05 September 2014

Today I have something special to share with you guys! Something that happened on August 22nd that was one of the best things that's happened since I've started blogging five years ago. I was invited to attend a special screening of The Maze Runner on the Fox Studio Lot which then followed with a Q&A with five of the actors from the movie.

Enter nerves and squeeing and lots of jumping up all around! 

Take a look and see how the day went!

The Maze Runner
20th Century Fox
In Theaters September 19, 2014

Based on the novel with the same name By: James Dashner

Rated: PG-13
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee
Directed By: Wes Ball
Produced By: Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen

Synopsis: When Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

Official Websites

Visit the Official Website | Like ‘The Maze Runner’ on Facebook | Follow @MazeRunnerMovie on Twitter | Follow on Google+, Instagram, YouTube

Check out the trailer:

Photo Credit: Lisa Reeves
So, bright and early on that Friday morning, my good friend Melissa from Toot's Book Reviews picked me up and we drove to the Fox Studio Lot. And can I just say that I've never been on a movie/TV studio lot before and it was pretty amazing! Felt like it's own city. We wandered to the "Little Theater" and checked in.

Since we were there early we just sat and watched people who worked there. And noticed a few exciting things along the way. We found a bench outside the theater and were chatting away when the whole cast of Modern Family pulled up in a couple vans from being away filming on location somewhere. At least that's what it looks like to us.

We sat there and I was freaking out because I love that show! We didn't approach them since we were there for The Maze Runner and it's their place of work and all. However it was still really exciting to see them all in person.

When the time came we went into the theater and found seats, ready to watched the film.

The movie was great! And while I can't tell you much more than that about it yet *my lips are zipped*... I'll just say that I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!

After viewing we went back outside and had some brunch while we waiting for the actors to arrive for our group Q&A. While waiting we saw the Modern Family cast in and out of trailers and the various sound stages some more which again was seriously exciting.

Photo by: Lisa Reeves - Inside the Little Theater on the Fox Lot

BUT... the main event was about to take place and we headed back into the theater and found seats and moments later the five members of the cast walked in - Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Ki Hong Lee!!!

Photo by: Lisa Reeves

And now, here's the Q&A that I was part of. Take a read and see just how awesome these actors are!!
***Note: While reading, the question in green is what I (via Melissa since I was way too nervous and anxious lol) asked!!! Check out how the cast responded!

