Thomas Brodie-Sangster on filming Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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Thomas Brodie-Sangster on filming Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Dylan O' Brien with other Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials cast members in a still from the movie.

Now that the Gladers have escaped the nightmarish maze, in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Newt's loyalty will mean more than ever.

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Published: Tue 15 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 16 Sep 2015, 11:09 AM

Thomas Brodie-Sangster has been in the limelight since he made his feature debut, aged 12, in Richard Curtis's romantic comedy hit Love, Actually.
In dystopian adventure The Maze Runner, Brodie-Sangster played Newt, one of Thomas' (Dylan O'Brien) first allies when he lands up in the mysterious Glade. Now that the Gladers have escaped the nightmarish maze, in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Newt's loyalty will mean more than ever.
What's going on with Newt as we head into Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials?
He's out of the world that he knows and he's been in the maze for four years. He's quite established there. So to come out into this world where he doesn't really have a place - he's more reliant on the group he's coming out with. The relationships between all of those characters unite a bit more because we are all we have. The rest of it: either it's very scary and intimidating and deathly, or it's unknown. There's no one you can trust and you don't know who's a goodie and who's a baddie, so we just kind of stick together.
Newt becomes the person that helps drive Thomas along to keep him motivated, keep him going and on the right track. As I think he does with all the characters. He's that person. Despite how he feels he makes sure everyone else feels secure and that they know what they're doing, and that everyone has a purpose.
Is there a worry that they might have been better off in the Glade?
Maybe. To be honest, I miss the location of the Glade actually, so I would say so, just personally. I liked filming there. It was great. Albuquerque's all right. We're staying uptown and there's not much around. Downtown, at least, there's stuff going on and places to go. I don't have a car when I'm out here so I can't really get around.
Is this one more physical?
Yeah, and it can be quite hard work. There are some days that were pretty tough. The sand dunes were quite hard work. They don't look it, but to run up sand at a vertical angle is really hard, and at this altitude you run out of breath almost instantly. You're panting, but you can't get enough oxygen, so you go a bit lightheaded and faint. It's a really horrible feeling. We tried to do a bit of acclimatising to our surroundings and stuff. We went on runs with the stunt guys to build us up and get our stamina up. I think that did help. But it's nice to go home feeling like you've actually physically worked. I like that feeling. It's satisfying.
There's been a trend towards dystopian sci-fi. What do you think it is that appeals to audiences?
I think it's fun and adventurous and I think as a teenager you go through a lot of changes and emotions. When you hit puberty there are lots of hormones going around. This appeals to people as a fantastical world. It's so far-fetched from mundane life that I know some teenagers kind of struggle with. To a certain extent it's escapism for them, and it pushes loads of buttons. It's a fun adventure story that I think is well shot and well acted and I think if it weren't for those things it's not worth doing. It has to be a good film to start with. I think it's just fun escapism. I think that's basically all it is really.
What surprises do you think are in store this time?
It's got the same set-up and the same characters, and those characters go on to form stronger relationships. By the end of the first movie Thomas had been in the Glade for two or three days or something, so it's not an awful lot of time to get to know anyone. So that continues and that's nice. I really like that and the way the relationships expand. All the characters in it are strong characters.
But then these same characters are thrown into a whole different world. A completely different set-up. Whereas before they were longing to get out, and they were trapped and confined, in this there's this feeling of vastness, of space, of just emptiness. It's a dead world, and they're hoping that some group or someone or some thing out there will be a place of refuge.
In this one the feeling is, as opposed to trapped, it's very lost. It's got quite a different vibe. But it's similar in the sense that it's exactly the same characters, and you're following their journey. It's also faster-paced. There's lot more locations and moving around; it's a travelling movie now. Whereas before it was literally confined between four walls.

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