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.

If there’s one thing fans of The Maze Runner should look forward to seeing in the sequel, which picks up immediately after the events of the first film, it’s getting to spend more onscreen time with Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), the lone and mysterious lady who was inexplicably dropped among the male residents of the Glade.

Scodelario readily admitted that Teresa’s character development in the second book/second movie is the reason she wanted the role, among other on-set revelations which include the British actress’ explanation for why Teresa joins the boys on their journey through The Scorch – a big change from the book – and why her self-described lack of physical fitness and unhealthy lifestyle finally caught up with her during filming.

So how was it, I know that you were the only girl on the set last time. How was it having a whole bunch of girls on the set this time? Just more people in general.

It’s just more people in general. My colleagues are my colleagues, my friends are my friends. It’s never been male or female. I never felt like the only girl last year, I felt like just a part of the group and one of the friends, and now we just have more friends and it’s really nice. They’ve kind of come into the group really nicely, we all hang out together, we all cook together, we are all having just as much fun together. They’ve just all kind of mixed really well, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s a male or female, as long as it’s a person you’re excited to work with and it’s nice, then we kind of welcome them with open arms.

Once they greenlit the second movie and you knew you were going to make it, what were you most looking forward to?

It sounds so cheesy, but honestly just being back with my mates again because we had so much fun shooting the first one. And we have stayed in touch, it’s like we haven’t disappeared from each other’s lives at all. Whenever we’re all in LA we hang out, we hung out at Comic-Con together and in New York and in London so it was just like ,”Oh, we’re all going to be together in the same place again.” I think what I was looking forward to the most is very much a mystery. In the first one and for me, the reason I wanted to do these movies was because I knew it would be a progression of her character. I wouldn’t have done it if it was just the first movie because she doesn’t really do anything, she’s just introduced. So I was kind of very excited to get into her a lot more this time. Explore her having her own mind and her own instincts, what she may or may not agree with Thomas or with the other guys. That was exciting for me, I wanted her to kind of separate and explore what she would be making of this world individually.

Scorch Trials cast photo Scorch Trials Set Interview: Kaya Scodelario Teases The Mystery Behind Her Character

What have you discovered about Teresa, doing this movie versus the first one?

It’s been sadder this time. She’s very singular and very alone but I like that. It would have been easy for us to just make her a follower and just make her agree with everything and go along with it. I like that she’s very much separated. She’s physically there, we’ve kind of changed that from the book, she’s on the journey with them, but her mind is elsewhere and her thought process and what she wants to do is very different from them all. And she doesn’t really have anyone to share that with, none of them do. These kids have been kind of thrust together. So it’s been, as an actor, it’s been kind of more, it’s been a lot lonelier but I like to play with that. You know, life isn’t rainbows and fairy tales.

How far along does she get with them? Like does she come out of the dorm with them now?

Ya, she’s on the journey.

I haven’t read the second book yet but what sort of background can you tell us about her?

For me, I think, I’ve got her backstory but it’s something that I want to keep very personal because it’s what’s exciting about these movies is that we don’t know everything about these kids. We have to trust them instantly, and we have to like them instantly and we have to root for them instantly, and that’s a very hard thing to do, but we do because it is such a kind of against the odds journey so I do know who she is myself, but it’s something I’ve kept from all the boys, it’s something I need to carry myself because there isn’t a moment where she sits down and says, “Okay, so I went to this school and I was born here” because there isn’t time for that but you do still need to have that. You do find out a bit towards the end that I can’t really give away because it’s quite an important moment, but you do get to find out some stuff about her.

Scorch Trials cranks Scorch Trials Set Interview: Kaya Scodelario Teases The Mystery Behind Her Character

You’ve seen a big progression in Wes being that was his first feature and this is his second feature. Has he now become more comfortable?

It’s interesting, I’ve thought about it a lot. I was like, “Is he going to be an asshole now? Is he going to be one of those shouty directors and have a Starbucks everyday?” But he’s not, he’s exactly the same way. He’s our friend still, he’s this beautiful mind, this incredible crazy mind that just thinks in a totally different way to anyone else. He’s still on it, he visually wants it to be his baby and he’s got every concept in his mind already. He can describe any scene to us at any point and he’s thought it all out. He’s put more effort and he’s kind of really growing and growing as a director. And we forget that he was a first time director on the last one. I’ve worked with a lot of first time directors, it’s something that I really enjoy but Wes is very, stood out very much, I wouldn’t ever have pinned him as a first time director at all. And this year, it’s very much the same.

How’s the physicality for you in this one? I mean there was a lot in the last one but….

Oh so much harder this year! It really is! It blew my mind the first week I was like “Jesus Christ.” It’s been tough, it’s been really really tough. I think I’ve found it the hardest. I’ll hold my hands up and say, “I’m the most unhealthiest member of the cast.” I do not exercise, I do not live a healthy lifestyle and I have to start now because in the first week we shot in the desert running up sand dunes, we trained in the desert at this altitude, it’s been extremely tough but it’s nice we have such a good supportive group. I never felt embarrassed, I kind of always had, like Dylan would high-five me when I actually managed to ran fast enough. I’d be like “Thank you so much.”


Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials will be in theaters September 18, 2015.

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