In an interview with The Daily Beast regarding True Detective, actor Taylor Kitsch spoke about Gambit, a role he originated in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and which Channing Tatum will take over in an upcoming solo film in 2016. When asked if he had been given a chance to reprise the role before Tatum was cast, Kitsch had this to say.
“Um…no, I didn’t have a go. Ever since we finished the movie, it’s never really been an option. But no, I wish [Channing] nothing but the best. It was a fun character to play, and I learned a lot working with Hugh [Jackman] and had an amazing time in Australia. I’m sure they’re doing their own thing with it, and I’m sure Channing will be great.”
Friday Night Lights turned Taylor Kitsch (aka Tim Riggins) into Hollywood’s Next Big Thing, but then he had a couple of high-profile movie fumbles. Now, True Detective is giving him another chance to be a hero.
“I hope the restaurant’s close because he’s taking his bike,” Taylor Kitsch’s manager says to me.
A bike-bike or a motorcycle-bike? I want to ask. But before I have a chance to, she hangs up.
An hour later, I’m sitting at a table on the outside patio of the Hungry Cat, located between John Wayne’s star and Jack Benny’s on Vine Street in Hollywood, and exactly .9 miles—close, but is it close enough?—from Milk Studios, where Kitsch has just completed his ELLE photo shoot. I’m scanning the sidewalk traffic. I’m hypervigilant because the Hungry Cat is nestled up against a larger building, and I’m worried he’ll pass it. Only, suddenly, there he is, turning down the little alleyway.
That Taylor Kitsch shouldn’t need an introduction at this point in his career, yet still does, is the central preoccupation of this profile, so let me provide one: Kitsch played running back Tim Riggins on NBC’s 2006–2011 series Friday Night Lights, a show about a Texas high school and its football team, though really about coming of age and family, the one you’re born into and the one you make, and racism and classism and America. It’s an anti–soap opera, a frank, uncondescending look at lives and loves in a small town. That everybody in the small town happens to resemble a movie star, and nobody more so than Kitsch—cheekbones as high as goalposts! eyes as green as Astroturf! nose as straight and true as a 50-yard line!—was the only thing Hollywood about it. FNL was a critical smash. (Lorrie Moore, yes, that Lorrie Moore, devoted 3,000 rapturous words to it in the hoity-toity New York Review of Books.) But it didn’t quite connect with a large enough audience. And if NBC hadn’t cut a deal with the subscription television service DirecTV to subsidize production costs in exchange for the right to air episodes first, it never would have lasted five seasons and likely would have been canceled after two.
As he walks toward me, I stand, my heart kicking in my chest. I’m nervous. This is a high-stakes game for me: FNL is my favorite show, Riggins my favorite character. I’m afraid that Kitsch is going to be a world apart from Riggins—that he’ll talk in actorspeak, use the word process a lot and tell me about the benefits of a gluten-free diet, gaze into every reflective surface, and fluff his hair. I’m afraid that meeting him will kill the fantasy, basically. The sun is slanting into my eyes, so while I can see that he’s got something on his head, I can’t see what. It’s only once he gets near that I realize it’s a motorcycle helmet, but worn like a backward baseball cap, pushed off his face and up on his crown. Immediately I start to relax, because it’s such a Riggins maneuver. FNL fans: Remember Riggins’s brief—blink and you missed it—foray into higher education, when he sat in a lecture hall taking notes with a never-been-sharpened pencil? It’s that kind of thing. What a person who’s less trying to amuse others than amuse himself would do. Now, I’m not going to go on any more about his looks except to say that he appears in the flesh just as he does on the screen. Okay, I’ll go on a little more: He has a physical grace to him, moves with athletic authority, has a smile that’s closer to a grin, and is wearing the clothes of someone who doesn’t think about them much—jeans, T-shirt, scuffed leather jacket.
