Best known for his portrayal of troubled high school football star Tim Riggins on NBC's acclaimed television series "Friday Night Lights," actor Taylor Kitsch has scored big with audiences and critics on both the big and small screens.
In "Friday Night Lights," 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. His portrayal and good looks caused Tim Riggins to become a universal fan favorite. Executive produced by actor-director Peter Berg based on his hit Universal Pictures feature, the first season of "Friday Night Lights" premiered during 2006 and ended in 2011.
During the show's summer hiatus, Taylor filmed the feature Gospel Hill 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 Richard Ellis' adrenaline fueled action picture Snakes on a Plane. 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, 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, opposite Jesse Metcalfe, Ashanti, Sophia Bush and Brittany Snow, which was released by 20th Century Fox in July 2006; the TV series "Godiva's" and the pilot for ABC Family's sci-fie drama "Kyle XY."
When he's not on set, Kitsch pursues children's charity work and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Favorite movies are: State of Grace, Hurly Burly and Dead Man Walking.
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 2008 took a trip to Africa with Friday Night Lights co-star, Connie Britton. They toured Uganda and Kenya and became more aware of a charity called the African Children's Choir.
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'.
Was rumored to be romantically involved with Minka Kelly and Rachel McAdams.
He joined the men of the Friday Night Lights cast in Esquire's October 2006 spread, "There's no I in Coat".
He continues to live in Austin, Texas after FNL concluded and is building his dream house situated on Lake Austin.
Fumbled his first reading for the part of Gambit in X-men Origins: Wolverine because he was too tired. Got his managers to get him another audition because he felt very confident about the role.
Has two older brothers, Brody and Daman.
Attended University of Lethbridge in Alberta, where he studied Nutritional Training.
Close friends with his Friday Night Lights co-stars Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Derek Phillips, Jesse Plemons, Scott Porter, and Zach Gilford.
He is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer.
Favorite actor is Sean Penn.
One of Rolling Stone's Hot 100 List 2009.
(About playing Gambit in X-men Origins: Wolverine 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 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 Pter berg casting him as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights.)
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.
I was scared shitless to take this on. And that's when you know you're doing something right. - On The Bang Bang Club.