“I had friends that were so dear to me that I had felt that I had neglected for years,” the Teen Wolf alum, 29, explained during the Wednesday, October 14, episode of the “Big Ticket” podcast. “All of a sudden, it was very important to me to nurture those relationships and not lose them. I think that it absolutely completely rewires and restructures the way you see your life and what you deem important.”
O’Brien deals with the trauma of the incident by ensuring his own safety, but he still feels uneasy when put in the position to possibly get hurt again. “Whenever I’m putting on a rig, I’m vetting every piece of that rig and much more,” he noted. “Even to this day, if I’m on set and I’m doing a stunt, if I’m in a rig, if there’s some action going on, I am slightly irritable. There is a degree of anxiety in me that I don’t think there’s ever not going to be.”
The actor was hospitalized in March 2016 after a stunt car reportedly hit him during filming for The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Production halted while he was treated for a concussion, facial fracture, brain trauma and other injuries, but he eventually returned to complete the movie.
“Nothing inside of you wants to go back to that,” O’Brien told Vulture in September 2017. “It took a lot of deep searching past those gut instincts that I was having just because of the trauma that I experienced to realize that I did want to finish it.”
The Love and Monsters star even considered giving up acting entirely. “I really was in a dark place there for a while and it wasn’t an easy journey back,” he said. “There was a time there where I didn’t know if I would ever do it again … and that thought scared me too.”
He added: “In a lot of ways, those six months [in recovery] went by like that. And then, in a lot of ways, I can still remember that six months as if it was five years of my life.”