We shake hands, say hello, and listen as the waiter recites the specials. Kitsch, who has just turned 34, points to his menu. “What’s this guy? The Maine lobster roll. It good?” The waiter attests to the roll’s deliciousness, but reveals that it’s sizable. “Oh, okay,” says Kitsch. “No bueno.” (It’s three o’clock, snack time, not lunch.) He asks what I’m ordering. I tell him the cheese plate. He says he’ll pick at that. We get started.
Head over to Elle.com to read the full article, that will also be featured in the July 2015 issue!
“True Detective” is HBO’s equivalent of a Marvel project. Everyone is doing everything they can to keep details under lockdown, and there have been more rumors in terms of casting than actual confirmed news. And while we know that Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn have secured parts, the long rumored participation of Taylor Kitsch has thus far remained unofficial. Well, the actor himself reveals he’s pretty much got the gig.
In an interview with AdWeek, Kitsch confirms with an “mm-hmm” and a nod that he got the gig (though the site clarifies he’s still in negotiations), and has revealed his enthusiasm with respect to joining the acclaimed show. “I’m really excited. I’ve just been prepping. It’s been almost a full year since I’ve been on camera, so I’m itching, man. I’m overdue,” Kitsch said. “You’ve just got to grind it out. Even taking this year off was… I mean, you want to work, but you also don’t want to just water it down and work for the sake of working. So, it was tough to sit a year out, keeping a finger crossed that I was going to get ‘True.’ ”
“And having this meeting with [writer/creator] Nic Pizzolatto, it kind of brought me back to when I was here in New York and why I wanted to be a actor, why you struggle and why you don’t quit,” the actor continued. “And when we’re talking, I mean he’s obviously incredibly smart and passionate, so that rubs off. And you’re just excited to go now. I can’t fucking wait to hit camera. So I’m excited. I loved that first season of it so much. It’s just unlike anything I’ve seen in, you know, I don’t know when. And it was so grounded. It could really happen. This is very similar, and I love that. It makes it more relatable. It makes these guys more real. Nowadays, it takes fucking balls to stand by that and do it that way.”
Kitsch goes on to add the next season will shoot on location in Los Angeles, and will have an “old school vibe.” Justin Lin will direct the first two episodes of the second season. Here’s the official logline: Three police officers and a career criminal must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder. And don’t forget, there’s still a female lead role to cast with Rachel McAdams recently getting an offer.
Actor opens up about the rough road to unexpected stardom
Taylor Kitsch is someone you’ll be seeing a lot of, and soon. From his first role—a minor part in Samuel L. Jackson surprise hit Snakes on a Plane—to his breakout part on NBC’s high school football drama Friday Night Lights as running back Tim Riggins, Kitsch has taken some huge and unusual risks (and look, even if John Carter didn’t pan out the way Disney hoped it would, it’s still a pretty good movie). He’s been rumored around a major role in the next season of HBO’s True Detective for months, and he’s starring in a cool new trailer for 72andSunny’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare campaign directed by none other than Berg himself.
Adweek: How are you doing?
I’m really good. I mean—just to come here and hang out, I love it. I see a lot of old buddies from when I was studying and all that stuff. So, saw the Rangers game on Sunday. I love New York City, so any time I can come and hang out.
You’ve got True Detective coming up?
[Nodding] Mm-hmm. (For the record from sources involved in the negotiations: the deal is close, but not complete.)
It’s a great show.
Yeah, I’m really excited. I’ve just been prepping. It’s been almost a full year since I’ve been on camera, so I’m itching, man. I’m overdue. You’ve just got to grind it out. Even taking this year off was, I mean you want to work, but you also don’t want to just water it down and work for the sake of working. So, it was tough to sit a year out, keeping a finger crossed that I was going to get True.
Is that why you took the year?
