Dylan O'Brien on Starring in ‘The Outfit’ & Turning Down ‘Teen Wolf’

Dylan O’Brien can recall the exact second he broke the web. It was through the summer time of 2021, when he was filming TikTok movies sporting a Balenciaga shirt, a platinum blond buzzcut, and a brief snake tattoo slithering up his forearm. The actor’s followers went rabid, fawning over his new look. However the factor is, that wasn’t him—the Dylan O’Brien who prefers to maintain his look, as he places it, “plain” and “accessory-less”—that was a personality for the upcoming social media satire, Not Okay.

He seems to be again on that transformation like a scientist analyzing an otherworldly specimen beneath Twitter’s international microscope. “I used to be nonetheless precisely who I used to be,” the actor says. “After which I simply placed on this online game pores and skin, and other people have been like, ‘That’s what we wish you to seem like.’” However earlier than that may be interpreted as a dismal assertion on how the world would maybe favor O’Brien emulate Pete Davidson, he breaks out right into a healthful smile. “I assumed I appeared superior! I’ve by no means appeared so cool.”

It’s considerably comprehensible why O’Brien’s followers have been so pleasantly stunned. The actor rose to fame as a dorky sidekick in cult smash sequence Teen Wolf, then ascended even larger as a straight-laced, affable main man in The Maze Runner franchise and Love & Monsters. He’s equally as down-to-earth when he joins our Zoom name from his house in Los Angeles. Wearing a white t-shirt (sans equipment), he’s fast to lighten the temper even when the subject of dialog threatens to show critical.

O’Brien’s newest movie, the ’50s gangster whodunnit The Outfit, sees him discover the murkier depths of morality, a aspect of him hardly ever exhibited since Stiles Stilinkski was possessed by an historical spirit at Teen Wolf’s peak. (Except you rely his flip because the scarf-stealing boyfriend in Taylor Swift’s All Too Effectively quick movie.) “There was one thing actually particular about this script,” he says, remembering that when he learn it for the primary time on a aircraft he “stood up and clapped.” Quickly after touchdown, he emailed an audition tape straight to director Graham Moore, a technique he admits to having a really low success price. (Thus far, it’s labored solely as soon as.) “I’ve positively achieved that earlier than after I really feel significantly enthusiastic about one thing,” he explains. “Nevertheless it’s a line you do not wish to [cross]. I do not wish to beg for issues. You wish to be wished. It is bizarre how this enterprise works, it is like courting,” he jokes, bursting into laughter. “You need to play onerous to get.”

Nonetheless, his enthusiasm ended up working in his favor. Each Moore and The Outfit co-star Mark Rylance have praised O’Brien’s tape as the perfect audition they’ve ever seen, a undeniable fact that makes the actor grimace in disbelief. “I do not suppose it was that good!” he says, utterly incredulous. “I even keep in mind being considerably upset with it.” Regardless of how effectively it went down, that tape stays with him like these mortifying reminiscences that resurge each occasionally. Just like the porous sponge for suggestions he’s, he went as far as to preface his audition with a disclaimer that if his efficiency hit a flawed be aware, he’d love to debate it additional.

His character, Richie, is the pinnacle mobster’s son whose naivety and conceitedness belies his intimidating standing. As filming started on a soundstage in London, O’Brien says he got here to comprehend that Richie is only a “child [in] method over his head.” “After I first learn [the script], I used to be like, ‘Oh, what a cocky shit,’” he says. “Everybody’s working on this gangster world, and it’s all about survival. I in the end got here away [with the understanding] that he’s the least geared up to outlive this recreation, which means that he would possibly even have essentially the most good in him.”

To a sure extent, The Outfit, which is about totally in a tailor’s workshop, can be a tribute to the craft behind a well-made go well with. A self-proclaimed “sweatpants sporting motherfucker,” O’Brien doesn’t really feel remotely at house in luxurious clothes, however beautiful tailoring has that singular energy to alter you from the within out. “There’s such a flashy factor about [Richie] that it’s essential really feel a little bit bit,” he says.

On set, O’Brien would shortly uncover how enjoyable it’s to carry out reverse Rylance, regardless of his fame as a classically educated, Academy Award-winning actor. (“He does have a really childlike spirit that he is nonetheless in tune with,” he says of his co-star.) He recollects Rylance displaying as much as the primary day of rehearsals with a ball in his bag so the forged may play 4 sq.. And O’Brien places on a gravelly British accent to exhibit how, through the movie’s ugly sequence during which Rylance’s character stitches up Ritchie’s gunshot wound with a stitching needle, Rylance would tickle him whereas asking the director for notes.

What O’Brien admires most about Rylance, he says, was the way in which he “stood up for the actors’ course of,” forcing him to mirror on how he wasn’t afforded the identical degree of respect in his personal profession. “I grew up in a medium that did not essentially prioritize [actors],” he confesses. “If something, I’d get gaslit in a method. If I ever wished to face up for my course of, it will be like, ‘Shut the fuck up. Are you getting huge headed now?’ As a youthful actor, I used to be made to really feel like I used to be being troublesome if I had an concept or I wasn’t feeling proper about one thing, that are all issues that an actor ought to convey to the desk.” When requested for a particular occasion, he’s reticent to share the finer particulars, however he acknowledges that he fell sufferer to ego-driven bosses desperate to squash the inexperienced child. “I believe sure folks would attempt to use [my age] to get management. [But] an actor ought to completely have autonomy over their efficiency. A director mentioned to Tom Hanks that an actor must know the textual content, present up with a head stuffed with concepts, and be on time, and that’s all the time caught with me.”

It’s maybe on this seek for autonomy over his work that he selected towards reprising Stiles within the lately introduced Teen Wolf film. The thought course of behind that call was each “sophisticated and never,” he says, however he doesn’t hesitate to elaborate on why he’s not returning to Beacon Hills.

“In the end, it didn’t really feel prefer it was going to carry the identical spirit,” he explains, including that the folks he met via the present are nonetheless pricey to him and have been “instrumental” to his profession. “I cherished the way in which we had closed the e-book on it, so unearthing that once more is a giant deal. It was all occurring very quick. Tyler [Posey] and I have been in communication each day all through the complete factor.” With a sigh, he provides: “Additionally they blindsided us with it a little bit bit. No one actually knew that was going to occur. It simply did not work out, and I am actually snug leaving it the place we left it.”

Seemingly every little thing O’Brien does makes headlines: turning down Teen Wolf, dyeing his hair blond, and every little thing in between. In the midst of lockdown, he delighted thousands and thousands as soon as once more together with his rendition of the notorious “fuck you flip flops” scene from The Social Network, a show-stopping monologue he had dedicated to reminiscence ever since he noticed David Fincher’s fashionable basic at 19. On a visit to Vegas with a bunch of associates (together with the Mark Zuckerberg to his Eduardo Saverin, Sarah Ramos), he seen that it had circulated all the way in which again to Andrew Garfield himself. “He was a extremely good sport about that,” O’Brien says with a sheepish chuckle. “It is simply tremendous cool {that a} video we screwed round with two years in the past is related sufficient to nonetheless be addressed by the man who did the scene,” he provides with the humility of somebody nonetheless not wholly conscious of the maintain he has on the net zeitgeist.

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