Once upon a time, before Star Wars: The Force Awakens put John Boyega on the A-List, the Londoner was a struggling actor. And that means finding any work that can pay the rent between auditions. While some actors find themselves waiting tables, Boyega found himself in front of another type of camera–a camera that just so happened to be taking stock photos.

Yeah, cheesy stock photos. You know, the kinds where people stand in offices and seemingly congratulating themselves on their success? Boyega, who probably hadn’t yet starred in his breakout role of Moses in Attack the Block (we don’t know quite when these photos were taken) was one of those hopeful employees, ready to engage in some synergy.

Photographer Chris Schmidt was perusing his old shots when he spotted Boyega, whose face now adorns posters in every corner of the galaxy. Of course, he posted about it on Facebook: “I did an education themed stock photo shoot with a bunch of teenage students; it turns out John Boyega did quite well afterwards,” he wrote.

Boyega admitted his role in stock photography, which is a necessary evil for actors, photographers, and news sources alike. He posted to Twitter,

Yep. Used the money for new trainers https://t.co/UulHEv2hrL

— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) January 8, 2016

(That’s “sneakers” in America-speak.)

Thanks to The Force Awakens, he’ll never have to resort to stock-photo modeling again. Now that’s a happy ending.

Via Verge.

Image Credit: NME