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Taylor Kitsch

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Taylor Kitsch
Kitsch in April 2012
Born (1981-04-08) April 8, 1981 (age 43)
  • Actor
  • model
Years active2006–present

Taylor Kitsch (born April 8, 1981)[1] is a Canadian actor and model. He is known for portraying Tim Riggins in the NBC television series Friday Night Lights (2006–2011). He has also worked in films such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Battleship (2012), John Carter (2012), Savages (2012), Lone Survivor (2013), The Grand Seduction (2014), American Assassin (2017), Only The Brave (2017), and 21 Bridges (2019).

Kitsch starred in the second season of the HBO series True Detective as Paul Woodrugh, appeared in the television film The Normal Heart (2014) as Bruce Niles, portrayed David Koresh in the Paramount Network miniseries Waco (2018), and played CIA Ground Branch operative Ben Edwards in the Amazon Prime Video series The Terminal List (2022).

Early life[edit]

Kitsch was born in Kelowna, British Columbia. His mother, Susan (Green), worked for the BC Liquor Board, while his father, Drew Kitsch, worked in construction.[2][3] His parents separated when he was one year old, and he and his two older brothers, Brody[4] and Daman, were raised by their mother in a mobile home park.[5][6] He also has two younger maternal half-sisters. Kitsch lived in Port Moody and Anmore.[7] He attended Gleneagle Secondary School in Coquitlam.[8] Kitsch started playing ice hockey at age three,[9] and played junior ice hockey for the Langley Hornets in the British Columbia Hockey League, before a knee injury ended his career in 2002.[10] Following his injury, Kitsch took nutrition and economics courses at the University of Lethbridge for a year and lived with his brother.[7]


Kitsch moved to New York City in 2002, after receiving an opportunity to pursue modelling with IMG; he studied acting there as well, and became a nutritionist and personal trainer.[11] For a time in New York he was homeless and took to sleeping on subway trains in the middle of the night.[12] In 2004, he relocated to Los Angeles where he modelled for Diesel and Abercrombie & Fitch.[12][13] He also appeared in the limited edition coffee table book About Face by celebrity photographer John Russo.[14]

In 2006, Kitsch was cast in his breakout role on the NBC sports teen drama television series Friday Night Lights, based on Peter Berg's 2004 film of the same name and set in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. For five seasons Kitsch portrayed the role of Tim Riggins, a high school student who is the fullback/running back of the Dillon Panthers.[15] The series premiered in October 2006 to universal critical acclaim from critics and over 7.7 million viewers.[16] Kitsch has ruled out reprising his role in a potential film sequel to the television series.[17] He played Pogue Parry in The Covenant, alongside Steven Strait, Sebastian Stan, Laura Ramsey, Toby Hemingway, Jessica Lucas, and Chace Crawford. In February 2008, he signed on to play Gambit in the X-Men franchise spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine, released in May 2009. Of the fan-favorite character Gambit, Kitsch states, "I knew of him, but I didn't know the following he had. I'm sure I'm still going to be exposed to that. I love the character, I love the powers, and I love what they did with him. I didn't know that much, but in my experience, it was a blessing to go in and create my take on him. I'm excited for it, to say the least."[18]

In 2010, Kitsch starred in Steven Silver's The Bang Bang Club, an historical drama set in South Africa that documents the final bloody days of the apartheid.[19] He had to lose 35 pounds in two months to play the role of photojournalist Kevin Carter, alongside Ryan Phillippe and Malin Åkerman.[20] In November 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Kitsch as one of the young male actors who is "'pushing – or being pushed' into taking over Hollywood as the new 'A-List.'"[21][22] In the 2012 Disney film John Carter, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs's fantasy novel A Princess of Mars, he played the title character, a Confederate soldier who is transported to Mars. While the film flopped at the box office, Kitsch said, "I'm very proud of John Carter. Box office doesn't validate me as a person, or as an actor."[23] In May 2012, Kitsch starred in Peter Berg's Battleship, based on Hasbro's toy game, as Lieutenant Alex Hopper.[24] The film marked his reunion with Berg and former Friday Night Lights co-star, Jesse Plemons.[25] In July 2012, he starred in Oliver Stone's Savages, with Blake Lively, Salma Hayek and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. HitFix's film critic Drew McWeeny wrote positively of Kitsch's bond with Johnson which he described as "not only credible but lived in and authentic throughout the film". McWeeny wrote that Kitsch was used the right way in this film with an ensemble cast that pushed him or challenged him in scenes which resulted in his playing them with appropriate intensity.[26]

