19 Jul '22

Dylan O’Brien Is Taking the Piss Out of Influencer Culture

What is life?? A new Dylan photoshoot? Check out Dylan’s interview with Interview Magazine below and check out the amazing new shoot in the gallery!

Last year, Dylan O’Brien proved he doesn’t take himself too seriously when he appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm as a highly exaggerated version of himself. It’s a rite of passage for any actor with enough self-awareness to take the piss out of the whole fame thing, and a chance for O’Brien, largely known for his roles in MTV’s Teen Wolf series and The Maze Runner franchise, to show off his comedic chops. Now, the 30-year-old actor is proving that was no fluke by setting his sights on another fame-obsessed corner of society: influencer culture. In Not Okay (out July 29 on Hulu), director Quinn Shephard’s biting satire on the perils of clout chasing, O’Brien plays Colin, a status-obsessed influencer who works with Harper (Zoey Deutch), an aspiring writer who finds herself in the internet’s crossfire after pretending to be the survivor of a traumatic event for likes. We recently caught up with him to discuss his perspective on influencers, why Gen-Z is misunderstood, and his selective process for choosing new roles.

JACKSON WALD: How were you introduced to your character in Not Okay, and what did you think about him upon reading the script?

DYLAN O’BRIEN: The script first came in as just, “Check this out, and if you like it, do you want to meet Quinn [Shephard]?” I knew that Zoey [Deutch] was attached. I had just worked with her earlier in the year and loved her, and I’d heard that Quinn was a very talented, young, up-and-coming filmmaker. I checked out Quinn’s movie. I did all my homework, and I read the script. I’ve just always been taken aback by these, not even influencers, but these white tatted kids who talk with blaccents as if they’re from the streets, appropriating Black culture, and being someone that “we” are thirsting over. I found it such an odd trend, but I was fascinated by it. That’s how I saw the character. I wanted to go full force with it. I wanted the tats, the Bieber blonde hair, and an MGK Fortnite skin. I just wanted to take the piss out of that kind of person.

WALD: It’s interesting to track the origins of that type of character. The first thing that came to my mind is Vanilla Ice. But If you really want to pinpoint it to a certain moment—I’m interested to hear where you think it started—but to me, it’s Vine. Because Vine was TikTok before TikTok.

O’BRIEN: I think you’re totally right. Vine is the first time I became aware of the influencers who are becoming like the Cameron Dallas’, or Nash Griers, and in reality, are pretty white kids from these suburban towns that talk like they’re from the block, and they just make these thirsty vids.

WALD: When you were preparing for the role of Colin, was there any prep involved? Did you spend hours watching TikTok, or something to that effect?

O’BRIEN: No. What’s funny is, I should have done more of that. I was actually dating a girl that summer for a bit and I was picking up a lot of things from her, too. She had that sort of vibe. Like she’d be constantly saying, “OD as fuck,” and “No cap, and cap, no cap.” Just all these terms. I would just be walking around my house, and would just record riffs on my phone. I really wanted to explore the dichotomy of him always having these beliefs, and then his actions being completely fake as fuck.

WALD: Is there an audio recording of you just going, “Deadass”?

O’BRIEN: Yeah, there’s plenty.

WALD: Great.

O’BRIEN: What’s funny is, when the part was officially offered to me, I sent Quinn a tape on my own of how I wanted to do it, just in case it wasn’t what she wanted. I sent her this random tape of me talking like him, and saying this random shit. She sent it back, and she’s like, “That’s totally it.”
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15 Apr '21

Interview with Coup De Main Magazine

COUP DE MAIN MAGAZINE – Dylan O’Brien really, really, really loves dogs. Fondly referring to his adorable co-star as “completely the star” of his new Oscar-nominated film, ‘Love and Monsters‘, O’Brien’s face lights up like a Christmas tree when reminiscing about the two Australian Kelpies, Hero and Dodge, who together portray his onscreen best friend, Boy (a.k.a. the best dog in the world).

At the heart of ‘Love and Monsters’ is this dynamic duo, with O’Brien as Joel Dawson, who in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by giant monsters decides to set off on a dangerous journey to reconnect with his high school sweetheart (played by Jessica Henwick), seven years after the Monsterpocalypse forced all of humanity into hiding underground.

