The following is an interview with actor Blake Cooper, who will soon be appearing in The Maze Runner, the greatly anticipated film based on the best-selling book by James Dashner! In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Cooper about his initial interest in The Maze Runner, what makes the movie stand out with the popularity of YA literature, and his upcoming role in the TV show Cocked!
Barbra J. Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Congratulations on your upcoming role in The Maze Runner! I understand that you were a big fan of the book series on which the film was based. Can you tell us about your journey towards being cast in the film?
Blake Cooper: This is actually quite a long story, so I’ll just get to it. One day, one of my friends sent me a message on Facebook saying that her favorite book, The Maze Runner, was being made into a movie, and she thought I would be perfect for the role of Chuck. I had never actually heard of the book before that, so my mom and I read it and we both ended up loving it and the character, Chuck. We agreed that I would be great for this role, so we asked our agent here in Atlanta if I could get a audition for it. Unfortunately, she could not get the audition with the casting director, so, with a lot of thought, I decided to take to Twitter and try to reach out to the director (Wes Ball). At first, he didn’t notice me. But, a HUGE chunk of The Maze Runner book fandom noticed and started tweeting Wes with fan art, comics, and all sorts of things! So, you could say that the fandom agreed with my mom and I in thinking I was perfect for this role. Eventually, Wes noticed and decided to give me a chance to audition for the role, and I ended up getting it!
BD: The Young Adult genre has been very popular in recent years in both book form and in film. What do you feel makes The Maze Runner’s story stand out amongst today’s other popular YA stories?
BC: Well, one thing that you won’t see in this movie is a romance. This movie is about a great group of people fighting for their lives. They don’t have time for anything like romance!
BD: Your role of Chuck is somewhat of a fan favorite. What is it about the character that you feel you are most able to relate to?
BC: Chuck and I are so alike that I can’t just pick one. Chuck is described as the little brother of the glade, so I can relate pretty well, because I’m the youngest kid in my family and I have three older siblings. I am also a boy scout, so I can relate to him having to be able to survive out in the wilderness. Chuck also has some qualities that I don’t have. For example, I am brave when it comes to things like roller coasters and heights, but if I had to face a griever in real life, I would probably pee my pants!
BD: You worked with an amazingly talented cast and crew on the film. Can you share your experiences in working with the team throughout filming?
BC: I had an absolute blast (to put it lightly)! Everyone was so nice and funny and helpful, and I now think of the cast as some of my closest friends. I know we’ll always be like family. I learned a lot from this experience, and I will always be thankful for that. I really look up to them and hope I can take what I’ve learned and apply it to my career.
BD: In addition to working on The Maze Runner, you will soon be seen in Amazon Studio’s original series, Cocked. What can you tell us about the show and your role?
BC: Cocked is a dark comedy/drama about the Paxson Family. They’re broken people and trying to fix their problems while running a gun-making company. (Yes, this is a family-run gun-making company.) The show is funny, mysterious, and surprising.
My character is Xander Paxson. My father (Sam Trammel) is Richard Paxson, my grandfather (Brian Dennehy) is Wade Paxson, my mother (Laura Fraser) is Hannah Paxson, and my uncle (Jason Lee) is Grady Paxson. The script is great and the cast is amazing! So, stay tuned!!
BD: 2014 has been such a busy year for you. When you do have a bit of downtime, what do you like to do to have fun and relax?
BC: Well, video games to start! (Obviously! I’m a teenage boy) I also enjoy my action figures, watching gaming videos on YouTube, watching TV and movies, hanging out with my animals (I live on a sheep farm.) and family, playing guitar, swimming in the pool, and participating in scouting events. I also have started doing capoeira, which is a Brazilian martial art.
BD: Being that we focus on all things “geek” at Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about your favorite movies and video games?
BC: Well, I am currently playing the heck out of the game Destiny. It’s awesome! And, don’t even get me started with The Lord of the Rings. (#teamgandalf) I am also a HUGE fan of the anime series Attack on Titan.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about your work?
BC: All I want to say is thank you to my fans who have supported me all of the way. I couldn’t do it without you! You can keep up with me on Twitter, @followblakecoop.