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'American Assassin' Dylan O'Brien is the most unlikely killer

'American Assassin' star Dylan O'Brien poses for a portrait at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.

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'American Assassin' star Dylan O'Brien might not be the first person you visualize as the CIA-trained killer from Vince Flynn's best-selling novels. No matter: The 'Teen Wolf' star stepped up for the role. Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY

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'American Assassin' director Michael Cuesta (left) says this about Dylan O'Brien's character, Mitch Rapp: "Mitch is not this guy with huge arms and testosterone-filled body. He’s like you or me, blending in. That’s important." Christian Black, CBS for Lionsgate

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Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) in the 'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.' O'Brien was seriously injured in a stunt gone wrong on 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure.' Filming was eventually completed and the film comes out in January. Richard Foreman, Jr., 20th Century Fox Film

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After recovering at home from an injury on the set of 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure,' Dylan O'Brien used his real angst (and beard) to play Mitch Rapp in 'American Assassin.' Christian Black, CBS for Lionsgate

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O'Brien, photographed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, says he overcame doubts and anxiety to shoot the role. "Iwas really going through a lot that summer. It was really difficult thing towrap my brain around so quickly after this accident and recovery." Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY

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The actor says working on 'American Assassin' helped him recover from the 'Maze Runner' head injury in March 2016. "That’s such a huge and crucial part of recovery, making that leap back," he says. Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY

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O'Brien even used the beard he grew while recovering from his 'Maze Runner' injury for the role of Mitch Rapp. Christian Black, CBS Films for Lionsgate

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Here's another look at O'Brien as CIA black ops killer Mitch Rapp in 'American Assassin.' Lionsgate

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O'Brien got into top shape for 'American Assassin,' after he took a break to recover from injuries. CBS Films for Lionsgate

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Another shot of O'Brien (left, with Shiva Negar) in 'American Assassin.' Christian Black

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Negar plays a fellow agent in 'American Assassin.' Christian Black, CBS for Lionsgate

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As Mitch Rapp, O'Brien is a rookie black-ops CIA agent whose mission is to stop a rogue operative. Christian Black

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Black ops trainer Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) shows Mitch Rapp how to kill in 'American Assassin.' Christian Black, CBS for Lionsgate

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Part of Mitch Rapp's training involves simulated killing. Christian Black, CBS for Lionsgate

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O'Brien poses for a portrait at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY

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Stan Hurley and Mitch Rapp head out on a mission in 'American Assassin.' Christian Black, CBS for Lionsgate

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O'Brien was at Comic-Con this year with Tyler Posey, his 'Teen Wolf' co-star. O'Brien played Stiles Stilinski on the MTV series, his first breakout role. Kevin Winter, Getty Images

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