Yeah, I mean it was just showing a lot of patience on my end and turning a lot of stuff down because I wanted to be a part of it. And having this meeting with Nic Pizzolatto, it kind of brought me back to when I was here in New York and why I wanted to be a actor, why you struggle and why you don’t quit. And when we’re talking, I mean he’s obviously incredibly smart and passionate, so that rubs off. And you’re just excited to go now. I can’t fucking wait to hit camera. So I’m excited. I loved that first season of it so much. It’s just unlike anything I’ve seen in, you know, I don’t know when. And it was so grounded. It could really happen. This is very similar, and I love that. It makes it more relatable. It makes these guys more real. Nowadays, it takes fucking balls to stand by that and do it that way.
When was the last thing you worked on?
Normal Heart was the last thing I did, which we shot here. And I loved it. I love shooting on location. And that’s one thing, too, I’m excited for True. I mean, we’ll be on location.
We’ll be in L.A. I mean, this is a whole new slate.
Did I read that it was set in the 1970s?
No, it’s contemporary. But the characters, I think, are going to have that great tone. I don’t want to give too much away.
No, definitely don’t!
But these guys feel like that old school vibe.
Your Call of Duty spot is great—the first-person perspective is really a cool idea. Are you a gamer at all?
I’m not a gamer, but I mean it’s hard not to get hooked when you get exposed to it. It’s creepy real! And having worked with Navy Seals, I’m very proud of the way I can handle a gun now, having worked with the best. But it’s it’s remarkable how close that game is. It’s crazy, man.
What was it like working with Peter Berg again?
Working with Pete—and I think with this whole commercial and what they’ve done and they’ve said and, in my humble opinion, what kind of separates them from others is when you feel you’re having a good time just watching it, like you can do anything. We shot it in California, a couple different locations, some in studio. A lot of it was actually very close to where we shot the ending of [Oliver Stone thriller] Savages. So, it was fun, man, yeah.
Between The Normal Heart and True Detective, you’re taking a lot of stuff with an edge to it.
I hope so. I hope to keep throwing curveballs, too, you know?
What’s it like moving to Los Angeles and trying to find friends as somebody working hard to get jobs acting?
I had worked here and then, I went to L.A., man. And I was living out of my car in L.A.
What the hell, man?
I was naïve, I guess. I ran out of money real quick. It’s a good story: I was homeless here in New York, and then I got my manager, who was like, “Come out to L.A.!” So, I went and worked and dug ditches in Barbados where my dad had been working. And I think I made like $4,000 or $5,000 in a couple months—like 45 days. Six-day weeks, working digging ditches. I made like 4,500 bucks or whatever, in my pocket, so I’m like, “Fuck, I’m good for like six months in L.A.!” Which is pretty stupid, if you think about it. I sublet a room, and within the month, I’m done, I’m out of money, and I had this little shitbox car that was terrific. It ran basically on fumes. I think it was under ten bucks to fill it up back then. Twelve-inch wheels—it was a little hatchback. And so yeah, it was a joke. I remember I didn’t. I’m not going to tell everybody that I’m sleeping in my car at the time, but I remember over Christmastime, my manager’s like, “Hey, do you want to make like 100 bucks?” I’m like, “Yeah.” So, I was delivering cookies and letters, like thank you letters to casting directors. Isn’t that fucking great?
I really ran out of money. At one point I lost my shit in my car, just had a little meltdown. The window wouldn’t roll down. So, I just starting hitting it, and it broke. Now cut to me with the plastic in the window. The duct tape. It couldn’t be more trash. I told my buddy, Josh, “Hey, I think I got to go back to Vancouver and at least work to come [back to L.A.]” And his mom gave me like 75 bucks to fix the window. She’s like, “I’m not letting you drive 24 hours with that fucking plastic bag.” I drove home. And then one of the first readings I had back in Vancouver was Snakes on a Plane.
And the rest is history.
What was your dad doing in Barbados?
