Dylan O’Brien’s big brown eyes widen as he looks up at a massive concrete cross section of the maze, a living puzzle he’s set to conquer. A large camera zooms in on his face, coated in a thin layer of dirt, as he adjusts the collar of his blue shirt. The now 22-year-old is filming The Maze Runner—Wes Ball’s adventure thriller based on James Dashner’s best-selling YA book of the same name—on location in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From the highway you’d never know that inside this colossal warehouse (a former Sam’s Club), fall’s hottest flick is deep in production.
“We have eight weeks and 30 million dollars,” Dylan says to me, catching his breath between takes, nodding at the massive labyrinth set he just came from. We’re sitting in director’s chairs under a sign that reads pharmacy. He adds, “If we pull it off, people will be like, ‘How the hell did they do that?'” A tight schedule means long, exhausting days and very little sleep for the young star. But he doesn’t mind: “This will forever be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”
It almost never happened, though. Dylan has said that Ball initially thought his hair was “too MTV” for the role. It’s true—Dylan’s MTV ties run deep. He’s beloved to television audiences for his best-friend role as Stiles Stilinski on the network’s hit show Teen Wolf, recently renewed for a fifth season. But he’s not confined to the small screen. “I’ve always wanted to do action movies,” Dylan says. “I’m a huge Indiana Jones fan. And now I know firsthand that if a stunt coordinator offers you a pad to wear or land on, you take the pad. I throw my body around like a rag doll!”
When I get my physical copy of this issue, I will update it with HQ scans!
Star of MTV’s hit supernatural drama Teen Wolf , Dylan O’Brien, is known for playing the breakout role of “Stiles” Stilinski, who seems to be just about the only human in a cast full of mythical and fantasy characters. In part B of the third season which ended in March, his character was possessed by a nogitsune, a dark fox spirit, which had O’Brien showing off his acting chops as he got to play the antagonist for a change. Connecting with the actor, O’Brien shares what it’s like being on one of television’s most talked about shows, preparation for his upcoming lead role in the film The Maze Runner and what the future looks like.
If you have not heard of Teen Wolf , it is one of the most talked about shows on the internet with a devoted fan base who is not afraid to make its opinions known. Earlier this year, the site TvbytheNumbers named the werewolf thriller one of the top five most talked about shows on social media and the top social show for MTV–ever. As for all the attention, O’Brien gives a big credit to the show’s fans, saying, “Our fan base is incredible. It’s the whole reason why our show is still going.”
When asked about some of the most memorable stories from his fan interactions, he reveals that they happen frequently. “There are always these stories, really endearing stories [of meeting fans].” He then goes on to share an encounter that happened when the first season of the show aired. A teenage boy was out with his friends at a pizza parlor and “freaked out” about seeing O’Brien despite being around a group of all guys. “I thought that was one of the coolest things ever because I don’t know if I would have had the balls to do that in front of my fifteen year old [guy] friends,” he comments about the experience.
O’Brien’s portrayal on the show as the outgoing Stiles may seem to come naturally, but the actor reveals that he is more of an introspective person in actuality. In regards to the difference between him and the character he says, “I am actually innately shy and I am not as quick as he is to be confident in what he has to face.” But then he admits there are a lot of similarities too. “The way he feels about his friends and how he is loyal to them…and [how he] would do anything for them.” As one of the few humans on the show, Stiles plays a crucial backbone to the series. The actor admits that it is “fun to do stuff that involves supernatural things,” like the last season where he was able to play the villain for a change.
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