It’s been a hell of a year for Stiles on Teen Wolf – he’s spent the better half of Season 3 possessed by a killer Japanese spirit — and tonight’s finale (MTV, 10/9c) might just prove to be his most harrowing hour yet.
Dylan O’Brien spoke with TVLine about Stiles’ dark turn in Season 3B, the affects of Allison’s death — on himself as well as his character — and what the future might hold for Stiles’ love life.
TVLINE | Stiles has been unrecognizable this season. How have you handled that huge shift?
It’s been incredible. I mean, I still can’t get over the fact that I’ve gotten to be on a show for a few years now — my whole acting career, literally — and that I’ve gotten to play a character that provides so much humor. And then to get an arc like this, and to do it with my family — I’ve been working with these people for the last four years of my life, and [they're] really close to my heart — has been the best experience I could ask for as an actor.
TVLINE | Is this something you asked for, or did they just kind of throw it at you?
I wouldn’t say they threw it at me, but there was never really a discussion. The first time it came up was this one night when I sent an e-mail to [executive producer Jeff Davis] with some random thought like, “Hey, it could be really cool to go evil with Scott.” And he e-mailed me back immediately, saying, “It’s funny that you said that, because we were already planning to go evil with you.” My immediate thought was, “Whoa, really?” I was sort of nervous and not sure what to expect, but also so game to do it.
TVLINE | I have to say, you carried it well. I think everybody was really impressed.
I really cared about it. It was a huge challenge for me, and I was scared at first. I’ve never even tried something like this. But you have to just go for it, and that’s why I love acting; it’s made me face my fears and try things I’d normally be too uncomfortable to try. It’s therapeutic.
TVLINE | After so much dark material all season, what could possibly be left for Stiles in the finale?
Well, the void spirit is getting stronger, and with that, the real Stiles gets weaker. He’s essentially fading, so it’s mostly about that for Stiles. His priority is to kill the Nogitsune, and he’d rather die than continue to be responsible for so much destruction. At the same time, they still have no idea how to kill it, so…
TVLINE | As long as Stiles doesn’t die, I’ll be OK. I can’t handle another death after Allison.
That got me, man. That totally got me. That scene was incredible to watch. It was one thing when I first found out Crystal was leaving, which was really difficult on a personal level, but then to film it and see it was an entirely different experience. That made it so real.
TVLINE | How did Crystal Reed break that news to everyone?
She sent the cast a really long, thought-out e-mail. Then the next day, we all talked to her in person about it. That was beginning to mid-season, and it was such a trip to find out.
TVLINE | With only one episode left, how will Allison’s death reshape everyone’s motivations?
These kids have gotten almost good in these situations; they’re used to this terrifying life. But [Allison's death] scared them. This was the first time they’ve lost one of their own. And Allison’s death affects Stiles, specifically, because he can’t help but feel responsible for it. And the only way to stop the Nogitsune, as far as he knows, is for him to die. Her death, and what it does to Stiles, is kind of the last straw. He’s now fully committed to sacrifice himself.
TVLINE | Yikes. Let’s shift gears to happier things, like Stiles’ love life. Where does his heart lie right now?
Right now, Lydia is the girl for him. He’s always been in love with her and she has such a big place in his heart. She’s made it clear that she doesn’t love him back, and I think he’s gotten to a good place with that. He’s comfortable with loving her from a distance; he doesn’t need to force her to love him back. Ultimately, he just wants her to be happy. He’s growing a lot — especially this season — as he transitions from a teenager to a young adult, where he understands he can’t control how other people feel. She can still have a special place in his heart. It’s not all or nothing.
TVLINE | And Malia?
She’s probably the only person who actually made him feel good this season, with everything he’s been going through. I think they share a lot of things, innocence mostly. They’re cute together. Obviously there hasn’t been much between them this season — she’s going to play more into next season. The finale is very much a Stiles-Lydia finale. You see the connection, which is what I love about them. They haven’t had a real relationship, but they care about each other.
TVLINE | Is Malia in the finale? We haven’t seen her since that magical night at Eichen House.
I don’t believe she’s in the finale, but she is a Season 4 regular, so she’ll become a part of the pack. The finale really has more to do with getting rid of the spirit.
TVLINE | There was also that throwaway line earlier in 3B where Caitlin asks Stiles if he likes guys — and he pauses. Did that mean anything?
That was nothing, really. Stiles isn’t gay, and he knows that, but what I love about him is that he’s even open to reacting that way to a question. He doesn’t have to jump into a defensive thing; he’s just so honest. He’s clearly not gay — I’ve never thought the character was — but he also looks at people as people. He doesn’t associate gay and not gay, but he knows he likes girls. [Laughs] It definitely created a whole thing, though.
TVLINE | I recently asked Tyler Posey about his thoughts on ‘Sterek.’ How do you feel about that particular ship?
[Laughs] I saw that. People were calling him homophobic, which is crazy. In the past, anytime I’ve spoken about [Sterek], I feel like it’s come out wrong. And I think he was more reacting to that idea, that we’re constantly asked about it. But it is a big thing, and we support it. We support everything the fans like, and however they love the show is how they love the show. We love that, and Tyler also feels that way, there’s no doubt about it. There’s no better person in the world than that guy. He’s the best.