There are thrilling books and then there’s The Maze Runner, which takes the word “thrill” to a whole new level. The popular young adult series written by the talented author, James Dashner has, unsurprisingly, been turned into what we’re sure will become a worldwide movie phenomenon. The film, coming out this Friday, stars a cast of incredible actors, who are the perfect choices for their assigned roles including the supremely talented, Dexter Darden who plays chef, Fry Pan. As huge fans of the book series we were thrilled when we were given the opportunity to speak with Darden about his role the upcoming movie series, The Maze Runner.
BECCA ROSE: What can you tell our readers about The Maze Runner?
DEXTER DARDEN: It’s an exciting ride that I think takes a whole new twist on the science fiction/adventure style of movie. It’s about a band of brothers being led by Dylan O’Brien who plays Thomas, to try to find a way out (of the maze) and hopefully survive.
BR: I know it’s based on the book, of the same title, had you read the book before being cast?
DD: I had not read the books before getting cast but my cousins are huge fans of the series so I had heard of the books but I had no read them. I read the script, got cast and then we were all given a book so we all read the book at different times.
BR: What about Fry Pan do you think our readers will connect with most?
DD: I think Fry Pan is definitely all about the community of the glade and I think that’s what people will connect with. He cooks, he’s the chef of the glade and the only time people will come together is when they sit down and have a meal so he’s really about allowing Thomas to have a huge advantage but also giving Gally, played by Will Poulter, the opportunity to voice his opinion as well. He’s predominately the comedic relief and also the one who just wants to make sure that everybody has a say and that everybody is taken into consideration.
BR: Do you do any cooking yourself?
DD: Yeah, actually I do a lot of cooking. I love to cook. I’ve been cooking since I was younger. We actually just had a big barbecue on Labor Day with my cast mates and I was on the grill. I showed a lot of the Londoners their first American barbecue. It was cool.
BR: Is the movie close to what the books were or is it completely different?
DD: It’s very, very, very similar. Our director Wes Ball did the best he could to keep it on track so that fans wouldn’t be upset. It’s definitely hard transferring a book of that caliber and that style to film because some things will play and some things won’t play on camera. James Dashner has given it the okay and we’ve done a lot of fan screenings too and not one fan has come back with a negative remark about it being different from the books. I think we stayed on track to keep it very similar and keep it very true to the book. The cool thing about being in a book series that’s turned into a movie and also the scary thing is kids read these books, young adults and teens read these books and they get an idea or vision of what a character looks like or what the Glade will look like and when it’s all brought to screen in a certain way we are then that image for the rest of their lives. It’s exciting but it’s also scary because you don’t want to disappoint any of the fans.
BR: From the coming attractions alone this movie looks like it’s such a huge scale production. What was that filming process like for you?
DD: It was exciting because the Maze in the Glade our director wanted that all to be real so they literally built a maze in the glade with moving doors. It was exciting to see these giant walls moving and that the production team actually cared about it and really put forth a huge effort. There were also times when it looks like we’re running through doors but we were really running through a green screen and our director was yelling at us the things that were supposed to be coming at us. To see how it all played on screen was exciting because people can’t tell the difference between the real maze and the CGI maze and I think that’s amazing.
BR: Other than acting, what are you most passionate about?
DD: I love all aspects of entertainment. I love dance. I’m a singer as well and I write my own music so when I’m not reading a script, going on an audition or filming a movie, I’m writing a lot of music and recording to get a demo together. I also write for other artists.
BR: What other projects are you working on that you can tell our readers about?
DD: I’m in the process of recording an EP so they can be expecting that soon. Also we start shooting Maze Runner II soon and hopefully everyone goes and sees it, we’ll be filming that in the next couple of months so I’m just resting now and saving my energy for that.
Be sure to follow Dexter Darden on Twitter and Instagram @DexterDarden and on Facebook.com/DexterDarden