He’s kind of been out of my life for my life. He had lived in South America, in Guyana, mining for diamonds. His brother is a really big construction, like it was—I don’t know how many millions his whole operation was. What we were doing is we were digging tunnels [under the highway] for the oil and gas to go under for them to use it at the airport. My uncle had that contract. And my dad was the foreman. So, I went there to dig ditches. That’s the most time in my life I had spent with my dad. Forty-two days, whatever, something like that. But I’m grateful for that, too, you know?
How was the work?
No one likes it. You literally have a jackhammer into the coral which is no joke. And it was long days. It was like 5:00 to 5:00 six days a week. And I remember falling asleep standing up on my shovel. And it’s like, this is the boss’s son, right? And it was not a good start. They weren’t pumped this little punk was coming around, you know? First time I had really used a jackhammer or anything. I’m trying to act like I run the place or at least belong. Didn’t work. I had some good moments but I remember it like yesterday.
How’d you lose your place in New York?
Just no money. The biggest thing was I didn’t have a visa there to work, so I was illegal. At that point, I didn’t even have a social [security number]. I remember my best buddy was doing these crazy big bar mitzvahs and weddings and catering. But he was like Johnny Personality—he’s the guy that got the party started, waving people onto the dance floor. Really good-looking, charismatic guy. He was like, “Kitsch, come and do this and work under the table.” In catering, you know? He was making good money. Especially, at the time. And I talked to the boss then, and he was like, “Yep, no problem, blah, blah, blah, we’ll pay.” And I’m like, “Cool!” So, I was doing that. And more running booze. You don’t want me to start a dance-off, you know? I’d get fired pretty quick.
You seem a little laid back for the guy at the front of the conga line.
Yeah, maybe at the back. And so I had worked two weeks and I was expecting some good change, cash under the table. And he was just like, no, you’re fired. And that was it. I couldn’t really work, so just ran out of money. I had coaxed a guy in getting a place on 181st and Washington, Spanish Harlem. And I couldn’t turn the electricity on, nothing. Where I got my light was, I stole all these candles at this garage sale. Isn’t that terrible?
You and Berg have been friends since Friday Night Lights, I take it.
He’s a good time, man. He’s one of my closest friends in L.A. We box together all the time. The last time we sparred, it got well out of control. Where I couldn’t box the next day because I still had a really bad headache.
Wait, because Peter Berg hit you so hard?
He can box. He’s got a counter. His counter is really fucking good. He’s quick, and he’ll just turn into a fucking brawl. If you pop him, we’re not even boxing anymore. He’s turning into a street fight.
Well, in the ring, you’re allowed to be.
• Photoshoots/Outtakes > AdWeek
There are a lot of reasons to watch the premiere of HBO’s The Normal Heart this Sunday and one is a bit more superficial than the others—Taylor Kitsch is in it. All of the other great things about the movie are kind of added bonuses: the important subject matter, the rest of the impressive cast, the promising trailer. Any Friday Night Lights fan probably would’ve watched the movie even without all of that, so it’s exciting to know that we can see Tim Riggins in something that’s probably going to be legitimately good. To promote The Normal Heart and his upcoming film The Grand Seduction, Kitsch spoke with Variety and revealed a lot about himself in the brief interview. Here’s what we learned.
HE USES THE PHRASE “ALL YOU CAN KITSCH”
When Variety’s film editor Ramin Setoodeh told Kitsch that he watched both films the night before, his response was, ”Oh man! All you can Kitsch.” This might be the most glorious phrase of all time and should immediately enter the greater cultural lexicon. “Hey man, what’d you do this weekend?”
“Not much, just watched some Friday Night Lights and finally saw Lone Survivor.”
“Nice! All you can Kitsch!”
HE LIKES TO TALK DIRTY
Apparently The Grand Seduction includes a phone sex scene (so add that one to your list of things to watch) and they had to stop at one point because Kitsch was improv-ing and took things a little too far. Maybe Kitsch has something in common with Riggins.
