Ki Hong Lee stars in "The Maze Runner" as Minho.
"The Maze Runner" is one movie everyone is highly anticipating. It tells the story of a group of youngsters called Gladers forced to gather all their wits and strength in order to find their way out of a maze. One of those Gladers is Keeper of the Runners, Minho, portrayed by none other than budding actor Ki Hong Lee!
Having been in various productions, Ki Hong Lee is no stranger to doing his best in front of a rolling camera. The young actor has taken up roles in various TV shows and short films prior to his involvement in this feature-length film.
He has appeared in several shorts and mini-series which can be viewed on YouTube, such as "Always You", "To Those Nights" and "She Has A Boyfriend". For those who enjoy watching TV shows, you'll have noticed that he has also appeared in "Modern Family", "NCIS" and "New Girl", among others.
Cinema Online had the chance to interview Ki Hong Lee and the versatile actor talked to us about his role as Minho, his wish to visit Malaysia and spills on what the fellow Gladers did when they were on set.
Ki Hong Lee with his fellow "The Maze Runner" cast.
Q: Tell us a bit more about Minho and what was your initial reaction when offered the role?
Ki Hong Lee: Minho is the Keeper of the Runners. He is in charge of all the Gladers that have the dangerous task of running and finding a way out of the Maze. He's extremely athletic and has a bit of sass and sarcastic humor. When I was offered the role I was ecstatic. I had read the book and he was one of my favorite characters and I told myself that I HAD to play him.
What did you have to do in preparation for your character? Did you read the books or watch every Dystopian film to get a feel for the setting of the movie?
I made up some backstory for Minho and wrote the Runner's Code: 'Never Stop Running', 'Always Be Alert', 'Bring Back Hope' as well as The Runner's Manual. I felt that doing the background work for the character helped me get a sense of Minho's world and the responsibilities that burden him as the Lead Runner.
Are there any similarities between yourself and Minho's snarky yet cool persona? Also, if you were in The Maze, how do you think you would fare?
I'm like Minho in that I would do anything to protect my family just like Minho would do anything for his fellow Gladers. Minho is an intense guy and extremely athletic. I'm pretty athletic myself but I think Minho has me beat on that. I would not fare very well in the maze, unfortunately. I would run right back to the Glade! Those Grievers are scary.
Ki Hong Lee on the set of "The Maze Runner". [Photo credit: pagetopremiere.com]
Who did you bond the best with on set and seeing that the cast are made up of mostly guys, were there any pranks played?
There was certainly a high level of 'bromance' on set. We loved working together and we would get together after filming and have pot luck dinners at someone's room. We all stayed at the same hotel so that helped us bond as a family. Post filming, we have get-togethers whenever someone is in town and we have a chat room via text with all the cast mates.
How different is it acting in TV series and acting in movies? Would you say you prefer acting in short films or feature length ones?
I love acting, period. I think the major difference between TV and film is how quickly a television show is shot. In the span of shooting "Maze Runner", you could've shot 10 episodes of a TV show.
Tell us more on your upcoming projects?
I just wrapped on the new Wong Fu Productions movie. It should be coming out sometime next year. Right now I'm on set of this indie film that I am super excited about but I can't tell you what it is yet!
Ki Hong Lee stars in a Wong Fu Productions short, "Take It Slow".
Tell us who is your favourite actor and/or actress of all time?
Song Kang Ho is a Korean actor that I like. He brings such vulnerability to his characters which I admire and he's always interesting to watch.
Have your travels or work ever brought you to Malaysia before? If yes, what did you think of it and when will you be back again? If no, then are there plans to visit?
No, I have never been to Malaysia. But I would love to go some day. Maybe after "Maze Runner" comes out! I hope you all enjoy the movie, we had a great time filming it!
Cinema Online, 11 September 2014