Light at the end of the maze
Actors Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scodelario discuss Maze Runner: Death Cure, their unorthodox love angle in the film, and their respective future plans
In this week’s release, Maze Runner: Death Cure, Dylan O'Brien and Kaya Scodelario are teaming up once again as the last survivors, immune to the Flare virus that has infected the world's population. Excepts from a conversation with the lead actors:
What are Thomas and Teresa upto in Maze Runner: The Death Cure?
Dylan: It's the first time we're seeing any sort of time pass by in this series. It's really the first time you're seeing Thomas and everyone else be a little more mature, in a way. Particularly with Thomas, this goal of redemption, and how he's just so dead set on getting Minho back, and tearing down WCKD, and just being done with this, once and for all. He's just so driven.
Kaya: Teresa has always been such an enigma to me. She goes through so many different transitions, emotionally and physically. In the first film, she's there with the guys, running around, and in The Scorch Trials, she's going through the desert and climbing the sand. In this one, she's kind of still. She's in the lab a lot, and it's only in the final sequence that we see her physical strength again. I love that. That's really interesting to me. For her, it’s all about redemption. This is her trying to redeem herself and trying to make sense of her decisions, not only to Thomas but also to herself.
The connection both the characters share isn't your average romantic one.
Kaya: I loved that. I think, to both of us, from the very beginning, it was refreshing to know that we were going to be playing opposite a lead of a different sex and that it would never become sexual. In the second film, when there was pressure for it to get more romantic, we really stuck to our guns in not letting it go that way, because we didn't believe it was true to their relationship.
Dylan: One of my favourite things about the story has always been their different perspectives. The sort of moral ambiguity. You're not sure who is right or wrong. With Teresa, I never wanted it to be, in the third film, that they come back together and just hate each other. That would just seem so basic. No matter what they've been through, and what she did to him, really, I think he does still deep down inside understand. But he believes in something else entirely; so they've gone their separate ways. She was the first one he connected with though. That's just always how it's going to be between them, and that's not going to change, no matter what they're disagreeing on.
The Death Cure was published already when you shot the first Maze Runner film. Were you conscious of what the future would hold for your characters?
Kaya: Not really, because I believe in being in the moment. So, I didn't want to read the final book. I knew the blunt facts. The greys in between that, I wanted to leave to fate, as it were. I wanted to see how the script would evolve. I knew Wes Ball (director) was very clear that we were going to really make this our own film, despite the books. So I didn't feel like I'd gain anything by reading the source material. If anything, I worried that it would hinder my performance. I have just been taking it as it comes, and working closely with Wes to fill that bridge.
The cast and crew have pretty much been the same ever since the first film rolled out in 2014.
Dylan: It meant a lot to me to come back with Wes and see it through. It was just amazing to go back, to be all together again, to have that sense of relief, to finish what we started. It ended up being the best experience I've ever had. Wrapping it up out there, with everybody, and being in South Africa.
Kaya: We are family. It's the third film, it's four years later, and we should be so sick of each other. People change, so many things have evolved, and yet, on the first day, the first thing we want to do is get together and hang out, and just chill and talk and have that connection. And I think a lot of it has to do with how different we all are. We have Americans, we have Brits, we have Latinos. We have every background imaginable, and we all bring something to our little family. We're proud of the work we've done, and we've managed to continue to have that underlying emotion all the way through.
How do you now feel given the series has come to an end?
Dylan: I am excited for the future, while also sort of mourning and celebrating. There's just no way that anything's going to beat this experience in my heart. I know I'm going to work with Wes again. We're too good friends for that not to happen. I'm so excited to see what he's going to do next. It's a sad time, because nothing can ever replace this time with these people. Some of these guys will forever be my best friends.