This guest post is brought you by Rick Fauquet from RickOntheRocks.com (AKA my husband!). He traveled to Los Angeles, courtesy of 20th Century Fox, to screen & interview the cast of The Maze Runner, opening in theaters September 19.
Talk about a whirlwind experience! Not even 24 hours after arriving home from our family cruise to Alaska, I hopped on a plane and flew back across the country to Los Angeles for a special media screening and cast interview for the upcoming movie The Maze Runner, based on the popular young adult book series. Being my first trip, ever, to L.A., I was running on caffeine and pure adrenaline.
As a lifelong movie buff, just being on the 20th Century Fox lot was incredible enough-- especially when you realize how many classic films and television shows have been shot there. It was cool to look one way and see the set pieces for Modern Family being loaded in for filming, and then in another direction one of the cast members of Bones was riding around on his bike. Completely surreal!
After screening The Maze Runner -- which, by the way, was FANTASTIC (full review coming September 19) -- we were treated to a sit down interview with some of the young stars of the film. The panel included Dylan O'Brien (MTV's Teen Wolf) as Thomas, Kaya Scodelario (The UK hit series Skins) as Teresa, Will Poulter (We're The Millers) as Gally, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones, Love Actually) as Newt and Ki Hong Lee (ABC Family's The Nine Lives Of Chloe King) as Minho.
One thing I have to say: this young cast was refreshingly charming, funny and intelligent. It was quite obvious that they had bonded during filming because they had a very easy repoire with one another; especially the comedy team of O'Brien and Poulter, who had the group cracking up the entire time. Our interview was so great it ran long -- here are some of the highlights.
These books have such a passionate fan base. What have been some notable interactions you've had with the fans?
Dylan O'Brien: I think one of the cools ones was when we were in Baton Rouge ... We were in the middle of nowhere. We got put up at this hotel, and two fans just heard that we were at the hotel and drove all the way out and took pictures with us the first night that we were there ... And we were all so shocked. We were like what? You're fans of this movie that we haven't even shot yet? I think that was the first time for me, that you know, just the strength of the fan base for the book kind of reached out. And I've seen a little more since.
Will Poulter: Through Twitter as well, we've all just had such amazing experiences with the fans. And right after we all got announced to be involved, people following us and saying, oh, I'm so glad you're playing Newt, so glad you're playing Teresa. And they are generally very kind of positive fans.
Kaya Scodelario: Yes. They are.
Will Poulter: The relationship that Dashner [Author] has with his readership has kind of translated. I think the readership have adapted kind of into the viewership from the movie in a really nice way. They are really excited about how we've handled their material, because obviously they feel a sense of ownership over it. And that's the major challenge when you adapt the book into a film. We really wanted to get it right for them. I just hope we've done that.
Ki Hong Lee: It doesn't matter what we tweet about. It's always like, oh, I can't wait for The Maze Runner. It's awesome.
I am a HUGE Will Poulter fan and was quite interested about how he liked playing the tough guy/heavy in this film.
I've got a question for Will. In your previous films, you use the word dork. I'll use underdog— Was it a lot of fun playing the bad-ass in this film?
Will Poulter: Of course, dude. You know I'm so grateful that Wes kind of took a punt on me in that kind of respect. I guess it's not the most expected casting choice. And hopefully it goes down okay. But I really appreciated the chance to play a role different from what I just kind of just played. And I love doing drama and comedy. And I mean all these guys, like the entire cast, I feel so blessed to work with them because it's most versatile group of actors I've ever worked with in a kind of ensemble sense.
What elements of your character did you want to bring to the screen from the book?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien: You just want to bring everything you can to the character from the book. You know for me, I've been saying it's like I feel like it was a lot to do with just coming from a really honest perspective. I always look at Thomas as very honest and heroic and just a truthful character, especially one being, sort of, re-birthed from the time we meet him in the film and the book. He’s the fresh Greenie. He's like the one who just has his memory wiped and is just redeveloping it almost in a way as a person.
Mr. Will Poulter: I think generally, this was one of the easier roles for a lot of us in some ways because obviously our characters don't have a lot of memory from the past. So, there isn't really a background. The other thing being that, obviously, you've got the book to rely on. That's like an amazing resource to researchers right there in the hundreds of pages that James Dashner [Author] wrote.
In any movie based on a book, some beloved scenes have to go. What were some scenes that each of you missed getting to film?
Dylan O'Brien: I mean the beetle blade is something that I always thought was cool in the book and we even shot for the movie, but we just didn't make the final cut for whatever reason.
Kaya Scodelario: I liked the big introduction in the book, how it goes onto each individual character and introduces them and introduces their job. And obviously we didn't have time to do that.
Dylan O'Brien: Wes [Ball, Director] actually told me that the full introduction to The Glade would be on the DVD.
If you haven't read the books, do yourself a favor and read them now before the movie comes out. They are really well written-- I was hooked by the 2nd chapter and didn't put it down until I was done. And if you don't get a chance to pick up a copy before The Maze Runner hits theaters, don't worry, the movie with still entertain from start to finish. I can't say much more than that right now, but I'm already looking forward to seeing it again with my wife and daughter,