Taylor Kitsch

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Taylor Kitsch
Taylor Kitsch, 2012.jpg
Kitsch in April 2012
Born (1981-04-08) April 8, 1981 (age 39)
OccupationActor, model
Years active2006–present

Taylor Kitsch (born April 8, 1981) is a Canadian actor and model. He is best known for his work in 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), and Lone Survivor (2013).

Kitsch also 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, and portrayed David Koresh in the miniseries Waco (2018).

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.[1][2] His parents separated when he was one, and he and his two older brothers, Brody[3] and Daman, were raised by their mother in a mobile home park.[4][5] He also has two younger maternal half-sisters. Kitsch lived in Port Moody and Anmore.[6] He attended Gleneagle Secondary School in Coquitlam.[7] Kitsch started playing ice hockey at age three,[8] and played junior ice hockey for the Langley Hornets in the British Columbia Hockey League, before a knee injury ended his career in 2002.[9] Following his injury, Kitsch took nutrition and economics courses at the University of Lethbridge for a year and lived with his brother.[6]


Kitsch moved to New York City in 2002, after receiving an opportunity to pursue modeling with IMG; he studied acting there as well, and became a nutritionist and personal trainer.[10] For a time in New York he was homeless and took to sleeping on subway trains in the middle of the night.[11] In 2004, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he modeled for Diesel and Abercrombie & Fitch.[11][12] He also appeared in the limited edition coffee table book About Face by celebrity photographer John Russo.[13]

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.[14] The series premiered in October 2006 to universal critical acclaim from critics and over 7.7 million viewers.[15] Kitsch has ruled out reprising his role in a potential film sequel to the television series.[16] 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."[17]

In 2010, Kitsch starred in Steven Silver's The Bang Bang Club, an historical drama set in South Africa which documents the final bloody days of the apartheid.[18] He had to lose 35 pounds in two months to play the role of photojournalist Kevin Carter, alongside Ryan Phillippe and Malin Åkerman.[19] In November 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Kitsch as one of the young male actors who are "pushing – or being pushed" into taking over Hollywood as the new "A-List".[20][21] 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. Despite the film's failure 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."[22] In May 2012, Kitsch starred in Peter Berg's Battleship, based on Hasbro's toy game, as Lieutenant Alex Hopper.[23] The film marked his reunion with Berg and former Friday Night Lights co-star, Jesse Plemons.[24] 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.[25]

In 2013, Kitsch starred in The Grand Seduction, remake of Jean-François Pouliot's French-Canadian La Grande Séduction (2003) directed by Don McKellar,[26] and another Peter Berg film, Lone Survivor, based on Marcus Luttrell's book.[27] 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.[28] Kitsch was in negotiations for the lead role in the American remake of The Raid.[29] Kitsch starred in the sophomore season of True Detective, opposite Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Colin Farrell. Kitsch will write, direct and star in the drama Pieces.[30]

In 2017, Kitsch starred in American Assassin, where he plays the main villain, and Only the Brave. In 2018, he played the part of cult leader David Koresh in the Paramount Channel miniseries Waco. In 2019 Kitsch starred in “21 Bridges” with Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller.

Personal life[edit]

Kitsch purchased 3.64 acres of land on Lake Austin, Texas in 2012[31] and began building a house there in 2015.[32] Kitsch currently resides in Austin.[33]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 John Tucker Must Die Justin
2006 Snakes on a Plane Kyle "Crocodile" Cho
2006 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
2012 Battleship Lt. Alex Hopper
2012 Savages Chon
2013 Lone Survivor Michael P. Murphy
2014 The Grand Seduction Dr. Paul Lewis
2016 Bling Sam
2017 American Assassin Ghost
2017 Only the Brave Christopher MacKenzie
2019 21 Bridges Ray Jackson


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Godiva's Colm Episode: "Flipping Switches"
2006 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

