There was Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and now? Ender’s Game, ladies and gentlemen. The film, out this weekend, is based on the YA novel about teens fighting aliens in a post-apocalyptic world, and we chatted with Khylin Rhambo, who plays Dink Meeker, a friend of Ender’s (played by Asa Butterfield) who’s super awesome in battle. And PS, he’s super awesome to talk to, too. Here’s what Khylin told us about his co-stars Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin, how true the film stays to the books (fans will be thrilled!), why McDonald’s took a part in his audition, why he’s obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio and more. Here goes…
OK!: I hear you have a funny audition story for this film…
Khylin Rambo: I did the audition, it seemed to go well and 3 months went by, not a word, not a peep. I actually forgot about it. I was just moved on to other things and I auditioned for this McDonalds commercial. I get home and my dad calls me and he’s like “Hey son are you sitting down?” and I said yeah, I figured it was good news for the Mcdonalds commercial [but it was Ender’s Game]. That was pretty exciting because I totally forgot about it so that was just like a pleasant surprise.
OK!: So did you get the McDonald’s commercial also?
KR: (laughs) No I didn’t. After that it didn’t even matter for McDonald’s. Anything else didn’t matter at that point.
OK!: The fans obviously most want to know, how close is this film to the story in the book?
KR: We studied the book basically, we read our characters and we found the essence of our character and we had that feeling of our character 100 percent inside the movie. Even though there may be minor line changes in the movie, we definitely worked very hard to stay true to the book and keep the essence of Ender’s Game alive throughout the film instead of making it this just Hollywood explosion action thriller. It’s more than that.
OK!: The movie revoles around teens doing not-so-teen things. What’s the most teen-like things you and your cast did off-set?
KR: We were just teenagers throughout New Orleans. We explored the city. Hailee [Steinfeld] and Abigail [Breslin], they are girls so they like to shop and all that stuff but with all the guys, we were like a group. We all went out and got bikes and we rode around, we ate dinner every night together, we played hide and seek in the hotel rooms, I bet the hotel was not happy with us at that point. It wasn’t all business, which was cool.
OK!: There are tons of Oscar-nominated actors in this film, but who’s one that you’re dying to meet?
KR: I would die if I met Leonardo DiCaprio. If I even could ask him one question like ‘What’s your favorite color’ or anything I would die. He has been my idol. I want to become that person, to that caliber. He is ridiculous.
OK!: I was going to ask you who you want to see win an Oscar next year and Leo has never won!
KR: Oh yes, he deserves an Oscar since Titanic! It is surprising that he hasn’t won one. I actually get to vote now since I’m a member of SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild)l. I don’t know if I can vote for Oscars but I know I can vote for other things that I couldn’t before.
OK!: So who are you going to be voting for?
KR: I actually don’t know, I have to look things up now. This is my first year so maybe I should talk to someone who is skilled, who can show me the ropes on all that stuff.
OK!: Maybe Leo can show you the ropes?
KR: Man, that would be ridiculous.
OK!: Who’s your ideal leading lady if you ever did a rom-com?
KR: Leading lady, man, let’s see, they’re all older than me, all my crushes are grown women so it wouldn’t work! But maybe in some universe where I was older like Paula Patton or Megan Fox, someone just outrageously gorgeous that would make my palms sweaty.
OK!: Is there romance in Ender’s Game at all? The trailer looks kind of sexy…
KR: You know, it is coming off as a romance but there’s nothing in the movie that is just defined like hey, these two like each other. Who knows? They might like each other but it depends on how you interpret their actions. You have to check out the movie and give me your opinion.
Ender’s Game hits theaters this Friday, November 1! Are you a fan of the book series? Excited for the film? Tweet us @OKMagazine.