The star of Friday Night Lights and the upcoming John Carter on why we can't touch his abs.
by Jeremy Glass
Actor and model Taylor Kitsch got famous playing brooding Tim Riggins on the cultishly adored NBC series Friday Night Lights. Now he's starring in John Carter, an interplanetary adventure directed by Wall-E director Andrew Stanton and based on the classic Barsoom stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs. (You can read a fascinating New Yorker article about Stanton and the movie here.) John Carter opens this Friday.
In one scene in John Carter, you teach an alien princess to shake hands. How do you normally approach women here on Earth?
Oh man, I don't really have a life at the moment, to be honest with you. There's no balance right now — it's nothing but work. So right now that's the last thing on my mind I can really put energy into.
What about before your work life got so busy?
How I would approach women? Incredibly aggressively. I'd bombard them with everything I've got. That's how I do it — I'm the guy at the bar who won't take "no" for an answer, who makes everyone around them awkward.
I had a friend who called that being "disarmingly charming."
Your costars in John Carter include Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, and Bryan Cranston. If they formed a crusty-old-tough-guys club and went out to meet women, who'd do the best?
That's a good question! They're all charming in their own way. Haden Church is hilarious. They've all got very dry senses of humor, which are the best in my opinion. But Willem's married, and so is Cranston, so I don't really know if they'd want to be out in the shit. So I'd have to say Church, maybe?
How would you stack up against the three of them?
They'd kill me. They would kill me.
In John Carter, you end up on Mars. I don't have it quite that bad, but my boyfriend just got a job in another state, and I need to stay put because I'm still in school. How can I make long-distance work?
Oh, man. That's tough. It really does depend on how far it is, and if you can make those road trips on the weekend or something. I've done it and it's extremely tough. Communication and bluntness work, or at least eliminate a lot of wasted energy. I would say that — just be incredibly blunt.
I love my girlfriend, but she's strictly into Top 40 music, and I'm a die-hard punk rocker. It seems silly, but it actually causes a surprising amount of bickering. How important are shared interests in a relationship?
There's got to be a compromise there, or it just isn't going to work. You have learn to love it, you know? You don't have to live for it. I mean, is it really going to kill the relationship that you don't like the music she likes?
If you could give your sixteen-year-old self any piece of dating advice, what would it be?
John Carter features you shirtless for basically two hours straight. You are probably aware that most people's abs don't look like yours. How do women usually react to that?
I think we'll soon find out once the movie hits, won't we?
Will you allow our web designer, Ellie, to touch them?
So those abs are off-limits to human beings.
Those abs belong to John Carter. I don't have those.
You're a certified nutritionist and personal trainer. What's the one thing I can do to have better abs without really having to work very hard?
Well, that's the thing. "Don't be so fucking lazy" — how about that?
I mean, I'll see what I can do.
Just keep it simple. 85% of it is what you put into your body, so just be smart and keep it simple.
That's tough, because I usually put 100% junk food into my body.
Yeah, there you go.
That would explain all those non-abs I have.
The one giant ab you have.
Despite playing an all-American character on Friday Night Lights, you yourself are from Canada. What's the biggest difference between American and Canadian women?
It's such a broad stroke, right? I mean women are different in New York than they are in L.A., and they're different in Montreal than they are in Vancouver, so it's tough to say. You're putting them all into one category, and that's just unfair.
So, all around, women are just wonderful.
Yup. That's a safe answer.
You were in X-Men Origins, you're in John Carter, and you'll star in the upcoming Battleship — all sci-fi. What keeps drawing you to science-fiction movies?
What keeps drawing me? I think the character and the people I'm surrounded with — you know, to work with Andrew Stanton, Willem Dafoe, and Mark Strong in John Carter, and then Peter Berg and Liam Neeson in Battleship. And I took a lot from X-Men in a great friend in Hugh Jackman. Sci-fi isn't the only thing I've been doing, but I don't have a problem doing it when the character's really fun and fulfilling to play.
You played a compulsive womanizer on Friday Night Lights. How has that affected your real-life relationships?
I don't think it has. I hope not! Hopefully they're not dating Tim Riggins. I won't date anyone who thinks I'm that character. Jeez, I'll have to ask next time. I mean, maybe John Carter's a safer bet, because he's probably the most honorable guy on this or next planet. I'm okay if they want to see me as Carter.
Your Friday Night Lights character sleeps with an older woman. What's your cutoff for an age difference in dating?
Probably ninety-five. Mid-nineties.
No centenarians for Taylor Kitsch, then? That's not you?
No, man. That's my cutoff age. Mid-nineties, nothing more — no way.
What was the greatest moment while you were working on John Carter?
There was a great moment at the end, when Andrew Stanton thanked me for my effort and what I put into the film. There's no greater feeling when a director you've worked with for the past year plus just thanks you.
Andrew Stanton also directed Wall-E. For the record, who's cuter: you, or Wall-E?
Nerve Dating is positively crawling with charming, well-muscled actors.