GAME OF THRONES STARS THOMAS BRODIE-SANGSTER AND AIDAN GILLEN MEET ON THE MAZE RUNNER SET
If there is one thing we know for sure about Westeros, it’s that it’s a vast place. So much so that many Game Of Thrones citizens/cast members have never set foot on the same set at the same time.
It took shooting the second film in the Maze Runner franchise in New Mexico to get Jojen Reed – aka Thomas Brodie-Sangster – and Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, aka Aidan Gillen, working together.
“They have two simultaneous units running at the same time,” BrodieSangster says of life on Game Of Thrones.
“Aidan was on one unit, I was on the other unit. So I walked into a make-up trailer once and he was getting makeup taken off after a night shoot and I was going in to start my morning. So we were both a bit grumpy.
“We kind of went, ‘Oh yeah, hi’. That was it. That was my only interaction with Aidan on Game Of Thrones.”
At the end of The Maze Runner, Brodie-Sangster’s Newt, Dylan O’Brien’s Thomas and the others we met in the Glade had fought their way out of the maze and were transported through a desert wasteland to what they thought was safety but viewers ominously knew it was only “Phase Two”. That’s where the second film, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, picks up. Enter Gillen as the sinister manager of a facility that the children are told will keep them safe from a virus running rampant in the outside world. But Thomas quickly learns they never really escaped, so the gang – with Newt remaining the voice of reason – is soon on the run and fighting for their lives.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to call it an action film,” BrodieSangster says of the sequel that busts the franchise out of “young adult” territory.
Only this time, rather than contending with green grass and concrete, the young actors were faced with a barren desert. Given his latest job, living out a childhood dream by voicing John Tracy in the rebooted Thunderbirds Are Go! TV series, exercised only his vocal cords, the sand dunes put Brodie-Sangster to the physical test.
“They were hard work,” he admits. “Wind combined with sand is never the most pleasant thing. Then, when they add wind machines on top of the natural wind, it can get a bit much. Walking through sand is quite hard, anyway.
“It’s not an even surface so you have to use lots of little muscles you never normally use. Then, when you put it on a 45-degree incline, it’s really hard to get up because you just constantly sink.
“Then if you’re laden with gear and equipment ...”
Wait a minute, doesn’t Newt have a limp?
“And do it with a limp ... Yeah, that went out the window, really,” BrodieSangster laughs.
“I didn’t know how to limp and get up a sand dune at the same time! The mission was to just try to get to the top. Then do it again and again and again and again ...”
If it sounds as though Brodie-Sangster is complaining, he’s not. The child from Love Actually and Nanny McPhee, now 25, has loved being part of a Maze Runner ensemble where, for once, he’s not “the kid”.
“The opportunity to work with a whole bunch of actors my own age – young, talented, up-and-coming, new actors from both the States and England was an aspect I thought was quite exciting.”
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opens today
Ki Hong Lee, Rosa Salazar, Dylan O'Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster star in
Maze Runner: Scorch Trials.