Taylor Kitsch on Living Up to Season One of ‘True Detective’ and Sleeping on New York City Subways
“I had someone very close to me say to me that hopefully I’ll have many more ups and downs, not in just my career but in life. If you don’t have that, you’re not taking enough risks.” – Taylor Kitsch
Considering how True Detective ended last season, many were surprised when it was announced there would be a second season. However, the second season continues the series in name only — the same style and theme, but with an all-new cast, including Taylor Kitsch. In an interview with Daily Telegraph, Kitsch spoke about living up to the first season, how he has coped with his failures, and even speaks about his early days as an actor when he slept on New York subways.
Kitsch admits that it was intimidating to live up to the critically-acclaimed first season, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. He explains, “It was a challenge. But season one is definitely its own entity and I think it really set a precedent — hence getting the kind of actors it attracted — because the material is so good. In season two the material dictates the tone and our job was really to be honest to those characters.” However, he adds that it isn’t something that he is obsessing over. “I’m not really worried or stressed about how people are going to take season two. I’m doing what’s expected of me and I’m not going to waste energy on other people’s perceptions. It’s up to me to empower the character and breathe life into him and because the material is as good as it is, it enabled me to really dive into it.”
Though there have already been commentators declaring season two isn’t living up to the quality of season one after only one episode, Kitsch is an actor who has experienced failure before — in 2012 alone he appeared in the critically-panned John Carter, Battleship, and Savages. On having to deal with disappointment, Kitsch says, “I had someone very close to me say to me that hopefully I’ll have many more ups and downs, not in just my career but in life. If you don’t have that, you’re not taking enough risks. And I take a lot of pride in the risks that I have taken.”
After all, even John Carter — which was a major box office bomb — can’t compare to what Kitsch had to go through before his fame took off, which included sleeping on New York City subways. Kitsch reveals, “I’d sleep (on the subways) for around two weeks at a time. There were a couple of close calls but nothing major happened and I never truly felt in danger.” However, Kitsch admits that he never gave himself the option of quitting, especially because his coach believed in him, adding, “I didn’t give myself an alternative and I wasn’t ready to quit. I struggled for quite a while but my coach gave me the opportunity to go to her classes for free. I finally paid her back, I’m pleased to say.”