The Maze Runner Actor Q&A

Blogger:  Okay.  We can start with the first question.
Blogger:  So, you guys kind of know the world now without adults.  What do you--how do you think it runs better, with or without adults?
Mr. Will Poulter:  That's an interesting one.  Yeah.  It's weird.  I mean like the age range in our cast was kind of crazy.  So, I guess the youngest guy on set would have been--.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  --Blake--.
Mr. Will Poulter:  --Blake.  And he was kind of--he was playing Chuck.  And was--.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  --12--.
Mr. Will Poulter:  --13 or 14.  Was he?  Yeah.
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  He was 12.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  He's 13 now.
Mr. Will Poulter:  He's 12 and very kind of mature for his age and gives an amazing performance as you can see, quite confident.  And then right up to I guess Aml who was the oldest.  Right?
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  Yeah.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.
Mr. Will Poulter:  So, Aml [unintelligible], and we had this kind of age range.  It was lovely.  Like, you know I think we've said it a lot, and maybe it's getting [unintelligible].
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  No, it was 45.
Mr. Will Poulter:  And it became a real kind of family you know and very, very close indeed and kind of looked after each other.  And you know there was varying levels of experience in terms of life and also acting.
And so, we all really looked out for each other.  And so, I don't know.  Don't get me wrong.  Some adults helped us make this.  But like we didn't edit the [unintelligible].  We had a little help in that respect.  But it was an amazing kind of experience and real [unintelligible].
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Sort of our own little side project.
But, yeah, I think we've managed okay in the cast in terms of not having too many adults I think.  We had fun anyway.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  All right.  Oh, sorry.
Blogger:  It's okay.  It's fine.  I think the whole premise of placing characters into a maze and seeing how they interact is so interesting.  So, if you could choose a movie and take that movie's ensemble of characters, put them in the maze along with your characters, which movie would it be?
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  Ooh.
Mr. Will Poulter:  That's a good question.
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  That's a good question.  Yeah.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Great.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  How about E.T.?
T:  E.T.?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.  I don't know. It would just be like come on, come on.
T:  I thought those Stand By Me fellows would be fun.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.
Mr. Thomas Brodie-Sangster:  Yeah.
T:  [Unintelligible].
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  Can I have some girls please?
T:  I think [unintelligible] quickly.
Blogger:  Kaya, what was it like to be on set with just a bunch of dudes?
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  They're not dudes, to be fair.  It was--I mean I grew up in London with quite a mixed group of friends, and we're--what are you doing?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Sorry.
T:  We're just talking.
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  We--as human beings, we just all got on.  And there was--I never felt like the only girl.  They never changed the way they acted around me, which I really respected.  I didn't feel like when I walked in the room suddenly they were really polite.  They were still dirty and rude and fun.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  But still polite.
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  They were still like polite.  Yeah.  But we just had so much fun as a group.  I never felt like the only girl.  And there was like--a lot of the boy's girlfriends came on set and sisters and stuff like that.  So, there were females to interact with.  But in the words of Aml, I am quite laddish anyway.  So, [unintelligible].
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Laddish you must have been.
Mr. Thomas Brodie-Sangster: called you laddish.
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  Yeah.  He called me laddish.  Can you believe that?
Blogger:  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?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Out of the book?
Blogger:  You guys had to film a lot of stunts in this.  Which was your most challenging for you or funnest?
Mr. Will Poulter:  We had fun doing the wrestling thing.  That was kind of fun.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.  That was great.  That's one of my favorite scenes in the movie.  Yeah.
Mr. Will Poulter:  And Dyl [sp], of course, like Dyl loves the physical stuff.  He's really good at it.  And like, even if I was like--we were joking around about how kind of apologetic we were through the entire rehearsal, worried about hurting each other, and I would push Dyl.
And he'd be like, dude, you can push me harder than that.  I'd push him a little bit hard.  He's be like properly push me, man.  Come on.  And I'm like really glad he kind of got it out of me.  But, yeah, that was fun.  The wrestling was fun, and the push.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.  Climbing on the vines and stuff on the wire, that was always like--that was literally like a whole 12-hour day where I was just hung up on a wire.  They would just bring me food.  They didn't want to lower me because it would just take a lot more time.  And Wes would literally come over because it was real like ivy and stuff that they used on those walls.
And you know, so we'd be doing like a thing where like The Griever's [sp] like jumping on me, and it's that part you know where I'm running away from The Griever.  And it like jumps on the wall over me.  You know?
And so, they shake the wall.  And all this debris like was shaking down.  And we just had to a shot where I'm looking up, and it kept just getting in my eyes.
And then Wes would like--I'd be like, oh, there's something in my eye.  You know and he'd just be like I got it, baby.  Don't need a medic.  And he'd come over, and he'd literally just take it out of my eye.
