Taylor Kitsch on the Physical Demands of the ‘John Carter’ Shoot

John-Carter-Taylor-Kitsch

While John Carter may have performed well below Disney’s expectations during its opening weekend, many fans of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book series singled out Taylor Kitsch for praise for his portrayal of the titular Martian adventurer.

However, Kitsch tells Moviefone that the shoot didn’t consist of him waltzing around shirtless — the role was both physically and mentally demanding on the Friday Night Lights star.

Surprisingly, Kitsch had little knowledge about the hundred year-old character before he was approached for the role, revealing, “I didn’t know anything. My team just called me and they were like, ‘Hey, will you take this general meeting with [director] Andrew Stanton?’ And, obviously, that’s a no-brainer. I went in there and that was my first meeting with him. That’s the first time I was exposed to it.”

While Kitsch’s Carter will likely be considered a very physical role (Kitsch being shirtless for over half the movie certainly points in that direction), he explains that on set he was instead focusing on Carter’s mental state, finding it far more interesting “where he is emotionally, which is what you’re tracking most importantly. And what you need and what we need to get out of this scene to drive everyone forward. That’s, more or less, where I was at.”  In fact, Kitsch doesn’t even see Carter as a superhero-like figure despite his extraordinary powers, confessing, “I just truly saw him as this everyday guy who was put into these extraordinary circumstances. I don’t think there’s one moment that you play the hero. Do you know what I mean? I don’t see it as a ‘hero movie.'”

But because of that physical aspect of the role, Kitsch made sure he was in shape, joking that “it would take you out of the film if I was 300 pounds on wires flying around. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight.”  He adds, “I think to do the character justice, you do want to raise the bar. And that’s my personality. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to knock it the fuck out. Or try to. So I think that’s something, too, that I have control over. And especially on the set of a film, there’s so many variables that you don’t have control over. So I may as well take complete control over at least the aesthetic of John.”

But despite being in great shape Kitsch admits that the shoot was both physically and mentally draining, especially since so much of it forced him to act to characters and environments that wouldn’t be filled in until post-production.  He says, “I knew what they were doing in post, but giving speeches to nothing and reacting emotionally to certain things that aren’t there, fighting air, talking to a dog that’s not there — you know, a lot of those things. I think the biggest thing I fought was exhaustion. For so much of it, I’m arguably in every scene of this thing, for the most part. And six day weeks is what really knocked me out.”

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/sag-foundation-conversation-with.jpg
SAG Foundation Conversation with the Cast of NBC’s ‘Marry Me’
Earlier this month NBC put in an order for five additional episodes of its freshman romantic comedy series, Marry Me. While that isn’t exactly the shot of confidence that a full-season renewal provides, it’s enough to keep fans of the comedy — which is about an engaged couple who are determined to get married despite […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/michael-caine.jpg
Michael Caine Talks About Acting With Your Eyes and Does an Amazing Cold Read of a Script
This week acting legend Michael Caine appears in his sixth film directed by Christopher Nolan, Interstellar. In an interview clip from The New York Times that was shot around the release of the last movie Caine worked on with Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises, reporter Melena Ryzik spoke to Caine about his six-decade career. In […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/director-dan-gilroy-narrates-a-s.jpg
Director Dan Gilroy Narrates a Scene from ‘Nightcrawler’ Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo
Nightcrawler is easily one of the best movies of the year and its star, Jake Gyllenhaal, is outstanding. Definitely check this out when you have a chance. In the above clip, writer/director Dan Gilroy narrates a sequence from the film that features Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. He talks about giving Gyllenhaal a small piece of […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/matthew-mcconaughey-talks-losing.png
Matthew McConaughey Talks Losing the Lead Role in ‘Bernie’ to Jack Black
Though Matthew McConaughey has increased his earned plenty of respect since he started taking on more substantive movie roles in the last few years (with Dallas Buyers Club even earning him an Oscar for Best Actor), one director that always has been a fan of McConaughey is Richard Linklater. Linklater gave McConaughey his first big […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/watch-benedict-cumberbatch-film.jpg
Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Film the Smaug Motion Capture for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
Though Peter Jackson‘s movie adaptations of The Hobbit haven’t received the same critical acclaim as his films based on the book’s sequel, The Lord of the Rings (turning a 300 page book into 9+ hours of film tends to do that), fans are still eagerly anticipating the release of the final part of The Hobbit […]