ByMatthew Bailey, writer at
Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.
Matthew Bailey

Making the jump from the small screen to the big screen tends to be something that only a few select actors can achieve over their careers. If you look at some of the names on the list who have successfully transitioned from television to big screen to hit true A-list status, it can leave you wondering, How can anyone join this list of actors?

There's no doubt that joining this collection is difficult, but I hold a great deal of hope for one actor in particular to join those that have had great success in the transition. That actor is Dylan O'Brien. From his modest start on YouTube to being cast as Stiles Stilinski in MTV’s Teen Wolf to making the jump to the big screen with The Maze Runner, his career just keeps moving in an upward trajectory. Why? Because O’Brien has three things going for him that other young actors and actresses lack.

First, O'Brien has a bevy of fans at his beck and call. Over a million Twitter followers tends to boost your popularity up quite a few notches. He's the 6th most reblogged actor on Tumblr behind the “SuperWhoLock” juggernaut (Matt Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jared Padlecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins). In today’s brand awareness-centric Hollywood, having a fanbase gets you noticed.

Second, O’Brien has been smart enough to not let himself be typecast, branching out from his Teen Wolf character. In The Internship he portrayed an introverted, tech-savvy kid who through the film grows to appreciate things outside of his comfort zone. As Thomas, the vulnerable, uncertain protagonist in The Maze Runner, he comes into his own as a leader. Going from comedic relief to a reluctant, heroic leader isn't something that you normally come across with an actor just starting out in his career. You start to see the puzzle pieces forming the bigger picture of what is in store for Dylan. Just look at how Kevin Smith reacted to seeing him on Teen Wolf at the recommendation of his daughter:

I've been doing this for twenty years, and it's very rare to find people that are like, dyed in the wool born naturals. Some people have to work at it, some people make it their whole life's work to pull off what [he’s] able to accomplish just naturally.

Lastly, it’s O’Brien’s personality itself that has helped him rise so quickly. Even with the relative success he’s had so far, O’Brien never seems to take himself too seriously. It helps that he has a quirky nature that's almost effervesces during interviews and in person. This sunny, grounded disposition ensures that he remains level-headed and continues to look for the next opportunity without losing sight of where he is currently. That's what’s so refreshing about the young actor: he isn't trying to be something that he's not. He just loves what he does and people notice that. It’s this natural ability to draw people to him, both when on screen and off, that will ensure he hits true Hollywood royalty status - and we’ll keep watching him even after he does.


Dylan O’Brien is the epitome of a natural, with a flexibility and effortless ability to be completely natural and present no matter what the scene calls for. He's best known from his roles as Stiles in Teen Wolf and Thomas in the The Maze Runner series. [Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials](tag:1142567), hits theaters on September 18th. (Image credit: The Maze Runner/20th Century Fox)


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