Disney’s latest epic, “John Carter,” tells the tale of a Civil War veteran transported to Mars, where he battles monstrous aliens and finds a princess in need of saving.
The Daily interviewed Taylor Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights”) — who plays the titular character in the movie — via conference call. Kitsch talked about the film, the future of his career and his relationships with the actors who have surrounded him so far.
This being an action-heavy epic, Kitsch discussed many aspects of the physical training associated with running and battling in an “alien world.”
“You wake up 4:30 in the morning every day, and you train. … It goes back to boxing, to a lot of the core stuff, of the wire work, and then the sword training,” Kitsch said.
Also important was the diet, which Kitsch said he could “bore us with all day.”
“It’s the most boring diet you can think of, ever. Really. And I was on it for around eleven months. Just like, surrounding all the meals with protein,” he said.
All his hard work will hopefully pay off and help Kitsch capture the “aesthetic part” of the character. He also emphasized the emotional depth of the character, a key point for Kitsch when deciding on which projects to pursue.
“In ‘John Carter,’ the emotion is no joke. You know, it’s that arc of who I got to play — the guy that’s lost his cause completely. And through these people that come into his life, (they) really do kind of shine that light back in, and that’s why I signed onto it. If it didn’t have that emotional arc, I wouldn’t have done it,” he said.
However, the process hasn’t been all physical hardship and delving into emotional cores. Kitsch has been fortunate to have been surrounded by a wealth of talent throughout his career, whether it’s in “John Carter” (Mark Strong, Willem Dafoe and screenwriter-director Andrew Stanton — “I would go to war with this guy,” Kitsch stated), or in past projects (Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Jackman and Kyle Chandler).
“I’ve been so lucky,” Kitsch said. “That’s the beauty of my gig, man, I’m empowered and that I’m better for it. You learn and you take the best of each of these guys, hopefully. And try and apply it when you can.”
At the end of filming, Kitsch felt his greatest accomplishment was simply “getting through it.”
“I keep going back to how tired I was. You’re on bended knees at times — not even able to, to walk to set, you’re so exhausted. So I think it was just that task of how many days you question the love of your work, just because you just — you just want to sleep for, you know, another eight hours or something,” he said.
He added: “Setting the bar that high for myself personally and keeping it at that level of energy and aesthetic and emotion. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’ll take from it, you did it, you know. You got through it.”
It hasn’t been an easy road for Kitsch, and he doesn’t know what the future holds for him as an actor. Television or film, action or drama — the future is full of possibilities. For Kitsch, that’s the fun of it all — avoiding being predictable.
“Hopefully, I keep throwing you guys curve balls really, so you can’t know what I’m going to do next,” he said. “That’s the joy of it all.”