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16 Sep, 2022 Jen Comments Off on Taylor Kitsch on Koz 'Koz', Projects

Koz star Taylor Kitsch discusses the Audible Original podcast, his love for true stories, why he was hesitant to star in a podcast, and more.
Taylor Kitsch is back in the true story realm with Koz. The Audible Original podcast tells the story of Darrin “Koz” Kozlowski, an agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who spent two decades infiltrating some of the most ruthless biker gangs across the country.

Kitsch stars in Koz in the titular role alongside Xander Berkeley, Kate Mara and Chris Diamantopoulos. The Audible Original blends interviews with the real-life Kozlowski and dramatized reenactments of his attempts to infiltrate the Sangres club.

Ahead of the Audible Original’s premiere, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with executive producer/star Taylor Kitsch to discuss Koz, why he was hesitant to join other podcasts, his newfound love for voiceover work, John Carter’s cult following, and more.

Screen Rant: I was listening to Koz earlier, and I’m hooked. I’ve loved the trend of scripted podcasts that have been coming out over the past couple of years. What was it about Koz that really caught your interest to want to be a part of it?
Taylor Kitsch: I’ve been asked to do a bunch, and then one of my best friends who produced it came to me, and he’s like, “I probably know the answer. Will you come on board and do this with me?” He sent it over, and then I started hearing the real Koz, I was like, “Give me some of his tapes,” because he had God knows how many hours of interviews, and I’m like, “F–k, man, we can have fun with it.” It’s a really cool story, he’s done three motorcycle gangs he’s infiltrated, literally no ATF agent, no one’s done that before, so that was really cool. I always gravitate towards true stories, so it was kind of a no-brainer.

Yeah, it’s really quite an interesting story. I love the line that you have near the start about how much is real and how much isn’t. What was it like finding your own voice for Koz for this?
Taylor Kitsch: Yeah, good question. I think when you, at least for me, when I listen to these things — I used to take myself incredibly seriously. I think when you’re storytelling, if you feel that we’re kind of having fun when the time allows, it makes it more engaging, so I wanted to do that. You’re serving someone who’s obviously served and lived and has his story, so you can’t f–k with that.

But it’s more like, I don’t know, you want it entertaining as well. There is levity in these moments that can, I don’t know, make you more engaged, if you will. Even that line that you just mentioned, I was like, “Let me just go on a tangent. I want you to meet this guy, and not just this guy who’s undercover.” Those moments are there, right? So it’s like, adding this color is kind of my job, otherwise, it just becomes f—-ng exposition and who wants to listen to that.

For that, you might as well just go to a true-crime podcast instead of a show like this.
Taylor Kitsch: I mean, they’re cool, but f–k me can they be mundane. [Laughs] At least for me, you know?

That’s why I’ve liked hearing podcasts like Koz come around of late, because then it gives some entertainment to that audio sphere.
Taylor Kitsch: Yeah, and there’s an energy and I think it honestly paints [a picture]. The beauty of podcasts is your mind is going to create this, as well, I’m talking you through it. I think that’s where everybody’s gonna picture a different bar, a different type of motorcycle, a different apartment that he lives, even his f—-ng hamster. [Chuckles] Those kinds of moments are actually pretty cool, and you figure that out.

I know you’ve done voice work, and you’ve done very CGI-heavy projects, but this is really your first big dive into a field where you have to come up with the visuals in your mind. What was that like for you going into the booth and finding a way to visualize this whole story?
Taylor Kitsch: I love it, man. We have a great team, it was well-written, most importantly. Sometimes it’s like, I hate exposition as an actor, I don’t serve that well. I’d say Mark Strong is one of the best to do it, he’s also one of the best out there working, but it’s like that guy you can listen do the phonebook. For me, I don’t know, you don’t want to go on this page-long diatribe of just painting a picture. That was a big thing for us once we started, like, it’s 8 in the morning, and you’re like, “Guys, I don’t want to start with your page-long description of a shed. Let’s get into something a bit more engaging. I get it, you got to do it. But, I don’t know, that kind of stuff I leave more up to you guys.”

You made it work really well within this podcast. With audio recordings, you can sometimes have the group of actors recorded together. But during the pandemic, a lot of that went away. Did you get the opportunity to work alongside any of your other actors?
Taylor Kitsch: Not a one time. We had an ongoing joke of one of the PAs was kind of everybody for me. We did bring in a couple times, an actor was there, you know how actors will come in and do table reads and whatnot. Some of those guys, and that helped, but it can slow the process down quite a bit, where you got some of these actors that are just in Hero Mode, and they’re just going f—-ng all out and kind of take you out of it. So I don’t know, I just had more fun with the PA, I mean, [Kate] Mara would have been great, because that relationship’s obviously really important, but it just couldn’t work out.

That’s a shame, but hopefully you get that chance on something else in the future then.
Taylor Kitsch: Yeah, exactly.

Now that you’ve properly explored this field, do you find yourself interested in revisiting voiceover work in the future?
Taylor Kitsch: I love it, man. I mean, I did a bunch for the NHL, done a bunch for RAM, some other animated stuff, but it’s a lot of fun. If you got a good team, and it’s well-written, I’m all for it, and you’re serving a story that’s worth telling, for sure.

You can read the full interview on Screen Rant’s website.



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