×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kitsch: Rushes into film trifecta

10 Actors to Watch 2011: Taylor Kitsch

Taylor Kitsch relaxed in the comforts of a coffee shop in Austin, Texas, an ironic location to take stock of how far his movie career has taken him.

Over the next 12 months, the film world will take Kitsch to Mars in “John Carter,” the high seas in “Battleship” and a clash with a Baja Mexico drug cartel in “Savages.” But for a little while at least, Kitsch could sit back in the former shooting location of “Friday Night Lights,” the critically acclaimed drama that was his onscreen home for the better part of five seasons, and reflect.

Though “Lights” never did draw a mass audience, the Canadian-born Kitsch’s brooding portrayal of Texan lost soul Tim Riggins attracted casting agents like fireflies, setting the stage for roles including a drug-addicted South African photojournalist in “The Big Bang Club” to Gambit in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

First in 2012 is March’s “John Carter,” a sort of “Cowboys & Aliens” in reverse that transports a Civil War veteran to the red planet and required seven months of filming under director Andrew Stanton.

“You have a meeting just to break the ice just to see if you’re even clicking,” Kitsch says. “We’re kind of huge fans of each other, and that kind of goes full circle with ‘FNL.’ He loved ‘FNL.’ John is a beaten and broken man when you meet him, and there was a piece of him in Riggs.

The next release is “Battleship,” the May tentpole pic with Liam Neeson that reunited Kitsch with “Lights” exec producer Peter Berg, who cast Kitsch in the series.

“Five plus years ago, we were in this little board room improvising all these interviews of Riggs talking about his father or lack thereof,” Kitsch says. “I remember that like yesterday.”

Then scheduled for next fall is the Oliver Stone-helmed “Savages,” in which Kitsch co-stars with Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek and Blake Lively as a Laguna Beach marijuana grower caught up in the cartel clash.

“Buckle up, dude,” Kitsch says with a laugh. “I’m telling you, a very unapologetic story. I loved the grit of this guy. … I definitely want to keep playing a lot of these guys.”

Lucky break: “As far as professionally, and a gig that was setting the table for me, definitely ‘Friday Night Lights.'”
Favorite film: “I can give you a few. ‘Raging Bull’ for sure: I miss the simplicity and the character arc of that. It’s rare to see those kind of things now. ‘Butch Cassidy’ is epic for me. I love it. ‘Heat’ was a big one, that reminds me a lot of ‘Savages’ too.”
Career I’d like to emulate: “Basically, I can answer like this: Hopefully, down the road, if (I’m offered something) with a Daniel Day-Lewis or Philip Seymour Hoffman or Sean Penn. . .then I’m signing on without reading it.”

10 ACTORS TO WATCH 2011:
Benedict Cumberbatch | Jean Dujardin | Luke Evans | Josh Hutcherson | Felicity Jones | Taylor Kitsch | Brit Marling | Elizabeth Olsen | Octavia Spencer | Shailene Woodley

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Kelly McCormick and David Leitch'Fast &

    'Wheelman' Director to Helm 'Versus' From David Leitch, Kelly McCormick (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Wheelman” director Jeremy Rush is in negotiations to helm the action movie “Versus,” with Kelly McCormick and David Leitch producing. Rush will direct the Universal movie from a script penned by “Three Musketeers” scribe Alex Litvak and “American Assassin” writer Mike Finch. Plot details are being kept under wraps, though it will follow the genre [...]

  • Taika Waititi Jojo Rabbit Premiere

    Why Director Taika Waititi Decided to Play Adolf Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit'

    “Fox Searchlight blackmailed me into doing it,” Taika Waititi told Variety of playing Adolf Hilter in “Jojo Rabbit” at the film’s premiere at American Legion Post 43 on Tuesday night in Hollywood. Staying mum when asked which other actors had been on his wish list to play the role, Waititi explained why he eventually decided [...]

  • ALACARTE_HOME

    Brazil’s Pandora Filmes Readies Country’s First Classic Film Streaming Platform

    Brazilian distribution company Pandora Filmes was founded by André Sturm in 1989 as the country’s first independent distributor of foreign and domestic, classic and contemporary arthouse cinema. Still pushing the envelope three decades later, Juliana Brito is representing the company at this year’s Lumiere Festival, looking for classic film titles to fill out the catalog [...]

  • Hannah Minghella

    Bad Robot Poaches TriStar Pictures President Hannah Minghella to Lead Film Unit

    In a surprise announcement Thursday, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot revealed it has lured away Sony Pictures executive Hannah Minghella to lead its film division. Minghella will report to Abrams and Bad Robot co-CEO Katie McGrath. She will oversee both development and production. TriStar executive vice president Nicole Brown will take up the mantle in the [...]

  • Paul Dano arrives at the 71st

    'The Batman': Paul Dano to Play The Riddler

    Paul Dano is in talks to join Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. “The Batman,” sources tell Variety. Though the studio would not confirm the role, insiders believe that Dano would be playing the classic comic book villain The Riddler. Dano’s casting comes on the heels of Jonah Hill turning down an offer [...]

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Vivendi's Third Quarter Results Up Nearly 17%, UMG Still Rising

    Vivendi saw its third quarter revenues increase by 16.7% to €3.97 billion ($4.4 billion) compared with the third quarter of 2018, once again boosted by the growth of Universal Music Group, while Canal Plus Group remained stable. For the first nine months of 2019, Vivendi’s revenues reached €11.3 billion ($12.5 billion), an increase of 14.6% [...]

  • This-is-Cristina

    FiGa Films Takes Salma Hayek-Exec Produced ‘This is Cristina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Leading international sales agency-production-distribution company, FiGa Films, has snagged all worldwide rights to “This is Cristina” (“Ella es Cristina”), the directorial debut of Chilean scribe Gonzalo Maza, who has co-written four of Sebastian Lelio’s films, including his Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman” and Berlin Festival winner “Gloria.” “It’s a pleasure to collaborate with Gonzalo, whose writing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content