Taylor Kitsch may be all about that Texas Forever life, but Waco is definitely not the fictional Dillon of Friday Night Lights.
According to TV Line, Kitsch's latest role in Waco, a six-episode limited series, is taking him out of his Panthers pads and into the role of Branch Davidians leader David Koresh. While he may not have the bad-boy appeal of Tim Riggins, his new look is pretty spot-on for playing a cult leader.
The first photos from Waco show Kitsch with longer hair than fans are used to seeing on him and wire-framed aviator glasses. While he's been laying low since FNL and his subsequent turns as an action star, Kitsch seems to be all about character acting if this transformation is any indication. For the role of Koresh, he lost 30 pounds, transforming himself from a football star to a cult leader in four months.
"It was four-plus months of prep for me," Kitsch told People. "From losing just around 30 pounds, to listening to hundreds of hours of phone calls of the tapes with [FBI negotiator] Gary Noesner and the FBI and the ATF to Child Protective Services, to reading David Thibodeau’s book a few times."
Kitsch added that he learned to sing and play guitar for the role, too. That commitment, combined with delving deep into survivor David Thibodeau's book, A Place Called Waco: A Survivor's Story, changed everything about him, he says, from the way he carried himself to the way he spoke on and off the set.
Like many people, Kitsch said that he didn't know much about the Waco incident (he was only 12 when the incident occurred in 1993), but he was fascinated by everything about it when he started to research his role.
"I learned a lot about myself as well through learning both sides and formulating an educated opinion on it," he says. “I was like 99-plus percent of the people who are going to start watching this [and don't know the whole story], in the sense of we only knew or know what we were told and what they want you to know. The deeper I got into this, the more it unfolded of what exactly happened. [...] There are literally jaw-dropping things that happened that the FBI and ATF did during that 51-day siege, it's genuinely hard to believe that this happened only 25 years ago."
Waco is set to premiere in January 2018 on the Paramount Network.
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