When our Brian Truitt caught up with Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch earlier this year, Kitsch was on the set of X-Men Origins: Wolverine completing reshoots in his native Canada. The two mostly talked about that TV drama, but Kitsch also discussed playing the popular Wolverine mutant Gambit, a flamboyant Cajun card shark who can do wonders with a staff and a royal flush. (As you saw in our exclusive Wolverine video, the man has style and can throw a mean six of spades.) Brian saved the Wolverine talk for this week, so click on read more to learn who Kitsch learned the most from on the movie set, as well as what one FNL co-star thinks of Kitsch's newfound stardom.
Photos courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
Kitsch has most of his action sequences with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, and he says Jackman loved the scenes they did together. “That’s more than enough for me. If Hugh Jackman’s happy, I’m elated.” While Kitsch became “lifelong buddies” with fellow stars such as Ryan Reynolds, it was Jackman that they all looked to as a role model. “Every day, I’m learning from this guy,” Kitsch says. “He’s such a great guy and so respectful and such a class act. And it’s real, which is the best part of it all.”
The Canadian actor’s own career is exploding: Friday Night Lights will return for two more seasons (and though there is no word yet on whether graduated fullback Tim Riggins will be a part of the new seasons he's a beloved character) and Wolverine is expected to be a monster hit. But again, Kitsch looks to Jackman for keeping it all in perspective. “Nowadays with Hollywood and the media, (Jackman) is proof that you can stay who you are and not change and still get to where you want to be and do an amazing job, and still have the family and have all that kind of stuff,” Kitsch says. “To see a 40-year-old guy and the aura he really emits, it’s something you want to strive for.”
Kitsch may think he still has a lot to learn, but his FNL castmate and on-screen coach, Kyle Chandler, thinks pretty highly of the 28-year-old newcomer. “This Taylor Kitsch kid, he’s on fire! I can’t get away from him,” Chandler says, sounding a lot like Coach Taylor. “It’s either Men’s Health — he’s on all these magazines all over the place — or you go into 7-Eleven and he’s on the cups and pizza boxes. I can’t get rid of the kid! But he is one of the nicest people you’re going to run into.”