The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - NEALA JOHN­SON

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.

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