In March of 2016, Dylan O'Brien suffered a bad accident on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure. The actor was performing a stunt while connected to a harness on top of a car when he was pulled from the vehicle and hit by another car. O'Brien's injuries were reportedly quite serious, including lacerations, a facial fracture and the head trauma of a serious concussion. The severity of his injuries were such, in fact, that it forced production on The Death Cure to be postponed indefinitely.
Thankfully, O'Brien managed to make a full recovery, and he's since gone back to finish filming The Maze Runner's closing chapter, and went on to film his upcoming action thriller, American Assassin. So far, the actor had chosen to keep the matter as private as possible, but he's finally opened up about what happened.
The Accident Had A Heavy Psychological Impact On Him
O'Brien sat down for an interview with MTV to promote American Assassin. An adaptation of Vince Flynn's novel of the same name, the film centers around a young CIA black ops recruit (O'Brien), who teams up with a war veteran (#MichaelKeaton) to stop a man hellbent on starting World War III.
During their chat, the actor revealed that at the time the accident occurred, he believed he was out of #AmericanAssassin. But as luck would have it, he received a nice surprise when the people behind the film decided to push production back a few months to wait for him to make a full recovery:
"I was in a really tough place when this movie came around. I had had this in the pipeline; I was attached to do it, and then the accident happened, and so then obviously it was out of my mind for a little bit. But I have to give them a lot of credit because they stuck with me, man. They didn't jump ship, they didn't go look for another actor. They pushed the movie and wanted to stick with me."
Unfortunately, not everything went smoothly in his long struggle back to being healthy and whole, not just in body but in mind. The injuries he sustained weren't only physical, but also psychological, as the actor questioned his own ability to get back onto a set and feel safe once again:
"At the time it was really difficult for me. I was struggling with a lot stuff. I was not confident in my ability to just leap right back onto a set. So it took a lot of work and a lot of thought. Even up to the last minute, there was so much doubt and so much fear. Genuinely. Ultimately, I thought it would be best to push through all that. My thinking was that it would help me, and it really did."
Dealing With The Aftermath Of His Accident
This situation understandably changed O'Brien in a big way. While the trauma is still somewhat there, he sees the incident as a great lesson moving forward:
"It's stuff to come back from [...] It's definitely a learning process. I've learned a lot from this past year in my life. I feel like, in a lot of weird ways, it made me grow up a lot. At the same time at this point, I think I was really angry for a long time. At this point I'm really just at peace with it, and really happy that I'm OK."
O'Brien elaborated on that statement during an interview with Bustle, where he explained he's now extremely careful when performing stunts. As one should do, he prefers to put his health before any cool action sequence:
"They're not mutually exclusive. I've done a lot of work to put it in the past and process what happened and accept what happened and get through what I went through, too, in the recovery period since. But at the same time, I'll never approach stunts like I did before the same. That's just absolutely something that's innately changed in you. Safety is just much more at the forefront of my mind now, as is should be everyone's on a set."
Thankfully, #DylanOBrien was fortunate enough to survive and make a full recovery, but his experience is one in a long line of tragic on-set accidents that have happened in the past few months. Hopefully these situations create awareness of the need for the risk to people in the industry working in action-heavy pictures, whether cast or stunt people, to be minimized in the near future.
If you're eager to see O'Brien on the big screen, American Assassin hits theaters on September 15, 2017, and the final chapter in the Maze Runner franchise, #TheDeathCure, arrives on January 26, 2018.
What do you think about O'Brien's comments regarding his accident? Let me know in the comments!