‘American Assassin’ stars discuss film’s intense combat scenes

Michael Keaton and Dylan O’Brien are CIA operatives trying to prevent World War III in the movie “American Assassin.” Sounds like weekend fun for the whole family! Deco CIA operative, Chris Van Vliet — shh, it’s a secret — sat down with the cast, and the testosterone could not be contained.

Dylan O’Brien (as Mitch Rapp): “Katrina!”

Charlotte Vega (as Katrina): “Mitch!”

In “American Assassin,” Mitch Rapp’s world is changed forever after watching his fiancé get gunned down by terrorists.

Dylan O’Brien tells Deco there’s a lot of depth to his character.

Dylan O’Brien: “I wanted the story and the arc to surround his personal experience that he went through and seeing everything change just like that for him, and what it does to him inside.”

What it does to him is fuel a need for revenge. So Mitch does what most of us would do — become a CIA Black Ops recruit trained by Michael Keaton.

Michael Keaton (as Stan Hurley): “Kill me.”

Chris Van Vliet: “When your characters first meet in the movie, Michael, your character kind of sizes up Dylan’s character to see if he can make it through the selection process. When you first met Dylan, what was your first impression of him?”

Dylan O’Brien: “He just popped me right in the face.”

Michael Keaton: “Yeah, to see if he could take it. Yeah. He didn’t go down all the way, but I thought, ‘Whoa. Guy can take a hit!'”

Together, they take part in a mission to take down an equally-skilled bad guy known as “Ghost,” played by Taylor Kitsch. He’s got world-destroying intentions and a history with Keaton’s character.

Taylor Kitsch (as Ghost): “You should’ve come for me.”

Taylor Kitsch: “That motivation’s just there for him, and that’s what I love about it — that it’s personal, especially to Michael Keaton’s character.”

And with a title like “American Assassin,” you know as an actor you’re gonna be in for some serious training and a ton of hand-to-hand combat.

Taylor says he and Dylan weren’t messing around.

Taylor Kitsch: “We beat the shoot out of each other, man.”

Chris Van Vliet: “You can say it!”

Taylor Kitsch: “I was like, ‘Man, I am hurting today! Don’t hit me that hard anymore!'”

Feeling sore is one thing … looking like you’re punching each other in the face is another. That’s because it’s all completely legit, right?!

Taylor Kitsch: “Camera angles. Truly.”

Chris Van Vliet: “So when you’re punching someone in the face, how close are you actually?”

Taylor Kitsch: “Camera angles.”

Camera angles. Got it.

“American Assassin” storms into theaters Friday.

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