Best-known for his portrayal of troubled high school football star "Tim Riggins" on NBC's acclaimed television series, "Friday Night Lights" (2006), actor Taylor Kitsch has scored big with audiences and critics on both the big and small screens.
On "Friday Night Lights" (2006), the Emmy-nominated series USA Today called "one of the best-acted, best-written, best-produced shows on television", Kitsch stars as the strong, brooding backbone of the Dillon Panthers football team. He brings a poignancy and vulnerability to the role of a Texas high school fullback struggling to find his identity and wrestling with his demons by way of the bottle. Executive-produced by actor-director Peter Berg, based on his hit Universal Pictures feature, Friday Night Lights (2004), the second season of "Friday Night Lights" premiered on October 5, 2007.
During the show's summer hiatus, Taylor filmed the feature, Gospel Hill (2008), alongside Julia Stiles, Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by Giancarlo Esposito, the film focuses on the bigoted former sheriff of a southern town and a one-time civil rights worker whose intersecting lives are still haunted by events that took place decades earlier. Old wounds are reopened as residents of a black neighborhood are forced out of their homes to make way for a multi-million dollar development.
Kitsch got serious about acting in 2002, when he moved to New York City to study with renowned acting coach Sheila Grey. His career took off the next year after he returned to his home town of Vancouver and landed his first film major role, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, in David R. Ellis' adrenaline-fueled action picture, Snakes on a Plane (2006). The film was released in August 2006 by New Line Cinema.
Then, Kitsch starred as prep school student "Pogue Perry" in director Renny Harlin's The Covenant (2006), which opened at No. 1 on the box office chart in September 2006. In the stylish thriller from Lakeshore Entertainment and Sony Screen Gems, four young witches do battle with a powerful, centuries-old supernatural force.
Kitsch's other credits include director Betty Thomas' comedy, John Tucker Must Die (2006), opposite Jesse Metcalfe, Ashanti, Sophia Bush and Brittany Snow, which was released by 20th Century Fox in July 2006; the TV series "Godiva's" (2005) and the pilot for ABC Family's sci-fi drama, "Kyle XY" (2006).
When he's not on set, Kitsch pursues children's charity work and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Taylor Kitsch was born on April 8th, 1981 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. As a kid, Taylor grew up in Vancouver and, until today, Taylor still lives there, when he's not shooting "Friday Night Lights" (2006) in Austin, Texas. Growing up, he aspired to become an actor which eventually was the real reason behind his move to New York.
In New York, Taylor pursued his dreams by studying the art of acting with coach Sheila Grey. Not too long after that, Taylor landed a role in the movie, "Pacific 121". After landing a role in that movie, Taylor's dreams finally started coming true. Taylor was cast in a few guest acting roles, such as John Tucker Must Die (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006) and "Kyle XY" (2006).
Moving to New York in 2002 was the prize that Taylor received after being scouted by modeling scouts in Canada. Taylor was signed to "IMG Models" and became a regular face for the famous clothing lines, "Abercrombie & Fitch" and also "Diesel". Taylor was also signed under "Untitled Entertainment" during his two years stay in the city.
While Taylor was living in New York, he found time to become a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. In the year 2004, Taylor decided that it was time for him to move to Los Angeles to learn more about the acting course. Taylor stayed in Los Angeles for about eight months and did some print work with "Nous Modeling Management".
It wasn't too long until Taylor realized that he didn't want to be in Los Angeles. Taylor thought that things were running a little bit too fast for him, then making the decision to move back to Vancouver for the summer of 2005 to spend more time with his family. In 2006, Taylor then signed with "Endeavour".
What shot him to bigger fame was his role in the movie, The Covenant (2006), with actors Steven Strait, Toby Hemingway and Chace Crawford, who were all already successful. In "The Covenant", fans got to know who Taylor really is. Even though the movie wasn't as successful as people hoped it would be, Taylor became more recognized since acting in the movie. In the movie, fans also got to see a more fit and toned version of Taylor. Fortunately, after "The Covenant", casting directors from the football teen drama, "Friday Night Lights" (2006), saw the talent that Taylor had. They eventually hired Taylor to play the role of "Tim Riggins", one of the Dillon Panthers' main players. On "Friday Night Lights", Taylor managed to show his acting skills to fans and television critics who were very impressed with Taylor's acting skills.
After receiving fame and gaining a big fan base from "Friday Night Lights", Taylor received the acting publicity he has always been waiting for. In February 2008, he signed on to play "Gambit" in the "X-Men" franchise spin-off, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). He subsequently starred in the films, The Bang Bang Club (2010), John Carter (2012), Battleship (2012), and Savages (2012).
Despite being famous, Taylor is still a very humble guy and claims that he'd prefer to skip the whole tabloid craze. During his free time, he enjoys doing charity work and listening to music, especially those in the country genre. With all the success and a humble attitude, we're pretty sure that Taylor is going to be one of the "Must Watch" stars for the coming years.