HIS ACTING PROCESS
It seems that for Kitsch, going off-script is pretty uncommon. He told Setoodeh that he’s ”a big guy on instinct,” especially in smaller independent films. However he also does a lot of research when a role requires it, as The Normal Heart did. Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted Wall Street banker, and used letters and documentaries to try to understand the character better, in addition to spending time with the film’s writer, Larry Kramer, to get more notes on his performance.
Kitsch also said, “Wardrobe is a huge thing for me in any gig,” so now we know he must really love cowboy boots.
HIS SURPRISINGLY LOW-MAINTENANCE HAIR
In The Normal Heart, Kitsch has neatly styled blonde hair and revealed that not only did this mark the first time he’d ever dyed his hair, but really the first time he’d put any real effort into it. “I didn’t even know what a blowout was until this movie. I don’t remember the last time I combed my hair.”
So that means that all of those times Tim Riggins’ hair was perfectly framing his face or majestically blowing in the wind, it had just sprouted out of Kitsch’s head that way. Hopefully in his next interview, Kitsch will reveal what magical shampoo he uses.
THERE COULD’VE BEEN A JOHN CARTER SEQUEL
We all know that John Carter didn’t exactly turn out to be Kitsch’s big movie break the way it supposed to, because it was you know, a terrible movie. But if we’d all just gotten past that and gone to see it, then the planned sequel would’ve actually been made which, according to Kitsch, was “fucking awesome” and “more emotionally taxing.” Thanks a lot, 2012 me, you ruined the opportunity to see a brooding, shirtless Kitsch.
HE WANTS TO DIRECT
Kitsch wrote and directed a short film called The Pieces about a drug drop that goes awry and was recently given full funding to turn it into a full-length movie. Hopefully in terms of quality, it’ll be more like FNL and The Normal Heart than John Carter—especially since Kitsch will be spending his time behind the camera.
Ask Taylor Kitsch if he’s a one-dimensional actor—what with his starring roles as the stereotypical Hollywood bad guy-fighting beefcake in big-budget films like John Carter and Battleship, this year’s war thriller Lone Survivor, not to mention perhaps his most memorable turn as Tim Riggins, Friday Night Lights’ fullback with those clear eyes and a full heart—and he can only laugh. “I mean every actor has what they want to get out of the business,” Kitsch told ELLE.com when we called him up on a recent afternoon. “But here’s the thing: people think it’s all so pre-meditated.”
You see, to Kitsch, the money and fame—they don’t matter all that much anymore. Sure, the 33-year-old Canadian is a ruggedly handsome hardbody who, while not an A-lister, has box-office draw. In recent years however, he’s come to find he lives more for enveloping himself in emotionally powerful roles. It’s hardly surprising then to see him play gay activist Bruce Niles in HBO’s The Normal Heart—a Ryan Murphy-directed TV-movie adaptation of Larry Kramer’s iconic stage play that chronicles the cruelly ignored AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s, and features a star-studded cast including Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, and Jim Parsons—with such restrained grace and emotional precision. Making the film was an enlightening journey for Kitsch—one he was eager to revisit during a conversation that touched upon his passion for fearless acting, a recent foray into writing and directing, and why it’s his job to make people forget about Riggins.
The Normal Heart is such an emotionally draining movie to watch. It must have been even more exhausting to take part in as an actor.
This film kind of encompasses, and I guess it’s a cliché, [the idea] of ‘what you put in is what you get out’, you know? Obviously the subject matter is bigger than all of us. So we kind of came together during rehearsal just months before—me and Ryan Murphy—talking over Bruce and the approach there and how we wanted to do it. So I think so much came through prep, knowing that you’re getting into something that’s heavy. And I think a lot of us kind of bonded over that experience of telling the story that needs to be told and that’s draining. It was extremely draining. Especially for Mattie Bomer (who lost 30-pounds for the role). I mean, physically as well.
It’s not like your last major film role, in ‘Lone Survivor’, was any less intense. Just in a different fashion.
