstory is actual as a result of he’s a clone.


JOHN BOYEGA: (As Tyrone Fontaine) I do not suppose you perceive, man. There was an elevator underground and a lab and this white motherf***** with an afro.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Hey, man. You suppose you may want some water? You realize, typically once I’m wired, man, I drink me a bottle of water. I be good.

DETROW: So Fontaine hyperlinks up with a pimp named Slick Charles and a intercourse employee named Yo-Yo to determine what’s going on. “They Cloned Tyrone” comes from the thoughts of director Juel Taylor alongside together with his co-writer Tony Rettenmaier. It combines parts of sci-fi and horror with laugh-out-loud comedy. I talked to Taylor and Boyega in regards to the film earlier this week, and I began the dialog by asking Taylor simply what he was fascinated by when he first got here up with this concept.

JUEL TAYLOR: I imply, it type of got here from two locations, actually – the floor plot facet, after which there’s type of the nougaty (ph) middle a part of it that type of got here from a…


TAYLOR: …Totally different place. However, I imply, I feel it actually began coming collectively primarily based on this type of thematic query of, like, is there a distinction between blame and accountability, and actually simply fascinated by pals again dwelling who had some fairly, like, unlucky circumstances hit them, you already know, that was type of exterior the scope of their management and mixing that with this simply seed of an concept me and Tony used to joke about of simply making a bootleg “Scooby-Doo” film…

DETROW: (Laughter).

TAYLOR: …You realize, the place the detectives have been ill-equipped however one way or the other very significantly outfitted for the duty at hand. From there, we simply thought, how bizarre can we make it?

DETROW: And also you made it bizarre. Congratulations.


DETROW: John, I am making an attempt to consider what all I can say or not say in regards to the plot on this planet of spoilers. It is protected to say that there are clones on this film, primarily based on the title. However do you bear in mind your first response whenever you learn this script?

BOYEGA: I, you already know, had been ready to get the script for some time. And a factor about me – if I learn a script and I do not arise whereas I am studying it, like, bodily arise and begin type of, like, pacing the room, just about doing that bizarre actor stuff whenever you type of get into it and also you attempt to…

TAYLOR: (Laughter).

BOYEGA: …See your self in a task, then I in all probability do not prefer it.

DETROW: (Laughter).

BOYEGA: If I am simply there sitting down all through the entire learn and my head is hurting and I get distracted and I am going on the PS5, then it is in all probability lifeless. However with this one, I used to be simply glued not just for what my half could be, however I used to be simply so intrigued by the dynamic and the mesh of genres. And I used to be excited on the prospect of happening to the States, type of, you already know, studying the tradition and particularly for this function, too, after which simply attending to work.

DETROW: John, bringing it again to the performing facet of this, as you are placing your character collectively, as you are studying the strains collectively, have been you fascinated by, how would this character act and discuss in the event that they weren’t alive yesterday? Or have been you not happening to that stage with it as you considered find out how to ship the strains and reply and issues like that?

BOYEGA: I feel it was extra in regards to the default settings. What are the default settings, after which what are the stereotypes {that a} scientist or, you already know, a authorities group – what are the stereotypes they’d put into a personality first? What’s the stage of depth – the way in which he walks, the way in which he strikes, the way in which he seems round? What does that appear to be of their thoughts, and what would they create as a way to perpetuate a personality that type of retains his neighborhood down by representing this type of violent and considerably possibly quiet however darkish determine?

After which from there, you simply begin to stroll and discuss within the footwear of this character, and it begins to change into extra acquainted. After which we discovered him, you already know, particularly whenever you go on set and then you definitely begin talking to Slick and also you’re talking to Yo-Yo. You realize, Slick says the road during which he is like, oh, Fontaine, I’ve by no means seen you chortle, you already know? So within the script itself, you’ve got acquired type of pointers that make you, you already know, know who you are alleged to create and who you are alleged to painting in that sense.

DETROW: Juel, let’s hearken to a key second early on within the film. It is – the three characters are all consuming fried rooster.


JAMIE FOXX: (As Slick Charles) It is the rooster. It is the powder, the powder within the rooster. Look. After I was within the entice home, there was some white powder proper there. I assumed it was cocaine. I took a few of it. It wasn’t cocaine. I began laughing. You break one thing, I shoot a [expletive]. And now we right here. We consuming this rooster. All of us laughing. It is within the rooster.

