We were lucky enough to travel to Arizona to check out the upcoming film “John Carter” and interview the cast, including star Taylor Kitsch. Not only did Kitsch star in the show “Friday Night Lights,” but he’s got a number of blockbusters coming out this year, including “Battleship.” Kitsch remains humble about his success and tells us about what the film means to him.
“John Carter” finds a bitter Civil War soldier who’s lost his family stranded on Mars and stuck between two factions, one side full of friends, the other with a woman he loves. The film is based on the series by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the first book, “The Princess of Mars” is 100 years old this year. The books influenced the likes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, among others.
Kitsch talks about the physical training this film required. “A lot of sword training,” he says. “And I had a guy come into Austin while I was finishing the 4th season of ‘Friday Night Lights.’ Then it was just a diet regimen of an incredibly boring diet for 11 months. Four months before, seven during. And then wire training. Yea. The whole shebang. And then, of course, the standard gym workouts to get to that certain aesthetic. It was more of a marathon, and that’s why it was so tough. To do it that long, it takes a lot out of you. And plus, shooting 6 day weeks, and being in arguably every scene of the film, it took a lot to sustain it. That was the toughest part.”
Kitsch says the flashback scenes that show the death of his wife and child was “one of the hardest days I’ve ever had as an actor.” He says, “We got to do this whole flash back in one day, so for 12 hours you’re in that state of mind, and if I’m doing ‘FNL,’ I go to rehearsal, know marks, and I do 2 takes and I’m done for the day. You can do it in 40 minutes, if that. So that was something that was really tough. And then just, of course, the importance of it. If those things don’t float, if they don’t work in the movie, the movie is just another movie, you know? And that’s everything to me, was latching in and taking you guys through that. More than anything, that was the most important thing for me was to do that justice.”
He also addresses the early comparisons between “Battleship” and “Transformers.” “I understand the concept. It being that. But I think we are truly our own ordeal. I think you will get (director) Pete Burg and my taste in there. We’re very collaborative, and we co- wrote a lot of those scenes. And it has that feel of a Pete Burg movie, which is so fun. But he definitely doesn’t forget about character. And that guy can stories just as good as anyone else. And his humor, our humor, it’s quite twisted, which is great. The first 10-15 minutes is arguably one of the best character openings I’ve ever had. It’s quite funny. It’s so random, people have now idea. That scene has nothing to do with the Navy, it’s just a cool character opening that’s very endearing, that part of Hopper.”
“John Carter” opens in theaters on March 9th. “Marvel’s The Avengers” trailer will debut with the film, as if you needed another reason to see it!