Tay­lor Kitsch


Tay­lor Kitsch stole hearts in cult TV se­ries Fri­day Night Lights but his ride to Hol­ly­wood suc­cess wasn’t been an easy one. As he switches gears to play a mo­tor­cy­cle cop along­side Colin Far­rell and Vince Vaughn in True De­tec­tive, he talks about his tran­si­tion from job­less ac­tor to man-in-de­mand.

The first sea­son of True De­tec­tive starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Har­rel­son. This sec­ond sea­son fea­tures dif­fer­ent ac­tors, di­rec­tors and lo­ca­tions but keeps the spirit of the orig­i­nal alive. Was that a chal­lenge? It was a chal­lenge. But sea­son one is def­i­nitely its own en­tity and I think it re­ally set a prece­dent — hence get­ting the kind of ac­tors it at­tracted — be­cause the ma­te­rial is so good. In sea­son two the ma­te­rial dic­tates the tone and our job was re­ally to be hon­est to those char­ac­ters.

Do you feel pres­sure to live up to the first sea­son? Ex­pec­ta­tions are huge. I’m not re­ally wor­ried or stressed about how peo­ple are go­ing to take sea­son two. I’m do­ing what’s ex­pected of me and I’m not go­ing to waste energy on other peo­ple’s per­cep­tions. It’s up to me to em­power the char­ac­ter and breathe life into him and be­cause the ma­te­rial is as good as it is, it en­abled me to re­ally dive into it.

You play a mo­tor­cy­cle cop. How do you feel about rid­ing mo­tor bikes? I think be­ing on the mo­tor­cy­cle, you’re just a dif­fer­ent breed. I love that idea of just be­ing on your own and let­ting your thoughts wan­der. It puts you in the mo­ment whereas if you’re in a car, you’re talk­ing on the phone or DJing with mu­sic, or eat­ing, that’s a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence. I drove by a guy yesterday on my mo­tor­cy­cle and he was lit­er­ally driv­ing with his knees. He was on the phone and eat­ing a burger. So when you’re in a car there are a lot of things your energy can be used to­wards other than driv­ing but when you’re on a mo­tor­cy­cle that’s all you are do­ing.

In your ca­reer you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced some ma­jor ups with shows like Fri­day Night Lights. But you’ve also had downs es­pe­cially with block­buster John Carter be­ing panned... I had some­one very close to me say to me that hope­fully I’ll have many more ups and downs, not in just my ca­reer but in life. If you don’t have that, you’re not tak­ing enough risks. And I take a lot of pride in the risks that I have taken.

You’ve been open about strug­gling in your early days, in­clud­ing sleep­ing on the New York sub­ways for a while. I’d sleep (on the sub­ways) for around two weeks at a time. There were a cou­ple of close calls but noth­ing ma­jor hap­pened and I never truly felt in dan­ger.

Did you ever think of throw­ing in the towel? I didn’t give my­self an al­ter­na­tive and I wasn’t ready to quit. I strug­gled for quite a while but my coach gave me the op­por­tu­nity to go to her classes for free. I fi­nally paid her back, I’m pleased to say.

And now you’re star­ring in much-cov­eted roles in film and TV ... [Laughs] Yes, my ego is re­ally go­ing to get car­ried away this year. Just watch.


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