Before that, I was never someone who was comfortable having someone touch their eyeball.  But now I am.  Seriously, seriously, is that funny?
***Blogger:  I had kind of a two-part question.  How many of you had actually read the book?  And if you had read it, what did you want to bring to the screen as your character?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Like prior to even knowing about the project being attached?
Blogger:  Yes.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  I didn't like know about the book or start reading it until like I was aware of the project and that I was doing the movie.  Was there anyone who like knew about the series before?
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  My little cousins did.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah?
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  Most of my family did in Brazil [sp] and stuff.  They knew about it.  But I didn't know.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.  I found out later that a bunch of my little cousins too like had read it.  I wasn't aware of it though.  And then, yeah, I don't know.  As far as like, you know, bringing something to--I mean you just want to--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.  You know?  I always look at Thomas as very honest and you know heroic and just a truthful character, especially you know one being so sort of like rebirthed like from the time we meet him in the film and the book.
You know he's like the fresh greenie.  He's like the one who just has his memory wiped and is just like redeveloping it you know almost in a way as a person.
Mr. Will Poulter:  I also think like questions that we've got in relation to the research that you might do as an actor, I think this is one of the--generally one of the easier sort of roles I think 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.
I mean what we're experiencing in terms of living in The Glade is our background.  That's kind of always been our environment in a way, seeing as we were all rebirthed at some point.
And so, yeah, the other thing being that obviously you know 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 wrote.  So, you know a lot of the job is kind of done for you, which is really nice.  I have to be honest.
Blogger:  How many of you read ahead to the next book or books to see what happens?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.  It's crazy.  It's so crazy.
Blogger:  They say that teenagers these days really connect with these dystopian stories because there's so much uncertainty in the world right now, and there's so much upheaval and so much stuff that's happening.  What do you think young people are going to take away from this movie?
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  I think we've said this before in other interviews, and Dylan's mentioned it a bunch of times.  I think what's different from our movie is that we're a group of guys, or girls too, that help each other get out of The Maze together.
You know and we are stuck in this dystopian society where we could just easily kill each other and eat other and things like that, eat the pig or whatever.
But I think--yeah, I think it's a story about a group of people who are stuck in a predicament, and just like we are in this world, and hopefully they take away the fact that we've worked together and we united.
And we have our differences.  Obviously we have our strengths and weaknesses.  And you know we have runners.  We have builders and things like that.  So, I think if we just unite and work together, it'll work out.  Hopefully we can [unintelligible].
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  The Maze is the crazy part.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  I don't even want to jump on the heels of that.  That was awesome.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  Yeah.  I think--yeah, yeah.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  You got it, baby.
Blogger:  I love running.  I'm a marathoner.  It's my favorite form of exercise.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  You're more of a runner than anyone in this room, combined.
Blogger:  My question to the cast is do you guys love to run?  And number two, how intensive does Wes Ball--did Wes Ball require you to run?  Is there some sort of a way of running from a scene that you guys had to do?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Well, Wes's whole thing, he'll say this like a thousand times over.  It's like pain is temporary, man.  The film is forever.  So, like literally he drives us into the ground, you know?
But it's fun.  It's awesome.  You're just like--you're so spent, and you're just going.  None of us are marathon runners, you know?  I myself have particularly always hated long distance running.  I love sprinting, though, like for a short amount of time.  You know?
But I think if anything I'm way more of a sprinter.  And so, this was like perfect, you know?  But also exhausting, and again Wes's philosophy always came into play.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  Yeah.  There's a scene in there--I don't know if you guys remember, but there's a scene in there where I actually pulled my hamstring as I was running.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Oh, dude, in that parking lot?
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  Did you?
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  So, we would literally run all day, 12, 14 hours, in an abandoned parking lot.
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  Oh, God, yeah.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  And like, there was like rocks and things and everything.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  And even inside The Maze, like I would--I fell like three times.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Dude, yeah, they didn't have--they like only got the special--the maze was super slippery.  They'd hose it down, and it was you know real mud and stuff like in there.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  I'm like--yeah, it doesn't look really hard.  There's still some rocks on it.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  There's some nails involved.  You know?  You'd just like you know eat it.  Like, we'd have to be full sprint around a turn.  Anytime we had to slightly angle, you know we'd eat.  And it wasn't until like maybe the last week that they got that special [unintelligible] stuff.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  Yeah.  They'd spray that cool thing on there.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  We were like this is perfect.  We needed this the whole shoot.
