Dylan O'Brien Discussed His Harrowing On-Set Accident For The First Time

Photo: Debra L Rothenberg/WireImage.
Dylan O'Brien discussed the on-set accident that, since news of it broke, has been shrouded in mystery, in a new profile by Vulture. The interview is aptly titled, "Dylan O'Brien Is Ready to Talk about That Accident." (The actor addressed the incident in July for The Associated Press, but only barely.)
"I had lost a lot of function, just in my daily routine," O'Brien said of his post-accident recovery. Reports of the accident, which occurred on the set of The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, describe O'Brien being pulled from one moving car and hit by another. In a statement, WorkSafeBC said his injuries included "concussion, facial fracture, and laceration," though O'Brien declined to discuss the visceral details.
The real trauma, O'Brien says, was psychological. "I wasn’t even at a point where I felt like I could handle social situations, let alone showing up and being responsible for work every day. Long hours on set, delivering a performance and carrying a movie … it just makes your palms sweat," he explained. For six months, O'Brien retreated from his career. He emerged for his role in American Assassin, which comes out this month, a movie for which he needed to be in intense physical shape. (O'Brien was cast in the movie before the accident.)
O'Brien explained that he wanted to act again, but was frustrated by the pressure he received from producers and the higher-ups on The Death Cure, which halted production after the accident.
"There was a part of me, too, that was feeling pressured and stressed out by the mere fact that I had all of these people still emailing me, checking in," he said. "I would get so fucking mad. Like if ever I heard from a producer [who was] seeing when I'd be able to get back on set, I'd fucking go nuts. It would really, really piss me off."
In American Assassin, O'Brien plays Mitch Rapp, a black ops recruit driven to near maniacal levels of physical fitness after the death of his fiancé. Buchanan draws a parallel between Mitch, recovering from the loss of his loved one, and O'Brien, recovering from a near-death accident.
Michael Cuesta, director of the film, agreed. "“If he didn’t have the accident,” Cuesta told Buchanan. "Could he have connected that well with Mitch? I don’t know, but it definitely brought truth to it."
American Assassin premieres September 15.
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