An endearing tale of a wide-eyed boy and his loyal dog, we caught up with Dylan O’Brien to discuss ‘Love and Monsters’ which was filmed in Queensland, Australia…

COUP DE MAIN: Congrats on the Best Visual Effects Oscars nomination for ‘Love and Monsters’! You’re in the film, so for the purposes of this interview, I think you can own that.
Thank you! Oh absolutely, I am nominated. I’ve been telling everybody: I’m an Oscar nominated actor now.
CDM: You did it!
Thanks! <laughs> It really is amazing.
CDM: It’s funny that you filmed this movie back in March to May of 2019, but the whole situation of Joel finding himself separated from Aimee probably feels very familiar to anyone who started a relationship pre-pandemic that doesn’t live with their partner.
Yeah, it’s really weird. It’s really weird how what we ended up going through when this movie was due to come out, how much it related to these themes that we’re exploring in this movie. It’s a very crazy coincidence.
CDM: Also, the sort of aversion to venturing out again into the outside world, that feels very relatable.
I know. Like when he first comes out of that hatch, he’s breathing in the fresh air like it’s strange. It’s really strange.
CDM: I also thought of the current mask-wearing situation when Clyde says: “You can always tell in their eyes, just look at their eyes.” People have had to do a lot of eye-reading this past year?
Right?! Oh, wow wow wow. I hadn’t thought about that one.
CDM: One of my favourite things you’ve ever done is the ‘Life Of A Hollywood Actor’ video. What do you think the 2021 version of ‘Life Of A Hollywood Actor’ would look like?
<laughs> Thank you so much, first of all.
CDM: I rewatched it yesterday in preparation for this interview.
No way, thanks! That’s really cool. Yeah, I love that character. I want to do something with him. What would the 2021 version be? I think he would definitely be taking the Oscar nom for himself, very seriously – like, the visual effects Oscar nom he would apply as being his, basically, and I think he’d try to bring that up and try to really ride that to get some work. He thinks this is gonna be a big career thing for him, and then he somehow fucks it up by being too overzealous.
CDM: Joel clings on to his memories of Aimee for seven years, replaying them in his mind so he can continue to relive them. Why is it that it’s in human nature to mentally retreat into the past for comfort? And to look for a home in other people instead of building a solid home within ourselves?
That’s really interesting… I feel like that’s something instinctive, especially if you’re going through a hard time or especially if something’s shifted in your world negatively. I think there’s uncertainty about the future and I always find in those situations a common link to wanting to find comfort in the past. I’ve gone through things, like times like that in my own life, and I’ve always found that when I’ve gone through a time like that, there’s this level of uncertainty. I think it’s human instinct and sort of this instinct to protect ourselves in a way. We’re a wild species, aren’t we? We’re very emotional creatures. I think that’s part of what makes humans so special. And instincts like that, to preserve and protect our heart and mind, and to hold on to things like that. And the way we’re attached to memories like that and nostalgia. There’s a reason these things are a part of our fabric. We’re very emotional creatures.

CDM: Do you think that love or fear is a stronger emotion?
Whoah, that’s pretty wild. I would say love – only because I feel like it has this sustainable power to endure over time. Whereas fears can be fleeting, and even if it comes quick, it’s gone. But then also… yeah, I don’t know. <laughs> We’re getting deep. Real deep!
CDM: Is love an action or a feeling?
WHOAH. <cracks up>
CDM: I’m putting you on the spot, sorry.
No, no, I’m good! I love it! They’re very interesting questions. I’m cracking up at you choosing me to answer these. Fuck. I mean, I think it’s a feeling. I believe that, at least. I’m trying to think of ways it could be an action, obviously, but that’s not love. I feel like if it’s an action, it’s something else. There are actions that come from love, but the love, it’s a feeling. That’s what I believe.
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18 Sep '17

EMMYS 2017 Every unforgettable moment, every gorgeous dress.CLICK HERE TV Teen Wolf: Tyler Posey, Dylan O’Brien talk about the show’s six-season journey

EW – At the heart of Teen Wolf‘s six seasons of supernatural villains, unexpected twists, romance, and lacrosse games, there has always been two people: Scott and Stiles. Together, they went looking for the body in the woods on the very night that Scott was bitten. Together, they fought Peter, Gerard, Deucalion, Kate, Peter (again), and a long list of others who tried to hurt the citizens of Beacon Hills. And together, they will say goodbye when the Teen Wolf series finale airs Sunday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.

EW sat down with the actors behind Scott and Stiles — and real-life friends — Tyler Posey and Dylan O’Brien to talk about their time on the hit show.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: At what point did you all know this show was going to work, that it was going to be a hit?
TYLER POSEY: I had an intuition when we first started. During the pilot, it always felt right, it always felt good. There was just something about it that felt really interesting and its [success] wasn’t really a surprise to me. I always stayed grateful and thankful for everything so I was always excited, but it was never really too much of a shock. I’d say maybe the second Comic-Con, where we had a packed house, that was the first time where I really felt like we were making an impact and doing some cool stuff.

