Actor Taylor Kitsch
Actor Taylor Kitsch

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Taylor Kitsch, who plays resident bad boy Tim Riggins on the hit NBC show Friday Night Lights, since portraying loner card shark with kinetic energy and wicked skills with a Bo staff, Remy LeBeau (a.k.a. Gambit), in one of May's huge blockbuster releases X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, a lot of this buzz has been concentrated on his humble beginnings instead of looking at his dedication, determination, and commitment to his craft.

Taylor will be the first one to tell you that his life didn't exactly go according to plan. He was going to be a professional hockey player not an actor, and definitely not a model; but after a career ending injury, Taylor had to find a new plan... and what a plan.

After minor roles in Snakes on a Plane and John Tucker Must Die, Taylor was given one of the leading roles in the supernatural teen thriller, The Covenant. Taylor's portrayal of the second oldest of The Sons of Ipswich, hot headed Pogue Perry, really gave him the vehicle to show that, even though he has a hot body and a pretty face, he can also act. He then carried this momentum to the set of Friday Night Lights and for the last three years, Taylor has shown that there are many complex layers to the character of Tim Riggins.

Taylor Kitsch at The 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 16, 2009
Taylor Kitsch at The 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 16, 2009

Even though Taylor has enjoyed success on Friday Night Lights, he still felt the desire to flex his acting muscles, instead of his bulging biceps, and took on the role of real-life photojournalist Kevin Carter in The Bang Bang Club, a biopic film due out next year, chronicling the lives of three photojournalists who were in South Africa during the Apartheid. Taylor dove into this role head first and gave it everything he had - literally. The 5'10 actor lost 30 pounds in order to bring a greater sense of verisimilitude to the film. Many were shocked to see Taylor's gaunt transformation, as he is usually extremely built for his role as Tim Riggins, but he dug deep, channeled the tortured soul of Kevin Carter and delivered a performance that, I'm sure, will go down in cinematic history. Taylor, and the rest of the cast, was at The Cannes Film Festival earlier this month pre-promoting this film.

The one thing that impresses me the most about Taylor Kitsch is that he wants to be recognized as a serious actor instead of relying on his God-given good looks like so many young actors tend to do these days. Both the big and little screens are filled with beautiful people who really don't have much acting talent and rely on their looks to get them roles. Taylor's drive and passion doesn't allow him to just sit back on his laurels' and say "Here I am. Photograph me." He studies and commits himself wholeheartedly to the roles he chooses. There is no half-way for Taylor Kitsch. He's proven that "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose" goes beyond his role on Friday Night Lights.  It's all or nothing. Go hard or go home. And I, for one, am glad he didn't.