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2007 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout Friday Night Lights Nominated
2008 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Drama Friday Night Lights Nominated
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Fresh Face Male X-Men Origins: Wolverine Nominated
2010 People's Choice Awards Favorite On-Screen Team X-Men Origins: Wolverine Nominated
2012 Genie Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role The Bang Bang Club Nominated
2012 CinemaCon Awards Male Star of Tomorrow Himself N/A
2014 Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries The Normal Heart Nominated[34]


  1. ^ "'Friday Night Lights' star looks back ... and ahead". ScrippsNews. October 2, 2007. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  2. ^ Brian D. Johnson (March 2, 2012). "Taylor Kitsch: the next action hero". Maclean's. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  3. ^ Hoinski, Michael (December 17, 2006). "A Night Out With: Texas Forever (via Canada)". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Bailey, Alyssa (June 17, 2015). "Taylor Kitsch Lives Up to Our Fantasies". Elle.com. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Taylor Kitsch Photo Gallery | Outside Magazine's Featured Photo Galleries". OutsideOnline.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ The Georgia Straight: John Carter's Taylor Kitsch is taking Mars and Hollywood Retrieved on March 7, 2012
  8. ^ Stern, Marlow (December 18, 2013). "'Lone Survivor' Taylor Kitsch's Journey From Homelessness to Hollywood Stardom". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  9. ^ CBC (January 19, 2011), George Tonight: Taylor Kitsch On Hockey And Being Homeless | George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight | CBC, retrieved July 27, 2018
  10. ^ "Taylor Kitsch Gives Dietary Help". Contactmusic.com. March 3, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  11. ^ a b Mottram, James (April 19, 2012). "Taylor Kitsch's career hits a crest". thenational.ae. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  12. ^ "Taylor Kitsch biography and filmography". tribute.ca. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  13. ^ "NEW-RELEASES - About Face". Pixie Press Worldwide. Archived from the original on April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  14. ^ "Tim Riggins profile". TV Fanatic. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  15. ^ "TV Reviews, Articles, Clips and more". Metacritic. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  16. ^ Ryan Lambie (April 2, 2012). "Peter Berg interview: directing Battleship, filming at sea, Kevin Costner, ILM effects and more". Den of Geek. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  17. ^ The MovieWeb Team (October 13, 2008). "Taylor Kitsch on Being Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine". MovieWeb.com. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  18. ^ Yamato, Jen (April 22, 2011). "Taylor Kitsch on The Bang Bang Club, Honoring Fallen War Photographers, and Battleship". Movieline. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ THR staff (November 9, 2010). "See the Cover of the New Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  21. ^ Lauren Schutte, Emily Blank (November 15, 2010). "Hollywood's A-List Redefined". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  22. ^ Wigler, Josh (March 4, 2012). "'John Carter' Wasn't A Failure, Taylor Kitsch Says". MTV. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  23. ^ Leins, Jeff (June 12, 2009). "Taylor Kitsch to Star in 'Battleship'". News in Film. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ McWeeny, Drew (June 30, 2012). "Review: Oliver Stone turns Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, and Blake Lively into 'Savages'". HitFix. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  26. ^ Fleming, Mike (July 30, 2012). "Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch Find 'The Grand Seduction'". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  27. ^ Fleming, Mike (May 17, 2011). "Universal, Peter Berg Plot January Start For Navy SEAL Saga 'Lone Survivor'". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Sneider, Jeff (August 4, 2014). "Taylor Kitsch Offered Lead in 'The Raid' Remake (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  30. ^ Fleming, Jr, Mike (March 22, 2016). "'Lone Survivor's Taylor Kitsch To Star In And Direct His Thriller Script 'Pieces'". Deadline Hollywood.
  31. ^ Mark David. "Canadian Taylor Kitsch Buys Bare Land in Texas". Variety.
  32. ^ "Statesman Shots #91: Taylor Kitsch on African Children's Choir and post-'FNL' life". Statesman Shots.
  33. ^ Anna, Peele (January 25, 2018). "Taylor Kitsch on 'Waco', Tim Riggins, and the Movie That Nearly Destroyed His Career". GQ.
  34. ^ Murray, Rebecca (April 12, 2012). "Taylor Kitsch is the Male Star of Tomorrow". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 8, 2013.

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