Interview with Khylin Rhambo From Ender's Game
FlickDirect: Tell me about your character Dink Meeker.
Khylin Rhambo: He's a noble character and willing to take one for the team. He can be a human shield or do whatever needs to be done ahead of his own needs. That's because he can see the bigger picture of trying to save the world.
He becomes allies with Ender because he sees the potential and is open-minded about leadership. He lets Ender become the leader he needs to be.
FlickDirect: When you were playing him, what did you bring specifically to the role?
Khylin Rhambo: Yeah, you know Gavin [Hood, Ender's Game writer & director] was really creative with us. He allowed us to bring our own ideas if it fit. We were allowed several different takes to see what fit our characters. In order to bring more life to my character I journaled as him-I made up stories like I was him keeping notes and I had some detailed stuff.
FlickDirect:You should put that up on your fan pages. I think people might be interested in reading that and I understand you like writing fiction in general.
Khylin Rhambo: I should. That's a good idea.
FlickDirect: What was the coolest or hardest thing you got to do on the set?
Khylin Rhambo: The coolest thing and the hardest thing was the same thing-the wires. We had to work very hard to make it seem like were were in zero gravity. You're just floating there, and giving off that illusion required a lot of physical strength. It was extremely difficult.
We had to have our bodies completely level, like we felt weightless-while we were straining. It was hard but it was also an amazing experience.
FlickDirect: How long did they have you up there?
Khylin Rhambo: Hours-hours. We had to take breaks because they have to do multiple shots. Most people think "well, they did one take and got the lines so that's it." But the truth is that you have to go back and perfect. So it was days or weeks while we were up there.
FlickDirect: Had you read the book Ender's Game before getting cast?
Khylin Rhambo: I read it as soon as I got cast so I'd have a better grip on the project.
FlickDirect: What did you think of it?
Khylin Rhambo: I really loved how advanced it was for its time. It was written so long ago but introduced a lot of current ideas like the Internet and the iPad. Peter was my favorite character-how he took over the world by writing. It was so cool. I was really excited to be part of something that cool.
FlickDirect: How did you get the part?
Khylin Rhambo: I put in a lot of work-hours with my coach. But when I got the call from the director he told me I had the ‘spirit' of Dink. I didn't know what that meant until I met the rest of the cast. We were all amazed at how much we really embody our characters!
FlickDirect: You've been playing the president's son on TV in The First Family. Did playing a character who lives in the White House change your outlook on politics any?
Khylin Rhambo: It's funny-my character is probably the least political. He's more concerned with girls and being a normal kid. If I had a more political character though I'd probably have a deeper connection to geo politics. But for now he's more like I am-an average kid who just happens to be in the White House.
There's still stuff that impacts me though. Like the intimidation of how hard it is to make friends when you're the president's kid.
FlickDirect: What else do you have in the pipeline?
Khylin Rhambo: They're still doing The First Family and soon I hope to publish my first short story!
FlickDirect: That's really cool. It looks like Ender's Game is a big break for you and The First Family looks like a great on-going gig for you. We really wish you luck.
Khylin Rhambo: Thanks!
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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