EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Kitsch has been set as the new male lead in Wash Me in the River, after Colson “Machine Gun Kelly” Baker dropped out due to scheduling.
Kitsch joins Robert De Niro and John Malkovich a drama that will be directed next month by Randall Emmett. Emmett restarted production and wrapped on Midnight in the Switchgrass, the vet producer’s directing debut. That film, which had Baker in its ensemble cast, halted five days into production when the pandemic shut everything last March. Wash Me in the River shoots early next month in Georgia and Puerto Rico.
The action-thriller is in the vein of No Country for Old Men. Kitsch will play a recovering addict who goes Man On Fire toward every drug dealer he thinks might have played a role in his fiance’s death. Two cops are hot on his trail. Script was written by Adam Taylor Barker and Chris Sivertson did a rewrite.
Emmett/Furla’s Emmett, George Furla, and Tim Sullivan will produce. Alex Eckert, Nicholas D’Angelo, and Lydia Hull are the executive producers. Highland Film Group handles international sales.
Kitsch plays a Brooklyn cop sent to post-War Berlin in the period crime drama, which premieres at the CanneSeries TV festival.
For a fan of Friday Night Lights, it’s hard to sit across from Taylor Kitsch and not picture high-school bad boy Tim Riggins, the character — part womanizer, part wounded man-child — Kitsch played for five seasons in the acclaimed, Emmy-winning NBC drama.
But Kitsch has spent the last decade of his career carving out a darker path, with stand-out roles in Ryan Murphy’s TV movie The Normal Heart, on the second season of True Detective, and as cult leader David Koresh in Paramount Network’s Waco.
For his latest role — as Max McLaughlin in Shadowplay — Kitsch has again gone deep and dark. The period crime drama, from the creators of Nordic noir series The Bridge, sees Kitsch playing a Brooklyn cop assigned to set up a police force in the chaos of post-World War II Berlin and to take down the Capone of post-war Berlin, “Engelmacher” Gladow (played by Sebastian Koch). Max is also on a mission to save his brother Moritz (Logan Marshall-Green). Both siblings share a common, childhood trauma, but have taken very different paths. Moritz, who served in World War II, has returned to Germany and begun to hunt down unrepentant Nazis, killing them in increasingly brutal ways.
Michael C. Hall, Nina Hoss, Tuppence Middleton, and Mala Emde co-star. Kitsch spoke to The Hollywood Reporter’s European Bureau Chief Scott Roxborough while on a break from shooting Shadowplay in Prague. The series, from Studiocanal’s Tandem Productions and Canada’s Bron Studios, premieres at TV festival CanneSeries.
There have been a lot of movies, and TV series, made about World War II, but almost nothing from when Shadowplay is set, the immediate aftermath of the war.
I had no idea what things were like in ’46. I don’t know what I thought but it wasn’t this. The violence didn’t stop after the war. Everything just went rogue. I got here a few weeks before we started shooting and went to Berlin to see all the sites for myself. I took a week and went to Auschwitz to study that. You can look at these pictures all day but being there you have a sense of the gravity of it all.
This series seems much bigger, and more ambitious than much of the television you’ve done in the past.
[Creators Mans Marlind’s and Bjorn Stein’s] vision is so big. Even shooting-wise, we have huge action set pieces but then also very beautiful scenes. Today we have a huge scene, where we blow up the police station. It looks unbelievable. Dust rising like a huge cloud before the firefight ensues. It’s the biggest action sequence we have in the whole series. But it’s the heavier stuff, the emotional stuff, that is going to drive the show. And that’s what I find most challenging. Me and my brother Moritz go through trauma, our mom is shot in the kitchen by our father and we see it. My character, Max, deals with that trauma completely differently from Moritz. So every time we have a scene together, the stakes are so high. I was talking to [Shadowplay co-star] Nina [Hoss] yesterday and was saying how the scenes I struggle with are exposition. I hate exposition, talking to drive a storyline. In the scenes that are black and white, where it’s clear what’s happening and what the stakes are, those are the scenes you live for. Waco was like that: it was clear what I was doing in every scene. It’s similar here.
Head over to The Hollywood Reporter to read the rest of the interview!
Taylor caught up with Adrianne Palicki, Stacey Oristano, and Derek Phillips for the virtual ATX Festival during quarantine back in June.
I have just updated the gallery with digital scans from the July 2015 issue of Elle magazine, thanks to Emily!
• Magazine Scans > Elle USA (July 2015)
I’ve updated the gallery with some missing digital magazine scans, as well as a couple photoshoots from 2018.
• Magazine Scans > Esquire (US)
• Magazine Scans > Men’s Health (Russia)
• Magazine Scans > Emmy (2014)
• Photoshoots/Outtakes > People Magazine
• Photoshoots/Outtakes > 2018 SXSW Portraits
I’ve just updated the gallery with a portrait session Taylor did last winter to promote 21 Bridges, thanks to Jay!
• Photoshoots/Outtakes > “21 Bridges” Portrait Session
I have just updated the gallery with all events from 2019 and the lone event Taylor went to at the beginning of this year. Head over to the gallery to check them out!