Taylor Kitsch Was Once Homeless and Living on the NYC Subway………..
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The 32-year-old Canadian actor has made a career out of playing the brooding, tortured hero, be it as football stud Tim Riggins during the first few seasons of television’s Friday Night Lights, which played out like Cain and Abel lite, or as a former Navy SEAL-turned-marijuana baron suffering from PTSD in Savages. It’s this quality, compounded by high cheekbones, a model bod, and steely gaze—that propelled Kitsch to “next big thing” status. In 2010, he was named to The Hollywood Reporter’s annual ‘Hollywood A-List Redefined’—a coterie of talented young actors that the movie industry was pushing towards stardom. The leading-man roles followed in the back-to-back 2012 blockbusters John Carter and Battleship. Both films came with heavy price tags—$250 million and $210 million, respectively—and both suffered from awful pre-release buzz. It was all but inevitable that they’d tank at the box office, and when they did, the blame seemed to be placed squarely on Kitsch’s broad shoulders. “Is Taylor Kitsch’s Blockbuster Movie Career Already Over?” asked Gawker. “Is Taylor Kitsch box office poison?” wroteYahoo!
“It was disappointing,” says Kitsch, of the films’ receptions. “We’re storytellers and you want people to enjoy it, and not be jaded before they even fuckin’ go into a movie. There are all these preconceived things nowadays about movies, which is total bullshit.”
But the reports of Kitsch’s career death have been greatly exaggerated. In Lone Survivor, in theaters Christmas Day, he delivers a gripping turn as Lt. Michael P. Murphy, the fearless leader of an elite group of Navy SEAL snipers who were deployed to the hills of Afghanistan in 2005 to kill a suspected Taliban leader. “Murph,” along with fellow snipers Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster), and Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), find themselves caught behind enemy lines, surrounded on all sides by enemy combatants. The film is written and directed by Berg—who wrote the part for Kitsch—and adapted from Luttrell’s nonfiction tome of the same name.
To prepare for the role of Murph, Kitsch gave it his all. He spent considerable time with Luttrell and Murph’s friends and colleagues, learning of the late soldier’s “dry sense of humor” and leadership qualities. He went out drinking with SEALs, and admits they all drank him under the table. He also put on over 20 pounds of muscle doing an exercise dubbed “The Murph.”
“It’s no joke,” he says with a chuckle. “It’s all for time, no breaks: a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 sit-ups, and another mile—with a weighted vest. I’d do that a few times a week, and then do 3-5 mile trail runs with a weighted backpack.”
“Taylor got huge,” adds Wahlberg. “He’s a really dedicated actor.”