DETROW: I imply…


DETROW: So that they’re beginning to join the dots. I imply, you already know, it is an ideal scene. However, like, then you definitely’re beginning to get into – they’re connecting the dots. There’s one thing happening with the cocaine, the rooster, the straightening cream on the magnificence salon. And this feels just like the a part of the film the place the sweet exterior, as you say, begins to intersect with the nougaty middle of the extra pointed message that the plot of the film is making an attempt to get to. What have been you going for right here?

TAYLOR: I imply, in that exact scene – I imply, that is an ideal query ‘trigger I do not suppose I’ve ever heard, like, a snippet of the film performed again. I imply, truthfully, you already know, I feel that is the start of the detective work, proper? It is a little bit bit absurd, clearly. It is mildly offensive (laughter). You want one thing a bit off-the-wall to get these three folks to type of make an instantaneous profession change, so to talk, ‘trigger, like, within the film, they don’t seem to be, you already know, a pimp, a drug seller, a prostitute. They’re actually sleuths.

DETROW: Yeah. I assume it is a good signal – you spend years writing and filming and producing and modifying a film. It is a good signal if scenes are nonetheless making you chortle in any case of that.

TAYLOR: Oh, I imply, I used to be additionally simply laughing ‘trigger I did not count on it, so (laughter)…


TAYLOR: I’ve lengthy since stopped laughing. I’ve, like, seen it so many time and desensitized, you already know? However I used to be like, oh, like, he simply pulled out the clip on me.

DETROW: It is the complete NPR expertise right here. Play the clip. Discuss it. You realize?

TAYLOR: Yeah, yeah. I like it. I like it.

BOYEGA: I really like that.

DETROW: Effectively, that results in one of many challenges I wished to ask you about as a result of there are a number of actually humorous moments on this, and a number of them come out of your co-stars, Jamie Foxx and Teyonah Parris. They’re so humorous collectively, and you’re in the course of them the entire time. What was it like to face in between them and preserve that critical demeanor the place you infrequently spoke because the character?

BOYEGA: I feel it was enjoyable. I used to be busting up laughing half of the time. I am positively far more of a lighter man, when it comes to my character, compared to Fontaine. However, you already know, understanding the purpose – the purpose is to only, you already know, really feel the character so that individuals truly get the joke. So it was dope. I imply, I discovered a lot being in between each of them, you already know? I used to be – more often than not, I used to be like, rattling, I might like to become involved within the banter. But it surely was hilarious, you already know? The dynamics labored.

TAYLOR: (Laughter).

BOYEGA: And, you already know, that is what we made, you already know?

DETROW: Yeah. Yeah. You realize, I need to ask you each of this to finish issues. All people at NPR who labored on this interview – all of us watched it on our personal ‘trigger, you already know, that is normally what you do with Netflix. However once we have been speaking about it, all of us stored considering, wow, this looks like a film it’s good to watch with a crowd of individuals to chortle at it, to gasp at it. I imply, it is such an expertise. I perceive there is a restricted theatrical launch, however I am questioning. Do you suppose folks needs to be, you already know, planning…

TAYLOR: (Laughter).

DETROW: …”They Cloned Tyrone” events to look at on Netflix?

BOYEGA: Oh, positively, positively. I feel that is positively one to have with a gaggle for positive. The film is enjoyable. It is humorous. Like, it is – it simply jogs my memory of the old-school blaxploitation motion pictures. You realize, carry a crowd collectively. Get the snacks. Do no matter you do. And, you already know, get lit a little bit bit, after which, you already know, watch the movie. It is one in every of them ones.

TAYLOR: I positively suppose the perfect solution to watch it’s in a gaggle setting even whether it is simply, like, have a cookout or one thing. You realize what I am saying? Like, any individual have, like, a household shindig or, you already know, they-come-back-around-on-Thanksgiving-type film – everyone on the home cooking and consuming and sit down and watch it and make it a communal expertise.

DETROW: John Boyega and Juel Taylor, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us.

TAYLOR: Oh, man.

BOYEGA: Wow, thanks.

TAYLOR: Thanks a lot. I respect that.

DETROW: “They Cloned Tyrone” is in theaters now and on Netflix July 21.


Copyright © 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Go to our web site phrases of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for additional data.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This textual content will not be in its last type and could also be up to date or revised sooner or later. Accuracy and availability could differ. The authoritative document of NPR’s programming is the audio document.


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