Dylan O’Brien On ‘American Assassin’ Stunts

Dylan O’Brien had to undergo rigorous combat training for his role as CIA black ops hit man in American Assassin, ET reports.

It was required for the 25-year-old actor who just came from an accident on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which took months of recovery and he says the difficult stunt made him hesitant about taking the role.

“The state that you’re in after something like that, you just want to run from all that stuff,” the young star told ET‘s Leanne Aguilera at the American Assassin film junket on Monday, referring to the risky stunts and fight scenes in action movies. “I didn’t really even want to leave my couch necessarily when I was allowed to, so yeah, it was a big step doing this.”

“I ultimately decided that I wanted to try it and I didn’t want to let it go,” he continued. “[The movie] ended up being really instrumental in the whole process.”

During the filming of The Death Cure in March 2016, O’Brien was shooting a stunt atop a moving vehicle when he was thrown from a vehicle and got hit by another one, causing serious injury to his face, despite safety harness. The Deepwater Horizon star suffered a concussion and various facial scratches.

His co-star Michael Keaton, who joined O’Brien at the junket, said everyone on the American Assassin set was very diligent of maintaining a safe working environment, and they were careful not to do anything that would hamper O’Brien’s full recovery.

In American Assassin, O’Brien portrays the role of Mitch Rapp, a young man who devotes his life to hunting and killing terrorists after his girlfriend died in a terror attack. Keaton plays Stan Hurley, a Cold War veteran spy who puts Rapp through an intense training to become a precision hit man. Together, they team up to hunt down a rogue operative, who wants to start a nuclear war.

Despite his initial hesitation, O’Brien said he “really loved and was very fascinated with all the fight training and the gun training” he underwent for the movie.

The production on the third installment of Maze Runner franchise was suspended following his accident but resumed in March of this year, and O’Brien said they are still planning to make it “the best movie out of the three.”

American Assassin opens in theaters on Sept. 15