Dylan O’Brien Talks “Teen Wolf” and “The First Time”
By: Lynn Barker
“Teen Wolf’s” Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) tries to be a buddy to his wolfed-out friend and get through his own romantic troubles. In the sweet new film The First Time, Dylan plays Dave, a high-schooler in love with the wrong, unavailable girl who eventually focuses on a quirky “friend” played by Britt Robertson from TV’s “The Secret Circle”.
At our Beverly Hills interview, Dylan has a cold and is apologizing while we talk about awkward dating moments, funny pranks pulled on the movie set and how he feels about teens and that first real serious love connection.
Kidzworld: Did you and Britt Robertson who plays the girl you experience a first time with in the movie (Note: We’re talking PG-13 here) get a chance to meet and get to know each other before shooting?
- Dylan: Yeah. We auditioned together. We had a chemistry read (to see if they clicked as a couple). We found out that we got the parts and in the weeks before shooting. Jon (Jonathan Kasdan the director) got us together. We’d go to his house for rehearsals every day. That could go either way. You could spend those weeks getting sick of each other or spend them really getting along which is what we had.
Kidzworld: There is a lot of dialogue in this film and it seems very real. Did you and Britt ad-lib any of it or did Jon write it all?
- Dylan: With me it was kind of free-range speaking. I would never not say what I was supposed to say but I’d say it the way I was comfortable with it.
Kidzworld: Who was the jokester on set? What did he/she pull?
- Dylan: Well, James Frecheville (who plays Britt’s weird 1st boyfriend Ronny in the film) was kind of a prankster. It was random and weird. He hid my shoes first day on set and I couldn’t go home because I didn’t have any shoes! (we laugh). He later pulled them out of a wastebasket. They sent me home in wardrobe shoes. I was walking around in socks. When he wrapped, he called me (Aussie accent) “Got your shoes, man!” “You’ve got to be kidding me!”.
Kidzworld: When you were a teen, did you have a posse or at least a best friend you shared info on girls with? Dave’s friends in the movie almost give too much advice.
- Dylan: Yeah, I had my group of buddies. You had certain buddies for talking to about certain things. I’d say the majority of my friends were classic teenage guys about that stuff. I was always a romantic and I was thinking about this stuff like ten times more than these other dudes were. I would mainly keep it to myself. I never did it like (my character) Dave does through; just pour his heart out to his friends every day. I was shyer about it I guess.
Kidzworld: What is the most awkward or intense thing you’ve ever done to impress a date?
- Dylan: One time I picked up my girlfriend senior year for our first real date and I literally stood on her railing with a rose in my mouth and her mom came out instead of her and I’m like pitooooey (indicates quickly spitting out the rose). So, she’s like “So you’re waiting for (my daughter)?” “Yeah, I’m gonna put the rose back in my mouth”.
Kidzworld: Yeah, awkward! Any advice to teen guys about how to handle it when they fall really hard for someone?
- Dylan: If you are feeling it, experience it. Just know it’s all okay. Everything that you’re feeling, the conflict, the nerves, it’s all human and it’s all supposed to happen.
Kidzworld: Are you more comfortable with comedy or drama? You are funny on “Teen Wolf” and you have humor and drama mixed in this movie.
- Dylan: Drama, for me, has been something I’ve had to learn how to do and teach myself. Comedy always has come naturally to me. I think that stuff is easier for me to handle but there are certain things that are easier in drama if it’s an authentic scene. Something very real, like a kissing scene. I don’t want to be pigeonholed. I don’t think I’m one-note. You always do have to have that sense of humor no matter what.
Kidzworld: Dave wants to teach or be a developmental psychologist. When you were 16 or 17, did you want to do something other than act?
- Dylan: Yes. I wanted to make movies, be a director because my dad is a cinematographer but personal performance for me was a problem as a kid. I played music and hated to perform in front of people. That was a hurdle for me so I never thought I could act. I thought behind the camera was where I belonged.
Kidzworld: So, landing the role in “Teen Wolf” changed things.
- Dylan: Yeah and it took a lot of getting used to. You watch the pilot of “Teen Wolf” and I’m a different actor today. I was very green then and more nervous and less aware.
Kidzworld: What kind of music are you into now? What do you play driving around in your car?
- Dylan: You would hear some “One Direction”. I loved all genres of music but I respect those boys.
Kidzworld: So, gotta ask about “Teen Wolf”. Is Stiles still going to be with Lydia?
- Dylan: I think that’s a flame that won’t be easily put out but there might be competition. We start shooting in December which means not on the air until summer probably.
Kidzworld: What is your final advice for couples in high school?
- Dylan: Be together. Don’t go against anything you are feeling because what society tells you or what the norm seems to be. Go with what you are feeling. Experience it and, of course, learn from it.