I gained twenty [pounds] for Lone and lost twenty for Normal. And we wrapped Lone in the end of November and I think we hit camera for Normal in, I think, May. So yeah. That’s the beauty of my gig though, you know? I can go and kind of envelop myself in these war heroes and these Navy Seals and tell a different but almost emotionally-kind-of-draining film as well with Lone, you know? With the families and all those guys, it was a heavy set to be on as well.
Unfortunately both of these subject matters are probably a one-degree separation from all of us, if not less. With war, I’m sure you have a cousin or brother or friend that went to war, and unfortunately AIDS is a one-degree separation with me. It’s incredible.
I imagine on both The Normal Heart, as well as Lone Survivor, for that matter, there’s a pressure on you as an actor to get it right.
Without a doubt. And that’s where it goes to [director] Ryan Murphy’s process. It was so thorough and he was meant to direct this. And obviously from an actor’s standpoint you’re going ‘You gotta go through this process and let yourself be exposed on a different level than a lot of films.’ Almost to an extreme. And you have to have that much more trust on set as well. And I had that with Murphy.
I think people have this preconceived idea of you as strictly the macho type of actor. But even going back to your earlier films, like 2010’s Bang Bang Club, it was clear you weren’t afraid to tackle emotionally challenging roles.
Thanks for doing your research! But yeah, it’s an opportunity that you’d be silly to say no to. And this scared the shit out of me, to be blunt. It definitely on so many levels made me not just a better actor, but a better person as well.
You’ve had real struggle in your life: from being homeless for a short time in New York City to digging ditches in Barbados with your estranged father to make ends meet. Have such life challenges helped you to better inhabit these draining roles?
I don’t think I’m that conscious of it. I just think it’s more of that the upbringing that I had kind of squared me away. A single mom raising three boys. From a trailer park. So I understand an opportunity when it comes maybe more than others that were a bit more fortunate. And I think a late start helps: I really kind of broke out in my mid-to-late twenties. So having at least some kind of ground to stand on within myself helps a lot. And it’s more about the work than really anything else. I’m not chasing celebrity or money or whatever it is.
These days so much is made of who’s an A-list star or a leading man or what have you in Hollywood.
[Laughs] Like what number am I on the call sheet?
Exactly. And even though there was a lot written about you making a leading-man push around John Carter, maybe I’m wrong, but I get the sense that wasn’t really all that important.
Absolutely. Even with Tim Riggins, man, I was told when I signed up for that that I’m gonna be done after the first season.
Speaking of Riggins, does it shock you that a role like that has stayed with people for so long? For example, when I told people I was interviewing you they immediately said “Ah, I love Riggins!”
[Laughs] I guess it’s my job to kind of do something that special again. So they’ll be like “Ah, Mike Murphy” or something like that. But it’s all flattering. I think that guy just hits home to men and women. It was a blast to play him. I learned so much through that process.
You recently wrote, directed and produced a thirty-minute short entitled Pieces. And you’re planning to turn it into a feature as well, correct?
I’m like eighty-percent done with the script. And we’re pumped. And I’m in no rush. We’re kind of juggling a couple gigs right now of what we’re going to dive into next. So that will probably prolong this process with the film, our own feature. You know, the more movies I do as an actor the better director I’m going to be as well. So I’m in no crazy rush. But we’re definitely excited for it. And it will only be a thirty-day shoot, if that.
Were both writing and directing always career ambitions?
I’ve always been writing. I was just never really telling anyone that would listen about it. And [Friday Night Lights director] Pete Berg has rubbed off on me an incredible amount. He’s one of my closest friends. And watching Oliver [Stone] do his thing. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really talented people. So hopefully I can kind of steal from them and create my own process through that. But I’ve definitely taken from Berg quite a bit.
You’ve shown your film to both Berg and Stone, right?
