Dylan O’Brien says a former girlfriend helped inspire his Not Okay character’s “vibe”

20 July 2022, 15:57

Dylan O’Brien reveals his new blonde hair and tattoo sleeves

By Katie Louise Smith

"I was actually dating a girl that summer for a bit and I was picking up a lot of things from her...She’d be constantly saying, 'OD as fuck,' and 'No cap, and cap, no cap.' Just all these terms."

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Friends, readers, Dylan O'Brien thirst club members... prepare yourselves. The Teen Wolf icon is set to bring a brand new character into our lives thanks to the upcoming release of Not Okay – and he's sharing some insight into how he brought him to life.

Zoey Deutch plays Danni in Not Okay, a young woman desperate for friends and fame, who fakes a trip to Paris to up her social media presence and ends up lying about being caught up in a terrifying real-life incident. Dylan plays Colin, Danni's love interest.

Fans went absolutely feral when Dylan unveiled his bleach blond hairstyle and fake tats ahead of filming, and now he's explained the influences behind how he brought the character to life on-screen.

The influences in question? "White tatted kids who talk with blaccents," and a former girlfriend who spoke a lot of Gen Z slang.

READ MORE: Dylan O'Brien says he is officially in his "slut era"

Dylan O'Brien explains the influences behind his Not Okay character
Dylan O'Brien explains the influences behind his Not Okay character. Picture: Alberto Rodriguez/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images, Searchlight Pictures via Alamy

Speaking about how he brought his character to life after reading the script, Dylan revealed that he did his homework and formed Colin based on various stereotypes that are popular in Gen Z influencer culture.

"I've just always been taken aback by these, not even influencers, but these white tatted kids who talk with blaccents as if they're from the streets, appropriating Black culture, and being someone that "we" are thirsting over."

I found it such an odd trend, but I was fascinated by it. That's how I saw the character. I wanted to go full force with it. I wanted the tats, the Bieber blonde hair, and an MGK Fortnite skin. I just wanted to take the piss out of that kind of person."

Then, explaining how he tapped into the vocabulary and "vibe" of his character, Dylan revealed that rather than spend hours scrolling through the TikTok FYP, he took a small bit of inspiration from a girl he was dating that summer.

"What’s funny is, I should have done more of that," joked Dylan. "I was actually dating a girl that summer for a bit and I was picking up a lot of things from her, too. She had that sort of vibe. Like she’d be constantly saying, 'OD as fuck,' and 'No cap, and cap, no cap.' Just all these terms."

He continued: "I would just be walking around my house, and would just record riffs on my phone. I really wanted to explore the dichotomy of him always having these beliefs, and then his actions being completely fake as fuck."

Dylan then said he sent a tape to director Quinn Shephard of him "saying random shit" in character, and she loved it, adding: "She sent it back, and she's like, 'That's totally it.'"

Dylan O'Brien plays Colin in Hulu's Not Okay
Dylan O'Brien plays Colin in Hulu's Not Okay. Picture: Searchlight Pictures

Not Okay drops on Hulu on July 29th. And if you need me in the meantime, I will be imagining Dylan O'Brien walking around his house doing line readings of "deadass" and "no cap fr" into his voice notes app.

Read more about Dylan O'Brien here:

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