×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Maze Runner’ Actress Kaya Scodelario on Playing Complicated Women

Kaya Scodelario reprises her role as Teresa, one of the heroines in “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” which opens Jan. 26. Next for the British-born actress, who also starred in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” is “Die in a Gunfight,” a modern-day action remake of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

You’ve been vocal about having been sexually harassed.

I never thought I would have an opportunity to be able to reach people like this. I’ve always believed if there was just one person who spoke out and said, “This thing has happened to me,” maybe as a young child I wouldn’t have had so much depression and felt so conflicted growing up. To know that I could perhaps do that for someone else, I feel like I owe it to myself to do that.

What inspired you to become an actor?

It was the only thing I ever felt confident doing. I was painfully shy as a child; I was dyslexic. I had a single mother who’s an immigrant. I just didn’t believe acting was something that people like me could do on a professional level. I remember doing my first school play. We were doing “Oliver Twist,” and I was cast as Oliver. It was the first time I ever felt brave and confident and truly happy about something. My mom always let me watch movies that were probably slightly too mature for my age but she wanted me to see different stories. We grew up with quite a hard life, so she wasn’t afraid to show me that in movies.

What would you be doing if you weren’t acting?

I’d like to think that even if I wasn’t acting professionally, I would still be doing it for free. It helps me get through the day. If not, I’d love to run a rock ’n’ roll bar one day. Actually that sounds pretty good.

Why is it important for you to portray strong females on screen?

I’ve never met a woman who isn’t interesting and layered and f**ked up and beautiful and emotional and a million things in one. So I’ve never understood why we represent women on screen as anything other than that. It’s very important I play a character that I believe can be a real person. I make sure she’s not just there to be in her underwear at some random point.

How do you prepare for roles?

I like to work a lot off of instinct. I believe in vulnerability as an actor. I believe in allowing yourself to be immersed in a character instead of planning every movement. I do a lot of backstory work where I annotate my scripts or write for hours on end about her. Then I’ll put that away before I start the project and never look at it again. There’s no point in planning when to sneeze or when to pull your hair behind your ear, because it should just come to you in that moment.

Things you didn’t know about Kaya Scodelario

AGE: 25 BIRTHPLACE: Sussex, England FAVORITE MOVIE OF 2017:The Florida ProjectFAVORITE SOCIAL-MEDIA PLATFORM: Instagram DREAM CO-STAR: Her husband, Benjamin Walker MOST-USED PHONE APP: Google Maps

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content