Taylor Kitsch has never really gone anywhere. He certainly never left the hearts and minds of Friday Night Lights' most faithful fans, those who still make "Clear hearts" jokes and whisper "Texas forever, Billy," every time they drink a beer.
And he never really left the industry. He was there in Lone Survivor, starring alongside Mark Wahlberg in the harrowing story of soldiers ambushed in Afghanistan. He was there in The Normal Heart, the Emmy-winning movie about AIDS activists. He was there in True Detective, trying his hardest to keep the show afloat with the likes of Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn.
But none of that compares to the full-blown resurgence that he's orchestrated for this fall.
Kitsch is hitting the screen, both large and small, in three different projects. First up is American Assassin, a story about a terror victim who gets recruited into a black-ops organization that hit theaters last weekend. Michael Keatonand Sanaa Lathan star alongside Kitsch, and it also marked Dylan O'Brien's first role since his horrific accident on the set of the third and final Maze Runner installment.
It's a smaller-scale action flick, not quite an indie but definitely not a big studio blockbuster, and it made $15 million the first weekend at the box office—a totally respectable earning for that type of movie.
Next up, on October 20, Kitsch will be seen in something that is most definitely a blockbuster: Only the Brave, the harrowing story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The movie follows the true events surrounding the group of firefighters who were sent in to be the first line of defense against a dangerous blaze in Arizona—without giving away spoilers (this is a true story after all), only one member of the group made it out alive.
He stars alongside an A-list crew consisting of Miles Teller, Josh Brolinand Jeff Bridges, and it was a physical role of the utmost degree. Kitsch plays one of the firefighters and the filmmakers chose to use the most realistic filming environment they could, citing authenticity as the most important factor in the movie and the fact that it's hard to fake firefighting.
The result was definitely harrowing for everyone involved, but Kitsch mentioned in promoting the movie that it only gave him more respect for the real people he was portraying.
"They are behind-the-scenes heroes," he said. "They do their job never looking for credit."
Die-hard Tim Riggins fans should also know that this time around, Kitsch trades in his flowing locks for a very heavy mustache. And in a role that sees Taylor as even more unrecognizable, he'll be playing infamous cult leader David Koresh as the lead in Waco, a miniseries about the FBI's famous siege on the Texas town. The show will hit TV screens this winter, and with John Leguizamo, Melissa Benoist and Michael Shannon in tow, expect very big things.