In January 2008, participated in Luc Robitaille's "Celebrity Shoot Out", a celebrity hockey game that raised money and awareness for the children's charity, "Echoes of Hope".
Played ice hockey in the Canadian BCHL for the Langley Hornets before a career-ending knee injury.
In September 2007, took part in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, which benefits the Children's Hospital, Los Angeles. Taylor supports fitness activities for kids.
Favorite book is "The Idiot" by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
In August 2006, appeared on the cover page of the magazine named Dish Entertainment Magazine.
Learned acting from the renowned acting coach, Sheila Grey.
At age 25, became the youngest ever cover boy for Men's Health magazine.
Did all his own stunts in the movie, The Covenant (2006).
He joined the men of the "Friday Night Lights" (2006) cast in Esquire's October 2006 spread, "There's No I in Coat".
He lives in Vancouver when he isn't filming "Friday Night Lights" (2006) in Austin. Texas.
Fumbled his first reading for the part of "Gambit" in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) because he was too tired. Got his managers to get him another audition because he felt very confident about the role.
Attended University of Lethbridge in Alberta, where he studied Nutritional Training.
Favorite actor is Sean Penn.
One of Rolling Stone's Hot 100 List 2009.
One of Variety Magazine's 10 Actors to Watch 2011.
[About playing "Gambit" in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)] The biggest thing for me is doing this justice. Being with Hugh and everything else, it's not called "Gambit: Origins". I want to come into "Wolverine" and contribute to Hugh Jackman's movie the best I can and I feel I've done everything I could possible to bring this guy to life.
I would murder to play Gambit again.
Yeah, I played it pretty darn hard seriously, as many Canadians do. I started playing when I was 3 or 4 years old, had the backyard pond and everything. So I was devastated. - On his hockey career ended by injury.
Video games and computers have become babysitters for kids. Parents have to lead by example. I have two little sisters and I help my mom raise them. You just try to give them knowledge piece by piece and tell them, '[By eating well and being active,] you're going to feel a lot better about yourself, you're going to be able to do better at school, you're going to have more energy in sports.' I think it's about self-empowerment, as well - giving kids choices. It starts with coaches, teachers, and especially parents, by living healthy themselves.
He [Berg] just gave me such an opportunity, especially when you look back and see - and especially with this big movie coming out. There are a lot of people who came in and out, but he's one of those people who really took a risk on me and saw the potential. I won't ever forget that. (On Peter Berg casting him as "Tim Riggins" on "Friday Night Lights" (2006)).
There's that stigma about New Yorkers, how they're so mean, but in my experience it was quite the opposite. People were very genuine and very nice, even on the subway. I mean, I was sleeping on the subway, man, so it wasn't like I was doing very well when I was in New York. It's a really intense city, and it tests you. - On living in New York City.
A lot of people are surprised to hear that an actor studied for two or three years. They take the craft for granted and wanna just wake up and be an actor. But paying your dues and all that puts so much into being a success. You have an understanding of what it's about, being on your own for three or four years and living day to day on $3, or living in an apartment with no electricity. I didn't want to just go back home and be like, "Yep, it didn't work out."
On fame, wild nights out in Hollywood: There's no need to get involved in all that if you are in it for the right purpose.
[on acting]: I got enveloped with it. I'm not sure if you can over-study, but my teacher kicked me out of class for a month. Everything happens, you have to believe, for a reason. I lucked out a few times and met a few people who believed in me, and I'm still riding this wave.
These war photographers would break up in front of you telling their story. That raised your game, your focus and what you put into it. I think for me this is why I do it. It's why you put in the work. You're telling the story of someone who lived and you have to do it right. - On playing Kevin Carter.
I've always been intimidated by the technicalities of taking photos, especially with a film camera -- not just a point and shoot. But getting a role like this there's no better moment to take it in. I look at photography in a different light, now. - On playing Kevin Carter.
I definitely have a pieces of me like Riggins - my father was never in my life. I've had curve balls thrown at me.
[on The Bang Bang Club (2010)] I was scared s**tless to take this on. And that's when you know you're doing something right.
Actors become so fucking sensitive. I've worked with actors who are fucking lazy and expect shit to happen without putting in time. Look man, if you're not prepped and ready to go to work, don't sign up for an Oliver Stone film.
[on filming John Carter (2012)] You can name any part on my body and at one point I'm sure it was swollen or hurt or pulled or yanked or something. You're just in insane shape that you gotta keep up. It's excessively tough, man.
[on Savages (2012)] To be in this film was a dream. I've been in the acting game for probably eight years. It's not just about being on screen, but attaining things in your life that no one can take from you, and this is one of them.
Living on the subway in New York City was by far the lowest point. That's where I slept for weeks. But that's a different low. Not 'I don't know if I'll ever make it as an actor'. It was pure survival.
If you told me ten years ago when I was homeless in New York City that my first two movies would make close to $600 million, I would have laughed at you. I passed out from exhaustion on 'Carter'. There's nothing more I could have given to that project.
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