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Hear Me Out

So That's Why Dylan O'Brien Wasn't in Teen Wolf: The Movie

Obviously, it was because the actor was tied up with his big The Other Two scene.
  • Dylan O'Brien's been busy. (Photo: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection)
    Dylan O'Brien's been busy. (Photo: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection)

    In Hear Me Out, Primetimer staffers and contributors espouse their pet theories, spicy takes, and even the occasional galaxy-brain idea.

    Dylan O’Brien was conspicuously absent from MTV’s Teen Wolf: The Movie, which premiered on January 26. The TV film provided a believable cover story, making it clear his character Stiles was now an FBI agent in a town far away, too busy and important to be bothered with the supernatural. Stiles stans weren’t happy, wondering what could keep O’Brien from reprising a role that was essential to the series. Well, the May 11 episode of The Other Two may have just revealed what the star was up to: filming a shower scene.*

    In Season 3, Episode 3, “Cary Becomes a Name,” Cary Dubek (Drew Tarver) is struggling to find another role after his short-lived success as the third lead in an indie drama called Night Nurse. But he keeps losing out on parts because the studios want “big names,” specifically Dylan O’Brien. So it seems like Cary’s already out of the running when he gets on a Zoom call to talk with Wes Anderson about a role, only for O’Brien himself to pop up in the waiting room.

    But there’s at least a partial silver lining for Cary. O’Brien, playing a somewhat fictionalized version of himself, decides he needs to freshen up before facing Anderson. He also seems to think that Zoom is voice-activated (word of advice to everyone out there: it’s not). He may say “camera off” before stripping down and hopping in a steamy shower, but the Zoom feed is very much still rolling, and Cary gets to see the full O’Brien.

    This is the second time in the last two years that O’Brien has played himself on a hit show — in Season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, fictional Larry David tried to get O’Brien to play the younger version of himself for a Netflix series. It’s an impressive feat for a young actor with relatively few credits, but as he says in this episode of The Other Two, he’s “the f*ckin Maze runner, bro.”

    He’s not wrong to be cocky. Based on James Dashner’s best-selling book series, the Maze Runner trilogy brought in more than $900 million worldwide and Teen Wolf ran for six seasons, gaining a passionate enough fan base to inspire a movie six years after the series finale. He may have few credits, but they’re big ones — people know exactly who Dylan O’Brien is.

    The Other Two skips over the first three years of the pandemic, going straight from March 2020 in the Season 2 finale to 2023 in the Season 3 premiere, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t draw inspiration from that time. O’Brien’s shower scene could very well be in reference to former The Believer magazine editor-in-chief Joshua Wolf Shenk’s on-camera bath during a Zoom meeting. Or a Spanish municipal councilor’s accidental on-camera Zoom shower. Or a businessman who was in a bath on Zoom while meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The possibilities for inspiration are (unfortunately) endless.

    Of course, it could also have just been a chance to give someone other than Lance Arroyo the chance to shine in a shower scene. It’s an honor on par with an appearance in Teen Wolf: The Movie.

    (*)Dylan O’Brien told Variety the official reason he sat out Teen Wolf: The Movie was because the project came together so quickly that he wasn’t able to make his schedule work. “Ultimately, I just decided it was left in a really good place for me and I still want to leave it there,” he said. “I hope it f*cking kicks ass, but I’m not going to be in it.” Our explanation is more fun, though.

    New episodes of The Other Two drop every Thursday on HBO Max. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Dylan O'Brien, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Other Two, Teen Wolf, Teen Wolf: The Movie, Drew Tarver