It’s amazing to think that Khylin Rhambo is only 17 years old. This year alone, he will make his feature film debut in the Ender’s Game as the courageous Dink Meeker, who takes the soon-to-be-hero Ender under his wing at battle school. Ender’s Game isn’t Khylin’s first foray into acting, though; he first began taking acting classes when he was eight years old and first worked as a model. He went on to land guest roles on “Criminal Minds” and “Reed Between the Lines” before landing the role as the President’s awkward son on BET Centric’s “The First Family”. In addition to being an actor, Khylin is a writer and has a passion for working with the homeless.
Khylin is great fun to chat with. As a fellow nerd, we had a great conversation covering important topics such as Comic-Con, “Breaking Bad”, and “The Walking Dead”. He’s extremely approachable, and I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot more of Khylin in the future. During our chat, we discussed Khylin’s own short stories, the scariest part about filming Ender’s Game,and his thoughts on the “Breaking Bad” finale:
YH: Tell us a bit about the film Ender’s Game.
KR: Ender’s Game is set in the future. We have just undergone a massive attack from extraterrestrial beings. It’s our last stand. We need the one. We need the hero who will save mankind. And that, surprisingly, is a kid who’s named Ender. It’s a story of how Ender uses his gifts and helps saves the planet.
YH: Did you read the book Ender’s Game prior to filming?
KR: No, I didn’t. I heard of the book; my English teacher was a big fan of the book. After I went forward with this project, I decided to read the book. It was a great book. I really understood why everyone loved it so much! The thing that’s a bit crazy about Ender’s Game is that it was written so long ago, yet it’s relevant to today. They even introduce iPads, and it was written sometime in 1970s. It’s ridiculous how advanced it was. There are also so many morals and values in it. It’s not just about aliens destroying the world, it’s much deeper than that.
YH: What is your character Dink Meeker like?
KR: He was in the battle school longer than Ender, so he was there before Ender. He takes Ender under his wing. It’s not something a lot of kids do. When you’re in battle school, the new kids are trash. You treat them like freshman. They have to earn their place. Dink is mature enough to see the greatness in Ender. That kind of big picture thinking sets him apart. He also takes one for the team. He’s totally okay with doing something that might hurt him to make the team better, so it’s a win. That’s all he cares about -- winning for mankind. He’s an honorable, noble character.
YH: What was the most interesting thing that happened to you on the set of Ender’s Game?
KR: The wires. I looked forward to doing the wires. It hurt a lot, being suspended in mid-air for so long. I just reminded myself that it was going to look like I was floating in space. So I had to have that mindset while wearing the battle suit, being on the set, how real it looked. I really felt like I was in that world. I forgot I was filming a movie. That’s something I’ve never experienced. I think that I came out of this a better actor. It felt like I was flying. It was intense! I could do a flip, a back flip in the air... it was really cool. There was one scary part -- It was a runway, and we ran along the runway, and we were in space. We had to actually run and jump off of this platform, and it felt like we were going to fall down. But the wires were there to pull us up. It was kind of scary because your initial instinct was, “Oh crap! I’m going to fall!” That was pretty scary.
YH: You have mentioned that you are also a writer. Can you tell us the plot of one of your short stories, and who some of your favorite writers are?
KR: I’m actually writing this story, it sounds kind of dark and intense, but I think it’s a good idea. It’s in the tone of a new age vampire; they’re not really vampires, they’re teenage kids who all have the mind of a serial killer. And some of them actually are serial killers. They have killed people. The question is, “Why are they all in the same school together?” The story is pretty long. There are 12 serial kids in this one huge high school, and they’re trying to figure out why they’re all there, and why they are the way that they are. There’s a big twist at the end that’s pretty cool. I used to love all the Percy Jackson books when I was younger, but now I’ve been reading a lot of random short stories. I don’t always remember the author’s names. They’re not really famous authors. I enjoy these stories a lot more than anything.
YH: You have described yourself as a video game fanatic. What is your all-time favorite video game?
KR: My all-time favorite video game was called Hit Man: Blood Money. It’s on the PS2. I was obsessed with that game. The new one came out this year. It disappointed me, I felt sad. Right now, I’m a big Grand Theft Auto V fan. But my favorite game was and will always be Hit Man: Blood Money. The Last of Us is the best game I’ve ever played. It’s not my favorite of all time, but it’s the best quality game I’ve ever played. It’s like a movie.
YH: You have a passion for helping the homeless. Can you tell us a bit about some of the charity work you’ve done?
KR: I need to start doing a lot more; that’s been on my mind. I was actually talking to my mom about it the other day. We went to Skid Row where they had this program where you can talk to them on Thanksgiving and give them food. And on Christmas, you can give them gifts and play with the kids. Being around that, and seeing how grateful these people are, it makes me feel like humanity is not as bad as everyone says it is. They are the most grateful people I’ve met. You would think that they’re miserable, but it’s quite the contrary. It’s just cool, knowing that you’re making an impact and making someone else happy. There are a lot of other charities I want to work with in the future. I want to figure out what speaks to me. I’m an Asthmatic, so I want to speak to kids who have Asthma. I always wanted to play sports. That was my dream, to be a super cool sportsy, athletic kid. I never could be that kid, so I moved into acting, luckily so, but I’d like to start something with Asthmatic kids.
YH: It seems that you are a “Breaking Bad” fan. Any thoughts on the grand finale?
KR: First of all, I honestly think that I should be compensated for the amount of brain damage that I had, because my mind was blown. It was ridiculous. I felt like I was in the “Breaking Bad” life. I felt like I went through a bad break-up, and I had to get over “Breaking Bad.”