The recent trajectory of Canadian star Taylor Kitsch’s career is testament to his staying power: after a duo of box office misfires, Kitsch has a series of upcoming movies that are sure to put dubious criticisms to rest. Known best for his role as Tim Riggins, the brooding running back in Friday Night Lights, Kitsch sprung to fame on the big screen for his role as fan favourite Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and as drug kingpin Chon in Oliver Stone’s Savages. Not one to dwell on his career’s more minor moments, Kitsch maintains that he will continue to choose roles in movies he cares about, regardless of the risk factor. Two such films he has slated for 2014 includeThe Normal Heart, which focuses on the early ‘80s HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City (costarring Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts), and Canadian comedy The Grand Seduction, in which Kitsch plays a big-city doctor who descends upon a Maritime village in order to secure a factory contract and save the town from financial ruin.
In an exclusive interview with Men’s FASHION, Kitsch opens up about upcoming films, his love of laying low in his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, and his foray into a new side of moviemaking with his upcoming directorial debut.
On taking riskier roles:
“I can take the road more travelled, and take gigs where it will probably be successful and I’ll feel comfortable and safe … But my career’s going to have ups and downs, because I want to take those risks.”
On bouncing back from past movie misfires:
“I’m not going to lie, no matter what the work is, it is a piece of you that’s out there, so it sucks when something comes out and people rebuff it. But it is what it is. I’m excited and proud of all the gigs I’ve done.”
On his upcoming film, The Normal Heart, about the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York:
“One of the major things these people were dealing with was the unknown. That can’t be overlooked, especially with my character … [With the film,] a whole new generation is going to be exposed to something that paved the way for so many men and women.”
On his plans to make the transition from acting to directing a feature film about small-time criminals, based on a short film he wrote:
“Whether you’re behind or in front of the camera, it’s still about being a storyteller.”