In 2013, Kitsch starred in The Grand Seduction, a remake of Jean-François Pouliot's French-Canadian La Grande Séduction (2003), directed by Don McKellar,[27] and another Peter Berg film, Lone Survivor, based on Marcus Luttrell's book.[28] He plays alongside Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts, and Mark Ruffalo in Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart which aired on HBO on May 25, 2014.[29] Kitsch was in negotiations for the lead role in the American remake of The Raid.[30] The remake never became a reality. Kitsch starred in the sophomore season of True Detective, opposite Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Colin Farrell. Kitsch was set to write, direct and star in the drama Pieces.[31]

In 2017, Kitsch starred in American Assassin and Only the Brave. In 2018, he played cult leader David Koresh in the Paramount Channel miniseries Waco. Later that year, it was announced that Kitsch had an in-development series which landed at HBO. From Sons of Anarchy writer John Barcheski and director Matt Shakman, the series would see Kitsch lead the cast and produce the series. In 2019, Kitsch starred in 21 Bridges with Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller. Also in 2019, it was announced that Kitsch would appear as the lead in Neill Blomkamp's Inferno.

In 2020, Kitsch starred in the German TV series The Defeated, which also starred Michael C. Hall, Logan Marshall-Green, Nina Hoss, and Tuppence Middleton. He was tapped to replace Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly, in the film Savage Salvation, where he would have starred alongside Robert De Niro and John Malkovich. Kitsch would drop out for reasons unknown, to be replaced by Jack Huston. In early 2021, it was announced that Kitsch would star as Ben Edwards opposite Chris Pratt in Antoine Fuqua's The Terminal List. The rest of the cast includes Riley Keough, Constance Wu, and Jeanne Tripplehorn. He has also teased he has a couple of things in the "pipeline" that he would like to accomplish but cannot announce as the contracts are not signed.

Personal life[edit]

Kitsch purchased 3.64 acres (1.47 ha) of land on Lake Austin, Texas in 2012[32] and began building a house there in 2015.[33] Kitsch currently resides in Bozeman, Montana.[34] While collaborating on the film Lone Survivor, he became close to retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and has since been focused on veterans’ issues.[35]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 John Tucker Must Die Justin
Snakes on a Plane Kyle "Crocodile" Cho
The Covenant Pogue Parry
2008 Gospel Hill Joel Herrod
2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Remy LeBeau / Gambit
2010 The Bang Bang Club Kevin Carter
2012 John Carter John Carter
Battleship Lieutenant Alex Hopper
Savages John "Chon" McAllister Jr.
2013 Lone Survivor Lieutenant Michael P. "Murph" Murphy
The Grand Seduction Dr. Paul Lewis
2016 Bling Sam Voice role
2017 American Assassin Ronnie "Ghost"
Only the Brave Christopher MacKenzie
2019 21 Bridges Ray Jackson


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Godiva's Colm Episode: "Flipping Switches"
Kyle XY Male Camper Episode: "Pilot"
2006–2011 Friday Night Lights Tim Riggins 68 episodes
2014 The Normal Heart Bruce Niles Television film
2015 True Detective Paul Woodrugh 8 episodes
2018 Waco David Koresh Miniseries: 6 episodes; also executive producer
2020 The Defeated Max McLaughlin Miniseries: 6 episodes; also executive producer
2022 The Terminal List Ben Edwards Main role
2023 Painkiller Glen Kryger Miniseries: 6 episodes
TBA American Primeval Isaac Miniseries; Post-production
TBA The Terminal List: Dark Wolf Ben Edwards Main role, also executive producer; Pre-production

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout Friday Night Lights Nominated
2008 Choice TV Actor: Drama Nominated
2009 Choice Movie Fresh Face Male X-Men Origins: Wolverine Nominated
2010 People's Choice Awards Favorite On-Screen Team Nominated
2012 Genie Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role The Bang Bang Club Nominated
CinemaCon Awards Male Star of Tomorrow Himself
2014 Online Film and Television Association Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries The Normal Heart Nominated[36]
2024 Critics' Choice Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Painkiller Nominated[37]


