Developed by Jeff Davis, the hit MTV drama series Teen Wolf has returned for a super-sized, 24-episode third season. Having picked up four months after the events that nearly ended Jackson’s (Colton Haynes) life and resurrected Peter Hale (Ian Bohen), Season 3 finds teen werewolf Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) and his friends Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), Lydia (Holland Roden) and Allison (Crystal Reed) beginning their junior year of high school while having to deal with a new threat has arrived in Beacon Hills – a deadly pack of Alpha werewolves intent on bringing Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) into their fold.
With the filming relocated to Los Angeles, Collider was invited to check out the set and chat with the cast for a series of exclusive interviews. While hanging out in his trailer on a break from shooting, actor Dylan O’Brien talked about where Stiles is at in Season 3, Stiles and Lydia teaming up, the chances of Stiles actually finding love, where he stands with both Scott and Derek, whether he wishes someone would turn Stiles into a werewolf, how much fun he’s had constantly learning new things about his character, and how nervous he gets about pulling off the dramatic side of the show. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
DYLAN O’BRIEN: Stiles is focusing more on himself, and he’s trying to better himself. And he’s focusing more on his detective work. He considers himself an expert on the wolf stuff now.
Now that Lydia (Holland Roden) knows about what’s going on, is it fun to have that shift in dynamics, with her relationship with Stiles?
O’BRIEN: It was so sad when Lydia didn’t know about any of the werewolves, or anything. Lydia was in the dark for so long, as were a lot of people, but she was left in the dark so much longer than anyone else. Now, she’s finally a part of things. With us and our relationship, it becomes more of a team thing, working together, and not so much always about the love, even though that’s still there, on one side. And she loves me, in a way. So, it’s cool to see that dynamic change. It’s cool to see Stiles and Lydia pull together, and Lydia come to the group. She’s also really useful because of how smart she is. It’s good to have her involved.
Do things ever get awkward between them, or is he okay with the way things are with Lydia?
O’BRIEN: I think it’s always been a little awkward. What’s always been awkward is the unreciprocated love. Now, it’s at a point where it’s not awkward. He’s made peace with loving her, and not necessarily having that love returned.
Is there any chance that Stiles will find love that’s actually returned?
O’BRIEN: Yeah, there always is, on this show. And there definitely is, this season.
Where are things at with Scott (Tyler Posey) and Stiles’ friendship, at this point?
O’BRIEN: I don’t know if you could say things are stronger than ever, right now, but the strength of their brotherhood is still there and will always be there. This season, they definitely take an even further route from each other than they have, in previous seasons. It’s all getting so crazy that it could be getting to the point where something comes between them, but we haven’t gotten there yet.
O’BRIEN: They’re fine. It is what it is with them. They accept each other, despite their annoyance towards one another. Even if they don’t directly care, their connection through Scott leads them to ultimately care for each other’s well-being. They wouldn’t want to see the other one get hurt, for Scott’s sake. That’s always their connection.
Do you have much interaction with the new characters?
O’BRIEN: There’s no one new this year that I really have a lot of stuff with. The twins are there, but I don’t have many scenes with them. I don’t really have any storylines with the new characters, which is really funny. I’m just on a totally different show, sometimes. I’ll show up on set and see [Tyler] Hoechlin and [Tyler] Posey and Daniel [Sharman], and they’ll all say, “Oh, hey, what are you doing today?” And I’ll be like, “I’m shooting this scene, over here. You guys doing wolf stuff?” They’re like, “Yeah. I didn’t even know you were working,” and I’m like, “Yeah.”
Do you ever wish that someone would turn Stiles into a werewolf?
O’BRIEN: No. I totally love my part on the show. I equally also love seeing the other parts of the show that I never get to be there for, on set. I get to see it, after it’s all come together. There are multiple new actors that we have, this year, that I haven’t seen a wink of, and they’ve been on the show for three months already. I enjoy getting to see the rest of the episode, once it’s come together. You’ve gotta enjoy what you can, when you’re not involved in the wolf business. You’ve gotta take what you can, and be happy with it.
Has it been fun to get to play Stiles for an extended period of time, and always learn new things about him?
O’BRIEN: That’s such a good question. That’s something that’s really fun about being on a show that’s running, season after season. You have this character that you’ve played since the pilot, and then you’ve taken it, as it goes. All these different storylines get thrown at you. You don’t write the show, so you just have to interpret things as your character, and see how your character would go through it or how it would be handled. It’s interesting, working on a character for so long. I’ve played this one character, over the course of three years, and I’ve learned so much about him. I’m always learning about him, and I’m always coming up with new things. You read the episodes and you just know exactly what your character would be thinking, for every beat, and how he’d feel about everything. It’s amazing, and perpetually challenging because you never know what’s going to come, in the next episode.
It’s really been good for me, too, because this is really the one steady acting gig I’ve ever had, and it was my first acting gig, so it’s really been one giant acting school for me. I’m so thankful to have it because I would not be able to progress, any other way. I didn’t grow up acting, and I didn’t go to school for it. I’m not trained. I feel like I’ve needed that time to learn how to do it, in some way. I remember doing a play one time and thinking that it was such a good learning experience. It’s such a good way to be on your feet and act, every day, and not have to stop after about two minutes. You do a full 40 minutes, and you’re just in it. That was really cool, too. I love acting so much because I know I’ll never know it, inside and out. I’ll just always be trying to know it, as best as I can.
Are there any storylines that have been most surprising to you?
O’BRIEN: I don’t necessarily expect any of the things that are thrown at me. But when I read them, I just know that I have to do them, so I start figuring out how to interpret it. Nothing has been particularly jarring. I’m still learning how to act. I started very comedically. I never trained in any acting, other than just joking around and doing my own dinky little videos. And I’m the comic relief on the show, but we need all of those other layers, too. So, the dramatics is really what I’ve had to work on and really do, for the first time, ever. Over the course of three years, I’ve been working on it. It’s always been the thing that I’m hesitant towards or scared of, just because it’s intimidating and I’m an anxious person. It’s not something that I’ve mastered doing, in any way, or been taught how to do. I just have to try it on the fly. Sometimes I’m happy with it, and sometimes I’m not, at all. But, I’m getting a lot better with it. I’m more comfortable with it. When the Season 1 finale came up, the whole thing was drama and I remember just being really scared. I was excited because I thought they were awesome scenes, but I was like, “Jesus Christ, I’m probably going to suck at this.” But, you just do it and learn and try to get better at it. I just hope that I’m getting better, every day. That’s the goal.
Teen Wolf airs on Monday nights on MTV.