Kitsch plays bad guy with nu­ance

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - By Brook Lef­ferts

NEW YORK — Ac­tor Tay­lor Kitsch bris­tles at the no­tion that the crim­i­nal he plays in the new po­lice drama “21 Bridges” is a cold­blooded killer.

He says he worked to find the “emo­tional beats” of his char­ac­ter, Ray, and tried to un­der­stand the reasons he might do some un­sa­vory things.

That might be why di­rec­tor Brian Kirk and Chad­wick Bose­man, pro­ducer and star of the film, wanted Kitsch for the part.

“21 Bridges” is about a po­lice de­tec­tive (Bose­man) lead­ing a man­hunt in New York City to find two sus­pects who planned to steal a haul of co­caine but stum­ble into a larger con­spir­acy and end up killing sev­eral cops.

The film, which also stars Stephan James and Si­enna Miller, takes place over the course of one night, with plot twists, chase scenes and shootouts to sat­isfy ac­tion fans.

In an interview with

The As­so­ci­ated Press, Kitsch, 38, talked about find­ing the nu­ances in play­ing com­pli­cated char­ac­ters, work­ing with Bose­man and what it would take to get him to go back to his “Fri­day Night Lights” char­ac­ter, Tim Rig­gins.

“There’s no way.”

AP: Ray and Stephan walk into a very scary sit­u­a­tion, but Ray keeps his cool.

Kitsch: I know a lot of (Navy) SEALs. I’ve been

Dec. 8 birth­days: — Ac­tor Tay­lor Kitsch, on his will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate in a “Fri­day Night Lights” re­boot

trained by them and a lot of spe­cial ops guys, and ev­ery­thing about them I ad­mire. The beauty of those guys is their heart rate doesn’t go up. It re­ally, hon­estly doesn’t in those mo­ments . ... Ray is very, very sim­i­lar . ... He’s just very calm, very di­rected as to what he has to do and carry out.

AP: How was work­ing with Chad­wick Bose­man and how in­volved was he in his role as pro­ducer?

Kitsch: He had a good pres­ence on set. We were work­ing nights and, man, I’d be sleep­ing if I were him be­cause you got to get it when you can. But he would come on his off days and be there with us and just sup­port. The best pro­duc­ers are the ones that you don’t feel their pres­ence so much on set. They fa­cil­i­tate and let you do your thing. And he’s great. You know, very gra­cious guy, lis­tens re­ally well on and off cam­era. He’s very hum­ble and just a sweet guy.

AP: We are in an era of re­boots. Any chance you’d reprise your role if there was a re­boot of “Fri­day Night Lights?”

Kitsch: I know they’re mak­ing a movie, but I’m not go­ing to be in that. There’s no way. If you want to give me $25 mil­lion I’ll do it, but that’s my price (Laughs). I pride my­self on that mo­ment. But I also want to cre­ate more new mo­ments and keep grow­ing, and I feel I’ve done that. It would be mess­ing with a beau­ti­ful mem­ory. And I’m such a dif­fer­ent per­son, dif­fer­ent ac­tor. And I don’t even know if I could cre­ate that again, that in­no­cence of Riggs and those mo­ments. It was a spe­cial time, and you got to leave that.

SCOTT GRIES/IN­VI­SION

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