Here's the thing, Hollywood doesn't get Taylor Kitsch. They look at him, and much like the haters at Dillon High, think "sexy hunk of man meat – that's all he is." But Taylor Kitsch is more than a pretty face and a beautiful body, and his performance as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights proved that one thousand-fold. Still, the major studios wanted him to turn into Mr. Muscle-y Action Hero, casting him in John Carter and Battleship over more nuanced, complex films. The result? His career suffered and everyone still thought of him exclusively as Tim Riggins. But with Kitsch's new role as a psycho cop in Exit 147, he seems to be taking an exciting new turn.
While not much has been released about Kitsch's latest role, we do know a few key details. He's playing a sadistic cop who encounters a traveler in the desert. Mysterious, psychological, thrilling – the film screams indie credibility. Of course, the fact that Kinky Boots director Julian Jarrold is manning the production helps. But indieness aside, the film has something about it we've been looking forward to a long time: Kitsch's departure from the role that made him famous.
Don't get us wrong, we loved Tim Riggins. In fact, we still love him. Taylor Kitsch's soulful eyes and compellingly earnest portrayal of a character that easily could have fit the drunken meathead football player turned criminal stereotype was compelling, and we want Kitsch to work his magic on many other characters. He deserves to be more than just his breakout role. Let's be clear: he is not a Zac Efron.
We hope and pray that his dark turn in this new film, along with his sure-to-be amazing performance as a Navy SEAL in Lone Survivor, finally shows Hollywood and the world alike that he deserves to be making gritty, real pictures that make an impact, not mindless popcorn flicks no one bothers to see.