  1. ^ "Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 2-8". AP News. March 27, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  2. ^ "'Friday Night Lights' star looks back ... and ahead". ScrippsNews. October 2, 2007. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Brian D. Johnson (March 2, 2012). "Taylor Kitsch: the next action hero". Maclean's. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  4. ^ Hoinski, Michael (December 17, 2006). "A Night Out With: Texas Forever (via Canada)". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  5. ^ Bailey, Alyssa (June 17, 2015). "Taylor Kitsch Lives Up to Our Fantasies". Elle.com. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  6. ^ "Taylor Kitsch Photo Gallery | Outside Magazine's Featured Photo Galleries". OutsideOnline.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Karp, David (January 13, 2008). "Friday Night Lightd star has B.C. roots" (PDF). The Martlet Online. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 2, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  8. ^ The Georgia Straight: John Carter's Taylor Kitsch is taking Mars and Hollywood Retrieved on March 7, 2012
  9. ^ Stern, Marlow (December 18, 2013). "'Lone Survivor' Taylor Kitsch's Journey From Homelessness to Hollywood Stardom". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  10. ^ CBC (January 19, 2011), George Tonight: Taylor Kitsch On Hockey And Being Homeless | George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight | CBC, retrieved July 27, 2018
  11. ^ "Taylor Kitsch Gives Dietary Help". Contactmusic.com. March 3, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  12. ^ a b Mottram, James (April 19, 2012). "Taylor Kitsch's career hits a crest". thenational.ae. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  13. ^ "Taylor Kitsch biography and filmography". tribute.ca. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  14. ^ "NEW-RELEASES - About Face". Pixie Press Worldwide. Archived from the original on April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  15. ^ "Tim Riggins profile". TV Fanatic. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  16. ^ "TV Reviews, Articles, Clips and more". Metacritic. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  17. ^ Lambie, Ryan (April 11, 2012). "Taylor Kitsch interview: Battleship, John Carter, Friday Night Lights, Gambit and more". Den of Geek. Retrieved April 27, 2024.
  18. ^ The MovieWeb Team (October 13, 2008). "Taylor Kitsch on Being Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine". MovieWeb.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  19. ^ Yamato, Jen (April 22, 2011). "Taylor Kitsch on The Bang Bang Club, Honoring Fallen War Photographers, and Battleship". Movieline. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  20. ^ Hill, Logan (April 18, 2011). "Taylor Kitsch on John Carter of Mars, Battleship, and Why Bang Bang Club Forced Him to Seek Psychiatric Help". New York. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  21. ^ "See the Cover of the New Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. November 9, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  22. ^ Lauren Schutte, Emily Blank (November 15, 2010). "Hollywood's A-List Redefined". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  23. ^ Wigler, Josh (March 4, 2012). "'John Carter' Wasn't A Failure, Taylor Kitsch Says". MTV. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  24. ^ Leins, Jeff (June 12, 2009). "Taylor Kitsch to Star in 'Battleship'". News in Film. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  25. ^ Radish, Christina (March 19, 2012). "Brooklyn Decker and Director Peter Berg Talk BATTLESHIP, Naval Warfare and the Design of the Aliens at WonderCon". Collider.com. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  26. ^ McWeeny, Drew (June 30, 2012). "Review: Oliver Stone turns Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, and Blake Lively into 'Savages'". HitFix. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  27. ^ Fleming, Mike (July 30, 2012). "Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch Find 'The Grand Seduction'". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  28. ^ Fleming, Mike (May 17, 2011). "Universal, Peter Berg Plot January Start For Navy SEAL Saga 'Lone Survivor'". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 1, 2013). "Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch Join HBO's Ryan Murphy-directed movie, 'The Normal Heart'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  30. ^ Sneider, Jeff (August 4, 2014). "Taylor Kitsch Offered Lead in 'The Raid' Remake (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  31. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 22, 2016). "'Lone Survivor's Taylor Kitsch To Star In And Direct His Thriller Script 'Pieces'". Deadline Hollywood.
  32. ^ Mark David. "Canadian Taylor Kitsch Buys Bare Land in Texas". Variety.
  33. ^ "Statesman Shots #91: Taylor Kitsch on African Children's Choir and post-'FNL' life". Statesman Shots.
  34. ^ "Real Estate Is Booming in Bozeman, Mont.—or Shall We Say, Boz Angeles". GQ.
  35. ^ Rankin, Seija (August 19, 2023). ""There's So Much Peace to Grasp": Taylor Kitsch on Using the Montana Wilderness to Help Communities in Need". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 23, 2023 – via Yahoo Entertainment.
  36. ^ Murray, Rebecca (April 12, 2012). "Taylor Kitsch is the Male Star of Tomorrow". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  37. ^ Brathwaite, Lester Fabian (January 14, 2024). "Oppenheimer, Barbie, The Bear lead 2024 Critics Choice Awards: See the full winners list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 15, 2024.

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