It’s a big week for Dylan O’Brien. Not only does his wildly popular MTV show, Teen Wolf, make its return for a highly anticipated third season, but he’s also jumping onto the big screen in The Internship, a comedy flick that stars classic funnymen Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, plus Max Minghella, Josh Gad, Rose Byrne… you get the idea!
We caught up with the busy actor to find out about how he prepared for his comedic turn on the big screen and why Teen Wolf fans are the best fans.
Between Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, it must have been so much fun shooting with the cast.
Oh, it was like summer camp. We shot for two and a half months, pretty long for a comedy. It allowed us to really take our time, really get to know our characters, and really get to know one another.
In the film you’re an intern at Google. Did you shoot at Google HQ in San Francisco?
Most of the shooting actually was done at our recreated Google at Georgia Tech. It was insanely impressive because Google is not an easy place to recreate. It’s kind of insane. And then we got to do two weeks at the real Google, and that was so cool. Seeing the real Google and talking to the real Googlers—it was just so fascinating. The whole world that they live in is so different, and it’s their workplace. It’s like a playground.
Were you ever an intern yourself?
No, never! I’ve been acting since I was 18. I’m kind of just getting to the age now where I’d be going for internships. So yeah, I kind of missed out on that whole little thing. But my sister is an intern, actually, which is really funny. All of my friends were applying for these internships last summer, and I was filming a movie called The Internship. A bunch of them called me to joke, saying, “Hey, congratulations, I heard you got that internship.”
Did you do any research for your role?
Yeah, I spoke to the Googlers while I was there. They had Googlers volunteering for background throughout the day, so if you were sitting in a scene, you were sitting with a bunch of real-life Googlers. I would just pick their brains the whole time and they would do the same back to us. And a bunch of them laid out what intern week was really like. But it’s not intern week, it’s actually like an intern summer course, which isn’t exactly how we depict it in the movie. It’s crazy hearing the hoops they have to jump through. And to even build that initial resume to even be approved for an intern week, where then you’re not even guaranteed a job, it’s just so crazy.
What was it like working with Vince and Owen?
Oh my god, it was so cool. It was like a dream—like one of those things that you know was real so you tell yourself it was, but it almost feels like it didn’t even happen. It’s so crazy. It was the coolest experience ever, for all of us. I’m 21 years old. Five years ago, I was just like a normal kid in high school with my buddies going out and seeing Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn movies. Literally, nonstop quoting these guys around school and joking around all of the time. So it’s just so crazy that I got to work with them. I’ll always have the two different memories that I’ll go back and forth between of being a kid, seeing Wedding Crashers for the first time in theaters and then now, being 21 and getting to be in their next movie together. I mean that’s just the craziest thing in the world.
Was there a lot of improv on set?
So much. The scenes would change and it was always on the fly. We would always be riffing. Sometimes Vince would want to go off on something and he would. He would always allow anybody to throw in anything they wanted—he was so game for it. That’s what’s so fun about working with those guys.
Did you have a secret backstory for your character?
I had this whole kind of background thing: First of all, he has a British dad. I don’t know why I thought that. Maybe because his last name is Twombly, so I thought that was an English sort of thing. And also because of his sort of his cynical, sarcastic view on things. He’s kind of like an English person without being an English person.
What do you like to do on your days off?
Sleep. I always like to go see my parents when I can. They’re in LA. Teen Wolf shoots there, so whenever I get a day off I like to go have dinner with them or watch Walking Dead or hang out with my girlfriend. Just throw in some normalcy.
Which do you prefer: TV or film?
You learn such different things from both of them. On the one hand it’s good to kind of practice with television and be able to go fast. That’s good to learn as an actor, I think, because on most of the projects you do, you’re most likely not going to have the luxury that $100 million movies have. So I think it is good to learn and work in that environment. With TV, you just have to finish the days and get the episodes out. And it’s always going to be an impossible schedule. That’s the funny thing with TV that not a lot of people realize.
What are the Teen Wolf fans like?
They’re incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. They’re so in love with what we do and it’s a really nice feeling. As the actors, we’re really focused on work, so it’s always good to tap into the fan base and get those amazing responses and have them mean something to you. I just think it’s so cool when I see a kid or a teenage boy or something—like I can really see myself at his age. If he comes up to me and he’s in awe and just tells me how much he loves my character in the show? I just think that’s so cool and it does genuinely make me feel nice. And it blows me away because I remember being a kid and feeling that way about actors. Just loving them and thinking they’re great. Having them inspires me. I think it’s really awesome.
June 29th, 2013