Blogger:  Some of The Maze was green screened.  So, is there like 100 meter stretch of--?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  --Sorry.  I just dropped a mike.  My bad.  Sorry--.
Blogger:  --Is there like 100 meter stretch of green screen that you could run across?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  No.  We never had that much extra room I think.  You know I think the largest green screen, the largest sort of highest percent of visual effects sequence in the film is that sequence where we're in the parking lot.
And it was--that was probably the largest blue screen we had.  It was literally maybe 100 meters in a giant abandoned parking lot.  We shot a lot on that for a week.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  It was blue.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  It was blue.  Yeah.  Yeah.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  After the blue, we were in The Glade, and everything was green.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  Yeah.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  So, The Glade will become like--you know you can't do that.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee: blue.
Mr. Will Poulter:  I certainly never fell in love as a teenager.  I never even had a girlfriend as a teenager.  So, I don't think you have to put that into every teen film.  I personally loved the fact that that was never present.  Yeah.
Blogger:  I have a question.  One quality of Thomas that I love is that he's bold and like Alby says he's not like everyone else.  He's different.  And I think for me that--.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  --He's curious.
Mr. Will Poulter:  That's a good amalgam of--.
Ms. Kaya Scodelario:  --He's curious.
Blogger:  I've got a question for Will.  In your previous films, you use the word dork.  I'll use underdog.
Mr. Will Poulter: Thank you.
Blogger:  Was it a lot of fun playing the badass?
Mr. Will Poulter:  [Unintelligible] underdog?  Sorry.  Go ahead.
Blogger:  Was it a lot of fun playing the badass in this film?
Mr. Will Poulter:  Yeah, dude.  You know I'm so grateful that Wes kind of took a punt on me in that kind of respect.  Yeah.  I guess it's like 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 you know I love doing drama and comedy.  And [unintelligible] is somebody who does drama and comedy.  And I mean all these guys, like the entire cast, it's the most--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 like ensemble sense.
You know like everyone is so dramatically awesome, and then they're also sort of able to be so funny when we were all hanging out.  You know?  So, everyone kind of has that in their locker.  So, yeah, just for me to kind of just unlock that part was great.
And, yeah, Gally, Gally's not like the out and out villain, you know?  We'd tried to kind of make him like I guess more of kind of a conflicted character, you know try and kind of make sure he was a bit more justified in what he was doing and the way he went about his business, a bit more rational perhaps than he was in the book.
And that's something that James was totally cool with.  And you know TS [sp], who did the latest part, was keen to do it in the script.  So, yeah, that was fun.  I really enjoyed it.
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  It translated well.
Mr. Will Poulter:  Thanks, bro.
Mr. Ki Hong Lee:  Yeah.  Killer.
Blogger:  We have time for one final question.
Blogger:  I have a question for Dylan.  You've had a lot of comedic roles up to this point.  What was it like getting into your first dramatic lead?  And how are you taking that back [unintelligible] styles [unintelligible] the role?
Mr. Dylan O'Brien:  It's just nice to do--to get a chance to do something else.  You know?  And I was really nervous about it at first.  But also I did--you know I did feel right as Thomas, and I felt comfortable in that role.  You know?
So, I felt comfortable with that.  But you know I was nervous.  You know I didn't know.  I had such an amazing cast around me, and all guys who like you know I've seen like do really good work in the past, but comedic and dramatic.  And that was like one of the--my first favorite things about the project too, were that these guys were attached already.
And so, I was just like wanting to basically do them justice, do the movie justice.  I knew Wes was like going to kill it.  You know?  And I was kind of nervous about it.  But it--you know it felt good.
It's always good to get to do something different.  That's one of the things that I love you know or want to explore as an actor.  You know?  And I think I need to practice drama the most for sure.
So, it was amazing to get to do this.  And then it's great to then just be able to go back to Stiles and you know and see that I've taken things or whatever and just again just switch it up and you know just keep switching it up.
Mr. Will Poulter:  And he killed it as Thomas.
Blogger:  All right.  Thank you all so much.

Photo by: Lisa Reeves

And that's it! This was recorded and translated by a third party and the company that invited me to this event. So sorry for the missing parts. The actors opted out of using the mic's that day since the room was small which then created some slight problems with the transcription. At least that's what I'm assuming happened with the parts that are missing.

Photo by: Lisa Reeves

After the event we were asked to go up and stand behind the cast for a group photo. They were all incredibly nice and fun to talk to. After the quick photo op it was time to leave.

Photo courtesy of Big Honcho Media

We all headed out and Melissa and I were gathering our stuff together while standing around with the cast and others for a bit before we walked to the canteen for a quick drink and a wander through the Fox Studio store before driving home.

In the end it was an extremely exciting and FUN day, thanks to everyone involved including everyone at 20th Century Fox for the invite and amazing opportunity and the cast - Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Ki Hong Lee for being just awesome! And to Melissa for attending with me!

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