Meet Dexter Darden, aka Frypan from James Dashner’s The Maze Runner. We fell in love with his character, the resident chef of The Glade and sidekick to Thomas.
Were you familiar with the book by James Dashner when you auditioned for the role? What was it like bringing his charactr to life? Did the author have any specific direction or advice for you?
I was familiar with the book because my cousins are huge fans, but I had not read it until after I got the role of Frypan. Bringing the character to life was a blessing and an honor! James was very welcoming to the ideas we had for our characters—he and (director) Wes (Ball) trusted all of us and gave us creative control.
What was your favorite scene to shoot in The Maze Runner? Any one part we need to keep an eye out for?
My favorite scene to shoot was probably the party scene. In the movie we welcome Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) to The Glade by having a party. Frypan gets to cook a FEAST. My brothers and I get to celebrate by lighting a pretend Griever on fire, dancing to live drums and wrestling like we Gladers do! It was a blast!
Your character in the movie, Frypan, is the expert chef for the Runners. What’s your signature dish to cook when you’re off camera?
I love to cook! My signature dish, though? I would have to say my ribs. I marinate and slow cook them in the oven for a day before I throw them on the grill! That, combined with my secret sauce, is what sets them apart.
The movie take place in a post-apocalyptic world, populated by a small number of humans and a huge, freaky number of slimy monsters called “Grievers.” In your opinion, what would be the most terrifying apocalypse? Zombies? Aliens? Do you think you could survive an apocalypse?
I am pretty sure the most terrifying apocalypse would be alien. They may have their technology and resources that we don’t know about. I just hope they “come in peace!” I watch a lot of Walking Dead so I think I’ve learned from those guys how to survive a zombie apocalypse—a lot of duct tape and water bottles, lol.
What was the vibe like on set? Any funny jokes or pranks you can tell us about?
The vibe on set was amazing! As a cast we all got along so well and became the best of friends. There were definitely some pranks on set. Will, Dylan and I are the jokesters, so it was probably coming from one of us. Even I got pranked! When we first started shooting I started getting love letters in my apron from an anonymous source. This went on for about a month until I found out that it was my brother Will writing all the letters, lol!
When you’re not busy cooking up tasty meals as Frypan, you’ve been known to be quite a charitable guy. What are some of the organizations you’ve been linked with? What advice would you give someone looking to become more involved in organizations like these?
I’m very passionate about “The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.” It’s a camp founded by Paul Newman where kids with special needs and blood diseases can go to get away for a week and participate in activities they may not normally be able to. They can go swimming and rock climbing, record an album, participate in theater, go fishing… the activities are endless! I myself have Sickle Cell, so trying to educate others on this blood disease is very near and dear to my heart! I would advise others to find a cause that they are passionate about, whether it’s bullying, anti-violence, blood diseases or children. Reach out there and get involved, because there is always someone out there less fortunate than ourselves who could use our help!
Is there anything you’re working on now that you’re excited about/ want to share with us?
Yes! I’m currently working on my EP! I grew up singing and dancing, so music is a big part of who I am. I’m excited to share it with everybody. Follow me on Twitter/Insta/Facebook for more updates. @DexterDarden