Full disclosure: I’m pretty sure the only Taylor Kitsch media I’ve consumed was that one Wolverine movie where he played Gambit. And he was entertaining! Boy did he twirl that staff!
I feel like I’ve seen other things — bits of John Carter on TV, for example — but for the most part I’m aware of his career in .gif form only. Friday Night Lights sounded too emotional for me, and I refused to watch Battleship on principle. The boardgames-as-movies genre already reached its apex with Clue and Hollywood can just STOP now, OK? So I’m not hugely invested in him — despite being oddly impressed by his Gambit in a movie I otherwise don’t remember — but he also seems like one of those guys you sorta want to root for (without having to actually pay attention to him). He’s seems talented-ish! He’s super hot! What does a hot white guy, who is no less hot/less white than countless other hot white guys, need to do to get ahead?
Previously I’d have suggested the answer would be to hold out for some of that sweet, sweet MCU cash. Sure, he’d probably have to aim for a role in one of the Netflix shows, but still. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But then I got a look at the Waco trailer, and I see he’s opted to go a whole other direction: transforming himself into a creepy cult leader for a super serious drama based on a true story.
This 6-part miniseries, premiering in January on the Paramount Network (Viacom’s rebranding of Spike TV), will track the events that led up to a 51-day standoff between the FBI, the ATF, and a small religious community called the Branch Davidians (led by David Koresh, played by Kitsch). And if you don’t remember hearing about this gripping story when it happened back in 1993, I’m sure you can draw some conclusions on how it all plays out based on the trailer. Hint: guns and fire.
Kitsch clearly has the juicy role, which lets him transform into a surprising accurate Koresh while still being charismatic and, frankly, super hot. What can I say, he makes that mullet and glasses WORK. But of course Michael Shannon will probably showboat his way through the miniseries and steal all the thunder. Damn that man and his raw, electrifying screen presence!
The series also stars John Leguizamo, Andrea Riseborough, Rory Culkin, Melissa Benoist, Paul Sparks, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim, and Julia Garner. Which is what I’d call… a stacked deck?