DYLAN O’BRIEN: Once I saw the first season, I just felt like it worked, I felt like the show had a lot of things going for it. When you work on something where you have such a great chemistry on set with our whole crew and cast, those things tend to unfold in a positive way. It translates to the screen. If you have a good thing going behind the scenes, you’ll have a good thing going on-screen. Once I saw the first season, I was so proud of what we did with it and how the season went. I thought it was a really good arc too and there was so much in the show to love — it was funny, it was scary, it was romantic. I was like, “Oh yeah we’ll totally get a second season.” Then it just kept going from there. It was something I always wanted to keep going and then it just became amazing how long it kept going for.

POSEY: It never stopped.

What about these characters and this world kept you engaged all these years?
POSEY: When you play a character for so long, it’s easy to get disengaged and it becomes mundane and routine. For me, the way that I made it interesting and fresh was: The scenarios and the writing were so far-fetched and so unrealistic for a lot of it that it was a challenge for me to try to make it as realistic and believable as possible. That’s what really kept it fresh. And constantly trying to change my character in subtle ways, growing him up and having him mature — that kept it fun.

For you Dylan, especially in the final season, you really had to work with scheduling to be a part of the show. Why was it so important to you to keep coming back?
O’BRIEN: This was my first role. I’ve loved Stiles since I read the pilot script, and throughout the series I only grew closer to him. I loved everything he got to go through too, everything [showrunner] Jeff [Davis] wrote for me, it kept it exciting. So I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I always did everything I could to try to be a part of the show whenever I could, especially toward the end when it got difficult with everything else. Throughout [the series], it was always in the back of my head that this wouldn’t be around forever and that I would really miss it when it was over, so I was always conscious of that. I wanted to enjoy it while it lasted and enjoy working with T Pose while it lasted because we have just loved working together since day one and we’ve had so much fun on the show. We’ve built a lifelong friendship and he’s one of my best buds ever. So I was always aware of how special it was to me. I wanted to soak it up while it was around.
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26 Aug '17

Geekscape Talks With ‘American Assassin’s Dylan O’Brien

GEEKSPACE – “American Assassin” from CBS Films treated Austin to a very early screening of their new film at the Alamo Drafthouse theater on Tuesday. Stars of the film, Taylor Kitsch (Battleship) and Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf) introduced the film and then answered fans questions about their roles in the soon-to-be released September 15 film.

The film follows Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) as a newly recruited CIA black ops agent under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to investigate the theft of plutonium. As they get closer to the thief, they uncover a plot from a rogue agent (Taylor Kitsch) to steal a nuclear bomb.

Dylan O’Brien discussed his role exclusively with Geekscape.

Allie Hanley: Congrats on the new film. Can you please tell me about your character on “American Assassins?”
Dylan O’Brien: Sure. I play Mitch Rapp. Well, it’s sort of an origin story. My character is a guy who’s had something very traumatic happen to him. He tragically loses the love of his life in a terrorist attack on a vacation. His world gets flipped upside down and this causes him to start training himself to seek vengeance. The CIA intercepts him and then recruits him for this division called Orion.

It’s an interesting coming of age story using the context of the world of the CIA counter terrorism. This character has to grow-up in this world and figure out if he’s just looking to seek vengeance for the rest of his life, or if he can stay in control and be an asset for his country.

AH: This role sounds a bit darker than some of the roles you’ve done in the past.
DO’B: Darker? Yes, it’s a good story and I guess it is pretty violent but nothing crazy. This character is maybe a little older than characters I’ve played in the past. He’s in his mid-twenties, engaged, loses his fiancé, and starts training to be a killer, so ya, I guess you are right .

AH: Will this film be well received in the current political climate?
DO’B: We hope. That was a big concern of ours, -everyone going in. It was mine at first too. I do think we did a lot of work to the script to make it grounded and as authentic as we could. We were all really aware of, and have to be sensitive to the responsibility of the story. At the same time though it is relevant, and broadcasting to a sort of neutral landscape while being authentic and grounded. It just happens to be ubiquitously topical right now.
So, at the same time it’s a fictional story and at the end of the day it’s an action thriller. It’s not the main focus or message.

21 Sep '15

16 Things You Never Knew About The Cast Of “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”

BUZZFEED.COM – Being a part of one of the biggest blockbusters of the year might be stressful for some, but luckily the cast of The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is basically one big family. Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Dexter Darden all stopped by BuzzFeed LA to give us the lowdown on who’s the cast’s relationship expert, the selfie queen, and who actually is the best runner.

1. Who is most likely to be found at craft services?

Dexter Darden and Kaya Scodelario: Thomas.
Dexter: Without a doubt.
Ki Hong Lee: Seriously? I was going to say Dext!
Dexter: Me? No, craft services is Thomas for sure. You’ll find me at catering.
Kaya: They kept losing [Thomas] and he’d be standing [at craft services] drinking tea.

2. Who is most likely to be caught napping in between scenes?

Dexter: Dylan.
Kaya: Me, I nap! I can curl in a ball and sleep.
Dylan O’Brien: It’s amazing.
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