He’s A-Maze-ing

by Natasha Wolff | September 18, 2015 11:00 am

It can raise a viewer’s heart rate just watching Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials[1], the second film in the popular franchise about a group of friends attempting to survive a post-apocalyptic world, so it’s no great surprise that actually starring in the film required intense dedication to some hair-raising stunts. 

Here, Ki Hong Lee—who you might know from a less brutal role on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt—explains how he and his cadre of co-stars prepare for their roles and what he hopes the next challenge to come his way will be.   

This is the second film in a series that has your character pretty much constantly in mortal danger. Were you looking forward to coming back?

I was looking forward to doing the second film, absolutely. First off, as an actor, I get to do a job that I love. Secondly, I get to hang out with the best group of people I’ve ever met in our cast and crew. You couldn’t ask for more. 

It looks very physically demanding.

Working in Albuquerque, New Mexico was a different beast. We got exposed to extremely dry heat and also tremendously cold weather. And the altitude of Albuquerque was something that we had to get used to, too. So a couple of weeks before we started shooting, we went out there and trained with the stunt coordinators and sprinted up sand dunes and went for three- or four-mile hikes. It was those physical things that we had to do to get ready for the shoot. The whole movie was physically taxing on the body, but it helps to have a good group of people around you to push you and guide you throughout this tough process. It definitely would have been harder if I were going through it alone. 

Is there one part of it that was more trying than any other? 

Definitely hanging upside down! The blood is just rushing to your head for three or four minutes at a time, and you’re trying to not throw up the lunch that you just ate. We shot that scene in a span of two days just because it took so long, we would go up three or four minutes at a time, come back down, rest, and go back up and do the scene. In the end it paid off and it’s one of the greatest scenes in the movie.

What was life like off-camera? 

Towards the end of the shoot, when we were filming out in the desert, we actually took campers there and spent the night on set. That was really cool just because I was literally on location camping[2] with my cast mates. You wake up five minutes before your call time, get out of bed and go straight to hair and makeup, and that was a cool experience. 

What do you want to see for Minho in the third installment of the movie?

I would love to do a little less running and do a little more physically assertive things, like punching people in the face. That would be cool.

Main photo by Ramona Rosales

  1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials: http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/maze-runner-the-scorch-trials
  2. camping: http://dujour.com/lifestyle/paws-up-luxury-camping/

Source URL: https://dujour.com/culture/ki-hong-lee-maze-runner-interview/