Last December Screen Rant was part of a small group of outlets selected visit the Albuquerque, New Mexico set of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. At long last we are able to share that experience with you, which includes a slew of interviews with the film’s key players.
Recently announced as a cast member of Star Wars: Rogue One, fan-fave character actor Alan Tudyk also surprised us with his role in The Maze Runner sequel where he joins the franchise as Blondie. Blondie’s not a nice person and Tudyk compares him to his character in Dollhouse. Even though he was only on set briefly, his character will be a standout. Allow him to explain.
Hi, I’m Alan. It’s been a rough morning.
[Back and forth about his makeup, his worn coat]
Blondie is really stylin’ while he does drugs and kidnaps children.
How did this come to you?
How did I get this? I auditioned. Like many things.
How do you still have to audition? Your reel speaks for itself.
When you’re a character actor, the roles that I’ve been lucky enough to do are so very different and I really enjoy that, getting to do so many different things, but then it kind of becomes, “Yeah, we know you can do that, can you do this?” Because the roles tend to be very different. I guess I could have shown them some stuff from “Dollhouse” because that guy was crazy and sort of the sadistic, sort of sadistic, not sort of. I don’t know if you saw that, if it was a Joss Whedon television show and I carved up the faces of a lot of people, kidnapped people, he was an awful guy.
What was it about Blondie and this world that made you want to be a part of it?
It’s a lot of fun. In this story, in this movie in particular they’re on this track and they keep encountering all these different challenges and I’m just another one of the challenges that they encounter. He’s almost so far from the world they’ve come from, it’s a blast. These kind of characters, I was like, “I want a bunch of chains. Can I wear a bunch of jewelry?” “Sure, why not? It doesn’t matter.” You can do whatever because he’s such a unique individual. I could have a band-aid on every finger with no explanation of why I have a band-aid and a ferret that I pet. You can put anything on this guy and it’s like, “Yeah okay, that works.” Those types of people are a blast because you’re not trying to stay within, the parameters are wide open, you can go crazy.
What kind of crazy is he?
He’s a capitalist. [Laughs] The worst kind. The scene that we are shooting today is – obviously I get beaten up because I have been selling off the kids that I’m able to catch in the web of my dance club, selling them off to WICKED and in this scene I explain, its supply and demand, it’s how it goes, I’ve got to get by some way and this is how I do it. Somebody else would do it if it wasn’t me, it’s a capitalist.
How long did that make up take?
Like two and a half hours, not bad, not bad at all. You go in and they do the cast of your face, so there’s a head somewhere of me, another one. I’ve got a few heads floating around in LA or Burbank, they tend to all be in Burbank.
This is your second day and your last? What is that like to come in so quickly?
Great. It’s fine, I get to come in with a lot of energy, I’m not tired at all [Laughs]. I’m very optimistic, so it’s easy to stand out as a very positive player on the day. It’s neat, it’s neat to jump into a world and get to play for a couple of days and then I’ll go home and 2 or 3 days will go by and I’ll go, “Wow, was I just in New Mexico? That’s weird. I have pictures of me with my face beaten up,” it’s wild.
What do you like about working with Wes, he’s new and still fresh.
He likes to play around which is great, he’s open to trying different things, which is good, it becomes more of a collaboration. Especially with something this large it kind of has its own life as well and you have to kind of ride it while it’s going because it changes. We had a big day yesterday of shooting, we tried a lot of different things. There are drugs that I give the youngins and once you open up into that world, if you are on a drug trip, a lot of different things can happen. We were just dancing and playing around and screaming and laughing and cackling, madness. So he’s open to madness.
Did anyone come up with what exactly is in his concoction?
Coffee mate. I thought it would be much worse than that. No, it’s some future drink, it looks like Listerine or something like that, but I’m pretty sure it’s much worse. It’s a hallucinogen, it’s a euphoric drug we just see the effects of it and it also knocks you out, it knocks you out so that WICKED can come in and take you.
Is it something that is supplied by WICKED?
Yeah, I’ve heard that or we make it. We might make it. You know what, they have a better laboratory than I do, they probably got, maybe that was part of the deal. “We will provide you with a knockout drug, we’ll throw that in for free!”
Did you read the books?
I have now. I watched the first movie before I ever knew about the second movie and liked it, then after I got the role I read it.
How is it working with the kids?
It’s good. I try not to call them kids. They are youngins, they are young adults. They’re great.
Had you worked with any of them before?
Nope. They’re doing a great job, it’s a really hard job this, and they’ve been at it, this is their second movie and there’s a lot of opportunity to go off the rails. After you do a hard job for a long time, it’s easy to get annoyed by it and bristle, I haven’t seen any of that. Everybody is really courteous to one another, everyone is getting along, playing, as you’re supposed to be. I’ve seen it to the other way and it’s nowhere near as fun.
We know you can do all kinds of voices, what does your character sound like?
Oh no it’s my voice. Although the producer described him as a more malevolent, Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka. Because he’s on his own drugs, so there’s a lot of power he’s holding onto, he’s on drugs. He’s on drugs.
It’s just like that tunnel scene in Willy Wonka, but over and over?
[Laughs] We did some of those moments last night on the drugs, yeah, on the last scene. “You win nothing! Nothing! You get nothing.” It’s that scene.
What about the flare, do we get to see him being affected by that at all?
No, the idea is that I have been infected but we don’t see it develop too much, you just see my ass get kicked, and they steal my car. What are you going to do? I’m the victim here. Obviously. “Officer, look at this, they broke into my home, I was having a little dance party.”
What is it like to shoot a scene for you just get the crap kicked out of you?
I don’t know that I’ve done one. I haven’t done this scene yet, I don’t think I’ve ever done one? That’s not true, I was tortured once on a show called “Firefly” and it felt a lot like torture. Because we were being electrocuted and you tense your muscles up like that and relax and then tense your muscles again and then the next day we woke up like, “Oh my god.” We didn’t realize at the time it’s actually working muscles, so we were sore as if we’d worked out all over, again and again. You’ve just got to be careful, not to throw my head back and smack my brittle bones around. [Laughs] But I like stuntman. I like them and we have a great one here, he looks just like me and he’ll take all the big hits. They’re good at that, they like doing it, they are insane.
Who is it that kicks the crap out of you?
George. Who plays George again? I haven’t met him yet. He’s a badass, he’s a good actor. Oh Jorge, Giancarlo Esposito. Yeah Jorge, that’s how you say it, [Laughs] Obviously I haven’t met him.
[Publicist adding that Alan did not look beat up yesterday he was super handsome and normal.]
Super handsome, that’s very generous. I’ve got a lot of chains on, four or five of them, lots of rings, 3 watches, it’s a character actor’s dream. “Can I have one more watch and another one? No ferret but it’s alright.
[Back and forth with the contest winners. Conversation about how they won, all the tweeting.]
[The set] is kind of nasty, it’s a weird place, it’s really perfect for this scene because it’s supposed to be a weird ass house.
Maybe you’ll get a new Twitter following from this?
A Twitter bump? I’ve kept my mouth shut about this. I think I have to, that’s how I’ve been playing it, because I’ve gone to some sci-fi conventions and, “I’m not going to finish that sentence.” I’ll find out when I can talk about it. It’s been great, I’m super excited about it and in two days I will be home going, “Was I there?” [Gets up to go back to set] Thanks a lot, I’m going to go get my ass kicked.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opens September 18, 2015.