I’ve shown it to a bunch of the heads of Pixar, to Pete [Berg], to a lot of people, actually. Stone was Stone with it. He was like “Congrats for doing it.” He had some questions that were definitely fair. But I guess the bottom line is he was very complimentary. He loved the way it looked and the tone is there, which is so much with any film—getting the tone and keeping it in the realm of it. So yeah, he had productive criticism, for sure. But he was very complimentary.
This interview wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t ask about your incredible blonde ‘do in The Normal Heart. That was a wig, right?
No! That’s my flow, man! Isn’t that incredible? I didn’t even know what a blowout was when I started the film. Usually I’m not in the makeup chair or hair or whatever. But I was in there thirty minutes a day just for hair just to get it done right. It brought you right back to the early Eighties with that.
Did you get any outside opinion on the blonde, blown-out Kitsch?
I mean, Kitsch, me personally, I wasn’t a fan of it after I was working. But I loved it for Bruce. And I tip the hat to [Ryan] Murphy for that: while we were getting ready and just bouncing ideas off each other, he was like “What do you think about going blonde?” And I’m kind of just fearless in the sense of like “Yeah. I’m in for it. What do you think?” It just took it to that next level.
The HBO film takes an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. This subject matter couldn’t be more relevant with the recent drafting of the first openly gay NFL player Michael Sam. This moment not only showed how far we have come as a society, but still how far we have to go.
On May 12, HBO hosted the New York premiere of its film “The Normal Heart,” which is an adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play of the same name. The play is loosely based on Kramer’s life. AIDS was not a “gay” problem as people tried to assert at the time and since 1981 about 36 Million people have died from the disease. There is still no cure.
We spoke with actor Taylor Kitsch on the red carpet, check out what he had to say below:
Q: Can you tell us about the first time you read the script?
Taylor: I was in my living room in Austin, Texas and my manager called me, and she was like, “Stop what you’re doing. Read this now cause we got to hurry if we want this role, we’re fighting right away.” And then halfway through the script I stopped reading called, got them all on the phone and said, “Let’s fight for it.” And then I finished the script and called him back and there we go. Here we are.
Q: What drew you into the role?
Taylor: The story, the character, being scared, the risk. I love all that stuff. Obviously the cast, it’s self-explanatory. I just felt I could breathe life into this guy and do this story justice as an actor and I knew I was gonna grow up through this process.
Q: Are you excited for people to see a different side of you?
Taylor: Sure. I am. You know, you’re proud of you work and we put in God knows how much energy and hours into it. I just hope they’re taken by not just my work, but everyone’s.
Q: What do you say to the generation that missed the rise of the epidemic 1980’s? What do you hope the main takeaway is?
Taylor: It’s still relevant. It’s still a global issue and I think that’s something we can all pay attention to a little bit more. We’re all guilty of being in our own little bubbles and especially with media now it’s like…we’re in the now and then it’s on to the next thing 10 seconds later. We’ve kind of been numb to it all and I think this story will hopefully square you away for the two hours and make you pay attention with the fight and be heard.
Q: How do you unwind after such a hard role?
Q: Can you speak about collaborating with Ryan Murphy?
Taylor: I loved it. I flew in from reading the script … I think it was the next day or a couple days later and we had an amazing first meeting. Fly back to Texas and then we’re just…I mean, silly long e-mail after e-mail of just vision from aesthetic to tone to everything.
Q: What was the most difficult scene for you to shoot?
Taylor: It wasn’t like one difficult one. The montage at the end wasn’t fun I’ll tell you that much. The plane scene isn’t fun to do. Just that it’s real and it happened, I think that’s what squares you away cause I’m just recreating something that unfortunately happened. It’s pretty tragic.
Q: How much input did you have in your character?
Taylor: A lot. I mean, even reading it I had a very strong ordeal of where I wanted to go with it. So it was more of just like this is how I feel and that just leads to conviction, which is everything as an actor.